WASHINGTON – The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has appointed Pakistani singer Shehzad Roy as its new ‘National Goodwill Ambassador’ for two years.

Shehzad, a known social figure, is also a recipient of Pakistan’s highest civil honor “Sitara-i-Imtiaz.”

In a tweet, the singer said that he is honored to receive the recognition.

“It’s an honor to be designated as the UNODC National Goodwill Ambassador,” he said.

“I have been following UNODC’s work even before joining them as a Goodwill Ambassador. Their work is commendable in the fields of criminal justice, drug demand reduction and HIV/AIDS prevention. These things are close to my heart especially when children are concerned, and I will give my all to my new role as National Goodwill Ambassador for Pakistan,” Roy commented.

UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov appreciated Shehzad’s “unwavering commitment in tackling illicit drugs” and hoped for spreading awareness regarding the hazards of drug abuse in collaboration with the singer.

Along with singing, Shehzad has done tremendous work as a social worker and a humanitarian in Pakistan.

“It is disheartening to see children imprisoned for petty crimes or drugs ruining the lives of young people. If I can help one child out of prison or convince just one boy or girl to turn away from drugs, I feel proud that I have made a difference,” said Roy upon accepting his two-year assignment.

During his term, Roy will speak out on criminal justice and drug demand reduction, visit UNODC projects, educational institutions and rehabilitation centres, and raise awareness on the Office’s important work.

He is expected to take part in a wide range of activities, including the marking of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, supporting prison and police reforms, and advocating for gender-responsive services for drug abusers.