Today, Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl and champion for girls’ education, celebrates her 16th birthday at the United Nations, where she joins youth from around the world in highlighting the importance of education for every child. United Nations Foundation President and CEO Kathy Calvin released the following statement commending Malala and all of the young people pushing for change.
“Malala’s courage and commitment inspires us all. She embodies the determination and bravery of young people around the world who overcome enormous obstacles to go to school. Equipped with an education, this generation of youth will be a powerful force for progress in the world.
“While the international community has made significant strides toward achieving the Millennium Development Goal on universal primary education, 57 million children are still not in primary school. In many places, girls especially face discrimination and barriers to education. At the same time, global aid for education has fallen.
“Our children deserve even better, so we can’t stop now. Not only must we create societies that promote primary education for all, including vulnerable groups such as girls, but we must also set up systems so these young people stay in school and progress to a secondary education.
“Just as Malala and so many other courageous young people continue to speak out for education, so must we. Today, let’s honor Malala by making the right to education a reality for all girls and boys around the world.”
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.