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Focus on Empowering Youth Special Feature Documentary making on human rights and peacebuilding

REAL LIVES: STORIES THAT INSPIRE US A stepping stone for a better future. Page 33


Significant decline in food insecurity in Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Page 38


Inspiring industrialisation documentary screened. Page 76


documentary making on human rights and peacebuilding. Page 85


Supporting un-documented Afghans. Page 93

MESSAGES FROM SECRETARY-GENERAL Nelson Mandela International Day 18 July. Page 96


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: Chiara Hartmann Producer (photography): Umair Khaliq Producer (content): Ishrat Rizvi Graphic Designer: Mirko Neri Contributors: Anam Abbas, Maryam Amir, Qaiser Khan Afridi, Mahira Afzal, Fatima Ahmed, Nameera Ahmed, Manthaar Ali, Esam Alqararah, Kanzul Fatima Arif, Ignacio Artaza, Rizwana Asad, Tamana Ayazi, Asim Azhar, Mohammad Behroozian, Muhammad Burhan, Noman Burki, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Zoran Ćulafić, Shaheryar Fazil, Camila Ferro, Isabelle Gattiker, Marc P. George, Afzaal Haider, Shuja Hakim, Chiara Hartmann, Hamza Hasan, Mehr Hassan, Humaira, Mahwish Humayun, Ibrar Hussain, Sadia Hussain, Jehanzeb, Abdul Muiz Iqbal, Gulalai Ismail, Arshmah Jamil, Mishal Jawaid, Mpendulo Jele, Abid Niaz Khan, Imran Khan, Hajra Khan, Wajiha Khan, Adresh Laghari, Sameer Luqman, Abdul Sami Malik, Sadia Mehmood, Dr. Hassan Mohtashami, Nicolina McCurdy, Sadeq Naseri, Zoe Nasim, Sara Nasir, Gulzar Nayani, Said Nazir, Tanzeela Noor, Najiba Noori, Abdul Qayyum, Waqas Rafique, Ayesha Rauf, Ishrat Rizvi, Zikre a Saleh, Ishrat Saleem, Faria Salman, Maliha Shah, Laura Sheridan, Sidra, Asif Shahzad, Fasiha Sharif, Dr Saba Shuja, Kamal Siddiqi, Zishan Ahmad Siddiqi, Waseem Soomro, Uzaira Tasneem, Harris Usman, Caroline Vuillemin, Maryam Younus, Muzamil Zaidi.


United Nations Pakistan / Magazine / 4 / 2017

Note from the editor

focus on united nations peacekeeping

|18| A drive to succeed

|27| A challenging but rewarding experience


International Youth Day - 12 August

|19| Looking at the future with a new set of skills

|28| A world of new skills and knowledge


Working with and for young people Inerview – Neil Buhne

|20| Breaking the bonds of intergenerational poverty

|29| Professional inspirations and development

|6| |7|

Architects of the future

|8| Strengthening health system response to adolescent sexual reproductive health services |10| Youth and women essential for inclusive sustainable development |16| Vocational training offers a lifeline in violence-hit Lyari |17| Expanding horizons for Karachi women

|21| Vocational training saves Lyari youth from crime |22| Forging a path to employment

|30| International Youth Day: Youth building peace |31| Bringing together young voices for policy dialogue |32| Success story of training of trainers

|23| A boxer turned fashion designer inspires others to escape violence |24| Dreaming big |25| Exploring new horizons |26| Journeying through nations through the United Nations

|63| Creating a carbon smart future real lives: stories that inspire us

|33| A stepping stone for a better future

|64| TProviding better health with better medical imagining

|35| Afghans dream of stepping out of the shadows with Pakistan ID scheme

|65| Global Cleantech Innovation Programme highlighted

|36| Ayesha Bibi and her cart of candies

|66| Baby incubating blanket an instant panacea to infants’ mortality

|37| Sialkot sisters benefit from vocational training news and events agriculture and food security

|38| Significant decline in food insecurity in Federally Administered Tribal Areas |39| Securing agriculture based livelihoods |40| Food for assets interventions change disadvantaged community members’ lives |41| Stunting prevention initiative launched drugs and crime

|42| Public awareness campaign against trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants launched |43| Criminal justice systems to be improved through Norwegian funding |44| Building capacity for the Anti-Narcotics Force |45| Reinforcing Balochistan’s criminal justice system |46| Pakistan-Afghanistan Integrated Border Management Workshop |47| Briefing on the World Drug Report 2017 |48| Report on Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s counter terrorism response launched under a EU-funded programme |49| Anti Narcotics Force Police Station upgraded in Gwadar gender equality and women’s empowerment

|67| Clean, green, riding machine |68| Innovating to utilize eco-friendly natural resources |69| Smart irrigation system

|71| Complying with International Labor Standards through social dialogue |72| Rangoona’ festival showcases harmony between communities |73| Rangoona’ festival showcases harmony between communities |74| One UN Annual Report 2016 published |75| United Nations Resident Coordinator visits Pakistan- Administered Kashmir one united nations

|76| Inspiring industrialisation documentary screened |77| Briefing on 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development held |78| Nelson Mandela Day celebrated with underprivileged children |80| Volunteering for underprivileged children |81| Mandela, champion of the children

special feature documentary making on human rights and



|54| Commemorating World Hepatitis Day

|85| Promoting human rights and peacebuilding through documentary making |86| Working together for human rights and building peace |87| Documentaries on issues affecting both sides of the border

|59| Mental Health Gap Action Programme workshop

|88| Bridging the gaps through trainings

|60| Health project to benefit hundreds of patients in Balochistan

|89| Documentaries to better society

|61| Live streaming of Pakistan’s Universal Periodic Review of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights hosted industrial and economic development

62| Clean-tech entrepreneurs get hands-on training

|95| Popularizing the idea of breastfeeding |95| Facing danger and adversity while helping others

|96| International Day against Nuclear Tests – 29 August |97| World Humanitarian Day – 19 August

refugees and displaced persons

|53| What are the Women’s Empowerment Principles?

human rights

|94| The potential of youth

|96| Nelson Mandela International Day – 18 July

|82| Breaking bread with children on Mandela day

|57| National sport stars appointed menstrual hygiene champions

|94| World Hepatitis Day

messages from secretary-general

|51| Baseline study identifies gaps in services, justice delivery to women

|56| Investing in breastfeeding is a priority

|93| Launch of global action to prevent illicit flow of migrants

|70| Moving towards technology-based Labour Inspection Management Information Systems

|80| Inspiring street children on Mandela Day

|55| Menstrual Hygiene Day: education changes everything

|93| Supporting un-documented Afghans


|50| Pakistani multinationals role models for gender equality

|52| Empowering women in economic life

on air

|88| Training workshop on documentary-production |90| An important storytelling mediumI |91| Accepting and being accepted |91| Working together peacefully |92| Popping the bubble |92| Transforming the narrative

photo album

|98| Photo album

note from the editor

The fourth issue of the United Nations Pakistan magazine for 2017 focuses on United Nations efforts towards youth participation, following the commemoration of International Youth Day on 12 August. Young people are a major human resource for development, and are key agents for social change, economic growth, and technological innovation. To realize this great potential, they must be given proper tools such as education, information and access to civil rights, and many still face obstacles towards achieving this. Initiatives to bridge these gaps are highlighted here, amongst others, UNDP’s Youth Employment Project which enables vocational training for disadvantaged and vulnerable youth: an invaluable opportunity to escape crime and improve their livelihoods. Or sector-specific initiatives such as UNIDOs’ Global Cleantech Innovation programme (GCIP), a competition that supports young Pakistani entrepreneurs with the best ideas to deal with today’s energy, environmental and economic challenges. The United Nations itself boasts a number of hardworking and inspirational young employees whose stories are showcased in this issue. This month the United Nation Information Centre organized , a first-ofits-kind residential training in Karachi with kind support and collaboration from the Embassy of Switzerland in Pakistan , Fondation Hirondelle, the Centre for Excellence in Journalism, International Film Festival and Forum of Human Rights.. It brought together Afghans and Pakistani documentary-makers who produced audio and video stories on Human Rights and

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


Peacebuilding issues. The training was a successful and concrete exercise towards peace-building between the two countries, and a great opportunity for promoting freedom of expression. Another important focus of this issue is the celebration around Nelson Mandela Day, a figure whose lifelong engagement for children’s rights has been an inspiration for all of us and for the generations to come. In this light, Mandela’s legacy was commemorated by partaking in activities and sharing messages of peace and unity with underprivileged Pakistani children. A number of other important UN observances were also commemorated in the past months, including World Hepatitis Day, Menstrual Hygiene Day, International Youth Day and World Humanitarian Day. This edition includes stories about our activities to promote these days, and our efforts to achieve the SDGs behind them. In addition, information is shared on several development activities undertaken by different UN agencies in the areas of climate change, refugees, drug and crime prevention, gender equality, and education. I would like to express my gratitude to the members of the UN Communications Group and the UN Country Team for their continued support for this magazine and for working in partnership to communicate and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in Pakistan. Vittorio Cammarota Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC)

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International Youth Day 12 August As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I am committed to the empowerment and inclusion of every young person around the world. In this spirit, I have appointed an impressive new Youth Envoy, Jayathma Wickramanayake. She is the youngest member of my team — and one of the most important. Governments must work with young people to successfully achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Empowered young men and women can play a critical role in preventing

conflicts and ensuring sustainable peace. Join us in mobilizing young people. Together we can create a peaceful world for generations to come. António Guterres Secretary-General of the United Nations

Working with and for young people Today’s young generation is the largest in history. There are currently 1.8 billion of us on this planet which poses an amazing opportunity, but also some challenges. Today, 73 billion people are unemployed. Over 600 million young people live in fragile or conflict-affected settings. And more than 400 million young people don’t have access to essential health care. This must change. We are committed to working with and for young people to recognize and uphold their

rights, and promote their global citizenship. Jayathma Wickramanay UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth


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and creativity among young people. For example, a lot of great music and theatre is happening in Pakistan. The country has definitely changed a lot throughout the last decades. There is a greater degree of youth energy, and lot more is happening in the media. I think the country has also changed in the sense that there is a lot more wealth: many more houses, much more infrastructure and many more universities now.

Neil Buhne Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, United Nations Pakistan

The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Pakistan, Neil Buhne, has stressed the need for quality education and equal growth opportunities for the country’s youth to make them contribute to its development. He said even though Pakistan had made great progress over the years there is still much to do to ensure employment-oriented education and address inequalities. Mr. Buhne has been overseeing UN development and humanitarian work in the country since September 2015. He also served in Pakistan as the UNDP’s Assistant Resident Representative from 1990 to 1995. What is the status of Pakistani youth, and how has this changed over the years? Pakistan has changed a lot since my first stint here. There is lots of energy

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine



How youth in Pakistan can contribute towards the country? In Pakistan 64% of the population, equivalent to around 128 million people are under the age of 30. This translates into tremendous potential for the country: they are young, educated, energetic but also connected to technologies and social media so they can have a voice that their ancestors never had. At the same time, there are tens of millions of young people who are excluded in Pakistan because of lack of education or income. It’s important that all the young people of Pakistan come together so that everyone is included, that the more privileged help the others have a voice. By doing that they will help bring peace to the country. They will help bring the united country that we all want.’ What are some of the challenges you see, that the Pakistani youth is facing today? Pakistan still has a long way to go to make substantial progress in many areas. For example, there are still so many young people who are out of school,

and high maternal mortality rates. The population growth rate is about as high as it was when I was here before, and the nutrition situation is even worse now, with 45 percent stunting rates in the country. A lot of these problems are more extreme among young people. At the same time, there are also new and greater opportunities that young people can tap into. Regarding education, is it more a problem of quantity or quality? Some parts of the country still don’t have access to education. 34 per cent of children of primary school age are out of school, and only 20 per cent attain secondary education. But it’s also an issue of quality: you do have a lot of students graduating, but they are not necessarily coming out of it with the skills they need to enter the labour market. There is definitely a need to improve the quality of education. What is the level of innovation amongst youth in the country? Historically, for various reasons Pakistan has been among the countries with the lowest level of innovation. But the recent years have seen a lot of young people becoming entrepreneurs and coming up with brilliant social innovations. We have examples in our UN programmes, particularly within UNIDO, where for instance, there was a competition on clean energy, and Pakistani innovators managed to win the world championship. There is a need to encourage innovation among youth..

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Architects of the future

“The future of humanity and of our planet lies in our hands. It lies also in the hands of today’s younger generation who will pass the torch to future generations.” These words lie at the heart of Agenda 2030, the global commitment to achieve sustainable development for all. On the occasion of International Youth Day, celebrated on 12 August 2017, we acknowledge that young people have been instrumental in formulating this agenda, and their contributions are now essential to realizing its ambitions. For the past 25 years, it has been widely acknowledged that the wealth of a nation is not measured through its economic indicators alone, but through the wellbeing of its people. It is a nation in which every individual, regardless of age or background, can

be a player in advancing development. Today, there are over 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 worldwide. With 64 percent of its population below 30 years of age, Pakistan, too, benefits from this wealth of human potential. These young people are the architects of the future – whose energy and commitment drive both economic and social progress, and whose education, employment and involvement in public life will determine whether we achieve peace and sustainable development. By mobilizing this vast population of young people, investing in their potential and helping them shape their destinies and those of their communities, we have an unprecedented opportunity to build prosperous, tolerant and stable societies globally and in Pakistan. Yet, many young Pakistanis remain locked into discrimination, poverty, political exclusion and limited access to health, education, meaningful employment. This risks turning the country’s demographic dividend into a demographic disaster, with millions of young people frustrated in their efforts to build a better future, rendering society vulnerable to extremism and conflict. With over 4 million youth entering the job market every year, Pakistan needs to create 1.5–2.5 million decent jobs annually to accommodate them, utilizing their power and passion for sustainable development and peacebuild-

ing. Pakistan needs to ensure that young people have opportunities to learn, interact, and to participate fully in community life. This is critical in areas of the country affected by insecurity. By signing on to Agenda 2030, the nations of the world acknowledged that “sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security”, and adopted Goal 16 to ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works closely with Pakistan’s government federal and provincial governments to achieve these goals. A good example is the Youth Employment Programme, which helps young people in poor areas of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to become agents of change by creating opportunities for young people at risk – establishing safe spaces where they can meet and learn, providing professional training and jobs as well as assistance for young entrepreneurs. Although efforts are at an early stage, we are seeing the benefits of this programme in some of Pakistan’s most insecure areas. In Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan, southern KP, young people’s resilience against involvement in violence has been strengthened. Over 100,000 people have benefited from informed decision making, community mobilization, skills development, small-scale


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infrastructure, and sports and recreational activities. More than 13,000 Karachi youth have been trained and entered employment in the garment industry. We have assisted efforts to meet the demand for skilled labour in five key industries of KP and Balochistan, increasing output by 5 percent and creating 25,000 new jobs for youth. Seventy youth-led start-ups are now each employing at least 10 individuals. This programme shows the enormous potential of young Pakistanis: provided with the right opportunities, young men and women are eager to seize them to become leaders on their own. When I first arrived in Pakistan, I was told about the advice its founder, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, gave to the young people of a newborn country: You are the nation’s leaders of tomorrow and you must fully equip yourself by discipline, education and training for the arduous task lying ahead of you. You should realize the magnitude of your responsibility and be ready to bear it. As Pakistan celebrates the 70th anniversary of its independence, Jinnah’s words are more relevant than ever. On International Youth Day 2017, which falls two days before Independence Day, also we celebrated young people’s contributions to conflict prevention, inclusion, social justice and sustainable peace. On this day, we also renewed our commitment to helping young people fulfil Jinnah’s dream, and play their rightful role as the architects of prosperity and peace in Pakistan. Ignacio Artaza Country Director, UNDP Pakistan

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


Strengthening health system response to adolescent sexual reproductive health services

Young people form a significant portion of Pakistan’s population, with 40% between the ages of 10 and 29. All this contributes to high rates of fertility, maternal mortality, and infant mortality along with low contraceptive prevalence. To reap the demographic dividend, it is imperative that a decline in fertility be brought about in the age groups 15-19 and 20-24. But services for adolescents are either not available in the public sector, or inadequate. For this reason, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Pakistan established specialized services for adolescents in the public sector in partnership with provincial Departments of Population Welfare and Health. The project was designed to ensure access of adolescents to sexual reproductive health services as a basic human right, based on World Health Organization guidelines and standards considering the engage-

ment of various key actors’ and stakeholders’ influences on adolescent behavior. The intervention was piloted in four District Hospitals of Lahore, Dera Ismail Khan, Ghotki and Sargodha in three provinces of the country. The measures involved Adolescent Counseling Centers, capacity development of healthcare providers to strengthen response on clinical and non-clinical services, behavior change communication in the communities to create favorable environment and support for services, and a peer education programme to create demand for services among adolescents and youth. As a result, the provincial government integrated counseling centers in their infrastructure and took measures to continue the provision of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health services. In the province of Punjab, the Department of Population Welfare scaled up this model and established adolescent counseling centers in 16 hospitals all over the province, the staff of the centers is being hired through the regular government recruitment processes. They also initiated a telephonic counseling helpline including referrals. In Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the adolescent

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sexual reproductive health programme has also been endorsed by Population Welfare Departments and is currently in the approval process under annual development plans. To date, around 5000 adolescents have received vital counseling and services in the centers along with around 3000 newlywed couples who accessed counseling and family planning services . Furthermore, 150 male and female young people were trained as mas-

ter trainers on Y-PEER (peer to peer education programme) reaching more than 10,000 individuals to raise awareness about the programme and engage young people to use the services. Dr. Hassan Mohtashami Representative, UNFPA Pakistan


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Youth and women essential for inclusive sustainable development

Globally, 9 out of 10 jobs are created by the private sector, a primary driver of economic growth and employment. By February 2020, over 600

ployed, and an estimated additional 73.4 million young people worldwide are expected to be out of work. To achieve inclusive and sustainable industrial development it is thus necessary to invest in a growth-oriented private sector, in its supporting business structures, the civil society and ultimately in young women and men, who often drive society’s socio-eco-

cess capital for start-up or to grow their business as they are perceived as high-risk due to their age and limited entrepreneurial experience; business development services are often lacking, hard to access, and not geared towards the particular needs of young entrepreneurs; they are often less knowledgeable about networks, markets and investment

million young women and men aged 15 to 24 years are neither in school nor receiving training, working or looking for work; over 70 million young women and men are unem-

nomic development and innovation. At present, young women and men in many countries face numerous obstacles to engage in productive activities: they find it difficult to ac-

opportunities and sources of information than older players; and the educational and training system does not provide them with the skills required to land a job in the private

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


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sector. To tackle these issues and boost employment, entrepreneurship and inclusive and sustainable industrial development, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has developed an integrated approach that assists governments and supports structures to serve young people who want to create and develop sustainable enterprises, and ultimately improve their livelihoods. In Pakistan UNIDO has been working tirelessly to improve the conditions for women and youth, Promoting women in Green industries focusing on the role of women entrepreneurs and youth in managing environmentally sustainable and innovative SMEs and start-ups. Based on the UNIDO mandate to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development in developing countries and given the significance and contribution of small businesses to the promotion of job creation and overall economic development of Pakistan, UNIDO is implementing a Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded Programme, titled ‘Global Cleantech Innovation Programme’ (GCIP) in Pakistan, since 2013. It works as a local business accelerator programme that supports, promotes and “de-risks” the young innovators’ business model and connects them to potential investors, customers, and partners. Winners are given prizes ranging from US$ 15,000 to 20,000 plus an opportunity for further mentorship and training in Silicon Valley, USA. Throughout this process, youth are been targeted. The awards attracted significant

number of youth as team leaders and members. Women and young people in Pakistan are incredibly innovative and creative, efforts are being made to groom and nurture them, and bring out their best potential. Women are key agents of change and when both genders are equal between themselves, economies tend to grow faster with less people remaining in poverty, and the overall well-being of people increases. I am incredibly proud that the efforts of the UNIDO have brought fruits in gender mainstreaming as our all programme are bring laurels not only at national level but also at international level. The recent win of a brilliant Pakistani woman, mentored under UNIDO Global Cleantech Innovation Programme, in the Global category of winners at Silicon valley, USA is a testament of the talent of women of Pakistan. Moreover, sixty percent of the award winners were women-led teams. At UNIDO, we strive to foster efficient and result-oriented solutions to promote economic growth while enhancing social inclusiveness and ensuring environmental sustainability. Our vision is of a prosperous Pakistan where everyone is part of this growth process. Esam Alqararah Representative, UNIDO Pakistan


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“I provided a motivational session for youth in Badin, to motivate them to work towards a better future. We need to do more for each other” Aftab Ahmed National Youth Bureau Pakistan

Youth is the backbone of any state, country or community. Youth in Pakistan are currently facing countless problems. Lack of educational, sport and other facilities force many young people to move to bigger cities pushing the smaller cities further down in the development rankings. We need proper institutions and educational facilities for the youth for them to fully realize their potential and bring a positive change in their communities. Bebearg Developmental Organization for Social Transformation (DOST), Balochistan

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine

“I believe that the youth of Pakistan can solve all their problems by communicating with each other. Most problems arise because people’s voices are not heard. The root cause of all misunderstandings lie in miscommunication. If instead of stereotyping, the youth of Pakistan talk and try to understand each other, peace will automatically follow.”

“Pakistan is fortunate to have one of the largest youth populations in the world. Youth plays an important role in the development of any country and the Pakistani youth has great potential to contribute to peace and development. I foresee youth playing a significant role in achieving the country’s development goals.”

Mohammad Aman The Future Begins Here

Abdullah Achakzai Quetta Online Volunteer Group

“My dream is to see the end of double standards in Pakistan and that one day we will all be treated equally. My dream is to see the children of poor and rich together in the same place, and to see them treated equally.”

“We should do self-reflection, be resourceful and be self-dependant.”

Asim Azhar Singer


Beenish Speech impairment, Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities, Pakistan (NOWPDP) - A Disability Inclusion Initiative

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“My dream for the future of Pakistan is that our hearts become compassionate, and that the future generations all love each other. Religion, race or differences of regions are eradicated from our country.” Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy World- renowned journalist, filmmaker and activist

“Youth has a massive responsibility to promote the message of peace. Negotiation and dialogue are the channels which can help us find solutions to problems. Peace can only be achieved if youth are engaged in all dialogues. I foresee a future where Pakistan is included in the list of developed countries, provided the Pakistani youth are given ample opportunities.”

“Lack of opportunities and guidance are the main challenges for the youth of Pakistan. Youth should have a platform to express their ideas and voice their opinions for them to include them in development progress.” Sana Firdous Fellow at Code for Pakistan

Shamsullah Durrani Balochistan Boy Scouts Association

“My dream for Pakistan’s future is to see players from the international arena come to play in our country, just as our players play internationally. Pakistan has great talent and potential, I want the girls to believe in themselves, bring out self-determination and believe that they can achieve anything.” Hajra Khan Captain of Pakistan Women’s National Football Team

“I’m visually impaired and becoming a software engineer, to pave the way for others to follow suit.” Yumna Iqbal Visually impaired, Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities, Pakistan (NOWPDP) A Disability Inclusion Initiative

“‘My dream is a peaceful and equal Pakistan. A Pakistan where we are not afraid of external dangers or insecurity within the country. A Pakistan where we are using our resources to provide education, development and employment. A country where every citizen, young, old, man, woman or child is playing a role in development.” Gulalai Ismail Human Rights Activist


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“If we want to build peace, then we should share the same vision and unite. Unity is strength” Mohd Mohsin National Youth Bureau Pakistan

“Youth has a significant role in the development of any country. I encourage all young people to get involved in community service and other social activities through which we can promote inter faith harmony and peace. These activities will not only catalyse the country’s development progress but will also provide the youth with opportunities to contribute towards the betterment of the society as a whole.”

“Youth can serve the society by donating their time, skills and most importantly they can contribute to the society’s growth by contributing their ideas. The youth can play a major role in decision making and thus, can contribute to making the society peaceful and strong.” Abdul Musavvir Volunteer, Quetta Online Volunteer Group

Mahnoor Mubin Social Activist, Bolan Medical College, Quetta

“Today’s youth is passionate and have tremendous unrealized potential. Youth are the backbone of the country and have the potential to engage themselves in positive activities. Youth should be given opportunities to come forward and bring solutions to problems as their ideas can go a long way towards solving conflict across the world.”

“I provide career counselling to students on a voluntary basis for their future advancement.”

Arslan Raza Bolan Medical College, Quetta

Shahista National Youth Bureau Pakistan

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


“Empowering youth can contribute to bringing change in the society. Every person needs to be given a chance to express their thoughts and voice their opinions for a more peaceful and progressive society.” Momina Mohsin (BSc) Social Sciences, IM Sciences, Peshawar

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“Speak! Listen! As a Pakistani youth, I want to know what it is like to be young person from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a young person from Balochistan, and from Sindh or Punjab. I want to know how young people from the minority communities live their daily lives. I want that all Pakistani youth express their thoughts and share their ideas and problems with each other.”

“My dream for Pakistan is a place where youth believe in themselves. Where there is no disappointment and everyone lives with the thought that we can work together to find solutions for all issues. Where we can utilize social media and digital media and we can use these mediums to educate and empower people.”

Tayyaba Shahid The Future Begins Here

Muzamil Zaidi Founder of Lolz Studios

“Youth shouldbe given a voice in decision making opportunities to develop their skills and contribute to peace and development.” Ayat Zaheer (BSc) Social Sciences, IM Sciences, Peshawar

“The previous generations have done what they had to do. This time around the responsibility lies on our shoulders to contribute to the society — to be the change. Do what you believe and stay determined.” Ali Zaidi Activist, The Future Begins Here


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Vocational training offers a lifeline in violence-hit Lyari Tw e n t y - t w o year-old Harris Usman’s life was shaped by the violence that plagues the Karachi neighbourhood of Lyari. As gangsters took over the streets, he and his family were caught in the middle, experiencing threats, extortion, and lack of mobility that badly affected the small shop his family owned. As the violence reached its peak, business was so badly affected that the shop could barely remain open more than a day or two in a month. On days the shop was open for business, local people would empty out the stock immediately, often purchasing items on credit and never paying back. Rival gangs pressurized him to join them and he was warned that a refusal to join would lead to the family losing their shop. Eventually the pressure became too much. Harris sold the shop and started looking for other means to earn a livelihood. Amid unrest and violence, there seemed few opportunities for a young man from a marginalized Lyari community. Harris’s life changed when he met Wasim Soomro, a young man who had just completed a training course at an institute partnering with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). UNDP’s Youth Employment Project brings together vocational training institutions and major garment

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


manufacturers in a training programme for disadvantaged and vulnerable youth. The project helps build sustainable livelihoods, foster economic growth, and reduce susceptibility to violence by providing demand-driven skills to 13,000 Karachi youth by 2020 and linking them to employers. Wasim himself had set up a small fashion boutique in Lyari, and was encouraging other young men and women to participate. Initially, Harris did not find the prospect of learning to stitch very compelling, but recognized that it offered an opportunity to learn a valuable skill and earn a living. After concluding his training, Harris found work with the Pelican garment

factory and is now earning Rs10,000– 14,000 (USD 100–140) a month, with earnings rising during peak season. This has enabled him to build up some savings, and he now hopes to one day buy back his shop in Lyari as the security situation improves. Moreover, it has opened up new possibilities for him.

Video pakistan/en/home/presscenter/ videos/youth-employment-projectkarachi.html

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Expanding horizons for Karachi women Any day with food on the table was a good day for Humera and her family of five. The daughter of a rickshaw driver in Korangi, an impoverished neighbourhood in Pakistan’s largest city Karachi, Humera, 20, had a tough childhood. Her father was the only breadwinner and struggled to support his family. Consequently, Humera dropped out of school after grade 8. She and her three sisters began taking in poorly paid piecework, carefully packing glass bangles for a retailer. When this stint ended, she found a home-based packing job for a pharmaceutical company. Neither paid well, but any opportunity brought financial relief for her family. The packaging jobs did not last long, however, and Humera soon found herself without work. Luckily, a friend told her about training being provided to young people under United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Youth Employment Programme at the Government College for Women in Korangi. The Youth Employment Project brings together vocational training institutes and Karachi garment manufacturers to train disadvantaged and vulnerable Karachi youth. It helps to build sustainable livelihoods, foster economic growth, and reduce susceptibility to

violence by providing demand-driven skills to 13,000 Karachi youth by 2020, helping them to find employment in the industry. Humera signed up for a month-long programme to train as a machine operator. Within ten days of completing the course, she landed a job at the Soorty Garment manufacturing plant in Korangi and was bringing in a monthly income of Rs 12,900 (US$ 129). Thanks to this steady income, Humera and her family’s lives have changed. They now live in a bigger, more comfortable home, and she has progressed in the firm and was promoted to machine supervisor within months, with added quality control responsibilities. Humera admits that, to begin with, she found it difficult to leave the home for work. All her earlier jobs had been home-based. But success and becoming a breadwinner has made her feel like a different person. She is more confident, and feels her horizons have expanded. Youth Empowerment Programme pakistan/en/home/operations/ projects/crisis_prevention_and_ recovery/youth-empowermentprogramme.html

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A drive to succeed Like many young men in the restless neighbourhood of Lyari in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, 19-year-old Ibrar Hussain has fought poverty and violence since childhood. A member of the impoverished and marginalized Kutchi community, when Ibrar was only in Grade 5, his father informed him that he could no longer afford to continue his education. But instead of dropping out, Ibrar began to take up part-time jobs to be able to keep going to school. Violence was never far from Lyari’s streets. Four of Ibrar’s uncles, two cousins and one aunt have died in gang violence. Some of his earliest memories are of seeing his cousins and neighbours patrolling the streets with guns. Ibrar was also asked to play his part in guarding the neighbourhood, but refused so he could focus on his work and studies. Over the years, Ibrar worked as a chaiwalla (tea boy), daily labourer in a steel factory and a shopkeeper. When he was old enough, he tutored other children. In this way, he made his way through intermediate education. Yet such odd jobs offered few prospects for a sustainable livelihood which would help him advance in life. One day, whilst looking for a new job, Ibrar learned about the Youth Employment Project supported by the Unit-

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ed Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Through a partnership with the Sindh Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority and major Karachi-based members of the garment industry, the Youth Employment Project offers training to some of the city’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable youth. Under this programme, Ibrar learned that he could train as a machine operator in a garment factory. He enrolled and soon after completing the programme, was hired by the Pelican garment factory as a computerized machine operator. Today, Ibrar makes a dependable income of Rs14,000 (US$ 140) a month – a sum that increases when orders go up. His training and job has enabled him to get out of the grind of menial work, and given him a way to continue his education. He plans to keep working in the garment industry until he has made

enough money to pursue an MBA. The experience has also motivated him to help ensure his peers are not left behind in their struggles with poverty. He has joined a local education committee to help other young people advance through education and training. Youth Empowerment Programme pakistan/en/home/operations/projects/ crisis_prevention_and_recovery/youthempowerment-programme.htm

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Looking at the future with a new set of skills Tw e n t y - o n e year-old Jehanzeb comes from Malir, an impoverished neighbourhood in Pakistan’s largest and most turbulent city, Karachi. With six brothers and four sisters, Jehanzeb started working as a small child, doing odd jobs to pay for his own education. In this way he completed his matriculation and enrolled in the intermediate programme at a local college. At this point, things took a bad turn. The college was a breeding ground for thugs of different political and religious affiliations. For young people like Jehanzeb, who had worked so hard to get to this point in their education and lacked political connections or financial resources, this was an extremely difficult environment. He realized that once a student joined an organization, he could not remain a passive observer and would be forced to participate in acts of violence. To avoid this, Jehanzeb began skipping school and was unable to complete his Intermediate examination. Jehanzeb continued to work at various menial jobs, becoming a roadside vendor or a sales assistant at a spare parts shop or as a roadside vendor. One day, however, he noticed a banner on a roadside in Malir, advertising a training course at the Institute of

Advanced Career and Talent, through a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). UNDP’s Youth Employment Project brings together vocational training centres and Karachi garment manufacturers to offer training programmes for disadvantaged and vulnerable Karachi youth. Jehanzeb promptly enrolled in a course and completed the training. Eventually he landed a job at Akhtar Textiles in the Korangi neighbourhood, earning a salary of Rs 12,900 (US$ 129) per month. This has proved invaluable for this family. Jehanzeb’s father had retired a few years ago and one of his brother, a rickshaw driver, had contracted typhoid and been forced to leave work. Jehanzeb and another brother who ran a small paan shop are the only breadwinners. Now, the job at Akhtar Textiles has helped Jehanzeb emerge from many years of depression and to plan a future for himself. Recently, with the announcement that the minimum wage would rise to Rs 14,000 (US$ 140), he is pleased that his income will soon rise. Having laboured hard to get where he is today, Jehanzeb now looks forward to a future in which he can provide for his family using the skills he has gained.

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Breaking the bonds of intergenerational poverty Manthaar Ali’s family are ethnic Sindhis who have lived in the violent Korangi neighbourhood of Karachi for generations. Over the years, they have seen the transformation of this area from a sleepy mangrove-lined village by the Arabian Sea to one of the world’s largest and fastest growing cities. Yet, even as millions came to Karachi looking for a better life, Manthaar’s family was left behind. His father is a night watchman in a fishing community, while his elder brother is a dockworker who works on daily wages and often goes weeks without employment. The family struggled to make ends meet. The sixth of ten children, 19-year-old Manthaar left school after completing Grade 8 to find work. Since then, he has worked in a shoe workshop, a grocery store, and a poultry farm. Each job ended abruptly, without notice from his employers. Meanwhile, unrest and criminality was growing in Korangi. Manthaar was constantly harassed by criminals on the street, and even lost an uncle to violence. Desperate for work, he began lining up outside Korangi’s many garment factories. He would wake up at 5am and stand outside the gates, hoping to

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be called inside for a job. Manthaar did this for two months, but never got the call. Today, Manthaar passes through those gates every morning. He is a skilled computerized machine operator at Akhtar Textiles, a Korangi based concern, and brings home Rs 13,500 (US$ 135) every month. For Manthaar, this change came about when a friend told him about a training programme conducted under the Youth Employment Project, a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiative in partnership with vocational training institutes and garment industry members in Karachi. This project is designed to bring vulnerable young men and women like Manthaar into work by training them on the skills employers need and linking them to work placements.

Since Manthaar found employment, his family’s economic circumstances have improved. Korangi has also become more secure and this, along with his new job, is making him feel more confident about the future. Youth Empowerment Programme pakistan/en/home/operations/projects/ crisis_prevention_and_recovery/youthempowerment-programme.html

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Vocational training saves Lyari youth from crime When he was a child, Muhammad Burhan and his family emigrated from a small village in Balochistan, on Pakistan’s border with Iran. They settled in Lyari, a violent and impoverished neighbourhood of Karachi. The son of a rickshaw driver and one of eight children, Burhan began to work from a young age to help support the family. Although only 22 years of age, he has worked in Karachi’s oldest wholesale emporium, Boulton Market, as a daily wage labourer, administered vaccine drops to infants as part of the country’s polio eradication campaigns, and conducted quality assurance at a pharmaceutical company. Lacking education and belonging to a marginalized community, he was unable to turn any of these jobs into a career. He was not alone in this: over the years, Burhan has seen friend after friend fall prey not only to poverty and lack of opportunity, but to violence. He lives in the infamous Aath Chowk area of Lyari, which is known for its gang violence. Lacking opportunities for socioeconomic advancement, he has seen many young boys get lured to join armed gangs. Some of Burhan’s cousins fell prey to temptation, but the family was vigilant. The young men were sent to their

village on the Iranian border, far from the temptations of the big city. Burhan was well advanced on the same path as his cousins, until a fortunate turn of events. One of his friends told him about a new training programme being offered at the Silani Welfare Centre some distance from Lyari. Sensing an opportunity for a way out, he immediately enrolled. The training course was offered under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Youth Employment Project which brings together vocational training centres and garment manufacturers to offer training programmes for disadvantaged and vulnerable Karachi youth. After completing the course, Burhan found a job at Akhtar Textiles as a machine operator. This became the first stable job he has ever had which, he says, has provided him with an unprecedented sense of security and

saved him from spiralling depression and lack of opportunity that might have sent him down the path of criminality. Today, he earns Rs14,000 (US$ 14) a month, giving his family some much-needed income while Burhan sorts out his next career move. He is planning to join college to complete his intermediate education. Youth Empowerment Programme pakistan/en/home/operations/projects/ crisis_prevention_and_recovery/youthempowerment-programme.html

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Forging a path to employment When Sidra was 15, her family moved from Mirpurkhas, a small Pakistani agricultural town, to the metropolis of Karachi, hoping for better economic opportunities. Unfortunately, things did not work out as they hoped. In her Urdu-speaking community women were traditionally restricted from working, but her father and brother struggled to support the 11 members of the family. Sidra passed her intermediate examination but, like her seven sisters, was expected to stay at home until she was married, despite the family’s worsening economic situation. One day, however, her brother’s friend mentioned a Youth Employment Programme course at the Vocational Training Centre located in their neighbourhood, Korangi. He said that his own sister was planning to enrol in a course linked to the city’s large garment industry – perhaps Sidra should give it a chance? Relieved to find a possible way to contribute to her family’s finances, Sidra seized this opportunity and began her training in February 2016. The Youth Employment Project is a partnership led by the United Nations Development Programme that brings together vocational training institutions and garment manufac-

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turers to offer training to vulnerable young men and women in Karachi’s most disadvantaged and violence-prone neighbourhoods, including Korangi. By the time her training came to an end, Sidra had gained both skills and confidence. She was determined to become the first woman from her household to earn an income. She reached out to the career placement officials at the training centre, who set up an interview for her at Artistic Milliners. This was a good first step for a young woman from a conservative background, as the company had an all-female floor, and offered a transportation service that enabled her to avoid harassment on public transport. Sidra was hired at a salary of Rs 14,000 a month, with the option of overtime. Today, Sidra is an independent and economically active young woman who is helping ease her family’s economic burden and is helping with the arrangements for her elder sister’s wedding. For herself, she says, marriage can wait. Youth Empowerment Programme pakistan/en/home/operations/ projects/crisis_prevention_and_ recovery/youth-empowermentprogramme.html

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A boxer turned fashion designer inspires others to escape violence As a child Wasim Soomro watched as famous fashion designers showcased their creations on television. He enjoyed seeing their creative designs and envied how they achieved fame and fortune while doing what they loved. Yet for Wasim, fashion design seemed a distant dream. Born to a Sindhi family in the conflict-ridden neighbourhood of Lyari in Karachi, Pakistan, he had been surrounded by violence from a very young age. As violence peaked, gangsters regularly harassed Wasim and his family, often forcing them to pick sides between rival gangs. He recalls being approached by a gang to grant them access to his house so they could get a clear view of a rival neighbourhood to fire gunshots. Wasim and his family finally moved out from the area. Wasim became a champion boxer and a student of civil engineering, pulling himself away from gang violence but unable to fulfil his real ambition. Then, one day, he saw a Facebook ad that changed his life and that of many others. The training centre in the Pakistan Employees Cooperative Housing Society (PECHS) was offering courses on stitching and fashion design. These courses are offered through a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), vocational training

centres and prominent Karachi-based fashion and garment manufacturing firms to develop a training programme for disadvantaged and vulnerable youth in this large and violent city. The Youth Employment Project seeks to help build sustainable livelihoods, foster economic growth, and reduce susceptibility to violence by providing demand-driven skills to 13,000 Karachi youth by 2020 and encouraging them to find employment or start businesses. Seeing the ad immediately reignited Wasim’s long-held dream. He applied at once. Using skills learned from working for a community mobilization project, he persuaded a hundred other young people from Lyari and other vulnerable areas of Karachi to join the programme. Today, Wasim is only 19 years old but runs a small boutique in Lyari, with several employees. Many of these are from other young women and men who participated in the train-

ing programme on his urging. Through this programme, he has beaten the odds to achieve his childhood dream – to become a fashion designer from Lyari. Youth Empowerment Programme pakistan/en/home/operations/ projects/crisis_prevention_and_ recovery/youth-empowermentprogramme.html

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Dreaming big

Like any young girl, I had many dreams I wished would come true. The most important was to one day be able to work with an international organization. I wanted to prove that daughters, women such as myself, could support their families as well as sons do. While I was enrolled in an MBA, I received the good news of an internship at the United Nations. Not wanting to miss this great opportunity, I accepted while at the same time not dropping out of my studies. During my internship, I have learnt very valuable skills such as team building, handling equipment, supporting colleagues and communicating effectively, working on a variety of projects with different team members. Three weeks before my internship ended, I noticed a vacancy for a consultancy at the United Nations Information Centre. The selection criteria was tough, but undeterred, I competed and was successful in securing the job. I have no words to describe the joy and pride in getting this type of job: the reality that after a hard struggle, my dreams

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were starting to manifest themselves. My most recent project focused on celebrating Mandela Day (an occasion to mark Nelson Mandela’s memory which occurs every 18 July) along with underprivileged children, many who live on the streets of Pakistan. But I am constantly participating in new UN projects, which develop my learning, negotiating and communication skills. In addition, this job has

provided me with an occasion to enhance my social circle, through networking and befriending other UN colleagues and partners. I feel I am a young Pakistani woman who has challenged traditional stereotypes, showing that through determination, hard work and accepting challenges one can truly achieve their dreams Maryam Amir Consultant at UNIC

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Exploring new horizons

Born and raised with three siblings in a small city in a remote area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, I always searched for meaning in my life. It was my dream to become someone who values human to human connections and uses this as a tool to bridge the divides between communities and nations. I always believed that human rights should never be taken for granted. We have to ask for our rights and in the process leave no one behind. This convergence and divergence always fascinated me. With a passion to serve people, especially those with fewer opportunities, I ventured into journalism, wanting to make a difference. It was supposed to give me a voice of my own, so I could use it to reach out to people. After completing my Master’s in media and communication studies, I started my career as a radio journalist. Later I worked for print and electronic media and remained as objective and independent as possible. There was always more to learn. This curiosity led me to the United Nations, an organization that stands for making this world a bet-

ter place. I joined the United Nations Information Centre in 2016, and was given assignments to promote awareness on Sustainable Development Goals and human rights among the general public using the platform of two major projects: Pakistan; Sustaining Development – Human Stories through Photography and Human Rights Film Festival. Interacting with people from diverse backgrounds has been a life changing learning experience for me, providing me with the skills that best fit to grow professionally and personally. I know I still have a long way to go but I am glad I have found an op-

portunity to be able to play some role in helping others improve their lives – however small the role may be. I wouldn’t be the person I am if it were not for my parents. My mother and my late father were a team. Now when I recall my childhood, I realize how clear they were on the roles they wanted to play in our lives. They wanted my siblings and I to grow up to be good human beings first and not be caught up in issues that divide us, such as religion or ethnicity. Noman Burki Consultant at UNIC


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Journeying through nations through the United Nations

From when I was a child, I witnessed and was inspired by my father’s work for the World Health Organisation, on issues that impacted the lives of regular people just like myself, but also those who live in the most disadvantaged places in the world. I experienced how his job with the United Nations took him and my family to different countries (Switzerland, India, the Maldives), where we adapted to different cultures and ways of life. In this way, I grew up with the United Nations values of respecting (and enjoying!) diversity and the importance of leaving nobody behind. Soon it was my turn. Six years ago on my birthday, I was sitting at an interview for the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in Madrid, Spain, eagerly awaiting the outcome. That very day I was successfully welcomed into the United Nations family: the best birthday gift. During the three years, I spent at UNWTO I was able to grow professionally, applying the research and analysis expertise I had acquired during my education in Environment and Development to exciting and practical projects. But I also grew personally amongst

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bi-monthly magazine for the United Nations Information Centre in Islamabad, Pakistan. Although I am currently working remotely, editing the magazine allows me to participate in an organised newsroom environment, and gives me a glimpse of all the fantastic efforts by UN agencies working in Pakistan, making me feel closer to that corner of the world. Youth possess the creativity, open-mindedness, potential and capacity to make change happen for themselves, for societies, and for the rest of the world. There is no better place than the United Nations to make this a reality. Chiara Hartmann Sub-Editor, UN Pakistan Magazine and Consultant at UNIC a closely-knit and youthful team of colleagues coming from a variety of nationalities and working together towards common goals. To me this literally represented the union between nations. One of the great things about the UN is the versatility in tasks within every agency: there is a place for every skill, and the training received to improve those skills is unparalleled. After Madrid, the United Nations took me to Geneva. More recently, after specialising in Journalism, I was given the chance to apply what I had learnt in sub-editing to the

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A challenging but rewarding experience

In my experience working with the United Nations, I have evolved as a person. The human connection that I have experienced while travelling to the more remote parts of the country has been a learning experience. I recall one such visit while travelling to Sindh where I had met a lady, aged 56, belonging from the district of Bomburate, Chitral. Through the UN’s support, her family was receiving humanitarian assistance after the flash floods of 2015. She greeted me with the warmest smile and explained how this support has helped her family re-build their damaged home, and regain access to clean drinking water through Wash support in an area where the infrastructure was badly damaged. She then shared that her two sons, aged 13 and 15, were also involved in formulating locally owned strategies for disaster preparedness and risk reduction with the help of their elders. This visit had a lasting impact on me as I realised the importance of harnessing the potential of young people in the right direction. As part of my Khyber Pakhtunkhwa work, I have capacitated over 100

youth to enrol out-of-school children in school, carried out focused group discussions with various young minds in KP and Sindh to understand the issues faced by rural communities, and strengthened the UN inter-agency collaboration on various issues concerning youth such as decent work, education, health and nutrition. Working for the UN has not only strengthened my inter-personal skills but has also polished my research skills. It has been a challenging, yet rewarding experience. I feel that we need to have immense trust and faith in the abilities of youth in Pakistan as they have the power to catalyse action and produce remarkable results. Arshmah Jamil Monitoring and Reporting Officer, Resident Coordinator Office


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A world of new skills and knowledge I

joined the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as a Young Professional Officer in November 2015, with three years of experience in development under my belt. I worked primarily in the Youth Programme, undertaking activities related to technical support to the provincial Youth Affairs Department (that deals with policies regarding youth) and the Population Welfare and Health Department (that pilots Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) services in district headquarters hospitals). I was given the chance to observe and participate in high-level policy advocacy activities and various aspects of coordinating with government officials. Being involved in the Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health project taught me how a programme at the national level is designed, piloted, and then heavily advocated in order to become institutionalized. Watching the day to day activities made me realize what an arduous endeavor it can be, but how ultimately rewarding it is when a successful initiative ends up benefiting the population at large. Working in the highly systemized environment of the United Nations also

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sensitized me to learn and get familiarized with internal control mechanisms that ensure proper monitoring, financial management, and results-based programming. Though the multitude of processes behind every task seem inefficient sometimes, ultimately, they contribute to the enhancement of transparency, procedural fairness, and purposeful interventions. At the UNFPA, being young, I was highly encouraged to participate in all activities and share my views and opinions about programme interventions, contribute to discussions for country programme development and learning sessions. Furthermore, I undertook mapping studies on comprehensive sexuality education, UN interagency work on youth, comparative analysis of provincial youth policies, analysis of ad-

olescent sexual reproductive health services etc., analysing data from surveys on youth issues and updating data on youth for internal programming needs. I had the opportunity to present the findings of the mapping study in programme meetings and received valuable feedback and appreciation. In addition, I was able to attend various in-house and external trainings, such as that on Leadership in Behavioral Change Communication by Johns Hopkins Center for Communications Program which was particularly inspiring. Overall, I learned valuable skills and greatly enhanced my knowledge. This will serve me well in my future career, so I am very proud of having worked for the UNFPA Pakistan. Sara Nasir Young professional Officer, UNFPA

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Professional inspirations and development

I am immensely proud to be a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) employee and a member of the United Nations family. Women are still struggling to join the job market in Asia; especially while carrying out tasks that require close collaboration with members of the opposite gender. Women are discouraged to come ahead, take initiatives, work and realize their dreams to contribute to the progress of our country. At UNIDO, I have taken a leap forward and realized my potential as an individual and as a young woman. I count myself among the lucky stars who are contributing on sensitizing masses to free themselves from invisible shackles and focus their energy and attention for a better tomorrow for ourselves, and coming generations. I fondly recall the day, 3 years back, when I got an email from Mr. Alois Mhlanga, about my recruitment as a Communication Junior Expert at UNIDO, under his supervision. I was expected to bring innovative ideas to achieve the ambitious goals established by the programme. I experienced nervousness and excitement at the same time, my dream of work-

ing with exciting people towards a positive goal came true that day! UNIDO has given me the opportunity to learn social entrepreneurship from the grassroots level while working hand in hand with people from all over the world. This experience has not only sharpened my skills of planning, making strategies, understanding the needs of people and working in collaboration with others, but I was also very warmly welcomed by my team. As the youngest employee in the office, I can surely vouch that I have been groomed, mentored and received support as though I were the youngest child of a family. My job responsibilities involve designing advocacy strategies and working for the UN to promote sustainable development goals and keep the grace of my organization high at all the levels, which I love!

At UNIDO, I am involved with almost all of the persistent issues of our times like climate change, the economic crisis, green growth and green industry, renewable energy, resource and energy efficiency, poverty reduction, Corporate Social Responsibility, youth entrepreneurship, women empowerment, and my favorite among all, Cleantech Innovation. I encourage all my peers, especially young women to join the UN, not necessarily as a formal employee but in every possible manner, even as a volunteer, to promote the core message of the UN in its challenging mission to bring peace, prosperity and Sustainable development. I trust that Pakistani youth has great potential to become the changing force we need for our country and for the world. Zikre-a-Saleah Communication focal point, UNIDO


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International Youth Day: Youth building peace The United Nations recognizes the invaluable role of young people as agents of change, progress, and development. This role is celebrated every year on International Youth Day; an occasion to re-affirm the Member States’ commitment towards nurturing and supporting their young. One of the best ways of achieving this is by providing young people with effective platforms to raise their voices and giving them opportunities to emerge as harbingers of positive change and development. This year, the International Youth Day is committed to ‘celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace’. This is in line with United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2250 and 2282 that acknowledge young people’s crucial roles in ‘deterring and resolving conflicts’. In line with this global theme for 2017, UNDP Pakistan celebrated the International Youth Day by organizing a ‘Youth Dialogue on Peace and Security’ in Pakistan. The event was organized on August 16, 2017 in Karachi, Peshawar, and Quetta and engaged young people from universities, youth led civil society groups, young representatives of minority communities in

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Pakistan, and youth with disabilities. The participants highlighted the positive role that young people from the three provinces and FATA can play to build peace and social cohesion in Pakistan. They foregrounded their importance as a large and dynamic segment of the country’s population with genuine stakes in Pakistan’s stability and prosperity. They especially stressed on the crucial need for providing them with platforms for voicing their grievances and participating in the decision-making process to ensure that future development policies do not exclude the potentially positive role that young people can play in ensuring peace and security in Pakistan. With more than 31% of its population aged between 15- 29 years, Pakistan

is poised to enter an era of progress and prosperity if young people are provided with opportunities for economic growth and positive engagement. The Dialogue is a step towards underscoring the role of young people in preventing violent extremism and securing peace in Pakistan. The Youth Dialogue for Peace and Security was supported by the Youth Empowerment Programme, an umbrella initiative encompassing UNDP Pakistan’s four major projects working on young people’s uplift in the country by creating pathways for economic growth and positive engagement. The initiative is being implemented in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, and Balochistan.

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Bringing together young voices for policy dialogue

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Islamabad established the Youth for Education, Sustainability and Peace Network ─ YESPEACE Pakistan Chapter, with the assistance of the UNESCO institute Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Education and Peace. The YESPEACE Network brings together young voices from across the country on a common policy dialogue platform and helps to establish the education systems for the future. The YESPEACE philosophy is based on four pillars: “Inform, Inspire, Invigorate and Involve” the youth. Tamasha YESPEACE launched its first extensive training workshop to develop skills among youth to understand and analyze; facilitate and lead conflict resolution activities; and engage audiences in their home communities for dialogue on key

issues such as peace, conflict resolution, gender equality, cross-cultural understanding and diversity using the power of theatre and performing arts. More than 32 young adults, aged 16 to 25, participated in the first 6 day-long workshop in Lahore. This workshop hosted five participants from Quetta, one from Islamabad, one from Sheikhupura, one from Taxila, and 24 from Lahore. Sadia, a workshop participant appreciated the initiative and said she felt she had achieved all the objectives laid out by the Tamasha YESPEACE Workshop. The workshop enabled her to examine, understand and resolve many of the conflicts she had regarding society and her individual self. Working in a diversified age group and with different academic backgrounds, she enhanced her listening skills and managed different point of views. The workshop

not only facilitated activities for peerto-peer empowerment for positive social change, but it developed vocal, physical and imaginative skills too. Komal, another workshop participant also suggested the workshop had been an informative and interactive initiative. The activities helped the participants to explore themselves as human beings, they learned how to communicate through non-language based techniques, and how to work as a team.


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Success story of training of trainers YESPEACE currently has a number of partner organizations implementing various youth related interventions. Dil Say Pakistan (DSP) is one of them, which in collaboration with the YESPEACE network and Civic Face Pakistan, organized a four day TOT (Training of the trainers) aimed at building the capacity of the community leaders through rigorous activity based learning. During these four day-training sessions, expert trainers built the capacity of Dil Say Pakistan torch-bearers and Civic Face Pakistan fellows 2017 on creating spaces for informed dialogue and taking positive social actions in their respective communities. The four-day workshop took place in Islamabad, from 29 July until 1 August 2017. A total number of 37 people participated. These Dil Say Pakistan and Civic fellows belonged to 10 different cities of Pakistan: Gujranwala, Okara, Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Kasur, Swat, Quetta and Peshawar. The participants actively engaged in this workshop which has now created a strong bond between community engagement team and DSP trainers from all the above-mentioned cities of Pakistan. Much pos-

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itive feedback was received from all the trainers through DSP’s social media platforms. As a result, the respective social media handles have witnessed a highly increased engagement and of followers. One of the trainers from Swat, Haris Badar said this was one of the most amazing training he had attended so far. Arif Hussain, a participant from Quetta said the workshop has brought him immense leadership skills. Sidra, a Sindh based activist said the training had exceeded all her expectations. It is encouraging to note all the par-

ticipants’ vows to carry out these activities in their respective areas in different geographical locations. A number of activities under the YESPEACE Pakistan chapter are also being planned in coming months.

real lives: stories that inspire us

A stepping stone for a better future

Sabira, a mother of five, lives in the village of Reshun, Chitral. She and her husband Ali always dreamt of providing quality education for their children, to ensure a good future for them. Unfortunately, Ali lost his life to a deadly disease, leaving Sabira in immense grief. Soon after, she was struck by an even worse tragedy: she lost her home and belongings to a terrible landslide that occurred because of the increasing water level in her area. She and her children luckily survived. Homeless and devastated, Sabira decided to take charge of her life through courage and determination, and was eventually able to get shelter for herself and her family. To reduce her financial burden, she married off two of her daughters, registered one of them in a government school, and registered her son in a private school with the support of relatives. Fatima, the daughter who attended government school soon qualified for admission at a well reputed school for girls. Since the admission fee was unaffordable for her, Sabira was able to convince the

school management for a reduction. For what was left of the fee, a local shopkeeper suggested Sabira should contact the Multi Year Humanitarian Programme’s office (MYHP): a project by the DFID - UK Department for International Development. They selected Sabira as a beneficiary for unconditional support from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). With this aid, Sabira was able to pay Fatima’s admission, purchase food for the upcoming Eid festival and some seeds to use in her kitchen garden, a piece of land spared by her father. Sabira claims the WFP’s financial support was a vital stepping stone

to improve her family’s future. She is now certain that her daughter will be successful in her education and will contribute constructively towards the welfare of the society.


real lives: stories that inspire us

Afghans dream of stepping out of the shadows with Pakistan ID scheme

An Afghan in Pakistan without papers, Mohammad Rehman has lived all his life in fear of arrest and deportation back to his conflict-torn homeland. But a new Pakistan government programme to register up to one

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million undocumented Afghans just like him is finally allowing him to dream of stepping out of the shadows with a measure of security. The pilot programme launched on July 20 seeks to register undocumented Afghans living in the coun-

try, who are currently estimated between 600,000 to one million, many of whom have lived in Pakistan for nearly four decades and have raised their children there. Under the scheme, thousands like Rehman will be issued with an Af-

real lives: stories that inspire us

ghan Citizen (AC) card providing legal protection from arbitrary arrest, detention or deportation under Pakistan’s Foreigner’s Act. The six-month registration programme began with pilot projects in the country’s capital Islamabad and the north-western city of Peshawar, which hosts the largest number of undocumented Afghans. The programme is expected to roll out in all four provinces from August 16. The push to issue the cards has been welcomed by the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR. It will allow Afghans to stay in Pakistan for the time being, until they can be issued documents such as passports, by the Government of Afghanistan. The registration follows three years of consultations between the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan and UNHCR. It forms part of Pakistan’s Comprehensive Policy on the Voluntary Repatriation and Management of Afghans, which was endorsed by its cabinet in February this year.

project, with support from the International Organization for Migration and UNHCR. UNHCR will assist the International Organization for Migration with an information campaign to reach Afghan communities living in Pakistan, as well as ensuring that Afghans with international protection needs are referred to UNHCR. Aside from easing his fears of arrest, undocumented Afghan honey vendor Saleem Khan sees other benefits from the registration programme. He hopes that having a card will allow him to move more freely and access markets in the village of Mandi Bahuddin in Punjab, and, reduce his children’s fear of discrimination in school.

Other components of the plan include: extending the validity of the Proof of Registration cards to some 1.4 million registered Afghans refugees until the end of 2017; a commitment to adopt a national refugee law; and a visa regime for different categories of Afghan refugees who have the Proof of Registration cards. Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority, the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions and the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation will oversee the


real lives: stories that inspire us

Ayesha Bibi and her cart of candies The American Refugee Committee (ARC) in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) aims to target all disenfranchised segments of the community through its livelihoods programme. The program is not limited to assisting farmers and land owners with technical and financial support, or specific to agricultural development. It has also come up with many creative and innovative solutions to combat poverty, especially among women and girls, by paving the way for alternate sources of livelihood, and transforming communities in Balochistan, household by household. Ayesha Bibi is a woman who lives alone in a one-room hut in Yaro, Balochistan. Her husband left to find employment in other cities and never came back. She was dependent on the community for small cash handouts and shared meals. Ayesha Bibi is the face of an extremely vulnerable segment of our society, as she does not have a family or children to depend on emotionally or financially. Her qualification to receive assistance through the livelihoods programme gave her a glimmer of hope. In such an impoverished commu-

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nity, life is usually dependent on a hand-to-mouth existence, and there are never enough resources to invest into an economic enterprise. However, through the programme, Ayesha Bibi had the chance to identify gaps in the local market and start a small level business. She noticed that even though the men and children in the village faced financial limitations, they still spent money daily on sweets, biscuits and candy. She linked up with a farmer who agreed to regularly take her to the wholesale market, where she bought the items in bulk at a cheaper price, developed a profit margin and sold those items in the village. As a result, the entrepreneur has become financially independent. Her candy cart brings in a profit of Rs. 2500 monthly. It has also provided her with valuable experience. She has learned entrepreneurial

skills, basic bookkeeping and vendor management skills. Her new trade has given her the platform to become an approachable vendor for the customers in the community. Ayesha Bibi hopes to increase her investment and expand her stock. From her learning from the programme’s nutrition sensitive trainings, she also plans on adding items of nutritional value in order to encourage women and children to prioritize health and combat malnutrition.

real lives: stories that inspire us

Sialkot sisters benefit from vocational training Shehnaz, a 2 6 - y e a r- o l d young woman’s employment involved stitching clothes from home. If lucky, she earned Rs. 2,000 (approx. USD 20) a month from this activity. Most of the time however, she would not even reach this amount due to the non-availability of work. Her situation did not allow her any hope for professional development. In addition, she had little support from her family: parents and village elders did not consider it appropriate for a young woman to engage in economic and social activities outside their homes. Coming from a very poor settlement where many people are uneducated and jobless, in a village far from the city centre, there appeared to be no opportunities for women to access skills trainings and job placements. Her family is large, with four sisters and two brothers, and her house consists of two door-less rooms with no boundary wall. Being too aged and weak, her parents were unable to work and generate income to sustain the family. Shehnaz and two of her sisters (Mehnaz and Shazia) benefited from UN Women Pakistan’s project ‘Em-

powerment of Women Garment Workers in Sialkot’ implemented by Baidarie, with the generous support of the Benetton Group. For the first time working outside the house, they joined the Anwar Khawaja industry. The factory provided them a pick and drop service, in this way they felt more secure in venturing out from the village to the city. Learning and working in the formal sector has been an eye-opener for them. They have learnt how to work alongside men and finally earned the same as them, with the benefits of working in a ‘safe’ and ‘harassment-free’ workplace and new opportunities for career development.

The factory not only pays reasonable wages, it also provides social security benefits and annual bonuses. It also pays the medical expenses for one of her sisters, who suffers from tuberculosis and renal malfunctioning. Following the on-the-job training, the collective income of the two sisters increased to Rs. 42,000. Their substantial financial contribution to the family income has helped them realize that women and girls can equally assume the responsibility of running a household. This realization has boosted their confidence in their own capabilities and talents.


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agriculture and food security

Significant decline in food insecurity in Federally Administered Tribal Areas The food security situation of returned households to their place of origin in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas Agencies (FATA) has improved significantly since 2014, according to a new report released today. The report “Food Security and Livelihoods Assessment of Returned Households Residing in FATA” was launched by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), under the leadership of the FATA Secretariat. The report suggests that while in 2014, 44 percent of the population was defined as food insecure – in 2017 only 24 percent are. And while in 2014 five percent of people were considered severely food insecure now only one percent of the population is in such a serious situation. The improvement was particularly dramatic among female-headed households, with those defined as severely food-insecure decreasing from 19 percent to 0 percent and moderately food insecure households decreasing from 55 percent to 15 percent. The reasons for the improvement are various: families faced fewer shocks ranging from natural disas-

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ters to illness among people and livestock, they had access to better housing, improved water and sanitation and increased security. Some factors are a result of appropriate and timely food and cash assistance provided by various UN Agencies and partners to improve food security. WFP supports displaced and returning families in FATA through a variety of models including general food distribution, and by support for livelihoods, education and nutrition. In 2016 alone over US$ 117 million of assistance was provided to displaced and returning families. WFP Country Director Finbarr Curran suggested the report was evidence of the positive impact of the critical humanitarian and recovery support provided under the areas’ Secretariat. Dr. Fida Muhammad Wazir, Additional Chief Secretary, FATA secretariat expressed her gratitude towards the UN World Food Pro-

gramme and other collaborating organizations for the commission and support towards this significant study. In 2008, large-scale law and order operations in the tribal region resulted in millions of people being uprooted from their homes. Since 2014, there has been a positive improvement in security and with the government’s continued efforts, some 250,000 displaced families have returned, while some 50,000 families are still living away from their original homes. Such a largescale return affects markets, the provision of basic services, livelihoods and food security. This changing scenario requires an up-to-date and sound understanding of the situation to guide humanitarian organizations to design more appropriate and effective responses both for immediate humanitarian needs as well as for medium to longer term recovery.

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agriculture and food security

Securing agriculture based livelihoods Farmer households in Khyber and Kurram agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have received assistance from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the help of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to rebuild their lives as they continue to return to their homes after years of displacement. 77,200 households (33,143 in Khyber and 44,057 in Kurram agency of FATA received this assistance which helped the returning small holder farmers to produce food and earn income for their families. This assistance was provided to the farmers under the Project for Assistance to the Recovery and Development of the Agricultural Economy in FATA. The project accomplished restoration of farm productivity and agriculture based livelihoods by rebuilding productive assets, and strengthening the productive skills of the returnees, and by developing capacity of the public and private sector service providers. A ceremony was held in Islamabad to mark the conclusion of the project, attended by the Ambassador of Japan, H.E. Mr. Takashi Kurai, the Chief Representative of the Japan International

Cooperation Agency Pakistan, Mr. Yasuhiro Tojo, top officials from development agencies and representatives of the government of Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Takashi Kurai Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan said the recovery of livelihood of returnees was very important for their stability, and that Japan would continue assisting the people of Pakistan in order to maintain peace. Mr. Yasuhiro Tojo, Chief Representative of Japanese International Cooperation Agency Pakistan Office said that one of the most important components of the project was the capacity building of women, who are vastly contributing to the agricultural economy of the region. Training them to impart the appropriate knowledge on farming and livestock was crucial to ensure the sustainability of FATA. Ms. MinĂ Dowlatchahi FAO Repre-

sentative to Pakistan stated her hope that this partnership will continue, in order to play a part in ensuring better and healthier lives for the people of FATA. Farmers were provided high quality seeds for wheat, maize, oats and different vegetables. They also received help for keeping their livestock healthy. Land was reclaimed to make it fit for cultivation and irrigation channels constructed to provide water for the crops. Secretary Production and Livelihoods Abdul Latif Khan appreciating the project said: The assistance from Japan not only helped the FATA people to fulfill their economic and food security pressing needs but also played an important role in maintaining peace in the area by creating livelihoods and job opportunities


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agriculture and food security

Food for assets interventions change disadvantaged community members’ lives

The United Nations World Food Programme in Pakistan has implemented a program in Bara Tehsil, Khyber Agency to help recover the livelihoods of vulnerable community members through Food for Assets (FFA) interventions. In order to improve the socio-economic conditions of the women of Bara, WFP along with Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) involved women in trainings in various sustainable work schemes, decided by the communities themselves based on their needs. 187 women in Kula Khel and Doulat Khel villages of Bara Tehsil engaged under the trainings with a singular objective; to be well empowered to contribute to the livelihoods of their households, and thus improve their living conditions. In a 6-day training, 108 and 79 women were provided with ‘Kitchen Gardening’ and ‘Fuel Efficient Stove’ trainings respectively, based on their needs. One of the community members expressed that every year, a significant amount of money is spent on fertilizers for the crops and orchards; compost will

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help them to produce urea which is more cost-effective because it utilizes waste material. The women also stated that the ‘Fuel Efficient Stove’ training would really “change their life”, and would allow them to properly utilize resources and perform multiple tasks simultaneously. Field demonstrations on the final day of the training revealed that the participants successfully built efficient stoves, prepared fields for kitchen gardening, dug pits for compost making, and planted seeds provided by the Sarhad Rural Support Programme. Through these trainings, the United Nations World Food Programme and local community members of

Bara Tehsil foresee improved socioeconomic situations of households through better farming techniques, offseason vegetable production and promotion of kitchen gardening. The trainees will also receive a cash entitlement of PKR 6000 which will equip these women with a purchasing power to spend based on their individual needs.

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agriculture and food security

Stunting prevention initiative launched

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), in partnership with the Directorate of Health Services in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, has formally launched a programme to prevent stunting in the Kurram Agency of FATA. Stunting occurs when a child’s growth and development are impaired by poor nutrition. The effort aims to prevent chronic malnutrition in children under five years of age as well as in pregnant women and nursing mothers. In the Kurram Agency, stunting rates stand at 57.6 percent, which is alarmingly high and well above the global average. The initiative is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) - Pakistan and will focus on preventing stunting during the “1,000-day window of opportunity,” the period between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday. Inadequate nutrition during this time can irreversibly affect a child’s cognitive and physical development. WFP will work with the Office of Re-

search Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC) in Kurram to deliver locally produced specialized nutritious food for children aged 6-24 months, along with pregnant women and nursing mothers, through an extensive network of community-based female health workers and health facilities. In addition, children aged 2459 months will receive micronutrient supplements. More than 75,000 children and women will benefit from the programme, and government staff will be trained to support and implement the programme to ensure its sustainability. Senior officials from the FATA Secretariat, Directorate of Health, Khyber Medical University (KMU) and WFP participated in the launch event on 18 August. The chief guest of the event, Mr. Muhammad Fida Wazir, Additional Chief Secretary FATA stated that, subject to the availabil-

ity of resources, the initiative will be gradually extended to other agencies of FATA. The Vice Chancellor of the Khyber Medical University noted that this effort will strengthen the evidence base for providing specialized food for children and mothers to prevent stunting. Together with WFP programmes to support livelihoods and school feeding, he expressed hope that this programme will help reverse the trends of stunting in FATA. WFP Pakistan Acting Country Director Stephen Gluning said stunting can rob children of the opportunity to reach their full potential in life, and that in order to break the inter-generational cycle of undernutrition, the focus must be on mothers and very young children.


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drugs and crime

Public awareness campaign against trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants launched

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) launched in Islamabad. GLO.ACT is a four-year joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project, implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), reaffirms that combating human trafficking and migrant smuggling is of the highest importance for the EU and the United Nations as a whole and UNODC as custodian of relevant convention of transnational organized crime which incorporates protocols of human trafficking and migrant smuggling. GLO.ACT is a coordinated response to trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants and aims to strengthen the criminal justice response in 13 strategically selected countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa

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and Ukraine. On the same day, UNODC also launched a national awareness campaign against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, co-funded by Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection and United States Department of State. The campaign utilized different mediums and tools to engage general public and relevant stakeholders in a variety of ways. In his speech, Mr. Cesar Guedes, Representative, UNODC Pakistan said that the need for international community to join efforts to combat the scourge of modern day slavery which is human trafficking, has never been more necessary, given the unacceptable loss of life. He was pleased to launch GLO.ACT and the campaign, as efforts towards this cause.

Adding to this, Dr. Muhammad Shafique Additional Director General of the Federal Investigation Agency said that it is crucial to have governments and civil society to work in close partnership in the fight against these crimes, and FIA will do its utmost to ensure that these crimes are tackled with full vigor. The launching ceremony took place in the presence of His Excellency Mr. Jean-François Cautain, Ambassador of the European Union to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, His Excellency Mr. David Hale, Ambassador of the United States of America, Her Excellency, Ms. Nicole Guihot, Acting Deputy High Commissioner, Australian High Commission as well as senior government representatives from provincial line departments, provincial police, academia, media and civil society.

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drugs and crime

Criminal justice systems to be improved through Norwegian funding The Criminal Justice Systems in Pakistan are overburdened due to a number of reasons, among those the reliability on witnesses rather than on physical evidence. In a world of ever-evolving technologies, it is imperative to migrate into scientific based investigation, using new tools and technologies. Therefore, the need to train and enhance the investigative and forensic skills of police officers cannot be overlooked. The situation in Punjab province is comparatively improving towards investigation and overall crime scene management. Punjab has the largest forensic science laboratory in Lahore which is used for the further analysis of physical evidence collected at crime scenes through mobile crime scene units. In this light, the Norwegian Government and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) signed an agreement for Norway’s contribution of NOK 9,000,000 (USD 1.1 Million approx.) for over a period of three years. This funding will assist UNODC to carry out activities to enhance the capacity in two divisions of Punjab Police and Prosecution Departments, namely Gujranwala and Rawalpindi. The agreement was signed by the UN-

ODC Country Representative, Mr. Cesar Guedes, and by the Ambassador of Norway, H.E. Mr. Tore Nedrebo. The Representative of UNODC in Pakistan, Cesar Guedes reaffirmed UNODC’s continuous support to the Government of Pakistan with the support of the international community and thanked the Embassy of Norway for supporting this very crucial initiative which will enhance the capacity of the Punjab Police and the Prosecution Department in countering crime and ensuring peace and prosperity.

of good cooperation and continuation of efforts through another very useful project assisting the Punjab Police Department to enhance their training and investigation capacity.

H.E. Mr. Tore Nedrebo said he was very pleased to sign the agreement. He further stated that this signing ceremony marks the confirmation


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drugs and crime

Building capacity for the AntiNarcotics Force Mr. Cesar Guedes, the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Country Office Representative in Pakistan and Mr. Takashi Harada, Counsellor (Economy and Development), Embassy of Japan, handed over 5 Progeny ResQ Handheld Raman Analyzers to the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) during a ceremony at the Anti Narcotics Force Headquarters, Rawalpindi. The procurement of this state of the art equipment was one of the agreed deliverables under the Japanese funded UNODC project, aimed at strengthening border security against illicit drug trafficking and related transnational organised crime. This is also part of the agency’s efforts to enhance the operational capacity of drug law enforcement, in line with its Country Programme (2016 - 2019). Senior officials from the Embassy of Japan, UNODC and the Anti Narcotics Force were present at the occasion. Major General Musarrat Nawaz, Director General, Anti-Narcotics Force thanked the Government and the people of Japan and UNODC for their continuous support to the Government of Pakistan for building their

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operational capacity in countering numerous existing and emerging challenges posed by drug trafficking in the country. Lastly, Major General Nawaz assured his continued support in all mutual endeavors. Mr. Guedes thanked the Government of Pakistan for committing to smooth implementation of the Japanese funded project activities (20162019) and especially thanked the Government of Japan for its commitment and generous financial support for this very important project. Mr. Takashi Harada acknowledged the efforts done by UNODC and

the Anti Narcotics Force and highlighted the importance of this state of the art equipment. He reaffirmed Japan’s commitment in helping Pakistan combat all types of transnational organised crime, including illicit drug trafficking which hinders the economic development and overall prosperity of the country. He also noted that enhancing the border security between Pakistan and Afghanistan is crucial for the stability of the region.

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drugs and crime

Reinforcing Balochistan’s criminal justice system H.E. Ms. Jeannette Seppen, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Pakistan and Mr. Cesar Guedes, Country Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) visited Quetta and met with the Provincial Minister for Information and Technology Sardar Raza Barech, Secretary Prosecution, Dr. Aftab Ahmad Baloch and the Prosecutor General of the Government of Balochistan, Mr. Ameer Zaman Jogezai. They discussed United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s initiative to reinforce Balochistan’s Criminal Justice System, with the support of the Government of the Netherlands which contributed USD 2.5 million. UNODC’s Country Programme (2010-16) targets three critical and interdependent areas of development assistance: trafficking and border management, criminal justice, and drug demand reduction and HIV/AIDS. In order to counter trafficking, strengthen border management and improve criminal justice system, UNODC works with the Government to assist Pakistani law enforcement and regulatory agencies to reduce trafficking, improve the management of borders and enhance the criminal justice system in order to increase securi-

ty and prosperity. H.E. Ms. Seppen and Mr. Guedes visited the Continuous Learning Centre (CLC) for the Prosecution Department which was financially supported by the Government of the Netherlands. This Centre was established for prosecutors and investigators to be trained on modern technologies and to enhance coordination among prosecutors and police. This Centre is also equipped with a library, where literature on law and other relevant fields is available for the Prosecution Department. Through this Centre, the prosecutors will be able to get trained through the interactive eLearning modules and will also enhance the skills of prosecutors to interact through computers. Minister Sardar Raza Barech said it

was important to build the capacity of levies along with Police on crime scene investigation, as 95% of Balochistan is covered by levies. Mr. Cesar Guedes appreciated the engagement of the previous and current Inspectors General of Police in Balochistan for their partnership in the Programme and for facilitating the visit to the eLearning Centres. Mr. Guedes further stated that this police Programme recognizes that the access to justice is fundamental for the stability of Pakistan, as it could improve trust between citizens and law enforcement institutions, in particular the police by building confidence in civil society for a better criminal justice system.


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drugs and crime

Pakistan-Afghanistan Integrated Border Management Workshop The 7th Pakistan-Afghanistan Integrated Border Management Workshop was technically facilitated by the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime Country Office Pakistan (COPAK) on 8-10 August 2017. Supported by the Government of Japan, the event encouraged a close partnership between the Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan under the framework of the UNODC-sponsored Triangular Initiative. Mr. Cesar Guedes, Representative UNODC Pakistan, expressed his satisfaction and pleasure in bringing concerned officials from the two neighboring countries across the table within a year of the previous meeting in Abu Dhabi, with the aim of discussing border management challenges and finding mutually acceptable solutions. He said it was an opportunity for the world to better understand the complexity of the border management and counter-narcotics issues in the region. Mr. Tujay Ankara, Deputy Head KOC (Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Agency, Turkey), expressed his pleasure at hosting the event. He hoped that the workshop would provide an opportunity for both countries to discuss border management issues in detail.

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Mr. Mansoor Ahmed Khan, Director General (Afghanistan), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan, thanked UNODC for its role in technically facilitating discussions. He expressed the Government of Pakistan’s sincere desire to move forward in cooperation with Afghanistan on combatting drug trafficking and transnational organized crime, and in strengthening the existing mechanism on border management. General Saifi, Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan, Head of the Afghan Delegation, stressed the importance of raising Afghanistan’s operational capacity in effectively combatting drug trafficking and other transnational organized crimes. This technical interaction was attended by officials from Pakistan’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence Production, and Narcotics Control; the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Secretariat Peshawar;

the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF); Pakistan Customs at Torkham; the Civil Administration Chaman; and the Home Department, Government of Balochistan. The Afghan Delegation comprised officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Afghan Border Police, Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan, and the Afghan Customs. Comprehensive discussions were held between the regional counterparts over a period of three days, culminating in the development of draft recommendations for consideration by decision-makers at the highest level. The two delegations concurred on the necessity of organizing this workshop on a regular basis to assess the progress made in implementing the adopted recommendations. At the conclusion, the two heads of delegation stressed that these challenges are a responsibility shared by the international community.

news and events

drugs and crime

Briefing on the World Drug Report 2017 Mr. Cesar Guedes, the UNODC Country Office Representative in Pakistan and Dr. Kamran Niaz, the senior Epidemiologist with the Research Branch, UNODC HQ, Vienna, gave a presentation on the World Drug Report 2017. The report is published annually by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The first report was published in 1997, the same year the agency was established. In his presentation, Dr. Niaz summarized the main findings of the World Drug Report 2017. In 2015 about a quarter of a billion people used drugs. Of these, around 29.5 million people - or 0.6 per cent of the global adult population - were engaged in problematic use and suffered from drug use disorders. Opioids were the most harmful drug type and accounted for 70 per cent of the negative health impact associated with drug use disorders worldwide. Disorders related to the use of amphetamines also account for a considerable share of the global burden of disease. And while the market for new psychoactive substances (NPS) is still relatively small, users are unaware of the content and dosage of psychoactive substanc-

es in some NPS. This potentially exposes users to additional serious health risks. He also pointed out that hepatitis C is causing the greatest harm among the estimated 12 million people who inject drugs worldwide. Out of this number, one in eight (1.6 million) is living with HIV and more than half (6.1 million) are living with hepatitis C, while around 1.3 million are suffering from both hepatitis C and HIV. Overall, three times more people who use drugs die from hepatitis C (222,000) than from HIV (60,000). However, as stressed in the Report, despite recent advances in the treatment of hepatitis C, access remains poor, as treatment remains very expensive in most countries. The briefing also touched upon other trends related to drug trafficking and organized crime: changing business models such as ease of purchasing drugs anonymously

through mobile communications, market trends with a wider spectrum of substances available, and the links between drug trafficking and terrorism. The presentation was followed by a very interactive question and answer session. The 2017 Report comes at a time when the international community has acted decisively to achieve consensus on a way forward for joint action. The outcome document unanimously adopted at the 2016 special session of the UN General Assembly on the world drug problem contains more than 100 concrete recommendations for implementing balanced, comprehensive and integrated approaches to effectively address and counter the global drug problem.


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drugs and crime

Report on Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s counter terrorism response launched under a EU-funded programme Understanding the Counter Terrorism Response – A Case Analysis of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Report was launched by the UNODC in collaboration with the Home and Tribal Affairs Department of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) under a European Union funded programme. The report was completed under the auspices of ‘Pakistan’s Action to Counter Terrorism with a special reference to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’ project, which is supported by the European Union and aims to build national capacities of law enforcement and criminal justice agencies in effectively countering terrorism. The Home and Tribal Affairs Department of K-P constituted a committee of members from the Police, Prosecution and the Judiciary who provided practical recommendations for further strengthening the criminal justice response to terrorism. The committee has put forward 30 recommendations which reflect the capacity, process, and legislative improvements. The recommendations would also act as a road-map and a cornerstone to UNODC and the EU’s intervention in the province under the ‘Pakistan’s Action to Counter Terrorism

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Project’. During the launch, HE JeanFrançois Cautain, Ambassador of the European Union, stated that security is an important topic in the EU-Pakistan cooperation. The ambassador emphasised that the report launched today is the first step towards the implementation of a 7-million-euro counter terrorism project funded by the EU, and it highlights the issues that may be overcome and lead to success in fighting terrorism only by close cooperation of all criminal justice institutions in the country. In his brief remarks UNODC Country Representative Mr. Cesar Guedes highlighted upon the importance of the recommendations and stated that an evidence-based approach would continue to be adopted while delivering technical assistance for strengthening Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s response to terrorism.

Chief Justice of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Honorable Yahya Afridi, was the chief guest on the occasion and in his closing remarks he appreciated the assistance being rendered to the institutions of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa by UNODC and the EU and highlighted the urgency for developing witness protection programmes to ensure the safety and security of individuals.

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drugs and crime

Anti Narcotics Force Police Station upgraded in Gwadar Cesar Guedes Country Representative UNODC Pakistan today inaugurated the Police Station Anti Narcotics Force in Gwadar. The Police Station has been constructed with the support and collaboration of the Government of Canada. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Guedes said the project will directly impact many existing and emerging challenges posed by drugs in the country and the region. The Station in Gwadar complements deployment of the Anti Narcotics Force at Dalbandin and Hub. Such strategic initiatives would enhance the force’s capacity to detect, interdict and investigate illicit drug trafficking. He also highlighted that the project contributes to the vision of creating a safer community, free from the threats posed by illicit narcotics trafficking and transnational organized crime. Through this capacity-building initiative, UNODC envisages enhancing the force’s operational capacities astride the main trade route culminating at Gwadar. Force Commander, Anti-Narcotics Force Balochistan, Brig Bilal Javed thanked UNODC and the Government of Canada for the support

to augment the force’s capacity to combat drug trafficking. He said that police stations constructed at Hub, Dalbandin and Gwadar would positively impact efforts by the Anti Narcotics Force to fight the scourge of drug trafficking effectively. Addressing counter-narcotics through an inter-agency approach, the new Anti Narcotics Force operational facilities in Gwadar, Hub and Dalbandin will enhance the larger inter-agency communication network between the Anti Narcotics Force and other law enforcement agencies including the Frontier Corps, Pakistan Customs, Federal Investigation Agency and civil administration. The Police Station Gwadar includes offices, an oper-

ations room, an e-Learning training facility and living accommodation. Necessary power backup has been provided through installation of 6.5 KVA solar panels.


news and events

gender equality and women’s empowerment

Pakistani multinationals role models for gender equality PepsiCo Pakistan and Nestlé Pakistan are the first Multinational Companies to step up their commitment towards improving gender diversity within their business models, by signing the Women’s Empowerment Principles, with support from UN Women (the United Nations Entity

gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community through policy and action. Under the respective leadership of Furqan Ahmad (Vice President and General Manager for PepsiCo Pakistan and Afghanistan) and Bruno Olierhoek (Managing Director for Nestlé Pakistan), this move demonstrates their dedication to advance gender and diversity within the workplace and build a more inclusive environment for em-

would aim to increase the number of women at managerial and senior level position, train over 500 line managers on ‘Unconscious Bias’ by the end of 2018, and improve facilities like Day Cares and Women Hostels. By signing the seven steps of the Women’s Empowerment Principles, PepsiCo Pakistan and Nestlé Pakistan take on a global approach to four key areas: promoting economic develop-

for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women). Companies have a key role to play as ‘change agents’ to build a world where gender equality is a reality, and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5. In pledging their support to take action, the Seven Principles of Women’s Empowerment - a joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact - will provide a set of considerations to assist PepsiCo Pakistan, Nestlé Pakistan and other companies to focus on key elements integral to promoting

ployees. Jamshed Kazi (Country Representative for UN Women Pakistan) congratulated both PepsiCo Pakistan and Nestlé Pakistan in driving change from the top and stated that companies with higher gender equality enjoy higher levels of growth and performance. Mr. Furqan Ahmed Syed said PepsiCo has been a corporate trailblazer when it comes to empowering women, and that the partnership was an opportunity to take the gender equality journey to even greater heights. Mr. Bruno Olierhoek committed that Nestlé Pakistan

ment through female entrepreneurship, championing gender diversity in business and corporate level, public-private partnerships for advancing women’s economic opportunities and providing potential business and investment opportunities through supplier diversity and marketing practices. To date, more than 20 Pakistani companies have made a public commitment of support over the last two years by signing onto the Women’s Empowerment Principles.

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news and events

gender equality and women’s empowerment

Baseline study identifies gaps in services, justice delivery to women Women’s access to justice, services, and safe spaces requires long-term advocacy, evidence-based provincial strategies on zero tolerance for Violence against Women (VAW), strengthened service delivery mechanisms, and capacity building of law enforcement agencies. These recommendations were released on August 24 by UN Women as part of a baseline study and the initial phase of a project - ‘Prevention and Protection of Women from Violence though Access to Justice, Services and Safe Public Places’ – funded by the United States Department of State. UN Women studied five districts with high rates of Violence Againt Women in Balochistan (Quetta), Punjab (Rawalpindi), and Sindh (Karachi, Dadu, and Khairpur). Through interventions in these districts, the project aims to train and build capacity of some 2,000 male and female police, prosecutors, judges, and lawyers who comprise the law enforcement and service providers dealing with Violence Against Women. With US assistance, UN Women will establish four Women Protection Units, where women can access legal information and referral services. Protocols and referral mechanisms will help each district coordinate between

law enforcement and other members of the justice sector. Speaking at the event on Thursday, the U.S. Embassy’s Gregory Schiffer said the United States shared with UN Women a vision of a criminal justice system that is accessible to and supportive of women; and of Pakistani women and girls who have confidence that the system is in place to protect them and that services are available to support them. In his welcome remarks, Country Representative for UN Women Jamshed Kazi stated that the right of women and girls to live free of violence depends not just on the laws protecting their human rights but also in the efficacy of its implementation. Whilst the legal framework to tackle violence against women has been considerably strengthened in recent years by the Government of Pakistan, the judicial response to violence must be immediate, coordinated and effective so that crimes are punished and justice is secured. He stressed that

more must be done where women are informed of their legal rights and supported to navigate the complexities legal system as well as changing patriarchal mind-sets, including through deeper engagement of male champions of gender equality within law enforcement and local communities.


news and events

gender equality and women’s empowerment

Empowering women in economic life In empowering women to participate fully in economic life, Mr. Khawaja Masood, Chief Executing Officer (CEO) of Forward Group in Sialkot says that the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP) is a particularly good model of an initiative that supports partnerships to sustain poor and needy women. He added it was a crime against humanity that women are contained within the four walls of their houses as prisoners. He believes there is no chance for the welfare of the humanity unless the condition of women is improved. To make significant improvement in factories, hindrances to women’s advancement need to be better understood and addressed. CEOs should provide equal employment opportunities. ‘Forward Group’ is 1 of 17 private sector companies in Pakistan whose CEOs have signed the ‘CEO Statement of Support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles’, with guidance from UN Women Pakistan and Baidarie (a non-government organization established by rural women).

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


The WEPs is a partnership initiative of UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and provides a set of considerations to help the private sector focus on key elements integral to promoting gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community through policy and action.

“Speaking in support of his female colleagues and the seven Principles of Women’s Empowerment, Mr. Muhammad Majied, a factory worker says: “If working women’s skills and wages are recognized, their socio-economic condition will improve. Some female colleagues have no access to social security benefits such as health insurance and old age benefits. If these are rightfully provided to them I am sure motivation and outputs will increase. If the seven Principles are introduced the socio-economic condition of both men and women will become much better”. Mr. Muhammad Majied A factory worker

news and events

gender equality and women’s empowerment

What are the Women’s Empowerment Principles?

“We are all on a journey towards gender equality - women and men as equal partners in change.” Margaret Adamson Australian High Commissioner in Pakistan


news and events


Commemorating World Hepatitis Day The World Health Organization and its partners commemorated World Hepatitis Day on 10 August, adding momentum to WHO’s Global Health Sector Strategy (GHSS) on viral hepatitis for 2016–2021, and to help Member States achieve the final goal: Eliminating Hepatitis. In 2015 nearly 325 million people around the world were living with chronic hepatitis infections; 1.34 million people died. However, both hepatitis B and C are preventable. Hepatitis B is manageable, and hepatitis C is now curable. The Eastern Mediterranean Region is one of the most affected in the world. Estimates indicate that currently more than 15 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis C and 21 million with hepatitis B. Many still acquire the infection in health care settings, through unsafe injections or inadequately-screened blood transfusions. In Pakistan almost 12 million people are suffering from hepatitis B or C. Each year about 150,000 new cases are added. Many patients remain undiagnosed and untreated for years before developing complications and death. WHO Regional Director Dr Mahmoud Fikri said no one should be dying of viral hepatitis since treatment is known. He acknowledged the efforts of Mem-

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


ber States in the Region and called for acceleration. In 2014, Member States of WHO adopted a comprehensive resolution urging countries to develop and implement coordinated multi-sectoral national plans for preventing, diagnosing, and treating viral hepatitis. In parallel, WHO developed the first-ever Global Health Sector Strategy for Viral Hepatitis, rooted in the global commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and to universal health coverage. It sets out the vision of global stakeholders and Member States towards eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030. At the regional level, WHO has given special priority to hepatitis B and C prevention, diagnosis and treatment. A regional action plan for the hepatitis response was developed and endorsed by Member States. Key challenges for an effective national response in Pakistan included: limited timely and reliable data; unnecessary

injection practices, capacity of staff on safe injection practices and effective sharp and waste management; unregulated blood transfusions as well as inadequate screening. WHO and Centres for Disease Control (CDC) are actively engaged in strengthening the national response. National guidelines on Hepatitis C, were developed in 2015-16. Recently, in line with the Global Health Sector Strategy (GHSS) for Viral Hepatitis and the WHO EMRO Regional Action Plan 2017-2021, a National Hepatitis Strategic Framework (NHSF) has been developed. The framework recognized safe injections, blood safety and harm reduction services, in addition to expansion of diagnostics and treatment services as key for eradication.

news and events


Menstrual Hygiene Day: education changes everything About 100 representatives from government, development organizations, civil society, youth and media convened at the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services, in Islamabad to commemorate Menstrual Hygiene Day. According to research on menstrual knowledge and practices of female adolescents in urban Karachi, less than 20% of girls surveyed understood that menstruation was a natural bodily function. The day serves as a neutral platform to bring together individuals, organizations, social businesses and the media to create a united and strong voice for women and girls around the world, helping to break the silence around Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM). This year, the global theme was ‘Education about menstruation changes everything.’ A panel discussion focusing on the impact of lack of proper menstrual hygiene on the education of adolescent girls was organized. Panellists included Ms. Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson of the National Commission on Women Status, Mr. Syed Ayub Qutub, Chief Executive of Pakistan Institute for Env-Dev Action Research, and Mr. Nasim Ashraf, an Islamabad based Gynaecologist

Obstetrician. The event was organized by the Menstrual Hygiene Management Working Group, a coalition of humanitarian organizations working to champion menstrual hygiene management in Pakistan. The event was chaired by Mr. Khalid Hussain Magsi, Chairman of the Parliament Standing Committee on Health. Other representatives from government included, Mr. Syed Abu Ahmad Akif, Secretary of the Ministry of Climate Change in the Government of Pakistan. It provided a platform to put a spotlight on an issue which is hardly addressed in Pakistan yet sadly mostly adolescent girls and women do not have access to the facilities they need to manage their menstrual cycles. During his address Mr. Hussain Magsi said that in order to make health and education inclusive and equitable by 2030 in Pakistan the focus must be on MHM needs for girls and women. Ms. Hina Kausar, co-chair of the MHM Working Group Pakistan said the objective of the MHM Working Group was to raise cognizance of creating an enabling policy environment for prioritizing MHM in the programming agendas and to support the Government in the implementation of MHM interventions. A key objective of the event was to promote sharing experiences from stakeholders working on MHM

across the country and at the same time engage government to take a more proactive stand to implement and fund policies. The discussions culminated in policy recommendations for relevant ministries in Pakistan to support necessary actions to improve the status of MHM in the country.


news and events


Investing in breastfeeding is a priority

No country in the world fully meets recommended standards for breastfeeding, according to a new report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Global Breastfeeding Collective, a new initiative to increase global breastfeeding rates. The Global Breastfeeding Scorecard, which evaluated 194 nations, found that only 40 per cent of children younger than six months are breastfed exclusively and only 23 countries have exclusive breastfeeding rates above 60 per cent. In Pakistan, almost half of the children under five years of age are stunted (43.7 per cent), which is often a result of poor breastfeeding practices. According to the National Nutrition Survey 2011, only 38 per cent of mothers exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life. Less than half of mothers in Pakistan start breastfeeding within one hour of birth which deprives babies from colostrum – their first defence against killer diseases. The scorecard was released at the start of World Breastfeeding Week alongside a new analysis demonstrating that an annual investment of only US$4.70 per newborn is required to increase the global rate of exclusive breastfeeding

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


among children under six months to 50 per cent by 2025. ‘Nurturing the Health and Wealth of Nations: The Investment Case for Breastfeeding’, suggests that meeting this target could save the lives of 520,000 children under the age of five and potentially generate US$300 billion in economic gains over 10 years, as a result of reduced illness and health care costs and increased productivity. UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said that by failing to invest in breastfeeding, we are failing mothers and their babies – and paying a double price: in lost lives and in lost opportunity. Globally, investment in breastfeeding is far too low. Each year, governments in lower- and middle-income countries spend approximately US$250 million on breastfeeding programs; and donors provide only an additional US$85 million. The Global Breastfeed-

ing Collective is calling on countries to increase funding to raise breastfeeding rates from birth through two years; fully implement the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly resolutions; improve access to skilled breastfeeding counselling as part of comprehensive breastfeeding policies and programmes in health facilities, among other measures. Breastfeeding is critical for the achievement of many of the Sustainable Development Goals. It improves nutrition (SDG2), prevents child mortality and decreases the risk of non-communicable diseases (SDG3), and supports cognitive development and education (SDG4). Breastfeeding is also an enabler to ending poverty, promoting economic growth and reducing inequalities.

news and events


National sport stars appointed menstrual hygiene champions In a colourful celebration with over 200 adolescent girls from Islamabad, Sana Mahmud, captain of the national basketball team, Hajra Khan, captain of the national football team and Kiran Khan, an Olympic swimmer received their certificates and shields for this honorary appointment from Angela Kearney, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan. In their role as menstrual hygiene champions Sana, Hajra and Kiran will use their extraordinary athletic success to engage and empower adolescent girls to bring the taboo subject of menstrual hygiene out into public discourse. Research commissioned by UNICEF indicates that adolescent girls in Pakistan are often uninformed and unprepared for the onset of menstruation. Teachers are reluctant to discuss it in school leaving mothers and other female family members as the primary source of information. The study suggests unfounded beliefs and myths surrounding menstruation, including prohibiting girls from taking a bath during their periods, eating certain foods, or participating in certain social and religious events. Because of this misinformation, menstruation is often associated with profound psychological and emotional problems

by adolescent girls. Exclusion and shame leads to misconceptions and unhygienic practices during menstruation. Thus, girls tend to miss school and refrain from social interaction. In a bid to promote positive societal norms around menstruation, UNICEF is launching the ‘Be Bold Be Free’ campaign to increase awareness on menstrual hygiene among different groups of society. These include mothers and teachers, fathers and boys to cultivate empathy and support for girls, as well as religious and community leaders to promote positive messages on the subject. Neil Buhne, Resident Coordinator of the UN in Pakistan inspirationally told the large gathering of young females that each one of them can be a winner, and that nothing, and definitely not something as natural as menstru-

ation should ever stop them. Angela Kearney, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan said periods were not only a woman’s issue but everyone’s issue, and stressed the need to educate men. The three newly-acclaimed menstrual hygiene champions each had strong inspirational messages for the girls too, stating the importance of confidence and awareness in their own bodies, and reassuring them that menstruation has never been an obstacle in their professional success. In addition, during the event, several youth tech-preneurs, winners of UNICEF’s Menstrual Hygiene Management Innovation Challenge, were awarded with prizes for their ideas to improve the lives of menstruating adolescents.


news and events


Mental Health Gap Action Programme workshop Implementation of the World Health Organization Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) provides an evidence-based solution for bridging the existing huge treatment gap in mental, neurological and substance use disorders in Pakistan. This was the consensus achieved during a two-day planning for implementation of WHO Mental Health Gap Action Plan (mhGAP) in four selected districts of Pakistan namely Hyderabad in Sindh, Quetta in Balochistan, Rawalpindi in the Punjab and Peshawar in KPK. Following the Training of Trainers (TOTs) held in December 2016, the Ministry of National health Services, Regulation and Coordination (MoNHSR&C) supported by the WHO Collaborating Center for Mental Health, organized this planning exercise aimed at developing a detailed plan of action for the training of General Physicians (GPs) at Tehsil level and separate trainings for paramedical staff in the relevant facilities in each of the selected pilot district. The planning workshop was participated by a group of Master Trainers along with district managers from pilot districts. Dr. Mohammad Assai, WHO Representative in Pakistan advocated for integrated people-centred health ser-

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vices for the implementation of mental health Gap Action Plan in the model districts. The objective of the workshop is to review the training material, brainstorm on the next steps and come out with a clear roadmap for the cascade trainings in the selected Tehsils of the pilot districts. Dr. Safi, Director implementation Ministry of National health services, regulation and Coordination briefed the participants of the Government commitment and the process adopted for the implementation of this initiative in Pakistan. Professor Fareed Minhas, Head, Institute of Psychiatry Rawalpindi highlighted the magnitude of the mental health disorders and alarmingly low number of health workforce in Pakistan. The participants worked in groups to come out with a detailed implementa-

tion plan of action for their respective areas of jurisdiction. It was tentatively decided that the GP’s trainings would be held during September-October and for paramedics during November-December. The participants also discussed in detail the supervision and monitoring plan. The provincial Governments will evaluate the pilot studies and scale up integration of Mental Health in Primary Health Care.

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Breastfeeding’s benefits equivalent to a first vaccine

Promoting b re a s t f e e d i n g could save the lives of 820,000 children under the age of five. A newly released World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund report states that no country in the world fully meets the recommended breastfeeding standards and only 23 out of 194 have exclusive breastfeeding rates above 60 per cent. Pakistan stands at 18 per cent for “Early initiation of breastfeeding”, with only 37.7 per cent of mothers practicing “Exclusive Breastfeeding for six months”. Statistics suggest that 44 per cent of Pakistani children are stunted (lower height for age and facing development issues). Compliance to early initiation of breastfeeding; exclusive breastfeeding and complimentary breast feeding for two years could significantly reduce this phenomenon.Evidence shows that breastfeeding has cognitive and health benefits for both infants and their mothers. Children who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life are 14 times more likely to survive than non-breastfed

children. It also helps prevent diarrhoea and pneumonia which are major causes of death in infants. Mothers who breastfeed have a reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer, two leading causes of death among women. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organisation said that breast milk works like a baby’s first vaccine, protecting infants from potentially deadly diseases and giving them all the nourishment they need to survive and thrive.The Global Breastfeeding Collective is making efforts to enable more mothers to breastfeed through enforcing the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes; strengthening policy provisions that support maternity leave; increasing access and quality to skilled breastfeeding counselling in the health system; fostering community networks that support women in breastfeeding and implementation successful breastfeeding in maternity facilities, including providing breastmilk for sick and vulnerable new-borns.Breastfeeding is not a single woman’s job. Mothers need assistance and support from their health care providers, families, employers, communities and governments.Breastfeeding is pivotal for the achievement of many of the Sustainable Development Goals. It improves nutrition (SDG2), prevents child mortality and decreases the

risk of non-communicable diseases (SDG3), and supports cognitive development and education (SDG4). Finally breastfeeding is also an enabler to ending poverty, promoting economic growth and reducing inequalities.WHO along with all other relevant UN agencies and partners will continue providing technical support to the Government of Pakistan to ensure that all Rural Health Clinics and hospitals, whether public or private, are converted into baby friendly health facilities across the country by 2030.


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Health project to benefit hundreds of patients in Balochistan In an effort to improve health services in public hospitals in Quetta, the UN Refugee Agency handed over a health project worth USD350,000 to the provincial health department that will benefit 200,000 patients. The project was handed over at a ceremony which was attended by UNHCR and government officials. Under the project – implemented through the Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) platform – UNHCR provided medical and IT equipment and carried out the renovation of sanitary facilities at major public hospitals which will benefit both Afghan refugees and Pakistanis. Medical equipment was provided to the Bolan Medical Complex and Sandeman hospital, while IT equipment was given to Fatima Jinah General and Chest Hospital and the Provincial AIDS Control Programme. Around 72,000 mothers and 81,600 new born babies will benefit from the upgraded health services. This is the first Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in Balochistan. About 1,200 cardiology patients, 144,000 trauma patients, and 59,760 children will benefit in the Bolan Medical Complex in Quetta,

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


36,000 will benefit from trollies and wheel chairs. Asmatullah Kakar, the provincial health secretary, said better health facilities would reduce mortality and morbidity rates. The health secretary appreciated the three-day learning session conducted by UNHCR for the staff and students in order to enhance their capacities to provide improved and quality healthcare services. Speaking at the occasion, UNHCR Representative in Pakistan Indrika Ratwatte appreciated the generosity of the government and people of Pakistan for hosting millions of refugees for nearly four decades, saying UN-

HCR understands the challenges of host countries. He thanked the people of Denmark and Japan for their generosity in providing funds for this programme. Since its start in 2009 to date, some 3,500 Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas projects have been implemented across Pakistan in the sectors of health, education, infrastructure, livelihoods, water and sanitation.

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human rights

Live streaming of Pakistan’s Universal Periodic Review of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights hosted UNIC, in partnership with Justice Project Pakistan (JPP) hosted a live streaming session of Pakistan’s first ever review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which was held at the Palais de Wilson, in Geneva. UNIC Director, Vittorio Cammarota gave opening remarks about the covenant and the United Nation’s role in promoting the human rights. He said that they had translated the universal declaration of human rights into multiple languages including Urdu, so that all Pakistanis could now access this vital document. Before the live streaming of the session, participants were connected via skype to Ms Christine Chung, International Human Rights Officer at Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights in Geneva, who provided a dtailed introduction on the ICCPR and Pakistan’s participation to it. She stated that this review was an opportunity for Pakistan to present its position on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

session was largely attended by the representatives of the diplomatic community, media, government, NGOs, and colleagues from the UN agencies and students from the universities in Islamabad. The screening provided an oppourtunity to learn about the current situation and challenges of the human rights in Pakistan, as well as the initiatives taken by the state to addressing them.

The participants at UNIC witnessed the live proceedings of the Pakistan’s review of the ICCPR. The


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industrial development/economy

Clean-tech entrepreneurs get hands-on training A two-day National Academy was conducted for the semi-finalists of the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) for Small and Medium scale Enterprises and start-ups in Pakistan, under the auspices of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). This academy was held in Islamabad on 13 and 14 July 2017 for the teams of Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and adjoining areas. The same kind of National Academies will be held in Lahore for the teams of Punjab, and in Karachi for the teams of Sind and Balochistan. The National Academy is a flagship training session for innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs who were selected in the Global Cleantech Business Accelerator Programme 2017. This year this intensive training programme will be offered to more than 84 participants all over Pakistan. This training is a part of UNIDO’s ongoing efforts to encourage and promote clean technology innovations, with the partnership of Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Cleantech Open: a Silicon Valley, USA based non-profit organization. The programme fosters innovations in Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Waste to Energy, Water Efficien-

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cy and Green Building as part of the larger global programme currently operating in seven countries. A ceremony to mark the end of the National Academy was chaired by Mr. Esam Alqararah; UNIDO Representative to Pakistan, Mr. Abdul Ghaffar Khattak; CEO National Productivity Organization, Mr. Majid Shabbir; Secretary General of Islamabad Chamber of commerce and industry, the aspiring innovators, their mentors and alumni. Mr. Shabbir appreciated the programme and encouraged the teams to come up with a good business model. He further assured the support of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and industry in the promotion of this goal. Mr. Khattak highlighted the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship. He also said that the National Productivity Organization along with the Ministry of Industry

and Production are working for a venture capital fund which will be announced soon, which will help innovators in scaling up their innovation. Mr. Esam expressed his best wishes to the teams and appreciated their efforts in making this programme one of the best among all countries. He also wished that this programme would be extended to more countries, and thanked UNIDO partners for its successful execution. The academy continued until the late evening where all the semi-finalists teams were evaluated, and valuable input was given to all on how to commercialize their innovation in the larger interest of country.

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industrial development/ economy

Creating a carbon smart future UNIDO Pakistan has been working on multiple areas of Energy and Environment in Pakistan. Their projects are bringing positive change in the industrial and other sectors. The organization pursues the programmatic goals of gender equality and the empowerment of women both collectively within the United Nations system, and individually through its mandate to advance the well-being of women and men in all countries through inclusive and sustainable industrial development. UNIDO is committed to integrating a gender perspective in all its policies, programmes, projects and organizational practices. UNIDOs’ Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) supported a woman-led Small and Medium Scale Enterprise called Green Team. The journey of Green Team, towards a cleaner tomorrow, began in 2011. It started out with trying to find a solution for reducing waste, which was increasing rapidly at an industrial plan site. The idea was to convert waste into energy as the plant had to use a diesel generator for power supply during electricity short falls. The initiative started at a lab scale by grouping waste materials according to their calorific value etc., the effort continued but the final product develop-

ment took years. During this process, the team learned about the Global Environment Facility-Funded Global Cleantech Innovation Programme Call for Awards in 2016, and participated in it as a lifetime opportunity which unfolded a new learning adventure to finalize the product, right from the national academy to the business clinics etc. The collaborative effort resulted into winning not only the national competition as runner-up in Pakistan, but also the “Global Category Award” in the category of waste to energy in Silicon Valley, USA. In addition, the international exposure and training provided the team a great learning and networking opportunity. UNIDO’s projects have a great record of promoting entrepreneurship culture by providing oppor-

tunities such as, training, mentoring, exposure and access to capital.


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industrial development/economy

Providing better health with better medical imagining

UNIDO is providing a reliable and repeatable process that increases the chances of making a Cleantech start-up successful. Entrepreneurs progressively “de-risk” their businesses, with the aim of making them more attractive to prospective investors and customers. One of UNIDO Global Cleantech Innovation programme (GCIP)’s semi-finalists namely “Gen.Ro.CT” (Generic Radiation Optimized CT) evolved with the desire of the team to contribute towards humanity by innovation in the field of Bio-medicine. It is an efficient Computed Tomography scanning solution that significantly reduces the hazardous X-ray radiations involved in conventional CT scans, without degrading the CT image quality. This cost-and-energy-effective solution extends the effective lifespan of a standard CT scanner. It offers 50% lesser radiation with energy consumption along with enhancing the productivity of the machine. The start-up contributes to the lo-

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


cal medical industry by upgrading conventional CT scanners used in Pakistani hospitals with little or no hardware modifications. These upgraded CT scanners, with special emphasis on radiation dose reduction and conserving energy, are extremely cost effective. Gen.Ro.CT provide virtually no shipment delays and cost, and can potentially double the lifespan of a CT scanner. This Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded programme of GCIP has found a new dimension i.e. Energy – Health Nexus, and this particular success story is a testament of how clean technology applications can bring out healthy lifestyle and relief for patients.

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industrial development/economy

Global Cleantech Innovation Programme highlighted

Owing to the overwhelming success of UNIDO’s Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth of Pakistan; UNIDO’s team was invited by Pakistan television (PTV) on their special TV programme on youth. UNIDO’s team was comprised of UNIDO Representative Mr. Esam Alqararah, UNIDO Country Representative Ms. Nadia Aftab, and Global Cleantech Innovation Programme Technical Expert Mr. Hammad Saeed. Mr. Esam Alqararah recounted UNIDO’s history in Pakistan and its broad objectives, and also described the projects the organization is undertaking, in particular those related to youth. Ms. Nadia Aftab appraised the mandate of UNIDO and its existing and upcoming activities for the development of industry, especially the SME sector and also in supporting Trade and Capacity Building for various industrial sectors. She also highlighted the other projects of UNIDO which are aimed at promotion of women in different

spheres of life especially economic empowerment, by mentioning projects like Women Entrepreneurship Development (WED). She further described the “Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP)” and how this is encouraging and facilitating the youth of Pakistan to innovate in the context of Clean technologies. Mr. Hammad Saeed elaborated on the project and mentioned the opportunities for innovators and how UNIDO can help these youth in converting their innovations into an entrepreneurial activity. He further highlighted the success of this project and stated that women participation was overwhelmingly high. He added that the potential of youth in Pakistan is evident: it has been two years in a row that beneficiaries of this project have

been winning the global award in the waste to energy category at the Global Forum in Silicon Valley, USA.


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industrial development/economy

Baby incubating blanket an instant panacea to infants’ mortality

The importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment is at the core of UNIDO’s mandate. Enhancing the role of women as drivers of poverty reduction, promoting women investors and entrepreneurs, and recognizing the link between gender equality and safeguarding the environment all promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and directly contribute to SDG 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure, and to SDG 5 on gender equality. In order to ensure, increase and encourage women participation in UNIDO’s Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP), a new prize of US$ 15,000 has been introduced this year which is “Most promising women-led business”. Cleantech is one of Pakistan’s biggest business accelerator programmes, which supports and fosters innovations. A creative woman innovator revolutionized the typical incubators into a modified portable, battery operated device, having many more features than a normal incubator. She designed a portable incubator for far flung rural areas, which is both cost and energy efficient with advanced

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


monitoring and controlling parameters. The first prototype was successfully developed last year. This woman-led team participated in Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded Global Cleantech Innovation Programme awards in 2016 and won the “Most Promising Woman Led Business Award”. The programme provided international exposure, training and mentoring to improve the product and business model. This great

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industrial development/economy

Clean, green, riding machine

The main contributors to pollution are the countless rickshaws and petrol-based motorcycles on our roads. Bolt Bike offers an alternative that does not use petrol or produce toxic fumes. Using electronics and pedalling power, the bike offers a unique intra-city commuting solution. This women-led team was the winner of UNIDO Global Cleantech Innovation programme (GCIP) call for award 2015, “Most promising woman-led business award”. The bike is a hybrid technology bicycle run by battery power and human muscle power. The company aims to revolutionize standard commuting by introducing their line of products, tailored to fit each of their targeted market segments. The Bolt Bike offers customized versions for women, tourists, security patrollers and employees of large to medium-sized industrial units and others. By virtue of their training, exposure visit to Silicon Valley; USA, mentoring and capacity building sessions under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded Global Cleantech Innovation Programme; they have

strategized their innovation to be commercialized at multiple channels and markets. The Pakistan programme has brought many laurels to Pakistan at a global level such as, the highest number of applications, the highest number of Semi-finalists, highest number of women led teams and women winners, as compared to other such programmes simultaneously running in other countries. Moreover, the programme has won the “Global Category Award” in Silicon Valley, USA for 2015 and 2016.


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industrial development/economy

Innovating to utilize eco-friendly natural resources

UNIDOs’ Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP), the world’s largest clean technology competition, is supporting Pakistani entrepreneurs (SMEs and start-ups) with the best ideas that deal with today’s most imperative energy, environmental and economic challenges through a competition based approach. The programme focuses on fostering emerging and commercially viable clean technology start-ups to fuel green industrial growth in the country, while small and medium-sized enterprises are provided with training, mentoring, and access to potential investors. The team of ‘Inventors’ strived to develop energy alternatives to overcome the energy crises throughout the country. The goal was to design green energy efficient devices that could be conveniently managed, to reduce net utilization of energy by addressing a major gap in the market. The innovation is an umbrella operated by solar energy, innovated for traffic wardens, army men, pilgrims, and people on the move. Based on market demand, the product was later improved by adding a fan, a light and laptop/mobile

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charger. The team was seriously struggling with its commercial aspects when they learned about UNIDO’s flagship Global Environment Facility-Funded Global Cleantech Innovation Programme Call for Award. The GCIP national academy, business clinic and mentoring opportunities provided immense marketing support, focusing on better understanding of the target market and customized business model and its validation which immensely facilitated commercialization of the innovation.

news and events

Smart irrigation system

Given the significance and contribution of small businesses to the promotion of job creation and overall economic development of Pakistan, UNIDO is implementing a “Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs and Start-ups� focusing on the promotion of innovations in clean technologies, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and supported by its strategic partners, the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST), the National Productivity Organization (NPO), the Pakistan Institute of Management (PIM) and international Knowledge partner - The Cleantech Open USA, since 2014 in Pakistan. Simplicity Labs is a technology start-up that provides smart solutions for smart spaces. The solution is a tractor mounted high efficiency irrigation system that resolves irrigation problems in arid areas of Pakistan. The technology, if applied properly, may drastically facilitate farmers, at all levels, in arid regions by reducing their dependency on rainfall. Ever since the Simplicity Lab has become the Semi-finalist of the pro-

gramme; it has been exposed to multiple capacity building and exposure sessions; to enhance their commercialization activity. Participation in the competition motivated the innovators to apply the technology in different regions and test the system in a holistic manner. During this effort, cleantech mentoring helped in improving the product according to market needs and in developing an appropriate business model for commercialization of the innovation.


industrial development/economy

news and events


Moving towards technology-based Labour Inspection Management Information Systems

Well-designed Labour Inspection Management Information Systems (LI-MIS) could contribute to the improvement of strategic planning, decision making and monitoring within the labour inspection machinery. The project on Strengthening Labour Inspection System in Pakistan (SLISP), funded by the Dutch Government, convened a national consultation on Labour Inspection Management Information System (LI-MIS). This was attended by the Federal Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources Development (OP&HRD), four provincial inspectorates, and labour departments. It was organized to showcase the LI-MIS of Punjab as a model for other provinces/regions and explore options for increasing the use of technology based IT system for Labour Inspection and reporting. Mr. Suhail Aamir, Federal Secretary Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources Development emphasised the need to promote the use of technology in labour inspection. Mr. Aamir also maintained that a technology based LI-MIS could pave the way for enhanced outreach and improved quality of labour in-

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spections by creating a reliable database of required information, boosting the quality of information and reporting and improving compliance with International Labour Standards by bringing infringements to the fore. Ms. Ingrid Christensen, Director of the ILO Country Office suggested these systems can facilitate the collection and analysis of data and information which in turn can assist identification and prioritization of the areas, sectors and particular risk factors that require attention of labour inspection. The consultation drew a series of recommendations for the way forward. The Department of Labour Punjab’s Labour Inspection Management Information Systems could be used as a starting point for the development of similar platforms in other provinces/regions. The designation of a centrally positioned gov-

ernment institution as ‘Convener’ should be considered for the development of the same system in other provinces/regions. A proposal for strategizing its development in other provinces/regions should be tabled to the Federal Tripartite Coordination Committee for assent and furthering of the recommended strategies. Mr. Zishan Siddiqi, National Project Coordinator SLISP, summarizing the consultations proceedings, concluded with remarks that innovative solutions within the Labour Inspection would require the commitment of statuary institutions. Mr. Siddiqi also maintained that any ambitions in this regard could only succeed by putting in place adequate institutional infrastructure at provincial and federal level.

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Complying with International Labor Standards through social dialogue

Participants to the two day National Labour Law Symposium agreed that Pakistan needs to improve its compliance with core labour standards and other UN standards under the Global System of Preferences (GSP) Plus framework, as a means of supporting economic growth and development. The symposium was jointly organized by Continuing Legal Education Institute of Pakistan (CLEIP), International Labour Organization (ILO), Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) of the US Department of Commerce, and the USAID from 19-20 July 2017. It brought together major stakeholders to discuss the labour legislation and related implementation issues in Pakistan and their impact on the investment and socio-economic development. Some of the issues highlighted by participants were the need for improved compliance and reporting of core labour standards, and the fact the constitution still rests workers’ rights and coordination with the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (MoPHRD). Initiatives such as a National Labour Protection Frame-

work (NLPF) being created by the government with technical support of the ILO were also highlighted. A number of issues and recommendations were highlighted during the panel discussions. Senator Taj Haider, Chairperson of the Senate’s Committee on Delegated Legislation stressed the need to improve the country’s trade balance in order to improve the employment intensity in export oriented sectors. Dr Mujeeb Uddin Memon Sehrai, Vice Chancellor of the Sindh Agriculture University, stressed the need to formalize the informal economy with a particular focus on Agriculture. He highlighted the potential changes in the labour market within the unfolding challenges of climate change and water scarcity, stressing that this required prediction and mitigation. Justice (retd) Yasmin Abbasey, Federal Ombudsman for Protection of

Women at Workplace highlighted the low rate of women participation in labour force. She expressed the urgent need to reduce gender wage gap. She also pointed out the need to extend the law on sexual harassment at the workplace to the informal economy. Barrister Raffay Altaf and Barrister Umer Gilani briefed the participants about the comparative advantages of collective bargaining, conciliation, mediation and arbitration as alternate means of conflict/ dispute resolution. As a way forward, participants of the symposium agreed on continuing social dialogue as a means for finding lasting solutions to legislative and enforcement issues, so that devolution could facilitate real opportunity for sound industrial relations and improved labour market governance in Pakistan.


news and events

refugees and displaced persons

Rangoona’ festival showcases harmony between communities

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) organised a night of entertainment and culture to display the cohesion and harmony between Pakistani and Afghan refugee communities. The cultural festival ‘Rangoona’ (unity in diversity) brought together people from different backgrounds including diplomats, government officials, artists, musicians, a poet and the media. The festival rocked the audience with Pashto and Dari songs and instrumental performances. There was also a poetry recitation, fashion show, craft show and art exhibition. Singers and musicians inspired the audience with their music from Af-

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


ghanistan and Pakistan. Pakistanis and Afghan refugees took part in a Capoeira show – a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, music, acrobatics, fighting and self-defence. Afghan refugees, Pakistani models and members of the international community participated in a fashion show featuring Afghan refugee clothes, products and accessories. An art exhibition displayed paintings by Afghan and Pakistani artists from Quetta and Islamabad. The paintings – employing techniques including pyrography – depicted the lives of refugees. An artist used canvas with oil paints, acrylics and charcoal.

The craft exhibition displayed embroidered items and other products. Speaking at the occasion, UNHCR Representative in Pakistan, Indrika Ratwatte said the main purpose of this event was to promote peace, love and harmony. Arshad Mirza, Secretary Ministry of States and Frontier Region (SAFRON) said that Pakistan has always stood by its brotherly neighbour Afghanistan in all hard times and added that shared faith, culture, art, language and values are things that have brought the two countries together for centuries. Mirza said thousands of Afghan refugee children were getting an education in Pakistan which was play-

news and events

ing a vital role in the development of Afghanistan. He said Pakistan was also providing skilled labour training to the youth of Afghanistan. Musical group Khumaryan, Pashto singers Zeek Afridi, Shaukat Mehmood, Khalid Malik and Alamdar Khan performed and expressed solidarity with Afghan refugees through their music. Dr. Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, Afghanistan’s Ambassador, Neil Buhne, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Jean-Pierre Bianchi, First Secretary of the Embassy of Brazil, Angela Kearney, UNICEF Representative, Saleem Khan, Commissioner Afghan Refugees, Marc P. George, Swiss Ambassador among others attended the festival.


refugees and displaced persons

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One UN Annual Report 2016 published The Annual Report 2016 showcases the work of the UN agencies in Pakistan under the Delivering as One framework. Mr. Neil Buhne, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the United Nations in Pakistan said this year saw the first crucial steps towards supporting the Government of Pakistan in achieving the 2030 Agenda, whose Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a clear call to transform lives and protect the planet. He added that the Government of Pakistan has embraced the SDGs as Pakistan’s own Development Goals, and that the UN team is supporting the Government to localise these goals, to improve the lives of all Pakistanis and the environment in which they live. By delivering together as “One UN” during 2016 greater efficiency and greater impact are achieved. Some of the results and key highlights from the Report included expanded access to education for 103,000 marginalised children and adolescents; improved flood forecasting and early warning capacities in 40 districts; increasingly transparent electoral processes heralded through GIS mapping of polling stations and training for 600,000 polling staff; legislative landmarks on wom-

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


en’s rights; expanded access to HIV services improved the lives of people living with HIV 30% more than the previous year; tackling the root causes of malnutrition and curbing thousands of cases of stunting across Sindh; the return of almost 400,000 Afghan refugees in Pakistan to Afghanistan, and the return of 1.5 million people return to their homes in FATA. Mr. Neil Buhne added that results in 2016 belong to many contributors.

H e thanked the Government c o u n t e rparts, civil society, development partners, and the people of Pakistan on behalf of the UN family in Pakistan and highlighted the need to continue to work together, placing the maxim of ‘leave no one behind’ at the heart of the sustainable development efforts – for the sake of people, planet and prosperity for all.

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United Nations Resident Coordinator visits Pakistan- Administered Kashmir The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Pakistan, Mr. Neil Buhne, visited Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) on a two-day mission to meet senior government officials and discuss development priorities in the region. During his meeting with the President of Pakistan Administered Kashmir, Mr. Sardar Masood Khan, the challenges and opportunities facing the UN development initiatives in PAK were discussed, and avenues to further strengthen the partnership between the Government of PAK and the UN were explored, on key issues such as education, nutrition, employment, disaster risk reduction, food security, and health amongst others. The President shared that despite nearly 100% school enrolment of boys and girls, unemployment levels are high. In addition, there are challenges related to diminishing donor assistance post 2005 earthquake and continuing risks from naturally induced disasters. However, he also stated that there are various opportunities that the government is focusing on which include ongoing development schemes, hydropower projects, skill development of educated youth through technical and vocational education

and training and tourism. During the visit, Mr. Neil Buhne also visited an e-learning centre established at the police training school in Muzaffarabad, where he met senior officials of the police who briefed him about the centre’s training modality. The programme supported by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 2010 focused on providing foundational knowledge to law enforcement agencies. 42,000 law enforcement personnel in Pakistan have completed over 260,000 hours of training on core law enforcement functions including: searches and interdiction techniques, evidence collection and preservation


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Inspiring industrialisation documentary screened The United Nations Information Centre in partnership with the Pakistan National Council of Arts organized the screening of documentary “Building Lives and Factories� in the context of UN Cinema at Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) in Islamabad. Directed by Miles Roston and produced by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the visually stunning documentary depicts the history of industrialization, and its role in promoting social and economic growth, as well as the opportunities and challenges that accompany industrial progress and innovation. It also details how the rapid industrialization in Spain at the beginning of the twentieth century enabled women to enter the labour market, ultimately changing household dynamics and even encouraging these women to claim the right to vote. Essam Alqararah, Country Representative from UNIDO said the film shed some light into the future. It also highlights the contributions UNIDO has made in Pakistan for more than 45 years to promote industry, innovation and infrastruc-

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


ture for poverty reduction, inclusive globalisation and environmental sustainability. Vittorio Cammarota, Director UN Information Centre said that cinema is a powerful tool for raising awareness of development issues among the general public, and that the support of PNCA is instrumental for ensuring that Pakistani people are aware of how they can contribute to the development of their own country. UN Cinema is a collaboration between the UN Information Centre and PNCA to feature films and documentaries focused on development, humanitarian issues and human rights from around the world.

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Briefing on 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development held ‘Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world’ was the theme for the 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which is timely and relevant for the countries in the Asia Pacific region, and Pakistan in particular. In the lead-up to the forum, the United Nations Information Centre organized a media briefing with Ignacio Artaza, Country Director of UNDP in Pakistan, and connected via video-link with Lotta Tähtinen, Chief of the Outreach and Communications Branch, Division for Sustainable Development, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Before connecting to the global briefing from New York, Ignacio Artaza talked to the media about the theme, objectives and role of the forum in following up and reviewing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can definitely not be achieved alone. In this regard, the United Nations in Pakistan is working with the Federal and Provincial Governments, including local gov-

ernments and communities, engaging with parliamentarians, the private sector, academia and civil society to support Pakistan at all levels, guided by a common approach called MAPS (Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support). On the matter of the ineffectiveness of the prior Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Mr. Artaza said that Pakistan has embraced the SDGs with early political commitment and national ownership, stating that the National Assembly of Pakistan has endorsed the SDGs as Pakistan’s Development Goals under a unanimous resolution in February 2016. Ms. Lotta Tähtinen gave a detailed briefing about the events related to the 2017 High-level Political Forum

on Sustainable Development. Journalists from print and electronic media, members of the civil society, researchers and colleagues from the United Nations interacted with experts and discussed issues such as the relevance and effectiveness of the SDGs in dealing with the critical conditions Pakistan is facing: climate change, natural disasters, terrorism, and refugee influx. The briefing provided an opportunity for the media to foster awareness of the 2030 Agenda, and to provide a platform for objective and effective reporting on core development priorities, thereby generating demand to deliver the commitments made by the government.


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Nelson Mandela Day celebrated with underprivileged children

Staff members of the United Nations in Pakistan, diplomats and civil society representatives celebrated Nelson Mandela Day with unprivileged children at the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child in Islamabad. Volunteers distributed gift bags to the children and engaged with them in recreational activities such as face painting, drawing and colouring. Children also had the opportunity to listen to the stories about the life and work of Nelson Mandela, narrated in Urdu by the volunteers. After the story

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


telling session, they participated in a food fair. H.E Mpendulo Jele, the High Commissioner of South Africa, acknowledged the role of the UN Information Centre for celebrating Nelson Mandela Day in Pakistan, and said the late Mandela had asked the world to give up 67 minutes of their time on this day doing something good for. He added that in 2008, on his 90th birthday he called on leaders of all nations to change the world into a better place, using the famous words “it’s in your hands now”. Vittorio Cammarota,

Director, United Nations Information Centre said that Nelson Mandela’s lifelong engagement for children rights is an inspiration for all and for the generations to come. Sharing time with unprivileged children was a great way to pay tribute to Mandela’s legacy. Sadia Hussain, Executive Director of Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child said there are an estimated 13,000 street children in Islamabad alone, and an estimated 1.2 to 1.5 million on the streets of Pakistan’s major cities and urban locations, who

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constitute the most vulnerable section of society and are denied basic rights. The event was organized by the UN Information Centre in partnership with the South African High Commission, the Society for the Protection of the Rights of Child and Loafology Baker

and Café. The theme for this year’s Nelson Mandela Day is ‘Action Against Poverty’. The day commemorates the lifetime of service Nelson Mandela gave to South Africa and the world. It was launched on his birthday, 18 July, in

2009 via a unanimous decision by the UN General Assembly. It is more than a celebration of Mandela’s life and legacy: it is a global movement to honor his life’s work and to change the world for the better.


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Volunteering for underprivileged children Leading up to the centenary year, the United Nations called upon to mark the 99th birthday of an extraordinary global advocate for justice and equality on 18 July 2017. “Action Against Poverty”, the theme of this year’s Mandela Day reprimanded us to volunteer our time to the underprivileged children. We are grateful to the South African High Commission, the Society for the Protection of the Rights of Child and Loafology Baker and Café, members of the diplomatic community and the colleagues from the United Nations agencies for joining us in solidarity with the Mandela’s legacy and contributing their time, knowledge and support to the deserving children and filling their hearts with pleasure. Children spent a wonderful time with the diplomatic community, members of the civic society and United Nations, which provided them a unique opportunity to learn about the incredible stories about Mandela’s lifelong struggle for humanity and particularly for children. We were pleased to see that these activities indoctrinated them about great values of education, peace, dignity and respecting human rights for each other’s. The best way to honour Mandela’s legacy is to reflect on many of the virtues and values that the generation before us held in improving lives of the underprivileged people. It gives us time to pause and think not only about these values, but also on the reasons why people like Mandela chose the paths they did. Vittorio Cammarota Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC)

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


Inspiring street children on Mandela Day

We at the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) have been working hard to provide an environment for street children that can help them grow and prosper, both physically and intellectually. The life of Nelson Mandela can be a great source of inspiration for these children. We hope to foster a Mandela in every child of our Centers for Street Children (CSCs). We took the opportunity to invite children from our Centers for Street Children to take part in Nelson Mandela day celebrations. Our collaboration with the United Nations Information

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Centre allowed us to dedicate an entire day to teaching street children from our centres about the life and sacrifices of Nelson Mandela. We are also very thankful to the South African High Commission for being a part of the festivities. With an estimated 1.2 to 1.5 million street children on the streets of Pakistan’s urban areas, the challenge to cater for the needs of these children is immense. These children and their families make up of one of the most marginalized sections of society. It is not only imperative that steps at the policy level be taken to safeguard their basic rights, but to also protect them from sexual abuse, street violence, trafficking, and other forms of exploitation. Improving the state of street children is something that is close to our heart and we are heartened and grateful to be a part of such a worthwhile initiative. Mandela’s life-long example continues to remain an inspiration to keep struggling in the fight against poverty and social injustice. As Nelson Mandela said: “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination”. We hope to nurture street children with this formidable combination. Sadia Hussain Executive Director of Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child

Mandela, champion of the children The South African High Commission proudly partnered with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC’s) to celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day in Pakistan on 18 July 2017. On Nelson Mandela’s Birthday on 18 July every year, global citizens are requested to volunteer 67 minutes of their time doing something good for humanity in the spirit of Mandela. Nelson Mandela was known for his love and support for not just South African children, but children all over the world. A father himself, due to imprisonment, he was deprived from seeing his children grow up and stated that this was one of the most severe punishments prison life could impose. Mandela loved playing and chatting with children, feeding and putting them to bed with a little story. Among the many other awards and prizes received since his release from prison and his leadership of a democratic South Africa, in 2005 Mandela received the World’s Children’s Prize and in 2009 he was named the Decade Child Rights Hero 2009 for his lifelong struggle to free the children of South Africa from apartheid and for his unwavering support for children’s rights. During his term as president, Mr Mandela gave half of his salary to the poor, specifically to children, and when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, he gave part of his $1.2-million prize to help disadvantaged children. Since his passing, Mandela’s work for children continues through the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund which raises funds to ensure a better future for children. High Commissioner Jele reiterated the words of the great man, who said: “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children”. The South African High Commission hopes to continue to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s Birthday by contributing, albeit in a small way, to the wellbeing of children. H.E. Mpendulo Jele South African High Commissioner to Pakistan


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Breaking bread with children on Mandela day Loafology (bakery & cafe) is guided by ethical principles, including giving back to the community where we operate. As a food business, what better way than to offer food to underprivileged children on Nelson Mandela Day? Food is one of the pleasures in life and it is a pleasure often denied to the underprivileged, especially children. Loafology’s philosophy is also about providing a high quality of food and we were happy to see the children enjoying this. Volunteering and participating in activities within our community is a positive way to give back and engage with those less privileged. Nelson Mandela was a great, inspirational man and Loafology was honoured to be invited to participate in celebrating his achievements and spreading his message of hope and unity for the world. Nicolina McCurdy Owner Loafology Bakery and Café

“I am glad I met many people today who sat with us, played with us and gave us gifts, colors and books. Nelson Mandela cared for children and his people. I think he is a hero.” Usman Ali Age 12, Level 2, SPARC’s Center for Street Children, Rawalpindi

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


“Everyone is happy to do face painting to each other today. I did too, but what I like most is colouring in the flowers and in sketches of Mandela. He must be a great man as he fought for many years for his people”

“I do not waste my time anymore on sitting idle or quarrelling with other boys. I wear neat clothes and go to school now. Today on Mandela day I coloured and enjoyed fun games with my friends and other people here.”

Zainab Bibi Age 11, Level 2, SPARC’s Center for Street Children, Rawalpindi

Fahad Imran Age 08, Level 1, SPARC’s Center for Street Children, Rawalpindi

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“Colouring and drawing are my favorite activities. We had a lot of fun today with so many guests. I enjoyed colouring and face painting most. I like listening to stories about Nelson Mandela, because of his love for children.” Samina Jahanzaib Age 10, Level 1, SPARC’s Center for Street Children, Rawalpindi

“I am very happy to see many people playing and enjoying their time with us. I love the flower painting on my face. I want to become a teacher, then I will tell children about Nelson Mandela.” Asma Sardar Age 12, Level 1, SPARC’s Center for Street Children, Rawalpindi

“I love reading stories and news from the newspaper pages and books. Today we listen to stories about Mandela. I feel that he was a great leader like Quid e Azam.” Safi Ullah Age 09, Level 2, SPARC’s Center for Street Children, Rawalpindi

“I enjoyed doing fun activities in groups. I learnt from the teacher that Mandela was a brave man. He was not afraid of difficulties. I will become a brave man like him.” Muhammad Muzamil Age 10, Level 2, Govt. Boys Elementary School, Bangash Colony, Rawalpindi

“I like going school every day. Today, I am very happy that people are playing with us and they gave us gifts too.” Amna Abdul Kareem Age 08, Level 1, SPARC’s Center for Street Children, Rawalpindi


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documentary making on human rights and peacebuilding

Promoting human rights and peacebuilding through documentary making The United Nation Information Centre, Fondation Hirondelle, the Centre for Excellence in Journalism, International Film Festival and Forum of Human Rights jointly organized a first-of-its-kind

in Karachi from 17 – 28 July 2017.

residential training on documentary making to the journalists from Pakistan and Afghanistan. Funded by the Embassy of Switzerland in Pakistan, the training programme, which was led by award-winning journalists from Serbia, Sonja Ristic and Zoran ulafi was held at the Centre for Excellence in Journalism

Four documentary makers from Pakistan and four from Afghanistan, who were selected through a competitive process got together and worked day and night for around 12 days and jointly produced three documentaries on the issues of human rights with a focus on children, minorities and transgenders.

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


The objective of the training was to provide a platform to Pakistani and Afghan documentary-makers to promote human rights and peace building and to enhance dialogue among media professional of the two countries.

Documentary makers who took part in the training programme from the both countries included: Nameera Ahmad, Kanzul Fatima Arif, Gulzar Nayani, Said Nazir, Tamana Ayazi’s, Mohammad Behroozian, Najiba Noori’s, and Sadeq Naseri. The documentaries produced during the training were screened by

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the Centre for Excellence at the end of the training session. The Ambassador of Switzerland to Pakistan Marc P George, Director UN Information Centre Vittorio Cammarota, organizers, documentary makers and trainers of the documentary making programme, diplomats, as well as the characters of the documentaries were present on the occasion. A day earlier, the Swiss Consul General Philippe Crevoisier hosted the closing ceremony of this training at his residence, which was also attended by filmmakers and film enthusiasts.

broadcasted on radio and screened at film festivals across the world.

The training programme also served as a concrete exercise of peacebuilding and aimed to promote freedom of expression. Documentaries produced in the training would be


documentary making on human rights and peacebuilding

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documentary making on human rights and peacebuilding

Working together for human rights and building peace It was an honour and pleasure for us to bring together the journalists from two neighboring countries for the documentary-making training, reflecting on the three pillars of the United Nations: human rights, peace and security, and socio-economic development. Four journalists from Pakistan and four from Afghanistan were selected for this firstof-its-kind and unique training programme, under the supervision of award-winning international experts from Serbia, Sonja Ristic and Zoran ulafi . This high-quality training provided the film makers from both countries with an opportunity to promote human rights, peacebuilding and enhanced dialogue and professional relations amongst them. The young filmmakers showed exemplary spirit and passion in working together day and night with their team members and trainers for producing the common projects through a shared perspective. Everyone present at the screening of their joint production was touched by the motivational and real lives documentaries on children’s rehabilitation from drugs addiction, children with disabilities and on the employment challenges faced by transgender people. In the past couple of years, the United Nations Information Centre and the Swiss Embassy in Pakistan have partnered to enhance dissemination of information on human rights throughout the country. The film festival “Human Rights through Cinematography� organized in partnership with several member states and the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights Geneva, offered Pakistani audiences access to many professional documentaries on human rights issues from all over the world. The festival has brought to Pakistan leading experts on documentary film-making who interacted with diverse audiences. The training on documentary making was part of this program. I believe that film is a dynamic medium of communicating the messages related to human lives. It has power as a pathway to peace. We aim to broadcast and screen the work produced through this project on radio and at film festivals across the world. I hope that these documentaries and filmmakers can play a role in raising awareness about human rights and peacebuilding. I am tremendously grateful for the contributions and support from the Fondation Hirondelle, the Centre for Excellence in Journalism, the International Film Festival and Forum of Human Rights for making this project a success. Vittorio Cammarota Director, United Nations Information Centre

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


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documentary making on human rights and peacebuilding

“The International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) in Geneva was extremely proud to contribute to this important project of the UN Information Centre in Islamabad. The initiative to bring together documentary makers, men and women, from Afghanistan and Pakistan to create original content for radio, cinema and TV is an outstanding way to show that people from different origins can partner up to display a new vision of the world. By working in teams, not only did they learn to create strong audio and film stories, they also learned to know each other.By bringing us stories that unite us instead of dividing, art is a powerful way to promote peace and human rights. The issues these brave artists and journalists covered through their documentaries tell us a lot about these two countries, through the lens of women’s rights, corruption, health rights, cultural rights, society, children’s rights, and resistance.We would like to congratulate them, and also tell them how deeply we admire their commitment and the work they are doing to make this world a better, safer, and fairer place. Our thanks also go to the UN Information Centre and its fantastic team in Islamabad who did incredible work to organize this fully professional training alongside diverse partners. We hope many new projects and collaborations between documentary makers from Pakistan and Afghanistan will follow. The Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights will always be proud to support such initiatives, and give a voice to these creators in Geneva, the capital of Human Rights.” Isabelle Gattiker, Directrice, International Film Festival and forum on Human Rights, Geneva

Documentaries on issues affecting both sides of the border “Direct communication among the people of different nations helps in bridging gaps in perception and promotes better understanding. There are few platforms for such exchange in South Asia. Through this training, the Swiss government is pleased to have facilitated dialogue and professional relations between young Pakistani and Afghan documentary makers to promote human rights and peace in both nations. Participants of this training, who came from different cities of Pakistan and Afghanistan, overcame negative perceptions about each other’s countries and worked together with great dedication. They produced heart-touching documentaries on sensitive subjects like drug abuse among children, lives of people with hearing disability, transgender rights and child rights, issues that affect both sides of the border. These documentaries would be broadcast on radio and screened at film festivals in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Switzerland and other parts of the world. An important highlight of this training was that there were more women than men participants. In fact, one of the teams comprised all women - two from Pakistan and one from Afghanistan. It makes me proud that we were able to provide such a unique opportunity to five female professionals.This was a very ambitious project with limited time and resources, but these youngsters together with their trainers were able to pull it off and produced impressive results. I hope there are more such initiatives in future in which professionals from the two countries interact with each other and work on common projects and find common grounds.“ H.E Marc P. George, Ambassador of Switzerland in Pakistan


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documentary making on human rights and peacebuilding

Bridging the gaps through trainings “The Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) located at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in Karachi was the venue for this unique initiative, which brought together four Afghan and four Pakistani film makers who worked day and night at our state of the art facilities with their two award winning trainers to produce some outstanding work. We are particularly proud to be part of this initiative as for the first time we were able to host Afghan film makers at our center. In our three years of existence, we have trained more than 700 Pakistani journalists in various fields and technologies, keeping in mind the demands of the market. The Afghan-Pakistan training was yet another feather in our cap. We hope to continue to work with the media in the region, not only Pakistan, so that many more benefit from our facilities and expertise. For journalists of the region, the biggest challenge remains safety as well as good training opportunities. This is where the Centre for Excellence in Journalism is working hard to bridge the gap. In the coming years, we hope we can do more such work which will benefit journalists across South Asia, not just Pakistan.” Kamal Siddiqi, Director Centre for Excellence in Journalism, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi

Training workshop on documentary-production “Fondation Hirondelle worked for the first time in Pakistan with new partners, the United Nations Information Centre and the Centre for Excellence in Journalism, to take a challenge that was not easy. Eight journalists who had never worked together before received training and production tips, with the ambitious goal of having four documentaries produced in only two weeks. Zoran Culafic and Sonja Ristic, the two senior trainers from Hirondelle worked with the participants ahead of the beginning of the workshop in Karachi. This pre-production time turned to be precious. Once they were at the Centre for Excellence in Journalism, they provided guidelines to the journalists to reinforce their understanding of video and radio documentary production. They also provided them with practical tips and advice on how to produce real-life documentaries. All the journalists were reminded of what the crucial ethical values and principles of their profession are, since these are the core principles of Fondation Hirondelle. In the end, two video documentaries were produced: Sound of Silence – (about People with disabilities) and Behaali – Recovery – (about Drugged up Children and Rehabilitation); only one radio documentary was produced, Transgender, on the issues of transgender people, and their difficulties in finding work. Together all partners managed to resolve many issues on a daily basis and working as a very tightly-knit team before and during the workshop. Journalism and documentary making are about human stories and human touch. This experience, working on Human Rights, highlighted human realities and unique lives. Trainers were particularly touched by the story featured in one of the documentaries, Sound of Silence. The protagonists’ family’s presence at the closure of the workshop stirred strong emotions.” Kamal Siddiqi, Director Centre for Excellence in Journalism, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


special feature

documentary making on human rights and peacebuilding

Public screening of the documentaries on the final day of the training in Karachi proved the success of the initiative. The presence of several teenagers who are featured in the documentaries - Fariha and her brothers, as well as the children from the Alleviate Addiction Suffering Trust Rehabilitation Centre - made our day! In general, it was an occasion filled with positive emotions! But it was also a great challenge for the organizers, and particularly for Sonja Ristić and myself as the trainers. The twelve days of journalism training and production of documentaries on human rights was the first project of this kind. Our task was to plan day-to-day activities to produce two video documentaries and two radio documentaries with the young team of four Afghan and four Pakistani journalists who never met each other before. The time was short but we all were full of energy and enthusiasm. While Sonja was working on the plan while we were still in Serbia she rightly pointed out that the most important issue for us was to prepare as much as possible before our arrival at Karachi. We established email and Skype communication with all the journalists and started exchanging information and ideas about the training. Thanks to the great effort of Nameera Ahmed and Gulzar Nayani, our new colleagues from Karachi, we managed to identify topics and characters for our documentaries some two weeks before the training started. And that proved to be crucial for us to be able to complete filming and production of documentaries. The training was interesting for all of us, and judging by the comments of the journalists and organizers – everybody would be happy to see similar trainings be repeated with journalists from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and possibly India and other neighboring countries. Zoran ulafi , Documentary making trainer and freelance journalist, Belgrade, Serbia

Documentaries to better society The twelve days of socializing and working together with Afghan and Pakistani journalists will remain deep in my memory. As a trainer, this was a great challenge for me. Three journalists who had never met each other were supposed to work on the same documentary, despite their different views and approaches to a human rights story. Fortunately, the final results of the training proved that we succeeded at this. I’ve been working on documentary filmmaking for a long time. There is nothing more beautiful than the moment when you help someone through your work. My greatest successes are the documentaries that have forced institutions or those responsible to work on improving the life of ordinary people. If your documentary has initiated positive changes in society, or individuals, then you have succeeded. I tried to convey to the youth some of the experience I gathered during the years. For journalists and documentary filmmakers it is of utmost importance to know how to build trust with interlocutors. Both documentaries Bahaali and Sound of Silence deal with very sensitive topics. If you do not establish a good relationship with the characters of your film, there will be no film at all. I was very glad that my colleagues and I managed to have good communication between us despite language barriers. I was impressed with the great enthusiasm of all the participants in this training. We worked day and night. It always takes extra time to work in video editing units, but there was clear readiness among our colleagues. Our ultimate goal was to achieve what we had planned.The media briefing and presentation of the documentaries was made greater by the presence of children and the Alleviate Addiction Suffering (AAS) Trust staff, where the documentary Bahaali was filmed, as well as the presence of Fariha, the protagonist of documentary Sound of Silence, and her family. We will only know if the documentaries were truly successful if we see the number of children in Karachi who use drugs decrease, or an increase in the number of institutions similar to the Alleviate Addiction Suffering Trust that work to help them, or if we see that sign language is introduced into institutions in Pakistan to improve the lives of people who do not hear and do not speak. Sonja Ristic, Award- winning journalist and documentary making trainer, Fondation Hirondelle, Switzerland


special feature

documentary making on human rights and peacebuilding

An important storytelling medium Bringing together Afghani and Pakistani filmmakers was a great idea. Even though our two countries are neighbours, we don’t know much about each other’s’ cultures. Solving problems, aligning our mental frequencies, to be able to come up with creative solutions under various challenging circumstances was a great learning experience for me. The medium of documentary film has always attracted me due to its human element, along with the fact that one can find drama in real life as soon as we step onto the street. I also learnt a lot from our film subjects, the deaf children and adults of the exceptional Arain family, the struggles and hardships they faced in our society as people with disabilities, and their successes. I feel highly privileged as a filmmaker to have become a medium through which they can tell their story to the world. Nameera Ahmed, Freelance Journalist, Karachi, Pakistani

Afghanistan and Pakistan have always had troubled relationships, but none of that mattered as we came together as one to create amazing work towards peace and human rights advocacy. It showed us that political differences can never take away our ability as humans to come together as global citizens. We share the same core values, pain and fear of terrorism. Women on either side of the border have the same dreams: to be accepted and to contribute to their countries fearlessly. This absolutely brilliant experience has not just given me a different perspective but also friends on the other side of the border. Kanzul Fatima Arif Executive Creative Director/Co-Founder, Drama Queen Productions

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


The training was a fascinating opportunity to work with Pakistani and Afghan professionals on telling a human story that knows no political boundaries. More important than a professional development program, this initiative reminded me that beyond the face of governments, there are real people on both sides of the border. I hope Afghanistan and Pakistan come together on a level that focuses on both our peoples’ issues and aspirations. Mohammad Behroozian Freelance Filmmaker, Kabul, Afghanistan

special feature

documentary making on human rights and peacebuilding

Accepting and being accepted It was not easy for me to come to Pakistan because the media portrays only problems. In reality, there are more similarities between the two cultures than differences. I found Pakistan to be just like my own home. Aside from being part of a specific nation, religion, and ideology we are humans, and if we want to live in peace we need to learn how to love and respect the differences and celebrate our similarities. The best thing about this training was meeting and working with professionals from Pakistan. We were able to work together, learn from each other, and experience accepting and being accepted. I am glad I am part of this change. Without participating in this training, this would not have been possible. Documentary making is a tool to promote human rights since it’s much easier to communicate through a film than in writing or photography. My Pakistani team members and I are planning to work on some new stories in both countries in the future. It is time to go beyond the border and see each other as humans before judging based on any other mark. We want to become more connected than divided; I would love to continue traveling from Kabul to Pakistan and my Pakistani friends want to visit my Afghanistan for the first time. I am sure they will find Afghanistan like their own home the same way I did with Pakistan. Tamana Ayazi, Freelance and Independent Filmmaker, Kabul, Afghanistan

Working together peacefully Sometimes, we feel like we do not know people whom we do not meet physically. Before this training, I had only “met� Pakistani nationals through the local media. This training was a great opportunity for the artists on both sides of the border to meet each other in person and work together peacefully, to achieve the same goals. I think if we want to get rid of our conflicts, opening a new way for cultural and artistic cooperation is very important. Sadeq Naseri, Fimmaker, 3rd Eye Film and Photojournalism Centre, Bamyan, Afghanistan


special feature

documentary making on human rights and peacebuilding

Popping the bubble I feel this training has been crucial for me for personal growth as a documentary maker and I am very grateful for this opportunity. Bringing forth participants and trainers from other countries, working with this diversity, I think this training embodied a great peace building initiative. Documentary making itself is the best medium in today’s world for advocating human rights. It is subjected to reality, it makes you stand in your characters’ shoes and opens you up to new perspectives of life. Every time I work on a documentary project, I honestly feel like I am taken out of my little bubble, it makes me realize how much bigger the world really is. Gulzar Nayani, Freelance Journalist, Karachi, Pakistan

Transforming the narrative

Being a journalist from a tribal area of Pakistan, this was my first ever interaction/ working experience with non-Pashtun film makers and journalists from northern and southern parts of Afghanistan about the most pressing issues of human rights in Karachi. We were so friendly and cooperative with each other during the training, that it made us feel that we are not belonging to hostile nations. Making documentaries on social issues has a powerful impact on society and the increasing collaboration between the film makers of the two neighboring countries can help to change the narrative of hate and enmity between Pakistan and Afghanistan. I am so excited to work together with my Afghan counterparts for peace and stability in the region Said Nazir Journalist, Tribal News Network, Peshawar, Pakistan

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


I am very glad that I participated in this training and have learned something about documentary making and human rights. I think documentary making based on people’s lives is one of the best ways to publicize human rights-related matters, expose hidden facts and in-script them into history, in order to be a model for others. Films like “Sound of silence” made in Pakistan-Karachi can be a motivation for others and remain relevant for the next generations. Najiba Noori Producer, Geres Association, Bamyan, Afghanistan

on air

Supporting un-documented Afghans The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been working to support the Government of Pakistan with the presence of Afghans in Pakistan which has been on-going for the past three decades. Out of the estimated 3 million population of Afghans, only 1.5 million are registered refugees with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, while approximately 1 million are undocumented. In 2016, due to multiple socio-political developments, a wave of return migration of the Afghan population has been occurring. Junaid Khan, Senior Programme Coordinator at the International Organization for Migration Pakistan spoke on the show ‘UN Perspective on Radio Pakistan’, and shed light on the current situation and the organization’s role in addressing the key challenges. He mentioned that the return of undocu-

mented Afghans increased manifolds last year and that this year only approximately 100,000 Afghans had returned to Afghanistan. He mentioned the organization’s initiatives is supporting both the Afghan and Pakistan governments by deploying border monitors at Torkham and Chaman to control the migration flow and to provide essential humanitarian assistance. He also

added that the International Organization for Migration is facilitating the two governments with the registration of undocumented Afghans by providing technical and logistical support at the registration centers being set up by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

Launch of global action to prevent illicit flow of migrants The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants was recently launched in Islamabad. Speaking on ‘UN Perspective on Radio Pakistan’ the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Representative in Pakistan, Cesar Guedes said this joint initiative by the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s objective is to prevent the illicit flow of migrants from

war torn countries to European and other countries. The action is a joint effort of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children’s Fund which aims to strengthen the criminal justice response in 13 strategically selected countries. Cesar Guedes mentioned that the agency had been working in Pakistan for last 35 years, and that the Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling

of Migrants in Pakistan will specifically aim at strengthening the criminal justice response to trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants. The Public Awareness Campaign was also launched to raise awareness about Trafficking in persons and Smuggling of Migrants. He also mentioned United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is also working on drug demand reduction in Pakistan.


guest in town

World Hepatitis Day To mark the World Hepatitis Day, a talk show on Radio Pakistan was held on 26 July 2017. Speaking on ‘UN Perspectives on Radio Pakistan’, Dr. Muhammad Assai Ardakani, World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative in Pakistan said that the elimination of hepatitis needs national commitment, and it depends on the capacity of the health system and other relevant sectors. He said by taking precautionary measures deaths due to hepatitis can be reduced. Dr. Ardakani added that most of the world countries are committed to the Sustainable Development Goals to be

achieved by 2030. He said there is a call for the elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030, which means that the number of the new cases should be reduced by 90 percent by 2030. He said the target is to reduce the deaths from hepatitis by 65 percent. Taking part in the programme, Executive Director Pakistan Health Research

Council, Dr. Huma Qureshi said that about 11 million people are suffering in Pakistan from hepatitis C and 5 million are from hepatitis B. She said keeping in view the gravity of the situation stern measures should be taken for the eradication of hepatitis from the country.

The potential of youth Talking on World Youth Day in an interview with young hosts at the UN Perspective on Radio Pakistan programme, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Pakistan Neil Buhne said Pakistani youth can contribute a lot towards the economic, cultural, and social growth of the country. He suggested youth can play a vital role in peace-building as young people are more open to new thinking and new approaches. He added that the young women

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


of Pakistan can also prove their mettle, if an enabling environment is provided. He mentioned that UN institutions and organizations are engaging young Pakistani women in sectors like health and education. In general, he was confident

in young Pakistanis’ potential to introduce innovative ideas.

on air

Popularizing the idea of breastfeeding 44 percent children in Pakistan face stunted growth due to the use of powdered milk. This was stated by Angela Kearny, the Country Representative of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in an interview with Radio Pakistan’s Current Affairs Channel, where she suggested that this figure is becoming a burden on the social and health care system of the country. The International Marketing Court prohibits the advertising of powdered milk for children below two years of age. Angela Kearny said

they are taking actions against multinational companies that advertise the breast milk substitute in Pakistan. She underscored the need to encourage women to breast feed their children, as it is 100 percent safe and cost effective, and has all the necessary nutritious contents. She added that UNICEF is supporting Pakistan’s efforts to promote breastfeeding to children up to early six months of their age. The Government, social welfare and media organizations and other relevant stakeholders are making significant efforts in this direction. But, due to a rising trend of using powdered milk substitute of mother’s milk rec-

ommended by some doctors, nurses or midwives, women tend to give bottled milk to infants. The Country Director also highlighted the major health issues faced by children in later years of life, for example fifteen times higher risks to die of pneumonia and eleven times higher risks of death by diarrhea. Collective efforts are needed on the part of all stakeholders.

Facing danger and adversity while helping others Every year on 19 August, World Humanitarian Day (WHD) brings the world together to rally support for people affected by humanitarian crises, and pay tribute to aid workers who help them. This World Humanitarian Day, the global theme adopted by OCHA was to come together to reaffirm that civilians caught in conflict are #NotATarget, and to demand global action to protect them.

An exclusive radio programme was aired by Radio Pakistan on 19 August featuring the Humanitarian Coordinator Mr. Neil Buhne, and the Head of Office OCHA Pakistan, Ms. Heli Uusikyla. The programme aimed to familiarize the audience with the purpose of commemorating this day and to talk about the significance of World Humanitarian Day with respect to Pakistan. Similarly, another programme with the same message was broadcasted in Urdu by Radio Pakistan, featuring veteran Pakistani humanitarian aid

workers Ms. Fatima Iqbal and Hussain Ullah Khan.


messages from secretary-general

Nelson Mandela International Day 18 July Nelson Mandela continues to inspire the world through his example of courage and compassion, and his commitment to social justice and a culture of freedom and peace. One of the most important lessons we can learn from Nelson Mandela is that to make progress, we must look forward, however difficult that may be. Nelson Mandela was known as prisoner 46664 for 18 years. But he never became a prisoner of his past. Sentenced to hard labour and solitary confinement on Robben Island, he rose above suffering and indignity to lead his country, and our world, to a brighter day. He did not succumb to bitterness or personal animosity, but poured his formidable energy into realizing his vision of a peaceful, multi-ethnic, democratic South Africa. Today, as we commemorate Nelson Mandela’s lifetime of service, the best tribute we can pay this great man is not words or in ceremonies, but actions that improve our world. Each of us can make a difference in promoting peace, human rights, sustainable development, and lives of dignity for all. Each of us can be inspired by Nelson Mandela’s ex-

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


ample, and by his famous words: It always seems impossible until it’s done. Let us all build on the legacy of Nelson Mandela

International Day against Nuclear Tests 29 August

Nelson Mandela continues to inspire the world through his example of courage and compassion, and his commitment to social justice and a culture of freedom and peace. One of the most important lessons

message from secretary-general

we can learn from Nelson Mandela is that to make progress, we must look forward, however difficult that may be. Nelson Mandela was known as prisoner 46664 for 18 years. But he never became a prisoner of his past. Sentenced to hard labour and solitary confinement on Robben Island, he rose above suffering and indignity to lead his country, and our world, to a brighter day. He did not succumb to bitterness or personal animosity, but poured his formidable energy into realizing his

vision of a peaceful, multi-ethnic, democratic South Africa. Today, as we commemorate Nelson Mandela’s lifetime of service, the best tribute we can pay this great man is not words or in ceremonies, but actions that improve our world. Each of us can make a difference in promoting peace, human rights, sustainable development, and lives of dignity for all. Each of us can be inspired by Nelson Mandela’s example, and by his famous words:

World Humanitarian Day Every year on World Humanitarian Day, we shine a spotlight on the millions of civilians around the world whose lives have been caught up in conflict. On this day, we also take a moment to honour the brave health and aid workers who are targeted or obstructed as they set out to help people in need, and pay tribute to the government employees, and representatives of international organizations and agencies who risk their daily lives to provide humanitarian aid. Despite our efforts, civilians, including medial and humanitarian workers continue to bear the brunt of intense conflicts around the world. They are attacked and their access obstructed, while humanitarian supplies and hospitals are looted by

It always seems impossible until it’s done. Let us all build on the legacy of Nelson Mandela

19 August

fighting parties. In addition, in cities like Juba and Aleppo, housing, markets, schools and vital civilian infrastructure are destroyed. In Yemen, a lethal cholera epidemic has killed more than 9,000 people. Health services and water and sanitation infrastructure are collapsing under the strain of war. In Iraq, Syria, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and elsewhere, thousands of women and girls urgently need protection, support and treatment for traumatic sexual violence and abuse. The result of these crises is the record number of people – more than 65 million – forced to flee their homes from conflict. No one is winning these wars. We are all losing. This year, on World Humanitarian Day, the United Nations and our partners are calling on all glob-

al leaders to do everything in their power to protect people caught up in conflict. Let the world know: Civilians are not a target. I invite you to stand with us in solidarity with civilians in conflict, and with the health and aid workers who risk their lives to help them. On World Humanitarian Day, let us commit to doing everything in our power to protect women, girls, men and boys in the line of fire, and to give them hope of a better future.


photo album

United Nations Pakistan | Magazine


photo album


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: Chiara Hartmann Producer (photography): Umair Khaliq Producer (content): Ishrat Rizvi Graphic Designer: Mirko Neri Contributors: Anam Abbas, Maryam Amir, Qaiser Khan Afridi, Mahira Afzal, Fatima Ahmed, Nameera Ahmed, Manthaar Ali, Esam Alqararah, Kanzul Fatima Arif, Ignacio Artaza, Rizwana Asad, Tamana Ayazi, Asim Azhar, Mohammad Behroozian, Muhammad Burhan, Noman Burki, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Zoran Ćulafić, Shaheryar Fazil, Camila Ferro, Isabelle Gattiker, Marc P. George, Afzaal Haider, Shuja Hakim, Chiara Hartmann, Hamza Hasan, Mehr Hassan, Humaira, Mahwish Humayun, Ibrar Hussain, Sadia Hussain, Jehanzeb, Abdul Muiz Iqbal, Gulalai Ismail, Arshmah Jamil, Mishal Jawaid, Mpendulo Jele, Abid Niaz Khan, Imran Khan, Hajra Khan, Wajiha Khan, Adresh Laghari, Sameer Luqman, Abdul Sami Malik, Sadia Mehmood, Dr. Hassan Mohtashami, Nicolina McCurdy, Sadeq Naseri, Zoe Nasim, Sara Nasir, Gulzar Nayani, Said Nazir, Tanzeela Noor, Najiba Noori, Abdul Qayyum, Waqas Rafique, Ayesha Rauf, Ishrat Rizvi, Zikre a Saleh, Ishrat Saleem, Faria Salman, Maliha Shah, Laura Sheridan, Sidra, Asif Shahzad, Fasiha Sharif, Dr Saba Shuja, Kamal Siddiqi, Zishan Ahmad Siddiqi, Waseem Soomro, Uzaira Tasneem, Harris Usman, Caroline Vuillemin, Maryam Younus, Muzamil 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 and 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.

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UN Pakistan Magazine - Issue 4 / 2017  
UN Pakistan Magazine - Issue 4 / 2017  

UN Pakistan Magazine - Issue 4 / 2017