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Minister Costello congratulates Malala Yousafzai

Trade and Development Minister Joe Costello addressed the Tipperary International Peace Award ceremony yesterday evening at which Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Tipperary International Peace Award for 2012.

The Minister congratulated Ms Yousafzai saying:

I applaud her singular bravery and I am delighted her efforts to champion human rights in the face of intimidation and adversity have been honoured this evening.

Malala Yousafzai, a 16-year-old Pakistani education activist, was attacked by Taliban gunmen last October after she campaigned for girls to be allowed go to school without fear. In selecting her for the award, the Tipperary Peace Convention have recognised Malala's courage, determination and perseverance, along with the impact she has had on so many people across the world. Ms Yousafzai joins Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev and former President Mary McAleese and Dr. Martin McAleese as recipients of the award. Malala is the youngest ever recipient.

In his speech, Minister Costello highlighted Malala’s efforts to promote access to education for all:

I admire Malala’s courageous efforts to promote the fundamental right to education for every child and her efforts to achieve access to education for women and girls in Pakistan and other regions worldwide. As a former teacher I know the importance of education from an early age, for girls and boys alike, and I share Malala’s passion for promoting this.

Minister Costello concluded saying:

Ireland has recently been elected to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council. Amongst our priorities for our three year term will be the promotion of the human rights of children, including their right to education, and the promotion and protection of human rights defenders.

Read the full press release