October 2, 2017, by Editor

Sonia Sughayar (MA in International Relations 2010) was the recipient of the Recent Alumni Laureate Award for the year 2017.

Written by Catherine Gegout.

Congratulations to one of our best MA students, Sonia Sughayar, who is now First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Jordan to the United Nations. Sonia was the recipient of the Recent Alumni Laureate Award for the year 2017. She gave an inspiring speech (see here) at the Summer Graduation of the Faculty of Social Sciences in July 2017.

 It is impressive that someone who graduated only seven years ago with a postgraduate qualification in International Relations should now find herself as a Jordanian diplomat to the United Nations in New York.

It is even more impressive to know that, in her role, Sonia Sughayar has been able to make a contribution to a ground-breaking policy – what is widely believed to be the first ever resolution on youth to be adopted by the Security Council.

As a student, Sonia was attentive and engaged. After completing her MA, Sonia returned to her position as a diplomat, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Jordan. She chose to be posted to the UN so that she could translate the research and mediation skills, acquired through presentations and simulation games as part of her studies in Nottingham, into tangible results.

Sonia has been at the forefront of the empowerment of young people at the UN through the organisation’s adoption in 2015 of Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security. She led the negotiations on this resolution with the other 14 representatives of the Security Council Member States.

Changing the global rhetoric and the international community’s perception of the relationship between youth and conflict is very challenging. With the support of her Ambassador at the mission, and with hard work and determination, she developed a momentum on the importance to actively engage young people in keeping and building peace in their communities.

Sonia is currently working on a follow up process to Resolution 2250 with the relevant UN departments. When completed by the end of 2017, the UN will generate awareness of youth issues and provide good practices and guidance for Member States to strengthen the design of more innovative policies. This will foster the positive impact of young people to resolve conflicts and sustain peace.

Sonia has worked with dedication and perseverance. She is already making a significant contribution to making not only a prosperous future for the next generations, but also a peaceful and forward looking present. Sonia Sughayar is a thoroughly deserving recipient of the Alumni Laureate Recent Graduate Award for 2017.

Catherine Gegout is an Associate Professor in International Relations at the School of Politics and International Relations (SPIR). Image credit: Author provided. 

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