‘You didn’t keep up the good work’ — Malala

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate at the ongoing 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 75), SDGs Moment Event Session, has challenged countries for not keeping up the good work on the Sustainable Development Goals, saying that the pandemic Covid-19 could not be an excuse.

In her virtual message, she said “The pandemic is a setback but it cannot be an excuse. A goal should be returned to the way things were. We need a profound commitment to the way the world should be. A place where every girl can learn and lead. A place where we put people and our planet ahead of profit. A place where leaders keep their promises”, Malala Yousafzai requested.

“When I last spoke here, I was just about to enter university and was optimistic about what was ahead: university life, making new friends and access to an incredible education”, she told the inaugural SDG Moment event, intended to renew the effort to meet the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over the coming decade. “This June, I graduated in the midst of a reeling world — one many of us could not have predicted”.

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The young Nobel Laureate recalled that five years ago Member States signed on to the SDGs, but, “so far, you have not kept up with your work”, she declared.

“On education alone, 20 million more girls may never go back to the classroom when this crisis ends and the global education funding gap has already increased to 200 billion dollars per year”, she flagged

The young advocate signaled that moving forward, things should not return to the way they were.

“When will you commit the necessary funding to give every child 12 years of quality education? When will you prioritize peace and protect refugees? When will you pass policies to cut carbon emissions?”


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