Pakistan teenager Malala Yousafzai spoke at UN Youth Assembly against terrorism as part of global campaign to put all children in schools. She received accolades from the United Nations for being a blazing symbol of Women’s right to education in a region subject to the harsh diktats of Taliban rule.
In her , on her 16th birthday, since the Taliban in Pakistan tried to kill her nine months ago, told United Nations Secretary – General Ban Ki – Moon and around 1000 students from around the world attending a Youth Assembly at the UN, that education was the only way to improve lives.
“Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher,one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution” she said. Further she reflected, “They ( terrorists) thought that the bullet would silence us, but they failed…. The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in life except this: weakness, fear, hopelessness died. Strength, courage and fervour was born”.
She also presented Mr Ban Ki-Moon with a petition which was signed by 4 million people in support of 57 million children who are unable to attend school and “ demanding that world leaders found new teachers, schools and books and end child labour, marriage and trafficking ”.
Since the terrorist attack against her, former Prime Minister of UK and current UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown launched a UN petition in Malala Yousafzai’s name , titled ‘I am Malala’ and calling for children world wide be attending school by the end of 2015. Mr Ban Ki – Moon has announced that November 15 will be celebrated as ‘ Malala Day ’