UNITED NATIONS: Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani education activist, is set to become the United Nation’s youngest-ever “Messenger of Peace,” tomorrow.
Ms. Yousafzai, 19, will be honoured by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a ceremony at the UN headquarters in New York Monday afternoon. She will help promote girls’ education around the world as part of her new role.
The ceremony will be followed by a conversation between the UN chief, Ms. Yousafzai and other youth representatives around the world on the theme of girls’ education.
After the ceremony in the Trusteeship Council chamber, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi, will host reception at the UN to celebrate Ms. Yusafzai’s designation as the world body’s Messanger of Peace.
“Even in the face of grave danger, Malala Yousafzai has shown an unwavering commitment to the rights of women, girls and all people,” Guterres said on Friday on his selection of Ms. Yousafzai for the designation.
“Her courageous activism for girls’ education has already energized so many people around the world. Now as our youngest-ever UN Messenger of Peace, Malala can do even more to help create a more just and peaceful world,” he said.
Born on July 12, 1997 in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, Ms. Yousafzai became an international symbol for the fight for girls’ education after being shot on October 9, 2012 for opposing Taliban restrictions on female education.
She survived the attack and became an advocate for the millions of girls denied a formal education worldwide.
In 2013, Yousafzai and her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, co-founded Malala Fund to bring awareness to the social and economic impact of girls’ education and to empower girls to demand change.
Yousafzai became the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 2014.
Ms. Yousafzai is the first Messenger of Peace designated by Secretary-General Guterres.
United Nations Messengers of Peace are widely recognized public figures, who help to raise worldwide awareness of the Organization’s ideals and activities.
Through their public appearances, contacts with the international media and humanitarian work, they expand public understanding of how the UN helps to improve the lives of people everywhere.-AFP