Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai was named the youngest-ever United Nations Messenger of Peace on Monday for promoting girls' education after being shot four years ago by a Taliban gunman.
Yousafzai, who is 19, was also the youngest person to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 when she was 17. The Pakistani native was shot in 2012 leaving school in a small town near Islamabad, where she was engaged in efforts to enable more girls to be educated, something forbidden by the ruling Taliban of the time.
The Taliban targeted her for her efforts and shot her in the face, leaving her for dead. But Yousafzai survived and was taken for treatment to the U.K., where she now lives.
“I stood here on this stage almost three and a half years ago ... and I told the world that education is the basic human right of every girl,” Yousafzai said in her Messenger of Peace acceptance speech, CNN reported. “And I stand here again today and say the same thing. Once you educate girls, you change the whole community, you change the whole world.”
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres praised Yousafzai for her “courageous defense of the rights of all people, including women and girls, to education and equality,” and called her “the symbol of one of the most important causes in the world,” CNN reported.
The role of U.N. Messengers of Peace is to focus attention on the work and principles of the U.N. around the world.
Twitter was congratulatory toward Yousafzai.
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