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TRANSCRIPT: Malala’s Speech at UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015

25 September, 2015

Bismillah hir Rahman ir Rahim

In the name of God, the most beneficent, the most merciful.

Before I start, may I ask for some quiet – please pay attention to what youth is asking here.

Dear sisters and brothers, world leaders, please look up, because the future generation is raising their voice.

Today, we are 193 young people representing billions more. Each lantern we hold represents the hope we feel for our future because of the commitments you have made to the Global Goals.

In my life, I have experienced terrorism, displacement and denial from education. And these are the tragedies that millions of children are still suffering.

That shocking and heart-breaking photo of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi lying dead on a sea shore. The parents of the girls abducted by Boko Haram, with tears flooding from their eyes. And little children on the Syrian border with no home, no hope, force us to ask: how many more will we see killed, being rejected, neglected, being homeless? How many more?

The world needs a change. It cannot change itself. It is me, it is you, it is all of us who have to bring that change.

Dear world leaders, dear brothers and sisters,

Education is not a privilege. Education is a right. Education is peace.

Promise peace to all children, in Pakistan, in India, in Syria and in every corner of the world. Promise peace and prosperity.

Promise an education to my brave sister Salam and all refugee children, that wars cannot stop them from learning.

Promise my sister Amina that our sisters abducted by Boko Haram will be brought back and that all girls will be able to study in safety.

Promise us that you will keep your commitments and invest in our future. Promise that every child will have the right to safe, free and quality primary and secondary education.

This is the real investment the world needs and what world leaders must do.

I am hopeful that we all, and the United Nations will be united in the goal of education and peace. And that we will make this world not just a better place but the best place to live.

Education is hope. Education is peace.

Thank you.

Share that you stand #withMalala for girls’ education.