Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to become
Honorary Council Member
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
- The Council of Women World Leaders is pleased to announce the nomination of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as an Honorary Council Member. The Council’s distinguished membership has voted to include Ms. Suu Kyi as an Honorary Council Member due to her extraordinary leadership in promoting freedom, respect for human rights, and the re-emergence of democracy in her home country of Burma, where she has lived under house arrest since 1995. Ms. Suu Kyi is the Council’s first Honorary Member and joins 37 current and former women Heads of State and Heads of Government dedicated to empowering women leaders who lead at the highest level in their countries.
Although Ms. Suu Kyi’s political party, the National League of Democracy (NLD), democratically won 82% of the seats in Burma’s Parliament in 1990, the ruling military Junta rejected the results and kept the NLD from assuming power. Ms. Suu Kyi has spent 13 of the last 19 years since then either in prison or under house arrest for her nonviolent protests supporting the reestablishment of democracy in Burma. She is acknowledged internationally for her courage, wisdom, and enduring vision; she is the only Nobel Peace Prize recipient imprisoned.
Fellow Council Member Janet Jagan (President, Guyana, 1997-1999) remarked, “In Guyana, for many years, we have urged the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, and other political prisoners. We are deeply concerned about these prisoners and hope for an early release.” Her hopes were echoed by Council Member Edith Cresson (Prime Minister, France, 1991-1992), who said, “I support the effort of the Council of Women World Leaders and…the release of…Aung San Suu Kyi.”
The Council of Women World Leaders was created in 1996 by current and former women Heads of State and Heads of Government to provide a plan to share common experiences and to be of assistance to each other and to other world leaders. Through its networks, summits and partnerships, the Council promotes good governance and gender equality, and enhances the experience of democracy globally by increasing the number, effectiveness, and visibility of women who lead their countries. Mary Robinson, President of Ireland (1990-97) and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002), serves as Chair of the Council. As part of its goal to convene women at the highest levels of leadership, the Council increased its network in 1998 to include women cabinet ministers. The Honorable Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission, is the Chair of the Ministerial Initiative, which currently numbers approximately 600 worldwide.
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