The Elders is an international non-governmental organisation of public figures noted as elder statesmen, peace activists, and human rights advocates, who were brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007. They describe themselves as "independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights". The goal Mandela set for the Elders was to use their "almost 1,000 years of collective experience" to work on solutions for seemingly insurmountable problems such as climate change, HIV/AIDS, and poverty, as well as to "use their political independence to help resolve some of the world's most intractable conflicts".
The Elders is chaired by Kofi Annan and consists of nine Elders and four Elders Emeritus. Desmond Tutu served for six years as chair before stepping down in May 2013, and remains an Elder Emeritus.
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