The Elders

Press release

The Elders troubled by UK’s vote to leave the European Union

The Elders' statement on Brexit; and call to the remaining member states of the European Union.

The Elders today expressed deep regret and dismay over the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union. They respect the democratic will of the people of the UK whilst noting that the EU is a unique political alliance that has succeeded in bringing peoples and cultures closer together across a continent riven by wars that took the lives of millions.

Convened by Nelson Mandela as a body to promote peace, justice and human rights, The Elders are a group of independent global figures. Two of them, Martti Ahtisaari and Mary Robinson, served as Heads of State of EU member states.

Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders, said:

“The European Union is a success story built from the rubble of two world wars. It has ensured peace and prosperity for an entire generation of Europeans for whom war with their neighbours is unthinkable. Creating a family of nations based not just on common economic interests but on common values is unique in the world. We urge the remaining 27 states to redouble their efforts for unity, solidarity, and show the leadership that Europe so urgently needs, now more than ever.”

For media inquiries, please contact William French, Head of Communications at The Elders (+44 7795 693903) or email:

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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.

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