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Mary Robinson    

Former President of Ireland & President of the Mary Robinson Foundation: Climate Justice

Mary Robinson became the first female President of Ireland in 1990. She was very popular and worked hard to address the needs of all groups in her nation. She also used her position to help bring global crises to the attention of the international community. In 1992, she was the first leader to visit famine-stricken Somalia, and she was the first to witness the devastation in Rwanda after the genocide that had taken place there. In 1997 she resigned her position as President of Ireland to accept the role of High Commissioner for Human Rights with the UN, where she championed human rights around the world and rallied international support against numerous human rights abuses.

After leaving the UN in 2002, Mary Robinson has been involved with many different efforts. She has been Honorary President of Oxfam International since 2002; she is Chair of the International Institute for Environment and Development; Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders; and founder of Realizing Rights: the Ethical Globalization Initiative, which promotes equitable trade and development, more humane migration policies, women's leadership and corporate social responsibility.

In 2007, she was one of the founding members of The Elders, a global group of social change leaders. For her dedication to promoting human rights, Mary Robinson received the Sydney Peace Prize in 2002, and in 2004 was awarded Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award.

Robinson is president of the Mary Robinson Foundation: Climate Justice, and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change. She was the president of Ireland from 1990-1997 and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002, and is now a member of The Elders and the Club of Madrid. She is also a member of the Lead Group of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement. In 2009, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama, and between March 2013 and August 2014 she served as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa.

Robinson’s memoir, Everybody Matters, was published in 2012.

Speech Topics

Enterprise & Ethical Globalization

Making Human Rights the Compass for All Ethical Globalization

A Woman Leading the World

Corporate Social Responsibility

Climate Justice


Ireland's first female President Mary Robinson | Q with Jian ...

As a constitutional lawyer, Ireland's first female President, and the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson built a career ...

Former Irish President Mary Robinson on Pope Francis: I Hope He Is ...

Special correspondent Maureen Orth talks to former Irish president Mary Robinson about politics, human rights, and Pope Francis I.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson calls for peace in DRC - UPI ...

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, serving as a U.N. special envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa, kicked off a regional tour this week. Members of the  ...

Mary Robinson - Contenders for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize - News ...

Mary Robinson. Former president of Ireland Mary Robinson speaks during a press conference on The Elders' "Girls not Brides" initiative; in New Delhi; India; ...

Mary Robinson Says Climate Change Is A Human Rights Issue

In a TED talk earlier this year, former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, outlined for the audience how she sees that climate change is actually a human rights issue, something she had not connected when she began as UN High Commissioner of Human Rights in 1997.

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