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Malala To Open UN Summit With Appeal For Free Education

Malala Yousafzai attends the premiere of He Named Me Malala at the Ziegfeld Theater in Manhattan, New York, on September 24.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai will open a United Nations' summit of world leaders on September 25 with a speech calling for free 12-year education for all the world's children.

The address by Malala, who was shot on a school bus in Pakistan in 2012 by the Taliban for advocating girls' rights to education, will immediately follow an opening address by Pope Francis.

"The dreams [the leaders] have for their own children, I'm hopeful they will have the same dreams for the rest of the world's children," Malala said in an interview with Reuters.

"If you want our future to be more powerful, to be enlightened, to be bright, we need to invest in education," she said, noting it "does not require as much money as we think -- just $39 billion, which we spend in just eight days on [the] military."

Malala, who celebrated her 18th birthday in July in Lebanon by opening a school for Syrian refugee girls, said she would also highlight the plight of refugee children as Europe faces the largest wave of refugees and migrants since World War II.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP