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Minister Flanagan and Minister Sherlock congratulate the winners of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, and Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, have warmly welcomed the announcement by the Nobel Committee to award the 2014 Peace Prize to Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai and Indian child rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi.

Speaking this afternoon, Minister Flanagan commended the Nobel Committee for placing the rights of children at the centre of their award this year, saying:

"Both winners have been exceptional global campaigners and shown great courage and commitment in working to ensure that no child should be left behind.”

Minister Flanagan congratulated Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, recognising his relentless work and advocacy for children's rights and his remarkable drive against child labour in India for years, saying:

“Thousands of children’s lives have been improved because of his drive and commitment. Ireland attaches great importance to the fundamental human rights of the child, and I was pleased last month to sign and ratify the 3rd Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child while at the United Nations in New York. The promotion of the human rights of children, including their right to education, is one of Ireland’s priorities as a member of the UN Human Rights Council”

Noting that it is now two years and a day since Malala Yousafzai, now 17, was shot by Taliban gunman because of her campaigning for education for girls, Minister Sherlock congratulated her on the award, saying:

“I am delighted that the Nobel Committee have recognised Malala’s heroic struggle for the right to an education. Malala’s bravery in continuing with her campaign for girls’ education is an inspiration for us all.

“"Her recent visit here to Ireland showed the warm esteem she is held in at such a young age. she is a role model not only for people her age but people of all ages right around the world."

Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Tipperary International Peace Award for 2012.

Ireland focuses on addressing girls’ education in a number of ways. Irish Aid supports the recruitment and deployment of female teachers to areas where girls’ attendance is low. Irish Aid also provides scholarships for girls to attend secondary in many of its Key Partner Countries, like Uganda, Zambia and Lesotho.

Ireland also places a strong emphasis on strengthening national education systems to focus more strongly on improving progress with girls’ transition to secondary by mapping, targeting and monitoring girls who are vulnerable to exclusion from the school system. Irish Aid supports the Global Partnership for Education and provides approximately €4million per annum to support the Partnership’s global lead on ensuring that countries are incentivised to ensure that girls’ attendance at primary and into secondary is a priority.

Press Office
10 October 2014