UN chief selects education advocate Malala for top honor

UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has selected Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai to be a UN messenger of peace, the highest honor bestowed by the UN chief on a global citizen.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced Friday that the 19-year-old education advocate will focus worldwide attention on the need for all girls to go to school. She will be officially designated at a ceremony on Monday and then hold a conversation with Guterres and youth representatives from around the world on girls' education, he said.

Yousafzai became the youngest-ever Nobel laureate in 2014, when she was recognized for her advocacy of the right of all children to education. Her campaign led to a Taliban assassination attempt near her home in northwest Pakistan that left her severely wounded. She went to Britain for medical treatment and now goes to school there.

"Even in the face of grave danger, Malala Yousafzai has shown an unwavering commitment to the rights of women, girls and all people," Guterres said.

"Her courageous activism for girls' education has already energized so many people around the world," he said in a statement. "Now as our youngest-ever UN Messenger of Peace, Malala can do even more to help create a more just and peaceful world."

Other messengers of peace including actors Michael Douglas and Leonardo DiCaprio, primatologist Jane Goodall and musicians Daniel Barenboim and Yo-Yo Ma.

Messengers of Peace volunteer "their time, talent and passion" in different fields to help focus global attention on the work of the United Nations, according to the UN.