UNESCO Office in Islamabad


Standup for Malala - Stand up for Girls' Right to Education

Government of Pakistan has committed to contribute 10 Million US dollars to the global funding of UNESCO for girls' education. This commitment came from President of Pakistan, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, on the occasion of a high-level advocacy global event called "Standup for Malala - Stand up for Girls' Right to Education", took place at UNESCO's Paris Headquarters on 10 December, 2012.

The event opened by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and President Zardari, will accelerate political action to ensure every girl's right to go to school, and to advance girls' education as an urgent priority for achieving Education For All.

The event was attended by French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet, former President of Finland Tarja Halonen, Director-General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui. They adopted a Statement of Commitment to Girls' Rights to Education, promising "to actively strive to make every effort to end all forms of violence against girls and to eliminate the obstacles that prevent them from attending school."

Video messages were presented at the event by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton.

Sheikh Waqas Akram, Minister of Education and Training, Government of Pakistan, during the panel discussion, spoke of his country's commitment to education as demonstrated by its new law on universal primary education. Asked about the perception that Malala's defence of education was somehow pro-'Western', he said that since the attack on Malala, "the silent majority had found a voice" and were standing up for girls' education as a right. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to "galvanize everybody in favour of girls" education".
 Press Release
 UNESCO's Director-General speech
 Malala - Symbolizing the Rights of Girls' to Education
 Message from Malala | Concept Note
 Press Clipping
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