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Malala Becomes Youngest UN Messenger Of Peace

Malala Yousafzai is presented with a certificate by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a ceremony to name her as a messenger of peace at UN headquarters in New York on April 10.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has become the youngest United Nations Messenger of Peace, the highest honor given by the global body.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed the 19-year-old to the role, with a special focus on girls' education, at an April 10 ceremony at UN headquarters in New York.

“You are not only a hero, but you are a very committed and generous person," Guterres told Malala.

"Once we educate girls we change the whole community and the whole society," Malala said. "I am hopeful and I encourage all young girls there -- you need to stand up and believe in yourselves."

Malala rose to international fame after being shot in the head on her school bus in Pakistan in 2012 by a Taliban gunman because she campaigned for the education of girls.

Malala was severely wounded but survived after receiving medical treatment in Britain, where she now lives and goes to school.

In the years since, she has traveled the world promoting girls' education as a solution to violence like that promoted by the militant Islamic group. She became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 when she was 17.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa