Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and Deputy Chair of the Elders, addressing journalists. She is flanked by fellow Elders Lakhdar Brahimi (left), former Joint Arab League-UN Special Representative for Syria; and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former High UN Commissioner for Human Rights.
Photo: Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire
United Nations, May 09 2017
Speaking to reporters in New York today representatives of “The Elders” – an independent group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights made a call for multilateralism and a reform of the United Nations.
Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and Deputy Chair of The Elders said “the challenges we face are bigger than any country can solve alone”and that “the UN needs revitalization, it needs support, it needs reform.”
Harlem also called upon the veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council – USA, UK, France, China and the Russian Federation to restrain from using “veto when the issue is mass atrocities and the danger of mass atrocities.”
Warning about the “apartheid” being exercised by Israel on Palestinians, the former Foreign Minister of Algeria as well as former UN Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said “we very strongly believe, all of us in The Elders, that Palestinians have rights. And that those rights are trumped over and I think that we all deeply regret that the Security Council is not doing its job on this issue as it is not doing its job on quite few other issues.”
Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said “it is a shocking feature of the 21st century that there are so many barriers” to respecting rights of refugees and migrants.
Answering a question from a reporter about a possibility that the United States will pull out of the Paris Climate Change agreement, Robinson said that the make the United States “a rogue state because it is totally failing in its clear responsibility as one of the largest emitters and historic emitter. And for the problems that have been caused by the disrupted climate in the very poor countries and communities around the world.”
She added that “it is unconscionable if the United States pulls out and if the United States stays in but does not support the green climate fund, does not support the IPCC, does not support the commitments that too is unconscionable.”
The Elders is a small, dedicated group of individuals such as Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu and Kofi Annan, who use their collective experience and influence to help tackle some of the most pressing problems facing the world today.
The idea of such a group was conceived by Richard Branson and Peter Gabriel who took it up to Nelson Mandela who in turn agreed to support it and thus the group was formally launched in Johannesburg, South Africa in July 2007.
Source: UNTV. Photo: EuropaNewswire