At the ILO’s International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 14, Burmese Member of Parliament and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi called on foreign investors and governments to support the changes moving Myanmar toward democratization.
Speaking at a press conference following her address to the ILC, she stated that: “Total is a responsible investor in Burma” and that even though there had been “concerns” about support for the country’s past military junta, “today it is sensitive to the issue of human rights.”
Aung San Suu Kyi added that she would not ask Total or Chevron, its partner in the Yadana gas project, to withdraw from Myanmar.
Total said it is honored, and “would like to express its warm appreciation to Aung San Suu Kyi for her confidence in the Group and her interest in its activities in Myanmar.”
Present in Myanmar since the early 1990s, Total chose to stay because it firmly believes that economic development and human rights go hand in hand, the company said, adding that “in line with its principles and corporate social responsibility commitment, Total elected from the outset to pursue critical dialogue with the authorities in order to help improve the situation in Myanmar.”
Total said it has always strived to ensure that local communities in Myanmar benefit from its actions. For more than 20 years, it has actively promoted social and economic development and human rights in the country, and will continue to do so.
After Switzerland, Aung San Suu Kyi will travel to Norway to formally accept the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to her in 1991. She will then visit Britain, Ireland and France. This is her first trip to Europe in 24 years.