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Elders at the Munich Security Conference 2017

Four Elders attended the annual Munich Security Conference in February 2017 to tackle several contemporary challenges including the Iran Nuclear Agreement, climate security and the refugees and migration crises. 

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Five ways to realise and protect women’s rights

To mark International Women’s Day, we highlight five perspectives on how to achieve gender equality, including on maintaining the momentum in challenging times and the importance of engaging men and boys.

Gro Brundtland: Don’t be complacent!

“Setbacks can easily happen when our attentiveness recedes” warns Gro Harlem Brundtland in this piece from 2013 on why we cannot be complacent about the progress made so far.

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Dialogue: the only route to a more peaceful world

From neutralising conflict and controlling the spread of nuclear weapons to empowering the climate vulnerable and equitably responding to mass movements of people, Ernesto Zedillo reflects on the importance of dialogue to reach common ground.

"It is only by understanding and respecting each other’s positions that we can hope to reach common ground and work towards a more peaceful world."


Ernesto Zedillo

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The Iran Nuclear Agreement: A Deal Worth Keeping?

Lakhdar Brahimi and Ernesto Zedillo consider the merits and consequences for regional and global security of the Iran Nuclear Agreement. They are joined by HRH Prince Turki (Saudi Arabia) and HE Sheikh Hamad (Qatar) in a panel debate at the Munich Security Conference 2017.

The Iran Deal is an international agreement endorsed by UN Security Council. No one country can "tear it up." –Lakhdar Brahimi
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The Elders voice alarm at new Israeli settlement law

The Elders express alarm at new measures adopted by the Israeli parliament, that retrospectively recognise Jewish settlements in the occupied territories that are built on confiscated Palestinian land. 

"This law is highly damaging both to the prospects for peace in the region, and to Israel’s international reputation as a state that respects the rule of law." –Kofi Annan

Graffiti on Israeli Separation Wall (Credit: Muath Khatib | The Elders)

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The Elders welcome Paris Mideast peace conference, urge all P5 states to show leadership

The Elders welcome the latest international conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and urge the international community to play an active and concerted role to secure a lasting and just peace for the peoples of Israel and Palestine.

"Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and all States in the region and beyond, must abjure obstructionism which will only prolong the sufferings of Israelis and Palestinians alike.” –Kofi Annan
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Moral and political leadership in a time of uncertainty

Writing in the Financial Times as the World Economic Forum 2017 opens in Davos, Mary Robinson says that millions of people feel left behind by the actions of governments and corporations. She rejects cynical populists who offer scapegoats instead of real solutions, and calls on responsible politicians, civil society and business leaders to reassert our basic, common values of dignity for all.

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The Elders’ statement on the death of former Iranian President Rafsanjani

The Elders express their condolences on the death of President Rafsanjani, one of Iran's most influential leaders and a strong voice for reform.

“Iran has lost one of its most influential leaders and a strong voice for reform and for the improvement of regional relations." –Kofi Annan


Kofi Annan in discussions with former President Rafsanjani on an Elders trip to Iran in January 2014. (Credit: Morteza Nikoubazl | The Elders)

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2017: a year for hard questions and honest answers

Looking ahead to the hard choices facing the world in 2017, our Chair Kofi Annan calls on leaders to be honest with their people and pledges that The Elders will continue to speak truth to power, as the organisation marks its tenth anniversary. Published in Newsweek.

"People deserve honest explanations and answers from their leaders, not obfuscations given in bad faith."

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Another day, another atrocity

In a valedictory piece after six years at The Elders, Andrew Whitley laments the loss of innocent civilian life in ongoing atrocities from Nigeria to Turkey, Egypt to Syria, and reflects on the failure of internationally-binding rules-based systems.

"It is clear that the vestiges of the “rules of warfare” agreed during the last century have almost completely gone, and with them a defining guide to what is right and wrong."


Salaheddin, Aleppo in 2012

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