Europe

Mary Robinson appointed chair of The Elders

Mary Robinson Image copyright PA

Former Irish President Mary Robinson has been appointed the chair of a campaigning group of senior world figures.

The Elders was formed in 2007 by Nelson Mandela with the aim of working towards peace and human rights.

Mrs Robinson becomes the group's third-ever chairperson, succeeding Kofi Annan, who died earlier this year.

The group's first chair was Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Other members include former US President Jimmy Carter and former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

Mrs Robinson became the first woman elected as Ireland's president in 1990 and served for seven years.

She later became the UN high commissioner for human rights and, in 2014, was charged with overseeing UN efforts to tackle climate change.

Mrs Robinson said the appointment as chair of The Elders was a huge honour.

"Building on the powerful legacies of Archbishop Tutu and Kofi Annan, I am confident that our group's voice can both be heard by leaders and amplify grassroots activists fighting for their rights," she said.

Archbishiop Tutu said he was "delighted" with Mrs Robinson's appointment.

"Mary always puts ordinary people at the heart of The Elders' mission, and I know she will fight for their rights with the same vigour as our dearly missed brother Kofi."

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