Statement by Mary Robinson to Rio+20 High Level Roundtable

Mary Robinson, the Foundation President, acted as Rapporteur for the Sustainable Development Dialogue on Food and Nutrition Security at Rio+20.

The three recommendations that emanated from the Dialogue on Food and Nutrition Security focussed on the promotion of food systems that are sustainable and contribute to the improvement of health; the development of policies to encourage sustainable production of food supplies; and the elimination of poverty-related malnutrition by empowering women farmers, small holder farmers, young farmers and indigenous people.

In her statement to the High Level Roundtable, Mrs Robinson told government representatives that they would have given their negotiators a different mandate had they participated in the dialogues and heard the views, concerns and vision of the future shared by contributors: “a much stronger mandate to create the future we want and which the earth needs.”

Commending the Brazilian government for reaching out to broader constituencies through the Dialogues, she said that it was unfortunate that these voices were not incorporated into the outcome text. In closing her remarks, Mrs Robinson told the High Level Panel that “People will mobilise themselves to make sure that the world we pass on to our children and grandchildren is safe, equitable, prosperous and sustainable. The legacy of Rio+20 will not be the document you endorse – it will be the mobilisation of people to build the future they desire.”

Mrs Robinson concluded her statement with the words of Michelangelo:

The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.

Mary Robinson at Partnership Forum Rio+ 20 Session 3:


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