Nationality

India

Education

Master of Laws, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

Bachelor of Laws, Delhi University, India

Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, Delhi University, India

Languages

English, Hindi, Urdu

During my early career, I practiced law and taught students at university. I was inspired to join the United Nations due to the unique working environments field missions offer. The roles we undertake as Legal Officers are far from routine. The Organization offers a varied experience for anyone working in law, justice and human rights related areas.

Currently, I am the Officer in Charge of the Legal Affairs Unit in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which is a very challenging role. Our office not only handles routine Memoranda of Understanding, contracts and procurement reviews, but also provides advice related to staff privileges and immunities, investigations, conduct and discipline cases, Boards of Inquiry, election law and constitutional issues. Additionally, as many Agencies, Funds and Programmes do not have a Legal Office in this duty station, they also refer issues to our office for guidance.

Previously, my service with the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) provided a unique opportunity to participate in a historic initiative known as the Human Rights Advisory Panel (HRAP). Today, there are university students studying advanced law who are even doing their PhDs on the HRAP. My role as Legal Adviser to the Police Commissioner in the United Nations Integrated Mission in East Timor (UNMIT) was another particularly interesting experience as the mandate of the mission had a strong police component. This meant working with other units to ensure that best policing and human rights practices were followed by the United Nations Police and ultimately passed on to the national police force. 

Each UN mission has a different mandate and presents different professional challenges. For instance, UNMIK had a strong human rights pillar at the time I worked there. Meanwhile, in UNMIT the policing component was very important. With UNAMA, it was decided that the mission would have a light footprint and not introduce an international policing or military component.

I have also worked in related roles including as a Judicial Affairs Officer in UNMIL; a Technical Adviser to the Judiciary with the United Nations Development Programme in Somalia; and during my time with UNMIK, as a Contracts Management Officer with the Procurement Section and as Executive Officer of the Human Rights Advisory Panel. Such roles support the pursuit of law, human rights and justice while offering different opportunities along one’s career path. During my career with the Organization, I have benefitted from opportunities for continued professional development, such as studying key areas of legal expertise including Negotiation at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government; Law and Leadership at the Judge Business School, Cambridge University; and Forced Migration at Oxford University. As people say, “variety is the spice of life” – which I can certainly attest to!

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