Sci-tech

Malala Yousafzai Just Became the Youngest UN Messenger of Peace

Malala Yousafzai Just Became the Youngest UN Messenger of Peace

For Malala was an advocate for education long before she was shot in the head by a TTP militant in October 2012 when she was 14; she had even won a certain degree of global recognition for her courageous activism.

At 19, Yousafzai is the youngest Messenger of Peace, the highest honor given by the United Nations for an initial period of two years. Yousafzai, who is the youngest victor of the Nobel Peace Prize, will now become the youngest to be named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Accepting the accolade, the 19-year old underscored the importance of education, especially education of girls, for advancing communities and societies.

The irrepressible Malala Yousafzai, the teenage Nobel Peace Prize victor who famously survived a Taliban bullet in 2012, delivered an enduring message of hope, hard work and inspiration Wednesday - and did it as an honorary Canadian citizen.

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. The Pakistani native was shot in 2012 leaving school in a small town near Islamabad, where she was engaged in efforts to enable more girls to be educated, something forbidden by the ruling Taliban of the time. "But we - and you - refuse to be divided", she said.

UN Messengers of Peace are chosen from the fields of art, literature, science, entertainment, sports or other fields of public life. One thing I'm very sure about is that I will stay focused on girls' education.

Taking a question from a young speaker in the audience, Malala 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".

Malala answered questions from young people Monday after Secretary-General Antonio Guterres officially bestowed on her the highest honor the United Nations chief can give a global citizen, calling her "a hero".

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.

Yousafzai reacts as she is celebrated for her work as an global advocate for girls' education. "We don't believe in anything that they're doing", she said. 'If you do not stand up, change will not come.

"Dear Canada, I'm asking you to lead once again", she said, to a standing ovation.

Guterres told Malala, "you have been to the most hard places" visited several refugee camps.

"I realized that extremists tried all their best to stop me; they tried to kill me and they didn't succeed", she said.


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