In response to the controversy over Priyanka Chopra’s recent comments on India and Pakistan at an event in Los Angeles, a spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Thursday said ambassadors “retain the right to speak about issues of interest or concern to them”. He added her personal views do not reflect those of the agency with which she is affiliated with.
Following the controversy, the Pakistan human rights ministry had urged UNICEF to remove Chopra as Goodwill Ambassador for Peace.
“I can tell you that for any Goodwill Ambassador, whether it is Ms Chopra or anyone else, we expect them to adhere to impartial positions when they speak on behalf of Unicef or any other organisation when they speak in their personal capacity,” spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in response to a reporter’s question at his daily briefing.
“They (ambassadors) retain the right to speak about issues of interest or concern to them. their personal views, however, do not reflect those of the agency with which they may be affiliated with,” he added.
Chopra found herself in the eye of a storm after she was called out for tweeting “Jai Hind” in the wake of the Balakot airstrikes in February this year. She was accused of “hypocrisy” and “encouraging nuclear war in Pakistan” by a Pakistani woman during an event in Los Angeles earlier this month.
In response to the row, Chopra had said, “I have many, many friends from Pakistan and I am from India. War is not something I’m really fond of but I am patriotic, so I’m sorry if I hurt sentiments to people who do love me and have loved me.
“But I think that all of us have a, sort of, middle ground that we all have to walk. Just like you probably do as well. The way that you came at me right now… girl, don’t yell. We’re all here for love,” she added.