Opinion Former Article

NASUWT International Solidarity Award for Aung San Suu Kyi

The NASUWT is opening its Annual Conference in Birmingham by presenting its inaugural International Solidarity Award to Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, is presenting the award in recognition of Aung San Suu Kyi’s courage and dedication to defending human rights, democracy and freedom in the face of brutal oppression.

The award will be accepted on her behalf by Zoya Phan, Campaign Manager for Burma Campaign UK and leading international activist in the continuing fight for human rights, democracy and development in Burma.

Ms Phan was forced to flee Burma as a teenager after her village came under attack from military forces and has written a book, Little Daughter, detailing her experiences of life under the Burmese regime.

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“Aung San Suu Kyi has become an international symbol of peaceful resistance in the face of oppression and embodies the trade union ethos of justice, equality and solidarity. We are delighted that she is to be the first recipient of the NASUWT International Solidarity Award.

“The NASUWT believes it is vitally important to support teachers, trade unionists and campaigners around the world to defend human rights and to support the development of free trade unions globally.

Zoya Phan said:

“I am very pleased to be accepting this award for Aung San Suu Kyi.

“The support of the NASUWT raises the issue of Burma in the UK and internationally, to make sure that Burma is not forgotten.

“Your support means so much to us and gives us hope in our struggle for freedom. We thank the NASUWT indeed for supporting us.”


ENDS

NASUWT Press Office contacts:
Lena Davies 07867 392 746
Ben Padley 07785 463 119

Notes to editors
The NASUWT’s Annual Conference is being held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham from April 6-9.

The NASUWT prioritises solidarity action in the following countries:
Burma
Colombia
Iraq
Zimbabwe
The MENA region (Middle East and North Africa)

The purpose of the NASUWT’s international activity in all cases is that it should contribute to the following policy aims:

(i) Building the capacity of teacher trades unions in other countries;

(ii) Defending the human and trades union rights of teachers around the world;

(iii) Achievement of the Education Millennium Development Goals, as follows:

Achieve Universal Primary Education

Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling;

Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015.

 

The latest copy of the NASUWT’s International Solidarity magazine, detailing the Union’s international work, is attached, along with a photo of Zoya Phan.

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