AWEPA Governing Council Member for the UK, Lord Chidgey met with three of the ten Elders at a special meeting called by Parliamentarians from all parties interested in international development. The Elders, brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007, are globally recognised and trusted leaders who have been, and continue to be, drivers for change. The Elders present, Jimmy Carter, Mary Robinson, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, speaking in the Houses of Parliament, were disappointed by the lack of leadership at Rio+20.
Mary Robinson said “Sexual violence in conflict and women’s rights are key issues, where women continue to be treated as second class citizens. With no leadership forthcoming to tackle the horrors of child marriage and FGM inflicted on young girls, we will have to think in terms of a coalition of the willing.”
David Chidgey has confirmed that, at the request of the Elders, AWEPA has adopted child marriage as a priority work area, along with FGM. “We need to find ways of working more closely together, through AWEPA, through Parliaments, through communities, to tackle these issues, both in the Diaspora and in the wider world. With Archbishop Tutu as the Honorary Chair of the Advisory Board of AWEPA, and Mary Robinson as a Board Member, AWEPA is in a strong position to take a leading role in the drive for change”.
For more information on this meeting, check The Elders website.