Jimmy Carter

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

"We need to form partnerships with people and organisations already there, doing outstanding work."

Work with The Elders

A forthright and principled advocate for human rights and democracy, President Carter has been a member of The Elders since its founding in 2007.

In October that year he joined The Elders’ mission to Sudan, highlighting the continuing atrocities and the displacement of millions of people in Darfur. He returned to Khartoum in May 2012 as part of a two-stage visit to the region to encourage dialogue between Sudan and South Sudan. In November 2008, after a group of Elders was denied entry to Zimbabwe, President Carter called on the international community to respond urgently to the escalating humanitarian crisis in the country.

He has joined three Elders’ delegations to the Middle East, travelling to Israel, the West Bank, Egypt, Jordan and Syria to support efforts to advance an Arab-Israeli peace. In 2012 he also visited Cairo to support Egypt's democratic transition.

President Carter has visited Cyprus twice as part of The Elders’ efforts to promote peaceful coexistence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and is featured in The Elders’ documentary about the search for missing persons on the island.

In April 2011, he led an Elders’ delegation to the Korean Peninsula and China with the aim of contributing to easing tensions between North and South Korea – still officially at war with each other for more than 60 years – and drawing attention to the humanitarian crisis in North Korea.

Early career

Jimmy Carter trained and served as a naval officer but when Carter’s father died in 1953, he resigned his naval commission and returned to Plains, Georgia, to operate his family’s seed and farm supply company.

He quickly became a prominent community leader, serving on several county boards before being elected to the Georgia Senate in 1962. In 1971, he became Georgia's 76th Governor.

39th US President

Jimmy Carter was elected President of the United States of America in 1976, serving from 1977 to 1981. He aspired to make the US government “competent and compassionate,” responsive to the American people and their expectations.

During his time in office, President Carter became known as a champion of human rights and a peace-maker in international affairs. He negotiated the 1978 Camp David Accords and peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. He also negotiated the Panama Canal treaties in 1977, established US diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, and negotiated the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union – a long-term, comprehensive agreement limiting the development of nuclear weapons.

The Carter Center

In 1982, President Carter became University Distinguished Professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and founded The Carter Center. Under his active guidance, this non-partisan and non-profit organisation works to resolve conflicts, advance democracy, protect human rights and improve health in over 70 countries.

Among other achievements, the Carter Center has reduced the incidence of Guinea worm disease by more than 99 per cent, making it likely to be the second disease in history to be eliminated. It has also observed 83 elections in 34 countries to help establish and strengthen democracies. In January 2011, Jimmy Carter was joined by his fellow Elder Kofi Annan to lead the Carter Center observation mission on South Sudan’s independence referendum.

Jimmy Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2002 for “his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.” He is the only US President to be awarded the Prize after leaving office.

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