National Goodwill Ambassadors
UNDP’s National Goodwill Ambassadors are inspirational women and men who serve as spokespersons to uphold the United Nations Charter and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Women and youth play a vital role in building the future. All around the world, UNDP’s Goodwill Ambassadors shine a light on the issues that matter. They are committed to using their leadership to inspire others to work together to build a future of fairness, equality and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
On 26 February 2018, UNDP welcomed Samina Baig to the ranks of UNDP’s Goodwill Ambassadors in Pakistan. The first Pakistani woman to have climbed Mount Everest, Ms Baig will lead efforts to build national awareness and partnerships around the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those related to climate change, environmental protection and women’s empowerment.
Born in Gilgit-Baltistan, at the age of 22 Samina Baig became the first Pakistani woman to climb Mount Everest. By the time she turned 23, she had climbed the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents. Awarded the Pride of Performance by the Government of Pakistan, today she presides over the Pakistan Youth Outreach Foundation to encourage youth, especially women, to participate in outdoor activities. As a mountaineer she bears witness to the critical importance of preserving Pakistan’s fragile ecosystems and preparing for the effects of climate change.
Samina Baig said, “I am greatly honoured to be part of UNDP. From the remotest village of Pakistan and reaching the summit of the world’s tallest mountain, Mt. Everest and beyond the borders, Scaling Peak in Antarctica and the seven highest peaks of the seven continents, in some of the most harsh conditions, my entire climbing purpose was to empower women through these adventures and encourage gender equality. With my brother, I have experienced significant impact of global warming and climate change on our mother earth. I am honoured to be the national goodwill Ambassador of UNDP to spread the voice to take serious steps to counter global warming and raise voice to empower young girls to climb the highest level within their field of profession.”
Samina Baig’s life and achievements show us all what young Pakistanis are capable of if they dare to strive.
Our Goodwill Ambassadors, Tennis superstar Aisam ul Haq Qureshi and popular singer Hadiqa Kiani, have been a constant source of inspiration to the Pakistani community with their dedication and commitment to sustainable development. With their dedicated efforts and advocacy, we were able to extend our outreach to the poeple whose lives were adversely affected by the worst floods in the country’s history in 2010.
These National Goodwill Ambassadors are now delivering key messages of UNDP programs to federal and provincial governments in achieving their development goals, notably the Millennium Development Goals and the objectives to be set internationally beyond 2015. Their work is beneficial for supproting nationally-driven solutions to poverty reduction and improving livelihoods and resilience.
In July 2012, UNDP Pakistan's National Goodwill Ambassador, Hadiqa Kiani visited communities of district Thatta of Sindh Province and interacted with village women, children, elders and other beneficiaries of UNDP support in restoring their socio-economic conditions with enhanced sustainability and disaster-resilience.
Hadiqa was accompanied by the UNDP team led by the Country Director, Toshihiro Tanaka as well as local implementing partner representatives from Health and Nutrition Development Society (HANDS), Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) Pakistan and Sindh Rural Support Program (SRSP). The localities visited included Makli, Allahdino Khaskheli and Suleman Jutt village. Thatta is among the 29 districts affected by floods in 2010 where UNDP has implemented an Early Recovery programme through financial support from the Government of Japan, EU, USAID, AusAid, Government of Italy, Government of Kuwait and COFRA foundation.
Hadiqa visited the display centre for handicrafts produced by beneficiaries of Makli. The centre was established through HANDS for enhancing the linkages of local village women groups with the main markets of Thatta city. Hadiqa and the UNDP team were also welcomed by the children, members of community and disaster risk management committee of the village Suleman Jutt supported through SRSP.
One of the main objectives of the visit was to highlight the importance of linking Early Recovery interventions with climate change mitigation, adaptation strategy and disaster management at the community level. In this regard, Hadiqa visited the biogas plants established through WWF which provide rural poor families with sustainable access to alternate renewable energy, which is clean and requires no running cost. She also interacted with the staff of Disaster Management Center established by HANDS. This center has provided capacity building support to the communities and strengthened the preparedness and ability to respond to any possible disasters.
Addressing a community gathering, Hadiqa said, “I am pleased to meet all of you. I appreciate UNDP’s efforts in introducing environmental awareness and the ability to respond to any future disasters.” She also underlined the importance of disaster risk reduction and environment. “I am impressed by the efforts of the communities which have shown resilience and cooperation in rebuilding their lives”. Hadiqa previously led the campaign with UNDP to raise awareness about environmental issues.