Mary Robinson is new Chair of ‘The Elders’
– founded by President Nelson Mandela in 2007
The Society of African Missions extends its congratulations to the former Irish President, Mary Robinson, on becoming the 3rd Chair of ‘The Elders’, and the first women to be given the honour and responsibility.
As well as reimagining the role of the Irish Presidency, Mary Robinson demonstrated her formidable leadership as a fearless UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, drawing the ire and opposition of the 2nd Bush Administration over her stance on Palestine and Human Rights. Today she is one of humanity’s leading campaigners on the race to combat Climate Breakdown and the impact of Global Warming. She is an inspiration to the Human Rights community worldwide and is an Irish beacon of hope in a world that greatly needs a vision beyond the chasm of greed.
The Elders’ announced on November 1, 2018, that Mrs Robinson had been elevated to the prestigious role, the third Chair since the group was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, following Archbishop Desmond Tutu (2007-13) and Kofi Annan (2013-2018).
Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General, and Graça Machel, former Education Minister of Mozambique and co-founder of The Elders, will serve as joint Deputy Chairs, succeeding Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway, who has held the role since 2013.
Mary Robinson said:
“It is a huge honour to take up the role as Chair of The Elders at such a critical moment for peace, justice and human rights worldwide. Building on the powerful legacies of Archbishop Tutu and Kofi Annan, I am confident that our group’s voice can both be heard by leaders and amplify grassroots activists fighting for their rights.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Emeritus Elder and former Chair, said:
I am delighted that Mary Robinson is the new Chair of The Elders. I have witnessed her commitment to rights and justice in Palestine, Côte d’Ivoire, India and so many other parts of the world. Mary always puts ordinary people at the heart of The Elders’ mission, and I know she will fight for their rights with the same vigour as our dearly missed brother Kofi.”
Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General and new Deputy Chair of The Elders, said:
“It is a pleasure and a privilege to become Deputy Chair of The Elders alongside Graça Machel. I look forward to working with my fellow Elders under Mary Robinson’s leadership to defend human rights, address the challenge of climate change and promote equality.”
Graça Machel, co-founder of The Elders with Nelson Mandela, said:
“When Madiba launched The Elders over a decade ago, I knew this would play a critically important part in my life. We have accomplished so much together, especially giving a voice to the voiceless, but there is so much more still to be done to achieve the peaceful, just world that Nelson Mandela believed we all can share.”
About The Elders:
The Elders are independent leaders using their collective experience and influence for peace, justice and human rights worldwide. The group was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007.
The Elders are: Martti Ahtisaari, Kofi Annan (1938-2018), Ban Ki-moon (Deputy Chair), Lakhdar Brahimi, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Hina Jilani, Ricardo Lagos, Graça Machel (Deputy Chair), Mary Robinson (Chair) and Ernesto Zedillo.
Ela Bhatt, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu are Elders Emeritus.
Find out more:
For biographies of the Elders, blogs, photos, videos and more information about their work please go to: www.theElders.org