Mary Robinson: Chair Emerita President, Ireland, 1990-1997
Mary Robinson served as the seventh, and first female President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, and as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002. As High Commissioner, Robinson changed the priorities of her office to emphasize the promotion of human rights at the national and regional levels; she was the first UNHCHR to visit China, and she also helped to improve the monitoring of human rights in Kosovo. In 2001, Robinson served as Secretary-General of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance, held in Durban, South Africa. Robinson founded the nongovernmental organization Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, in 2002. She served as the Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders and presided the 1996 Summit of Women Leaders in Sweden where the Council was created.
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