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UNITED NATIONS PAKISTAN Magazine 6 / 2016

Focus on Human Rights Day – 10 December Human Rights Through Cinematography Film Festival 2016 Voicing the rights of transgender people Promoting the rights of persons with disabilities Recognizing Pakistani winner of “Celebrating Freedom” poster competition Celebrating Universal Children’s Day 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

Special Feature We the Peoples, We the Arts

REAL LIVES: STORIES THAT INSPIRE US From begging to artisan work. Page 30

NEWS AND EVENTS

Landmark agreement to research nutrition in social protection. Page 34

ONE UNITED NATIONS

Welcoming WFP’s new Representative and Country Director. Page 67

ON AIR

Children’s rights and a polio-free Pakistan. Page 76

MESSAGES FROM SECRETARY-GENERAL

International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, 2 November. Page 87

PHOTO ALBUM Page 92


The United Nations Pakistan Newsletter is produced by the United Nations Communications Group

Editor in Chief: Vittorio Cammarota, Director, United Nations Information Centre Sub Editor: Ashley Bedard Producer (photography): Umair Khaliq Producer (content): Ashley Bedard Graphic Designer: Mirko Neri Contributors: Rihab Abdalhafiz, Sarwat Adnan, Qaiser Khan Afridi, Mahira Afzal, Rizwana Asad, Ayesha Babar, Guido Bilancini, Henriette Bjoerge, Anoushka Boteju, Michael Boucault, Noman Burki, Myrah Nerine Butt, James Clark, Nathalie Dupont, Shaheryar Fazil, Mehr Hassan, Mahwish Humayun, Zara Jamil, Dunya Aslam Khan, Riaz Karim Khan, Roger M. Kul, Abdul Sami Malik, Bushra Naz, Waqas Rafique, Atif Rasool, Saqib Riaz, Zikrea Saleah, Ishrat Saleem, Faria Salman, Asif Shahzad, Daniel Timme, Midhat Ali Zaidi.


INDEX |4|

United Nations Pakistan / Magazine / 6 / 2016

Note from the editor

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Human Rights Day 10 December

|15| Interview with Massoud Hossaini – Photojournalist

|25| Highlighting challenges of women with disabilities

|6|

Human Rights Through Cinematography Film Festival 2016

|16| Voicing the rights of transgender people

|26| Enhancing legal protection for women in Sindh

|7|

The films

|18| Promoting the rights of persons with disabilities

|27| Minar-e-Pakistan shines orange

|19| Recognizing Pakistani winner of “Celebrating Freedom” poster competition

|27| Street performances raise women’s challenges

|2| Interview with Isabelle Gattiker – Director, International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights |13| Interview with Sayed Owais Ali – Director, Pakistan: No Place Like Home |14| Interview with Sadaf Fetrat A Director of Kabul Cards

real lives: stories that inspire us

|30| From begging to artisan work

|20| Celebrating Universal Children’s Day

|28| Quetta youth SAY NO to violence against women and girls

|21| 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

|28| Safer campuses for women at University of Balochistan

|22| Muzaffarabad youth commit to ending gender based violence

|29| Cyber harassment on campus and off

|23| Women Human Rights Defenders agents of change

|61| Business Growth Centre for Women launched |62| Workshops on green industry start-ups for women

messages from secretary-general

|87| International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, 2 November |87| World Tsunami Awareness Day, 5 November

|31| Mobile registration gives refugee children identities

poverty

|32| Women journalists breaking barriers in Balochistan

water and sanitation

|88| International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, 6 November

|64| Lessons learned from Jacobabad WASH project

|88| World Diabetes Day, 14 November

youth

|88| International Day for Tolerance, 16 November

|65| Youth send messages with UN Walls

|88| Africa Industrialization Day, 20 November

|66| Adolescent empowerment pilot in Punjab

|88| World Toilet Day,19 November

one united nations

|89| The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, 20 November

|37| Early recovery successes in Bara

|67| Welcoming WFP’s new Representative and Country Director

|89| International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November

|38| Training stakeholders to measure zero hunger

|67| UN Strategic Prioritization Workshop

cultural heritage

|68| International Day for Tolerance – 16 November Cherishing Diversity

|89| International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, 29 November

news and events agriculture and food security

|34| Landmark agreement to research nutrition in social protection |35| EU supports livelihoods and nutrition in Sindh |36| Continuing the fight against the Desert Locust

|39| Second round of consultations on policies for the creative sector disaster risk management

|40| Training on watershed management in Chakwal

|63| Poverty alleviation in dryland regions

|70| Safety of journalists |72| Partnering with our donor countries to achieve the SDGs

drugs and crime

|73| Interview with Mr. Jean-François Cautain, Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan

|42| UNODC and Government of Pakistan sign Country Programme

|74| Interview with Ms. Martine Dorance, Ambassador of France to Pakistan

|43| Forensic document examination training

|75| Mourning the passengers of flight PK-661

|44| United Against Corruption

|75| Condemning the attack on Ahmadi mosque

|41| Empowering communities to mitigate disaster risks

|45| Drugs and precursors identification training in Sindh |46| Enhancing operational capacity of the Anti Narcotics Force |47| Public-private partnerships to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling |48| Pakistan-Afghanistan Integrated Border Management Workshop

on air

|76| A call to end violence against women |77| Promoting “We the Peoples, We the Arts” and zero hunger |77| Discussing disaster risk reduction

|50| Improving KP police service delivery

special feature

education

we the peoples, we the arts

|51| Australia boosts school retention and girls’ literacy in FATA

|78| We the Peoples, We the Arts – Promoting zero hunger through visual arts

|52| Celebrating World Science Day

|80| Interview with Haseeb Ullah Zafar – Winner: Sculpture

/ climate change

|53| Seminar highlights need for sustainably-harvested biodiversity products gender equality and women’s empowerment

|54| BISP and UN Women Ink an MoU |55| Empowering women police officers in KP health

|81| Interview with Tooba Ashraf – Winner: Painting |82| Interview with Gina Gul – Winner: Miniature Painting |83| The power of art |83| 50 Years of SDC in Pakistan |84| Youth and art for social change

|56| World Prematurity Day

|84| Zero Hunger: our future begins with food

|57| Japan renews commitment to eradicate polio

|85| Youth and the challenge of hunger

industrial development

/ economy

|89| International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 2 December |90| International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December |90| International Volunteer Day, 5 December |90| World Soil Day, 5 December |90|

International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime, 9 December

|90| International Migrants Day, 18 December |90| International Human Solidarity Day, 20 December

|76| Children’s rights and a polio-free Pakistan

|49| Drug Burning Ceremony

environment

|89| World AIDS Day, 1 December

|85| Art and humanity

|58| Opening new markets for sustainable pine nuts

|86| Art and discourse

|59| Nurturing cleantech innovation

|86| Art as a connection

|60| Policies to help women entrepreneurs in green industry

|86| Art and expression

photo album

|92| Photo album


note from the editor

The sixth edition the United Nations Pakistan Magazine for 2016 focuses on Human Rights, which we celebrated on Human Rights Day on December 10. Human rights are a pillar of the United Nations’ work and an important focus in Pakistan and around the world. The United Nation in Pakistan celebrated human rights through a number of activities, including the Human Rights Through Cinematography Film Festival and events to promote the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Universal Children’s Day, the rights of transgender people and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. We are pleased to share our efforts and those of our partners as well as the viewpoints of those who participated to help us highlight and promote human rights for all. We also present a special feature on the “We the Peoples, We the Arts” competition that asked students to help us promote Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2, Zero hunger, through visual arts. We and our partners were pleased to welcome 23 young artists to Islamabad where three powerful pieces were declared winners, and we are happy to share the artists’ work and thoughts on art with you here. As always, we present some moving real life stories behind our efforts in Pakistan and provide news stories that highlight the ongoing work of the United Nations and its partners towards achieving the SDGs in the country. We also continue our series of interviews with our donor countries to the UN in Pakistan with thoughtful contributions from the ambassadors

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of the European Union and France. In December the entire United Nations family said farewell to Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and this edition includes some of his final messages to the world in this role. As we continue to work towards human rights for everyone everywhere, we will remember his message asking us to stand up for someone’s rights. Today, tomorrow and every day. Thank you to the members of the UN Communications Group and the UN Country Team for their continuing support for this magazine and for working in partnership to communicate and help achieve the SDGs in Pakistan. Vittorio Cammarota Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC)


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Human Rights Day 10 December As United Nations Secretary-General over the last decade, I have repeatedly stressed the interdependence of the three pillars of the United Nations -peace, sustainable development and human rights. Together, they form the basis of resilient and cohesive societies rooted in inclusion, justice and the rule of law. I have also underscored that human rights are at the heart of the work and identity of the United Nations. This understanding is at the core of our Human Rights up Front initiative. At a time of multiplying conflicts, intensifying humanitarian needs and rising hate speech, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reminds us that recognition of “the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”. Step by step, we can build a future based on our shared values of equality and human dignity. That is the spirit that underlies our recently launched “Together” campaign to fight the xenophobia faced by so many refugees and migrants. That is also the spirit we will need to combat extremism, halt the erosion of respect for international humanitarian law, and defend civil society groups facing increasingly harsh measures aimed at preventing them from fulfilling their vital role. Upholding human rights is in the interest of all. Respect for human rights

advances well-being for every individual, stability for every society, and harmony for our interconnected world. And this work can be done by all, at every level of society. States have the primary responsibility for upholding human rights. The United Nations, along with partners around the globe, must continue to strengthen responses to abuses, and work better to prevent human rights crises. All of us can – and must – act in our daily lives to advance the human rights of the people around us. This is the driving force behind a new global

campaign being launched by the UN Human Rights Office -- “Stand Up for Someone’s Rights Today.” Wherever we are, each of us can make a difference for human rights -- in our neighbourhoods, in school, at work, on social media, at home and even in sporting arenas across the world. Together, let us stand up for someone’s rights. Today, tomorrow, and every day. Ban Ki-moon Secretary-General of the United Nations

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Human Rights Through Cinematography Film Festival 2016

The second edition of the Human Rights Through Cinematography Film Festival took place from November 15 to December 10. Building on the success of 2015, this year 21 films were shown across Pakistan with screenings in Gujrat, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta. Human rights are a pillar of the United Nations and apply to every person and every country of the world, and the Festival was truly international in its range of filmmakers and subjects. This year’s films featured themes including migration, democracy, forced marriages, domestic violence, freedom of press, honour killings, decent work and women’s empowerment, among other important human rights topics. Following many of the screenings, guest speakers participated in debates and question-and-answer sessions, giving the audience a chance to inter-

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act and learn more about the topics of the films they had seen. Some of the guests who gave their time to help create more awareness about human rights included: • Pakistan’s Federal Minister of Human Rights, Mr. Kamran Michael • Pakistani documentary filmmakers including Tauseeq Haider, Samar Minallah and Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy • Massoud Hossaini, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist featured in the film Frame by Frame • Sidra Rafique, Research Coordinator at the Renaissance Foundation for Social Innovation Pakistan and a de-radicalized woman • Isabelle Gattiker and Anne Claire Adet from the

International Film Festival of Human Rights (FIFDH) • Several ambassadors, including EU Ambassador Mr. Jean-François Cautain • The United Nations Resident Coordinator Mr. Neil Buhne and country representatives from UNICEF, UNWOMEN, UNCHR and IOM Festival audiences included members of civil society and representatives of government, media organizations, diplomatic missions and United Nations agencies, and this year saw a remarkable increase in participants, especially among university students. We were happy to work with a number of Pakistan’s universities who hosted screenings and welcomed debate on human rights topics, as well as the Centre of Excellence in Journalism which brought more participation from media and students of mass communications. The Festival was a collaboration of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Islamabad, the International Film Festival of Human Rights (FIFDH), the European Union, the Swiss Confederation, the Embassy of Argentina, the High Commission of Australia and the High Commission of Canada. We thank all our partners for helping make this year’s festival a success and for continuing to make human rights an important focus in Pakistan.


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|||||||||| Human Rights Through Cinematography Film Festival 2016 ||||||||||

THE FILMS

A GIRL IN THE RIVER Director: Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy Hosted by: European Union, Fatima Jinnah Women University (Rawalpindi), University of Management and Technology (Lahore), COMSATS Institute of Information and Technology (Islamabad), UN Information Centre

A SYRIAN LOVE STORY Director: Sean McAllister Hosted by: European Union, University of Central Punjab (Lahore)

A WALNUT TREE Director: Ammar Aziz Hosted by: Embassy of France

CALL ME DAD Director: Sophie Wiesner Hosted by: High Commission of Australia, UN Information Centre

CASABLANCA CALLING Director: Rosa Rogers Hosted by: Embassy of the Netherlands, UN Information Centre

EL RAYO Director: Fran Araújo Hosted by: Embassy of Spain, University of Punjab (Lahore), UN Information Centre

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FRAME BY FRAME Directors: Alexandia Bombach, Mo Scarpelli Hosted by: Embassy of the Netherlands, Centre for Excellence in Journalism, UN Information Centre

KABUL CARDS Directors: Sadaf Fetrat, Sahar Fetrat, Nargis Azaryun, Anders Sømme Hammer, Christoffer Næss Hosted by: Embassy of Switzerland

KUMU HINA Directors: Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson Hosted by: High Commission of Canada, UN Information Centre

LAMPEDUSA IN WINTER Directors: Jakob Brossmann Hosted by: Austrian Embassy, UN Information Centre

LEBANON WINS THE WORLD CUP Directors: Tony ElKhoury Hosted by: Embassy of Switzerland

NADIA’S JOURNEY Directors: Carmen Garcia, Nadia Zouaoui Hosted by: European Union, High Commission of Canada, University of Peshawar

NICE PEOPLE Directors: Anders Helgeson, Karin af Klintberg Hosted by: European Union, 8 Unitedof Nations Pakistan | Magazine University Gujrat

NON ASSISTANCE Director: Frédéric Choffat Hosted by: UN Information Centre

OUTRO PAÍS Director: Sérgio Tréfaut Hosted by: Embassy of Portugal, University of Punjab (Lahore), Institute of Business Administration (Karachi)


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PAKISTAN: NO PLACE LIKE HOME Director: Syed Owais Ali Hosted by: European Union, Quaide-Azam University (Islamabad), UN Information Centre

REEL INJUN Director: Neil Diamond Hosted by: High Commission of Canada, UN Information Centre

SONITA Director: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami Hosted by: European Union, Embassy of Switzerland, Centre for Excellence in Journalism, University of Balochistan (Quetta), UN Information Centre

THE LAND OF THE ENLIGHTENED Director: Pieter-Jan De Pue Hosted by: Embassy of Belgium

THE TRUE COST Director: Andrew Morgan Hosted by: European Union, Embassy of Germany, Institute of Business Management (Karachi)

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING Director: Avi Lewis Hosted by: European Union, Arid Agriculture University (Rawalpindi)

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The European Union was born out of WWII, which saw large-scale severe human rights violations among Europeans. For that reason the European Union is strongly committed to fostering human rights protection in Europe and around the world. While promoting human rights worldwide, the European Union and its Member States acknowledge that problems do still exist in Europe and that they must be tackled. The films selected to celebrate the 2016 International Human Rights Day showed that all around the world, people are still greatly suffering from violations of their basic rights. This year’s film festival’s full theatres marked another success after that of last year. Such levels of participation will certainly pave the way for even more people to follow us in our next undertakings. We wish to thank the UN and all other international sponsors but first and foremost Pakistani civil society and institutions for showing such avid interest and passionate commitment to the ideal of human rights. The EU wishes all its partners a New Year of human rights achievements. Mr. Jean-François Cautain Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan

Film has the power to inform, inspire empathy and build community, and can have an invaluable influence on advancing universal human rights. The Embassy of Switzerland was happy to be a partner in the Human Rights through Cinematography Film Festival, and we are proud to have hosted three fascinating documentaries at our Embassy that captured the themes of migration, women’s empowerment, forced marriages and reconciliation. We applaud the courage of the filmmakers who presented to the world their perspectives, deep emotions, and a determined spirit to stand up for what they believe in. We are also grateful to the many young Pakistanis who attended screenings and brought fresh perspectives to the panel discussions that followed. Thank you to all who participated to make this year’s festival a success. Mr. Marc P. George Ambassador of Switzerland to Pakistan

I congratulate the United Nations in Pakistan on its initiative to stage an annual Human Rights through Cinematography festival to highlight global human rights challenges and efforts to guarantee equality for every person, everywhere. I hope the festival and screening of the Australian film on domestic violence, Call me Dad, will support efforts already underway in Pakistan to combat violence against women and girls. Ending gender-based violence is a core element of the Australian Government’s human rights policies to achieve ‘equal rights for all’ in Australia and globally. Australia provides support for women and children in Pakistan affected by domestic violence, and engages men, as well as community and religious leaders, to challenge discriminatory ideas about women. Ms. Margaret Adamson Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan

Dazzling! Impressive! Thought provoking! These are words that come to mind when looking back on the 2016 edition of the United Nations Human Rights Film Festival. For more than two weeks, the Festival brought together audiences in several cities to watch and discuss some of the world’s best short and feature films as well as documentaries on human rights. Universities and embassies were turned into platforms to share experiences about challenges the world is facing, ranging from women’s rights to migration and freedom of religion and belief. The Netherlands is grateful to the United Nations Information Centre and the Delegation of the European Union for the initiative for a second year in a row. The ‘Moving Image’ provides a wonderful opportunity to promote human rights. The Netherlands, as one of Pakistan’s human rights partners, is proud to have been part of this initiative. We look forward to the 2017 edition. Ms. Jeannette Seppen Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Pakistan

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Cinema, from any origin, documentary or fiction, short or long, appeals to our empathy, a human emotion essential for our understanding of human rights and their protection. From this point of view, “El Rayo”—the Spanish movie shown in this year’s festival—is a direct appeal to our soul. We suffer and enjoy together the real story of the Moroccan migrant in Spain and his return home in the aftermath of the financial crisis, driving the tractor bought with his hard-earned savings. I believe there is no better way to understand what a human right means than when it is tangible and directly speak to us. Mr. Carlos Morales Ambassador of Spain to Pakistan

I am proud that Canada joined the 2016 human rights-themed film festival hosted around Pakistan. Everyone loves a good story – in this digital era, films are valuable tools for telling thought-provoking narratives about our rights. Given Canada’s work with partners worldwide to end early and forced marriage, the University of Peshawar screening of Nadia’s Journey was a highlight. The lively debate about marriage confirmed that Pakistan’s youth are eager to discuss key human rights issues. I encourage them to continue doing so. We were also proud to highlight Canada’s indigenous peoples with Reel Injun and to partner with the UN to raise awareness about transgender rights. Thank you to all our partners and audiences.

Film is a powerful tool - a film has the power to viscerally connect its audience to its subjects and immerse them into their world completely. Film allows you to give a voice to voiceless and force you to focus on the forgotten. As a documentary filmmaker, I feel that it is my duty to address issues that people do not want to discuss. I want my films to serve as vessels of information that connect audiences, prompt dialogue, and initiate social change. I view my films as active stories that come to life when they are viewed and discussed, and I have always been interested in topics about human rights and women’s issues that many people find controversial. I choose to film subjects that spark difficult conversations and make people uncomfortable. If there’s one thing I have learned throughout my career, it is that this form of storytelling is enough to bring about change.

Mr. Perry Calderwood High Commissioner of Canada

Ms. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy Director, A Girl in the River

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interview

Interview with Isabelle Gattiker

Director, International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights The International Film Festival and Forum for Human Rights (FIFDH) is one of the world’s most important events dedicated to film and human rights, taking place each March since 2003. With its concept “A film, a topic, a debate,” the FIFDH is an open forum to denounce human rights violations wherever they happen, inviting human rights activists, filmmakers and personalities to debate with the audience and offer solutions. The FIFDH has been a partner with the United Nations in Pakistan for the Human Rights Through Cinematography Film Festival in both 2015 and 2016.

We celebrate Human Rights Day each 10th of December to commemorate the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. How can film help promote human rights? Films are such a powerful tool to bring change! We all love to listen to a great story, all together, and it is an excellent starting point for references and common values. When you watch a great film, with great characters, you really put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you feel empathy. And when you feel empathy, you want things to change. A good film not only brings us together, it can really change the way we see the world.

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What has inspired you about the films showcased in this year’s Human Rights Through Cinematography Film Festival in Pakistan? I was very impressed by the Festival. Everything was so professional, and one could feel that there is a great team behind it. The films were coming from so many countries! The reactions from the public were really impressive. The films were carefully curated: the Festival showed masterpieces and very committed stories. It is so important to screen great films, because after watching a great film a festival like Human Rights Through Cinematography encourages the public to speak, to listen, to interrogate. It is a fantastic place to really share - a more complex and fascinating notion than clicks on a social network!

Why is it important for Pakistan to have a human rights film festival? For Pakistan, like any other place in the world, it is so important to have a festival like Human Rights Through Cinematography because it shows unique films, created by artists, that reveal our world as we have never seen it. This festival really shows in-

timate, universal, inspired films that shake our certainties and topple us. It is also a perfect place to gather people of completely different origins together in a room. It is such a rare thing nowadays!

What words of encouragement would you offer to young filmmakers in Pakistan? You have chosen a hard path, but it is the most magical path that will bring you great satisfaction. Don’t do any compromises, tell the stories that you want to tell and bring them to the world. I can’t wait to watch your films and screen them in Geneva!


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Interview with Sayed Owais Ali Director, Pakistan: No Place Like Home

Filmmaker Syed Owais migrated from Pakistan to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with his family when he was 10 years old. Since then he has lived in both the UAE and Qatar and has heard the stories of many other migrants. While studying film and media communication in Qatar, he received a grant to produce the documentary film that evolved into Al Jazeera’s Pakistan: No Place Like Home. The film follows 29-year-old Sharif and his journey from the remote Pakistan village of Hakimwala to Dubai and back over the course of two years.

Why did you decide to focus your first film on the migrant experience? The migrant experience in the Gulf has been in the international spotlight lately. This is an issue I am very passionate about, but the international media coverage was dehumanizing the migrants and didn’t explore the emotional element in the stories of these journeys and what was motivating this migration in the first place. I wanted to explore the story of migrants through one person’s journey and in turn show that these people have agency, dreams and ambitions that are often neglected by the mainstream media. What challenges did you face in documenting Sharif’s journey and experience in Dubai? I was making this film while I was en-

rolled in my undergraduate studies at Northwestern University. Filming Sharif’s journey over the course of two years was a mammoth task because I could not predict anything. I was filming his life as it happened. I had to balance my education and this film in a very careful way. I would go during my Eid holidays to Hakimwala village, and fly over to Pakistan on a weekend to film. Hakimwala village was also quite remote. It used to take me almost 24 hours to get there from Doha after taking a flight to Karachi and then to Multan, and then another three to four hours’ drive to get to the village itself. Handling expensive camera equipment throughout that journey was a struggle as well. However, the most challenging part was being the one-man band. I was the director, cameraman, sound person and the baggage handler. It takes a lot of toll on you physically and mentally. However, I believe that is what made this film so special. I was able to capture Sharif’s emotional journey the way I did because there was no film crew, and I was able to connect with Sharif on a personal level and it was very easy for him to forget that the camera existed. Why was it important to feature your film in the Human Rights

Through Cinematography film festival in Pakistan? The reason I decided to feature my film in the Human Rights Through Cinematography film festival is because of their audiences. They were playing films in universities across Pakistan and that is what I was looking for. Pakistan’s story is often told by foreign journalists and filmmakers, and I want the Pakistani youth to see how we Pakistanis can tell our stories that journalists who parachute into our country can never tell. I believe one of the focuses of this film festival was inspiring the youngsters to tell their own stories and I wanted to be a part of that. What words of encouragement would you offer to young filmmakers in Pakistan? GET OUT AND FILM. There are no more excuses for not doing it. We all have cameras in our phones. We all have Internet access now. Each one of you has special access to stories only YOU can tell. Tell those stories. Don’t wait to get that DSLR or whatever equipment you think you need. Story trumps everything. Most of my film was shot on an iPhone 5S and that footage has been the most favorite part of most of the viewers.

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interview

Interview with Sadaf Fetrat A Director of Kabul Cards

The documentary Kabul Cards shows the everyday lives of three young women in Kabul, Afghanistan. Equipped with cameras, the women documented the challenges they face on a daily basis and how they are contributing to changes in society. Despite the difficulties they face, the film shows these young women still have big hopes for the future of their country.

What might surprise or inspire people about these young women and their experiences?

What words of encouragement would you offer to young filmmakers in Pakistan?

In my opinion, it can be looking for positive changes and always fighting for their rights.

You are the lens of your society for others. You are responsible to make people aware of your culture and community. You as a filmmaker should capture both positive and negative stories of your society. Give opportunity to others to know your society though your films.

Why was it important to feature your film in the Human Rights Through Cinematography film festival in Pakistan?

What drove you to create your film Kabul Cards? Overall, we noticed that media showed and expressed all negative sides of Afghanistan. We decided to show that besides these bombs and explosions in Afghanistan there is civilian life too. People live and enjoy their lives. There are youth generations that are looking for good change in their society. There is a hope for a better future and people are looking for that to make it.

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Pakistan and Afghanistan have a lot of similarities besides all the differences. In both countries women are suffering from inequality within society. This human rights film festival was a great opportunity for us to share our concerns for being women in Afghan society with the people of Pakistan through our film.


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Interview with Massoud Hossaini Photojournalist

Massoud Hossaini was featured in the film Frame by Frame, directed by Alexandia Bombach, which follows four Afghan photojournalists as they navigate an emerging and dangerous media landscape. After decades of war and an oppressive Taliban regime, they face the realities of building a free press in a country left to stand on its own – reframing Afghanistan for the world. Born in Afghanistan and raised in Iran, Massoud Hossaini became a photographer to record the events he was witnessing as a political activist. In 2012 he won a Pulitzer Prize for his heart-breaking image of a girl crying in fear after a suicide bomber’s attack at a crowded shrine in Kabul.

phones and internet are everywhere for all citizens, and even citizens can do this photojournalism. They can be eye witnesses if something happens in front of them and capture the moment and share it on the internet so a lot of people can see and know about the exact time of the happening.

What does it mean to reframe a nation through photojournalism, and why is that important? Well, photojournalism actually is the best and easiest way to transfer the message to the audience. Just imagine that when you take a picture for an event and then reflect or transfer it to the audience, there are not a lot of things needed. It’s not like a video that you have to bring a player for, you just kind of show the picture to the audience through newspapers and a lot of other means. Also, photojournalism is the best way to record the truth. If you all are in one place and something happens, and you take the picture from that event and there is no interruption of the truth, nothing will be changed and you just got that moment and you reflect a hundred persons’ truth by that photo. So that’s why photojournalism is really important in the media. If you see right now, smart

You spoke after a screening of the film about ethics and challenges of reporting. What is the biggest challenge photojournalists face in Afghanistan? The challenge that Afghan photojournalist are facing is first of all security. There are a lot of places which are not easy to go to take pictures and record the truth, and that is certainly because of the unending conflict. Also, here photojournalists don’t have security means like flak jackets and good vehicles to go and record the truth. Government forces sometimes are also a problem for us as they don’t let us go to some areas to report the truth and they try to control certain kinds of information. It sometimes becomes very difficult to report what is happening.

What drives you to continue documenting conflict and human rights violations? Well, it’s not that I always love to do this but I feel responsible to do it because I have a lot of experience. When I reflect and record the war it’s my responsibility to show the two faces of war and violent

people. I am always hoping that when I am showing the two faces of war and violence to all people, probably there will be a day and time when everybody will try to change the situation and try to stop the violence. So, this is my wish and I am doing it because I have to do it, and I have to record it, and I have to show the truth to the people. What words of encouragement would you offer to young and aspiring photojournalists in Pakistan? When I was recently invited to Pakistan by the UN Information Centre during the Human Rights Film Festival for the screening of the documentary “Frame by Frame”, I said there that we all are on the same path and we are in a very bad situation. We have to record the truth as much as we can. We see it with our eye so we record it with our ability. We have to learn from the moment we capture and show to the people and thus try to eliminate the violence through showing such pictures. We have to transfer this message to our society that whatever is going on is wrong, and we have to show the pictures where people are dying. We have to let society know that we have to stop this situation. We can’t let others come and judge us, we have to do it ourselves.

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Voicing the rights of transgender people

On December 8, an event jointly organized by the High Commission of Canada and the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) was held to discuss the rights of transgender people in Pakistan. Although officially accepted in Pakistan and recognized on identity cards, the country’s transgender community continues to experience serious stigma and discrimination. Often rejected by their families, transgender people have very little access to the labour market and proper healthcare, often live in difficult conditions and are frequently subjected to

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violence. More than 100 participants, including transgender activists, government and community representatives, members of the diplomatic community and United Nations experts, gathered to discuss issues facing the transgender community in Pakistan. Two panel discussions were held, the first focused on education and economic empowerment and the second centred on healthcare and protection. This was followed by a screening of the documentary film Kumu Hina which features the story of Hina Wong-Kalu, a

native Hawaiian transgender person. As well, Mr. Michael van Gelderen from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) participated live from Geneva and shared an update on the OHCHR’s activities on the rights of transgender people. Transgender community representative Ms. Maya Zaman said, “Education is the only way forward to enhance the potential of the community and have their valuable contribution to the economy.” She added, “We need a national action programme for


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all the marginalized communities to engage them for socio-economic development and we cannot have economically strong and socially sensitive Pakistan until we achieve full inclusion of all communities, including the trans community.”

hammad Shafique said the state provides services according to the demand and that, “If society raises voice about transgender rights, the state would be compelled to respond and this is a wonderful forum to start that debate.”

Ms. Anaya Malik, another representative from the transgender community, said family members are usually the first to abandon transgender people, leaving them vulnerable and unprotected. “The families need to be sensitized so that they accept their children’s identity.” The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Pakistan, Mr. Neil Buhne, said Pakistan is ahead of many other countries in legally recognizing transgender people as a third gender but still has a long way to go in recognizing their rights. “The Social Welfare Department needs to focus on this community as it is the most marginalized, and we need to do more in safeguarding their rights starting with education, access to health and social protection.” Member of the National Commission for Human Rights Mr. Chaudhry Mo-

Ms. Romina Khurshid Alam, Member of the National Assembly, spoke about legislative rights of the transgender community and said the current government is taking an active interest in improving quality of life for transgender people. She also said, “It is high time we start respecting individuals based on their individuality and not our judgment of their character and sexuality.” Ms. Amna Sardar, Member of the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), presented a resolution passed by the KP Assembly stating that the federal government should pursue voting and political rights for the transgender community. She said KP will continue work on the rights of transgender people, including more legislation, and that the day is not far away when the transgender commu-

nity will live with the same rights and privileges as other citizens. Mr. Perry J. Calderwood, High Commissioner of Canada, said, “I am pleased that we can contribute to the dialogue about transgender rights and empowerment so that transgender Pakistanis can fully participate in this vibrant society.” European Union (EU) Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Jean-François Cautain drew parallels between the situation of transgender people in the EU and Pakistan, saying, “I think on this issue the EU and Pakistan can learn from each other.” The Director of the UNIC, Mr. Vittorio Cammarota, said that like elsewhere in the world transgender people in Pakistan face alarmingly high levels of discrimination and stigma, as well as violence, unemployment and poverty. “The aim of this event is to foster a debate on human rights issues that trans people face, and the priority actions required to secure trans people’s right to dignity, education, equality, health and security.” In 2015, 12 United Nations entities released a joint statement calling for an end to violence and discrimination LGBTI people. The UN stands ready to support and assist Member States and other stakeholders as they work to address the challenges through constitutional, legislative and policy changes, strengthening of national institutions, and education, training and other initiatives to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the human rights of all LGBTI people.

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Promoting the rights of persons with disabilities of Pakistan’s Para Climbing Club who has a visual impairment, and Ms. Abia Akram, the first Pakistani woman and the first woman with a disability to become Coordinator for the Commonwealth Young Disabled People’s Forum. 2016 marks the 10-year anniversary of the adoption of the CRPD, one of the most quickly and widely ratified international treaties put forth by the United Nations to date.

Each December 3 the United Nations celebrates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This year’s theme “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want” notes the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their role in building a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has the objective to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity. This international day provides

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an opportunity to assess the current status of the Convention and SDGs and lay the foundation for a future of greater inclusion for persons with disabilities. The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Islamabad, in partnership UN Women, held an event for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities that brought participants together to discuss the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in Pakistan. This networking event provided representatives of persons with disabilities an opportunity to voice their ideas for a future they want. Participants included Mr. Suleman Arshad, the head


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Recognizing Pakistani winner of “Celebrating Freedom” poster competition

On the eve of Human Rights Day 2016, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) and the High Commission of Canada recognized Eiza Abid, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl from Lahore who won the international “Celebrating Freedom” poster competition. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva launched the competition in 2015 to encourage school-aged children to create posters on the theme of freedom. “Celebrating Freedom” is part of a year-long campaign to mark the 50th anniversary of two core human rights treaties: the International Covenant on Economic,

Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Eiza Abid won in the 12–18 age group for her poster that uses both dark tones and bright colours to represent freedom of thought. She says, “My painting personifies the darkness and confinement within a person’s life, and once the person is set free from the pressures and judgement of others, one can freely express their thoughts and imagination in their true colors, illustrating their unique vision and bright outlook.” Eiza was recognized at a special event held at the High Commission of Canada in Islamabad where she

was presented with a certificate signed by Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Her poster and those submitted to the competition by more than 60 students from across Pakistan were exhibited at the event and were then displayed for two weeks at the UNIC office in Islamabad. “Freedom and human rights are core Canadian values,” said Mr. Perry J. Calderwood, High Commissioner of Canada. “Canada played a central role in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, through which all nations recognize that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. As we celebrate the creation of that Declaration on Human Rights Day, I am pleased to see Pakistani girls and boys using their talents to promote these same values. I congratulate Ms. Abid and all the participants.” “Through initiatives like these, we aim to project a positive image of Pakistani youth while providing an opportunity for increasing their knowledge of human rights,” said Mr. Vittorio Cammarota, Director of the UN Information Centre. “This competition highlights how art can be used as a medium to convey powerful messages and foster a positive change.”

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Celebrating Universal Children’s Day

On November 20, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) brought together children from several Islamabad schools to celebrate Universal Children’s Day (UCD) and this year’s theme “For every Child, HOPE.” Issues facing children were highlighted through skits and songs, and a significance emphasis was placed on a protective environment where all rights of children are safeguarded. Ms. Cristian Munduate, UNICEF’s Deputy Representative in Pakistan, said, “This year, we celebrate UCD with a renewed zeal and fervour to continue our efforts for children as

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the day also marks the beginning of UNICEF’s 70th anniversary. For seventy years, UNICEF has continued to work for improved health, education, protection and water and sanitation services for children everywhere and for every child.” She added, “As a signatory of the CRC, Pakistan has come a long way in its efforts to create an enabling environment for the protection of child rights. We are grateful to the Government for its leadership and to our donors and partners for their ongoing support to UNICEF in its efforts to ensure the fundamental rights of the

child.” Universal Children’s Day recognizes the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on November 20, 1989. The CRC is one of the most widely ratified human rights treaties, and sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. Pakistan ratified the CRC in 1990 just a year after signing it.


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16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights deeply rooted in gender inequality and gender-based discrimination. Violence has negative consequences not only for those who suffer it, but also for their families, the community and society. From November 25 (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to December 10 (Human Rights Day), the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. In 2016, the United Nations Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women strongly emphasized the need for sustainable financing for efforts to end violence against women and girls towards the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Therefore, the call for this year’s 16 Days of Activism was “Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence against Women and Girls.”Led by UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, the United Nations in Pakistan strongly promoted this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign through a number of events and activities across the country.

Why orange? The United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women has proclaimed the 25th of each month as “Orange Day,” a day to raise awareness of and take action to end violence against women and girls. As the bright and optimistic colour for the UNiTE Campaign, orange represents a future free from violence against women and girls. Orange Day calls upon activists, governments and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November but every month.

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Muzaffarabad youth commit to ending gender-based violence

In a symbolic walk with orange balloons in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK), young men and women raised their voices to end all types of violence against women and for women’s empowerment. The event was organized by the Women Development Department of Pakistan Administered Kashmir in collaboration with UN Women and was held on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism. Speaking at Parliament Gate where the walk ended, the Ms. Noreen Arif,

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Minister for the Women’s Development Department and Social Welfare Department, PAK, said, “Commemorating 16 Days of Activism today is an opportunity to renew commitments to end discrimination against women and girls, and reminds us of the role we have in standing up and raising awareness on the rights of women and girls. We will only achieve this goal if men and women stand sideby-side in their efforts. The youth of our country need to know that they, as our new generation, need to take forward the works that was started before us, and build upon what we

are collectively doing today.” Mr. Zeeshan Haider, Representative of Youth Activists, told participants, “Men and boys must engage as advocates and stakeholders, to break the silence, raise their voices and take action for the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment.” The day-long event concluded with pledges being made on a “Banner of Hope” to end violence against women and girls.


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Women Human Rights Defenders agents of change I was a born activist; my parents used to say ‘she knows how to fight, so just let her.’ My husband has tried to tame me with his love and care, but he has not succeeded yet and I am over 60 now! I personally have never faced any threats, and I believe this is due to my strategy of positivity. I always try to defy my opponent with positive arguments; never lose my temper, keep cool and keep smiling even when I am burning inside.

Women who act to promote or protect human rights and all individuals who defend the human rights of women or work for gender equality are collectively known as Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs). Studies show that women who stand up and defend human rights face threats, stigma and violence— including rape and other forms of sexual abuse—more often than men. A baseline survey conducted by the Democratic Commission for Human Development revealed that 48 per cent of organizations working on human rights for women received threats at some point in their work. The survey further highlighted that Pakistan has always been a dangerous country for WHRDs; however, the situation has worsened in recent years, with 51 per cent of WHRDs reporting receiving

a threat in the last six months. On November 29, human rights defenders from across Pakistan gathered in Islamabad for an event called “Protecting Women Human Rights Defenders in Pakistan.” The one-day event was organized by the Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy (PODA) in collaboration with UN Women and the European Union Delegation to Pakistan to commemorate International Women Human Rights Defender Day as part of the 16 Days of Activism. Speaking at the event, Ms. Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson of National Commission on the Status of Women, said, “Women human rights defenders in Pakistan are actual agents of change and can uplift human rights standards in Pakistan, hence they need to network

Ms. Farkhanda Aurangzeb WHRD from Lahore

People are biased, especially against non-Muslims and some against Shia-Muslims like me. The fact that I belong to the Hazara community has made it tough for me. I am a peace activist by heart, and I will not let anything stop me from celebrating our culture. Other women in my community are inspired by me and my work, and that keeps me going. Ms. Fatima Atif WHRD from Quetta

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focus on and share resources among each other more than any other group to increase their force and impact.” The event’s dialogue focused on four thematic areas—physical and personal security, digital security, networking and advocacy—and will contribute towards developing an action plan and strategies on how to tackle issues and challenges faced by WHRDs across the country.

Honouring WHRDs in KP and FATA On December 9, an award ceremony was held to honour Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The event was organized by the local Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG) Alliance and the University of Peshawar in collaboration with UN Women as part of the 16 Days of Activism. Recipients were nominated under several categories for making recognizable contributions towards EVAWG and women’s empowerment in the region. Ten courageous and tireless advocates who lend their voices for human rights were honoured: Ms. Pass Bibi (Social Worker) Mr. Aftab Mallagori (Social Activist) Mr. Aqil Muhammad (Advocate, Socio-legal Activist) Mr. Subhan Ali (Development Worker) Mr. Gohar Nangyal (Socio-political Worker) Ms. Rohi Khan Babar (Social Activist) Ms. Musarrat Ullah (Reporter) Ms. Shabnum Bibi (Human Rights Activist) Ms. Afshan Afridi (Human Rights Activist) Ms. Shaan Bibi (Gender Equality Activist) Also recognized were the efforts and services of women polio workers and women within the police force of KP and FATA.

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Highlighting challenges of women with disabilities as survivors, right holders, contributors, achievers and role models for all of us.” The event’s dialogue focused on four thematic areas—physical and personal security, digital security, networking and advocacy—and will contribute towards developing an action plan and strategies on how to tackle issues and challenges faced by WHRDs across the country.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities falls on December 3, within the 16 Days of Activism. On that day, the National Forum of Women with Disabilities (NFWWD), along with the Aurat Foundation and the Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP), held an “orange” rally highlighting that women with disabilities are more vulnerable to violence in all its forms. This was followed by a press conference on “Participation of Women with Disabilities in Decision Making Processes.” Ms. Abia Akram, CEO of the NFWWD and coordinator for the Commonwealth Young Disabled People’s Forum said, “I am proud to speak on behalf of women with disabilities in Pakistan. Women with disabilities represent one in five women worldwide and 65 per cent of the billion people with disabilities across the world. Yet, their voices remain almost silent in mainstream de-

cision-making processes, and even in gender and disability decision-making processes; gender- or disability-programming often fail to adequately address their rights and needs.” She added, “The mantra of the 2030 agenda is ‘to leave no one behind.’ Let’s start by prioritizing people with disabilities, and make sure that no one, especially women and girls with disabilities are not left behind, but are given the opportunity to contribute actively to the life of our country.” Ms. Sangeeta Thapa, Deputy Country Representative for UN Women Pakistan, said, “While we continue to advocate for women with disabilities to be an integral part in all development processes including at all stages of recovery and reconstruction efforts in the humanitarian setting, what is most important within this is that women with disabilities are not seen as victims, but

I have dwarfism and face uncountable challenges, but I never give up. Having recently held an internship at a local bank, I am now aiming to study for a Master’s degree at university. Every time people stare at me I try to ignore it. I always tell myself that these people have rubbish attitudes, and then I try to brush it off. But it never stops, and it always hurts. I am hoping that the Pakistani government will put more focus on how to respect women with disabilities. Ikra Noor (26)

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Enhancing legal protection for women in Sindh

On December 5, UN Women and the Women’s Development Department of Sindh organized a panel discussion on “Enhancing Legal Protection to End Violence Against Women in Sindh” as part of the 16 Days of Activism. In a bold and positive step, Sindh’s Provincial Assembly has adopted a Resolution condemning violence against women and demanded the government implement the law passed on the issue. The Resolution was passed on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The event brought together stakeholders from government and the private sector as well as development practitioners to share experiences and discuss strategies for strengthening the implementation of laws. In welcoming guests, UN Women’s Country Representative Mr. Jamshed Kazi said, “This conversation must continue with concrete actions to eliminate violence against women

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such as strong coordination amongst stakeholders for effective response, enhanced capacities of officials and public awareness, as well as addressing gaps in legal frameworks.” Mr. Mudassir Iqbal, Secretary of Sindh’s Women Development Department, gave an overview of legal initiatives being taken and highlighted enactment of the Sindh Domestic Violence Act (2013) and the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act (2013), and implementation of the Protection Against Harassment of Women At Work Place Act (2010). He shared that legislations under development include a Sindh Abolition of Dowry Act (2016) and the Sindh Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Act (2016), and that institutional mechanisms being strengthened include Sindh’s Provincial Commission on the Status of Women and Women Protection Centres. The panel discussion included a number of important topics, includ-

ing legislative opportunities, gaps of Pakistan’s Anti-Rape and Anti-Honor Killings Bills, closure of legal loopholes, stricter punishment for convicts, protection against sexual harassment in the private sector, stigma and reporting of cases. Ms. Grace Shelton, the US Consul General in Karachi, stated, “Gender equality and women’s empowerment are critical to building resilient democratic societies. Violence against women is not only a Sindh or Pakistan problem, it is global one with an obligation on all of us to end.”


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Minar-e-Pakistan shines orange For the first time ever, the Minar-e-Pakistan, a public monument in Lahore, Punjab province, was lit up in orange lights to mark the 16 of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Ms. Hameeda Waheed-ud-Din, Minster of Punjab’s Women Development Department (WDD), said the Punjab government stands committed to putting an end to violence and discriminatory attitude towards women.

Street performances raise women’s challenges

To raise awareness of challenges faced by women, street theater was performed in public places and universities in Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan during the 16 Days of Activism. Organized by the Chief Minister of Punjab’s Special Monitoring Unit in collaboration with UN Women as part of Punjab’s 16 Days of Activism, skits were performed by the Interactive

Resource Centre (IRC), a non-profit organization striving to build consciousness among marginalized sections of the society in Pakistan regarding their basic rights. One skit challenged female mobility and the social stigma attached to women riding motorcycles in Pakistan. It tells the story of a girl who learns how to drive herself to univer-

sity on a motorcycle, encouraged by the Government of Punjab and UN Women’s “Women on Wheels” initiative, a motorbike training program aimed at increasing women’s and girls’ mobility. A second skit confronted violence and objectification of women. It showed men walking around a stool wrapped in a “dupatta” (scarf), personifying a female, telling her what to do and not do, highlighting how women and girls are often treated as personal property and not as individuals with needs and dreams of their own. The performances, based on actual stories of women, were followed by interactive sessions with the audiences on how they can put an end to patriarchy and contribute towards making lives better for women and girls.

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Quetta youth SAY NO to violence against women and girls On December 5, UN Volunteers (UNV) Pakistan commemorated International Volunteer Day at the Balochistan Boy Scouts Hall in Quetta. Under the theme “Global Applause: Give volunteers a hand” approximately 200 participants came together and celebrated volunteerism at its best. International Volunteer Day falls within the 16 Days of Activism, and during the event participants pledged their support to SAY NO to violence against women and girls in Pakistan.

Safer campuses for women at University of Balochistan Vice Chancellor Dr. Javed Iqbal told the 200 participants, “The University of Balochistan is a co-education system where 40 per cent of students are females pursuing degrees. The University has a zero-tolerance policy against any form of harassment.” He then announced an Inquiry Committee within the University, as per the Protection from Workplace Harassment Act, comprising two female members and one male.

The University of Balochistan (Gender & Development Department), Balochistan’s Women Development Department (WDD) and UN Women, with support from the Government of Australia, hosted a screening of Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s Oscar-winning documentary A Girl in the River followed by a discussion on

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The Balochistan Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2016 in recognizing that sexual harassment is a form of discrimination and violence against women. During the event, the University of Balochistan committed to making campuses safer for women and girls.

Chief Guest Ms. Yasmin Lehri, Member of Provincial Assembly, shared her own experience, saying, “With support of male family members a female can be empowered in whatever she chooses, I am an example of that. In Balochistan we have a rich culture of respect for women but there is a need to give women respect through empowerment as well.”


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Cyber harassment on campus and off

To conclude the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence for 2016, UN Women collaborated with the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) in Islamabad to hold the panel discussion “Cyber Harassment, On-Campus and Off-Campus” on December 14, with support from the Government of Australia. A report launched last year by the United Nations Broadband Commission warns women are growing even more vulnerable to cyber violence as more regions gain internet access, with almost 73 per cent of women having endured cyber violence. In Pakistan last year, there were more than 5,000 complaints nationwide. Mr. Jamshed Kazi, UN Women’s Country Representative, said, “To be disconnected from technology in the 21st century is like having your free-

dom disrupted: your right to work, your right to meet people, your right to learn, your freedom of speech. So, if women become so intimidated and traumatized from cyber violence, it’s a whole world that will be lost to them for the rest of their life.” Ms. Margaret Adamson, the Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, stressed that, “Cyber harassment is not only a violation of privacy, it is criminal abuse that can have fatal consequences for its victims.” Dr. Farzana Bari, Chairperson of the Gender Studies Center, QAU, spoke on efforts to collect data on violence against women, and said the biggest gap remains the political will of governments to systematically collect nationwide and multi-sectoral data to identity the nature, extent, causes and magnitude of crimes against women.

In two panel discussion, “Cyber Crimes against Women: Prevalence, Legal Protection and Redressal Mechanisms” and “Campus Safety: Implementation of Sexual Harassment Act, Challenges and Recommendations”, participants spoke about the many contributing factors, including women not being seen as owners of online spaces, awareness and education regarding internet use and behaviours, how cyber-crime reports are handled, and implementation and awareness of the anti-sexual harassment bill. Cyber violence is just as damaging to women as physical violence and abuse experienced at home and in public spaces, and combatting cyber violence will better protect the growing number of women and girls who are victims of online threats and harassment.

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real lives: stories that inspire us

From begging to artisan work

Kareema lives in Makli Goth, a village of makeshift shelters situated in the shadow of the necropolis of Makli, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a tangible heritage spanning more than 400 years, the site also incorporates an intangible Sufi heritage, with shrines beckoning an unending stream of devotees. For Kareema, the site had significance only because she could earn a living by begging, sitting at the gate of a famous shrine with her hands stretched out for alms. The spectacular monuments of kings and rulers lavishly decorated with glazed tiles held no importance for her.

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Makli was once a famous centre for tile production, but unfortunately the glazed tiles and ceramics produced on site today are of poor quality and cannot be used for conservation purposes. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) project “Community Development and Sustainable Development Initiatives at the Makli World Heritage Site” focuses on reviving the production of glazed tiles and linking the ancient site’s conservation with the livelihood of the local community. The project worked closely with the Heritage Foundation in Pakistan to help community members appreciate

the potential of producing glazed tiles for income generation. Today, Kareema makes small kashi pieces (glazed tiles) decorated with designs from Makli monuments and sells her products at the same location where she once begged. She says, “My life has changed completely. I do not beg any more. I now live with dignity and am able to take care of all the needs of my children. My other family members have also joined me in this work.”


real lives: stories that inspire us

Mobile registration gives refugee children identities In the Kot Chandna refugee village in the Mianwali district of Punjab, Alam Khan waits to have his children registered with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). He is taking advantage of a mobile registration van deployed by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) that has come to the village to issue identity documents to refugees, including birth registration certificates, Proof of Registration (PoR) cards and marriage records. An estimated 6,000 children in Punjab are not registered with NADRA because their parents could not afford to travel to Lahore where the NADRA-run centre offers documentation services to Afghan refugees. Refugee elders estimate that 3,000 births remain unregistered in Mianwali. “Travelling for seven hours to Lahore by public transport with children was an uphill task. I couldn’t afford to stay overnight there and leave my work back in town,” said 35-year-old Alam who is a daily wage labourer. A PoR card is an important identity document provided to registered Afghan refugees which enables them to legally reside in Pakistan. For children, a birth registration allows them to access basic rights like education and healthcare. So far, NADRA has

registered approximately 3,000 children through mobile registration, and the van will travel to more refugee communities in Punjab that are at a distance from Lahore. Alam is elated by the registration of his two sons and two daughters. “It means a lot to us as my children will get basic identity which is important for their education and bright future.”

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real lives: stories that inspire us

Women journalists breaking barriers in Balochistan On Human Rights Day, when individuals across the globe come together to reaffirm their support for the rights of others, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) interviewed two women who have chosen to stand tall for their own rights. Ms. Seema Kanwal and Ms. Sadia Jahangir are both journalists from Balochistan, a province that ranks highest in terms of female illiteracy, unemployment, gender disparities and maternal mortality. The two women shared their experiences of fighting the odds to pursue their career of choice.

Ms. Seema Kanwal, Assignment Editor at Dunya News Having completed my studies in mass communication at Balochistan University, I had already ventured further than most girls from my background. However, I was keen to blaze a path that would take me further still and decided to embark on a career in journalism. The initial obstacles came from both my immediate and extended family who were reluctant for me to pursue a career and that too in a male dominated environment. However, I persisted despite the opposition and was lucky enough to be offered a job during the course of my internship with Jang News. The job itself came with its own challenges and opportunities and the initial years were, unsurprisingly, the most difficult. A lack of vocational training led to a number of embarrassing situations including stumbling into crime scenes. Other challenges, such as the attitudes of male colleagues, proved more enduring. Nonetheless, my perseverance has paid off and I’ve recently been promoted to the post of Assignment Editor. Buoyed by my achievements, I’m becoming increasingly confident in my abilities and I’m excited to push the envelope still further. More importantly, I’m very optimistic that my journey will soon become unexceptional as an increasing number of girls join the profession.

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real lives: stories that inspire us

Ms. Sadia Jahangir, Reporter at Channel 92 As a Balochi woman, a wife, a mother of three and a reporter on Channel 92, I’m juggling a number of identities. However, it’s only after a number of years in the job that I’m finally learning to strike a sustainable balance. Starting out, I found working in a male-dominated environment and the realities of reporting from the field on incidents such as terrorist attacks and homicides bewildering. Nor did the staff shortages and very long hours make things any easier. However, the biggest challenge of all came a number of years into my career when my relationship with my boss become increasingly strained and I grew disillusioned as a result of the persistently poor working conditions. Not only was there a lack of consideration for my physical condition when I was pregnant, I also faced denigration for speaking my mind notwithstanding the quality of work I was continuing to produce. Eventually I decided, along with other colleagues who were facing similar attitudes, to resign. This could have proved to be the end of my professional career. However, with the support of my husband and friends, I began working again eight months later and have never looked back. I am, however, very conscious that entrenched misogynistic attitudes as well as a profound lack of effective support systems for newcomers are continuing to hold back women who are less lucky.

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news and events

agriculture and food security

Landmark agreement to research nutrition in social protection

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Pakistan has signed a landmark, three-year agreement to research and identify the most cost-effective strategies to improve the nutrition status of children between six and 23 months of age who are covered through social protection systems. The agreement was signed by WFP, the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and Punjab’s Primary & Second-

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ary Health Department. The 2011 National Nutrition Survey shows that 44 per cent of Pakistan’s children under five years of age are stunted, a condition that impedes mental and physical development and hinders the capacity to learn. The Government of Pakistan has declared nutrition a national emergency and includes nutrition in its Vision 2025. The research will be conducted in

the Rahim Yar Khan district of Punjab province to compare the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of different nutritional interventions, including cash-based transfers through the BISP-run social protection scheme, enhanced behavioural change communication and specialized nutritious foods supplied by WFP. “This is the first time such research is being done in the context of an existing social protection scheme, rather than a specially-created research project,” said interim WFP Country Director Mr. Stephen Gluning. Ms. Cecilia Garzón, Head of Nutrition for WFP Pakistan, said, “This research will give us solid evidence for evidence-based programming that can change the nutritional situation of the most vulnerable people of Pakistan and thus the country’s future.” BISP is the largest safety net programme in Pakistan and plans to use the findings to help inform its programmes for the future. This initiative is also strengthening partnerships among different government departments that collaborate to improve nutrition in the country. WFP has been addressing acute malnutrition and stunting by implementing nutrition programmes in Pakistan since 2008. By partnering with BISP and the Government of Punjab, WFP hopes to ensure assistance will have the greatest impact on the poorest of the poor.


news and events

agriculture and food safety

EU supports livelihoods and nutrition in Sindh

The European Union has contributed nearly 4.5 million United States dollars (USD) to enable livelihoods and nutrition programmes run by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Sindh. This contribution from European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) is being used to assist the recovery and stabilization of people affected by food insecurity and drought and to provide nutrition support. “The most vulnerable households, in terms of malnutrition and livestock/ yields losses, are being prioritized,” said WFP Country Director Mr. Finbarr Curran. “We know that in some areas 37 per cent of deaths recorded were children; 100 per cent of households experienced moderate drought; 83.8 per cent faced extreme water scarcity; and 27.7 per cent do not have access to safe water sources.” Nutrition activities in Sindh focus on Community Management for Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) and Infant Young Child Feeding (IYCF). Activities aim to improve the overall nutritional status, health and well-being of the population, particularly for children under five and malnourished pregnant and nursing women, and to

improve the behaviour and practices of those caring for young children. WFP Pakistan works in partnership with the Government of Sindh and is implementing CMAM in cooperation with partner non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). WFP’s livelihoods cash-assistance activities are helping disaster-affected communities develop resilience and aims to improve the food security of drought-affected communities. These interventions simultaneously develop skills and meet the immediate cash needs of families who have suffered loss of livelihoods through drought. WFP coordinates livelihood activities

with the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMA) and the Food Security Working Groups. Nutrition activities are coordinated with the Provincial Department of Health and UN Agencies, including UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), through the provincial nutrition cluster in Sindh.

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news and events

agriculture and food security

Continuing the fight against the Desert Locust

Pakistan is a key frontline country in the fight against the Desert Locust in Southwest Asia, with two breeding seasons in the spring and summer. This was highlighted during the 30th session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in South-West Asia (SWAC), held in December in Islamabad. During the session, delegates from Afghanistan, India, Iran and Pakistan agreed to introduce bio pesticides for Desert Locust control, develop a resource management system and

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strengthen information and reporting, contingency plans and training. The Commission’s role is to strengthen the capacity of member countries to monitor their locust situation, undertake necessary control operations and plan for rapid response to locust outbreaks and invasions. It has been meeting every two years since 1964. FAO monitors the global Desert Locust situation and provides objective, reliable information countries can use to prepare for and prevent locust attacks. FAO’s Desert Locust Information Service (DLIS) has been providing

locust-affected countries with forecasts and early warning for nearly four decades. The combined efforts of SWAC and DLIS will help reduce the frequency, duration and intensity of devastating locust plagues and protect agriculture and livelihoods in the region.


news and events

agriculture and food safety

Early recovery successes in Bara

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) continues to support the Government of Pakistan’s efforts for a dignified resettlement of Temporary Displaced Persons (TDPs). A team from FAO, including Assistant FAO Representative Mr. Nasar Hayat and FAO FATA Project Coordinator Mr. Rafaelle DelCima, visited Bara in Khyber Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to assess the progress of its Early Recovery Program. A highlight of the visit was the inauguration of Minor F, one of the mega irrigation infrastructure schemes FAO recently rehabilitated with support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). Minor F benefits approximately 2,900 farmers and irrigates 1,174 hectares of agricultural land, and local Water User’s Association (WUA) members and farmers said the scheme is a phenomenal support. Farmers also shared their experiences through farmer field school (FFS), including improved agriculture practices, exposure to technology and crop diversification, and

learning low-cost, environmentally-safe and cost-effective practices for composting and pest control. Project beneficiaries also requested a program expansion in the village of Akakhel. FAO’s Early Recovery Programme includes restoration and improvement of agriculture production (including crops, livestock, poultry and fisheries), reclamation of land and rehabilitation of water resources. It also focuses on strengthening the institutional capacity of government and private agriculture service providers.

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news and events

agriculture and food security

Training stakeholders to measure zero hunger The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Pakistan conducted a training session in Islamabad to develop capacity among national statisticians to monitor the achievement of targets for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2: Zero hunger. The training focused on the methodology to compute two SDG 2 indicators: 1) Prevalence of undernourishment, and 2) Prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity in the population, based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES). These have been included in the list of indicators of the global monitoring framework for the SDGs and therefore accurate, sustainable calculation is important. Mr. Carlo Cafiero, Senior Statistician and Project Manager for FAO’s Voices of the Hungry project, conducted the training for participants representing various organizations from the government and development sector, including the Ministry of National Food Security and Research and the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. Mr. Cafiero explained that the global monitoring framework for the SDGs is a product of the UN Statistical Commission which appointed an Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), composed of 28 member countries representing all regions of the world, to develop the in-

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dicator framework. Their endorsement of these indicators means all countries in the region should be able to compute them. FAO Pakistan is helping the Government of Pakistan integrate the SDGs into their development processes and plans, and is also helping build capacity to monitor achievements of the set targets.


news and events

cultural heritage

Second round of consultations on policies for the creative sector In November, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Pakistan launched a second round of country-wide consultations to raise awareness about the importance of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. These follow earlier consultations in 2016 and were organized with support from the Danish Centre for Culture and Development (CKU) and funding from the Government of Denmark. Three workshops were held in Peshawar, Karachi and Islamabad that engaged various stakeholders including federal and provincial representatives, public-sector professionals, academics, media, creative entrepreneurs and members of civil society. Bringing together a range of stakeholders highlights the importance of collaboration to create policies for the creative sector that are supportive, transparent and participatory. Pakistan has a diverse and rich culture that provides great potential for the creative industry, and the country’s cultural goods exports increased from 60 million United States dollars (USD) in 2004 to USD 437 million in 2013. UNESCO’s 2005 Convention, an international treaty that recognizes the distinctive nature of culture as an important contributor

to economic and social development, may provide Pakistan’s creative economy a much needed economic boost once ratified. At the workshop in Peshawar, UNESCO Representative to Pakistan Ms. Vibeke Jensen stressed that the 2005 Convention affirms the sovereign right of States to adopt policies and measures that nurture creativity, provides access for creators to participate in domestic and international marketplaces where their artistic works or expressions can be recognized and compensated, and ensures these expressions are accessible to the public at large. At the Karachi workshop, Mr. Ghulam Akbar Laghari, Secretary of the Government of Sindh’s Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Department, stressed Pakistan’s need to accept the ever-changing nature of culture and said a national and provincial cultural policy will provide

provisions to ensure the true essence of Pakistani culture remains constant despite external changes. During the Islamabad workshop, Dr. Fouzia Saeed, Executive Director of Lok Virsa, emphasized that culture and the creative sector should not be a hobby but rather a part of the creative economy which could generate livelihoods. The session concluded with the creation of a network of young creative entrepreneurs of Pakistan who are committed to establishing partnership with various stakeholders to promote the creative sector in Pakistan. The consultations also highlighted the importance of public interventions and investment in the creative sector for the benefit of all. UNESCO hopes Pakistan will soon ratify the 2005 Convention to bolster creative industries across the country.

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news and events

disaster risk management

Training on watershed management in Chakwal Approximately 20 per cent of Pakistan’s land is affected by soil erosion by wind and water, and in the Pothwar region of northern Punjab a huge amount of rainwater is lost each year as surface runoff. This results in loss of fertile topsoil that may also increase flood severity in lowland areas and silting in dams, rivers and ponds that decreases their storage capacity. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently provided a Community Based Training Programme on Watershed Management for Flood and Drought Control to farmers and officials in Punjab’s Chakwal district. Experts spoke about flooding in Pakistan and the echohydrology approach for addressing floods and drought, and participants received onsite training on rainwater harvesting techniques, soil conservation and irrigation systems. They also visited the Barani Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) and the Soil and Water Conservation Research Institute (SAWCRI) to learn water-saving techniques. Ms. Vibeke Jensen, UNESCO Representative to Pakistan, said that after successfully completing this training participants have acquired knowledge of

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watershed management approaches that will result in reduced soil erosion and mitigation of flood hazards. The training was held as part of phase-II of UNESCO’s Strategic Strengthening of Flood Warning and Management Capacity of Pakistan project. Phase-I led to the first flood forecasting model of the Upper Indus catchment (the Indus Integrated Flood Analysis System), new capability for flood hazard warning for the Kabul River Basins in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, hazard mapping techniques for the Lower Indus river, and capacity development for the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and other government agencies. Phase-II will continue capacity development, especial-

ly regarding forecasting, warning and hazard analysis. The project, supported by the Government of Japan, is establishing a technical foundation in Pakistan for effective flood coordination and management.


news and events

disaster risk management

Empowering communities to mitigate disaster risks In the past decade, Pakistan has experienced a range of disasters, from floods to droughts, and is one of the countries considered most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Sudden climate-related events can wreak havoc on entire communities, damaging agricultural land and putting lives and livelihoods at risk. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recognizes that communities themselves are best positioned to identify the specific risks they are vulnerable to and to prioritize actions and investments in structural- and non-structural adaptation and mitigation. This community-based disaster risk management (CBDRM) is central to disaster risk reduction in Pakistan and is an intrinsic part of the National Disaster Management Plan. With funding from the Royal Norwegian Embassy, UNDP implemented CBDRM in five districts of three provinces in Pakistan, including 24 villages in Chitral in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The CBDRM project intends to enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities in high-risk districts and reduce losses caused by disasters and climate risks. UNDP mobilized communities, equipped them with risk assessment skills and helped them plan and im-

plement risk reduction measures they themselves prioritized. In Chitral, 751 people were trained in CBDRM essentials, 40 village disaster management committees were established and structural mitigation schemes such as dykes and retaining walls were implemented, with 20 per cent of the cost contributed by community members. With village disaster risk reduction plans in place, links to district-level early warning systems and volunteers trained in disaster preparedness,

communities in Chitral can now use local knowledge to reduce losses when disasters strike. CBDRM builds community capacity to prepare for, cope with, recover from and rebuild after disasters. It draws on and builds social cohesion among community members and also empowers women to be agents of change.

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news and events

drugs and crime

UNODC and Government of Pakistan sign Country Programme

In an official ceremony in Vienna on December 1, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Government of Pakistan signed a 70 million United States Dollar (USD) Country Programme. The Country Programme’s overall aim is to enhance the skills and knowledge of law enforcement and criminal justice agencies in overcoming the multi-faceted threats posed by transnational organized crime, and to foster greater cooperation among neighboring countries to effectively address the common challenges of illicit trafficking and border management, criminal justice system and legal reforms, and drug demand reduc-

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tion, prevention and treatment. It also aims to promote modern methods of training, including Computer Based Training (CBT), while strengthening research and analysis practices for developing policies and guidelines that contribute to improving the rule of law, governance and public health. UNODC Deputy Executive Director Mr. Aldo Lale-Demoz highlighted the success of the previous Country Programme and expressed appreciation for the Government of Pakistan’s support. Mr. Ajaz Ali Khan, Federal Secretary of the Narcotics Control Division, expressed his Government’s readiness to continue working with UNODC and the international community,

and offered full support for the implementation of the signed Programme. Also present were Ms. Ayesha Riaz, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna, and General Nasir Dilawhar Shah, Director General of the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF). The Country Programme is a result of a strong partnership between UNODC and the Government of Pakistan and was developed in close consultation with provincial and national stakeholders. Its strategic goals are aligned with the Government of Pakistan’s Vision 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


news and events

drugs and crime

Forensic document examination training

In November, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) held a training session on forensic document examination, focused on travel documents, to enhance the skills and knowledge of frontline immigration officers from the Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Lahore airports. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has reported an increase in migrant smuggling attempts from Pakistan, with smugglers facilitating illegal passage by providing altered and forged travel documents

including passports, resident cards and visas from various countries. In the session, professional trainers from the high commissions of South Africa, Canada and Kenya and the embassies of Poland and Bulgaria shared their expertise in identifying forged and fraudulently-altered documents. Mr. Sajid Akram Chaudhry, FIA’s Deputy Director of Immigration and Anti Human Smuggling, highlighted the importance of training in document identification and expressed appreciation for the UNODC’s on-

going assistance in combating human trafficking and migrant smuggling from Pakistan. Ms. Rehana Permall, on behalf of UNODC Representative Mr. Cesar Guedes, thanked the trainers and participants and assured the FIA of the continued partnership between the UNODC and Government of Pakistan under its upcoming second Country Programme (20162019).

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news and events

drugs and crime

United Against Corruption

On December 9, Pakistan observed International Anti-Corruption Day with a ceremony organized by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) at the Presidential Palace in Islamabad. Mr. Cesar Guedes, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Representative to Pakistan, delivered a statement from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, highlighting the importance of combating the scourge of corruption in line with the 2030 agenda on sustainable development.

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During the ceremony, President Mamnoon Hussain presented a Shield of Honour to Mr. Guedes and thanked the UNODC Country Office in Pakistan (COPAK) for its commitment to tackling the challenge of corruption. The event also included the inauguration of a commemorative postage stamp and a colouring book containing anti-corruption slogans designed for secondary school students. As well, a national “selfie” campaign was launched by UNODC Pakistan to spread the message “United

against corruption for peace development and security” through social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


news and events

drugs and crime

Drugs and precursors identification training in Sindh

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organized a three-day training course on Drugs and Precursors Identification in Karachi to strengthen the capacity of field officers from Pakistan Customs, the Excise and Taxation Department, Sindh Police and the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF). Participants were briefed on the overall drug situation in the region, with a special emphasis on diverting precursor chemicals, and UNODC trainer Mr. Sajid Aslam explained different aspects of drug trafficking and interdiction through a series of

classroom lectures and presentations. The training also included computer-based e-learning modules focused on drugs and precursors identification, the interdiction of precursors and clandestine laboratories and the use of drug test kits. The 17 participants brought a wealth of experience from their respective fields, further enriching the practical and innovative training, and reported that it was extremely informative and user friendly. The course was one of many examples of the comprehensive assistance provided under the pro-

ject Strengthening Border Security Against Illicit Drug Trafficking and Related Transnational Organised Crime (2016-2019), supported by the Government of Japan. UNODC will continue to provide similar training courses for law enforcement officials in other provinces.

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news and events

drugs and crime

Enhancing operational capacity of the Anti Narcotics Force The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) have successfully opened a new ANF check post in Sost, along the Sino-Pakistani border. This is part of a capacity-building initiative to enhance the ANF’s operational capacities along the main trade route with China and the various drug trafficking routes crossing Pakistan from Afghanistan. The initiative includes the establishment and operationalization of ANF police stations in Dalbandin, Panjgur, Turbat, Gwadar and Hub, and check posts in Chaman and Sost (Gilgit-Baltistan). These will include offices, operations rooms, living accommodations and necessary power backup provided by 6.5 KVA solar panels. Planned to be completed by January 2018, the new ANF facilities will improve Pakistan’s counter-narcotics and border management capabilities and will be part of a larger inter-agency communication network between the ANF and other law enforcement agencies. A final onsite inspection and formal handover was jointly conducted by the COPAK team and ANF officials including Brigadier Hammad Ahmed Dogar, Force Commander North, and Mr. Ghulam Murtaza, Depu-

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ty Director and Officer-in-Charge in Gilgit-Baltistan. Brigadier Dogar commented, “The smiles and satisfaction on the faces of the ANF personnel employed at Sost clearly reflect that their operational needs have been adequately facilitated by the UNODC. We anticipate a positive impact of this deployment upon our operational results.” This capacity-building initiative is supported by the governments of Japan, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Canada and is a key achievement under UNODC’s Pakistan Country Programme (2010-2016).


news and events

drugs and crime

Public-private partnerships to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling With irregular migration from Pakistan growing, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organized the first ever public-private conference on human trafficking and migrant smuggling, in collaboration with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of Pakistan. The conference brought together multiple stakeholders, including representatives from government, law enforcement, civil society, multinational organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), media and United Nations agencies, who shared their perspectives on developing solutions to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling. A goal of the conference was to identify the role each organization can play in raising public awareness of the dangers associated with these illegal activities In his opening remarks, Mr. Cesar Guedes, UNODC’s Country Representative, emphasized the need for immediate attention from the private sector to assist multilateral efforts in meeting the challenge of human trafficking and migrant smuggling. The FIA’s Additional Di-

rector of General Immigration, Mr. Walid Zia, shared the significant challenges Pakistan faces in this area and said the government is fully committed to meeting its international obligations to the global fight. Conference participants discussed the importance of public-private partnerships in raising public awareness and watched a short documentary highlighting the current challenges related to illegal migration. Many expressed support for regular dialogue between private and public partners and encouraged private organizations to assist government institutions in raising awareness. They urged the FIA to publish more in-depth information on its website to make it easily accessible to both private

actors and the public. The conference was made possible by financial support from the Government of Australia and the U.S. Department of State. Based on the positive results, the UNODC aims to conduct a national awareness campaign in collaboration with both public and private stakeholders beginning in early 2017.

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news and events

drugs and crime

Pakistan-Afghanistan Integrated Border Management Workshop The sixth Pakistan-Afghanistan Integrated Border Management Workshop was facilitated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in November. Supported by the Government of Japan, the event strengthened the close partnership between the Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan under the framework of the UNODC-sponsored Triangular Initiative. Mr. Cesar Guedes, UNODC’s Representative to Pakistan, said, “This gathering of policy and operational level counterparts reflects the resolve and commitment by both governments to address the common challenges posed by the scourge of drug trafficking and other transnational organized crime-related activities in the region.” He added, “It is an opportunity for the world to better understand the complexities of both border management and counter-narcotics issues in the region.” Rear Admiral Mukhtar Khan from Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence said, “It is of the utmost importance that we make our borders more secure against the menace of drug trafficking, human trafficking, migrant smuggling, and the smuggling of contrabands.” Colonel Mohammad Tahir Eidukhil

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from the Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan stated, “We need to continue building a close partnership with Pakistan, with the continued support of the UNODC” and said a joint and effective response against the region’s criminal elements would ensure stability and economic growth. Attended by officials from both countries, comprehensive discussions were held over three days that culminated in the development of draft recommendations. Themes included capacity-building, joint training, risk-profiling, information-sharing, simultaneous interdiction operations and backtracking investigations. Pakistan also offered to enhance Afghanistan’s technical expertise through joint specialized training

courses and connectivity to its Customs Electronic Data Interface. The two delegations agreed on the necessity to organize this workshop on a regular basis to assess progress made in implementing the recommendations adopted.


news and events

drugs and crime

Drug Burning Ceremony

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) proudly organized the 2016 Drug Burning Ceremony in Islamabad on December 15. The Minister of State for Interior and Narcotics Control, Mr. Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman, was an honoured guest at the event which was supported by the Government of Japan. In his welcome address, Major General Dilawar Shah, Director General of the ANF, expressed strong appreciation for UNODC’s assistance and the significant impact it

has made in the Force’s ability to seize illicit narcotics and dismantle trafficking organizations. He highlighted the seizure of 51 tonnes of illicit narcotics, including heroin and cocaine, which were burned in the ceremony. In addition, in 2016 the ANF was able to seize narcotics worth 239 million United States dollars (USD) in raids targeting traffickers at various airports. The ANF has been the main beneficiary of the UNODC Country Program 2010-2016, which significantly enhanced its interdiction and prosecution ca-

pacity. Country Representative Mr. Cesar Guedes highlighted the important role played by the UNODC, including providing comprehensive technical, financial and expert assistance to partner governments to assist domestic counter-narcotics activities. The region produces 90 per cent of the world’s opiates, making Pakistan both a victim and a transit country, and the UNODC has been at the forefront of the fight against narcotics trafficking in close collaboration with the Government and people of Pakistan.

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news and events

drugs and crime

Improving KP police service delivery Violent conflict in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) often meant frequent attacks on police facilities which in turn led to their fortification. This protected the personnel within but may have intimidated the public and discouraged people from lodging complaints or seeking police assistance. In 2014, the concept of model Police stations (MPS) was introduced by KP’s Inspector General of Police, with the central idea to convert existing stations into more accessible and people-friendly environments with better services. With support from the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP’s) Strengthening Rule of Law Project (SRLP) and funding from the European Union (EU), 18 MPS were established by the end of 2015 that feature community policing, gender-responsive policing (GRP), improved muharrar (administration) offices and interview rooms. Furniture and equipment were provided and personnel were trained in community policing and GRP. The MPS endeavour to foster trust between the public and the police and create lasting partnerships. Annual police plans were developed that established targets and milestones jointly agreed upon by community members and local police,

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and the SRLP supported consultative meetings, also accounting for women’s security needs. The MPS have been a resounding success and an additional 44 will be completed by 2018 with funding from the United States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (US-INL), the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the EU. The SRLP’s support in KP has also included establishing numerous community policing forums (CPFs), providing orientation sessions on community policing and specialized training for police officers (both male and female) and developing Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) which were printed in Urdu and disseminated to all police stations.


news and events

education

Australia boosts school retention and girls’ literacy in FATA The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a three-year contribution of six million Australian dollars (approximately USD 4.5 million) from the Australian Government for an education programme in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Frontier Regions (FR). Under the programme, WFP will provide more than 312,000 children with a mid-morning snack of High Energy Biscuits (HEBs) during the school day. Providing children with snacks at school has proven to significantly increase children’s enrolment and retention rates. In the following two years, between 13,000 and 15,000 adolescent school girls will receive cashbased assistance that can be used for school meals. The aim of cash grants is to increase girls’ retention in schools and the literacy rate of women in FATA, which is among the least literate areas of the world. Improving girl’s access to education can prevent early marriage and teenage pregnancy, increase lifetime income opportunities and improve the health of future children. High Commissioner of Australia to Pakistan, Ms. Margaret Adamson, said, “Since 2010 Australia has

provided more than AUD 95 million in humanitarian assistance to Pakistan, in partnership with the WFP, to support the victims of earthquakes, floods and displacement. Australia’s assistance has also helped provide nutrition to acute malnourished women and children, livelihood support and school feeding programmes.” WFP’s interim Country Director Mr. Stephen Gluning said, “There are alarming rates of illiteracy owing to high school drop-out rates among children, especially adolescent school girls. By providing extra incentives for parents to send girls to school, we can take a step towards women’s empowerment.” Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions, Mr. Abdul Qadir Baloch, commended WFP and thanked the Government of Aus-

tralia for its unshrinking support. WFP has been implementing education programmes in FATA since 2008. In 2016, Australia has contributed USD 9 million to WFP programmes, placing it among the top five donors to WFP Pakistan.

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news and events

education

Celebrating World Science Day

On World Science Day (November 10), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) held an event to encourage students to pursue scientific education and research. In keeping with this year’s theme of “Celebrating Science Centres and Science Museums” the event took place at the Pakistan Museum of Natural History in Islamabad, giving students an opportunity to visit the museum and its displays. Chief guest Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, highlighted how science can help us find solutions to today’s economic, social and environmental challenges to achieve sustainable development. He said science centres and

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museums are playing an important role in disseminating scientific information and are learning centres for students. Ms. Vibeke Jensen, UNESCO Representative to Pakistan, emphasized that Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) is crucial for inclusive and sustainable development, and that science museums have the potential to mobilize students’ interest in science education through promoting concrete and hands-on experiences. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman of the PSF, said the PSF is striving to educate young people across the country about science and its applications through establishing science museums and centres, and that it is the only government organization working to disseminate scientific knowledge in Pakistan’s

rural areas. During the event, awards were given to winning students of Inter-Board Competitions and participants of the London International Youth Science Forum 2016 and the Asian Science Camp 2016. Representatives of British Council and the PSF also signed a letter of intent for collaboration between the two organizations. In November 2015, UNESCO adopted a global Recommendation on the Protection and Promotion of Museums and their Collections, their Diversity and their Role in Society, strengthening the United Nations’ commitment to mobilize museums as key actors of peace and sustainable development.


environment/ climate change

news and events

Seminar highlights need for sustainablyharvested biodiversity products

A national seminar on ethno-botany was held at the Pakistan Museum of Natural History (PMNH) in Islamabad as part of the Mountains and Markets Project funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Experts highlighted the importance of the rich flora found in Pakistan’s northern region and underscored the need for ensuring sustainable use of biodiversity products, including herbs and plants, used often for the benefit of humans. The Mountains and Markets Project focuses on developing certified production of biodiversity-friendly Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) in northern Pakistan and stimulating market demand

for biodiversity friendly NTFP, creating new economic incentives for conservation. The Project is being implemented in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Ministry of Climate Change. Mr. Syed Abu Ahmad Akif, Federal Secretary at the Ministry of Climate Change, said, “Pakistan has a lot of botanical diversity and a potential for economic growth, especially among the rural people in the mountainous north. Economic scope of Botanical products is expanding day by day across the globe, and therefore there is a need to ensure a speedy and quality-focused value chain, while ensuring a sustainable use of such products.”

Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative of IUCN Pakistan, said “We have worked with communities to establish biodiversity conservation in northern Pakistan. Mountain and Markets have tried to add value to the complete value chain of the Non-Timber Forest Products so that the products become more marketable and the benefits accrue to the communities.” The seminar was organized by the IUCN and PMNH in collaboration with the provincial environment and forest departments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan.

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news and events

gender equality and empowerment

BISP and UN Women Ink an MoU Pakistan’s Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), the custodian of more than 5.3 million vulnerable women and their families, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) on expanding social protection coverage through improvement in women’s empowerment and gender equality. Both partners will take on joint ventures related to gender equality, violence against women, women’s economic empowerment and women’s leadership in social reconstruction. BISP beneficiaries will be linked to relevant UN Women projects to benefit from social protection services, and joint campaigns will commemorate key international days on women’s rights and spread awareness on women’s empowerment subjects in the BISP population. At the signing ceremony, Mr. Marvi Memon, Minister of State and Chairperson of BISP, stated that the partnership with UN Women would further strengthen the empowerment initiative of BISP to educate women on women rights, nutrition, mother and child health, sanitation, basic finance and entre-

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preneurship, empowering them to make better-informed decisions. Mr. Jamshed Kazi, UN Women’s Country Representative, said, “Forging a partnership with BISP with its millions of the poorest female beneficiaries across the country will generate a catalytic, multiplier effect for UN Women’s ongoing initiatives in Pakistan, such as advancing women’s economic empowerment, tackling gender-based violence in the home and in public spaces, and strengthening women’s leadership and resilience to prepare for and cope with natural disasters and displacement due to conflict and violent extremism. Through this alliance, we firmly believe that we will make significant

headway towards removing gender inequalities in Pakistan by 2030.” BISP is a social safety net with a prime focus on financial inclusion of women, and raises awareness of important issues through its BISP Beneficiary Committees (BBCs). This cooperation will leverage community outreach, resources and technical expertise to bring transformative changes in the lives of women.


news and events

gender equality and empowerment

Empowering women police officers in KP

The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP’s) Strengthening Rule of Law Project (SRLP) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) supports institutions tasked with ensuring the rule of law in providing quality justice that is accessible, affordable and fair, and helps foster trust between communities and justice providers. A key component of this support is a 14-bed women’s dormitory and childcare facility at the Regional Training Centre (RTC) in Swat, which was inaugurated in November. The dormitory was funded by the European Union (EU) and undertaken after extensive consultation with the KP Police. The RTC itself was established with support from the Government of the Netherlands, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Government of KP. The dormitory and childcare centre enhances the capacity of women police officers in the province, as women who were previously unable to begin or continue police training because of children can now do so. This is critical to increasing the number of skilled female police of-

ficers and is expected to result in more women performing core police functions and, by extension, more promotions. Fourteen women police personnel will complete RTC courses by the end of 2016. Gender-responsive policing desks in the model police stations established across KP are also helping to empower women. These are operated by well-trained women who act as sympathetic and understanding professionals that can be approached by women who would not normally approach male police officers. Mr. Jean-François Cautain, Ambassador of the EU to Pakistan, said, “UNDP envisions more women joining the KP Police and the number of women police officers increasing

day by day. The establishment of the training centre, women’s dormitory and childcare centre and the women police trainers are all efforts towards gender-responsive policing and encouraging young girls and women to join the Police force.”

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news and events

health

World Prematurity Day Pakistan observed the sixth annual World Prematurity Day on November 17, reaffirming its commitment towards reducing the number of preterm births in the country. Approximately 860,000 premature births are recorded each year in Pakistan of which nearly 102,000 children die due to related complications. Globally, fifteen million babies are born

it will not be possible to reach the Sustainable Global Goal to end all preventable newborn and child deaths by 2030. World Prematurity Day provides an opportunity to talk about solutions and highlight innovations that show the most promise to transform the prevention, diagnosis and management of preterm births. “UNICEF in partnership with the Government of Pakistan is supporting efforts to reduce child morbidity and

early each year and over one million children die before their fifth birthday. Pakistan is ranked second among the top ten countries that account for nearly two-thirds of all deaths from preterm birth complications. Without a major push to reduce these deaths,

mortality,” said Ms. Angela Kearney, UNICEF’s Representative in Pakistan. “One example of our most recent initiatives is the establishment of a Kangaroo Mother Care model at a public hospital in Lahore where special care is provided to the preterm newborns.

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Kangaroo Mother Care is a technique used to keep the newborn warm and support breast feeding.” UNICEF emphasizes that premature births and child deaths can be achieved by strengthening health policies and services as well as improving access and care for mothers and newborns. Although notable achievements have been made in the health sector, much more is needed to increase the quality of care for women and newborns.


news and events

health

Japan renews commitment to eradicate polio The Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) signed an agreement in November that grants 404 million Japanese Yen (USD 4 million) for the Project for the Control and Eradication of Poliomyelitis. This renewed contribution will provide 3.9 million doses of the Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) and associated items, sufficient to vaccinate 3.3 million children between four and 23 months of age in the high-risk districts of Pakistan. The Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, Mr. Takashi Kurai, said, “We are hopeful that the use of IPV in vaccination campaigns will ensure any emerging immunity gap among the newborn and other children younger than two years in areas that continue to harbour the polio virus is quickly closed.” Mr. Yasuhiro Tojo, the JICA’s Chief Representative in Pakistan, said, “Now is the time to make the final push to eradicate polio. We hope this investment will ensure future generations will no longer have their lives blighted by this crippling disease.” Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, the Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication, thanked the Government of Japan for its unwaver-

ing support towards ending polio in Pakistan. Ms. Cristian Munduate, UNICEF’s Deputy Representative in Pakistan, equally thanked the Government and people of Japan for their generous contribution and commitment to the health of children in Pakistan. Pakistan is making significant progress in the fight against polio, with only 18 cases in 2016 compared to 45 in 2015 and 306 in 2014. The Government of Japan has supported the Polio Eradication Initiative in Pakistan since 1996, providing approximately JPY 23 billion (USD 216.53 million) to date.

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news and events

industrial development/ economy

Opening new markets for sustainable pine nuts

For generations, pine nuts harvested

cause they lack understanding of mar-

training and cash grants and facilitat-

from chilghoza (pine) forests in northern

kets and quality controls.

ing links with investors and buyers. It

Pakistan have provided an essential

The four-year Mountains and Markets

is now engaging processing and ex-

source of livelihood for nearby commu-

project supported by the United Na-

porting companies to create certifica-

nities. But as demand grows, pine nuts

tions Development Programme (UNDP)

tion tools for sustainable, high-quality

are increasing being collected unsus-

and the Global Environment Facility

pine nuts that adhere to organic, Fair

tainably, with no pine cones left on the

(GEF) seeks to provide local communi-

for Life and FairWild standards. Once

ground to allow natural regrowth.

ties with sustainable sources of income

established, this will help communities

Over-exploitation of non-timber forest

by using market-based mechanisms to

access the lucrative European market.

resources occurs across the mountains

help ensure they get a strong return for

Mr. Jesse Bloemendaal, senior consult-

covering 175,000 square kilometres,

certified, sustainably-harvested forest

ant at ProFound, explains, “The com-

despite 11 per cent of the area being

products.

munities can then source high-quality

protected and 12 per cent consisting

A pilot initiative designed by ProFound,

pine nuts from the forests without risk-

of community co-managed conservan-

a Dutch sustainable sourcing consul-

ing exhaustion of the natural resource.

cies. This further threatens endangered

tancy, focuses specifically on sustain-

At the same time, conservation efforts

species in the area, such as snow leop-

able harvesting of pine nuts. It has

are strengthened by linking the com-

ards and woolly flying squirrels. Mean-

established

munity enterprises to ethical buyers to

while, the communities are operating

enterprises in three valleys of Diam-

with low returns and tight margins be-

er district in Gilgit-Baltistan, providing

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community

biodiversity

ensure income for the communities.�


news and events

industrial development/ economy

Nurturing cleantech innovation

Small businesses make a significant contribution to job creation and the overall economic development of Pakistan. The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme being implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) promotes and nurtures innovation in clean technologies by small- and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups. In 2015, the Programme attracted 332 innovations, of which 55 were supported through extensive mentoring, training, access to investors and showcasing opportunities. Under the categories of Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Water Efficiency and Waste to Energy, five national winners were awarded with prizes ranging from 15,000 United States dollars (USD) to USD 20,000, and an additional prize of USD 15,000 was awarded to the most promising woman-led business. The winners then participated in the global competition held in Silicon Valley, USA, where Pakistan won the Global Award in the category of Waste to Energy. 2016 saw a record number of 592 applicants to the Global Cleantech

Programme. After applications were scrutinized, semi-finalists were declared who participated in more than two months of training followed by a business clinic to help them improve their business plans. In November, “mock judging� occurred in three cities to help the semifinalist teams improve their presentations to attract potential investors. Altogether, this seven-week experience provided the teams with business knowledge and skills to support them in building viable business models. The Global Cleantech Programme is being implemented by UNIDO

with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and it is supported by the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST), the National Productivity Organization (NPO), the Pakistan Institute of Management (PIM) and international partner Cleantech Open.

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news and events

industrial development/ economy

Policies to help women entrepreneurs in green industry

In November, a dialogue on gender-responsive policy and regulatory frameworks was held at the Pakistan Institute of Management (PIM) to develop recommendations on making policies more conducive for women entrepreneurs, especially those working in green industry. This falls under the Delivering Results Together Fund (DRT-F), a joint programme of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and other UN agencies. Women from excluded groups were present to share their valuable insights on improvements needed, and grass root problems were discussed. Recommendations were made to address these problems and regard-

UNIDO Representative Mr. Esam

drafts that pave the way for them to

ing how to provide formal coverage

Alqararah announced an Advocacy

start their own businesses and inno-

to millions of home based workers

Campaign on “Women in Green In-

vate. These policies will mitigate gen-

(HBWs) in Pakistan, a majority of

dustry” and stressed that UNIDO be-

der inequality to help women achieve

whom are women.

lieves in creating an enabling policy

The Director of PIM, Mr. Abid Hussain

environment coupled with deliberate

Sabri, highlighted challenges women

action by government, the private

face in initiating start-ups in green in-

sector and development practition-

dustry and reiterated PIM’s commit-

ers which is necessary to utilize the

ment to work for women, who com-

full potential of women’s participation

prise the majority of the world’s poor

in green growth.

and are disproportionately affected

UNIDO is aiding excluded groups

by the impacts of climate change and

in Pakistan, with a focus on women

environmental degradation.

entrepreneurs, by developing policy

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news and events

industrial development/ economy

Business Growth Centre for Women launched

In November, a Business Growth Centre for Women was launched in Karachi by the Pakistan Institution of Management (PIM), followed by launches in Islamabad and Lahore. The launches took place during consultative sessions on women in green industry organized by the United Nations Industrial Develop-

ment Organization (UNIDO), the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industries (ICCI) and PIM. “Green industry has great potential in enabling women entrepreneurs to become economically independ-

Business Growth Centre (WBGC) launched in its premises. “Entrepreneurship creates positive effects for the country,” said Mr. Tauseef Zaman, Representative of the ICCI. “I struggled as an entre-

ent,” said Mr. Esam Alqararah, UNIDO Representative in Pakistan, going on to explain UNIDO’s efforts in Pakistan to ensures women’s participation in green industry. The Director of PIM, Mr. Abid Hussain Sabri, congratulated UNIDO’s efforts and ensured PIM’s commitment to support the Women

preneur as there are many ups and downs in the business, however, one should stay consistent in order to achieve success.”

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news and events

industrial development/ economy

Workshops on green industry start-ups for women

A series of workshops for homebased women workers concluded in December that focused on entrepreneurship development and using waste to make productive items. These workshops to foster green entrepreneurship were held under the Delivering Results Together Fund (DRT-F), a joint programme of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and other UN agencies. Held in Lahore, Karachi and Islam-

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abad, approximately 60 women participated in each city, including home-based workers, women entrepreneurs, youth and potential women entrepreneurs. They learned more than 50 ways to turn waste into products and were given an orientation on launching a start-up company. Participants took a keen interest in a session on developing business plans and marketing techniques, and on the third day of each session each presented their own business models

in front of a panel of business experts who provided valuable feedback. This series of workshops will help women earn an income while also helping to reduce waste and promote a green economy in Pakistan.


news and events

poverty

Poverty alleviation in dryland regions The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) jointly held a three-day International Conference on Asia Pacific Policy Dialogue on Water, Energy and Food Security for Poverty Alleviation in Dryland Regions. The Conference aimed to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national development plans and propose policy guidelines and strategies for effective use of resources to ensure water, energy and food security. Ms. Vibeke Jensen, UNESCO Representative to Pakistan, said, “The growing demand for food, energy and water will claim more land thus leading to more deforestation and environmental degradation unless we commit to restoring degraded land.” She stressed the need for partnerships between governments and the private sector and emphasized reviewing existing policies and interventions and making the needed revisions to achieve the 2030 goals. Mr. Takashi KURAI, the Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, said the Government of Japan is committed to addressing poverty and working

to improve health, education, disaster management, hunger and climate change. Dr. Hasrul Sani Mujtabar, High Commissioner of Malaysia to Pakistan, expressed that all of the Conference’s themes are important for human security and that the Government of Malaysia under the South-South Cooperation will continue to share information and learn good experiences from member countries. Chief Guest Mr. Sheikh Aftab Ahmed, Federal Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, said the Conference was an excellent example of promoting cooperation among member states and hoped participants would come up with key recommendations to policy makers that will be helpful for Pakistan to devise strategies for addressing food, water and energy security is-

sues. UNESCO is highlighting key issues, available solutions and policy directions for poverty alleviation and improved livelihood by inviting policy makers, scientists, academicians and other stakeholders to explore new ways for increasing water and food security in the resource-deficient dryland regions worldwide, particularly in Pakistan.

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news and events

water and sanitation

Lessons learned from Jacobabad WASH project After a successful project to mobilize communities to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services in Jacobabad city, residents understand and are willing to address WASH needs sustainably and they are willing to pay for safe drinking water and other basic services. These findings were revealed in a “lessons learned” event for this collaborative effort between the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and WaterAid, with funding from USAID. The project aimed to support the Government of Sindh in taking necessary steps to ensure an effective Municipal Service Development Programme (MSDP) by taking public opinion into account. The project made a number or recommendations, including a base tariff for water charges no higher than 500 Pakistani rupees and overall charges that reflect people’s willingness to pay. It also proposed a public-private partnership model for providing solid waste management services that involves the community, as well as capacity building for service providers to help them meet increasing demands. Mr. Khalid Hyder Shah, Program Di-

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rector for the MSDP, said, “The initiative helped us not only strengthen our structure but also ensure that people’s opinion was taken into account. The findings of this project are critical to designing an effective and sustainable municipal services delivery mechanism.” Mr. Thewodros Mulugeta, Officer in Charge/Chief of WASH UNICEF, stressed that unplanned urban growth threatens sustainable development and that this programme generated enough evidence and value to be replicated in other small towns in Sindh. UN-Habitat takes a people-centric approach in developing urban WASH initiatives that aim for sustainable, efficient and equitable management of WASH services. This initiative showed that behaviour change campaigns, social mobilization and extensive capac-

ity-building exercises, when combined in one project, can serve as an effective formula to address a city’s WASH needs.


news and events

youth

Youth send messages with UN Walls

The UN Wall campaign aims at gaining the support of Pakistan’s young people to share the values of the United Nations throughout their schools and universities. Students write messages on dedicated walls at their educational institutions, giving them a chance to actively engage and showcase a positive image of their country. At the Global System of Integrated Studies (GSIS) in Islamabad, Mr. Vittorio Cammarota, Director of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Islamabad, unveiled a UN Wall painted by primary school students with messages including “we

want peace” and “freedom for all.” The wall was inaugurated at the opening ceremony of the 8th annual Global Model United Nation 2016 (GMUN’16) which promotes debate, dialogue and diplomacy among students.

in shades of blue and features the powerful message “Anything violence can do, peace can do better.”

Another UN Wall was revealed at the Department and Art and Design, University of Peshawar, by Mr. Cammarota along with Ms. Stefanie Burri, Head of Cooperation for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and Ms. Priyanka Mathew, jury member of the “We the Peoples, We the Arts” competition. The wall was painted

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news and events

youth

Adolescent empowerment pilot in Punjab

On December 22, approximately 200 adolescents from youth associations of Punjab came together at a ceremony organized by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the College of Youth Activism and Development (CYAAD) to celebrate the launch of “Improving Adolescent Lives in South Asia” – a regional intervention funded by the IKEA Foundation. The pilot project will have a primary focus on reducing child marriage and will be implemented in a number of Union Councils in Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur Districts over three years. It will also improve access to information to strengthen the capacity of adolescents to form and express their opinions with confidence, promoting and protecting

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the right of the child to participation and freedom of expression. Parents and communities will also be educated in adolescents’ rights and given enhanced access to community-based structures equipped to strengthen the protective environment for children. At the ceremony, youth committed to act as champions in promoting peer-topeer dialogue and mentoring on key life skills and rights, with the guidance and support of CYAAD. Challenges faced by adolescents were highlighted through art, songs and theatre performances, and emphasis was placed on a protective environment where all boys and girls can grow and thrive. Mr. Douglas Higgins, UNICEF’s Chief of Field Office in Punjab, said that any

investment in young people risks being wasted if their rights throughout adolescence do not also receive adequate attention. “This year, UNICEF commits to supporting government counterparts and civil society organizations in Punjab to improve adolescent lives with renewed zeal, representing as they do the foundation of present and future social and economic prosperity in the province.” The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recently published a General Comment on Realizing the Rights of Adolescents, and UNICEF is confident that this intervention will strengthen dialogue on important matters affecting adolescents’ lives.


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Welcoming WFP’s new Representative and Country Director

In November, we welcomed Mr. Finbarr Curran as the new Country Representative of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Pakistan. Mr. Curran has 30 years’ experience with the humanitarian world, the last 20 years with WFP. Before assuming his post in Pakistan he was the Director of Budget

and Programming at WFP headquarters in Rome where under his direction the budget office transformed its organizational accountability and efficiency. During his time at WFP, Mr. Curran has also been the Director of Procurement, the Country Director in Dubai and WFP’s first Chief Information Officer (CIO). He is also a Fellow of the Irish Institute of Chartered Accountants and prior to joining WFP worked in the private sector in Ireland and the United Kingdom. He spent three years in Zimbabwe as an advisor to the largest semi-state organization, and also worked in Ethiopia, Kenya and Dubai. “I am very pleased to being joining the Pakistan team at a time when WFP is transitioning its work towards recovery and development programmes and enhanced policy and technical expertise to federal and provincial governments, in support of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Mr. Curran. “As a partner of almost half a century, WFP Pakistan remains committed to supporting the government

as it shifts its focus to improving nutrition and disaster risk management throughout the country.” “Finbarr brings many years of diverse management and operational experience with him which will benefit WFP Pakistan greatly in supporting national efforts to improve food security and nutrition, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” noted David Kaatrud, Regional Director, Asia & the Pacific Bureau. In Pakistan, WFP implements a variety of programmes to support the Government’s priorities in addressing malnutrition and stunting, relief, education for children, livelihoods and disaster risk management. In 2016, WFP Pakistan has assisted more than 2.5 million people through its programmes. “I look forward to working with all levels of the Government and civil societies, as well as with our sister agencies, to achieve Zero Hunger in Pakistan,” said Mr. Curran.

UN Strategic Prioritization Workshop

On November 16 and 17, the United Nations and the Government of Pakistan jointly hosted the “UN Strategic Prioritization Workshop” which initiated the planning phase of the new UN strategic partnership framework for

the period of 2018–2022. The workshop was an important milestone in the development of the new UN Pakistan Partnership Framework (UNPPF) between the Government of Pakistan and the United Nations, and enabled broad-based discussions between the Government and the UN on joint areas of work from 2018–2022. The Government was represented by provincial governments and federal ministries, which ensured discussion on future cooperation was based on both national and sub-national priorities. The Government of Pakistan’s Vi-

sion 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were discussed in detail as they are the key reference points in the UNPPF planning process.

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International Day for Tolerance 16 November Cherishing Diversity

When Pakistan was created, Muhammad Ali Jinnah envisioned a state that would be a home to all people, irrespective of their race, religion or cast. He said, “You may belong to any religion, caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” When the UN was created, among the first words in the charter were that people of the UN were “to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours.” Mr. Jinnah and the founders of the UN recognized that a tolerant society is an important pre-condition for human development in a society. Since the 1940s, both in Pakistan and the world, tolerance of others has grown – but sadly progress has been inconsistent whether in terms of attacks on cultural heritage, such as at Bamian, in Afghanistan, or on religious tolerance as shown most recently and horribly in the 14 November attack on hundreds at the Shah Noo-

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rani Shrine. An important example of progress is that on the day of its 50th anniversary, 16 November 1995, UNESCO’s Member States adopted a Declaration of Principles on Tolerance. Among other things, the Declaration affirms that tolerance is neither indulgence nor indifference. It is respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance recognizes the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. People are naturally diverse; only tolerance can ensure the survival of mixed communities in every region of the globe. As we mark the 21st Anniversary of the International Day for Tolerance, we owe it to our children to pause and with considerable modesty to reflect on how far we have come and what future we are building for our generations especially with regards to respect for diversity and

variety in religion, culture, ethnic backgrounds and so on. At the macro level, fighting intolerance requires respect for rule of law. Each Government is responsible for enforcing human rights laws, for banning and punishing hate crimes and discrimination against minorities, no matter who they are committed by: individuals or groups. By ensuring that people have equal access to courts, human rights commissioners or ombudsmen, we safeguard that they won’t resort to violence to settle their disputes. The establishment of the Pakistan National Human Rights Commission is a step in the right direction. It goes without saying that fighting intolerance requires education in order to shape individual attitudes. Intolerance is often a consequence of ignorance and fear: fear of the unknown, of the other cultures, nations and religions. These notions are taught and learned at an ear-


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ly age, therefore it is vital that we make greater efforts to teach our children about tolerance and human rights, and about different ways of life. This can be done, and in fact we have seen it being done well in Pakistan, starting from Early Childhood Education. It is also important that we take a holistic approach to education - it must reach all people of all ages. It should take place everywhere: at home, at the workplace, in schools, in the marketplace, etc. By countering influences that lead to fear and exclusion of others, we should educate our young people and help them develop the capacity to exercise independent judgement, critical thinking and ethical reasoning. Internalizing this important value is absolutely critical for us to be good teachers for our youth so that they realize the dangers of intolerance and are able to confidently work towards nurturing a community that is inclusive, positive and healthy. In Pakistan, UNESCO works with the youth and local community to sensitize them and to promote a culture of peace, tolerance and social cohesion through a number of initiatives. These include, but are not limited to: training workshops, capacity building sessions, poetry competitions, street theatre, radio dramas on peace and developing Teachers’

Resource Kits. These programmes are geared towards building the capacity of teachers to spread the word on intercultural tolerance, critical thinking and promote peaceful coexistence among youth and the local communities. Other members of the UN country team complement this through work in schools, communities and with Government. Most often we play the blame game and think the deterioration in our social fabric is a result of what other people are doing and has nothing to do with us. But intolerance in a society is the sum-total of the intolerance of its individual members. Bigotry, stereotyping, stigmatizing, insults and racial jokes are examples of individual expressions of intolerance to which some people are subjected daily; women, religious minorities, people with disabilities, or just about anyone holding a starkly different opinion, for instance. Intolerance breeds intolerance. It leaves its victims in pursuit of revenge. In order to fight intolerance, individuals should be aware of the link between their behavior and the vicious cycle of mistrust and violence in society. Each one of us should begin by asking: am I tolerant? Do I stereotype people? Do I reject those who are different from me? Do I blame my problems on ‘them’? When confronted with an escala-

tion of intolerance around us, we must not wait for governments and institutions to act alone. We are all part of the solution. We should not feel powerless for we actually possess an enormous capacity to wield power. Nonviolent action is a way of using that power - the power of people. The diversity of our world’s many religions, languages, cultures and ethnicities should not be a pretext for conflict, but is an invaluable treasure that can and should enrich us all. Mr. Neil Buhne UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan Ms. Vibeke Jensen UNESCO Representative to Pakistan

This article was published in the Dawn

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Safety of journalists

On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (November 2), the world jointly highlights the worrying situation of journalists worldwide. It is a situation that includes a culture of impunity against crimes towards journalists and media workers, which poses a threat to our open societies. Today, we highlight the need to protect those who face violence and harassment in the line of duty. Both UNESCO and Sweden are committed to working with partners worldwide for this important cause.

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The proclamation of this international day, adopted through a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013, came as a response to the disturbing statistics of the past decade, when at least 827 journalists had lost their lives. The resolution calls on all member states to ensure the protection of journalists and media workers through establishing and implementing an efficient accountability system that brings perpetrators of crimes to justice. Last year, the right to access information

was also included in the Sustainable Development Agenda, with all countries in the United Nations in agreement. In Sweden, media freedom was first guaranteed in 1766, when the Swedish parliament passed the world’s first Freedom of the Press Act. This act remains valid in Sweden, and Finland, to this day. In addition to defending the freedom of expression, the act has made a fundamental contribution to the development of our modern and innovative society. But, as we cel-


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ebrate this 250-year anniversary, we are increasingly reminded that the media landscape transforms through the use of new media and becomes increasingly global. This calls for enhanced efforts to promote freedom of expression and media freedom, including promotion of media literacy and increased support to free and independent media around the world. Journalists and media workers are facilitators for citizens to access information, and ensuring their security means guaranteeing that citizens are informed about matters of vital importance in their lives and have the opportunity to voice opinions. Impunity is the failure to guarantee justice and — when it prevails — an invitation for more crime to occur. Therefore, timely and thorough investigations of crimes against journalists are important measures to be taken by states in order to set a precedent for other cases. Over the past decade, more than 800 journalists have been killed worldwide in the line of duty. Last year alone, 105 journalists, media workers and social media producers were murdered. According to UNESCO’s figures, based on information from member states, only eight per cent of the over 800 cases have been resolved. The high

percentage of unresolved murders of journalists sends a message that freedom of expression is not protected, and hence, the right to information is not ensured. In Pakistan, an improvement has been observed in media freedom over the last few years, but the country still ranks 147 out 180 states in the Reporters without Borders Index. Hence, Pakistan remains a dangerous country for journalists and media workers to work in. On Nov 17, the UNESCO director general’s latest report on the safety of journalists will be discussed in Paris at a meeting of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication. Figures in the report show that 51 killings in Pakistan have been registered by UNESCO in the past 10 years. Based on submissions from the government of Pakistan, the report classifies 16 cases as ongoing or unresolved. It also signals that no information has been received in a total of 35 cases. The adoption of a bill on the safety of journalists in Pakistan could be a very important step forward to ensure the protection of journalists. UNESCO — in collaboration with member states, media institutions and civil society organizations — is raising awareness about the need for imp¬roving safety of journalists

around the world. The UN Plan of Action for the Safety of Jour¬nalists and the Issue of Impunity, adopted in 2012, focuses on building an extensive cooperation to enhance safety and end impunity. UNESCO Pakistan has been supporting journalists with capacity-building initiatives on physical and digital safety and awareness-raising through advocacy events such as the World Press Freedom Day. Furthermore, an assessment study based on UNESCO’s Journalists’ Safety Indicators was carried out in the country in 2014, which reviews the role of state, national and international civil society organizations, academia, media and United Nations agencies. We can all do more to stop the impunity of attacks on journalists. UNESCO and the Swedish embassy stand ready to work with all partners in support of the government’s efforts to protect journalists and end impunity. Ms. Ingrid Johansson Ambassador of Sweden in Pakistan Ms. Vibeke Jensen UNESCO Representative to Pakistan

This article was published in the Dawn

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Partnering with our donor countries to achieve the SDGs We continue our series of interviews with donor countries to the United Nations in Pakistan with the European Union and France. We are happy to share insights from our partners who work with us to help achieve the SDGs and improve the lives of Pakistan’s people.

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interview

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European Union

Mr. Jean-François Cautain Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan How is the EU’s partnership with the United Nations helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Pakistan? The European Union together with its member states is helping to address key SDGs in Pakistan. The rural development projects (EUR 350 million to date) are tackling poverty in marginalized areas, and our education programmes (EUR 221 million to date), particularly our TVET programme, are helping address poverty by giving people key skills to find meaningful employment and improving literacy. Malnutrition, maternal health and disease prevention are also challenges we have worked on, and these will become part of a larger rural development programme next year. As we help communities rebuild from the effects of climate

change we also emphasize the importance of environmental sustainability. Finally, we are working to ensure an inclusive and gender-balanced development process in almost all of our work.

of food insecurity. ECHO is funding projects with an objective to reduce morbidity and mortality among children and pregnant and lactating women by providing a comprehensive package of nutrition services.

Can you tell us about a UN initiative the EU is contributing to that is improving the lives of Pakistan’s people? A project I visited in Swat valley is working with the local police and judiciary to improve access to justice, particularly for women who are often culturally constrained from going to the police station or turning to the justice system and who are more vulnerable to abuse. The initiative is training paralegals who will go into communities to give women access the justice system and recourse.

As a Member State, what would you like to see the United Nations focus on more in Pakistan? The UN has specific coordination skills and recognized competence in governance and promoting social cohesion. Especially in Pakistan, focus on good coordination between donors and the government is of key importance to help support reforms to improve the use of national resources and foreign aid.

When you look at your country’s partnership with the United Nations in Pakistan, what success story are you most proud of so far? We are especially proud of our interventions in nutrition support to marginalized populations across Pakistan. The European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) is working with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide assistance to people in drought-affected areas of Sindh province, which suffers a high level

What would you say to the youth in Pakistan to encourage them to get involved in transforming our world? Pakistan has been a model of pacific coexistence of religions and faiths before but has been wounded by intolerance and terrorism. I would advise Pakistani youth to take the challenge to again make Pakistan a place of peace, tolerance and understanding.

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France

Ms. Martine Dorance Ambassador of France to Pakistan How is your country’s partnership with the United Nations helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) in Pakistan? France fully welcomed the adoption by the United Nations in New York of the “2030 Agenda”, which set out the new 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The adoption of these concrete goals was an ambitious policy that I believe will pay off in the long term. France has firmly committed to contribute worldwide, drawing on a renewed commitment to devote 0.7% of our national income to official development assistance by 2030. This commitment was reflected in the exhibition “Pakistan- Sustaining Development - Human Stories through photography” jointly developed by Agence France Presse,

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the European Union and the United Nations, with the support of the Embassy of France in Pakistan, in October-November at Lok Virsa, Islamabad. The French news agency showcased 102 photos from all over Pakistan, organized in 17 collections, according to the SDGs, which, reunited, helped to raise awareness on the realities, the progresses and challenges which Pakistan is facing in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In Pakistan, France has specifically focused together with the United Nations “family” on climate action throughout the country and raising awareness about it. Together, we have organized the first big Forum on Climate Change, “Pakistan Say Paris”, in October 2015, which helped to create a momentum and prepare the successful COP21 Climate Change Conference.

When you look at your country’s partnership with the United Nations in Pakistan, what success story are you most proud of so far? This Climate Change Forum organized last year I believe paved the way for a renewed momentum on climate action in Pakistan. It helped to recreate a civil society coalition, which is now building up with the support of the European Union, and helped

to prepare Pakistan for the COP22. Climate action in general, with the adaptation actions (on glacier melting, for example) or mitigation actions (through the work of Agence française de développement on renewable energies), is I believe our biggest success story of these past years in Pakistan.

What would you say to the youth in Pakistan to encourage them to get involved in transforming our world? I believe encouraging innovation and creativity in youth, through education, is how the new generations will transform our world. The Embassy of France hosted an event on this subject together with the Pakistan Higher Education Commission this year: “Hello Tomorrow; the future of connectivity”. Gathering young tech entrepreneurs and scientists, I could see the fabulous potential and ideas of the youth of Pakistan. I particularly appreciated the many “green” initiatives that were being developed; new energies, through solar, wind or mechanical forces. I was profoundly happy to see this and can only encourage the youth to create and the universities and government to support these initiatives.


one united nations

Mourning the passengers of flight PK-661 The United Nations Country Team in Pakistan expressed its condolences to all those who lost family and friends in the crash of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-661 travelling from Chitral to Islamabad. Mr. Neil Buhne, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, United Nations Pakistan, said: “We offer our sincerest condolences to the bereaved families of the plane crash victims. Members of our UN family lost loved ones

too. Among them was the Deputy Commissioner of Chitral, Osama Ahmed Warraich, who played a key role in helping UN agencies to assist the people of Chitral in recovering from the disastrous floods and earthquake in 2015, in supporting polio eradication as well as promoting and preserving Chitral’s unique culture. Earlier as ADC in Peshawar, he played an important role in enabling our wide range of work from there. His professionalism, empathy and friendship will

always be remembered; and his loss, and that of his wife and infant daughter are deeply felt.”

Condemning the attack on Ahmadi mosque “The United Nations Country Team in Pakistan is shocked at the brutality of a mob attack on an Ahmadi place of worship in Chakwal, and condemns the violence used and any expression of intolerance. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is emphatic: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion’. This at-

tack, and any on a place of worship is against this principle and universal principles of common humanity.” Mr. Neil Buhne Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator

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Children’s rights and a polio-free Pakistan UNICEF Country Representative Ms. Angela Kearney and Canadian High Commissioner Mr. Perry J. Calderwood appeared on Radio Pakistan’s News and Current Affairs Channel on November 20, which was Universal Children’s Day. Ms. Kearny highlighted that polio will be eradicated from the country by the end of this year, thanks to collaboration and support from the Government of Pakistan and the international community, including funding from the Government of Canada. She and the High Commissioner also spoke about Pakistan’s successes and challenges regarding children, including education, sanitation, stunting, nutrition, poverty and girls’ participation and rights.

A call to end violence against women United Nations Resident Coordinator Mr. Neil Buhne and UN Women Country Representative Mr. Jamshed Kazi appeared on Radio Pakistan’s programme Perspectives, along with Ms. Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson of the National Commission on the Status of Women, to discuss ending violence against women. They highlighted the 16 days of Activism the meaning of Orange Day and the work the United Nations is doing to address the issue and promote solutions in Pakistan. They also stressed the importance of men’s role in stopping violence against women.

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Promoting “We the Peoples, We the Arts” and zero hunger Mr. Vittorio Cammarota, Director of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Islamabad, and Ms. Stefanie Burri, Country Director of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Pakistan, appeared on Radio Pakistan’s News and Current Affairs Channel to discuss the “We the Peoples, We the Arts” competition and promote the exhibition in Islamabad. Mr. Cammarota stressed that the main hurdle in Pakistan is not lack of food, but access to quality food, and emphasized empowering youth to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ms. Burri also spoke about the SDC’s work to reconstruct and rehabilitate schools in SWAT and micro hydel projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA to provide clean drinking water and electricity. Mr. Cammarota appeared again on Radio Pakistan’s News and Current Affairs Channel along with Ms. Alexie Glass-Kantor and Ms. Priyanka Mathew, two jury members for the competition. He said spoke about

empowering youth through art and explained the competition and its objective to promote SDG 2: Zero hunger. Ms. Glass-Kantor spoke about the 23

participating artists and Ms. Mathew said Pakistani artists are very talented and have great potential to excel.

Discussing disaster risk reduction Mr. Muhi Usamah, UNDP’s Technical Specialist for Disaster Risk Management, discussed disaster risk reduction (DDR) initiatives on Radio Pakistan’s programme UN Perspectives. He emphasized the United Nations’ strategy to combat the short- and long-term consequences of climate change-related risks, and stressed the need to in-

stitutionalize and mainstream DRR. He said including DDR in school curriculums could save lives and reduce damage from natural and human-made disasters.

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We the Peoples, We the Arts Promoting zero hunger through visual arts

In 2016, the Embassy of Switzerland celebrated the 50th year of its cooperation with Pakistan through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). To mark this occasion, the

Development Goal (SDG) 2, “Zero hunger”, through sculpture, painting, or miniature painting. SDG 2 calls on the world to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture,” and the participating young artists created powerful pieces that reflected and promoted this theme.

conducted by two jury members at the National Colleges of Arts (NCA) in Lahore and Rawalpindi and the Department of Art and Design at the University of Peshawar. Ms. Priyanka Mathew stressed to students during her lecture that, “There have been some great artists from Pakistan who have made a mark internationally. I

SDC joined forces with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Pakistan through visual arts. Young artists studying at five art schools in Pakistan were invited to participate in the “We the Peoples, We the Arts” competition, which asked them to highlight Sustainable

An international jury was assembled to select winners in each category based on the same criteria: creativity, composition, theme and technique. A total of 64 art pieces were entered in the competition and 23 were selected as finalists. The young artists chosen as finalists then joined together in Islamabad for a week of events. A highlight was a series of lectures

want you all to know that people outside Pakistan are extremely interested in the art you create.” Ms. Alexi Glass Cantor introduced students to new forms of art by showing images from the installation “Encounters” at Art Basel. She spoke about experimentation, saying, “It is important to challenge your own perceptions about art and what it could be. Work-

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ing outside your comfort zone is important.” The week culminated in an awards ceremony where the winning art pieces and artists were revealed. Tooba Ashraf from the National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore, was selected as the winner in the painting category for her work Enlightenment. Jury member Ms. Alexie Glass-Cantor remarked, “The repetitive text in Urdu signals towards a sense of urgency. It demands attention; hunger needs to be tackled now.” She added that the empty paper contrasting with the jumbled text delivers the message of hunger laterally, saying messages in art can be inferred rath-

in a way that takes the medium forward.” Haseeb Ullah Zafar from NCA Lahore won in the sculpture category for his work Unwanted scraps. Jury member Ms. Priyanka Mathew commented, “There is more to art than aesthetics. This sculpture triggers an emotional response. It is raw and fleshy and it brings forth a sense of empathy.” These talented young artists and their powerful work reflect how youth are taking a leading role in promoting the Sustainable Development Goals in Pakistan through art. We congratulate all the artists who participated in this year’s We the Peoples, We the Arts

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The exhibition goes on tour

Islamabad Following a week-long exhibition at the Swiss Ambassador’s residence, the “We the Peoples, We the Arts” exhibition moved to the Satrang Gallery in the Islamabad Serena Hotel, making the 23 art pieces available to the general public. The exhibition was formally opened by Ambassador Johannes Matyassy, Assistant State Secretary of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland.

Peshawar

er than direct. Gina Gul from Karachi University won in the category of miniature painting for her piece Construct or deconstruct. Jury member Mr. Vittorio Cammarota noted, “This painting adequately reflects the theme of sustainability. It is a call for action for the cause of zero hunger. The artist has used the miniature painting technique

competition to promote the theme of “Zero Hunger” and we thank our jury members for sharing their expertise with young artists across the country. Our gratitude goes to the Embassy of Switzerland and the SDC for their continuing partnership and support for youth and art in Pakistan.

The pieces travelled next to Nishtar Hall in Peshawar in partnership with the Department of Tourism and Culture Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where Mr. Marc P. George, Ambassador of Switzerland to Pakistan, and Ms. Stefanie Burri, Head of the SDC, were present to open the exhibition. At the opening, a prominent rubab player, Shahid Malang, played popular folk songs on the traditional stringed instrument for a packed auditorium of students to celebrate and promote the cultural heritage of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

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interview

Interview with Haseeb Ullah Zafar Winner: Sculpture National College Of Arts, Lahore

Why did you enter the “We the Peoples, We the Arts” competition? I honestly believe that opportunities like this to make an actual impact are few and far between, so when the topic was brought up among friends I just had to be a part of it. The life of the artist revolves around the self, and therefore selflessness is not an innate characteristic as art is a very intimately personal thing. But still, that desire to be helpful and to do that through art was something that drove me to this competition.

What does “zero hunger” mean to you? It seems that anyone you meet on the street or at home these days, whether they be relatives, friends or complete strangers, will have at least one story to share about homeless people or individuals that suffer from food insecurity, and over the years these stories have begun to multiply. I have heard more than my fair share of stories, and I have more than a few of my own to tell pertaining to this country and a few others. But stories can’t feed the silent majority and action is required. I believe that if we stop wasting this crucial resource a lot of people could rest easier. For me, hunger and waste walk hand in hand.

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What inspired you most this week? I was most impressed by the amount of people that came to see the art and how inquisitive they were regarding the meaning behind it. I loved the fact that so many of them were the exact people that might hopefully have a realistic impact on this important issue. I left Islamabad with this sense of hopefulness, as it was mentally reinvigorating interacting with so many people that share the same fears and desires as myself.

Why should students participate in the next phase of this competition? I believe art is one of the most powerful languages that exists in the world and it transcends all base notions of race, gender and class. It can shape the world and it does, so if you believe that you have something to say that no one else is saying at the current moment you absolutely need to be a part of this.

Haseeb Ullah Zafar (22) with his winning sculpture Unwanted scraps

Little bits and pieces fuse together to make something monumental, something solid, something concrete. If putrid flesh did not decay and vanish from the street but instead sat forever in front of our eyes, a constant reminder of our careless indulgence, the world would be a bit different. Would we maybe be a bit more cautious of picking up another knife, slitting yet another throat? The world in my view is in need of a mother, one who will not let anyone get up without finishing their meals, vegetables and all. One who won’t stand for scraps being thrown under the table, because someone, somewhere needs every little bit. My work is about waste and how it builds up in to something so much more than itself.


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Interview with Tooba Ashraf Winner: Painting National College of Arts, Lahore

Why did you enter the “We the Peoples, We the Arts” competition? I wanted to give an accomplishable proposal to end hunger in Pakistan through my painting.

What does “zero hunger” mean to you? Zero hunger means a better world free of starvation and ignorance, where every child is healthy and enlightened.

What inspired you most this week? What inspired me the most was how people from different countries and cultures were united to end hunger in Pakistan through art. Art unites us all.

Tooba Ashraf (22) with her winning painting Enlightenment

Time and time again, the cry for “ilm” can be heard reverberating throughout Pakistan, yet the groans of empty stomachs and painful cries for bread seem to be unheard. It is foolish to constantly try

Why should students participate in the next phase of this competition? Because serious issues such as need to be addressed immediately, for the sake of humanity and for our better future.

to enforce education and zero hunger in a state where even the most basic human need is considered luxury. The growl of an empty stomach drowns out other issues and reduces man to a state of an animal. It is crucial for us to first and foremost eliminate all forms of hunger from this world to achieve a healthy population which can be effectively educated and become more productive than ever possible before.

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Interview with Gina Gul

Winner: Miniature Painting University of Karachi, Department of Visual Studies

Why did you enter the “We the Peoples, We the Arts” competition? I heard about the competition through our university and the United Nations team gave a brief on it. I participated because I felt something different was happening this time.

What does “zero hunger” mean to you? People have their own perception about zero hunger. It’s how they perceive it. For me, I feel it’s more towards the end of hunger and focusing mainly on its solutions rather than talking about the issues that are causing damage.

What inspired you most this week? Being there for the first time, everything was overwhelming. Being undergraduates we had a chance to talk to so many art enthusiasts under one roof, from art critics to press and journalists and art collectors. Meeting people from every district was inspiring for each individual.

Why should students participate in the next phase of this competition? Competitions like these should spread more and students should

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be encouraged more to participate. Participating from different art schools, students get a chance to meet different people and discover their ideas, and also to showcase their works and talk about their art practice. Once in a while, I feel healthy competitions like these are important.

Gina Gul (22) with her winning miniature painting “Construct or deconstruct”

Using oil paints and acrylics, my piece shows factories and buildings that are causing destruction in the environment. Factories are rising instead of natural habitats. Like my painting has two different views, the situation can also be turned around.


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The power of art Art has played a powerful role in shaping our history. Not only have artistic expressions been used to portray religious, gender, political, class, and other perspectives, but art has also been used to influence society by changing opinions and social values.
 The idea of engaging the youth in a competition is not only to encourage
their talent, but also to vividly capture and make visible to a wider audience the
distress caused by hunger, poverty and environment that affects more than
281 million people in South Asia. This initiative reflects the Swiss Government’s

commitment and support to our partners to jointly overcome
 the global challenge of hunger and poverty around the world. The
visual narratives are reflections of obstacles and challenges that
come as a result of hunger and malnutrition - creating beauty
and hope amid despair and allowing others to advocate for
those who cannot advocate for themselves.
 Mr. Marc P. George Ambassador of Switzerland to Pakistan

50 Years of SDC in Pakistan In 2016, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) marks 50 years of cooperation in Pakistan. For the last 50 years, the SDC has contributed to alleviating poverty in Pakistan and empowering people by strengthening governance, and enhancing rural development and livelihoods. With the art competition, ‘We the Peoples, We the Arts’, the SDC marks it’s 50 years’ presence in a creative way by supporting young Pakistani artists. Pakistan is a country with a dynamic and diverse culture, especially with respect to cultural heritage, artistic expression, and creativity. “Culture and Development” is an integral part

of the SDC’s development work, and we hope that the involvement of youth through this art project will encourage them to take a leading role in the promotion of Sustainable Development Goals in Pakistan. I congratulate all the artists for their commitment, hard work and excellent contribution. Ms. Stefanie Burri Head of Cooperation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

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Art and humanity “Art is a path towards humanity.” These inexorable words were spoken by Pakistan-born, Hazara artist, Khadim Ali, when I asked him what an initiative like ‘We the Peoples, We the Arts’ would have meant to him as an art student in Pakistan. “It would have meant everything. If a child like me can be given the opportunity to study art in Karachi, Lahore, or Islamabad, then that makes me think anyone can achieve anything. Through art we can value our shared humanity and improve conditions for others.”

Arts are a way of investing in rich cultural and historical knowledge and to critically explore the movement and migration of ideas; they are also an important discursive platform to engage with issues surrounding concepts of development and sustainability.
 Ms. Alexi Glass-Kantor Executive Director, Artspace Sydney Curator, Encounters, Art Basel Hong Kong

Art and discourse “We the Peoples, We the Arts” is an exemplary project which supports young Pakistani artists and takes on the issue of hunger and undernourishment in the world through the medium of art. It aims to reflect society through art and sets its attention on supporting young talents. The project promotes the recognition of young Pakistani artists and helps them to build a social network in the art scene of Pakistan and beyond. The artists’ creative contributions also foster the awareness of hunger and under-

nourishment around the world. “We the Peoples, We the Arts” invites young people to engage in the community and see themselves as communicators who are able to develop new solutions and ideas for social issues. Art can act as a medium of exchange, reflection and creation. Ms. Heike Munder 
 Director, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst Zurich

Art as a connection Time and again, we experience that art connects worlds and opens unimagined realms of experience, for the artist as well as for the viewer. Fine art has an important role to facilitate the discussion on development policies as well as on an open social discourse. Initiatives like “We the Peoples, We the

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Arts” give young artists the opportunity to be noticed beyond their immediate environment, to take a stand on one of the major issues
of our time, as well as to get in touch with representatives of the international art world. I am very pleased to have been invited to participate in this project, which I

think
is groundbreaking and boosts
the reception of Pakistani contemporary art – within the country as well as beyond its own borders. Ms. Karin Saiz Co-Director, Galerie Urs Meile Beijing-Lucerne


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Art and expression

The opportunity to support and promote the burgeoning community of contemporary artists in Pa-

kistan is one that I relish deeply. I have long been in awe of the contemporary artists and the schools of art education in Pakistan. They exist in defiance of the economy there and the complex political environment. Artists who chose to pursue this path have a genuine desire to express artistically and comment on the world they process, as it would be rare to get the kind of acclaim and economic gain that their counterparts get in more developed parts of the world. The result is that the art produced constantly challenges and pushes boundaries of originality.
Pakistani contemporary art needs a lot more exposure to audiences outside its borders. It

will contribute another perspective from this region and might bridge understandings of what is required to support the progressive factions in the country. Ms. Priyanka Mathew 
 Principal Partner, Sunderlande New York Former Regional Head, Sotheby’s India and Senior International Specialist of South Asian Art

Youth and the challenge of hunger Art is essential in human development. Art inspires, art stimulates, art opens one’s eyes and mind to new realities. Art should be supported and encouraged by Governments to motivate and inspire creativity among its people. At the rural level, art is extremely important in schools to stimulate the imaginations of children and to open new opportunities for their futures. Until food and nutrition security are realized for the people of Pakistan, “Zero Hunger” must be on the agenda and actively addressed. Youth are the future of Pakistan and both malnourishment and food insecurity are undermining that future. Action is required from all sides, and youth

especially must be informed and involved if these problems are to be solved within any reasonable timeframe. Good education for all boys and girls is essential for the future of this country. Mr. Patrick T. Evans 
 Country Representative,
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

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Zero Hunger: our future begins with food The youth of Pakistan is the future of Pakistan, which is why it is so important that they play an active role in helping achieve Zero Hunger in the country. By investing in young people and educating them in the benefits of eating healthy and having a nutritious diet, we help to break the cycle of malnutrition - giving the youth of Pakistan better opportunities for a more prosperous future. One of the very successful activities of our school feeding programme is a children’s art competition where youngsters are asked to express their thoughts about eating well and what healthy eating means. As we

prepare for the
next children’s art competition with the theme “ZERO HUNGER: Our future begins with food”, it is a good moment to reflect on how powerful art can be to effectively communicate and, in our case, how it can help promote
the importance of good nutrition to help achieve zero hunger in Pakistan. Mr. Finbarr Curran Country Director and Representative, World Food Programme (WFP) Pakistan

Youth and art for social change We at the United Nations strongly believe that young people are valuable assets to any country. We also believe young people can help us actively promote and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Pakistan. We chose the medium of visual arts as it is a universal language that can reach a larger number of people. The “We the Peoples, We the Arts” competition has empowered youth to highlight serious social issues within Pakistan through their art, and it has given them a much-needed voice. It has also given young artists in Pakistan visibility, recognition

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and international exposure for their work. We are happy to present the work of young Pakistani artists who are helping to promote the theme of zero hunger as we aim to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030. Mr. Vittorio Cammarota Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Islamabad


messages from secretary general

International Day to End Impunity World Tsunami for Crimes against Journalists Awareness Day 2 November 5 November I call on all countries to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists with concrete actions to ensure that all media personnel are guaranteed the space they need to operate free from any form of harassment or intimidation. In this

way, we will strengthen public access to information, which is key to Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.

World Tsunami Awareness Day serves as a reminder of the importance of reducing current and future levels of risk. This should be a clear guiding principle for all those working in the public and private sectors who have to take decisions on major infrastructure projects in seismic zones and near exposed coastlines. Tsunamis may be rare but, like any other natural hazard, if we fail to prepare and raise awareness, then we risk paying a heavy price.

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International Day for Preventing the World Diabetes Exploitation of the Environment in Day War and Armed Conflict 14 November 6 November Poor governance of the environment and natural resources can contribute to the outbreak of conflict. It can fuel and finance existing conflicts and it can increase the risk of relapse. Conversely, there are many examples of natural resources serving as catalysts for peaceful cooperation, confidence-building and poverty reduction.

On this International Day, I urge governments, businesses and citizens around the world to prioritize environmental care and the sustainable management of natural resources for preventing conflict, building peace and promoting lasting prosperity.

International Day for Tolerance 16 November The values of tolerance and mutual understanding – so firmly embedded in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – are facing profound tests around the world. Let us not be provoked or play into the hands of those who thrive on

hatred and instil fear in our societies. Today’s global challenges should compel us to reject the failed mindset of “us” versus “them”. Let us see the world and all its possibilities through the prism of “we the peoples”.

World Toilet Day – 19 November World Toilet Day aims to raise awareness and inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis – a topic often neglected and shrouded in taboos. This year’s observance focuses on ‘toilets and jobs’ and the impact of sanitation -- or the lack of it -- on livelihoods and work environments. Sustainable development goal 6

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calls on the international community to ensure access to toilets by 2030. Delivering on this basic human right -- the right to water and sanitation -- is good for people, business and the economy. Let us continue working towards a world where everyone, everywhere, has adequate and equitable sanitation.

Diabetes is a leading cause of poor eyesight and blindness worldwide. Because the changes are painless and gradual, people often only realize they have a problem when their eyesight finally begins to fail. At that point, it can be too late to improve or restore vision. On this international day, let us keep our “Eyes on Diabetes”. Let us focus both on prevention and strengthening health services so that everyone who has this debilitating disease can receive the support he or she needs.

Africa Industrialization Day 20 November On this year’s Africa Industrialization Day, let us focus on financing for the engines of development as a way of realizing the full potential of all the continent’s people, especially women and youth, so they may look forward to a future of peace, dignity and prosperity on a healthy planet.


messages from secretary general

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 20 November Today, like every day, more than 3,400 people will lose their lives on the world’s roads – many of them young men and women at the start of their adult lives. The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is a time to reflect on this tragic loss of life.

On this World Day of Remembrance, in honour of those killed and injured each year, let us take the necessary steps to make our roads safe for all.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 25 November At long last, there is growing global recognition that violence against women and girls is a human rights violation, public health pandemic and serious obstacle to sustainable development. Yet there is still much more we can and must do to turn this awareness into meaningful prevention and response.

Today, we are seeing the world lit up in orange, symbolizing a bright future for women and girls. With dedicated investment, we can keep these lights shining, uphold human rights and eliminate violence against women and girls for good.

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 29 November The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not just one of many conflicts in the region. It is in many ways a long-standing, gaping wound that has fed tension and conflict throughout the Middle East. On this International Day of Solidarity

with the Palestinian people, let us all reaffirm our commitment to upholding the rights of the Palestinian people and working to build a future of peace, justice, security and dignity for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

World AIDS Day 1 December Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride but we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. On World AIDS Day, I salute the tireless effort of leaders, civil society, colleagues in the UN and the private sector to advance this cause. As I prepare to complete my tenure as Secretary-General, I issue a strong call to all: let us recommit, together, to realizing our vision of a world free of AIDS.

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery 2 December The UN Voluntary Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery helps restore the human rights and dignity of thousands of victims and their families by awarding grants to projects providing rehabilitation services. I urge Member States, businesses, private foundation and other donors to increase their contributions. Together, we can accelerate our efforts and rid the world of this heinous practice.

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messages from secretary general

International Day of Persons with Disabilities – 3 December On this International Day of Persons with Disabilities, I urge national and local governments, businesses and all actors in society to intensify efforts to end discrimination and remove the environmental and attitudinal obstacles that prevent persons with disabilities from

enjoying their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. Let us work together for the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in an inclusive and sustainable world that embraces humanity in all its diversity.

World Soil Day – 5 December On World Soil Day, I call for greater attention to the pressing issues affecting soils, including climate change, antimicrobial resistance, soil-borne diseases, contamination, nutrition and human health. Let us build on the International

International Volunteer Day 5 December On this International Volunteer Day, let us recognize the immense value of the world’s volunteers. As they lend a hand to others, let us give volunteers a hand by applauding their global citizenship and their commitment to building a future of peace, prosperity and dignity for all.

Year of Soils 2015, the International Year of Pulses 2016, and all the activities supporting sustainable soil management to generate more hectares of healthy soils everywhere.

International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime – 9 December Member States and the international community must honour the suffering of the victims of genocide, and of their families, by working even harder against expressions of hatred, intolerance, racism and xenophobia. Let us spare no effort

to uphold our moral and legal responsibility to protect populations against genocide.

International Migrants Day 18 December The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offers an opportunity to ensure that the needs of the most marginalized, including migrants, are made a priority so that no one is left behind. On this International Migrants Day, I call on

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the international community to act on the global compact on safe, regular and orderly migration as an important contribution to building a world of peace, prosperity, dignity and opportunity for all.

International Human Solidarity Day – 20 December At a time of divisiveness on many key global issues, from armed conflict to forced migration, people need to turn toward each other in common cause, not away from each other in fear. On International Human Solidarity Day, let us emphasize the role of human solidarity in building lives of dignity for all on a healthy planet. We must work together to achieve the SDGs and secure the future we want. l.


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www.un.org.pk www.facebook.com/UnitedNationsPakistan

The United Nations Pakistan Newsletter is produced by the United Nations Communications Group

Editor in Chief: Vittorio Cammarota, Director, United Nations Information Centre Sub Editor: Ashley Bedard Producer (photography): Umair Khaliq Producer (content): Ashley Bedard Graphic Designer: Mirko Neri Contributors: Rihab Abdalhafiz, Sarwat Adnan, Qaiser Khan Afridi, Mahira Afzal, Rizwana Asad, Ayesha Babar, Guido Bilancini, Henriette Bjoerge, Anoushka Boteju, Michael Boucault, Noman Burki, Myrah Nerine Butt, James Clark, Nathalie Dupont, Shaheryar Fazil, Mehr Hassan, Mahwish Humayun, Zara Jamil, Dunya Aslam Khan, Riaz Karim Khan, Roger M. Kul, Abdul Sami Malik, Bushra Naz, Waqas Rafique, Atif Rasool, Saqib Riaz, Zikrea Saleah, Ishrat Saleem, Faria Salman, Asif Shahzad, Daniel Timme, Midhat Ali Zaidi.

The United Nations has a long-standing partnership with the people of Pakistan in support of national development goals. The United Nations has also been providing humanitarian assistance in case of natural disasters and crises. Led by the Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, United Nations works in all eight administrative areas of Pakistan through 19 resident organizations. Straddling humanitarian assistance and sustainable development, the work of the United Nations in Pakistan includes key areas such as education, health, water & sanitation, nutrition, economic growth, employment and livelihoods, resilience against disaster, governance, gender equality and social justice. The One UN Programme for Pakistan, United Nations focuses on accelerating progress towards achievement of Millennium Development Goals, reducing poverty, promoting opportunities for youth as well as advancing gender equality and human rights both at national and sub-national levels. United Nations encourages economic growth in Pakistan through supporting policies and programmes that link small farmers to markets, improving working conditions for women and supporting home-based and domestic workers. It will also assist the Government in strengthening democratic processes and institutions at the federal, provincial and local levels. Tackling the effects of climate change and reducing Pakistan’s vulnerabilities to natural disasters features especially prominently in the work of the United Nations in Pakistan.

For subscription please send us an email at: unic.islamabad@unic.org

UN Pakistan Magazine Issue 6 / 2016  
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