Human Security Threatened Worldwide, Former President Tells Religious Leaders

 Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, warned that “Governments in different regions of the world are failing to provide even the rudiments of human security,” in her keynote address to the leaders of Catholic religious orders in the United States.

 The leaders are members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), who met August 19-22 in Fort Worth, Texas under the theme: “No Longer Bystanders: Creating Peace in Violent Times.”

 Focusing on human “security” rather than human “rights,” Dr. Robinson said most of the world – post 9/11 – is preoccupied with insecurity and the war on terrorism. “But the stark reality,” she said, “is that the terrible attacks of 9/11 had no discernable impact on the millions of peoples already at daily risk from violence, disease and abject poverty.” Religions have what Robinson called “spiritual influence” and can have a significant impact on the empowerment of women, she told the group. Especially interfaith activism at the local level could make a difference in women’s lives, she said, in the areas of domestic violence and trafficking of women, a pro-active approach to the pandemic of HIV/AIDS, and the exploitation of women as domestic workers.