United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (R) designates Malala Yousafzai as the UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on girls' education at the UN headquarters in New York, on April 10, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday designated 19-year-old Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan as the UN's youngest Messenger of Peace with a special focus on girls' education.
In a ceremony held here, Guterres said the designation came for Malala's service to the ideals and objectives of the United Nations and her courageous defense of the rights of all people, including women and girls.
Wearing a light pink headscarf, Malala said she was honored to be the Messenger of Peace. At the occasion, she once again appealed for equal education opportunities for girls.
"Education is the basic right for every child; especially for girls, this right should not be neglected," she said in a calm but firm voice.
Born on July 12, 1997 in Pakistan's Swat Valley, Yousafzai became an international symbol of the fight for girls' education after being shot on Oct. 9, 2012 for opposing Taliban restrictions on female education.
She survived the attack and became an advocate for the millions of girls denied a formal education worldwide.
In 2013, Yousafzai and her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, co-founded Malala Fund to raise awareness to the social and economic impact of girls' education and to empower girls to demand change.
Yousafzai became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 2014.