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ON THE OCCASION OF THE INAUGURAL SESSION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL, UN RIGHTS EXPERTS CALL TO MIND THE BIRTHDAY OF DETAINED NOBEL LAUREATE, DAW AUNG SAN SUU KYI

19 June 2006


The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of Human Rights Defenders, Hina Jilani, issued the following statement today:

Today as the United Nations member states gather for the historic inaugural meeting of the Human Rights Council, we call to mind that today also marks the birthday of one of the world's most acclaimed human rights defenders, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate continues under house arrest, having been held in detention for over ten of the past sixteen years for her peaceful advocacy of fundamental democratic freedoms.

Her steadfast commitment to the principles which all member states have pledged to promote and protect, strongly accentuates the responsibility of us all to demonstrate the integrity of our words, employ our individual and collective efforts to re-invigorate and lend our full support to the international system of human rights protection.

If the international community is to give credence to its renewed commitment, it should ensure that such defenders who at great personal cost, spearhead the global drive towards a more equitable and peaceful world, are to be celebrated and supported, not silenced.