Peacekeeper Profile: Lucas Santo
Lucas Santo from Argentina works with the operational branch of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) headquarters. He joined the Argentinian Air Force in 2006 and served in the erstwhile United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti for six months. This is Lucas’s second deployment in a peacekeeping mission and here, he speaks about his experiences.
Q: Tell us a bit about your work with UNFICYP.
I currently serve as General Clerk in Operations at UNFICYP headquarters in Nicosia. My role requires great attention to administrative issues and maintaining accurate records for all uniformed personnel serving in the Operations Branch. Additionally, I am also responsible for error-free logistic functions such as provision of vehicles to military personnel as they go about their daily tasks and fulfilling all back-end requirements for the regular Military Skills Competition.
Q: What, do you feel, are some of your biggest achievements in your career with UN peacekeeping?
For me, without a doubt, it is a privilege to be a peacekeeper and serve across the world. At a personal level, I am a student of International Relations and UN peacekeeping gave me the opportunity to work seamlessly with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds across military, police and civilian components in the Mission. I feel this has been my greatest achievement as a peacekeeper.
Q: Could you tell us a bit about the challenges faced and sacrifices made by peacekeepers across the globe?
In my opinion, peacekeepers who have given their lives in service of host communities as well as their families have made the greatest sacrifice possible. It is always challenging for us to leave our families behind and serve in remote areas. Similarly, it is an equally big challenge for families to let loved ones leave without knowing if they are coming back.
Q: Would you encourage more people to join peacekeeping operations worldwide?
Of course, I would. Being a peacekeeper not only guarantees you the most wonderful, enriching experiences but it also makes you face your fears. Furthermore, it will make families and loved ones proud as well.