Girl who survived Taliban attack celebrates 16th birthday with UN speech

Malala Yousafzai, Ban Ki-moon, Gordon Brown, Ban Soon-taekf

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Pakistani teen who was shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls has celebrated her 16th birthday today with a speech at the United Nations — where she called on world leaders to provide free compulsory schooling for every child.

Malala Yousafzai (mah-LAH’-lah YOO’-suhf-zeye) was making her first public speech since the attack last October.

Speaking to nearly 1,000 youth leaders from over 100 countries, Malala called for “a global struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism.” She said, “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”

Malala called herself just one of thousands of victims of the Taliban. And she said the bullet that entered the left side of her forehead last October — which the extremists thought would silence her — had not dimmed her ambitions of promoting peace, education and prosperity.

She said she wasn’t there to speak of “personal revenge against the Taliban” — but instead to “speak about the right of education for every child.” And she said extremists kill students — especially girls — and destroy schools because they are afraid of the power of education and the power of women.

The United Nations designated today “Malala Day.” But she said the day belongs to “every woman, every boy and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights.”

%@AP Links

200-w-33-(Sagar Meghani (SAH’-gur meh-GAH’-nee), AP national security correspondent, with sound of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and Malala Yousafzai)–The Pakistani teen who was shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls is calling on world leaders to provide free schooling for every child. AP National Security Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports. ((opens with actuality and applause)) (12 Jul 2013)

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184-a-10-(Malala Yousafzai (mah-LAH’-lah YOO’-suhf-zeye), Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for promoting education of girls, addressing the United Nations)-”change the world”-Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for promoting education of girls, says education is the key to a global struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism. (12 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *184 (07/12/13)££ 00:10 “change the world”

183-a-10-(Malala Yousafzai (mah-LAH’-lah YOO’-suhf-zeye), Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for promoting education of girls, addressing the United Nations)-”for every child”-Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for promoting education of girls, says education is the only solution to many world problems. (12 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *183 (07/12/13)££ 00:10 “for every child”

GRAPHICSBANK: Malala Yousafzai, teenage girl who was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan, addresses “Malala Day” Youth Assembly at United Nations headquarters, New York, graphic element on gray (12 Jul 2013)

APPHOTO UNMA103: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, listens as Malala Yousafzai, right, addresses the ‘Malala Day’ Youth Assembly, Friday, July 12, 2013 at United Nations headquarters. Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls, celebrated her 16th birthday on Friday addressing the United Nations. The U.N. has declared July 12 “Malala Day,” to honor the teen who returned to school in March after medical treatment in Britain for injuries suffered in the October attack. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) (12 Jul 2013)

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APPHOTO NYR107: In this photo provided by the United Nations Foundation, Malala Yousafzai celebrates her 16th birthday by addressing hundreds of young leaders who support the United Nation’s Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative, during ‘Malala Day’ at United Nations Headquarters, Friday, July 12, 2013. Malala continues to campaign for every child’s right to education after surviving an attack by the Taliban in Pakistan last year. (AP Photos/United Nations Foundation, Stuart Ramson) (12 Jul 2013)

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