In October 2012 Gro Harlem Brundtland, Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson travelled to Israel and the West Bank to draw attention to the developments threatening the two-state solution. After meeting civil society, Israeli and Palestinian political leaders, and humanitarian and human rights experts, the Elders concluded their visit by warning that the situation is heading towards a one-state outcome – which would be catastrophic for both Israelis and Palestinians.
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Following the May 2012 visit to Sudan by Jimmy Carter and Lakhdar Brahimi, in July 2012 Desmond Tutu, Martti Ahtisaari and Mary Robinson travelled to the region to further encourage peace efforts between Sudan and South Sudan.
Taking place on 18 July, Mandela Day is inspired by the 67 years that Nelson Mandela gave fighting for justice and human rights and encourages people around the world to give 67 minutes of their time to serve their communities.
During their visit to London earlier in July, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson celebrated Mandela Day by visiting grassroots organisations working with the city’s young people and discussing the importance of volunteering at a public event.
In July 2012, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson visited London where they took part in a public debate at the Barbican to commemorate the five years since Nelson Mandela founded The Elders. They also held meetings with the UK Foreign Secretary and parliamentarians to discuss key foreign policy issues.
"We came to show our solidarity to Blue Nile refugees and to underscore our call for peace" – Desmond Tutu.
As the people of South Sudan celebrated their first year of independence, three Elders travelled to the region to encourage dialogue between Sudan and South Sudan.
“You have not told us to 'calm down', that we don't need to be radical; you have instead told us that we have the power to make change happen – and that is what we need to hear!” Sara Svensson
In June 2012, following eight weeks of online debate, the Elders and ‘Youngers’ travelled to Brazil for Rio+20, the UN summit on sustainable development.
“One of the most incredible sources of energy for me is when I am with young people – sorry oldies!” Desmond Tutu
In May 2012 four 'Youngers' – climate change activists from Nigeria, Brazil, Sweden and China – joined the Elders at their bi-annual meeting in Oslo to discuss the upcoming Rio+20 summit on sustainable development, the role of the UN, and how to mobilise civil society, especially young people, around urgent global issues.
Equality for girls and women has been a core focus of The Elders’ work ever since the organisation was founded. To mark International Women’s Day 2012, we revisit some of their work with women in Sudan, the Middle East, Cyprus, Côte d’Ivoire and North Korea.
In February 2012 four Elders travelled to Bihar, India, to meet a group of young people campaigning to stop child marriage. After listening to the teenage girls and boys, Desmond Tutu, Ela Bhatt, Gro Brundtland and Mary Robinson raised the issue with Bihar's Chief Minister, urging him to support the growing movement to end this harmful practice.
Throughout their work, the Elders strive to hear from young people. Having met youth of Cairo, Gaza, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Nicosia, Pyongyang, Ramallah and Seoul in the past few years, they welcomed the opportunity of their biannual gathering in Rio de Janeiro, in October 2011, to meet around fifty young Brazilians.