Former Irish president to speak at Stanford

Mary Robinson, founding president of "Realizing Rights," will discuss corporate responsibility, human rights and "climate justice."  

Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, will speak on "Human Rights Strategies in the 21st Century" at 7 p.m. Monday, April 12, in Cubberley Auditorium. The talk is free and open to the public.

In her address, Robinson will draw on her human rights work in the areas of corporate responsibility, right to health, decent work and "climate justice."

Robinson is founding president of "Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative." She served as United Nations high commissioner for human rights from 1997 to 2002 and as president of Ireland from 1990 to 1997.

Giving a similar talk at Case Western University last year, Robinson focused on fostering ethical leadership internationally: "Our world is in desperate need of ethical leaders," she said, "individuals who are willing to put the [needs] of their nations and of the world before personal gain."

Last year, President Obama awarded Robinson the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Robinson’s address, a Stanford Presidential Lecture in the Humanities and Arts, is not Robinson’s first appearance at Stanford. She gave the annual Tanner Lectures on Human Values in 2003 and delivered the 1999 Robert G. Wesson Lecture in International Relations Theory and Practice at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

In her 2003 talk at Stanford she asked: "In an age in which we contemplate intervention from outside military forces to stop genocide and crimes against humanity, or to remove threats to international peace and security, shouldn't we also be defining our shared responsibility for ensuring that basic rights to food, safe water, education, shelter and healthcare are met throughout the world?"

The Stanford Presidential and Endowed Lecture Series in the Humanities and Arts is sponsored by the Office of the President and administered by the Humanities Center.