Due to the urgency of the conflict and immense human suffering in Darfur, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Chair of The Elders, announced today that he will lead a delegation to Sudan, on 30 September – 5 October.
The delegation will include Lakhdar Brahimi, Jimmy Carter, and Graça Machel. The Elders is a humanitarian initiative founded by Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel earlier this year, which brings together a historic group of world leaders to contribute their wisdom, independent leadership and integrity to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems.
The group will meet in Khartoum with government and opposition, civil society and international organisation representatives, and will then travel to Darfur to visit local community leaders and persons displaced from their homes.
As Elders of the global village, they hope to help strengthen and deepen the framework for assuring a permanent peace in Sudan, by listening to, learning from and reporting on the views of the people in Darfur and others concerned with the crisis.
Independent of any government or international organisation, the Elders are consulting widely, including with leaders from the United Nations and the African Union, and have lent their support to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1769 approved on July 31, authorising a UN/AU peace-keeping force and the UN-Government of Sudan Joint Humanitarian Communiqué of March 28, 2007.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Chair of The Elders, said:
“We want community leaders in Darfur to feel that they have been heard by us. And to the extent that we could then communicate their aspirations, their longings, particularly the women’s groups, we will do so. This is not just a quick trip for The Elders – we want the suffering to end – and we hope to contribute to that.”