The Elders


What will be on the agenda for the next Secretary-General of the United Nations

Press release

A stronger UN: The Elders hold high-level talks in Liechtenstein


World Refugee Day: where is our empathy?

World Refugee Day: where is our empathy?


Hearing the Russian perspective

Press release

Media advisory: The Elders to visit Russia from 27-29 April 2015


'The least we can do for Syria'

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


Glimmers of hope: Elders talk peace in Washington and London


The Elders' visit to Cyprus


Mission to Sudan


The making of The Elders' documentary

Lakhdar Brahimi

"We’re extremely careful not to claim that we’re going to take a problem and solve it. What we’re saying is that from time to time, in certain situations, a problem needs a little push."

Algerian freedom fighter and diplomat

“I understand very much the people who rise against injustice. I understand even the excesses that can happen once you start fighting against injustice – not to condone it, but to understand how you get there.”

Veteran UN mediator

“You cannot fight your way to peace; sitting down with your adversary and negotiating is the only way to resolve conflict and prevent further bloodshed." 

Peacekeeping expert

“Never in my career have I felt that a situation is hopeless or that change is impossible. Despite the uncertainty that change will bring, there is nothing to fear from seeking genuine and lasting peace.”

Lakhdar Brahimi biography

Former Algerian freedom fighter, Foreign Minister, conflict mediator and UN diplomat; an expert in peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction.
  • Fought for Algerian independence 
  • Algerian Foreign Minister 1991-1993
  • UN Special Representative in Afghanistan 2001-2004
  • UN Special Envoy in Iraq 2004
  • Joint Special Representative of the UN and Arab League for Syria 2012-2014
"We’re extremely careful not to claim that we’re going to take a problem and solve it. What we’re saying is that from time to time, in certain situations, a problem needs a little push."


View all articles by Lakhdar Brahimi

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

Chair of The Elders

Former UN Secretary-General, Nobel Peace Laureate and Chair of The Elders; 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

Deputy Chair of The Elders

First woman Prime Minister of Norway and Deputy 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.


24 hours in Gaza


Discussion with the Elders on building trust


Supporting civil society as peace talks enter crucial new phase


Fostering neighbourly support - The Elders in Ankara and Athens


Brahimi’s frank reflections on the Syria conflict – and its regional dimensions


Lakhdar Brahimi steps down as special envoy to Syria


Syria, a civil, sectarian and proxy war

Press release

Carter, Brahimi and Ahtisaari welcome US efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

On the Web
Assad 'agrees to Eid ceasefire': UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi says the Syrian government and most rebel leaders agre...…

The Elders welcome Lakhdar Brahimi’s appointment as Syria peace envoy


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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