Peacekeeping During the Pandemic: Conversations with UN Leadership

Mar 23, 2022

A new podcast produced by the Department of Peace Operations

By Katie Leach and Mauro Ter Heijne

A new podcast series produced by the United Nations Department of Peace Operations explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work of UN peacekeeping missions, as explained by UN leadership on the ground.

As the world marks the second anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, this podcast series offers new insights into how UN peacekeepers across the globe continued to protect civilians and maintain peace, while trying to keep themselves and others safe from a virus that transformed our lives, everywhere.

What measures did peacekeeping operations put in place to prevent the spread of the virus? What kind of support have peacekeepers provided to national authorities and the communities they serve? Were peacekeepers able to continue delivering on all their critical tasks?

In this series, you will hear from UN leaders in peacekeeping operations who had to make quick and difficult decisions to ensure that the UN continued protecting civilians, promoting human rights and supporting governments and communities to prevent and prepare for COVID-19 outbreaks — all whilst observing social distancing and other COVID-safety measures and sharing verified public health guidance.

In a major change during the initial months of the pandemic, the rotation of UN troops and police was temporarily suspended to limit the spread of COVID-19 transmission. Strict quarantine measures were also enforced for any UN personnel arriving from overseas into peacekeeping contexts and for peacekeepers who presented with symptoms. These operational changes undoubtedly had an impact on the professional and personal lives of all peacekeepers. As we reflect on a challenging and unprecedented two years, we looked to UN senior leadership to discuss the reality of peacekeeping during a pandemic.

Launched by the UN Department of Peace Operations, the podcast series, ‘Peacekeeping during the Pandemic: Conversations with UN Leadership’ will take you on a journey through different peacekeeping missions around the world.

Every two weeks, a new episode will delve into stories of peacekeeping from the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), Kosovo (UNMIK), Western Sahara (MINURSO), South Sudan (UNMISS) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO). You can listen to each episode as they are released here. They will also be featured on all major podcast streaming platforms.

Stay tuned!

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