Sunderland teen co-leads UN youth takeover

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A WEARSIDE teen who championed a million-strong petition in aid of a schoolgirl shot by extremists is to take his campaign global.

Student David Crone, 17, will co-lead the first-ever youth takeover of the UN, on July 12, alongside Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafazai, who was shot in Pakistan last year.

David said: “Millions of children are out of school, one in five of them teenage girls. The fact that so many are missing out is a travesty of our time.

“Education is an essential part of my life and something that every school age young person should have access to.”

David, a youth ambassador for global children’s charity Plan UK, will join hundreds of other youngsters stepping into the shoes of global decision makers.

He will oversee the formation of a youth resolution on Education for All, devised by the UN’s Education First initiative.

The young campaigner was involved in last year’s ‘I am Malala’ petition, led by Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, and presented it to Pakistan’s High Commission in London.

He said: “As a Plan UK youth rep I’ve had the opportunity to explore some of the most pressing issues confronting people my age and younger around the world.

“I’m proud to join an event that will enable young people from rich and developing nations to debate these issues face-to-face with policymakers.

“I hope this event will lead to a positive change to the lives of out of school girls and boys in poorer parts of the world.”

Plan UK champions the rights of the world’s poorest out of school girls and its ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign backs Mr Brown’s work to end gender discrimination in school around the world.

On July 12 Plan UK will be inviting hundreds of schoolchildren to back the charity’s Raise Your Hand call for action.

Gordon Brown, Malala Yousafazai and David Crone are among those who have raised their hands - a symbolic gesture which calls on the United Nations and governments around the world to make girls’ education a global priority and tackling violence against women and girls.

To find out more or support Plan UK’s campaign visit www.malaladay.org.