Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has been made a UN Messenger of Peace.

The 19-year-old, who was shot in the head by the Taliban for her views on female education, will take up the role with a special emphasis on schooling for girls.

Having almost died in 2012 from her injuries, Ms Yousafzai becomes the youngest ever Messenger.

She was designated the role at a ceremony in New York on Monday.

UN Secretary General António Guterres described her as a "symbol of perhaps the most important thing in the world, education for all".

Ms Yousafzai follows in the footsteps of boxing great Muhammad Ali, Leonardo Di Caprio, Stevie Wonder and Charlize Theron who have all been UN Messengers of Peace.

Ms Yousafzai follows in the footsteps of Leonardo Di Caprio. Credit: AP

Accepting the accolade, Ms Yousafzai emphasised the importance of education, especially education of girls, for advancing communities and societies.

“[Bringing change] starts with us and it should start now,” she said.

She continued: “If you want to see your future bright, you have to start working now [and] not wait for anyone else.”

Messengers of Peace are selected from the fields of art, literature, science, entertainment, sports or other fields of public life who have agreed to help focus worldwide attention on the work of the UN.