The Skoll Foundation honours The Elders with Global Treasure Award

The Elders stand around a sitting Nelson Mandela
Image from Jeff Moore | The Elders
Clare Kelly
by Clare Kelly
1 April 2020

The Elders – an independent group of global leaders, working together for peace, justice and human rights – are the recipient of The Skoll Foundation’s 2020 Global Treasure Award.

Founded by Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel in 2007, the Elders are committed to showing the world that global challenges require global solutions – solutions that emerge from ethical leadership and multilateral cooperation.

“The Elders have charted a path for the type of global cooperation and leadership we need now more than ever,” said Don Gips, CEO of the Skoll Foundation. “For sustained progress on the greatest challenges – from pandemics like COVID-19 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."

The Elders | Skoll Global Treasure Award

Mary Robinson, the first woman President of Ireland, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Chair of the Elders responded to the announcement, “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 previous years this honour has been given to Jimmy Carter, Bono, the Dalai Lama, Graça Machel, Malala Yousafzai, Muhammad Yunus and Archbishop Desmond Tutu – each doing extraordinary things to address the world’s most pressing problems.

Ban Ki-moon, Deputy Chair of the Elders and former Secretary General of the United Nations, responded to the announcement with a call for solidarity: “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.”

Virgin Unite, with the support of a great group of partners, had the privilege of incubating The Elders in 2007. We continue to support the Elders to reach their goals of supporting peace, justice and human rights worldwide.