The Elders

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Universal Health, Universal Rights

In The Media
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Universal Health Coverage: a goal all countries can reach

Universal Health Coverage: a goal all countries can reach

In The Media
Press release

The Elders launch new initiative on Universal Health Coverage at Women Deliver

Videos

The Elders - Mission Statement

Who are The Elders?

Photos

Building momentum on global issues in New York

News

The tipping point for human rights

Opinion

Securing a sustainable future

News

Supporting social entrepreneurship

News

What can we do to change the gender equation?

News

"If we hold back women, we hold back society"

Opinion

We need to think differently about women

Videos

Livesteam: Four ideas to save the peace

In The Media
Photos

The Every Human Has Rights campaign launches!

Photos

Crisis in Zimbabwe

Photos

Mission to Sudan

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Towards an end to child marriage

Co-founder of The Elders

“As Elders, we will strive to use our collective clout to bring people together, amplify the space to give voice to the voiceless, and catalyse action. We understand true leadership as that of service, leadership which promotes equity and dignity for all.”

Freedom fighter to education reformer

“I want to see education that produces young people who will not tolerate their peers living in abject poverty in the midst of plenty; young people who will be outraged by inequality and impatient to bring about change.”

Advocate for girls and women

“Let us give a face and a voice to that girl child who has been ignored. When at last she is front and centre of our development efforts, it is she who will change the world.”

Galvanising civil society throughout Africa

“Don’t underestimate the power of people. Our weakness is that we do not know how powerful we are – and we are not using the power we have as citizens. Go out there and organise, organise, organise. Mobilise mobilise, mobilise. We’ll get there.”

Graça Machel biography

International advocate for women’s and children's rights; former freedom fighter and first Education Minister of Mozambique.
  • Minister of Education and Culture in Mozambique 1975-1989
  • Founder of the Foundation for Community Development in Mozambique
  • UN independent expert on the impact of armed conflict on children
  • Member of High-level UN Panel on post-2015 development agenda (2012-2013)

 

"I think The Elders can play the role of amplifying the voices of the millions of citizens of the world who daily are working very hard to make themselves heard."
View all articles by Graça Machel

Nelson Mandela

(1918-2013) Founder

Former President of South Africa and Nobel Peace Laureate; a leader who dedicated his life to the anti-apartheid struggle, democracy and equality; founder of The Elders.

Martti Ahtisaari

Former President of Finland; Nobel Peace Laureate and expert in international peace mediation, diplomacy and post-conflict state building.

Kofi Annan

Chair of The Elders

Former UN Secretary-General, Nobel Peace Laureate and Chair of The Elders; put development, human rights, the rule of law, good governance and peace at the top of the United Nations agenda.

Ela Bhatt

Elder Emeritus

The ‘gentle revolutionary’; a pioneer in women’s empowerment and grassroots development, founder of the more than 1 million-strong Self-Employed Women’s Association in India.

Lakhdar Brahimi

Former Algerian freedom fighter, Foreign Minister, conflict mediator and UN diplomat; an expert in peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction.

Gro Harlem Brundtland

Deputy Chair of The Elders

First woman Prime Minister of Norway and Deputy Chair of The Elders; a medical doctor who champions health as a human right; put sustainable development on the international agenda.

Fernando H Cardoso

Elder Emeritus

Former President of Brazil; implemented major land reform programme, reduced poverty and significantly improved health and education; an acclaimed sociologist and global advocate for drug policy reform.

Jimmy Carter

Elder Emeritus

Former President of the United States, Nobel Peace Laureate and veteran peace negotiator; dedicated to advancing peace, democracy and health worldwide.

Hina Jilani

Pioneering lawyer and pro-democracy campaigner; a leading activist in Pakistan's women's movement and international champion of human rights.

Ricardo Lagos

Former President of Chile; tenacious fighter for democracy and human rights; implemented health reform; and reduced economic inequality while diversifying Chile’s external trade in the era of globalisation.

Graça Machel

International advocate for women’s and children's rights; former freedom fighter and first Education Minister of Mozambique.

Mary Robinson

First woman President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; a passionate, forceful advocate for gender equality, women’s participation in peace-building and human dignity.

Desmond Tutu

Elder Emeritus

Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, Nobel Peace Laureate and Honorary Elder; a veteran anti-apartheid activist and peace campaigner widely regarded as ‘South Africa’s moral conscience’.

Ernesto Zedillo

Former President of Mexico who led profound democratic and social reforms; economist and advocate of multilateralism, inclusive globalisation, nuclear non-proliferation and drug policy reform.

Photos

Gaza students meet the Elders

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The Elders are independent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

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