Josette Sheeran Hails Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satyarthi Nobel Wins as 'Great Day for Children'
After being announced as a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala Yousafzai holds a bouquet of flowers given to her on behalf of the Pakistani Prime Minster during a press conference at the Library of Birmingham in Birmingham, England, on Oct. 10, 2014. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Following today's announcement that the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize would be awarded to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, Asia Society President Josette Sheeran stated that the Nobel Committee honed in on "the plight and challenges that children are facing globally."
"Both of those awards are going to people who have really championed the causes of children in very different ways," she said on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show.
Yousafzai, who will also receive Asia Society's Asia Game Changer Award on October 16, has been an advocate for the education of girls in Pakistan and worldwide.
"I have seen her stand before the entire United Nations and powerful people from around the world just humbled in her presence," Sheeran said. "She has this incredible grace about her in communicating this message that moves the hearts and minds of people."
Kailash Satyarthi, founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (or "Save the Childhood Movement"), has campaigned against child trafficking and bonded labor in India for several decades.
"In India, [Satyarthi] has formed a movement that has helped over 80,000 kids break those bonds," Sheeran said. "He has really championed a cause that often many people try to not really talk about in a big way."
The Nobel Committee noted that its choice of a Indian Hindu and a Pakistani Muslim working on similar issues is meant to urge the regional rivals to join forces to address common problems.
"One of the most tense areas of the world is Pakistan and India," said Sheeran. "This is a very important message and one that we [Asia Society] have supported."
Listen to the full interview below.