The Elders

Press release

Fernando Henrique Cardoso steps down from The Elders

Fernando Henrique Cardoso, member of The Elders since its founding in 2007, is stepping down.

"Fernando Henrique Cardoso's commitment to dialogue, democracy and development will continue to inspire The Elders for many years to come." –Kofi Annan

Also available in Português

Fernando Henrique Cardoso with young people
Fernando Henrique Cardoso holds a discussion with young activists ahead of the Rio+20 sustainable development conference, Brazil, June 2012

Fernando Henrique Cardoso is stepping down from his front-line role as a member of The Elders, the organisation announced today. In future, the former President of Brazil, 84, will hold the title of honorary ("Emeritus") Elder.

The Elders wish to pay tribute to Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s committed work for the organisation since it was founded in 2007.

President Cardoso led the first Elders' delegation to the Middle East in 2009, where he called for meaningful dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. He was passionate about ensuring the voices of ordinary people on both sides were heard, and campaigned strongly for a two-state solution to the conflict.

He was also a driving force behind the Elders and Youngers initiative that brought together young leaders and activists from around the world for the Rio+20 summit in 2012 for a series of dialogues on sustainable development; and he continues to inspire The Elders’ engagement with young people.

Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders, said:

“Fernando Henrique has been a key player in The Elders since the very beginning and we are sorry to see him go. His commitment to dialogue, democracy and development will continue to inspire The Elders for many years to come. We will continue to benefit from his wisdom in his new role as an Emeritus Elder.”

Elders Nelson Mandela
Fernando Henrique Cardoso with fellow Elders in 2010.

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

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