United Nations designates Malala as youngest Messenger of Peace

Posted April 11, 2017

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.

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.

Guterres added that he was "inspired by your dedicated service to the ideals and objectives of the United Nations, especially its vision of a life of dignity for all people".

Yousafzai is the youngest UN Messenger of Peace and the first one named by Guterres since he assumed office in January.

She said fathers and brothers equally have a role in promoting girls' education.

A campaigner for the rights of oppressed children in the Swat valley, Malala was almost killed after her school bus was ambushed by the Taliban in 2012.

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On October 9, 2012, Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan's Swat Valley on her way home from school. She was targeted for her campaign against efforts by the Taliban to deny women education.

"If we want to go forward, we have to give education to girls".

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Over 130 million girls are out of school today.

On the escalation of violence in Syria, she stated: "To the children under siege in Aleppo, I pray that you will get out safely".

After being shot, she was flown to a hospital in Birmingham, England, for treatment.

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"I'm a Muslim and I'm proud to be a Muslim..."

"Accepting the accolade in NY, she said: "(Bringing change) starts with us and it should start now". Your foundation has schools in Lebanon, in the Beka'a Valley.

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

"It is our responsibility, especially in the richest countries, to express our solidarity to all those who unfortunately can not provide to their children the education they have the right to receive", he continued.

UN Messengers of Peace are distinguished individuals, carefully selected from the fields of art, literature, science, entertainment, sports or other fields of public life, who have agreed to help focus worldwide attention on the work of the UN.

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