How Does QUNO Work?
As well as representing Quakers at the UN, QUNO facilitates dialogue and works on specific issues. Work priorities are based on the concerns of Quakers worldwide and determined, in part, by the agendas of the organisations with which QUNO works. The QUNO staff draw on the expertise of Quaker individuals and organizations.
Quakers engaged in international affairs have a long tradition of providing opportunities for people to meet on an equal footing. Such informal and off-the-record meetings, away from the pressures of public life, provide a setting for dialogue where the voices of delegations from all countries may attain equal weight and importance. These meetings encourage a greater understanding of why there are disagreements and provide an opportunity to challenge assumptions between groups, who would not otherwise have the chance to talk openly. Participants may try to find common ground or to explore difficult, controversial or sensitive issues.
Staff both initiate and respond to requests for these meetings, which are held at the Quaker Houses maintained for this purpose in Geneva and New York.
To view QUNO-New York Homepage.
Quakers are also known for speaking out against injustice and war - issues that are incompatible with their vision of a world in which peace and justice prevail. QUNO staff work with people in the UN, multilateral organisations, government delegations and non-governmental organizations, to achieve changes in international law and practice.
Examples of QUNO’s work
By its very nature, much of QUNO’s facilitation work goes on behind-the-scenes, though work on some issues has a more public profile, including:
- Child soldiers
- Prevention of violent conflict
- Protection of refugees
- Conscientious objection to military service
- Rights of indigenous peoples
- Intellectual property rights
- International labour standards
- Small arms and light weapons
- Biological weapons
- Financing for development
Global Trade (M. Kunz)
'Dancer', Conalo Mabunda, Mocambique