After her surprise announcement that she will step down from her position as UN High Commissioner on Human Rights when her four-year term expires this September, Mary Robinson has now agreed to remain in the post for one more year. “The secretary General prevailed on me to change my mind,” she admitted, but it was letters and E-mails from human rights activists around the world which “tipped the balance.”
It is believed that Robinson’s decision to resign was prompted in part by lack of funding – her office receives only £15 million annually – and understaffing.
Robinson has received assurances from Kofi Annan that he will try to improve the situation.
“It is terribly difficult to do the job under these constraints,” she admitted. “But I am prepared to give it one more year.”
John O’Shea, founder of the Irish based third world relief organization GOAL, told the Irish Voice, “It is sad that a woman of such courage and dignity, who was not afraid to speak up and expose human rights abuses wherever she found them, should be left without the resources to fulfill her important role.” ♦