Ban, in Madrid to initiate a 1,000-day countdown to the 2015 deadline for the U.N. Millennium Development Goals, spoke via Skype Friday with Malala Yousafzai -- who was shot in the head Oct. 9 because of her activism on behalf of gender equality and education for women.
He told her she is "a symbol of hope, a daughter of the United Nations," the U.N. News Center reported.
"The U.N. will always be with you and the many people like you," he told her.
"The way to see peace is through education," said Yousafzai, 15. "It is an honor for me to be associated with the U.N. I want to tell the world how important education is."
"If we educate a woman, we educate a family, a community and a country," Ban told Yousafzai.
The MDGs are a U.N. global anti-poverty program, addressing education, hunger, disease and sanitation.