Malala Yousafzai named UN’s youngest Messenger of Peace

(CNN) -- Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has been named the youngest ever UN Messenger of Peace, with a special focus on girls' education.

The 19-year-old Pakistani activist became known around the world after she was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban on her way home from school in 2012.

She narrowly escaped death and, since her recovery, has continued campaigning for the rights of girls around the world to access education.

Yousafzai accepted the accolade -- the highest honor bestowed by the UN -- from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York Monday evening.

"I stood here on this stage almost three and a half years ago ... and I told the world that education is the basic human right of every girl," she said in her acceptance speech. "And I stand here again today and say the same thing.

"Once you educate girls, you change the whole community, you change the whole society."

She also called on other girls from her home country to make their voices heard.