What the Taliban Didn’t Want: Malala’s Celebrates Her 16th Birthday at U.N.

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.

Operation Noah Reports from Copenhagen

Daily film videos from the UN climate summit starting on Copenhagen next week are part of a December plan of action to make sure that the voice of faith is heard at this “make or break” time in our history. These will be on the new ON website at: www.operationnoah.org.

Watch the 3-minute introductory video below.

Operation Noah, the ecumenical community which campaigns exclusively on climate change, is working with a US web-based organization, Odyssey Networks, to bring you the voices of religious wisdom as monks, nuns, rabbis and holy men and women converge on the Danish capital.

“It’s quite an ambition,” said ON’s Mark Dowd, who will be fronting many of the reports. “We’re following everyone from the Archbishop of Canterbury, to youngsters from the Christian-Muslim forum, Benedictine and Franciscan nuns, Hindu gurus, Buddhist monks and American evangelicals.”

Using the full range of new media potential, there are plans for daily video diaries, blogs and film reports which will feature, for example, the huge religious gatherings on the weekend of December 12th and 13th.

“I am sure that much of Copenhagen will de dominated by the politicians and policymakers with endless talks of carbon trading, cap and trade and mitigation measures,” said Mark Dowd. “That’s all well and good, but we need to stand back and give the faith voice a platform. Creation is a gift and unless we include some sense of the sacred in our reflections, we are not going to get back on course to living in greater balance and harmony with the natural world.”