The Elders



Israel and Palestine: the path to peace


2015: A tough year for democracy and human rights


Planning for disaster: solutions to the human cost of climate change


Empowering women: we are all change-makers


Livesteam: Four ideas to save the peace


Four ideas to save the peace

In The Media

Encouraging progress towards peace and inclusiveness in Myanmar


Building a new state: an historic opportunity for Myanmar

Press release

The Elders call for immediate end to conflict in Myanmar and urge parties to engage in talks

Press release

Media advisory: The Elders to visit Myanmar and Thailand from 12–18 December


Human Rights Day – A reminder of our obligations


Gro Harlem Brundtland recognised for contributions to sustainable development


Myanmar: finding a shared vision, building trust


Listening to the people transforming Myanmar


Gro Harlem Brundtland and Malala receive Catalonia Prize


“Hope is fading for a two-state solution”: Elders in the Middle East"


Egypt in transition: Elders visit Cairo


Bringing intergenerational dialogue to Rio+20


“You are going to succeed where we failed”: the Elders meet the ‘Youngers’


“My life, my decision: stop child marriage”


Towards an end to child marriage


The Elders in North and South Korea

Acting Chair of The Elders

“We Elders have all experienced remarkable transformations in our own lifetimes; we know that there is an alternative, that wrongs can be righted.”

Norway’s first female Prime Minister

“For girls and women, the great progress we have made over the last few decades is not enough. Until all of us share the same opportunities – to get an education, to work, to lead – we can never truly prosper.”

Sustainable development champion

“Economies are stalling. Ecosystems are under siege. Inequality – within and between countries – is soaring. These afflictions are clearly rooted in political short-sightedness, where narrow interests triumph over common interests, common responsibilities and common sense.”

Health as a human right

“There can be no real growth without healthy populations. No sustainable development without tackling disease and malnutrition. No international security without assisting crisis-ridden countries. And no hope for the spread of freedom, democracy and human dignity unless we treat health as a basic human right.”

Gro Harlem Brundtland biography

First woman Prime Minister of Norway and Acting Chair of The Elders; a medical doctor who champions health as a human right; put sustainable development on the international agenda.
  • Acting Chair of The Elders
  • Deputy Chair of The Elders (2013-2018)
  • Norway's first woman Prime Minister
  • Director-General of the World Health Organization 1998-2003
  • UN Special Envoy on Climate Change 2007-2010
"We are individuals who are speaking without any outside pressures. In that context we can create the potential for change."
View all articles by Gro Harlem Brundtland

Nelson Mandela

(1918-2013) Founder

Former President of South Africa and Nobel Peace Laureate; a leader who dedicated his life to the anti-apartheid struggle, democracy and equality; founder of The Elders.

Martti Ahtisaari

Former President of Finland; Nobel Peace Laureate and expert in international peace mediation, diplomacy and post-conflict state building.

Kofi Annan


Former UN Secretary-General, Nobel Peace Laureate and Chair of The Elders (2013-2018); put development, human rights, the rule of law, good governance and peace at the top of the United Nations agenda.

Ban Ki-moon

Former UN Secretary-General, former South-Korean Foreign Minister and diplomat; he sought to give voice to the world’s poorest and vulnerable people by putting Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, and gender equality at the top of the UN agenda.

Ela Bhatt

Elder Emeritus

The ‘gentle revolutionary’; a pioneer in women’s empowerment and grassroots development, founder of the more than 1 million-strong Self-Employed Women’s Association in India.

Lakhdar Brahimi

Former Algerian freedom fighter, Foreign Minister, conflict mediator and UN diplomat; an expert in peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction.

Gro Harlem Brundtland

Acting Chair of The Elders

First woman Prime Minister of Norway and Acting Chair of The Elders; a medical doctor who champions health as a human right; put sustainable development on the international agenda.

Fernando H Cardoso

Elder Emeritus

Former President of Brazil; implemented major land reform programme, reduced poverty and significantly improved health and education; an acclaimed sociologist and global advocate for drug policy reform.

Jimmy Carter

Elder Emeritus

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

Hina Jilani

Pioneering lawyer and pro-democracy campaigner; a leading activist in Pakistan's women's movement and international champion of human rights.

Ricardo Lagos

Former President of Chile; tenacious fighter for democracy and human rights; implemented health reform; and reduced economic inequality while diversifying Chile’s external trade in the era of globalisation.

Graça Machel

International advocate for women’s and children's rights; former freedom fighter and first Education Minister of Mozambique.

Mary Robinson

First woman President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; a passionate, forceful advocate for gender equality, women’s participation in peace-building and human dignity.

Desmond Tutu

Elder Emeritus

Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, Nobel Peace Laureate and Honorary Elder; a veteran anti-apartheid activist and peace campaigner widely regarded as ‘South Africa’s moral conscience’.

Ernesto Zedillo

Former President of Mexico who led profound democratic and social reforms; economist and advocate of multilateralism, inclusive globalisation, nuclear non-proliferation and drug policy reform.


Gaza students meet the Elders


Desmond Tutu: "You all humble us"


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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