The United Nations on Thursday said that actor and United Nations Children’s Fund Goodwill Ambassador for Peace Priyanka Chopra retained the right to speak about matters in her personal capacity. This came three days after Pakistan wrote to the UNICEF, opposing its decision to name Chopra its goodwill ambassador for peace.
The international body’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric also clarified that the “personal views or actions of the representatives do not necessarily reflect those of UNICEF”.
“When they speak on behalf of the UNICEF, we expect them to adhere to UNICEF’s evidence-based impartial positions,” 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.”
Pakistan’s Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari had written that Chopra had publicly endorsed the Indian government’s positions and backed Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s “nuclear threat” to Pakistan.
She alleged that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s ideologies were similar to the Nazi doctrine and said that India was denying citizenship to four million Indian Muslims in Assam. Mazari said that all of this went against the principles that Chopra was supposed to uphold. “Unless she is removed immediately, the very idea of a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Peace becomes a mockery globally,” she had said.
On August 10, a Pakistani woman had accused Chopra of promoting war between India and Pakistan during a public event at Beautycon Los Angeles. The woman had recalled the actor’s tweet praising the Indian Armed Forces for the February 26 strikes in Balakot.
Ties between India and Pakistan have deteriorated further after the Indian government on August 5 announced that it had decided to revoke Jammu and Kashmir special’s status. In response, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties and stopped trade with India. It also announced its intention to take the matter of Kashmir to the International Court of Justice.