Goodwill Ambassadors retain right to speak in personal capacity: UN on Priyanka Chopra's tweet row

Washington D.C: Days after a Pakistan minister called for the removal of Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra as the UN Goodwill Ambassador for Peace, Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, has said that a Goodwill Ambassador retains the right to speak about issues that are of interest or concern to them in their personal capacity.

"When UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors speak in their personal capacity, they retain the right to speak about issues that interest or concern them. But their personal views don't reflect agencies they may be affiliated with," Dujarric responded to the issue during a press briefing on Thursday (local time).

The actress was slammed by many including Pakistan's Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari who among others penned open letters and signed petitions to urge UNICEF to remove the Bollywood actress for her alleged "hypocrisy".

Detailing the false narrative maintained by Pakistan in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370, the letter went on to say, "Ms Chopra has publicly endorsed this Indian government position and also supported the nuclear threat issued to Pakistan by the Indian Defence Minister."

The letter said that Chopra's remarks go against the principles of peace and goodwill that the actress is supposed to uphold as the Goodwill Ambassador for Peace.

"Her jingoism and support for violations by the Modi government of international conventions and UNSC resolutions on Kashmir, as well as support for the war, including nuclear war, undermines the credibility of the UN position to which she has been elevated," read the letter.

However, addressing a question related to the role of Goodwill Ambassadors, Dujarric stressed that when they speak on behalf of UNICEF, "we expect them to adhere to UNICEF's evidence-based impartial positions."