The Elders have announced with great pleasure that three new members have joined the group.

The new members are Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia and Nobel Peace Laureate 2011; Juan Manuel Santos, former President of Colombia and Nobel Peace Laureate 2016; and Zeid Raad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 2014-18.

The Elders: Putting human rights at the heart of sustainable development

The Elders is a group of independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights. Originally brought together in 2007 by Nelson Mandela to “support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict, inspire hope where there is despair.”  The group are independent and free from the constraints of office and draw on their own experiences of leading positive change and  are committed to empowering the voiceless and the marginalised, especially women and young people.

The new Elders will join the group in its second decade of campaigning for peace, justice and human rights. Chair of The Elders, Mary Robinson, said: “I am delighted to welcome three such esteemed new members to our group. Ellen, Juan Manuel and Zeid each bring valuable and distinctive perspectives on issues that are central to our work, from human rights and peacebuilding to gender equality and justice for all. I look forward to them playing critical roles in our current and future initiatives across the globe.”

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said: “It is an honour to follow in the footsteps of great Africans like Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Tutu and Kofi Annan. The Elders’ work to promote justice, equality and human rights is needed more than ever. I look forward to working with them to inspire people everywhere, particularly women and girls, to reach for their true potential, break through barriers and pursue their dreams.”

“In an age when poor leadership, injustice and suffering is rife, The Elders’ vision of a world where people live in peace and are conscious of their common humanity is essential. Inspired by the legacy of Nelson Mandela, their mission helps ensure human rights are respected, and oppression overcome. I am honoured to join this illustrious group and work with them for a better world,” said Zeid Raad Al Hussein. 

Learn more about The Elders and how they're addressing challenges of leadership, peace-building, inequality, exclusion and injustice in a rapidly-changing world.