Elders to meet in Dublin in May, says Robinson


Independent global leader group the Elders will meet in Dublin next year due to Ireland’s presidency of the EU, Mary Robinson said yesterday.

Nobel laureates are among the group, which includes Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu, former US president Jimmy Carter, former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan and former president of Brazil Ferdinand Henrique Cardoso.

The former Irish president and Elders member said the group, which works for peace and human rights, would hold its next meeting in Dublin in May. Mrs Robinson said there were some “really hot arguments” during meetings which tended to be between those who wanted to focus on acute crises such as Syria and others who wanted to tackle broader concerns such as child brides.

She was speaking at the meeting of the European Venture Philanthropy Association in Croke Park, Dublin, yesterday. The conference, with 400 delegates, was on the theme of backing changemakers in a time of uncertainty.

She was “interested” in an observation at their conference that the countries of Europe “are still quite rich societies despite the angst of the euro zone and hardship for people”, she told the group.

“Grossly unequal” world

“In these changing times, I believe we also need to have a knowledge and appreciation of how grossly unequal our world is and to address this inequality with a passion for social justice,” she said.

Mrs Robinson also spoke about the UN’s “Scaling Up Nutrition” initiative, which focuses on the first 1,000 days of life. She and Concern Worldwide chief executive Tom Arnold are among its leaders.