I have recently returned from Sudan, where Jimmy Carter and I held a meeting with President Omar al-Bashir. As many of you will know, relations between Sudan and South Sudan are at a very low point. Recent weeks have seen rising tensions in the border areas, and it is very important that current talks between the two sides are sustained.
As Elders, we know the importance of dialogue. You cannot fight your way to peace; sitting down with your adversary and negotiating is the only way to resolve conflict and prevent further bloodshed. I hope that when my fellow Elders return to the region in the coming weeks, they will find some improvement in the situation.
The world we want for our great-great-grandchildren
In May, the Elders had the pleasure of spending some time with Esther Agbarakwe and Marvin Nala, two of the ‘Youngers’ who are part of our Elders+Youngers project.
While it was my esteemed colleagues who helped to put sustainable development on the global agenda, it is the youth of today who are now looking at our generation’s achievements with a critical eye, not afraid to tell us where we went wrong and what we must do together to fix it.
As we approach the UN Rio+20 summit, scarcely three weeks from now, it is absolutely necessary to bring young people’s voices in at every opportunity. I invite you to join in these debates, and will end with a reflection we received from Simran Vedvyas, a young activist in Dubai who asks us to seize inspiration from a Kenyan proverb:
“The world was not given to you by your parents; it was lent to you by your children.”
Best regards to all of you,