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Ms. Mary Robinson appointed as UN Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate

20 May 2016

Mary Robinson

New York, USA – AWEPA wishes to congratulate Ms. Mary Robinson, member of the AWEPA Eminent Advisory Board and former President of Ireland, on her appointment as United Nations Envoy on El Niño and Climate.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Ms. Robinson’s appointment on 20 May 2015. Ms. Robinson will fulfil her new role alongside H.E. Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations.

According to the United Nations, the appointment of Ms. Robinson and H.E. Kamau comes at a time of great urgency.  Drought and flooding associated with El Niño have created massive needs across the world, especially in the four worst affected regions of East Africa, Southern Africa, Central America and the Pacific.

Members of the Irish AWEPA Section Hon. Charlie Flanagan and Hon. Joe McHugh have congratulated Ms. Robinson on her appointment.


“I warmly welcome the appointment this week of Mary Robinson as the Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate. Former President Robinson is recognised as a world leader in advocating for climate justice and has played an important role in responding to the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world. Ireland looks forward to working closely with her in this important new capacity.

Hon. Charlie Flanagan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland




“I welcome this important appointment, and it was warmly welcomed at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, where I represented the Government over the past two days.  Irish Aid is committed to supporting the most vulnerable communities and the poorest people who are suffering from food shortages due to the worst effects of climate change. The appointment of Mary Robinson as the UN Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate highlights the need for an urgent global response.”

Hon. Joe McHugh, Minister of State for the Diaspora and Overseas Development Aid, Ireland



About Ms. Mary Robinson

Ms. Robinson was a member of the Irish Parliament from 1969 to 1989 and joined AWEPA as a member in the 1980s. She was elected as the first woman President of Ireland (1990-1997) and has served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002). She has also served as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region and as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Climate Change with John Kuofor and Michael Bloomberg. Currently, Ms. Robinson is Honorary President of Oxfam International and a member of the Elders, among other organisations. A human rights advocate, she is the founder of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice in Dublin.