The Embassy of Switzerland in Pakistan first launched We the Peoples, We the Arts in 2016 in collaboration with the UN Information Centre and several other partners. The first edition involved Pakistan’s five leading art schools, whose students produced sculptures, paintings and miniature paintings, highlighting the theme of Zero Hunger; the second of 17 SDGs. Building on the success of this initiative, the Embassy decided to hold the second edition of We the Peoples, We the Arts in 2018 and expand participation, accepted art forms and thematic areas of the competition to include all the 17 SDGs.
For the second edition, 146 art pieces were received from all over Pakistan, in which students explored various themes derived from SDGs. In May 2018, twenty-five finalists participated in mentoring sessions with the jury and attended the award ceremony held in Islamabad, where names of four winners were announced. International art experts from world-renowned institutions such as Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Space Sydney, Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Switzerland, and Sunderlande, New York, two European ambassadors as well as Pakistani art experts were part of the two juries. Artwork by all the 25 finalists was featured in a high-end catalogue and was exhibited at the National Art Gallery in Islamabad.
In 2019, a third edition of We the Peoples, We the Arts is being held.