Action Update: August 2007
Realizing Rights: Action Update
I spent part of July in South Africa, honoring Nelson Mandela as he marked his 89th birthday, and joining him in the launch of The Elders - a new alliance of leaders dedicated to working together to address some of the world's most pressing problems. We at Realizing Rights are convinced of the importance of leadership at every level in making human rights a reality for all.
In recent months we've seen principled leadership in action - from the "grassroots" to the "grasstops". In Nairobi we met positive women working for change in battling against HIV/AIDS. In Bern, we joined with civil society leaders calling on the Swiss government to meet international aid commitments at the half way point to the 2015 target for reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals. At the Global Compact Leaders Summit in Geneva, we encouraged business leaders to include human rights concerns in their corporate citizenship policies and practices.
As we approach a year of activities marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2008, we need more leaders of all kinds to make human rights their cause.
I encourage you to read about the recent activities of Realizing Rights featured in this newsletter and to learn more about our work by visiting our website - RealizingRights.org
- Mary Robinson
Realizing the Right to Health
Ministerial Leadership for Global Women's Health Initiative (MLI) and introduce policy work around Health Financing for Equity. In June, Mary Robinson and other members of the Health Financing Task Force called on G8 leaders to step up efforts to ensure financial protection for the poor, as a key - and attainable - means to improving health and reducing poverty.
Shaping More Humane Migration Policies
Global Health Workforce Alliance to launch a Health Worker Migration Policy Initiative aimed at finding principled and practical solutions to the worsening problem of health worker migration from developing to developed countries. In July, Mary Robinson chaired the civil society day in advance of the first Global Forum on Migration and Development. The civil society day brought together a broad range of non-governmental actors to discuss the migration and development nexus and give input to the inter-governmental discussions.
Promoting Equitable Trade and Decent Work
latest weblog contains more information about the visit and a policy paper on Economic Partnership Agreements details potential development impacts for countries like Ghana.
Influencing the Direction of Corporate Responsibility
UN Global Compact Leaders Summit. The event included the first meeting of a new Global Compact Working Group on Human Rights which Mary Robinson chairs. The Summit itself included a number of important statements on human rights by leaders such as Irene Khan of Amnesty International and Neville Isdell of Coca-Cola as well as the launch of a number of new tools including a new Human Rights and Business Learning Tool.
Enhancing the effectiveness of Women's Leadership
Women Leaders Intercultural Forum (WLIF). A meeting convened in cooperation with the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) explored how WLIF could make a difference in addressing the security challenges facing Africa. Mary Robinson addressed the Special Assembly of the YWCA and Realizing Rights staff were also honored to take part in the Positive Women's Forum the YWCA organised, the largest-ever global gathering of women living with HIV and AIDS.
Realizing Rights: In the News
spoke at the event.
interview on Australian TV's Lateline program, Mary Robinson discussed how Australia may be indirectly fuelling the black market arms trade across the Pacific. "Many guns that are supplied legally, in the sense of going to a legal government, if they are not properly secured, very quickly get into the hands of bandits, of gangsters of rebel groups."