Interview with Mr Vittorio Cammarota, Director, United Nations Information Centre(UNIC)
United Nations has done tremendous development and humanitarian assistance within Pakistan since the time Pakistan joined the UN right after independence on 30 September 1947. Currently 19 UN agencies and offices with having 3,000 national staff, are working in solidarity with Pakistan and people of Pakistan for addressing both development and humanitarian issues and assistance. The UN program within Pakistan is to support national efforts to address socio-economic challenges, eradicated poverty, and achieve Millennium Development Goals. The UN work in partnership with the state and government ministries along with involving civil society organizations and humanitarian partners to not only save lives but also build lives through its various strategies. For more than half a century, Pakistan has made contributions to maintaining international peace, security and stability through UN peacekeeping forces. Till now more than 130,000 Pakistani peacekeepers have served across the globe to promote the cause of peace especially the difficult regions like Darfur and Cango where their presence was much appreciated by the local community. UN has remained one of the largest and most respectable International organisation to remain steadfast in showing commitment in providing services through technical expertise and global good practices which is at the disposal of people of Pakistan.
To highlight the role further of UN, The Diplomatic Insight has arranged exclusive sitting with Mr.Vittorio Cammarota, who has recently been appointed as Director of the United Nations Information Centre. Mr.Cammarota began his career working for the Cultural Office of the Italian Embassy in Washington DC as Communications and Education Officer. He then joined A.T. Kearney in Rome where he was in charge of web-based communications projects. After spending one year at the UN World Food Programme in Rome, Vittorio moved to Copenhagen where he joined the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe as Communications Officer. Prior to joining the UN Secretariat he was in charge of external relations for the World Health Organization’s Stop TB Partnership. Vittorio has a degree in Business Administration from the University of Messina and a master in Institutional Communications from the University of Rome.
Following are the excerpts from the conversation.
Q:Thank you for your time. It would be interesting to know more about the United Nations Information Centre-Islamabad(UNIC) and its working strategies?
It is my pleasure to share information about the United Nations Information Centre(UNIC). UNIC was established in Pakistan in March 1951. It was first located in Karachi and moved to Islamabad in 1971. The Centre is the focal point for disseminating information and raising awareness about the UN’s activities to the people of Pakistan. We are responsible for promoting the activities of Secretary-General and of the main bodies of the United Nations. We also leads the United Nations Communications Group, a network of communications experts working together to ensure a comprehensive and unified image of the United Nations in Pakistan. We provide support to the different agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations for their outreach and media events. To that effect, UNIC leads a group of 14 public information focal points to coordinate the organization of the UN family’s public events. Together with other UN entities, UNIC encourages government officials and NGOs to celebrate designated UN observances. UNIC organize press conferences and press briefings regularly. We publish a monthly newsletter wherein we share information about the events and updates about UN. We make sure that at UNIC we provide optimum information for all quarters of the society about UN and its work in Pakistan. We are actually eyes and ears of UN headquarters in Pakistan and report back to the
Q:Could you elaborate on One UN program and its working strategies within Pakistan? Which other countries are under this One UN program?
Ans: Following the November 2006 report of the high level panel on UN system-wide coherence, Pakistan was nominated as one of the eight pilots for One UN in January 2007. Albania, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uruguay, and Vietnam, along with Pakistan, volunteered to become “Delivering as One” pilots. Since inception of the pilot in Pakistan, it was unanimously established that the way forward would be for the UN entities to come together as One Leader, One Programme, One Office and One Budget with the One Programme being the central pillar. This central pillar will provide the framework for all UN joint initiatives to ‘Deliver as One’ and help the people of Pakistan improve their lives. The first One Programme (2009-2012) was signed on 4th February 2009 in the presence of the UN Secretary General and the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The second One Programme 2013-2017, signed in December 2012, is aligned with national political processes and both national and sub-national develop priorities, frameworks and strategies. It is a national programme framework of the UN system in Pakistan, with a strong focus on implementing at the sub-national level. In order to better provide support at the provincial level, as well as the federal level, join Government-UN Steering Committees were established for the federal level and each administrative area. One Programme sets out these six Strategic Priority Areas: Health and Population; Education; Disaster Risk management; Environment; and Agriculture, Rural Development and Poverty Reduction.
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