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Peacekeeper Profile: Sudha Uprety

Sudha Uprety, from UNAMID’s Gender Advisory Unit (GAU), has been working with the Mission for the past four years. Based in El Fasher, North Darfur, Sudha interacts regularly with civilian, military and police peacekeepers as well as the local population in her role as Team Leader, Sector North. In this interview, she speaks of her work in this conflict-torn region as well as why, in her opinion, investing in peace is crucial for future generations.

Q: Tell us a bit about your work with UNAMID.

A: My job involves sensitizing fellow peacekeepers from UNAMID’s civilian, military and police components on gender-mainstreaming and gender equality under the mandate of UNSCR 1325 and subsequent resolutions on Women, Peace and Security. I try to ensure that everyone is conceptually clear about topics such as gender equity and equality, gender balance and mainstreaming, which are key issues for the United Nations. Another aspect of my professional role is to introduce these concepts to the local communities we work with across Darfur. So, my profile has both internal and external dimensions which ultimately have a positive impact on UNAMID’s mandate delivery.

Q: What, do you feel, are some of your biggest achievements in your career with UN peacekeeping?

A: At UNAMID, we feel that education begins from within. Therefore, to see our peacekeepers embrace the overarching principles of gender equality in the course of my awareness-raising sessions, gives me a sense of immense satisfaction. Another example I’d like to mention here is a youth network called Roia that we have set up among the Darfuri community. This is part of the global ‘HeforShe’ campaign. The network identifies young advocates committed to raising awareness among their peers and communities about violence against women. Most of the members of this network are young men.

Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in peace?

A: I believe that peace is a necessary foundation for the betterment of any society. Without peace, there can be no development and security. Conflict or war does not remain localized to a particular country; it affects the entire world. So many young people in conflict-affected areas have never experienced the dividends of sustained concord. For the sake of our future generations, it is imperative that we work tirelessly for the cause of peace across the globe. It is definitely less costly to invest in peace, than to invest in conflict.