Malala receives highest UN honor to promote girls

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Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai was on Monday designated as the UN Messenger of Peace by the Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The ceremony in the Trusteeship Council chamber at UN Headquarters, New York, followed a conversation session with youth representatives from around the world on the subject of girls' education.

Earlier, UNSG Antonio Guterres in an impressive ceremony at the UN designated Malala as a Messenger of Peace saying that she was a symbol of generosity he had seen in the people of Pakistan who had for decades hosted millions of refugees by opening their borders and hearts.

Malala Yousafzai on Monday was named the youngest UN Messenger of Peace, adding to her accolades as a world-renowned activist focusing on education and women's empowerment.

Yousufzai, who was a vocal advocate of women's right to education in her hometown of Swat, was injured after a Taliban gunman attempted to assassinate her in 2012.

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.

"The message I am spreading around the world to our leaders, to our politicians, (is) that they must prioritize education for each and every child around the world", she said to a standing ovation.

Yousafzai is the first UN Messenger of Peace to be appointed by the new Secretary-General.


Yousafzai told the crowd at the breakfast "this place is a clear example to the world of what it means to live together, what is this idea of community".

'It's important that he understand that these people are in need, ' she explained.

"People should look at me and the Muslims who are living in peace and believe in peace, rather than looking at the few terrorists", she said.

Also present was Pakistan's United Nations ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, who later hosted a largely attended reception in honour of Malala Yousafzai in a United Nations lounge.

Apart from her prominence as a young activist, Malala who lives in Britain recently received an offer to study politics, philosophy and economics at a United Kingdom university, on condition of achieving three As in her A-levels. There, she has become an worldwide advocate for girls' education through the Malala Fund, which she runs with her father, Ziauddin.

"Bringing change starts with us and it should start now". And girls like me who are Muslim'.

"Men should not clip the wings of women and let them fly and let them go forward", Yousafzai said, as her father Ziauddin Yousafzai sat in the audience and watched her. There she began to blog anonymously for the BBC's Urdu language site, campaigning for the right of girls to an education.

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