QEW's Work at the United Nations

Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW) has been a non-governmental organization (NGO) of the United Nations since 1999, holding four UN agency accreditations. They are:

  1. General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
  2. Associate Status with the Department of Public Information (DPI)
  3. Observer Status to the United Nations Environment Assembly of (UNEP)
  4. Observer Organization to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

UN Working Group 2017 Goals:

  • Bring a spirit-led Quaker voice to UN deliberations on the environment. Specifically, QEW brings a Quaker perspective to the ongoing implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in September of 2015 as points of focus through 2030 by the UN General Assembly. The SDGs emphasize universality and transformation signaling a collective journey to end poverty, transform lives, and protect the planet.
  • Share information about UN, international, and interfaith environmental work with a broad constituency of Friends in Quaker organizations, networks, yearly and monthly meetings throughout the United States and Canada. 
  • Enable our constituency of Friends to share their concerns on environmental issues and inform the UN Working Group process.  

UN Working Group 2017 Objectives:

1. Monitor: UN Forums, Commissions & Conferences: Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), March 13-24, 2017 Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) April 24 - May 5, 2017 The Oceans Conference, June 5-9, 2017 United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), June 20, 2017 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) July 10-19, 2017 Key Actors and Treaties: Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC) International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

2. Organize and Host: UN Side Events and NGO Parallel Events In conjunction with The High Level Political Forum (HLPF), on the SDGs, In the framework of The UN International Decade for People of African Descent

3. Educate: Formulate a QEW Advice and Query on the impact of Industrial Beef and Dairy Cattle Production on greenhouse gases (GHGs).

4. Build:

  • QEW Networks with International & Interfaith NGOs
  • Food Security and Sovereignty
  • Global South & Eco-justice
  • Women & Environment
  • Indigenous & Environment
  • Oceans & Sea Level Rise
  • Water-related Displacement
  • Youth Environmentalists 

5. Highlight: Key Events and Developments–via- News Aggregators
QEW supports implementation of the SDGs as they apply to: Climate change, food security and sovereignty, access to water, gender equality, human rights, indigenous peoples, women, children, youth, International Decades, and Days. Within this framework QEW clarifies moral imperatives and Quaker witnesses to issues of personal, community and global concerns to foster environmental resilience-building, economic, social, and environmental well-being.

UNWG Support Activities:

Local member networking which supports UNWG work and remote member research and/or writing to support: UNWG - Advice and Queries, Statements, Publications On-site UN forum and side/parallel event activity UN forum attendance, observation, and reporting, UN on-site networking, UN event organizing and follow up actions.

QEW members have attended the following:

United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conferences of Parties (COP) in past years:

  • COP 15, December 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark 
  • COP 16, November/ December 2010 Cancun, Mexico 
  • COP 17, November/December 2011 Durban, South Africa
  • COP 21, December 2015, Paris, France 
  • COP 22, November, 2016, Marrakesh Morocco