UNcomplicating the UN: a new podcast is born over coffee in New York

UN News/Matthew Wells Jason DeWall (left) and Sinduja Srinivasan, hosts of the new UN News podcast, UNcomplicated.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


This week, just in time for #UNGA74, UN News is launching a brand-new podcast which grew out of a conversation in a coffee shop, between our hosts, Sinduja Srinivasan, and Jason DeWall.

Here’s how it went down:

Jason: “What do you do at the UN?”

Sinduja: Speaks for 20 minutes straight, excitedly, but mostly in academic and high level “UN-speak”…

Jason: “Yeah, but so…what do you actually DO?”

And so, UNcomplicated was born: “The UN can seem intimidating and complicated”, our dynamic hosts told us. “We aim to make the United Nations accessible and straightforward”.

As a UN staffer of many years, Sinduja has a hatful of academic credentials and published high-level studies, “but what I enjoy most is talking to interesting people, and organizations, that help make the world a better place”, she said.

She’s been demystifying the UN and telling stories about the places she’s been, and the people she’s met during her career, for a long time, so it only seemed natural that once Jason made it clear he’d never set foot inside UN Headquarters on Manhattan’s 42nd Street before, something needed to be done.

Jason freely admits he’s minus a masters’ degree in international diplomacy, but he does at least work as a Brooklyn-based international event host. He studied sociology at Morningside College in the US state of Iowa: “I’m well aware that Sinduja has a much better radio voice, but I am as excited on the inside, as she is on the outside, to be co-host of UNcomplicated”, he told us.

“Our aim is to inform our audience by sharing compelling stories about the UN and encourage them to ENGAGE with the UN and its partners and INSPIRE them to align with all the good work that get done inside this building”, said the duo.

For this first episode, ahead of the big General Debate of world leaders at the UN General Assembly, Sinduja and Jason take a tour, and set the stage for the busiest days of the year.

“Along the way, we introduce you to some fascinating people who knowingly, or just by natural alignment with the UN Agenda, are working towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to support the planet and strive for peace and prosperity”, they said.

Listen below to the first episode here on the platform of UN News partners, SoundCloud, or just click on the podcast here on the page. And you can hear our wide range of UN-focused podcasts stretching back over the years, by going to The Lid is On, right here.

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