Mary Robinson Speaker Series08 November 2010
"The promise of an international community fully committed to protecting women in conflict zones and supporting their contributions to peace remains unmet."
- - Mary Robinson and Bineta Diop, 22 October 2010
A large crowd filled the Caspary Auditorium at Rockefeller University, October 26, to honor Mary Robinson and hear her speak. The occasion was the inaugural event in the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre's Mary Robinson Speaker Series. John Ruggie, UN Special Representative on Business & Human Rights was joined by Lucas Benitez, Co-Director of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and Alexandra Guбqueta, head of human rights at Cerrejуn Coal (Colombia) and a member of Global Business Initiative on Human Rights, in praising Mary Robinson's work.
Mary Robinson shared her "four core beliefs" with the audience. First was that the law can be an instrument of social change. Her second core belief is the principle of inclusion, of giving voice to the marginalized. She recounted how, upon her election as Ireland's president, she put a special lamp in the window of her official residence for those who had to emigrate from Ireland because of poverty.
Her third core belief is the need to build and strengthen effective and accountable institutions at all levels of governance, from local to global. And both government and business have critical roles in advancing the practice and reach of human rights. This leads to the the fourth "core value" Mary Robinson holds: the importance of leadership.
This article is an excerpt of the event commentary written by Francesca Rheannon. Read the full text of this commentary here.