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Myanmar peace advocate to receive Gold Medal for Human Rights

Sydney Peace Foundation awards Myanmar peace advocate Gold Medal for Human Rights

Aung Myo Min, Union Minister for Human Rights in the cabinet of the National Unity Government of Myanmar, will receive the Sydney Peace Foundation’s Gold Medal for Human Rights on Friday, June 2.

Currently serving as a minister in exile, Aung Myo Min will receive the award in recognition of his ongoing advocacy for peace and human rights in Myanmar at a ceremony at the University of Sydney. He will deliver a keynote lecture on Myanmar’s current political climate and steps being made to transition to a liberal democracy.

“It’s a great honour to recognise Aung Myo Min with the Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal for Human Rights, for inspiring a generation of pro-democracy advocates in Myanmar,” said Dr Susan Banki, Sydney Peace Foundation board member and Asia-Pacific expert in the University of Sydney’s School of Social and Political Sciences.

“Aung Myo Min’s lifelong work, most often practiced under deeply restrictive conditions, is an example of how hope, courage, and the values of justice can grow out of the most difficult circumstances,” she said.

Aung Myo Min will be awarded the Gold Medal by Professor Rodney Smith, Interim Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences. In his keynote lecture, Minister Aung will detail the current political situation in Myanmar and his role in the National Unity Government (NUG) – which was founded following the February 2021 coup to restore democracy to Myanmar. He will discuss the country’s current military rule and its response of the pro-democracy movement.

During the lecture, Aung Myo Min will expand on his role as an activist and LGBT advocate and will also address how the NUG will integrate human rights principles and standards into its policies and positions.

The Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal is a prestigious acknowledgement of an individual’s tireless commitment to human rights, with previous winners including Nelson Mandela, Midnight Oil and Julian Assange.

Dr Susan Banki will conduct a Q&A with Minister Aung – whom she met when conducting research on the Thailand-Myanmar border – before the medal ceremony.


Aung Myo Min is the Union Minister for Human Rights in the cabinet of the National Unity Government of Myanmar. Prior to joining the NUG, he was one of Myanmar’s most prominent human rights advocates and a youth leader in the 1988 democracy uprising. Aung Myo Min lived in exile for 23 years and continued working on human rights issues in Myanmar, particularly in relation to marginalised people. He graduated with a Masters’ Degree in human rights from Columbia University, New York, in 1993. He has received eight human rights awards for his outstanding human rights work, including the Schuman Human Rights Award in 2017.


The Sydney Peace Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation in its 25th year of advocating for peace with justice. The Foundation espouses the principle that achieving true and lasting peace requires moving beyond ending war and violent conflict, and addressing deep injustices and structural inequality through systemic reform.

The University of Sydney is a key partner of the Sydney Peace Foundation, which was established at the University in 1998.


Is Peace and Democracy Possible in Myanmar?
DATE: Friday 2 June
TIME: 3.30pm – 5pm
LOCATION: Social Sciences Building (A02) Science Road Lecture Theatre 200, Camperdown
Please register for the event here.


Minister Aung is available for interviews with the media. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Sydney Peace Foundation
Melanie Morrison, Co-director
M: 0401 996 451 | E:

University of Sydney
Tess Gibney, Assistant Media Adviser
M: 0479 173 546 | E: