Aung San Suu Kyi was in New York on Saturday. On Saturday morning she met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and then spoke at Queens College. Later Saturday she will address students at Columbia University.
In her address to students at Queens College, Suu Kyi spoke about her experiences visiting New York, and she thanked City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for her dedication to human rights.
“Our great city is in debt to you every day,” Quinn said, according to Mohammed Ademo, an independent journalist, who tweeted throughout the event.
“If you believe in something, you must be willing to fight for it,” Suu Kyi said of her motivations to fight for democracy in former Burma, according to Ademo.
Secretary-General Ban praised Suu Kyi at a press conference after their meeting, saying, “We have great expectations and hope that she will lead this path of reconciliation and greater participatory democracy and development of her country, together with President Thein Sein of Myanmar. She can continue to help the Myanmar people and many other people around the world who may be experiencing the same hardships and abuse of human rights like herself and the Myanmar people have been enduring.”
Suu Kyi was in Washington D.C. earlier this week, where she met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, and she received the Congressional Medal of Honor. She also welcomed a move by the U.S. Treasury on Thursday to lift sanctions previously imposed on Myanmar President Thein Sein.
"I am happy that sanctions have now been lifted,” Suu Kyi said in her address, according to the South African outlet SABC. “I've been saying rather ad nauseam, it is time now that the Burmese people took responsibility for their democratization of their country. I'm very appreciative of what the US Congress has done for many years to support our movement. But now we have to try to work on our own, of course with continuing support and help of friends."