UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson visits Prague

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Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, speaking there in Prague at the weekend. The former Irish president had been invited by President Vaclav Havel to mediate a panel discussion hosted by the Czech president - 'Praga - dialogici locus' - Prague a place for dialogue. The panel included the heads of both the IMF and the World Bank, the philanthropic financier George Soros and representatives of several non-governmental organisations critical of the policies of the two Bretton Woods institutions.

Mrs. Robinson said she believed that there was a real need to humanise and reshape globalisation so that it could benefit all - instead of some.

The Human Rights High Commissioner had also another agenda whilst visiting Prague--that, of trying to bring benefit and human rights to all Czech citizens. On Sunday, she met with several groups working for the rights of the Roma community in the Czech Republic. She was asked if she believed the Czech Republic was doing enough for the minority community: Mrs. Robinson hoped that several of the issues raised during her meeting would in fact be discussed at the forthcoming regional conference organised by the Council of Europe in preparation for the World Conference on Racism in South Africa next year. She spoke of some of the ideas suggested by the group, drawing particularly on the view of Monika Horakova, a Czech MP of Romani background: