UN on Priyanka Chopra: Personal views doesn't reflect those of UNICEF

Updated: Aug 23, 2019, 12:23 IST | mid-day online correspondent | United Nations

Here's what Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said when asked about Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra discharging her duties as a goodwill ambassador of the United Nations. Pic/Priyanka Chopra Instagram
Priyanka Chopra discharging her duties as a goodwill ambassador of the United Nations. Pic/Priyanka Chopra Instagram

United Nations: UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra, who has been under intense criticism for a tweet cheering the Indian armed forces, retains the right to speak in her personal capacity on issues concerning her, according to a UN spokesperson.

In an answer to a question about Priyanka Chopra, Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, "When UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors "speak in their personal capacity, they retain the right to speak about issues that interest or concern them. Their personal views or actions do not necessarily reflect those of UNICEF."

But, he said, "When they speak on behalf of the UNICEF, we expect them to adhere to UNICEF's evidence-based impartial positions."

"The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors are prominent individuals who have agreed to generously volunteer their time and their public profile to promote children's rights, he said explaining the role of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors."

Chopra has been hit by a barrage of criticism and trolled ever since she tweeted on February 26, a simple statement, "Jai Hind #IndianArmedForces," followed by emojis of the Indian flag and namaste. The context of the tweet was related to congratulating the Indian Armed Forces for air strikes in Balakot, Pakistan, the same day.

Pakistan has intensified criticism of her after India revoked the special status of Kashmir. Pakistan's Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari wrote this week to UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore demanding Chopra's removal as a Goodwill Ambassador accusing her of "jingoism and support" for the Indian armed forces.

In a letter to the United Nations, Mazari alleged that Chopra showed "support for war, including a nuclear war," even though the actress and 2000 Miss World has not said anything beyond the tweet made in the aftermath of the car bomb attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed that killed more than 40 Central Reserve Police personnel and the Indian Air Force counterstrike on the organisation's base in Pakistan. Mazari added: "Unless she is removed immediately, the very idea of a Goodwill Ambassador for Peace becomes a mockery globally."

A Pakistani woman named heckled Chopra recently at Beautycon event in Los Angeles in August 2019 over the tweet. However, Chopra has also found support from citizens and celebrities like actors Ayushmann Khurrana, Kangana Ranaut and Anupria Goenka in social media and in statements.

Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from IANS

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