Malala Yousafzai appointed United Nations messenger of peace

Posted April 13, 2017

Guterres, at a ceremony at United Nations headquarters in NY on Monday, praised Malala for her contributions to girls'"education even in the most hard places".

"I stood here on this stage nearly three and a half years ago. and I told the world that education is the basic human right of every girl", Yousafzai said in her Messenger of Peace acceptance speech, CNN reported.

She became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate in December 2014, sharing the honour with Indian children's rights and education advocate Kailash Satyarthi.

Malala, with South Sudanese refugees at a camp in Kenya in 2014, spent her 19th birthday with Somalian refugees in Kenya just recently.

The Taliban quickly took notice, and on October 9, 2012, shot her multiple times, including in the head, as she was riding a bus home from school. "The messenger of peace award will give her a moral mandate and authority by the United Nations to do her global campaign for education, specifically for girls' education around the world".

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In her acceptance speech, the outspoken Malala only reiterated her stance on the rights of education for every girl.

"I want to thank Canada for its passion for girls' education, for its passion for humanity, for refugees, and for standing up for women's rights, and for peace".

Accepting the conferment, Yousafzai, 19, underscored the importance of education, especially education of girls, for advancing communities and societies. "One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world", she said at the United Nations.

That afternoon, then-prime minister Stephen Harper, his wife Laureen, Ambrose and a star-studded line-up of other Canadian women were to gather and declare the activist only the sixth person to hold the designation of honorary Canadian citizen.

Pakistan's militant Islamist groups, including the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and their affiliates, use attacks on schools and universities to foster intolerance and exclusion, to target symbols of the government, and, particularly, to drive girls out of school. "And it is a clear evidence that no one can stop me".

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Of her emergence as the leading campaigner for girls" education, she said: "It wasn't that I was very intelligent or very clever or I had some special kind of training or something.

"These are the defining traits of the Pakistani people who are determined to defeat the forces of intolerance", she added. She went to Britain for medical treatment and now goes to school there.

Over 130 million girls are out of school today. Many are forced to marry early or must work or care for younger siblings, denying them their right to education.

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

According to her, her father always told people not to ask him what he "did for Malala, but ask what I didn't do - I didn't clip her wings".

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Mohammad Khan, a prominent human rights activist and lawyer based in Swat, said he was pleased that the worldwide community has appreciated Yousafzai's efforts and the ordeal she has gone through for the sake of women's rights and education.