Greetings from New York! After working as a Program Assistant at the Quaker UN Office for the past 9 months, I am now entering the final stretch of my year here. It thus seems appropriate timing to reflect on my experiences so far, and what better place to do that than here!
I’m sure that P.O. Box Peace readers are already aware of the wonderful work that our friends at QUNO Geneva are doing. Activities in New York, although similar in practice, are focused on different subject areas; our work revolves largely around peacebuilding and the prevention of violent conflict. Like QUNO Geneva we are fortunate enough to have a Quaker House, just a few blocks away from UN Headquarters. It is here that we host informal meetings with civil society organizations, UN staff and delegates from country missions.
During my time here we have organized events on topics such as the Somali political transition, the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and peacebuilding in Liberia, Burundi, the DRC and Guinea. In the upcoming week we will be joined by Friends from Canada who will be attending the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which I am very much looking forward to.
It’s been a year characterized by big events (or maybe everything is just plain big in New York). The UN passed the Arms Trade Treaty and recognized the state of Palestine. The office also had a month of mayhem following Hurricane Sandy and we are currently anticipating a hoard of cicadas, expected to descend on the East Coast any day now!
Amelia Breeze and Olivia Ensign, Program Assistants QUNO New York