But the young Pakistani woman who on Friday opens a summit of world leaders at the United Nations otherwise comes across in “He Named Me Malala” as a formidable proponent of exactly what prompted the Taliban to try to kill her in her native Swat Valley: education for everyone, but particularly for girls.
When General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft struck his gavel to approve the development plan, leaders and diplomats from the 193 United Nations member states stood and applauded loudly.
The document – called “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” – which sets out the 17 broad goals and 169 specific targets, will be adopted after opening speeches at the summit.
“Today, we are 193 young people representing billions more. With the world focussed on the new global goals there is a real opportunity to make that hope a reality”.
The film is a close look at events leading up to the Talibans’ attack on Malala for speaking out on girls’ education and the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations in 2013.
Yousafzai’s Malala Fund, which support girls’ secondary education, wants the film to be shown in schools to inspire students to stand against bullying, racism and human rights violations.
“The world leaders need to take all these issues more seriously”, Yousafzai told reporters.
‘The dreams (the world leaders) have for their own children, I’m hopeful they will have the same dreams for the rest of the world’s children….
“It’s really tragic what’s happening to children around the world, especially in Syria, in Iraq, and how they’re suffering”.
Yousafzai noted how hard it is for her to watch the news about those conflict-torn areas because every time she does, it makes her cry that no one is taking action while children die and girls continue to be sexually abused. She said she hoped to be able to meet him because she believed his words could “bring people together to work for the betterment of humanity”.
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