Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland and previously United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, was today officially announced as the godmother to Ericsson 4, one of the two-boat Ericsson Racing Team that is taking part in the Volvo Ocean Race that officially starts this weekend.
Ericsson has been working alongside Mary Robinson and Jeffery Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, to raise awareness of the Millennium Development Goals in the telecommunication industry.
During the Volvo Ocean Race, Ericsson and these global leaders will engage with customers and other stakeholders, to increase awareness of the key role that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector can play in enabling human rights, ending global poverty and contributing to a carbon-lean economy.
Ericsson will use its global position as the leading telecommunications vendor to catalyze the telecom sector and harness the technology and expertise of the industry to find tangible solutions to halve global extreme poverty. By bringing together public and private partners around the Volvo Ocean Race, Ericsson is taking another step in its ongoing commitment to help achieve the MDG's by 2015.
'We are in a unique position to involve our customers in this call to action,' says Carl-Henric Svanberg, President and CEO of Ericsson. 'We are honored to have Mary Robinson and Jeffrey Sachs associated with our initiative. By raising awareness of human rights and MDG's and how the ICT sector can help enable and achieve them, we are making our around-the-world journey a race with a message.
'The MDG's are among the most compelling global issues of our time, and with our presence in 170 countries, we know that our sector can make a real difference and achieve concrete results,' Svanberg says.
At a brief ceremony this morning in Alicante, Mary Robinson commented: 'Ericsson 4 will be travelling to different parts of the world and will see the contrast in the world. I think that a sailing boat, one that sails with the message that we have promised to bridge the gaps of poverty and bring the world to a more equitable place. This is a message that I think will resonate.'
Torben Grael, skipper of Ericsson 4, then presented Mary Robinson with a carbon fiber half model of the boat, signed by all the crew. 'It is a great honor to have you as our godmother. We admire your work and we share the same goals', he commented.