December 13, 2018
We are meeting Lucio Valerio Sarandrea in his UNICEF office on Chuy Prospekt. There is a busy atmosphere with people running around the offices in the attempt of closing the ongoing projects and finalize financial documents.
Q: Thank you for letting us in your office. Can you tell us how you came to Kyrgyzstan?
R: Life is full of opportunities and five years ago I accepted a job offer from the United Nations to work in Bishkek. I had never been to Central Asia before but was very happy to discover the silk road and get out of my comfort zone. I took it as a challenge and a big opportunity for myself and my family. First I worked with UNDP in the field of Rule of Law and Human Rights, last year I moved to UNICEF working as “Chief of the Protection and Peacebuilding Section”.
Q: Is there any working achievement that you would like to highlight?
R: In the development field results can be measured only over time and from the side of international organizations we can only contribute to progress by supporting State authorities. However, I am glad I managed to give a significant contribution to the drafting and implementation of the criminal justice reform, and to the prevention of child marriages through legislative reforms as well as information campaigns. At the moment I am very engaged in supporting the creation of a youth and child friendly local governance system and in the developing a mechanism of kinship and guardianship for all children left behind by migration. Just last week a two year old child left behind by migrant parents died as a result of violence, well my goal is that this tragedies will not occur anymore. A comprehensive legislative proposal in this field is soon entering in the parliamentary procedure and I am very hopeful it will manage to prevent the occurrence of similar cases in the future.
Q: And how your path crossed AUCA?
R: While working in promoting access to Justice projects for the most vulnerable people, I came across the very good work done by the University and met some very promising students. I then decided to dedicate myself to a good cause and offer my “pro bono” services to the University. I currently teach two courses in the LLM program.
Q: Can you tell us more about your courses?
R: “Glocalizing Human Rights and Rule of Law” is the first course I started and is dedicated to the challenge of combining global and local considerations in the implementation of international development support. It is a journey from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to the Sustainable Development Goals. “Sustaining Peace” is the spring course and looks at how to work on promoting the thriving of peace and goes into the essence of the relations between the State and the citizens. It explores how to support positive peace and prevent conflicts.
Q: What is your background?
R: I am a strange mix between a practitioner and an academic. I have eighteen years of working experience in the development field with international organizations. At the same time I am a graduated lawyer and have a Doctorate in Peace and Conflict Studies.