Sudan Baby Sleeping on Donkey. Framed photo by Isabelle Balot

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Sudan Baby Sleeping on a Donkey: Framed photo by Isabelle Balot

This photo just makes me smile.

As a United Nations official Isabelle Balot served in the Sudan during the North-South civil war, as well as during the Darfur crisis, which soon mushroomed into genocide. Faced with the international failure to recognize the signs of growing violence, she became a whistle-blower. She strove to alert the international community to the gravity of the crisis and to have the Security Council apprised of the matter.  She seeks answers to critical questions; Where does Sudan stand in the current global geo-political arena? Following Rwanda, could the Darfur calamity have been avoided? What was/is the UN role in the Sudan? Why, despite the Comprehensive Peace Accord, does South Sudan remain torn by conflict?

Perhaps by asking and answering the right questions, we can work together, ensuring that genocide never happens again.  

Photo 14" x 19"
Framed 19" x 23"

Since 1999 Isabelle Balot has worked for most Departments and Agencies of the United Nations. Both at Headquarters and in the field, she has held posts in the sectors of Public Information, Humanitarian Affairs, Peacekeeping, Development, Political Affairs, and Public Health. As a token of gratitude for her "exceptional contribution to the work of the Organization", Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon handed her a special citation (UN21 Award). In 2002-2003 she was posted to the Peacekeeping Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea. In 2003-2004 she served in the Sudan. From 2005-2008 she worked as a Political Affairs Officer at UN-HQ in New York, with a portfolio covering several countries in the Great Lakes, Horn, and Southern Africa regions. In 2009-2010, as a Senior External Relations Officer at the World Health Organization at the European Union, she designed Global Health policy with the EU and other partners. At present, as European Commission Independent Expert (DG Research & Innovation), she continues to collaborate closely with EU partners. She also joined Versalius College/Free University of Brussels as an Adjunct Professor in International Relations. In addition, she works as a Senior Expert in Defense and Security at the Global Governance Institute.

Isabelle Balot is also a poet and the author of a collection entitled 'Opales' (Caractères, Paris, 1998). Her 'Poems of War and Peace' appeared in the review 'La Règle du Jeu' of French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy and in a CD (Mr. Dumont, with jazz pianist Charles Loos). Her poetry has been largely inspired by her Missions for the UN in Africa.