Our "Photo of the Week" comes to us from the Secretary's official photographer, Michael Gross, and shows U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Chair of the National League for Democracy and Member of Parliament from Kawmhu Constituency, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on September 18.
Later that day, Secretary Clinton introduced Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at the United States Institute for Peace as "someone who has represented the struggle for freedom and democracy, for human rights and opportunity, not only in her own country but seen as such around the world."
Secretary Clinton also delivered remarks on September 19 at the U.S. Capitol, where Daw Aung San Suu Kyi received the Congressional Gold Medal. Secretary Clinton recalled, "Seventeen years ago, as we were in Beijing on behalf of the UN Conference Concerning the Rights of Women, we thought about many of the women around the world who could not be with us but whose presence was a strong message of the values that we were promoting, values that were not just American values, but universal values. Madeleine Albright left that conference in Beijing taking with her a poster signed by all the Americans and a few others who we gave the opportunity to sign to take that poster to Burma to give to Aung San Suu Kyi, to let her know once again that there were many of us around the world supporting her in her cause, remembering her personally."
Secretary Clinton continued, "I am so deeply moved by what she has stood for and what she has represented, first and foremost for the people of her country, but for people everywhere who yearn for freedom, whose voices deserve to be heard. But I am also very impressed that she was not satisfied upon the release from house arrest to remain an advocate, a symbol, an icon. In many ways, that would have been the easiest path to take, because if anyone understands how difficult politics is anywhere in the world, it is all of us in this chamber today. The to and fro of making decisions of compromise, of reaching agreement with people that you don't agree with -- and in her case, people who were her former jailers -- is a great testament to her courage and fortitude and understanding of what Burma needs now."
Secretary Clinton concluded, "So as we honor her, a time that many of us feared would never happen, it's good to recognize that one phase of her work may be over, but another phase, equally important, is just beginning. And that the United States will stand with her, with the President of Burma and those who are reformers in the executive branch and the legislative branch, with the activists, with civil society, as they fan the flickers of democratic progress and press forward with reform. And we wish them all Godspeed."