Nelson Mandela, who founded The Elders in 2007, met members of the group on Saturday 29 May 2010 at a private lunch in Johannesburg. The Elders, tasked by Mandela to be “a fiercely independent and robust force for good” are holding one of their regular meetings in South Africa.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, chair of the group said: “It gives us such a strong sense of purpose and determination to sit with dear Madiba who brought us all together. We take his moral courage and his vision as our guide, to do what we can to address major causes of human suffering around the world."
About The Elders
The Elders are Martti Ahtisaari, Kofi Annan, Ela Bhatt, Lakhdar Brahimi, Gro Brundtland, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Jimmy Carter, Graça Machel, Mary Robinson and Desmond Tutu. Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi are honorary Elders. For full biographies go to www.theelders.org/elders
As eminent global leaders who no longer hold public office, they can speak and act independently. In the past three years they have used their voices to turn global attention to the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe and have called on religious and traditional leaders to join the fight for equality for women and girls.
They have made several visits to Cyprus to support efforts to reunite the divided island. They have also visited Sudan, Israel and the West Bank to highlight the impact of prolonged conflict on ordinary people.