New UN peace messenger Malala will promote girls' education

New UN peace messenger Malala will promote girls' education”

"Your foundation has schools in Lebanon, in the Beka'a Valley", said Guterres at a ceremony in the Trusteeship Council chamber at UN Headquarters, in NY.

"I want to thank you for being a wonderful community, for being such a diverse community and respecting different cultures", she told a packed auditorium.

She required multiple surgeries, but suffered no major brain damage and returned to school in Birmingham in March 2013.

The U.N. designation comes thus as little surprise and feels even a little overdue.

Malala Yousafzai: I started speaking out but I wouldn't have been able to go forward and speak out without my father, without my parents.

Malala's story moved the world when she and her female classmates were shot by the Taliban on their way to school, leaving the then 14 year old with life-threatening injuries.

Threats to education in Pakistan were spotlighted again by the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014 that left 145 people dead, a lot of them children.

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.

"While, accepting the honour, Malala, said, "[Bringing change] starts with us and it should start now.

UN News: Your father is here with you today and he was very instrumental in seeing that you went to school.

The Taliban attack sparked acclaim for the young women.

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.

She said while recovering from the Taliban attack, she realized that "extremists tried everything to stop me and the fact that they didn't is clear evidence that no one can stop me".

"I pray that you continue to open your homes and your hearts to the world's most defenceless children and families", she said.

The Canadian lawmakers voted unanimously in October, 2014 to award Yousafzai honorary Canadian citizenship for her bravery in promoting girls' rights.

"These are the defining traits of the Pakistani people who are determined to defeat the forces of intolerance", she added. The fund invests in education across the world and lobbies policy makers to ensure that girls are given access to quality education.

Malala now lives in Britain, where she received medical treatment after she was shot.

According to United Nations statistics, more than 130 million girls do not go to school. Many are forced to marry early or must work or care for younger siblings, denying them their right to education.

Nineteen-year-old Yousafzai became the 13th Messenger of Peace, joining, among others, actor Michael Douglas, naturalist Jane Goodall, and Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan.

During a ceremony inside the Gothic Revival halls of Canada's parliament, Trudeau praised Yousafzai for her advocacy.

Welcoming Malala Yousafzai at a reception hosted by Pakistan's Mission to the United Nations in her honour, she said, "Just like Malala did, our people will always reject those who challenge the vision of Pakistan set out by our founding fathers: of a modern, tolerant and progressive Muslim country".

"The sacrifice she has given for humanity, it has no precedent in [the] contemporary world", Khan told VOA's Deewa service.

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