75th Anniversary of the Quaker United Nations Office

29 June 2023

2023 marks 75 years since the Quakers United Nations Office (QUNO) was founded in 1948. QUNO speaks in the name of FWCC at the United Nations and related institutions.

QUNO’s consistent commitment to speaking with integrity, lifting up the voices of those on the margins and bringing to light diverse perspectives, insights, and concerns, has led Quakers to be recognised as trusted partners who create space for new and creative solutions in response to global challenges.

Successes over the years include:

– Contributing to the ban on the use of anti-personnel mines and the ban on the use of children in armed conflict
– Securing recognition of the right to conscientious objection to military service
– Galvanising support for global efforts to eradicate the trade of illicit small arms and light weapons
– Advocating and building support for the inclusion of peace in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
– Relaxation of intellectual property rules to improve access to vital life-saving medicines to all people with HIV/Aids
– Helping develop the UN Community Engagement Guidelines for Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace

On 9 June, over 140 Friends, colleagues and supporters gathered in New York City for a special event to to mark the rich, 75-year history of the Quaker UN Office.

The evening’s program welcomed student musicians from Brooklyn Friends School who provided musical performances to kick-off and close out the evening. The keynote address, delivered by Ambassador Olof Skoog of the European Union, highlighted the impact of QUNO’s work at the UN and drew attention to the urgent need of Quaker working methods in today’s divided world. Remarks were also provided by Sarah Clarke, Director of the Quaker United Nations Office in New York, Cheryl Morden, co-clerk of the Quaker UN Committee (New York), and Joyce Ajlouny, General Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee.

The event video can be viewed below.