Quaker Organizations at the United Nations
Quaker United Nations Office - New York
Across from the United Nations offices in New York is the Quaker United Nations Office, which has operated since 1948 under the auspices of the Friends World Committee for Consultation. QUNO staff build contacts with government and UN diplomats, sit in on UN meetings, submit written statements, and make oral and written presentations to UN meetings when called upon.
The staff cover issues in the fields of disarmament and security, economic justice, development, environment, human rights and women's issues, plus regional security and cooperation issues.
Priorities are set each year in consultation with an advisory committee and with Quaker workers worldwide. The annual schedule of UN conferences and the issues which come before the General Assembly each year set the framework for QUNO's activities.
QUNO New York is administered as a program of the American Friends Service Committee.
How QUNO-NY Promotes Dialogue at the UN
- 1978 - QUNO helped to draft a resolution permitting conscientious objectors to seek asylum in member states
- 1980-82 QUNO organized meetings for governments to prepare for the Second Special Session on Disarmament
- 1986 Quaker House helped Guatemalan human rights worker Rigoberta Menchu speak to UN mission diplomats
- 1988-present QUNO helped to launch informal talks between North and South Korean diplomats
- 1989-92 QUNO organized meetings for senior diplomats to prepare arrangements for the Earth Summit in 1992
- 1991-1993 QUNO brought Burmese democratic groups leaders to meet government and UN staff behind the scenes
- 1993-94 QUNO hosted off-the-record negotiations for UN staff prior to the Fourth World Conference on Women
Quaker United Nations Office, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York City, NY 10017 USA -
Phone (212) 682-2745; Fax: (212) 983-0034; Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org
Quaker United Nations Office - Geneva
Geneva, Switzerland, is the city where most of the UNís disarmament. labour, trade and human rights consultations take place. Many of the UN agencies for these issues have their offices in or near the Palais des Nations, the seat of the former League of Nations (the world's first attempt at international union, between the First and Second World Wars).
A bus ride away is the Quaker United Nations Office - Geneva office at 13 Avenue du Mervelet. There the QUNO Geneva staff return to let Friends round the world know about the changes in conditions for refugees, the progress of peace negotiations, or the rights of workers in a globalized economy. At 13 Avenue du Mervelet, the QUNO staff also organize luncheons for diplomats in a place apart from diplomatic cables and the pressure of international politics.
One delegate told a QUNO Geneva staffer after one such luncheon, "This is one place where I can stand back from what I am doing and try out ideas that do not fit within the instructions I have received from my capital."
QUNO Geneva has a small staff from many countries: David Atwood, Katja Bisetti, Rachel Brett, Brewster Grace, Tim Wichert, and Programme Assistant Penelope McMillin.
How QUNO-Geneva Promotes Disarmament, Development and Human Rights at the UN
- 1995: Monitored Canada's examination by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, also on refugee children
- 1995: Embarked on a world-wide study of child soldiers
- 1995: Participated in the International Meeting on Mine Clearance
- 1995: Improved the UN standards for conscientious objectors to military service
- 1995: Began study of linkages between conventional weapons and international peace-building, with QUNO-NY
- 1994: Added a new staff member, Tim Wichert, as Associate Representative for Refugee Affairs
- 1994: Became an accredited Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) at the International Labour Organization
- 1992: Held conferences for negotiators drafting the International Convention on Chemical Weapons
Quaker United Nations Office, avenue du Mervelet, 13, Geneva 1209 Switzerland
Phone 41 022 733-3397; Fax: 41 022 734-0015