New York school children are to learn about the Irish famine.

Last night at the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan, President Mary Robinson received the global leadership award of the United Nations Association of the United States (UNA – USA). Speaking at the event, President Robinson insisted that she was not a candidate for any position in the United Nations.

I think I have to make it clear that I am not a candidate for any position in the United Nations.

However, many believe that President Robinson is the ideal candidate to replace Boutros Boutros-Ghali as the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Today was the final day of the President's trip to New York and her final meeting was with Governor of New York George E Pataki. Following the meeting, Governor Pataki signed in legislation to make the Irish Famine a subject on the New York school curriculum. The bill requires that the famine be portrayed as a human rights violation similar to genocide, slavery and the Holocaust. Governor Pataki said that young New Yorkers would now be hearing about the horrors of mass starvation that took place 150 years ago.

New York school children will now be taught that the famine ranks alongside acts of genocide such as the holocaust.

Governor Pataki has plans to travel to Ireland next year to promote investment.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 9 October 1996. The reporter is Mark Little.