Statement by Mary Robinson on her Appointment as United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Change

Mary Robinson accepts appointment by United Nations Secretary General as his Special Envoy on Climate Change

In March of this year Mary Robinson extended her mandate as United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa at the request of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The Secretary-General has now asked her to relinquish this mandate to accept another – the post of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change.

There was a degree of urgency in the appointment because of the 2014 Climate Summit which the Secretary-General will host in September with Heads of State and Government, business, civil society amongst those invited to attend. Therefore the Secretary-General asked Mary Robinson to accept the post, with immediate effect, which will continue to the climate talks to be held in Paris in December 2015.

On accepting the appointment Mary Robinson said:

“I have mixed emotions at handing over the role in the Great Lakes region when I make my final report to the Security Council on 7 August, but ultimately I feel it is appropriate that I respond positively to the request of the Secretary-General. His focus on climate change and his faith in my capacity to help make progress on the challenges it presents is, I believe, an affirmation of the work of the Foundation I lead. Our work on climate justice emphasises the urgency of action on climate change from a people’s perspective and I intend to take this approach in my new mandate as Special Envoy for Climate Change.” 

The role of Special Envoy and Mary Robinson’s work within the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, as its President, will be kept separate but the synergies are very clear and should be of mutual benefit.

Official UN Secretary General’s Announcement