In September 2016, Kofi Annan, Martti Ahtisaari and Lakhdar Brahimi visited Germany to launch a new report on refugees and migration. They heard a range of perspectives on the country's response to the crisis, from Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal President Joachim Gauck and business leaders, to civil society groups, volunteers and refugees themselves.
Our CEO Andrew Whitley reflects on a busy month during which The Elders launched a new report in Germany on refugees and mass migration, and held several meetings and discussions in and around the UN General Assembly in New York, including with senior UN officials on Syria and with resettled refugees at the International Rescue Committee.
"President Erdoğan now has a responsibility to act in a way that reconciles his divided country, reaffirms his government’s commitment to inclusive democracy and defuses tensions at the heart of Turkish society.” – Kofi Annan
The Elders' statement on the attempted coup in Turkey.
"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.
One year on from the launch of our ‘UN Fit for Purpose’ initiative at the Munich Security Conference, The Elders and our partners continue to press for change. This photo-story highlights progress to date and looks ahead to the work remaining in this crucial year.
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.
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.