Education activist Malala Yousafzai marks her 16th birthday today at the United Nations by giving her first high-level public appearance and statement on the importance of education and the power of nonviolence.
Malala became a public figure when she was shot by the Taliban while travelling to school last year in Pakistan — targeted because of her committed campaigning for the right of all girls to an education. Flown to the United Kingdom to recover, she is now back at school and continues to advocate for every child’s right to education.
In support of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI), on 12 July – declared as “Malala Day” — the President of the UN General Assembly and the UN Special Envoy for Global Education with the support of A World at School initiative are organizing the UN Youth Assembly, where more than 500 young leaders from around the world will convene to accelerate the goal of getting all children, especially girls, in school and learning by 2015.
Here’s a link to the transcript of Malala’s speech.