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Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai to become the United Nations’ youngest-ever “Messenger of Peace”

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Malala Yousafzai. Wikimedia
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Islamabad, April 8, 2017: Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai is set to become the United Nations’ youngest-ever “Messenger of Peace”, the international body’s chief has announced.

Yousafzai, 19, will be honoured by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a ceremony at the UN headquarters in New York on April 10.

She will help promote girl’s education around the world as part of her new role.

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The ceremony will be followed by a conversation between Guterres, Yousafzai and other youth representatives around the world on the theme of girls’ education, Daily Pakistan reported on Saturday.

“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 Yousafzai for the designation.

“Her courageous activism for girls’ education has already energised 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.

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Born on July 12, 1997 in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, 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. (IANS)

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Child Rights Summit: Nations Should Spend More on Education Over Weapons

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Displaced Syrian children look out from their tents at Kelbit refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, in Idlib province, Syria, Jan. 17, 2018. VOA

Countries should spend more on schooling and less on weapons to ensure that children affected by war get an education, a child rights summit heard Monday.

The gathering in Jordan was told that a common thread of war was its devastating impact in keeping children out of school.

Indian Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, who founded the summit, said ensuring all children around the world received a primary and secondary education would cost another $40 billion annually — about a week’s worth of global military expenditure.

ALSO READ: Politics and Education: A Relationship that contributes a lot in shaping our Future

child rights summit
Nobel Peace Prize laureates Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai listen to speeches during the Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony at the City Hall in Oslo, Dec. 10, 2014. VOA

“We have to choose whether we have to produce guns and bullets, or we have to produce books and pencils to our children,” he told the second Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit that gathers world leaders and Nobel laureates.

Global military expenditure reached almost $1.7 trillion in 2016, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said last year 27 million children were out of school in conflict zones.

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“We want safe schools, we want safe homes, we want safe countries, we want a safe world,” said Satyarthi, who shared the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize with Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai for his work with children.

Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein told the summit, which focused on child refugees and migrants affected by war and natural disasters, that education was “key,” especially for “children on the move.”

“Education can be expensive, but never remotely as close to what is being spent on weapons. … They [children] are today’s hope for a better future,” he told the two-day summit.

Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, a nonprofit group, described the number of Syrian refugees not in school in the Middle East as “shocking” as the war enters its eighth year.

Kennedy cited a report being released Tuesday by the KidsRights Foundation, an international children’s rights group, which found 40 percent of school-aged Syrian children living in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq cannot access education. VOA

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