Malala most famous teenager of this decade: UN

Malala Yousafzai became the most famous teenager in the world in the second decade of the 21st century, says a UN review.

In this review, the United Nations news service looks back at some of the big stories that happened in the teenage years of the 21st century and Malala’s global recognition tops the list of positive stories that unfolded between 2010 and 2019.

The first part of the review covers the period between 2010 and the end of 2013 and focuses on the devastating Haiti earthquake, Malala’s efforts to promote girls’ education, and the creation of what has now become “the world’s most dangerous UN mission”, in Mali.

“From a young age, Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai was known for speaking out in favour of the educating girls and highlighting the atrocities of the Taliban,” the report notes.

It points out that Malala was born and brought up in the volatile Swat Valley and while taking the bus home from school, in October 2012, she, and two other girls, were shot by a Taliban gunman: she was hit in the head by a bullet, but survived and eventually recovered.

“Malala’s activism and profile have only grown since the assassination attempt. She won several high-profile awards, including the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize and became a UN Messenger of Peace in 2017, with a special focus on girls’ education,” the report adds.

Mali: Peace keeping in Mali has been called the UN’s ‘most dangerous mission’, where peacekeepers have sustained severe and regular casualties while protecting civilians from instability, which includes deadly inter-ethnic clashes.

MINUSMA, the UN Mission in Mali, was established in April 2013, when the Security Council voted to approve an operation.

Pakistan is one of the largest contributors to the UN force and so far, 185 Pakistani soldiers have died during UN peace missions.

Syria: The Syrian crisis began in 2011 and it continues. Eight years of unabated violence has caused one of the largest ever exodus of refugees from a Middle East country.

In eight years, hundreds of thousands of civilians have died, over 5 to 6 million people have fled Syria since 2011, and some 6,6 million are thought to be displaced within the country, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

Ebola: In December 2013, in the village of Meliandou, in Guinea, a toddler named Emile Ouamouno died. Emile was named as patient zero, in what became the worst outbreak of Ebola in history.

The deadly, highly contagious virus spread rapidly through Guinea, as well as neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone, to become known as the Western Africa Ebola Outbreak. Some 6,000 deaths were recorded that year, and whole communities paralysed by fear.

By 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recorded 28,616 cases of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and 11,310 deaths.

In 2016, an independent report commissioned by WHO, blamed delay in identifying the outbreak for this unprecedented health disaster.



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