On October 10, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 will be awarded to Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India
The Norwegian Nobel Committee is responsible for selecting the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, and Thorbjorn Jagland, Chairman, made the announcement.
The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded during a Ceremony at the Oslo City Hall in Oslo, Norway on December 10, 2014. It is interesting to note that the Norwegian Nobel Committee considers it important that “a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakastani, have joined in a common struggle for education and against extremism.“
In addition, on October l0, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, two of the world’s greatest champions for children, on being awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. He congratulated both leaders for this well deserved recognition and stated that the true winners today are the world’s children.
In his remarks following the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize winners, the UN Secretary-General stated: “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.” Ban Ki-moon remarked. “with her courage and determination, Malala has shown what terrorists fear most- a girl with a book.”
In addition, here is how Ban Ki-moon described Malala’s work at the United Nations: “Malala is a daughter of the United Nations, from participating in UNICEF events years ago to marking the 500-day countdown to the Millennium Development Goals with us at UN 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.”
In congratulating Kailash Satyarthi, the UN Secretary-General said that this Nobel Peace Prize winner 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.”
As Ban Ki-moon stated, “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.”
In addition, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein stated that, “the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to two frontline human rights defenders who have championed the rights of the child sends an important message of support and recognition to individuals around the world tirelessly working to
defend the rights of children.”
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also said: “Both Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi have demonstrated tremendous courage in the face of powerful adversaries. Malala, a child herself, has challenged armed groups in her fight for the right to education for girls, as well as boys. Kailash Satyarthi has been at the forefront of the struggle against child slavery and the exploitation of children for commercial gain.”
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, also extended her heartfelt congratulations to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. As she put it, “the award of the Peace Prize to these two ardent defenders of education and human rights sends a resounding message to the world about the importance of education for building peaceful and sustainable societies. UNESCO works closely with both Nobel laureates.”
“After being shot and struggling for her life for speaking out about the right to attend school, Malala is known to the world for her courage and commitment” said Irina Bukova. “She stands with us in the struggle for universal education, especially for girls.”
UNESCO’s Irina Bokova described Kailash Satyarthi as “a close friend of UNESCO and said he has been at the forefront of the global movement to end child slavery and exploitative child labour since 1980. As a founder and president of the Global Campaign for Education and of the Global March Against Child Labour, he has worked with passion and courage to fulfill every child’s right to education.”
As Irina Bokova remarked in her closing statement, “we are proud that these two champions have been honored with the Prize.“
UNICEF, which “promotes the rights and well-being of every child” issued the following statement: “UNICEF is delighted that Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, two powerful advocates for children’s rights, have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.”
As a spokesperson for UNICEF put it, “the timing of this well-deserved honor for two brave and determined champions for children would not be more appropriate.
This is the year the international community celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child” according to UNICEF.
UNICEF considers “this award will be an inspiration to the world who battle silently in their own lives for the right to an education and the right to be heard and protected. The courage of Malala and Kailash is a rallying cry for the cause of children everywhere.”