Suu Kyi meets Ban Ki-moon, welcomes lifting of US sanctions on Myanmar

Friday, September 21, 2012
Aung San Suu Kyi shakes hand with UN Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon during a photo opportunity at
United Nations Headquarters in New York
[PHOTO: UNifeed] 
New York: Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi today (21 September) welcomed the lifting of US sanctions on her country, as she met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York as part of her trip to the United States.

Suu Kyi, who briefly worked at the United Nations in the late 1960s/early 1970s, joined the Secretary-General for a press encounter at UN headquarters.

Ban Ki-moon paid tribute to Suu Kyi and Myanmar's President Thein Sein for "walking together down the path of reconciliation and political stability and democracy and human rights".

He told Suu Kyi she was a "global symbol of human rights" and he had "great expectations" of her leadership. He vowed to work with her for the democratization of Myanmar "and many other countries and peoples who may look to you, to your leadership and vision".

Asked by reporters if she was concerned about "outshining" President Thein Sein, Suu Kyi said "if we all want to achieve genuine democracy for Burma, we have to learn to work together and not think about our impact as personalities".

President Thein Sein is scheduled to visit the United Nations next week when he will address the UN General Assembly at its high-level debate.

In response to a question on the lifting of US sanctions on Myanmar, Suu Kyi said she was "happy" because it was time "the Burmese people took responsibility for their democratization of the country". She thanked the US Congress for what it had done over the years to support her movement, but said that now, "we have to try to work on our own, of course, with the continuing support and help of friends".

Asked for her take, as a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, on today's International Day of Peace (21 September), she said "if you want peace, you've got to try to do your best, in every way possible, to remove hatred from the hearts of human beings".

Suu Kyi is the Chairperson and General Secretary of Myanmar's National League for Democracy and widely admired for her decades-long, non-violent struggle for human rights and democracy in Myanmar (Burma). Until her release in 2010, she spent a total of 15 years under house arrest. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

She has previously met the Secretary-General in her native Myanmar, but this is her first visit to UN headquarters since her release. -UNifeed
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