Mary Robinson

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As High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson spent a lot of her time at the United Nations talking about HIV/AIDS. She wasn’t poaching the territory of the World Health Organization. She was making the case then that the world’s most serious health problem is also a human rights disaster.

Twenty years into the epidemic, drugs are making it possible for some people to live with the virus, but they’re only available to one percent of the 40 million people afflicted with the disease. She says that’s an outrage.

Since Robinson left her UN post, with a rather thankless nudge from the Bush Administration, she’s been speaking out, even more directly, about the link between HIV/AIDS and human rights. Another view of universal health care.


Mary Robinson, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, former President of Ireland, now director, Ethical Globalization Initiative.