Quaker United Nations work

In the name of FWCC, Friends run the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) in New York and Geneva. QUNO consults with members of the UN Secretariat, the representatives of other non-governmental and faith-based organisations and delegates from a variety of countries. Areas to which the offices contribute include human rights, disarmament, the environment, economic justice, trade and development, criminal justice and action on refugees.

“Rarely advocating specific steps, the Friends Representatives have striven more to awaken UN delegates to the moral dimension of the issues before them.”

—Herbert Hadley, Quakers World Wide

In New York, QUNO focuses on building coalitions to bring little-noticed conflicts and issues to the attention of the governments at the Security Council and General Assembly. American Friends Service Committee manages the programme with the policy guidance of the Quaker United Nations Committee—New York which is comprised of Friends from the US and each of the four sections of FWCC.

In Geneva, QUNO works with UN agencies and related organizations such as the International Organization for Migration and the World Trade Organization to bring to them the voices of the under-represented governments and groups. In recent years, there has been remarkable success in bringing reforms and new awareness in several areas, such as child soldiers and women in prison. QUNO-Geneva has been instrumental in much of the work on small arms trade. The Quaker United Nations Committee—Geneva is half appointed by Quaker Peace & Social Witness of Britain Yearly Meeting which manages the programme and FWCC.

The United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Commission is based in Vienna. An international team of volunteers from FWCC attends the annual meeting of the Commission and as well as its Congress held every five years. Their work focuses on promoting the concept and use of restorative justice and working to include language relating to it in position papers and documents.

FWCC has named a volunteer representative to serve on the non-governmental organization committee within UNICEF. FWCC also sends an observer to meetings of the UNICEF Executive Board.