The 19-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has been made the youngest ever UN Messenger of Peace, with a special focus on girls’ education.
In 2012 Malala narrowly escaped death after being attacked on her way home from school in Pakistan by the Taliban for campaigning for girls’ rights to education.
Accepting the accolade in New York, she said: “(Bringing change) starts with us and it should start now.”
Last month, Ms Yousafzai said she had received an offer to study politics, philosophy and economics at a UK university, on condition of achieving three As in her A-levels.
UN Messengers of Peace are selected from the fields of art, literature, science, entertainment, sports or other fields of public life.
Backed by the highest honour bestowed by the Secretary-General on a global citizen, these prominent personalities volunteer their time, talent and passion to raise awareness of UN’s efforts to improve the lives of billions of people everywhere.
Other messengers are Muhammad Ali, George Clooney, Michael Douglas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Stevie Wonder and Charlize Theron.
Speaking on the occasion, Malala said that brothers and fathers must also support women and girls in the global effort to ensure education for all and, more importantly, to “be who they want to be.”