United Nations, New York, USA, 10 April 2017 – Secretary-General Antonio Guterres designated Malala Yousafzai, global advocate for girls education and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate, as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on girls education, at a special ceremony today at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Photo: Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire
United Nations, April 10 2017
UN Secretary-General António Guterres today designated Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai as UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on girls’ education making her the youngest ever to carry the title.
Guterres said it was a “very emotional day” to be in the presence of the symbol of “probably the most important cause in the world.” He expressed pride in designating Yousafzai as a Messenger of Peace which he said was inspired by her dedicated service to the ideals and objectives of the United Nations and honouring the fact that she had “shown, even in the face of grave danger, an unwavering commitment to peace.”
I am in total denial of protocol, but I think I have to read something here.
This is your assignment. Today, I am proud to designate you the youngest ever United Nations Messenger of Peace, with a special focus on girls’ education.
This is the official designation: “inspired by your dedicated service to the ideals and objectives of the United Nations, especially its vision of a life of dignity for all people
admiring of your courageous defense of the rights of all people, including women and girls, to education and equality
honoring the fact that you have shown, even in the face of grave danger an unwavering commitment to peace conscious of your consistent focus on the best in humankind and your resolve to foster a better world grateful that your example has energized people of goodwill to join together in pursuit of our common values hopeful that your principled activism will advance our shared vision of a future of justice, equity and sustainable progress it takes great pride and pleasure to me in proclaiming Malala Yousafzai a United Nations Messenger of Peace”.
Malala Yousafzai said she was honored to accept the position adding that it was her “who is representing Pakistan, not the extremists, not the terrorists.” She said Muslim girls like her, who are proud of their religion, believe in peace and “will stand up for their rights.” She called on young girls to believe in themselves as they were the “real change makers.”
Following the designation ceremony Guterres and Yousafzai took questions from youth representatives from around the world, many of whom are first or second generation immigrants or refugees in the United States. Yousafzai told the young audience that the fact that extremists tried to kill her and were unsuccessful was “clear evidence that no one can stop” her. She said since that day she decided to work for the purpose of education and becoming a Messenger of Peace with special focus on girls’ education was “clear evidence that I will continue working on girls’ education.”
Born on 12 July 1997 in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, Yousafzai became an international symbol for the fight for girls’ education after being shot on 9 October 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 winning the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism in 2014. Yousafzai is the first UN Messenger of Peace to be appointed by the new Secretary-General.
Source: UNTV, UN Spokesperson. Photo: EuropaNewswire