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Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship

The United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) is accepting applications for the 2018 Reham Al-Farra (RAF) Memorial Journalism Fellowship, which will be held at UN Headquarters in New York from 16 September to 6 October 2018.

The Fellowship will bring a select group of young journalists from around the world to United Nations Headquarters to cover the General Assembly, interview senior officials, and attend special briefings and workshops.

The Fellowship is open to full-time journalists between the ages of 22 and 35 from countries with developing and transitioning economies. (Pakistan is included) 

Applications must be submitted online at https://outreach.un.org/raf/content/reham-al-farra-memorial-journalism-fellowship-2018-application.

The application deadline is 7 May 2018.

Secretary-General’s statement on the death of human rights activist Asma Jahangir

We have lost a human rights giant. News of the death of Asma Jahangir today is echoing within her native Pakistan and across the world. She was a tireless advocate for inalienable rights of all people and for equality – whether in her capacity as a Pakistani lawyer in the domestic justice system, as a global civil society activist, or as a Special Rapporteur.

Asma was brilliant, deeply principled, courageous and kind. I convey my heartfelt condolences to Asma’s family, friends and colleagues, including in the United Nations and civil society within which she was such a leader. Asma will not be forgotten.

 

Invitation to participate in We the Peoples, We the Arts 2018 competition

We the Peoples, We the Arts is a competition aimed at involving young artists to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through visual arts. It is a joint initiative of the Embassy of Switzerland, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC).

First launched in 2016, We the Peoples, We the Arts involved students of leading art schools across Pakistan. The students produced sculptures, paintings and miniature paintings, highlighting the theme of Zero Hunger, the second of 17 SDGs. Twenty-three finalists participated in the award ceremony held in Islamabad in November 2016. International contemporary experts including Alexie Glass-Cantor, Executive Director of Artspace Sydney and Curator of Encounters Art Basel Hong Kong; Priyanka Mathew, Principal Partner at Sunderlande New York; Karin Seiz, Co-Director of Galerie Urs Meile in Beijing and Lucerne; and Heike Munder, Director of Migros Museum for Contemporary Art in Zurich selected three winner from among the finalists. The jury also included representatives from the Swiss Embassy and the United Nations. Artworks from all the 23 finalists were featured in a high-end catalogue (http://bit.ly/2gamj46) and have been exhibited throughout Pakistan. To build on the success of this initiative, partners have decided to launch a second edition and expand participation and thematic areas of the competition.

We are pleased to invite currently enrolled fine arts students to participate in We the Peoples, We the Arts 2018. The deadline for registration is 15 December. If you need more information, please feel free to Ishrat Saleem at ishrat.saleem@eda.admin.ch.

For information, visit: http://bit.ly/2zDvm9n

Press clubs pledge to give greater role to female journalists

Press clubs across Pakistan committed to supporting female journalists at a United Nations Information Centre event ‘Women in Media: Challenges and Success Stories’ on the eve of the International Women’s Day.

In response to a declaration presented by female journalists at the event in Islamabad demanding representation in regulatory and journalistic bodies, press club officials announced a commitment to organise minimum quotas for female journalists in their governing bodies.

The declaration, presented at the end of the event, also demanded the provision of basic facilities for women and the formation of committees to address complaints of sexual harassment in all media houses, unions and press clubs. Continue reading

School children learn about human rights

About a hundred school children learnt about human rights through interactive sessions and games in two workshops held at the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Islamabad on 21 and 22 February.

Students from Mashal Model School, International Grammar School, Roots School System and those associated with the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) participated in the workshops organized by UNIC in collaboration with the High Commission of Canada.

The distinguishing feature of these workshops was the diversity of participants: not only did they belong to different ethnic, cultural and class backgrounds, around a half of them were street children, who worked after school hours. Continue reading

Artwork on ‘zero hunger’ exhibited in Karachi

An exhibition of work by young artists from across Pakistan opened at Beach Luxury Hotel in Karachi in conjunction with the Karachi Literature Festival. These art pieces had qualified in a competition titled “We the Peoples, We the Arts”, which aims to promote Sustainable Development Goals and provide Pakistani students with a unique opportunity to gain international visibility.

Students of five art schools were invited to develop sculptures, miniature paintings and paintings on “Zero Hunger”, the second of 17 Sustainable Development Goal, for this competition. A total of 64 art pieces were received, out of which 23 made it to the final exhibition, which was first inaugurated at the residence of Swiss Ambassador in Islamabad and later opened for public in Islamabad and Peshawar.

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Down to the River

Driving around the corner on this sunny morning, I look down and see, squeezed between the steep cliff of a high mountain and the glistening river, a lovely little village. The bright green of its wheat fields, its colourful traditional houses and rose gardens make an enchanting contrast to the grey rock formations and pebbles.

As I walk down a narrow path into the centre of the hamlet called Bilphok, I think to myself what a blessing the proximity to the river must be. Old stone irrigation canals transport water rich in fertilising sediment to the fields; a beautiful water mill produces flour that feeds the villagers when made into chapati and the traditional Chitrali maize bread.

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