To celebrate the U.N.’s International Day of Peace, held annually in September, Mercy College invited three U.N. peacebuilding experts to discuss ways to build and sustain peace on both a global and local level.
The virtual event held on September 22 was the latest installment of the Center for Global Engagement’s (CGE) International Speaker series and directed by Michiko Kuroda, an International Relations and Diplomacy Lecturer and a Visiting Fellow for U.N. Affairs.
All three speakers are current or former high-ranking U.N. officials with decades of experience working for international peace. Katerina Limenopoulou, an experienced political analyst, is chief of the U.N.’s Peacebuilding Commission Support Branch, Department of Peacebuilding and Political Affairs. Felicia Cordon is an experienced peacekeeper and peacebuilder and the former chief of staff with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. Dr. Sam Angulo Onapa, conflict transformation specialist and strategist, focuses on trust-building as a necessary process to achieve sustainable conflict solutions.
The event was a collaboration between the CGE and the student club “Lead for Mercy,” which fosters students’ potential for contributing to a global society and economy, and was open to students, faculty and the public. Kuroda co-moderated with Davina Resto ’23, club president, who led the question-and-answer period following the three talks.
In his opening remarks, Peter West, Mercy College interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, praised organizers for furthering Mercy’s mission by offering an opportunity to be part of an international peace initiative. “Today’s guest speakers have been working in different missions and countries on the ground to achieve and maintain peace,” he said. “I’m intrigued by the difference between ‘international peace’ and ‘local peace,’ and why ‘local peace’ matters.”