Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has announced that Malala Yousafzai – courageous young education rights campaigner from Pakistan who was targeted and shot by extremists on her way to school – will mark her 16th birthday by visiting the United Nations.

“Malala Yousafzai may be one of the best-known students in the world, but she is also a teacher,” he blogged at HuffingtonPost.com. "On 12 July, Malala will be joined by hundreds of students from more than 80 countries in a unique Youth Assembly, where diplomats will take a back seat as young people take over the UN. They will gather to issue a global call for quality education for all.

“In today’s knowledge-based society, education is a foundation for the future we want: a world without poverty, violence, discrimination or disease. Building this future will require a new, concerted push. That is why I launched the Global Education First Initiative, with three priorities: to put every child in school; improve the quality of learning; and prepare children to grow up to be global citizens.

“Education is the pathway to saving lives, building peace and empowering young people. That is the lesson that Malala and millions like her are seeking to teach the world. International partners and governments must listen and act.

“As the global community works to speed up achievement of the MDGs and craft the post-2015 development agenda, we must ensure that we meet our children’s dreams and aspirations for the future.

“On Malala’s birthday let us pledge to deliver the best gift of all — quality education for every girl and boy in the world.”

Malala Day will take place at the United Nations on July 12, 2013 — the 16th birthday of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for wanting to go to school. On that day, Malala will address 500 young campaigners as part of a special youth takeover of the United Nations. For more information, visit aworldatschool.org.

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