As part of the international community’s response to humanitarian needs in Syria, the UN Security Council established the United Nations Monitoring Mechanism (UNMM) in 2014. The role of the UNMM is to confirm the humanitarian nature of the relief consignments that United Nations humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners have been sending to Syria from Turkey, Jordan and Iraq.
Over the course of the past five years, the UNMM has mobilized a cumulative total of 18 UN Volunteers to support the delivery of its mandate at the border between Turkey and Syria. UN Volunteer Thevanathan Nadesapillai (Sri Lanka) joined the UNMM in Turkey in June 2018 as a UN Volunteer Monitoring Officer. His assignment is to inspect the relief consignments that are loaded at the border and monitor their passage across the border. Through his service, he facilitates the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance to people in need in Syria, the coordination of which falls under the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA).
World Humanitarian Day (19 August) is recognized and celebrated to pay tribute to those who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world stated Nadesapillai.
In the discharge of his duties, Thevanathan liaises with humanitarian partners, including the personnel of humanitarian organizations sending assistance to Syria, and the Logistics Cluster, which is responsible for the logistical aspects of the cross-border operation.
“During my service, I feel heart warmed every time I see happiness in the faces of the Syrian drivers crossing the border with the convoys loaded with humanitarian assistance,” says Theva. “As a UN Volunteer, I look back and feel satisfied knowing that women, men, older people and children in conflict-affected areas will have food on their plates, mattresses and blankets to sleep, and medicines to treat their ailments,” he adds.
As a UN Volunteer, Theva utilizes the knowledge he brought with him from his previous experience to establish effective partnerships with UN agencies, implementing partners and customs authorities. In addition, and out of a desire to bring added value to his assignment, Theva has taken many personal development initiatives to enhance his communication and reporting skills. This includes completing two courses on professional writing and technology on data visualization and analysis.
I always work with partners and aim to develop fruitful partnerships through monitoring and reporting processes. As a UN Volunteer, I am happy to contribute to the harmony and peace among colleagues and partners said UN Volunteer Theva Nadesapillai.