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Former President of Ireland and Former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson to Speak, Oct. 8

Below is a release from the Yale Center for International and Area Studies:

Contact: Marilyn Wilkes 203-432-3413

Mary Robinson, former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Ireland, will be the speaker at the 10th Coca-Cola World Fund at Yale Lecture on Tuesday, October 8. Her talk, entitled "Building an Ethical Globalization," will be held at 4pm at the Law School's Levinson Auditorium, 127 Wall Street, New Haven. A reception will follow. The lecture is sponsored by the Yale Center for International and Area Studies, the Yale Law School, and the Yale School of Management.

Robinson was in the news recently for criticizing the United States for eroding civil liberties at home and neglecting human rights globally since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. "The United States could be a leader in combating terrorism while upholding human rights," Robinson said in a September 11, 2002, interview with the New York Times. "Instead it has sought to put all the emphasis on combating terrorism and has not been fully upholding human rights standards. And that's having a ripple effect on other less democratic countries."

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the appointment of Robinson as the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in June 1997. Prior to her U.N. appointment, Robinson was President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997. As Ireland's first female Head of State, she represented her country internationally, developing a new sense of Ireland's economic, political and cultural links with other countries and cultures. She placed special emphasis on the needs of developing countries and focused on Africa, becoming the first head of state to visit Somalia during the 1992 famine, Rwanda after the 1994 genocide, and the International Criminal Tribunal handling cases on the Former Yugoslavia. Robinson began her career as a lawyer in Dublin and fought for women and gay rights, including a successful fight for the right of Irish women to obtain contraceptive devices in the 1970s. As an attorney, she worked in the area of human rights with special expertise in constitutional and European human rights law.

Mary Robinson received an honorary degree from Yale University in 1997.

The Coca-Cola World Fund at Yale was established in 1992 to support endeavors among specialists in the intersection between international relations, international law, and the management of international enterprises and organizations.