Malala in summits education plea
Education campaigner and Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai has urged world leaders to use major summits in 2015 to improve the opportunities for people around the world to go to school.
The 17-year-old activist is helping to launch the action/2015 campaign, which is calling for progress in international talks aimed at putting in place new development goals and a deal to tackle climate change.
She said: " People globally want an end to injustice, poverty and illiteracy. Our world is interconnected and youth are ready and mobilised more than ever to see real change take place
"Together, we are demanding our leaders take action in 2015 and we must all do our part. I will continue to work tirelessly to call on world leaders to seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality primary and secondary education for every child.
"That is my goal and I hope that my voice will be heard as it is the voice of millions of children who want to go to school."
The action/2015 campaign, involving more than 1,000 organisations around the world, claimed almost a billion extra people face extreme poverty if leaders duck key decisions on poverty, inequality and climate change due to be taken at two crucial United Nations summits in New York and Paris.
The new calculation released by the action/2015 coalition shows that the number of people living in extreme poverty - on less than 1.25 dollars a day (82p) - could be reduced from over a billion to 360 million by 2030.
But the analysis of work by the University of Denver found that if leaders fail to deliver ambitious deals at the UN special summit on sustainable development in New York in September and the UN climate talks in Paris in December and instead scale back their efforts, the number of people living in extreme poverty could increase to 1.2 billion by 2030.
Ben Jackson, chief executive of development charity Bond, one of more than 40 organisations involved in the UK's action/2015 campaign, said: "If we get this wrong, we could see the number of people living in poverty increase for the first time in our generation.
"But if we get it right - tackle poverty, inequality and climate change - we could eradicate extreme poverty within a generation.
"The UK has the potential to play a critical galvanising role on these issues but we're worried with a UK election in the middle of the year they might take their eye off the ball.
"We want all party leaders to commit to keeping these issues at the fore - and making time to set out their agenda before during and after the campaign.
" With two summits of this importance within just months of each other, 2015 could be one of the most important years for our planet since the end of the Second World War, but only if we rise to the occasion. The UK's voice can't be absent."