The Marangopoulos Foundation for Human Rights (MFHR) has already expressed its serious concern about the fact that, next September, Ms. Mary Robinson will step down from the post of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (see statement by the President of the Foundation, Newspaper Avgi, 21 March 2002, under the title: ”I am more pessimistic than ever about human rights…”).

The stepping down of Ms. Robinson constitutes a blow, both to the UN – the weakening of which has been attempted systematically for a number of years – and to human rights, of which Ms. Robinson has been an able, enlightened, courageous and impartial defender. It is precisely these qualities and her relevant activities which provoked the negative reactions of the powerful of this world, who recently have been committing serious violations of human rights through various “anti-terrorist measures”, both within their own countries – with new legislation based on racial discrimination – and in third countries against which they have already announced a series of wars – wars which, of course, suppress almost all human rights, from the right to life and physical integrity of combatants and non-combatants to the destruction of all material and technical infrastructure on which the life of contemporary societies is based.
Ms. Robinson also proved to be a champion for economic, social and cultural rights for the benefit of vulnerable peoples and persons, in spite of the reaction of the powerful.
Since Ms. Robinson is leaving her post as a result of the opposition to her courageous and effective promotion of human rights, whoever their violator may be, it is evident that those who do not support human rights aim at replacing her with a person who will suit them… Otherwise, her departure would be ineffective for them.
This is why we are pessimistic about the selection of her successor.
Consequently, the only solution that will ensure the effective promotion of human rights is for Ms. Robinson to remain at the post of UNHCHR.
All human rights defenders must join forces to that end and exercise pressure on the Member States of the United Nations, its competent organs and Ms. Robinson herself to achieve this goal, which reflects the desire of the vast majority of the peoples of the world, especially the weak and the victims of injustices.
We are all responsible to ensure that UN will not have the fate of the League of Nations, with its well-known consequences for mankind.