Right now, more than 62 million girls around the world are not in school, half of whom are adolescent. That’s why President Obama is headed to the United Nations today to talk about building sustainable development and how we’re helping let girls learn across the globe. 

Chawanzi wrote to President Obama from Zambia about girls’ education. Read her letter, then share a yearbook-style photo of yourself telling us what you learned in school using #62MillionGirls to help raise awareness for girls’ education worldwide. 

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. 

As NYC Junior Ambassadors, hundreds of students from across the five boroughs have the opportunity to act as representatives of their city, pledging to create a better city and a more sustainable planet. As part of the program students receive curated tours of the UN Headquarters, giving them a behind-the-scenes look at the UN and access to a growing alumni network of young, future leaders. They also receive classroom visits from an Ambassador to the UN or senior diplomat. Applications for Year 2 of the program are open through October 5! Educators from across the five boroughs and from any subject area can apply!

Reports of the Disarmament and International Security Committee (First Committee)

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The General Assembly met this morning, 2 December, to discuss 22 reports of the the Disarmament and International Security Committee (First Committee).  The First Committee discusses all disarmament and international security agenda items before the General Assembly (A/C.1/66/1). 

Reports to the General Assembly Plenary, 66th Session

UN Resources

Photo: General Assembly Discusses First Committee Reports. 2 December 2009. UN Photo/Sophie Paris

New York City has a long and  proud history as host city of the UN – from its temporary home in Flushing  Meadows Corona Park, to its permanent home on the east side of Manhattan.  Mayor de Blasio and his administration take pride in the deep and lasting  connections between our global city and one of the world’s premier  institutions.

“My story is that of a 21st Century immigrant. I was born in Africa. My family fled a civil war and sought refuge in Europe. In 2006 I moved to the United States where, for the first time I felt at home. This is after all the land of immigrants; the land of opportunity.” —Minneapolis City Council Member Abdi Warsame writing to President Obama

Read Council Member Warsame’s letter on his own story of becoming a refuge. Then watch the President speak at the United Nations on countering violent extremism.

The UN General Assembly Debate starts today at UN Headquarters in New York, where more than 130 world leaders as well as foreign ministers will take the stage over the next week. 

In the words of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon the GA is

the highlight of the international diplomatic calendar - an opportunity for global figures to find common ground and deal directly with global problems.

Here’s how to follow all the (diplomatic) action:

And of course, we’ll keep you posted right here.