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Desmond Tutu/Chairman of the Elders

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Desmond Tutu
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The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu
Early Life
Tutu's role during apartheid
Tutu's role since apartheid
Role in South Africa
Chairman of the Elders
Role in the Third World
United Nations Role
Political Views
Other Humanitarian Initiatives
Academic role
One Young World
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Chairman of The Elders

On 18 July 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel, and Tutu convened The Elders, a group of world leaders to contribute their wisdom, leadership and integrity to tackle some of the world's toughest problems. Mandela announced its formation in a speech on his 89th birthday. Tutu is serving as its Chair. Other founding members include Kofi Annan, Ela Bhatt, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Jimmy Carter, Li Zhaoxing, Mary Robinson, Muhammad Yunus and Aung San Suu Kyi, whose chair was left symbolically empty due to her confinement as a political prisoner in Burma.

"This group can speak freely and boldly, working both publicly and behind the scenes on whatever actions need to be taken,” Mandela commented. “Together we will work to support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict, and inspire hope where there is despair."[1] The Elders will be independently funded by a group of Founders, including Richard Branson, Peter Gabriel, Ray Chambers, Michael Chambers, Bridgeway Foundation, Pam Omidyar, Humanity United, Amy Robbins, Shashi Ruia, Dick Tarlow and the United Nations Foundation.

  1. The Elders (18 July 2007). "Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu Announce The Elders". Press release. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 

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