UN / ELDERS ROBINSON SIRLEAF

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11-Jun-2019 00:02:58
The former President of Ireland and Chair of the Elders, Mary Robinson, said the 2020 election in the United States will be “of some significance to say the least,” as it will “determine perhaps whether we can get back to more emphasis on a multilateral approach, which is what the Elders would sincerely hope for.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / ELDERS ROBINSON SIRLEAF
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 11 JUNE 2019, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

11 JUNE 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, dais
3. Wide shot, journalists
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Mary Robinson, Former President, Ireland:
“It’s hard to look ahead beyond the next election here in the United States, because that’s going to be of some significance to say the least, and that will determine perhaps whether we can get back to more emphasis on a multilateral approach, which is what the Elders would sincerely hope for.”
5. Med shot, journalists
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Mary Robinson, Former President, Ireland
“The problem is much wider than President Trump, there is no doubt about that. But his poor leadership is aggravating the problem.”
7. Wide shot, dais
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President, Liberia:
“What is lacking of course is, again, if multilateralism would continue to be strong, we’d be looking at, having countries look at, have a Compact in which people who have the need to seek better opportunities across borders would do so in a safe and orderly fashion, observing the rules and regulations of host countries but also assuring that as they move across, their own human rights are protected.”
9. Wide shot, dais
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Mary Robinson, Former President, Ireland:
“If it were possible to give him advice that he would listen to, I think the Elders would be very pleased to advise that it is extremely important to understand the importance of agreements that have been reached by a process that engaged very many countries. I am talking about the Iran nuclear agreement. If he wishes, as he aspires to have an agreement with North Korea, it doesn’t help to build trust if you pull out of an existing agreement.”
11. Wide shot, dais
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President, Liberia:
“We are not going to go to a law, because there is no law. There is no law that decriminalizes or criminalizes at all. We believe that those matters are private matters. They are to be respected on the part of individuals, and as long as there are no laws that restrict it, there is no reason to try to get a law.”
13. Med shot, journalists
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Mary Robinson, Former President, Ireland:
“We need more African countries to move. I have always appreciated that human rights has to be embedded in the culture of the country. And that can take time. And it can take a lot of internal discussion. And, my country didn’t move on this issue for a long time. I had to take a case to the court of human rights in Strasbourg, and then we moved. And now we moved further and given some leadership in the world with our referendum on same sex marriage, which reflected where Ireland is today.”
15. Wide shot, end of presser

STORYLINE:

The former President of Ireland and Chair of the Elders, Mary Robinson, today (11 Jun) said the 2020 election in the United States will be “of some significance to say the least,” as it will “determine perhaps whether we can get back to more emphasis on a multilateral approach, which is what the Elders would sincerely hope for.”

Speaking to journalists in New York, Robinson acknowledged that the weakening of multilateralism is a problem that “is much wider” than US President Donald Trump,” but added that “his poor leadership is aggravating the problem.”

Another member of the Elders, the former President of Libera and Nobel Peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, lamented the weakening of the multilateral approach as it relates to migration.

She noted that is the Global Compact for Migration, enacted last year, was being followed, “people who have the need to seek better opportunities across borders would do so in a safe and orderly fashion, observing the rules and regulations of host countries but also assuring that as they move across, their own human rights are protected.”

Turning to the Iran nuclear agreement, Robinson said she would advise President Trump “that it is extremely important to understand the importance of agreements that have been reached by a process that engaged very many countries.”

She said, "if he wishes, as he aspires to have an agreement with North Korea, it doesn’t help to build trust if you pull out of an existing agreement.”

Asked about her position regarding LGBT rights in Liberia, Sirleaf Johnson replied that there is no law in the country “that decriminalizes or criminalizes at all.”

She said, “we believe that those matters are private matters. They are to be respected on the part of individuals, and as long as there are no laws that restrict it, there is no reason to try to get a law.”

For her part Robinson welcomed the landmark decision by Botswana’s High Court to decriminalize consensual same-sex relations.

She said, “we need more African countries to move” and noted that her own country, “didn’t move on this issue for a long time.”

Robinson said, “now we moved further and given some leadership in the world with our referendum on same sex marriage, which reflected where Ireland is today.”

Founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, the Elders are an independent group of global leaders working together for peace, justice and human rights. Other members include former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein, and emeritus members Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter.
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