Aung San Suu Kyi:The Road to Freedom and Lessons Learned

Translated by Mergenii Undram


Mongolia to Host 7th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies
The 7th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies  held in Ulaanbaatar through  27-29 April .
The Community of Democracies is a global intergovernmental coalition of more than 100 democratic countries, with the goal of promoting democratic rules and strengthening democratic norms and institutions around the world. Suu Kyi in MongoliaMongolia has held the presidency of the Community of Democracies since July 2011. During its two-year presidential term which will end in June this year, Mongolia has focused on promoting education for democracy, strengthening regional cooperation, fostering collaboration with civil society, advancing women’s empowerment, and countering corruption.

Members of the Community of Democracies participate in ministerial meetings every two years to discuss issues of common concern. A total of 1,215 delegates from 104 countries have confirmed their participation in the 7th Ministerial Conference being held in Ulaanbaatar.
Among the hundreds of high-level government and civil society delegates at the conference will be Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakoll Karman.
The conference  include thematic sessions on Education for Democracy, Corruption and other threats to Democracy, and Online Freedom. The Conferenceconference also included five parallel fora: Women’s Forum, Parliamentary Forum, Civil Society Forum, Corporate Forum and Youth Forum.
Many of Ulaanbaatar’s markets closed down two days as part of efforts to ensure smooth traffic flow during the conference and to enable the provision of appropriate security measures for delegates participating in the event. Vehicle restrictions will apply on central roads in the city over the four days of the conference.

Myanmar democracy icon and Nobel Peace Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, delivered speeches on “Mongolia and Myanmar:  The Road to Freedom and Lessons Learned” at Government House on Monday. The speeches were among the events of the final day of the 7th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies, which was held in Ulaanbaatar this month.

Aung San Suu Kyi emphasized in her speech that democracy is a freedom that comes with responsibilities. The key responsibility is to participate in the voting process. Teaching this responsibility to future generations from a young age will directly result in the success of the development of democracy, she said. In her speech Suu Kyi also shared Burma’s experiences on the road towards democracy and human rights, describing it as a struggle for life and dignity. She said You can never be satisfied with an achievement at the time of establishing a democratic institution. This is because a democratic institution needs to be strengthened all the time. Young generations should learn about this and seek to practice democracy themselves first of all

President Ts. Elbegdorj’s speech described Mongolia’s path towards democracy and pointed out the failures and successes over the last 20 years since establishing a democratic movement in Mongolia. He also highlighted the key roles and responsibilities of government officials.

Ts. Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia: First of all, the government should serve its citizens. Second, the government should implement the law. The biggest test for any government worker who succeeds in gaining a career promotion is the ability to obey and implement the law. This is the issue.

At a conference event on Monday Aung San Suu Kyi was honored with the Community of Democracies’ Geremek Award. Suu Kyi received the award for her lifetime struggle to promote democratic values and practices in her country and throughout the world.

The Geremek Award was first bestowed in 2009. Previous recipients of the award include the Belarusian opposition party in 2011, Cuban priest Jose Conrado Rodriguez in 2010, and South African anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela in 2009.

Palmer Prize

Lead: Also at the 7th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies this week, Mongolian diplomat S. Badral became the first Mongolian to be awarded the Palmer Prize.

The Palmer Prize seeks to honor diplomats who are actively engaged in the realization of the standards laid out in the Warsaw Declaration. The award is intended for diplomats who display valor under difficult circumstances and take risks or are especially inventive in their sustained efforts to assist civil society to advance democracy in their countries of assignment.

(Diplomacy: Mongolian diplomat S. Badral awarded prestigious Palmer Prize)

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