November 9, 2020 – The Elders congratulate US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their election victory. They also welcome the scale of voter participation in this US election, underscoring the resilience of American democracy.
The Elders hope that the incoming administration, as well as seeking to unite a divided country, will seize the opportunity to renew America’s commitment to the multilateral system at a time when US leadership is urgently needed.
This includes taking a leading role in efforts to keep global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius by recommitting the US to the Paris Climate Agreement; supporting global collaboration on tackling COVID-19 by reversing plans to withdraw funding for the World Health Organization; prioritising the strengthening of nuclear arms controls, including immediate agreement with Russia on a five year extension of New START.
Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, said:
“The world is at a critical juncture and the new US administration will have an opportunity to demonstrate the best of American participation and leadership. We need to restore cooperation and compassion as the necessary guides of world affairs, from climate action and nuclear non-proliferation to gender equality and respecting the rights of migrants and refugees. President-elect Biden faces a formidable challenge and The Elders offer him our support in the months and years ahead.”
The Elders are independent leaders using their collective experience and influence for peace, justice and human rights worldwide. The group was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007.
The Elders are Ban Ki-moon (Deputy Chair), Lakhdar Brahimi, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Zeid Raad Al Hussein, Hina Jilani, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Ricardo Lagos, Graça Machel (Deputy Chair), Juan Manuel Santos, Mary Robinson (Chair) and Ernesto Zedillo.
Martti Ahtisaari, Ela Bhatt, Fernando Henrique Cardoso,Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu are Elders Emeritus.
Kofi Annan (1938-2018) was a founding member of The Elders and served as Chair from 2013 to 2018.