Burma/Myanmar in Transition: A Discussion with Aung San Suu Kyi

The United States Institute of Peace and the Asia Society were honored to host an engaging discussion with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on the democratic transition in Burma/Myanmar, the challenges that lie ahead, and the potential of a promising future.

After decades of stagnation under military rule, Burma/Myanmar finds itself in a particularly fluid and fragile transition. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been at the fore of her country's transition, helping reshape its political development path.

Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Burma/Myanmar from Britain in 1988 to care for her mother. Shortly after, she became leader of the largest uprising in Burma/Myanmar's history. In 1990, Suu Kyi's party, National League for Democracy (NLD), won Burma/Myanmar's first free elections in 30 years by a landslide. The country's military junta refused to cede power, and Suu Kyi was forced into house arrest for nearly 15 years. During this time, she remained the Chairperson and General Secretary of the NLD and continued to push for justice and sound rule of law. She was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. In 2011, a new, quasi-civilian government took power and boldly began to implement democratic reforms, which continue today. This April, Aung San Suu Kyi was elected into Burma/Myanmar's parliament and continues her work to transform her country into a just and democratic state.

In her first visit to the United States in more than 20 years and her first public event, the United States Institute of Peace and the Asia Society were honored to host Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for an engaging discussion on the democratic transition in Burma/Myanmar, the challenges that lie ahead, and the potential for a promising future.

Speakers:

  • Aung San Suu Kyi, featured speaker
    Member of Parliament, Burma
    Chairperson and General Secretary, National League for Democracy
  • Hillary Rodham Clintonintroductory remarks
    Secretary of State
    United States Department of State
  • Jim Marshall, opening remarks
    President
    United States Institute of Peace
  • Henrietta Fore, opening remarks
    Co-chair
    Asia Society
  • Tom Freston, presenter of Asia Society Global Vision Award
    Trustee
    Asia Society
  • Suzanne DiMaggio, co-moderator
    Vice President, Global Policy Programs
    Asia Society
  • Colette Rausch, co-moderator
    Director, Rule of Law Center
    United States Institute of Peace

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