SRSG Santos Pais congratulates Nobel Peace Prize Winners Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi and praises the award Committee for honouring the human rights of children

10/10/2014

“I wish to congratulate two remarkable champions of children’s rights, Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, on the award of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

This award pays tribute to their decisive contribution to the cause of children’s rights, in particular to the elimination of discrimination and violence against children. It is also a recognition of the importance of this cause for the building of peaceful and cohesive societies.

As the youngest-ever Nobel Prize winner, Malala is an outstanding example of children’s resolve and agency. She is a powerful reminder that children are not just future people, but active citizens of today, determined and able to overcome all kinds of obstacles to bring fairness, peace, progress and love to our world. A world where, 25 years after the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, millions of children still lack access to education, endure extreme violence, are targeted in politically driven processes, instrumentalized in organized crime, disciplined through violent means, and neglected and ill-treated as a result of deep rooted superstition or harmful practices.

Malala and Kailash remind us that violence, discrimination and exploitation should never be silenced or accepted as a fate. We all can and should be part of the solution to these problems. May their stories be an inspiration to our future actions, so that the UN Convention can deliver its promises to the world’s 2.2 billion children!”