Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai was chosen as the United Nation’s Messenger of Peace by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The post, considered the highest honour given by the UN chief to a global citizen, will be handed to her in an official ceremony on Monday. Guterres’ was inspired by the fact that even in the face of danger, Malala showed ‘an unwavering commitment to the rights of women, girls and all people’.
Making the announcement, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Malala will focus on promoting girls’ education at an international level. The 19-year-old is known for advocating education for all children in Pakistan.
The UN describes its Messengers of Peace as ‘distinguished individuals’ from the fields of art, literature, science, entertainment, sports or other fields of public life, who raise awareness regarding the work conducted by the organisation. The youngest-ever to hold the post of messenger of peace, she joins 12 others including actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Douglas, primatologist Jane Goodall, musicians Stevie Wonder, Daniel Barenboim and Yo-Yo Ma, and author Paulo Coelho.
An assassination attempt was made on Malala when she was just 15-years-old by the Taliban, which objected to her campaigning for womens’ rights and education for the girl child in northwest Pakistan. On surviving a bullet to the head and refusing to end her campaign, Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. She was recognised for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.