The Elders are, to quote them, “…an independent group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights”.
The Elders began, so they said, with the famous entrepreneur RICHARD BRANSON and the musician PETER GABRIEL (Genesis) who took their idea of a group of ‘global elders’ to the ex-South African President Nelson Mandela, who agreed to support it. With the help of Mandela’s second wife Graça Machel Mandela and the South African human rights activist DESMOND TUTU, Mandela set about bringing the Elders together and formally launched the group in 2007.
The Elders’ chairman from 2013 –18 was the UN Secretary-General KOFI ANNAN. He was succeeded as Elders’ chairman by the Club of Budapest member MARY ROBINSON, ex-President of Ireland and ex-UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Elders’ Deputy Chair in 2018 was the former UN Secretary-General BAN KI-MOON.
Other Elders in 2018 included the ex-US President JIMMY CARTER and the ex-Director-General of the World Health Organization, Gro Harlem Brundtland.
The Elders’ Advisory Council in 2018 included JEFF SKOLL (eBay founding president and SKOLL FOUNDATION founder); SALLY OSBERG (Skoll Foundation President); RANDY NEWCOMB (Vice President of the OMIDYAR NETWORK, founded by the eBay co-founder PIERRE OMIDYAR); MABEL VAN ORANJE (The Elders first chairman; European Council on Foreign Relations (co-founder and the Executive Chair); Open Society Foundations (Advisory board member)).
The aforementioned European CFR had as a member the UN Secretary-General ANTONIO GUTERRES.