UNPOL officers serving with UNMISS receive prestigious United Nations medal for their service
“Serving for peace in a multicultural organization isn’t easy,” says UNPOL officer Rama Lama from Nepal with a smile. “There are many challenges along the way—you have to build team spirit with officers from different countries, languages and accents can prove to be a barrier.
But we always need to keep in mind that though our backgrounds may be completely disparate, we are here for a common cause: To help build harmony and a brighter future for the people of South Sudan.”
Today, Rama is one of 23 Nepalese UNPOL officers who have been awarded the prestigious United Nations medal for their service in furthering the cause of durable peace in the world’s youngest nation.
“I am very grateful for this opportunity to serve in UN Peacekeeping,” she states. “I worked in the Integrated Operations Centre, which is like the beating heart of the Police component in UNMISS. We liaise across the mission to make sure that our officers are up to date with the latest information in terms of the security situation or operational requirements. It was a very enriching experience for me,” she adds.
Rama and her fellow officers from Nepal have served far away from their home country during a time when South Sudan has witnessed conflict, displacement and, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic.
She credits their successful tour of duty to a combination of teamwork and compassion.
“If you have a certain way of doing things and your colleague from another country believes in the exact opposite, you must be able to arrive at a middle ground so that you can serve the mission’s mandate,” states Rama. “I’ve faced these situations and have always been able to resolve them by putting the mission first—whatever action we take must be for the benefit of the people we are here on the ground to help.”
Currently, with almost 5,500 women and men in Blue Helmets across the globe, Nepal is the third largest contributor of uniformed personnel across all 12 UN peacekeeping missions.
In UNMISS, since first deploying in 2011, Nepal’s commitment has grown to almost 2,000 peacekeepers, including military observers, staff officers, two Battalions, a High Readiness Company and a formed police unit.
For Rama and 22 other medal recipients, it’s a job well done in South Sudan, which has culminated in having their exemplary commitment to the UN Charter and its values of peace, human rights, and justice for all, being recognized.