Sophia Dianne “Soda” C. Garcia (BA International Studies 2015) attended the High-Level Interactive Dialogues during the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Sustainable Peace at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA last April 24-26. The dialogues, organized by different UN Agencies, covered the topics Sustainable Financing for Peace; Strengthening the United Nations Work on Peacebuilding; Young Women and Peacebuilding; and Sustaining Peace in the Field.
Garcia is currently a project officer at the Center for Peace Education (CPE) working on women, youth, peace and security in partnership with Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP). The network handles the Girl+ Ambassadors for Peace (G+A4P) program here in the Philippines where Garcia is also a coordinator.
On April 26, Garcia was one of the panelists in the interactive dialogue representing the G+A4P. Panelists also included members of GNWP, Amplifying Women’s Voices for a More Sustainable and Inclusive Peace, UN Women, Peacebuilding Support Office and the Permanent Missions of Canada, Japan and Liberia.
She spoke about sustainable peace that does not only mean the absence of war but also the existence of a just and humane society that allows people to exercise their basic human rights. She highlighted the school’s peace projects through CPE and programs that led to the creation of the G+A4P. She also talked about how young women in the Philippines actively engage in building sustainable peace using different platforms, including social media.
The UN experience widened my perspective on the importance of being inclusive in realizing not just local efforts, but global initiatives in creating a just and humane world. Sustaining peace cannot be achieved over night, it is a long process, but I believe that it can happen as long as all people regardless of sex, gender, culture, religion, social status, whether persons with disabilities or not are informed, empowered, engaged and ensured to be part of this effort,” Garcia reflects on her experience.
The dialogues was attended by members of the international community, civil society, and youth. With reports from CPE and Veronica Angeles
Listen to Garcia’s one-on-one interview and full speech (see attached) at these links:
UN Website TV
UN on Women Facebook video