In his first message on his first day as United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres appeals to the world for one shared new year resolution – to “put peace first” in the year 2017.
An exhibition highlighting the work of young artists from five arts schools of Pakistan opened at Nishtar hall in Peshawar. The exhibition comprise pieces that had qualified in “We the Peoples, We the Arts” competition, an initiative aimed at promoting the cause of zero hunger through visual arts.
The event was organized by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Embassy of Switzerland in partnership with the United Nations Information Centre and the Department of Tourism and Culture Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, to mark the 50th year of SDC’s cooperation with Pakistan. Continue reading
Human Rights Through Cinematography film festival concluded with the screening of A girl in the River: the Price of Forgiveness at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in Islamabad. The last film screening of the festival coincided with Human Rights Day, celebrated every year on 10 December.
The 40 minute Oscar-winning documentary by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy tells the story of Saba, an 18-year-old girl who eloped to marry the person of her choice. To restore their honour, her father and uncle tried to kill her and left her for dead in a river but she survived the ordeal. Initially she refused to forgive her attackers, but buckled under family pressure, which allowed her attackers to return home. Continue reading
To mark the Human Rights Day, Vittorio Cammarota, Director United Nations Information Centre, Isabelle Gattiker, Director of the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights, and Eiza Abid, winner of the international ‘Celebrating Freedom’ poster competition participated in the PTV World morning programme “World This Morning.” Isabelle Gattiker discussed the ‘Human Rights Through Cinematography’ initiative, a film festival on human rights organized by UNIC in collaboration with partners. Eiza Abid said that freedom of thought was a basic human right and everyone deserves to have it. She also described how she, as a young Pakistani, understands human rights. Explaining the theme of Human Rights Day 2016 – stand up for someone’s rights today – Vittorio Cammarota urged everyone to step forward and defend the rights of women, children and minorities.
On the eve of Human Rights Day 2016, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) and the High Commission of Canada recognized Eiza Abid, a 15-year-old Pakistani girl from Lahore, who won the international “Celebrating Freedom” poster competition.
In 2015, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva launched a competition in several countries to encourage school-age children to create posters on the theme of freedom. Primary (ages 5-11) and secondary (ages 12-18) students from across Pakistan submitted more than 60 entries. These posters were exhibited at the High Commission of Canada and the UNIC office in Islamabad. Continue reading
United Nations Information Centre, Islamabad, in partnership UN Women and the Royal Norwegian Embassy held an event to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This networking event provided community representatives, diplomats and colleagues from the UN family an opportunity to discuss the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in Pakistan and voice their ideas for the future. Those who attended the event included the head of Pakistan’s Para Climbing Club Suleman Arshad, who has a visual impairment, and Abia Akram, the first Pakistani and the first woman with a disability to become Coordinator for the Commonwealth Young Disabled People’s Forum. Continue reading
Women’s empowerment was the focus of Casablanca Calling, a film that tells the story of a quiet social revolution in Morocco. In a country where 60 percent of women have never been to school, a new generation of women have started work as official Muslim leaders or Morchidat. Casablanca Calling is an intimate portrait of three Morchidat in a society in transition.
The Morchidat work in some of the poorest communities in Morocco and try to separate the true teachings of Islam from prejudice and misunderstanding. They support girls’ education, campaign against early marriage and encourage young people to build a better Morocco rather than dreaming of life in the West. Continue reading
United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) and the Canadian High Commission in Islamabad hosted the screening of Reel Injun on 27 November in the auditorium of ILO Building in Islamabad. In this feature-length documentary, Aboriginal Canadian filmmaker Neil Diamond takes an entertaining and insightful look at the portrayal of North American indigenous peoples in a century of cinema. Featuring hundreds of clips from old classics as well as recent releases, the film traces the evolution of the “Hollywood Indian.” Continue reading
The Embassy of Switzerland in Islamabad screened another movie, Kabul Cards, on 26 November. As the name suggests, this film is set in the Afghan capital Kabul and gives a glimpse of women’s lives in Afghanistan.
Kabul Cards, created after three years of filming and production, shows the everyday lives of three young Afghan women who live in Kabul and are active members of civil society. The film reflects the many challenges faced by these three women and how they, together with their friends and supporters, contribute to change. Despite the many difficulties encountered in their daily lives, these three young women still have big hopes regarding the future of their country and are working hard for a better Afghanistan.
The audience at the Embassy of Switzerland were thrilled to find Sakina Sadaf, co-director of the film among them. Sakina specially came from Kabul to talk about her film and share her experiences as an Afghan woman. Later, she took questions from the audience.
We often talk if sports have the power to build bridges between people and bring them closer. We have examples in the world today where sports have been used as a diplomatic tool.
Lebanon Wins the World cup is a film which explores the power of sports to bring about reconciliation. It tells the true story of two former enemies from the Lebanese civil war who prepare to support their favourite team Brazil. On the eve of 2014 FIFA World Cup it turns out that football brings the two men together and unites them in spite of strong political differences. Continue reading