To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the European Union, EU Ambassador Roland Kobia organised a ceremony in Yangon to grant the first ever “Schuman Awards”for outstanding merits in promoting universal values which the EU actively supports across the globe such as human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights.
The awards were granted to U Ko Ni (posthumous), Daw Ja Nan Lahtaw and U Aung Myo Min.
"The Schuman Award recognises the merits of those who stand out in promoting core values of the European Union – and indeed universal values of humanity. U Ko Ni, Daw Ja Nan Lahtaw and U Aung Myo Min have dedicated their lives to working towards a better future for their country and all the people who call Myanmar their home. They are ambassadors for peace, democracy, human rights and equality. With this award, the European Union would like to honour the important work of our first Schuman Laureates," said EU Ambassador Roland Kobia.
The Schuman Awards – named after former French Foreign Minister and founding father of the European Union, Robert Schuman – were established in 2017 to recognise the merits of Myanmar personalities in defending core European values of peace, democracy and human rights. The awardees were jointly chosen by representatives of European Union Member States in Myanmar, out of a list of activists, researchers, politicians, social workers, journalists, lawyers and community leaders. The Schuman Awards aim at establishing a network of "Ambassadors for Peace, Democracy and Human Rights" and at contributing to the EU's friendship with people in Myanmar who stand up for the rights and values we share in common.
2017 Schuman Awardees:
U Ko Ni (posthumous)
The posthumous award to late NLD lawyer U Ko Ni, who was assassinated at Yangon Airport on 29 January 2017, gives merit to his strong engagement for democratic reform and his outstanding efforts to promote rule of law and civil rights during the transition process. As a member of Myanmar’s Muslim community, U Ko Ni also stood out for his engagement for interfaith dialogue and against discrimination.
The late U Ko Ni's wife, Daw Tin Tin Aye, and his daughter, Dr Yin Nwe Khaing, accepted the award on his behalf.
Daw Ja Nan Lahtaw
Daw Ja Nan Lahtaw is the director of Shalom Foundation which aims at establishing a just and peaceful society for all people in Myanmar. She has been actively involved in peace and political dialogue processes and works with local women and gender networks to promote women participation in the peace process. The Schuman Award recognises her outstanding engagement in promoting peace and gender equality in Myanmar.
U Aung Myo Min
U Aung Myo Min is the executive director of Equality Myanmar and took part in Myanmar’s 1988 student uprising. He spent 24 years in exile and has been an active and outspoken leader in the promotion of human and rights and equality since his return to Myanmar in 2013.The Schuman Award honours U Aung Myo Min's tireless efforts in promoting human rights and equality in Myanmar.