UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra who faced criticism by Pakistan Human Rights minister for a tweet cheering the Indian armed forces got a pat at the back from a UN spokesperson who has supported her patriotic stand.
When UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors "speak in their personal capacity, they retain the right to speak about issues that interest or concern them," Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said at his daily briefing on Thursday in answer to a question about Chopra, reported IANS.
"Their personal views or actions do not necessarily reflect those of UNICEF," he added.
But, he said: "When they speak on behalf of the UNICEF, we expect them to adhere to UNICEF's evidence-based impartial positions."
About their role, he said: "The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors are prominent individuals who have agreed to generously volunteer their time and their public profile to promote children's rights."
Frustrated after repeated failure on multiple fronts to secure support to its efforts against India’s Kashmir move, Pakistan have approached the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), seeking to remove Indian actress Priyanka Chopra as the UN 'Goodwill Ambassador' on the pretext of a past tweet she did to celebrate the Indian army’s attack on Pakistan.
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The truth is quite simple...the future of this world lies in the hands of the children of today. But the harsh reality is that there is an entire generation of innocent children growing up right now without any prospects for thier future...these children are affected by displacement due to serious conflict and emergencies in thier various regions. When families are forced to leave their homes due to violence, persecution, and natural disasters, they are torn apart and it's the children that end up suffering the most. The numbers are staggering, yes...but we have to continue to stand for them, in whatever capacity we can as individuals. They are the future and we need to help. Join me and @unicef by clicking the link in my bio to help keep refugee children safe. #AChildIsAChild #WorldRefugeeDay
Online petitions calling for her ouster from the ambassadorship were launched soon after have gathered thousands of signatures.
Pakistan's minister Shireen Mazari in a letter to UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, alleged that Priyanka Chopra has “supported” the Indian government’s stand on Kashmir and “nuclear threat” issued to Islamabad by India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
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Having been to other refugee camps around the world, the tension between the host (local) communities and refugee communities is glaring...all because basic resources are divided. But in many parts of Ethiopia, that’s not the case, and in the Tigray region specifically, these two communities are living side by side. What’s even more remarkable, IMO... these kids don’t even realize what coming together (team Ethiopia and team Eritrea) to play a simple game of football stands for, and how something so basic can impart positive change. Human beings, putting their differences aside, and coming together...it’s Humanity. The Ethiopian government has also pledged to integrate high schools, where refugees and locals learn together. They’ve also been issuing birth certificates to refugee children born in Ethiopia, which allows them rights they wouldn’t otherwise have, like getting an education and having better access to services. @unicef @unicefethiopia #achildisachild - to learn more about how you can make a difference, visit link in bio.
Mazari added: "Unless she is removed immediately, the very idea of a Goodwill Ambassador for Peace becomes a mockery globally."
Meanwhile, co-stars and Bollywood celebrities like Kangana Ranaut, Ayushmann Khurrana, Javed Akhtar have come out in support of Priyanka.