"To receive the Freedom Award from Freedom House has a special meaning for me because of all the strong women who have be associated with Freedom House: Eleanor Roosevelt in the past, and now Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice. Women whom I have always admired for their strength, their intelligence, and their dedication to public service.

Freedom means choice and freedom for many women all over the world means the right to choose what they want to do with their lives. This right is still denied to many women all over the world. Not just to women, but also to men in countries where human rights have not yet become the basis of everyday life.

When we say, "We fight for freedom," what we mean is that we would like the right to try to shape our lives into a pattern that we want for ourselves. This is simply what most of us mean by freedom. And Freedom House, by expanding freedom all over the world, has done much to contribute towards this kind of freedom.

So I would like to thank you very much for honoring me with your Freedom Award and I hope that I will be able to make you proud of what we are able to achieve in the way of freedom in Burma. And, I hope to make Burma a home for freedom, a big home where people can choose to lead the kind of lives that will help them to realize their potential, and, to fulfill the needs of the world around us. Thank you."