ISLAMABAD: Renowned mountaineer Samina Baig was appointed the National Goodwill Ambassador for Pakistan by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Monday.
The first Pakistani woman to have climbed Mount Everest, Baig will lead efforts to build national awareness and partnerships around Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly those related to climate change, environmental protection and women’s empowerment.
“Pakistan is amongst the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change,” said United Nations Resident Coordinator in Pakistan Neil Buhne.
“Preparing for its effects, and instituting environmental protection, will safeguard economic development for future generations. Moreover, half of Pakistan’s population, its women, are under-represented in education, the workforce and in decision-making.
“UNDP’s National Goodwill Ambassadors are leaders in their societies and role models for us all.
“As the national goodwill ambassador for Pakistan, Baig will use her profile to highlight issues that shape Pakistan’s future, and build the partnerships required to address them,” said UNDP Pakistan Country Director Ignacio Artaza.
Awarded the Pride of Performance award by the government of Pakistan, today she presides over 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 was born in Gilgit-Baltistan and climbed the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest, at the age of 22.
“From the remotest village of Pakistan and reaching the summit of the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest, and beyond the borders, scaling a peak in Antarctica and the seven highest peaks of the seven continents, in some of the harshest conditions, my entire climbing purpose was to empower women through these adventures and encourage gender equality.”
With my brother, I have experienced the significant impact of global warming and climate change on our mother earth, added the mountaineer.
“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,” said Baig further.