THE ELDERS Annual Redport 2017

Walk Together to spark hope in the world Ten years on, The Elders continue Mandela’s long walk to freedomAnnual Review 2017The Elders:KofiAnnan, ChairGro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy ChairMartti AhtisaariBan Ki-moonEla Bhatt, Elder EmeritusLakhdar BrahimiFernando Henrique Cardoso, Elder EmeritusJimmy Carter, Elder EmeritusHina JilaniRicardo LagosGraça MachelMary RobinsonErnesto ZedilloDesmond Tutu, Elder EmeritusThe Elders are a group of independent leaders,brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007, who use their collective experience and influence for peace, justice and human rights worldwide.For biographies of the individual Elders, blogs,photos, videos and more information abouttheir work please go to www.theElders.orgFollow The Elders: Review 2017Photo: Riku IsohellaFrom left: Hina Jilani, Graça Machel, Ernesto Zedillo, KofiAnnan, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Ricardo Lagos, Martti Ahtisaari and Mary Robinson during The Elders’ Board Meeting in Helsinki, Finland in May 2017.We live in troubled and turbulent times. The last twelve months have seen a series of shocks to the multilateral system that has underpinned geopolitical stability since the end of the Second World War, and the year ahead is likely to bring more disruption and uncertainty.But 2017 was also a proud year for The Elders as we celebrated our tenth anniversary. This provided a valuable opportunity to reflect on the achievements we have made since Nelson Mandela gathered us together in Johannesburg in July 2007, and how we can continue to fulfil his mandate in the future and further the cause of peace and human rights.We were also honoured to welcome Ban Ki-moon and Ricardo Lagos as new members of the group, and have greatly valued their commitment, passion and expertise across all our initiatives.A key aspect of our anniversary celebrations was the launch of our year-long “Walk Together” campaign in Cape Town on Mandela Day, 18 July 2017. Through this campaign we hope to shine a light on brave grassroots activists worldwide, walking in solidarity with them – sometimes physically, sometimes via digital networks – in their struggle for the freedoms that Madiba cherished and spent his life fighting for.When Madiba founded The Elders in 2007, he gave us a specific mandate: to “support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict, and inspire hope where there is despair”.Fear, conflict and despair are all too abundant in today’s world. From Syria to South Sudan, Yemen to Myanmar, states and regions are wracked by vicious, pitiless conflicts, with the international community either too divided, unwilling or powerless to intervene.The nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula remain among the most acute and urgent threats to global peace. They can only be resolved in 2018 if leaders in Washington and Pyongyang address the issues in a calm, sober and respectful way, with the support of the United Nations. The flurry of diplomatic activity around the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang should now be built upon by all sides to try to establish substantial dialogue on all fronts and foster a degree of mutual reassurance.A similar approach, which respects multilateral processes, international law and human rights, will be needed to defuse dangerous tensions in Israel and Palestine. As ever, it is ordinary people who suffer when leaders make rash decisions and deploy inflammatory rhetoric for political goals.Terrorism continues to spread a bloody stain across the globe, from the streets of London to the sands of the Sinai, slaying innocents in an obscene offence against our civilised human values.How we respond to these atrocities is a test of these values. Whatever the outrage, there can be no excuse for torture, extra-judicial killings, collective punishment of whole communities or a clampdown on freedom of speech or human rights.As we contemplate present and future challenges, it is also important to study the past for valuable lessons and perspectives.One hundred years ago, the First World War was entering its final year, whilst independence movements were stirring in African and Asian countries still ruled and repressed by Western colonial powers.Resolving violent conflicts, respecting the rights of self-determination for oppressed peoples and protecting universal freedoms are just as important now as then. And there is a thread that ties these values to both points in time: the life of our founder, Nelson Mandela.When he left prison in 1990 after 27 years of incarceration, Mandela knew that the only way to build a free and just society was to act with what he termed “kindness and generous accommodation”.It is to be hoped that the new leaders in South Africa and neighbouring Zimbabwe take Madiba’s words to heart into 2018, and chart a new course for their countries that affirms the values of democracy and human rights for all, setting a clear example to other African leaders and the wider world.But as Mandela always insisted, everyone has a role to play and a responsibility to take in the long walk to freedom regardless of age, experience, race, gender or social background. In the year ahead, we must show the same courage as he did, act with the same compassion and empathy, and help build a world of which he would be proud.“Everyone has a role to play and a responsibility to take in the long walk to freedom.”KofiAnnanLETTER FROM THE CHAIR1Annual Review 2017Photo: Joël Saget / AFP2017 was a landmark year for The Elders. We celebrated our tenth anniversary in July. We used this moment not just to reflect on the achievements of the past decade but to look to the future, launching our innovative “Walk Together” campaign to champion freedoms our founder Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to - Peace, Health, Justice and Equality - and to support groups and individuals still fighting for these. Throughout the year, The Elders undertook a substantial and varied programme of work across all our programmatic initiatives, including country visits, meetings with heads of state, participation in international summits, and dialogue with civil society activists and young leaders.This activity took place amid a challenging global geopolitical context. Tensions were particularly high in the Middle East; savage conflicts persisted in Africa, not least in South Sudan; hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims were expelled from their homes in Myanmar with scant prospect of return; and populist movements continued to stoke fears and prejudice against refugees and migrants especially across the Western world.The need for The Elders to speak out and stand up for peace, justice and human rights is thus as great as it has ever been. But theirs is not a lone voice; one of the most heartening developments of the last twelve months has been the growth of strong civil society movements determined to oppose the poison of racism, xenophobia and discrimination.From the Women’s March in January 2017 across the United States to the global wave of solidarity sparked by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and the continued support for the Paris Agreement on climate change despite the policies of the new US Administration, there are many reasons to remain hopeful. A vivid illustration of the power of solidarity came on 18 July, when Elders, members of our Advisory Council and civil society partners met in Cape Town to celebrate the organisation’s tenth anniversary, and what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 99th birthday.It was an unforgettable privilege to walk together through the city streets and listen to the experiences of youth workers and civil society activists in tackling prejudice, violence, inequality and discrimination. The unique nature of the day was capped off, for me, by a musical performance by Hugh Masekela, the great icon of resistance to apartheid whose music struck a chord with people all around the world. His death just a few months later makes the memory of that day in Cape Town all the more poignant. The Elders engaged in many important discussions in 2017: with the new Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres, and with members of the UN Security Council in New York; with Pope Francis in the Vatican on the need for compassion for refugees and migrants; with President Macron of France on the fight against climate change and the importance of strengthening international institutions.In 2018 we will maintain this dialogue and continue to champion the voices of those on the front lines of defending freedom and human rights. In all our efforts we will be guided by the wise words of Nelson Mandela when he launched The Elders a decade ago: “I believe that in the end it is kindness and generous accommodation that are the catalysts for real change.”David Nussbaum Chief ExecutiveDavid Nussbaum2Annual Review 2017“One of the most heartening developments of the last twelve months has been the growth of strong civil society movements determined to oppose the poison of racism, xenophobia and discrimination.”FOREWORDFROM THE CEOPhoto: Jeff Moore1 Letter from the Chair2 Foreword from the CEO4 The Elders Vision and Mission6 Global Governance and Leadership8 Equality for Women and Girls and Universal Health Coverage10 #WalkTogether: The Elders’ 10th Anniversary Campaign13 Climate and Sustainable Development Goals14 Building Peace and Tackling Root Causes of Conflict 16 Refugees & Migration18 Financial Review20 Administrative Information3Returning resident from District Six community at #WalkTogether launch event in Cape Town, South Africa in July 2017.Credit: The EldersCONTENTS4Annual Review 2017The Elders was founded in 2007 by Nelson Mandela to “support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict and inspire hope where there is despair”. Ten years on, the organisation’s collective identity is strongly rooted in this mandate bestowed by Mandela. The Elders’ independence and integrity are fundamental, enabling them to speak freely and boldly, working both publicly and behind the scenes to help tackle complex and intractable issues. Charged with this mandate, the Elders use their independence, collective experience and influence to work for peace, justice and human rights worldwide. Working both publicly and through private diplomacy, they engage with global leaders and civil society at all levels to resolve conflict and address its root causes, to challenge injustice, and to promote ethical leadership and good governance.The Elders’ role is often catalytic: they create space for others whose causes are aligned with their vision for a better future. They aim to strengthen the voices of emerging leaders with integrity, sometimes supporting those who wish to take a courageous political position, lending the Elders’ moral authority to a course of action that is inherently right although not immediately popular. The Elders also seek to give a voice to some of those who are voiceless, for example through sharing their experiences publicly during a country visit in which they hear directly from marginalised people about the consequences of conflict or other failures of leadership, or bringing those stories into international forums.Throughout their first decade, the Elders’ range of approaches to their work has included:• International travel (country visits, speaking at international conferences, holding high-level and grassroots meetings) • Letters sent privately, sometimes with a public statement issued in parallel • Private phone calls to government and other leaders • Convening or co-hosting private meetings and events with select public audiences • Public statements, often with follow-up media work, opinion pieces, blogs or interviews.THE ELDERS’ VISION AND MISSION“The need to continue working towards protecting freedoms around the world is as important today as it ever has been.”Graça MachelCredit: The Elders #WalkTogetherAn audience member taking a photo of the stage at #WalkTogether campaign launch in Cape Town, South Africa in July 2017.5Annual Review 2017These approaches will continue in the context of the new 2018-22 Strategic Framework. This Framework has been designed to provide institutional coherence to ongoing policy and communications activities.The Elders’ Strategic Framework is structured around three key themes:• Governance and Leadership• Conflict, its Causes and Consequences• Inequality, Exclusion and Injustice.Many of the issues on which The Elders work cannot neatly be contained within one theme, but encompass elements of two or all three. This is why The Elders favour a holistic approach which considers all the diverse aspects to any geopolitical problem, and includes the range of relevant stakeholders when trying to arrive at a sustainable outcome.The comparative advantage of the group is that its members represent no vested interest and are free from any national or institutional influence. The Elders can “speak truth to power” from a genuinely objective standpoint, and use their position to amplify the voices of marginalised and disempowered groups, particularly victims of conflict and discrimination.To mark their tenth anniversary in 2017, The Elders launched a new year-long campaign called “Walk Together”. This seeks to reassert the values and freedoms that Nelson Mandela fought for throughout his life, and to champion grassroots activists who are continuing that fight today. In partnership with global civil society organisations, The Elders have walked in solidarity with these activists and young leaders – both physically, and via digital platforms – to build a “bright web of hope” that will inspire future generations. More information about this campaign, and indeed all the work of The Elders, can be found online. Ban Ki-moon (centre) at #WalkTogether for #HealthForAll event with policymakers, health professionals and civil society partners at Bellevue Hospital in New York in November 2017.Credit: The Elders #WalkTogetherAnnual Review 20176GLOBAL GOVERNANCE AND LEADERSHIPThe Elders believe strongly that the United Nations (UN) is a necessary and core part of the global governance system, with a pivotal role in promoting sustainable development and upholding peace and security. In keeping with this, The Elders’ Strengthening the UN initiative, launched at the Munich Security Conference in February 2015, has proposed four reforms to the United Nations’ peace and security architecture that would enhance the UN’s legitimacy and efficacy. In 2017, the Elders particularly focused on one of their proposals, to implement a code of conduct to restrain the use of the veto in the Security Council when mass atrocities are taking place, as well as more broadly promoting and defending the values and principles of the United Nations.In May, KofiAnnan led a delegation of Elders to meet with the new UN Secretary-General António Guterres in New York, where they had a productive and wide-ranging discussion on the Secretary-General’s agenda and the major global threats facing the international community. The Elders also held a private meeting with the UN Security Council, in which KofiAnnan delivered a stark message reminding Council members of their responsibility to work together to uphold the Security Council’s special mandate to uphold global peace and security. KofiAnnan, Gro Brundtland, Lakhdar Brahimi and Mary Robinson also held a public event at the International Peace Institute on “The Importance of Multilateralism”, and Gro Brundtland, Lakhdar Brahimi and Mary Robinson addressed the UN Noon Briefing during their visit. The Elders also engaged specifically on UN issues during the high level week of the UN General Assembly in New York in September. Mary Robinson spoke on a panel at an event on preventing and ending mass atrocities, organised jointly by the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group of countries and the French and Mexican governments. Mary Robinson used her speech to express The Elders’ support for initiatives put forward by these countries to introduce a code of conduct on preventing mass atrocities, and to highlight the recent unacceptable failures of the UN Security Council to prevent or reduce conflict around the world, from Syria to South Sudan.Elsewhere during high-level week, Graça Machel participated in a high-level meeting organised by the UN Secretary-General to highlight commitments from member states to end sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers. This is an issue that Elders closely followed during 2017: several Elders met with Jane Holl Lute, the Secretary-General’s Special Coordinator on Improving the UN Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, at the Munich Security Conference in February 2017. Mary Robinson writes in the Financial Times in January 2017 calling for moral and political leadership in this time of uncertainty.Gro Harlem Brundtland speaks at an International Peace Institute event on multilateralism in New York in May 2017. Credit: International Peace InstituteAnnual Review 20177The Elders also released a statement in March welcoming the Secretary-General’s strong commitment to improving the UN’s record on this issue, including his emphasis on putting victims at the centre of the UN’s strategy. Beyond the United Nations specifically, Elders have additionally made efforts to publicly promote global cooperation during 2017. Mary Robinson wrote an op-ed in January 2017 in the Financial Times on “Moral and Political Leadership in a Time of Uncertainty”, in which she argued forcefully that the values which informed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were of continued relevance to the international governance system and should be defended against attack. This was also a central theme of Mary Robinson’s speech to the 2017 Partnership Forum at the UN Economic and Social Council in April, focusing once again on the importance of multilateral cooperation.The Elders also sought to promote values of ethical leadership and international cooperation through specific visits to meet global leaders in 2017. In November, as noted above, a group of Elders led by KofiAnnan met Pope Francis in the Vatican, where they expressed solidarity and support for the Pope’s strong moral leadership on key global issues of refugees and migration, climate change, and promoting peace and conflict resolution. Several of the Elders also met with French President Emmanuel Macron in December, when they discussed a wide-range of global issues threatening the planet, and encouraged the French President to maintain his strong support for international institutions and multilateral cooperation. While expressing considerable concern at the strength of populist and nationalist forces in 2017, the Elders were encouraged by the strong appetite that still exists across much of the world for ethical leadership based on principles of international solidarity and cooperation, and will continue to promote this message in 2018. Credit: UN Photo / Mark Garten“We need to make changes to the international governance system so that it is more resilient, robust, representative and equipped to adapt to new geopolitical realities and complex long-term challenges.”Mary RobinsonUN Secretary-General António Guterres (centre-right) with Lakhdar Brahimi, Gro Brundtland, KofiAnnan, Mary Robinson and Ernesto Zedillo at the UN in New York in May 2017.Next >

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