Malala named youngest ever UN Messenger of Peace

  • Malala named youngest ever UN Messenger of Peace

Malala named youngest ever UN Messenger of Peace

Nobel Peace prize victor and education activist Malala Yousafzai delivered a strong message to President Donald Trump today after being named the youngest U.N. Messenger of Peace.

"You are not only a hero but you are a very committed and generous person", Guterres said, highlighting Yousafzai's determination to bring equality to all.

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel laureate, has broken another age barrier and become the youngest UN Messenger of Peace, an honour she shares with Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Charlize Theron. The feminist icon and girls' education activist became the youngest person to be awarded the United Nations' Messenger of Peace Award.

Born on 12 July 1997 in Pakistan's Swat Valley, Yousafzai became an global symbol for the fight for girls' education after being shot on 9 October 2012 for opposing Taliban restrictions on female education.

In 2012, Malala was almost killed by the Taliban in Pakistan for campaigning for girls' rights to education. She said since that day she chose to work for the objective 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".

Her book, "I am Malala", was published a year ago.

Wearing a light pink headscarf, Malala said she was honored to be the Messenger of Peace.

"These are the defining traits of the Pakistani people who by their commitment and courage are determined to defeat the dark forces of intolerance", she added.

"What I realized is if you remain silent, you are still going to be targeted by these people", she said. The fund promotes 12 years of free, safe and quality education for girls worldwide.

"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.

"I'm a Muslim and I'm proud to be a Muslim..."

Malala, who was shot in 2012 by the Taliban for attending classes, is the youngest-ever UN Messenger of Peace and the first one to be designated by Guterres since he assumed office in January.

"Malala explained that people like her and others exist in Pakistan who resist such forces".

She has visited the families of the Chibok girls in Nigeria, worked with Syrian refugees - opening two schools for them in Lebanon - and has invested in education for girls in her native Pakistan. Yousafzai survived the attack and continues fight for human rights, in particular for female education.