Islamabad - World Press Photo exhibition 2017 was inaugurated on Monday at Pakistan National Council of Arts.

The exhibition has been organised in Islamabad by Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in collaboration with World Press Photo Foundation, the Netherlands, the United Nations Information Centre in Pakistan, and the Pakistan National Council of the Arts.

The objective is to promote human rights and the sustainable development goals through the lens of photojournalism, said a news release. A total of 150 high-quality photos, selected from 80,000 entries submitted by 5,000 photojournalists worldwide are showcased.

The photos touch upon topics such as universal human rights, freedom of expression, women’s rights, migration, climate change, nature, and sports. The exhibition also shows the prize-winning photo of Pakistani photographer Jamal Tarakai.

The exhibition will be open for public from March 6 and will continue until March 31. The entry is free.

Ambassador of the Netherlands Ardi Stoios-Braken inaugurated the exhibition. Acting Resident Coordinator of the United Nations, Hassan Mohtashami, Director General of the PNCA, Syed Jamal Shah, Curator and Exhibitions Manager at World Press Photo, Babette Warendorf, and the Pakistani award-winning photojournalist Jamal Taraqai also graced the opening ceremony.

The Dutch ambassador said that the promotion and protection of human rights were very important for the Netherlands. “It is important that a debate around human rights takes place in Pakistan. We proudly stand for equal rights for all, especially for women and girls, but also the freedom of religion and belief and rights of all kinds of minorities. We value freedom of expression, and stand behind messengers of that freedom in the form of journalists, lawyers or other human rights defenders,” she said.

The acting UN resident coordinator was of the view that photography was a powerful tool to create awareness and affect change. “The visual narrative created through these powerful photos gives a unique chance for viewers to understand better other people and places, and the events shaping theirs and other lives. The exhibition provides people of Pakistan with an opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding about challenges people face throughout the world and their actions to maintain dignity and maintain their rights”, the resident coordinator said.

Sharing her thoughts about the World Press Photo, Babette VVarendorf said that the best visual journalism was not just a picture but a story. “It should matter to the people to whom it speaks. It is an honour to present the photo of our first Pakistani winner Jamal Tarakai in Islamabad,” she said.