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Refugee crisis: an open letter to European leaders

An open letter from our Chair Kofi Annan and other high-level dignitaries to European leaders on the current refugee and migration crisis.

Since the beginning of the year, more than 300,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe, usually after harrowing and highly dangerous journeys both over land and by sea. In all likelihood this flow of people will continue for some time to come.

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The Elders welcome Myanmar peace conference

Welcoming the peace conference convened by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Gro Harlem Brundtland calls for the basic rights of all Myanmar's people regardless of race, religion or citizenship, to be a guiding principle on its journey to a fully democratic and peaceful future.

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Syria and refugees: the case for compassion

Kofi Annan reflects on the shocking images of children who have suffered in the Syrian conflict and asks whether the world has done enough, both in protecting civilians within Syria and those who have fled.

The photo of Omran Daqneesh, the five-year-old boy pulled from rubble in the Syrian city of Aleppo after a devastating regime airstrike, has shocked and touched millions of people worldwide and once again emphasised the suffering of innocent civilians in that country’s civil war.

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The Elders welcome historic Colombia peace agreement

The Elders' statement on the signing of the peace agreement in Colombia.

"This deal is proof that even the most protracted of conflicts can be solved peacefully when sufficient political will exists."

The Elders welcome the historic peace agreement signed yesterday between the Government of Colombia and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrilla movement that brings to an end more than five decades of conflict.

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The Elders condemn the violence against civilians in Aleppo and back UN call for urgent humanitarian access

The Elders' statement condemning the violence against civilians in Aleppo, Syria; calling on all sides to the conflict to fully respect international humanitarian law.

"These attacks are unconscionable and constitute war crimes."

The Elders condemn the horrific violence being inflicted on civilians in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. They deplore the devastating attacks on hospitals, schools, food stores as well as water, sanitation and electricity infrastructure.

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The Elders urge SADC leaders to support smooth transition in Zimbabwe

Ahead of the 36th SADC Summit, Kofi Annan, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Graça Machel call on attending heads of state to support a successful and inclusive transition in Zimbabwe.

“We firmly believe that a successful transition is vital not only for Zimbabwe but also for the region..."
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On the UK's responsibility to show leadership at the United Nations

Speaking at the International Relations Committee of the House of Lords in London, 20 July, our CEO Andrew Whitley reflects on the need for reform at the United Nations and UK's role in leading this change.

"As a founding member of the United Nations and a Permanent Member of the Security Council, The Elders believe the United Kingdom has a special responsibility to ensure that the UN is both effective and fit-for-purpose."

My Lord Chairman:

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The Elders condemn Turkey coup attempt and urge all sides to respect democracy

The Elders' statement on the attempted coup in Turkey.

"President Erdoğan now has a responsibility to act in a way that reconciles his divided country, reaffirms his government’s commitment to inclusive democracy and defuses tensions at the heart of Turkish society.” – Kofi Annan

The Elders condemn the attempted coup in Turkey and urge all political, military and legal forces in the country to respect the rule of law and protect democracy and human rights.

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Wanted: A strong UN leader and peace-maker

Lakhdar Brahimi and Mary Robinson call on the successful candidate for UN Secretary-General to serve one seven year term, to ensure their strength and independence. Writing in an opinion piece published around the world, they also urge P5 members to recognise that merit must trump all other considerations.

The looming selection of the next Secretary-General is, however, a moment of truth.


Flag of the United Nations (Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten)

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Building a culture of inclusivity in a diverse society

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