Quoting Roman philosopher Cicero, she said: “As one said, ‘A room without books, is like a body without soul.’ I say, a city without books, a city without libraries, is like a graveyard.”
She went on to emphasise the plight of children in conflict-ridden countries across the world.
“We must not forget that 57 million children are out of school,” she said. “We must speak up for peace and development in Nigeria, Syria and Somalia.
“We must speak up for the children of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, who are suffering from terrorism, poverty, child labour and child trafficking. Let us help them through our wise action and charity.”
Malala is due to be awarded the Children’s Peace Prize on Friday, in recognition of her work for children’s rights.