Action Update: January 2008
Realizing Rights: Action Update
The year 2007 was busy but rewarding for all of us at Realizing Rights. We've helped launch new projects to improve respect for the right to health in developing countries, we've worked to strengthen the voice and influence of women leaders on critical issues of global security, and we've contributed to ongoing efforts aimed at clarifying the responsibilities of the corporate sector for promoting and protecting human rights.
On 10 December - International Human Rights Day - we were pleased to join with a wide range of organizations in the launch of the Every Human Has Rights Campaign - a new initiative of The Elders to help raise global awareness about human rights during 2008 in honor of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. You can add your voice by visiting EveryHumanHasRights.org.
Despite the many challenges we face today, I'm convinced that it is the combined impact of projects and activities like these, along with similar efforts carried out by human rights advocates and organizations around the world, that make a difference in building greater respect for the fundamental rights of all people. As Eleanor Roosevelt - a key figure in the drafting of the Universal Declaration - said so well:
Without concerted citizen action to uphold human rights close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.
I hope you will take some time to read about these and other activities in this newsletter and learn more by visiting RealizingRights.org.
- Mary Robinson
Realizing the Right to Health
African lawmakers share experiences on fighting HIV & AIDS and improving women's health
In September 2007, parliamentarians from Botswana, Kenya, Namibia and Tanzania came together in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss strategies for fighting stigma associated with HIV, improving women's health policy and connecting lawmakers with communities.
Promoting Equitable Trade and Decent Work
ILO Forum on Decent Work for a Fair Globalization
The International Labour Organization (ILO) hosted a three-day session in November to provide a broad social platform for forging a new movement to promote decent work and a fair globalization. Mary Robinson was a keynote speaker at the ILO Forum on Decent Work.
Influencing the Direction of Corporate Responsibility
Global Compact Human Rights Working Group
Realizing Rights has continued to work with the UN Global Compact on business and human rights issues. The Global Compact is encouraging all participants to mark the UDHR 60th anniversary during 2008 and a recent meeting of the new Global Compact Human Rights Working Group which Mary Robinson chairs discussed plans for additional human rights activities.
Enhancing the effectiveness of Women's Leadership
WLIF launches Arab chapter in Jordan
The Women Leaders Intercultural Forum (WLIF) has launched a chapter in the Middle East through its partnership with Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan. 25 women leaders, including Mary Robinson, gathered to discuss the issue of security and the role WLIF can play to provide a collective voice to prioritize action for a more secure world.
Realizing Rights: In the News
Every Human Has Rights
December 10th 2007 marked the start of a year-long celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Every Human Has Rights campaign will work with civil society, businesses and multilateral agencies to encourage practical action to make human rights a reality for all and call on citizens to uphold the goals of the Universal Declaration in their daily lives.
David Frost interviews Mary Robinson on the crisis in Darfur and Chad
Following a recent trip to the region, Mary Robinson spoke to Sir David Frost on the crisis in Darfur and neighboring Chad and what steps must be taken to prevent further civilian deaths. "It's as bad as it gets for the women and their families", she urged. "They urgently need protection. They need a cease fire and they need action to secure them today."