Nobel Peace Prize winner from Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai is set to become the United Nations’ youngest-ever ‘Messenger of Peace’. She has been selected for this honour by United Nations current Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
- Mr. Guterres praised Malala’s commitment to women’s rights and her efforts to create awareness about necessity of girls’ education. He mentioned that as UN Messenger of Peace, Malala will get better opportunities to create more just and peaceful world.
- Malala Yousafzai is the first Messenger of Peace designated by Mr. Guterres since he assumed office on January 1, 2017.
- The designation ceremony will be held on April 10, 2017 at the UN’s headquarters in New York, United States. Post designation ceremony, Malala and Antonio Guterres will have a conversation with youth representatives from different parts of the world on the theme of ‘Girls’ Education’.
About UN Messengers of Peace:
UN Messengers of Peace are distinguished public figures, who help to raise worldwide awareness of the UN’s core values and activities. They are directly appointed by the incumbent United Nations Secretary General. The Messengers of Peace scheme was first started in 1997. It is the highest honour bestowed by United Nations on a global citizen.
- The designated Messengers of Peace, make public appearances, interact with international media and also participate in humanitarian work. Through these activities they spread awareness about positive impact of United Nations’ activities on lives of the people.
- Retired American astronaut Scott Kelly and Hollywood Star Leonardo Dicaprio are among the 12 prominent personalities who are the current Messengers of Peace.
Brief biography of Malala Yousafzai:
Malala Yousafzai was born on July 12, 1997 in Swat district of Pakistan. Her native place was under Taliban occupation for a long time, during which girls were not allowed to attend school.
- In 2009, she wrote a blog in which she mentioned about her living conditions under Taliban rule. She soon caught the attention of western media. In 2012, she was critically injured when a Taliban gunman unsuccessfully attempted to murder her.
- Post recovery she became an education activist and undertook activities to encourage formal education of girls.
- In 2013, Malala and her father Ziauddin Yousafzai co-founded the Malala Fund with an objective to create awareness about socio-economic impact of girls’ education, and to empower girls to demand change.
- In the same year she also co-authored a book titled ‘I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban’, which turned out to be an international bestseller.
In December 2014 she became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner. The Nobel Peace Prize of 2014 was shared between Malala and Indian children’s rights and education advocate Kailash Satyarthi.