9th OECD Investment Treaty Conference


Mary Robinson

The Elders

First woman President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Chair of The Elders


Mary Robinson is a founding member and Chair of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, who work together for peace, justice, human rights and a sustainable planet. She has served as Chair since 2018, and is a passionate advocate for gender equality, human dignity and climate justice. Mary Robinson was the first woman President of Ireland (1990–1997) and is a former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997–2002). A tireless advocate for justice, she was President of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative from 2002 to 2010. Between 2013 and 2016, she served as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy in three roles; first for the Great Lakes region of Africa, then on Climate Change until the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2015 and then as Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate. She was appointed Adjunct Professor for Climate Justice at Trinity College Dublin in 2019. Mary Robinson is known for her work bridging the gap between the climate change and human rights communities and for championing a rights-based approach to seeking climate justice. She is passionate about the need to establish grassroots women’s leadership and participation as a cornerstone of gender-responsive climate policy and believes in an intergenerational, intersectional approach tackling the greatest challenges facing humanity.

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