This Friday, 500 young leaders from nearly 90 countries will convene at the United Nations headquarters for a UN Youth Assembly on global education with a very special guest speaker -- Malala Yousufzai. Their mission is simple and profound: to accelerate the goal of getting all children, especially girls, in school and learning by 2015.
The UN Secretary-General has declared July 12, Malala Day. Malala Yousafzai captured the world’s attention when she was targeted and attacked in Pakistan for advocating for any girls’ right to attend school. Her efforts around education and self-determination for young people around the world have only been strengthened after this incident. This Friday, on her 16th birthday, she will deliver her first public speech at the United Nations and present a youth resolution -- The Education We Want -- to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Malala provides a powerful example of how young people around the world are directly addressing our global challenges.
Today, 57 million children are out of school. In response, the international community is partnering to address this global challenge. In September 2012, the UN Secretary-General launched the UN Global Education First Initiative to raise the political profile of education, strengthen the global movement to achieve quality education, and generate sufficient funding to further these efforts. President Obama recently held a town hall meeting with young leaders in South Africa and emphasized, “The most important investment any country can make is educating its youth.” This is why the U.S. government is actively engaged in addressing this effort, for example, through the USAID Education Strategy, which is committed to increasing literacy, work development training, and access to education.
We are proud to partner with the international community, including the thousands of Malala’s around the world who deserve the ability to envision a future based on their talents, passion, and self-determination.
You can watch the event live on Friday, July 12 at 9:30 a.m. (EDT) at http://webtv.un.org.