San Jose, Costa Rica, Rodrigo Carazo Campus, University for Peace, 21 August, 2017. The University for Peace was honoured to have His Excellency, Ambassador Juan Carlos Mendoza – Costa Rican Permanent Representative to the United Nations since 2014 –inaugurate the 2017-2018 academic year, in the presence of UPEACE students, Faculty, staff, and representatives of the Costa Rican diplomatic corps.

In his speech, Ambassador Mendoza talked about the challenges currently faced by the United Nations. Among other things, he mentioned the imbalance between small and big States, especially regarding their representation within the Security Council. He also talked about the International Criminal Court and how it should be more justice-driven, rather than budget-driven. He then mentioned the Secretary General’s commitment to management reforms.

Ambassador Mendoza also highlighted Costa Rica’s involvement in the Treaty for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and how it played a major role in leading the initiation process of this treaty, which strengthens policies and laws against nuclear weapons. Costa Rica, said Ambassador Mendoza, is also very committed to the UN’s 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. In fact, it was the first country to sign the agreement. It has also taken the leadership in advocating for women’s participation in leadership, through the “Group of Friends for Gender Parity in the General Assembly”, which currently includes members from 109 States.

Ambassador Mendoza stated that “inequalities at the United Nations represent the inequalities of the world”, and urged UPEACE students to “think differently and act decisively”. He also encouraged them to “continue with your studies to understand how theory can be changed into practice”.


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