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About The Elders

The Elders The Elders Chaired by Kofi Annan, The Elders is an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights. They were brought together in 2007 by Nelson Mandela. Archbishop Desmond Tutu served for six years as Chair before stepping down in May 2013, and remains an Honorary Elder. The Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was also an Honorary Elder, until her election to the Burmese parliament in April 2012. How do they work?Toggle Content The Elders is an unusual organisation with a distinct way of working. The Elders work strategically, focusing on areas where they are uniquely placed to make a difference. This can mean engaging in private advocacy, using their collective influence to open doors and gain access to decision-makers. At other times, The Elders work publicly to promote neglected issues and speak out against injustice. The group decides collectively where there is the greatest opportunity to make a real impact, whether this is: Opening doors to gain access to decision-makers at the highest levels Listening to everyone, no matter how unpalatable or unpopular, to promote dialogue Providing an independent voice that can speak out, challenge injustice and break taboos Bringing people together to catalyse action and forge alliances Amplifying and supporting the work of people affected by conflict or working for peace Creating space for campaigners and policy makers to broach difficult issues Connecting people with decision-makers, ensuring the needs of ordinary citizens are always represented Highlighting neglected issues to generate media coverage and political attention The Elders are cautious not to claim all the credit for making a difference. Much of The Elders’ work is dedicated to supporting the efforts of other campaigners and advocates, giving them a platform to make their voices heard. Read blogs by some of the activists The Elders have worked with. The Elders are supported by a small team based in London, and by the Advisory Council.
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