The following statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was issued today:
I congratulate Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi — two of the world’s greatest champions for children — on being awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize for Peace.
Malala is a brave and gentle advocate of peace who through the simple act of going to school, became a global teacher. She said one pen can change the world, and proved how one young woman can lead the way. With her courage and determination, Malala has shown what terrorists fear most: a girl with a book.
Malala is a daughter of the United Nations, from participating in United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) events years ago to marking the 500-day countdown to the Millennium Development Goals with us at United Nations Headquarters this summer. The United Nations will continue to stand with her against extremism and for the right of girls everywhere to be free of violence, to go to school and to enjoy their right to an education.
Kailash Satyarthi has been at the forefront of a worldwide movement for justice, global education and a better life for millions of children trapped in exploitative child labour. He has been a regular presence at the United Nations, and his leadership, commitment and personal sacrifice over many decades have helped raise public awareness, mobilize opinion leaders, and galvanize society.
Thanks in large measure to Mr. Satyarthi’s heroic work, the world has moved from denial about abusive child labour to acknowledgement, awareness and action. He has successfully brought together the key elements for success in the fight against the worst forms of child labour: moral outrage, personal commitment, and societal engagement.
I congratulate both leaders for this well-deserved recognition. The true winners today are the world’s children.