“Women can no longer accept peace deals that reward the men who raped them with a position in the army. Impunity only leads to more sexual violence.” Gogo Kavira, eastern Congo
From community leaders and journalists to female army generals, women across Africa’s Great Lakes region are working together to build peace and hold their governments to account. Here they speak out on the struggle for equality, security and justice.
The Elders concluded their visit to Washington DC and London encouraged and impressed by US efforts to revive the Middle East peace process. During a series of high-level meetings, media interviews and public debates, they discussed the prospects for peace in Israel-Palestine and in neighbouring Syria.
In October 2012 Gro Harlem Brundtland, Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson travelled to Israel and the West Bank to draw attention to the developments threatening the two-state solution. After meeting civil society, Israeli and Palestinian political leaders, and humanitarian and human rights experts, the Elders concluded their visit by warning that the situation is heading towards a one-state outcome – which would be catastrophic for both Israelis and Palestinians.
In October 2012 the Elders travelled to Cairo for the second part of their Middle East visit. They met President Morsi, religious leaders, young people and civil society representatives, expressing their support for Egypt’s democratic transition and encouraging all Egyptians to join the spirited debate about their country’s future.
Following the May 2012 visit to Sudan by Jimmy Carter and Lakhdar Brahimi, in July 2012 Desmond Tutu, Martti Ahtisaari and Mary Robinson travelled to the region to further encourage peace efforts between Sudan and South Sudan.
Taking place on 18 July, Mandela Day is inspired by the 67 years that Nelson Mandela gave fighting for justice and human rights and encourages people around the world to give 67 minutes of their time to serve their communities.
During their visit to London earlier in July, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson celebrated Mandela Day by visiting grassroots organisations working with the city’s young people and discussing the importance of volunteering at a public event.
In July 2012, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson visited London where they took part in a public debate at the Barbican to commemorate the five years since Nelson Mandela founded The Elders. They also held meetings with the UK Foreign Secretary and parliamentarians to discuss key foreign policy issues.
“You have not told us to 'calm down', that we don't need to be radical; you have instead told us that we have the power to make change happen – and that is what we need to hear!” Sara Svensson
In June 2012, following eight weeks of online debate, the Elders and ‘Youngers’ travelled to Brazil for Rio+20, the UN summit on sustainable development.
"We came to show our solidarity to Blue Nile refugees and to underscore our call for peace" – Desmond Tutu.
As the people of South Sudan celebrated their first year of independence, three Elders travelled to the region to encourage dialogue between Sudan and South Sudan.
“One of the most incredible sources of energy for me is when I am with young people – sorry oldies!” Desmond Tutu
In May 2012 four 'Youngers' – climate change activists from Nigeria, Brazil, Sweden and China – joined the Elders at their bi-annual meeting in Oslo to discuss the upcoming Rio+20 summit on sustainable development, the role of the UN, and how to mobilise civil society, especially young people, around urgent global issues.