""

Catalina Perdomo Rodriguez

Adviser to the UN in Colombia

After decades of civil war, a peace agreement was reached in 2016 between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla. Numerous actors are now involved in the implementation of the agreement. Catalina Perdomo Rodriguez, seconded from FBA to the UN in Colombia, provides expert advice related to the process.

Approximately 13,000 FARC soldiers have been disarmed following the 2016 peace agreement. They now need help to reintegrate into civilian life, and local communities all over Colombia need support to be able to receive them. There is also one remaining active guerrilla, the ELN. Social leaders in parts of the country still touched by violence are badly afflicted. Many different UN agencies are present in Colombia, supporting the nation’s efforts to consolidate peace.

Catalina, you are seconded from FBA to the UN in Colombia, as Peace and Development Specialist. What duties does the job entail?

– It is a very exciting job! My main duty is to provide expert advice on all issues related to peacebuilding. I work at the UN Resident Coordinator Office in Bogotá, which coordinates the work of all UN agencies present in Colombia. I closely follow the political development in the country and analyze how it affects the work of the UN. I also spend a lot of time trying to strengthen coherence of the various UN agencies working for peace and development in the country, such as UN Women, UNDP, UNICEF, and the UN mission in Colombia tasked with monitoring the reintegration of former FARC combatants into civilian life.

You moved to Bogotá with your family when you started this job. What was it like?

– My husband and I moved to Colombia with our two children and our dog. It was a big change. Our youngest child only knew a few words in Spanish when we arrived, and therefore needed some special support. Fortunately, children are highly adaptable. And it is a plus that my parents live here. I am actually originally from Colombia, even though I have also been a Swedish citizen for many years. It feels good to be here again, and extremely interesting since the country is going through such a transition.

What has it been like during the latest months, when the corona pandemic has led to restrictions on free movement?

– Colombia enforced one of the strictest lockdowns on the planet. Social confinement began in March and did not end until late August. I started this job in January 2020, so I only got to work at the office for two and a half months before I was ordered to start working from home. I had to acquaint myself with my new job and get to know new people through video calls, and get a grasp of the situation in all parts of Colombia without being able to visit them. At the same time I had to homeschool my kids. My work load also increased, since I was tasked with supporting the coordination of the UN’s response to the pandemic in Colombia. But my husband and I are convinced that we made the right decision to stay here, at a time when all forces have been needed in this country. 

What did you do prior to moving to Colombia?

– I have been working internationally for over 15 years, from four different continents. Before moving to Colombia I was on deployment from the FBA to the UN peace operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where I was a gender adviser. I have also worked for the Inter-American Development Bank, UNDP and Sipri. Now, I am happy to be back in my native country Colombia.

Photo: Private, UN Photo, Pedro Szekely

On international deployment

Kristian Edqvist

Training manager in Brussels

Read more about Kristian

Johan Chytraeus

Monitoring officer in Ukraine

Read more about Johan

Karolina Riedel

Statistician in election observation missions

Read more about Karolina

Johan Fredborn Larsson

Political adviser in Mali

Read more about Johan

Vanda Dahlbom

Analyst in Iraq

Read more about Vanda

Björn Tedeman

Election observer

Read more about Björn

MORE FROM HOME

A new scholarship for young peacebuilders in memory of Zaida Catalán

FBA has been tasked by the Swedish Government to establish a scholarship aimed at supporting the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. It will offer individuals at the beginning of their career an opportunity to expand their knowledge on issues regarding women’s participation in peacebuilding and conflict resolution.

2020-12-01 07:44

Read our publications

""

Security Sector Reform for Practitioners

This booklet aims to provide the reader with a basic overview of security sector reform (SSR) as well as some initial insights necessary to engage in SSR programming.

Documents
Attributes
Author:
FBA
Year:
2020

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Annika Folkeson

    Avenues for accountability and participation: harnessing the power of the streets

    While much of the world awaits the upcoming US presidential elections in November, Iraq remains ensnared in its own deliberations over elections. Following the protests that escalated significantly in October 2019, the government resigned and early elections are now set for June 2021.

    The lack of jobs and public services, as well as rampant corruption, are among the grievances that have set off demonstrations across much of southern and central Iraq, as well as parts of Kurdistan ... Read entire post »

    2020-10-22 12:19
  • Posted by Minna Naucler

    ‘Defund the police’ and reforming the security sector

    In the midst of the pandemic, riots and unrest continues in the US over the recent cases of police brutality that resulted in the deaths of several African American individuals. While the Black Lives Matter movement continues to draw attention to the structural racism and inequalities of the American society, one of the slogans of the movement is ‘defund the police’ – seemingly meaning to disband or even abolish the police and give their funding to… ... Read entire post »

    2020-09-30 12:26
  • Posted by Rhodri Williams

    Civil society as a critical partner: rule of law and accountability in the Liberian COVID response

    The rule of law is broadly recognized as necessary for good governance, peace and security. The UN 2030 Agenda recognizes this dynamic in all countries, rich or poor. However, the impact of the rule of law – or its absence – is most strongly felt in countries struggling with conflict and crisis.

    As part of its work in Liberia, the FBA has supported local partners to apply rule of law principles in public administration. This reflects a ... Read entire post »

    2020-09-14 10:34
""

Johanna Malm

Johanna is expert on the Democratic Republic of Congo

More about our experts

Upcoming courses

""

Our partner countries

FBA is part of Sweden’s development aid within the area of peace and security

Read more about the countries where we work

Twitter