Published: Tue, April 11, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Malala to become the UN's messenger of peace

Malala to become the UN's messenger of peace

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres designated Malala Yousafzai, global advocate for girls education and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate, as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on girls education, at a special ceremony today at the UN Headquarters in NY.

After receiving her appointment, Yousafzai, who survived a terrorist attack for campaigning for girls' education, said: "I have a second life for the objective of education and I'll continue working".

Ms Yousafzai, who narrowly avoided death in 2012 after being shot by the Pakistani Taliban for campaigning for girls' rights to an education, is the youngest ever Messenger of Peace.

"I stood here on this stage nearly three-and-a-half years ago...and I told the world that education is a basic human right of every girl..."

Born on July 12, 1997 in Pakistan's Swat Valley, Yousafzai became an worldwide symbol of the fight for girls' education after being shot on October 9, 2012 for opposing Taliban restrictions on female education.

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel laureate, has broken another age barrier and become the youngest UN Messenger of Peace, an honour she shares with Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Charlize Theron.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

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FILE - Malala Yousafzai holds flowers after speaking during a media conference at the Library of Birmingham, in Birmingham, England, Oct. 10, 2014, after she was named as victor of The Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala said she faced a second challenging moment after the Taliban attack, which she doesn't remember, and woke up in a hospital in Birmingham, England.

"Accepting the accolade in NY, she said: "(Bringing change) starts with us and it should start now".

"Men should not clip the wings of women, and let them fly and let them go forward", she said. "And, once you educate girls, you change the whole community, the whole society".

"The extremists tried all their best to stop me, they tried to kill me and they didn't succeed", Malala said.

According to United Nations statistics, more than 130 million girls do not go to school. In Lebanon alone, only half of Syrian refugee children can go to school. Many are forced to marry early or must work or care for younger siblings, denying them their right to education.

"Education, learning, getting knowledge, discovering new things is the key part of Islam, which we often forget", Malala said.

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