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What does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights mean in today’s fractured world?

Yemen (Credit: UNHCR/Shabia Mantoo)
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Mary Robinson joins filmmakers shining a light on the urgent human rights issues of today

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Mary Robinson outlines priorities in her new role as Chair of The Elders


The Elders at their November 2018 Board Meeting in London.

It is an honour to write to you for the first time in my new capacity as Chair of The Elders.

I have been a proud member of this group since we were first brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007.

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The Elders call on Sri Lanka’s leaders to uphold constitutional law

Read in Sinhala and Tamil

The Elders today expressed their grave concern at the unprecedented situation in Sri Lanka following President Maithripala Sirisena’s unconstitutional decision to dismiss Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and suspend Parliament.

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Human rights are a key tool to protect the vulnerable against climate change

Mary Robinson highlights the enduring relevance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in protecting the vulnerable against the effects of climate change as we mark the 70th Anniversary of the UDHR.

"Climate change denial is not just ignorant, it is malign, it is evil and amounts to an attempt to deny human rights to some of the most vulnerable people on the planet. "


Mary Robinson at the UN in September 2018 (Photo: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas)

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Discrimination: human rights are a preventative tool

Hina Jilani highlights the role of human rights in the struggle against discrimination as we mark the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

"As a lawyer and human rights defender, I have repeatedly been confronted with examples of discrimination committed on grounds of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation."

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Donald Trump’s deal must put Palestinian rights centre stage

Writing in the Financial Times, Kofi Annan welcomes fresh approaches to peacemaking but warns that any deal that does not address the root causes of the conflict will be doomed to failure.

"The only way to achieve this is a two-state solution delivering security for Israelis and justice and prosperity for Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem." –Kofi Annan.

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Cease the violence and allow the democratic will of the people to prevail, The Elders urge Zimbabwe

The Elders call on all parties in Zimbabwe to show restraint and calm as the country decides its future.

"Nothing other than the democratic will of the people should be allowed to determine the future of Zimbabwe.” –Kofi Annan.

The Elders today call on all parties in Zimbabwe to show restraint and calm as the country decides its future.

Led by Kofi Annan, The Elders condemn the violence and tragic deaths that followed the 30 July vote.

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Embracing Madiba's values: building a brighter future in Zimbabwe and South Africa

Mary Robinson reflects on her recent visits to South Africa for Mandela's centenary and to Zimbabwe as the country decides its future. 

As I write, the votes in Zimbabwe’s historic election are still being counted. I am encouraged to see reports indicating that voter turnout has been high and that the process has remained largely peaceful. We all hope this continues.

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“Sparks of Hope” can honour Nelson Mandela’s vision of a better world

Writing in CNN, Graça Machel reflects on what we can learn from Madiba's legacy, and calls on us all to #WalkTogether on his centenary, to continue his long walk to freedom.

"We need to take guidance from his moral compass to be reminded of the importance of respecting human dignity and defending equal rights for everyone."


Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel launch The Elders in Johannesburg, 18 July 2007 (Credit: The Elders)

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