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UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The Issue

The world faces a dearth of principled leadership based on the inclusive, collaborative and democratic values exemplified by Nelson Mandela. Many leaders cynically adopt populist stances or lack the courage or political will to confront prejudice and disinformation. As a result, the rules-based international order faces great uncertainty, with diminishing faith in multilateral institutions and declining levels of trust in political leadership.

Our Approach

The institutions and values of multilateralism need to be defended and reasserted in the face of populist pressures. The Elders will engage with key stakeholders, including the United Nations, to advocate an inclusive, effective, people-centred multilateral system that is capable of addressing urgent global threats to peace and security including climate change, nuclear proliferation, pandemic diseases, mass migration and terrorism. They will speak directly to heads of state and policymakers, as well as ensuring that the voices of civil society, marginalised groups and victims of war and injustice are heard and respected.

COP21 Paris / Benjamin Geminel

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