News / Asia

Malala Yousufzai to Address UN Youth Assembly

FILE - Malala Yousufzai smiles as she attends school in Edgbaston, central England, in this handout photograph released March 19, 2013.FILE - Malala Yousufzai smiles as she attends school in Edgbaston, central England, in this handout photograph released March 19, 2013.
x
FILE - Malala Yousufzai smiles as she attends school in Edgbaston, central England, in this handout photograph released March 19, 2013.
FILE - Malala Yousufzai smiles as she attends school in Edgbaston, central England, in this handout photograph released March 19, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
The United Nations will have a special visitor on Friday, when Pakistani teen activist Malala Yousufzai presents the U.N. secretary-general with a petition asking for help to get all children, especially girls, into school by 2015. Malala will also address youth leaders at the world body’s headquarters in New York.

Malala Yousufzai turns 16 on Friday. It will certainly be a special birthday for her, one she almost did not live to see, after Taliban gunmen shot her in the head as she headed home from school nine months ago.

Malala was targeted because she spoke out for the right of girls to go to school in her native Pakistan.

But instead of receiving gifts on this birthday, Malala hopes to share one with the world’s youth: universal education.

The education activist will present U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon with a petition signed - as of Thursday - by more than 330,000 people. They are taking a stand with Malala calling on the U.N. General Assembly to fund new teachers, schools and books, and recommitting to getting every girl and boy into the classroom by December 2015.

The secretary-general’s spokesman, Martin Nesirky, said Ban is looking forward to welcoming this courageous young woman to the United Nations. He has even declared Friday to be “Malala Day.”

“From the day that terrible shooting - assassination attempt - took place, Malala Yousufzai is a symbol for the rights of girls, and indeed the rights of all young people, to an education.  And she has further underscored that symbolism through her remarkable recovery and her eloquence in explaining her case and her position,” said Nesirky.

Before presenting Ban Ki-moon with the petition, Malala will address more than 500 young people from around the world at a U.N. Youth Assembly.

The U.N. says some 57 million children worldwide do not attend primary school. Many of them live in conflict zones. Last September, the secretary-general launched the U.N. Global Education First Initiative with the goal of putting every child in school and improving the quality of learning.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid