Sudan

“I strongly believe that this country’s future will be built by the Sudanese for the Sudanese, with the support of the international community.” Our interview with Ms. Khardiata Lo N’Diaye, DSRSG/RC/HC

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“I strongly believe that this country’s future will be built by the Sudanese for the Sudanese, with the support of the international community.”

Appointed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in February 2021 as the Deputy Special Representative (DSRSG) with the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), Ms. Khardiata Lo N’Diaye also serves as Resident Coordinator (RC) and Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) in the country. Despite the complexity of the triple-hatted role, it has not proved daunting for Ms. Khardiata, who has extensive experience in development, humanitarian assistance, women empowerment, and peacebuilding.

We sat with the DSRSG/RC/HC to know her thoughts on future changes and opportunities expected by the Sudanese people and the vital role that Sudanese women can play during the transitional period.

As a triple-hatted official (DSRSG/HC/RC), you hold three important and crucial functions. What are the challenges of reconciling these roles?

I'm very fortunate to have the ability to coordinate and bring colleagues together and help build a truly holistic one UN approach. As you know peace, development, and humanitarian actions are interlinked and always reinforce each other.

I believe it is an opportunity, rather than a challenge, to coordinate activities throughout the whole UN in Sudan, the country team, and the mission, under these three fields of our work.

As RC/HC in Sudan, which changes, and developments do you think the Sudanese people expect to see in the near future?

This question is very important, but it has a very short and straightforward answer: I think we can all agree that the Sudanese people want a peaceful political transition for the country to flourish and move into a better and brighter future.

I strongly believe that this country’s future will be built by the Sudanese for the Sudanese, with the support of the international community.

As a UN, we are fully committed to supporting Sudan, first as a member state of the United Nations, but also as an important player in the Africa development, peace, and security agenda.

What is your message to Sudanese Women?

When you look into the history of Sudan, you are always struck by the leading role played by Sudanese women in public life, in social life, in agriculture, production, in the economy, but also in fighting for peace and stability for the country, in communities, even at the local level. The whole world witnessed the leading role of women in the December 2019 revolution.

The fundamental text that governs the transition has made some substantive provisions for increased and more significant participation of women in the institutions, in the new Legislative Council that will be established.

A provision of 40% of women is already agreed and now needs to be implemented. So my message is a message of hope, because all these provisions, all this recognition now needs to be translated into concrete decisions.

We are very proud to see that in Sudan, key ministries are led by women, key institutions are led by women. Women are there, they are vibrant, and they are engaged, they are committed. But now all this investment needs to be recognized and translated into clear roles and responsibilities given to them.

My message is a message of hope because I strongly believe that the Sudanese women are ready to play a greater role in shaping the future of the country, in helping societies move forward, but also a message of commitment from outside, as the UN, to support this agenda.