Action Update: Fall 2009
Realizing Rights: Action Update
There are now less than 50 days until the start of the climate change conference in Copenhagen. I've recently visited four African countries where I heard once again from frontline witnesses to climate change from across the continent. Their testimony of unprecedented weather patterns leading to outbreaks of disease and deaths due to lack of food is shocking.
Are governments listening to these voices? Do they understand the urgency of making a breakthrough in Copenhagen that will bring about a global agreement on combating climate change that is fair, ambitious and binding?
We at Realizing Rights have been urging governments to show real leadership on climate change and have increasingly been making the links to our ongoing efforts on issues such as promoting decent work and realizing the right to health for all.
We've joined our voices with the growing movement calling for Climate Justice and made the case that we all have a responsibility to get involved. We've seen how local women leaders who are the victims of the impacts of climate change are mobilizing to have their voices heard. And we've engaged with corporate and union representatives who have key roles to play not only in urging governments to show leadership but also in being leaders themselves by ushering in a new economy which creates green jobs.
Only by taking action and working together close to home and on the global stage will we ensure that climate change is addessed effectively over the coming years.
You can read more about our work at Realizing Rights on these and other issues in this Action Update and by visiting realizingrights.org.
- Mary Robinson
Fostering Equitable Trade and Decent Work
Jobs, Justice, Climate
On September 21st, a Jobs|Justice|Climate rally in New York called for decisive action to tackle global warming in ways that reduce emissions, create jobs and advance social justice. Participants included Mary Robinson, President Mohamed Nasheed of The Maldives, Juan Somavia of the ILO, and Jonathan Pershing, U.S. Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change.
Realizing the Right to Health
Mary Robinson writes in The Lancet
Mary Robinson discusses the importance of strengthening health systems as a key component of strategies to realize the right to health in a recent edition of The Lancet.
Influencing the direction of Corporate Responsibility
Putting a gender perspective on the business and human rights agenda
Realizing Rights convened a group of experts in New York to advise the Special Representative of the UN Secretary- General on Business and Human Rights, Prof. John Ruggie, on integrating a gender perspective throughout his work as called for in his mandate to operationalize the "Protect, Respect, Remedy" policy framework on business and human rights. Read the background paper and report here.
Strengthening Women's Leadership
Acting on 1325 and Climate Change
The Women Leaders Intercultural Forum of Realizing Rights supported Presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Tarja Halonen of Finland in co-convening an event on "Peace and Security through Women???s Leadership: Acting on 1325 and Climate Change" during the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 24 September.
Working for Climate Justice
Key Points on Climate Justice
Realizing Rights contributed to a new working paper by the Global Humanitarian Forum aimed at supporting efforts to achieve an agreement at December's conference on climate change in Copenhagen which is fair, ambitious and binding.
Realizing Rights: In the News
Connecting for Peace: Nobel Laureates in Dialogue
The Vancouver Peace Summit 2009 took place from September 27-29, 2009 at the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education. Joining the Dalai Lama were Nobel Laureates Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire, Betty Williams and Murray Gell-Mann, as well as a number of respected international leaders from the realms of education, the arts, business, politics and social transformation. Mary Robinson moderated a dialogue with the Nobel Laureates.
Webcast: Connecting the Elders, Palestinians and Israelis
Since the Elders were founded, they have closely followed events in the Middle East. Last week, they visited the region for the first time as a group to listen to the people affected by the conflict and to offer their support to all those working for peace. At the end of the week, they brought together the young Israelis and Palestinians they met during their trip to join them for a live discussion, broadcast worldwide via the web.