Aung San Suu Kyi will travel to the US in September to receive an award for global citizenship, a U.S.-based advocacy group has announced.
The New York-based Atlantic Council issued a statement on Monday saying that Suu Kyi will receive its Global Citizen Award. Atlantic Council chairman and former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel said the Global Citizen Award recognizes people who have helped define global citizenship.
Suu Kyi, 67, enjoys wide support in the US Congress. She was awarded the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal in 2008, but has not visited Washington to receive the award. Sen. John McCain and other prominent politicians have said that she has a standing invitation to visit the US whenever she is available.
As a young woman, Suu Kyi lived in New York City after her graduation from Oxford. She lived with a family friend Ma Than E, who was once a popular Burmese pop singer. She worked at the United Nations for three years, primarily on budget matters.
Irwin Abrams, writing in the Nobel Prize Annual, said, “After Oxford she worked briefly as a research assistant at the University of London and then went to New York City, where she spent three years on the staff of the United Nations secretariat, working the last two on budgetary matters.”
“She shared a small apartment near the UN with an old friend of her family who was also on the staff. They kept to their Burmese ways, spoke their native tongue, cooked Burmese food, and their American friends called their flat 'a Burmese home in Manhattan.'” In her spare time, Suu Kyi worked as a volunteer social worker in a New York hospital.
Aung San Suu Kyi recently completed a five-country tour of Europe that included a stop in Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize she was awarded in 1991, but was unable to claim because she was under house arrest in Burma.
Suu Kyi was elected a member of the Burmese Parliament in April, after a total of 15 years under house arrest.