Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Mary Robinson starts new charity

Former Irish president Mary Robinson

Former president Mary Robinson has announced plans to establish a new charity to put human rights at the heart of the climate change agenda.

The campaigner revealed she will return to live and work in Ireland at the end of the year to set up the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice (MRFCJ).

A team of distinguished international experts will advise the charity, which is already working on its first project focussing on the development of Women's Leadership and Climate Justice.

It is hoped that despite being based in Ireland, it will have impact worldwide, particularly in the poorest of developing regions.

Mrs Robinson, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: "To effectively address climate change, we need the participation of all people everywhere with fair, accountable, transparent, and corruption-free procedures and innovative approaches to green technologies.

"There is a need to create awareness, through leadership and education, that the dynamics of development and of relations between peoples in different parts of the world must change profoundly. Ireland is well placed to play a leadership role in this area."

MRFCJ says it aims to be a centre for thought leadership, advocacy and education on one of the major challenges of the 21st Century.

Funded by private donations, it has secured support from philanthropic organisations including the Rockefeller, Nduna and Skoll Foundations in the US, the One Foundation in Ireland and Virgin Unite.

The Foundation will be governed by a board of trustees - to be chaired by Mrs Robinson - which includes Tom Arnold, head of Concern Worldwide and Irene Khan, former secretary general of Amnesty.

Ms Robinson will work with the foundation on a pro-bono basis, as will her former special adviser Bride Rosney, who will be acting CEO.

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