"We don't just believe change is possible. We know."
The Elders are independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights. They are not bound by the interests of any nation, government or institution. Join us to work towards a better future.
Martti Ahtisaari and Lakhdar Brahimi discussed The Elders’ proposals for strengthening the UN at the Sciences Po event which included contributions from several possible candidates for the next Secretary-General and touched on issues from terrorism to the refugee crisis, development challenges and the weakness of international institutions.
Almost one year on from launching our initiative to strengthen the United Nations, Martti Ahtisaari delivers a keynote address at the Sciences Po Youth & Leaders Summit in Paris calling for leadership by governments and the next Secretary-General in modernising the UN. This is an excerpt from the speech.
Livestreamed from Sciences Po’s Youth & Leaders Summit 2016 in Paris on Monday 18 January, Martti Ahtisaari and Lakhdar Brahimi speak on The Elders’ call for UN reform the serious challenges facing the next Secretary-General.
"Fairness is by its very nature all-encompassing. It is not something one can pick and choose, but its infinitely varied nature means that it can attract powerful advocates from all walks of life."
The Sustainable Development Goals will be launched on 24 September in New York. Martti Ahtisaari considers one fundamental value that underpins them all: fairness. And asks whether our understanding of what fairness means has changed in the 21st Century.
"The UN has to change – its present arrangements are neither normal nor reasonable."
As the UN celebrates its 70th year, three Elders travelled to Liechtenstein to participate in high-level discussions on strengthening the organisation with a distinguished and diverse group of experts.
"I came from a fairly modest background, but I never felt I didn't have a chance in my society... It's never too expensive to give a chance for a decent beginning for everyone."
In our first of seven films leading up to the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals, Martti Ahtisaari describes his object and what fairness means to him. Join in the discussion yourself on Facebookor Twitter.
Six Elders were in Moscow in late April to meet President Vladimir Putin and Russian officials to hear their approach to a variety of current geopolitical crises, in particular the situation in Ukraine.
Ahead of a crucial year for Myanmar’s transition, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Martti Ahtisaari, Lakhdar Brahimi and Hina Jilani travelled to Myanmar and Thailand in December 2014. Meeting with members of the government, armed forces, parliament and civil society, the Elders encouraged all parties to help bring about a fair and inclusive society.
“This is a country with a long tradition of people living in harmony with each other.”
In remarks at the press conference concluding The Elders’ visit to Myanmar and Thailand on 12–18 December 2014, Gro Harlem Brundtland gives an overview of the trip and outlines the remaining challenges in Myanmar’s transition process.
Press conference in Yangon on Thursday 18 December
This week, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Martti Ahtisaari, Lakhdar Brahimi and Hina Jilani begin a visit to Myanmar and Thailand, meeting with government, military and civil society. They aim to encourage progress towards an inclusive, democratic and just society.
In March 2014 Gro Harlem Brundtland and Martti Ahtisaari returned to Myanmar for the Elders’ second visit to the country. They also travelled to the Thailand-Myanmar border to meet communities exiled by more than 60 years of civil war.
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.