Today, The Skoll Foundation honoured The Elders with its Global Treasure Award.
The Elders are grateful and humbled to have received this award. The Skoll Foundation has been a dedicated and generous supporter of The Elders ever since the group was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007. Jeff Skoll, CEO of The Skoll Foundation, accompanied a delegation of Elders on their first trip to Israel/Palestine in 2009.
The Global Treasure Award was due to have been presented at the 2020 Skoll World Forum in Oxford, UK. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant the Forum cannot take place as planned, though many activities have instead moved online.
This year’s virtual forum is centered on the theme of Collective Strength. It is also this theme that resonated with the Skoll Foundation when choosing the 2020 Global Treasure Award winner - collective strength and action are now crucial as the world works together to tackle the COVID-19 health emergency.
Don Gips, CEO of the Skoll Foundation, said:
“The Elders have charted a path for the type of global cooperation and leadership we need now more than ever. For sustained progress on the greatest challenges—from pandemics to the existential threats of climate change - we look to collectives like The Elders for coordinated action and a steadfast voice of hope in uncertain times.”
Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, said: “As Elders, we profoundly believe in the power of working together because, in the words of our founder Nelson Mandela, 'we are human only through the humanity of others'."
In receiving this award from The Skoll Foundation, members of the Elders spoke about the continued need for, and importance of, collective strength as the world faces today’s complex, multi-faceted and gravely serious global challenges:
“We call on global leaders and citizens alike to recognise that no one nation, no one individual, can overcome the profound problems ahead of us. Going it alone means we all lose. The Skoll Foundation’s focus on collective strength could not be more prescient.”
Ban Ki-moon - Elder
“A collaborative and inclusive approach is at the heart of the Elders’ mission, and the embodiment of collective strength. I commend the Skoll Foundation for recognising the fundamental importance of this.”
Juan Manuel Santos - Elder
“Injustice, poverty and inequality are issues that, by their very nature, can only be overcome by working together and pooling our collective strength. Solutions to these problems require marginalised groups to be heard, leaders to listen, and for all of us to recognise the shared advantages that can be born out of solidarity and common endeavour.”
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - Elder
Many of this year’s activities at the virtual Skoll World Forum are accessible to all. Find out more.