Possibilities Social Forum 2011: Be the Revolution

Tibet's spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, attended a conference attended by 2,000 people in the Citywest Hotel, Dublin this week.

Tibet’s spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, attended a conference attended by 2,000 people in the Citywest Hotel, Dublin this week.

The Possibilities civic summit aimed to inspire young people to speak out to help improve the country and was organised by three non-profit organisations — Afri, Children in Crossfire and SpunOut.ie, a youth website and forum.

The Dalai Lama spoke on Universal Responsibility and how taking action for change is something everyone has a duty to do.

The 76-year-old exiled leader was visiting Ireland on the invitation of Children in Crossfire founder Richard Moore, who also spoke at the event.

Mary Robinson was among the speakers at the forum, which also featured contributions from singer Nóirín Ní Riain, the Irish music group Kíla and a panel of grassroots change makers and campaigners.

Download the full remarks delivered by Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson explained during her address how she first became aware of the justice impacts of climate change while researching some of the works of Barbara Ward, founder of the International Institute for Environment & Development (IIED), who she described as “eminent intellectual, moral voice, visionary, and superb communicator.”

“Her great insight was that environment and development were inextricably linked and she argued forcefully for development that offered hope both for today’s poor and tomorrow’s children. Her legacy should guide us all as we wrestle with climate change and it certainly guides me when I seek the human rights dimension in any given policy area – including climate change.”

Mary Robinson illustrated how climate change undermines the enjoyment of human rights and sustainable development – which is why we need is a climate justice approach: “Climate justice compels us to consider the human impacts of climate change, as well as our shared responsibilities.”

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