By: Maya Kelly & Camilla Stamp
International Podcast Day, celebrated annually on 30 September, promotes the growing media of podcasts. Audio storytellings is a brilliant way to learn about the lived experiences of others and open your eyes (and ears) to new realities.
UN Peacekeeping can seem like a complex entity. You might have heard of UN peacekeepers, but who are they? What exactly do they do and where do they operate? Thanks to these podcasts, you can now hear firsthand from UN Peacekeepers and peacebuilders about their life, work, and what it means to serve for peace
Here are our top five picks.
(1) Awake at Night
“What does it take to be a United Nations worker in some of the world’s most difficult and dangerous locations? How are health workers, humanitarians and peacekeepers racing to protect the most vulnerable populations from the threat of the COVID-19 virus? Stationed in remote locations and far from family, how are they coping themselves?” Melissa Fleming asks.
In the ‘Awake at Night’ podcast, UN Communications Chief, Melissa Fleming, dives deep into discussions with remarkable frontline United Nations staff members, who have dedicated their lives to addressing the world’s most pressing crises.
In the engaging episode “Risking Your Life for Peace”, Unaisi Vuniwaqa shares her unexpected trajectory from wanna-be teacher to becoming a trailblazing Fijian woman police officer and then the first woman UN Police Commissioner of the world’s largest peacekeeping mission, UNMISS, in South Sudan. As a UN peacekeeper with experience working in some of the world’s most dangerous places, Vuniwaqa talks about courage, ingenuity, keeping calm while in mortal danger, and maintaining the safety of UN staff and peacekeepers around the world in her current role as the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Safety and Security.
Listen to “Risking Your Life for Peace”.
(2) “Out Loud”
Hosted by the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Cyprus, UNFICYP, the “Out Loud” monthly podcast offers a glimpse into UNFICYP’s mandate and work on the divided island of Cyprus, where entire generations of Greek and Turkish Cypriots have not talked to one another.
In an episode marking International Day of Peace, celebrated annually on 21 September, hear from an UNFICYP Civil Affairs Officer, a Military Observer, and a Police Commissioner on the importance of not fueling hate, but fueling the debate and dialogue between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to find common ground and restore peace in Cyprus.
Listen to the ‘Peace Day’ episode here.
“We provide networking opportunities, seed funding for intercommunal projects to kickstart, and linguistic support to enable communication between the communities. We believe that by convening, connecting and ideally amplifying these intercommunal linkages in sustainable partnerships, we can help build trust between the communities,” explains Civil Affairs Officer Munehiko Harada.
UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, passed in 2000, was the first to recognize the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women and girls, and also emphasize women’s vital role in resolving conflict and brokering peace.
Each episode of “She Stands for Peace”, a podcast by the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU), takes a deep dive to unpack the various insights and lived experiences of guests to explore the central question; “22 years after the resolution, how far have we come?”. The answers come from policymakers, donors, and grassroots peacebuilders, as they reflect on today’s progress and share strategies for the future.
Learn how the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), works to further progress on the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Special Representative and head of MONUSCO, Bintou Keita discusses her work and reflects on local ownership of peacekeeping in the episode “Glocalizing Peace”.
The podcast features military, police, and civilian peacekeepers talking about their daily activities to promote peace in south Lebanon. From COVID-19 response to harnessing solar energy, from demining to female foot patrols, if you’re curious to know about UNIFIL’s work and impact on the ground, this podcast is for you!
Did you know that UNIFIL is the first and only active UN Peacekeeping mission to have a naval force? In “Shoulder to Shoulder at Sea,” learn about UNIFIL’s Maritime Task Force and their collaboration with the Lebanese Armed Forces Navy to monitor the Lebanese territorial waters and enhance the Lebanese Navy’s own capabilities. The results of such collaboration are remarkable.
Listen to “Shoulder to Shoulder at Sea”
This podcast series explores the impact of COVID-19 on UN Peacekeeping’s work. Listeners get the opportunity to hear directly from the people behind UN Peacekeeping’s pandemic response, and learn about the actions taken by missions to adapt, deliver and keep themselves and the people they serve safe, during this global health crisis.
In this episode of the podcast series, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General DSRSG in Kosovo, Barrie Lynne Freeman, explains how the UN played a critical role in supporting local communities during the pandemic, and witnessed unseen solidarity between different groups as they faced a new common threat.
Listen to “More that Unites than Divides”
UN Peacekeeping on Twitter: "When @UNMIKosovo's Deputy @BarrieFreeman was determining how to meet the challenges of #COVID19, aiding communities was a top priority. Catch the rest of the conversation in episode 2 of our new podcast Peacekeeping During the Pandemic. 🎧Available now on all listening platforms. pic.twitter.com/lkEFv2kqbx / Twitter"
When @UNMIKosovo's Deputy @BarrieFreeman was determining how to meet the challenges of #COVID19, aiding communities was a top priority. Catch the rest of the conversation in episode 2 of our new podcast Peacekeeping During the Pandemic. 🎧Available now on all listening platforms. pic.twitter.com/lkEFv2kqbx
Keep your ears open for…
The upcoming Season 3 of “Seeking Peace” is a podcast that explores the role of women around the world in bringing lasting peace to their communities. Women are too often seen as victims of conflict, but they are leaders and often unsung heroes. On this show, you will hear the stories of women breaking gender barriers to bring lasting peace to their communities through grassroots activism, peace negotiations, journalism, politics, and as uniformed peacekeepers.
Join us on 24 October for the first episode of “Seeking Peace” coming to your favourite podcast platform.
Seeking Peace is a five-episode podcast series created by Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security in partnership with the United Nations Department of Peace Operations, Our Secure Future, and Wonder Media Network.