Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks by Skype with Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani champion of the right of girls to have an education. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

“The terrorists showed what frightens them most: a girl with a book.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai. 

On April 5th, the world reached a vital moment in history’s largest and most successful anti-poverty push — the 1,000-day mark before the target date to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marked the occasion by talking with a person who embodies the world we want – someone who has shown through her example that in order to meet our goals, we must empower women and girls; we must speak out for justice; we must stand up to forces of division and discord. So, on Friday, he used Skype to talk with Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager injured in an assassination attempt on her way home from school in 2012.

UPDATED: Watch a short clip of their exchange here that now includes Secretary-General’s reflection on their chat:

Malala told the Secretary-General: “The way to see peace is through education.  It is an honour for me to be associated with the UN.  I want to tell the world how important education is.” Read more from the UN News Centre.

The Secretary-General looks forward to meeting Malala in person.

The Secretary-General explains more about the MDGs and the next 1000 days (and beyond) in this opinion piece posted in the Huffington Post.

In Madrid this week, he also met young people from the Spanish and European Youth Councils.

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