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UN Head Talks With Pakistani Girl Shot by Taliban

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks via Skype with Pakistan's Malala Yousufzai, Apr. 5. 2013

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has spoken with Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani girl shot in the head last year by Taliban militants for advocating girls' education.

A U.N. spokesman said the secretary-general was impressed with the conversation Friday and thinks Malala is a symbol of hope.

The 15-year-old now lives in Britain, where she has been receiving medical treatment for her injuries. In February, British doctors repaired her skull with a titanium plate and helped to restore the hearing in her left ear.

The U.N. spokesman, Martin Nesirky, says Malala told Ban that she is in good health and that she wants to be a leader and serve the world.

"She obviously wants to work for the rights of girls and of all human beings. She said that she wants to work together with everyone to achieve peace and happiness. And the way to see peace is through education," Nesirky said.

Nesirky said Ban had wanted to speak with Malala for some time and decided to do so via Skype Friday, in part because it marked the 1,000-day milestone in the run up to a Millennium Development goal to reduce poverty by the end of 2015. Nesirky said Malala is a symbol of education, which is one of the development goals.

Malala was shot in the head in October by Taliban gunmen while returning from school in Pakistan's northwestern Swat Valley. The Taliban said she had spoken out against the militant group and in favor of girls' education.