Mary Robinson, talking with a nurse working for Oxfam as a public health promoter, at Bulengo camp for IDPs in North Kivu province, DR Congo. Credit: Caroline Irby
Former President of Ireland receives prestigious award.

Oxfam International congratulates Mary Robinson on US Presidential Medal of Freedom

“Mary Robinson has dedicated her working life in advocating for universal human rights.”
Jeremy Hobbs
Executive Director, Oxfam International
Published: 11 August 2009

Oxfam International congratulates its Honorary President Mary Robinson for her deserved award of the prestigious US Presidential Medal of Freedom at a ceremony August 12 in Washington D.C.

“Mary Robinson has dedicated her working life in advocating for universal human rights. Oxfam could not have wished for a better honorary president than Mary. We have benefited from her vision and commitment in using human rights to frame today’s big debates on globalization, poverty, gender, security and development,” said Oxfam International Executive Director Jeremy Hobbs. Mary Robinson has travelled with Oxfam to many countries, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, investigating the causes, effects and solutions to conflict and inequality and poverty. She has helped carry Oxfam’s torch at many major international events including at WTO ministerials and negotiations for an Arms Trade Treaty, and has lobbied tirelessly on women's rights.

As an international relief and development organization, Oxfam is particularly heartened to see anti-poverty and pro-human rights figures such as Mary Robinson recognized and honored. "In addition to the energy and influence that Mary has brought to Oxfam and promoting our work in tackling poverty around the world, she continues to work as a member of the prominent Elders Group, as well as leading her own “Realizing Rights” initiative. Among other positions, Mary is also president of the International Commission of Jurists," he said.

“Mary Robinson’s courageous even-handedness and sincerity in holding up the cause of human rights around the world is unquestionable. There is no-one more deserving of the Presidential Medal of Freedom than Mary Robinson,” Hobbs said.