- QuestionRobinson says that the president of Ireland can be a “unifying force, a president for all the people, in touch with different views.” Why is this possible? How did she try to embody this ideal?AnswerThe president can function in this way because he (or she) has no executive power. Since he is not governing, he is not responsible to any political party or other agency. As president, she tried to raise awareness of social issues at home and human suffering abroad.
- QuestionIn what ways was the human rights department different from the other departments within the United Nations?AnswerIt was meant to be more overarching—to have a place within each of the four established committees and departments—given that human rights should be “more central to every type of project done within the U.N.”
- QuestionWhat are some of the obstacles Robinson faced during her appointment as the U.N. High Commissioner of Human Rights?Answer1. Developing countries didn’t believe she could understand their problems.
2. Human rights are interpreted differently in different countries and cultures.
3. The attitude toward human rights within the U.N. is complicated.