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Malala’s father named UN education adviser

LONDON: The UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown on Monday announced appointment of Malala Yousafzai’s father, Ziauddin Yusufzai, as Special UN Adviser on Global Education. He has been appointed to assist the work of getting every child to school by the end of 2015, an announcement early Monday morning said.

The statement issued with the appointment said: “Worldwide, 32 million girls are not at school. Yousafzai, a former teacher and headmaster, will play a critical role in helping remove the discrimination and barriers that prevent girls going to school.

Brown will unveil on Monday a Malala Plan to get all girls to school by the end of 2015. He will ask supporters of girls’ education – who meet in Paris on Monday at the ‘Stand up for Malala’ event, under the auspices of UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova and President Zardari of Pakistan – to join a day of action on July 12th, Malala’s birthday.

Welcoming the visit of President Zardari to see Malala in Birmingham and announcing the appointment, Gordon Brown said: ‘With today’s announcements we show that as a result of Malala’s courage and her inspiration the whole world is pushing for education for every girl.

“We will prepare country-by-country reports of the gaps in educational opportunity. We will hold a summit with off-track countries in Washington on April 19th, which the UN secretary-general, the president of the World Bank and I will host.”

“Before she was shot, Malala was advocating the cause of girls’ education faced by a Taliban that had closed down and destroyed 600 schools. We now know from her family that when the group of girls she was with on a school bus was assailed by a gunman asking, where is Malala?” a fearless and defiant Malala did not scream and she did not cry – but simply replied ‘I am Malala.” She held the hand of her friend as she received what the Taliban considered her ‘punishment’ for the ‘crime’ of wanting education.

“If the Taliban sought to vanquish her voice once and for all, they failed. For today her voice and her insistent dream that children should go to school echoes all around the world, as girl after girl, each wanting all girls to have the right to go to school, identifies with Malala.

“To help in this global endeavour, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala’s father, will become a Special Adviser to the UN Special Envoy for Global Education.””In time Malala herself is determined to join the campaign for every girl’s right to education and when she has recovered she will do so, becoming one of the leaders of that campaign. I can announce that after consultation with Malala’s family, there will be on July 12th next year, Malala’s own birthday, a day of action. We will invite children to march, demonstrate, petition and pray for children’s education to be delivered worldwide.”

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