Mary Robinson

The Honorable Mary Robinson, first woman President of Ireland, Member of the Elders

Legacy: “What motivates you?”

Mary Robinson: “Well I know where I got a huge boost. And it was when my two grand children arrived. I think particularly the first, a little boy, nearly three years ago. I suddenly had this incredible adrenalin. The world is so unfair. And my little grand son and his sister are born into my daughter’s happy family with her husband and they will be ok. They may have – every family has problems, but by and large they are secure.

But think of the millions of children who don’t have that. And I sort of got a terrific re-burst of energy.

And I think it’s because… Because I have deep inner sense of justice and fairness. And when I come into a slum area here in Nairobi, and they’re not so much talking about HIV and AIDS as an illness; they are talking about food security… about hunger… about children not being able to go on pediatric care because they haven’t got enough food. (On) women who have to look after a family who are worried everyday about where the next meal will come from in 2006. Where for a tenth of the military spending in our world, we could actually accelerate the millennium development goals no end. So, I don’t know how I can’t wake up every morning knowing that I must do something about it.”

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