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The Elders discuss the role forgiveness plays in justice and conflict resolution

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Mary RobinsonJuan Manuel Santos and Zeid Raad al Hussein took part in the Forgiveness Forum to discuss the role of forgiveness in justice and ethical leadership. 


With their years of collective experience on conflict-resolution and peacebuilding, the Elders explored the relationship between forgiveness, reconciliation, empathy, justice and hope, with the Templeton World Charity Foundation.

This one-hour virtual event considered how seemingly intractable issues such as climate injustice, COVID-19, racial inequality and political instability can benefit from forgiveness and empathic leadership. 

“I have seen the power of forgiveness in communities riven with conflict on the island of Ireland when I was President, and across the world as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Special Envoy to Africa’s Great Lakes region.

Time and again I have seen people, especially women, demonstrate extraordinary strength in forgiveness. They knew through lived experienced, and I also firmly believe through what I have witnessed, that we cannot make peace without accepting our differences. This is why the power of forgiveness is so important to overcoming the challenges we face in a polarised world.” 

- Mary Robinson


“Forgiveness and reconciliation are fundamental to the process of peace making and peace building. As the leader of a country that experienced tremendous suffering through conflict for many years, I know the importance of finding common ground and shared goals with those you have profoundly disagreed with. Only then can one consider true justice and hope for a better future.” 

- Juan Manuel Santos


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