New UN peace messenger Malala will promote girls' education

Malala Yousafzai attends a ceremony with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres after being selected a United Nations messenger of peace in New York

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres designated Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai as a UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on girls' education.

Malala is known as the girl who was shot by the Taliban for speaking out against them.

Accepting the accolade, Nobel Laureate Yousafzai spoke on the importance of education in her home country of Pakistan and around the world, saying that "education is a right of every child and especially for girls" and that the "right should not be neglected".

With this, Malala also became the first person to be designated by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres since he assumed office in January.

Taking a question from a young speaker in the audience, Ms. Yousafzai said the most hard time she faced had been from 2007 to 2009 in the Swat Valley, "because we were at a point of making a decision about whether to speak out or remain silent". Yousafzai told the young audience that the fact that extremists tried to kill her and were unsuccessful was "clear evidence that no one can stop" her. I have second life for the goal of [pressing for] education and I'll continue working on [this issue].

Yousafzai has become a regular speaker on the global stage and visited refugee camps in Rwanda and Kenya last July to highlight the plight of refugee girls from Burundi and Somalia.




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. She survived the attack and became an advocate for the millions of girls denied a formal education worldwide winning the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism in 2014.

She went to Britain for medical treatment and now goes to school there.

Malala paid tribute to her father, who attended the ceremony, and said unlike many fathers he never stopped her. Your foundation has schools in Lebanon, in the Beka'a Valley.

Other current Messengers of Peace include actor Leonardo di Caprio, for climate change, actor Charlize Theron, for the prevention of HIV and elimination of violence against women, and actor Michael Douglas, for disarmament.

In Yousafzai's hometown of Swat, people hailed her new United Nations title.

Yousafazi went on to say that brothers and fathers must also support women and girls in the global effort to ensure education for all and, more importantly, "be who they want to be".

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