Malala continues with education plea

Malala Yousafzai emphasised the importance of education for all during her first public speech.

Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai speaks before the United Nations Youth Assembly on 12 July 2013 at UN headquarters in New York. Picture: AFP

NEW YORK - Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani education activist who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban in 2012, has called for world leaders to protect human rights to equality and education for all.

The teenager addressed the United Nations (UN) Youth Assembly on Friday, attended by leaders including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UN Special Envoy for Global Education (former British Prime Minister) Gordon Brown.

"Being here with such honourable people is a great moment in my life."

Malala's address was her first public speech since she was shot in the head at close range in 2012.

Known around the world by her first name, Malala used the opportunity to promote the UN Global Education Fund.

"So here I stand, one girl among many. I speak not for myself but for those without voice."

"One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution."

She says she has no contempt for her would be killers but will continue steadfast in her aims for education for all.