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Suu Kyi calls for ILO to do more for Burma

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has called on the International Labour Organization (ILO) to expand its activities in Burma and said workers should be allowed to form trade unions in her country.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy. Photo: MizzimaOn Monday, during the ILO 100th General Assembly held in Geneva, Suu Kyi, speaking through a video message to delegates, made a special appeal for her country. Burma, she said, was once thought of as ‘most likely to succeed in Southeast Asia,’ but it had now ‘fallen behind almost all the other nations in this region’.

Speaking to the meeting with the theme ‘Building a Future with Decent Work’, she noted the ‘hunger of our people for a society secured by acceptable norms of social justice joined to political and economic progress’.

She said, ‘We look to the ILO to expand its activities in Burma to help usher in an era of broad-based social justice in our country. We are particularly concerned that our workers should be enabled to form trade unions, concerned with the highest international standards as soon as possible’.

Suu Kyi welcomed the ILO ‘attempt to eliminate forced labour and the recruitment of child soldiers’, and expressed her hope for ‘progressively closer cooperation’ between the labour rights organisation and those committed to improving conditions in Burma.

Suu Kyi said labour rights are integral to the triumphant development of a nation, and she stressed ‘the declaration of faith of the ILO that failure in one nation raises obstacles in the way of progress in all other nations’.

The pro-democracy leader said, ‘Burma must not be allowed to fail and the world must not be allowed to fail Burma’.

In addition to the video message from the Burmese opposition politician, head of governments as well as other international leaders will address the ILO conference this week. The ILO will also host a series of high-level panel discussions examining the global jobs crisis, and the need for balanced growth and decent work.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 June 2011 13:29 )  
The Kachin’s last stand
Since October this year, Burma has been in a state of civil war, with fighting between Burmese military and armed ethnic rebels. The ruling junta started a crackdown on these armed groups.

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