Malala Yousafzai made youngest UN Messenger of Peace
- Author: Essie Rivera Apr 13, 2017,
Apr 13, 2017, 0:41
On Monday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres designated Yousafzai as a UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on girls' education. In 2014, at the age of 17, she became the youngest person ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
"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.
She also touched on the representation of the Muslim community, saying, 'I want people to know that this is me who is representing Pakistan, not the extremists, not the terrorists.
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.
The 19-year-old Pakistani activist was 15 when she shot in the head by Taliban militants while returning from school.
While she is controversial among some in her home country - there are many who believe a number of different stories about her shooting, for example, that it was an American conspiracy - others believe she has helped advance education for girls.
Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan speaks during a ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in NY on April 10, 2017.
Ambassador Lodhi said that this was an acknowledgement of the fact that she is an inspiration for young people all over the world and will, in her new role, continue to be a role model and a shining light for global efforts for peace and amity. "People usually when they get all these honours become full of vanity, they become hard to access, but you are this fantastic example of friendship and simplicity that really makes us very, very, very appreciative".
Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai speaks to the Associated Press in Dadaab refugee camp, Kenya, Tuesday, July 12, 2016.
Girl's education should be a priority, not least because this is the surest way to women's empowerment, Ambassador Lodhi said and added, "None of us, after all can move forward if half of us are held back".
The UN Messengers of Peace are chosen to highlight the work that the UN does and bringing greater attention to the organization.
"I'm humbled to accept honorary citizenship of your country", she said in the House of Commons, where she received several standing ovations from parliamentarians and members of the public that packed the gallery.
Her role as a Messenger of Peace will be an extension of the work she now does with the Malala Fund, an organisation that advocates globally for girls' rights to education.
Yousafzai joins the ranks of other U.N. Messengers of Peace, including actors Michael Douglas (disarmament) and Leonardo DiCaprio (climate change), and musician Stevie Wonder (persons with disabilities). Yousafzai said that when she finishes secondary school in June, she would like to study philosophy, politics and economics at university.
"The man who attacked Parliament Hill called himself a Muslim - but he did not share my faith".
Malala Yousafzai, the young woman who survived a Taliban attack on her school bus in Pakistan, is now a U.N. Messenger of Peace.
"And I realized that if you remain silent, you are still going to be terrorised".
Yousafzai surprised a group of students at an Ottawa high school earlier today where she was introduced to cheers by Trudeau's wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.