The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
September 19, 2006

Mrs. Bush's Remarks in a Roundtable on Burma
The United Nations
New York, New York

photos  Photos

12:50 P.M. EDT

MRS. BUSH: I want to thank everybody here for joining us today for this roundtable. I want to thank all of our back-benchers, all the people who are interested who are here, as well. Thank you all for coming to hear this roundtable also.

I've been interested in Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi for a while. Of course, her story of her life is a story that I think women around the world are interested in. But her example of her life actually calls attention to the situation in her country. And because of the attention that she gets from people around the world, we also now look at Burma and we want to see what we can do -- is there anything we can do to make sure she, as well as all the other political prisoners, are released, and that her country can reconcile.

Mrs. Laura Bush speaks to panelists, including Hseng Noung, a Burmese activist and founding member of the Shan Women, Action Network, during a roundtable discussion about the humanitarian crisis facing Burma at the United Nations in New York City Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2006. White House photo by Shealah Craighead And that's why we're all here today. Many of you are experts on the long history and very, very fascinating history of such a fascinating country as Burma.

So I want to hear from each one of you. I know that each of you are -- some of you are experts in human rights, some in refugee issues, some in HIV/AIDS -- all the increasingly difficult situations that are now in Burma because of the government and the oppression there.

So I want to just let you all start. I want to hear everything you have to say. And I want to be able to also ask you questions and find out what you think about what we can do now that -- and especially now that the subject of Burma can be on the Council's agenda.

* * * * *

MRS. BUSH: Well, I can tell you that the United States will work very hard with other members of the Security Council to get a good resolution about Burma. And I think you're right, the sooner the better it would be. I think that is part of the pressure.

But I also want to call on the members of the press who are here to get the story out. If stories were in the press, at least the leadership of Burma would know about it, and know that people were watching, and that they know what's happening and that Burma is not forgotten, and that they can't get away with terrible mistreatment of their citizens because nobody knows it's happening. And that's one way that ASEAN has been very helpful in letting the regime know that they were not going to get to be the leaders, and I think that's helpful. But I also want to encourage all the journalists who are here, as well, to get the story out.

Thank you all very, very much. This has been very interesting and I'm proud that you all came. And I want to thank you for the work that you're doing now and the spotlight you're shining on what's happening in Burma. Thank you very much for that.

Mrs. Laura Bush listens to Zaid Ibrahim, Head of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Burma Caucus, during a roundtable discussion at the United Nations about the humanitarian crisis facing Burma in New York City Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2006. White House photo by Shealah Craighead

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