Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Juan Manuel Santos Join The Elders

The Elders announced this week with great pleasure that three new members have joined the group: 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 new Elders will join the group in its second decade of campaigning for peace, justice and human rights. The Elders was founded in 2007 by Nelson Mandela, who charged the group with a mandate to “support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where this is conflict and inspire hope where there is despair.”

Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders, 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.”

Juan Manuel Santos said:
“The Elders’ work to promote peace and support efforts to end the world’s most intractable conflicts is a crucial force for good. I hugely appreciated their encouragement and counsel as my administration negotiated the Colombia peace process in 2016. Today, I am honoured and delighted to join them and support their efforts to promote peace, justice and reconciliation worldwide.”

Zeid Raad Al Hussein said:
“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.”