Islamabad: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called Pakistani education activist Malala Yousufzai `a daughter of the United Nations` when he spoke to her to mark the 1,000-day milestone in the run-up to a Millennium Development Goal to reduce poverty by the end of 2015.
In a Skype conversation from Madrid, where the secretary-general is on a visit, he described the 15-year-old who was attacked by the Taliban for opposing restrictions on going to school as `a symbol of hope, a daughter of the United Nations`, according to a video of the talk released at UN Headquarters in New York, reports The Nation.
Later, Ban formally kicked off the campaign tagged `MDG Momentum - 1,000 Days of Action`, urging countries to ramp up efforts to meet the anti-poverty targets set in 2000.
Ban told Malala that the UN will always support her and people like her.
Malala told Ban that it is an honour for her to be associated with the UN. She said her goal is simple: peace and happiness in this world, adding that the way to see peace is through education. She added that she wants to be a leader and `to serve this whole world`.
Malala was shot in the head and neck on October 9, 2012, for opposing Taliban restrictions on female education, while she was returning home from school in Swat.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the youngster was `pro-West`, had been promoting Western culture and had been speaking out against them.
Ban told the youngster that he was `deeply impressed` and looked forward to meeting her.