January 21, 2021 – The Elders today welcomed the decisions by newly-inaugurated US President Joe Biden to rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change and cease the process of withdrawal from the World Health Organization.  

They encouraged similar multilateral engagement on nuclear arms control and international security issues, including a quick agreement to extend the New START nuclear agreement with Russia, and re-engagement with Iran and the international community on the future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to defuse tensions in the Middle East.  

The Elders expressed hope that the Biden Administration will take further concrete steps to demonstrate the commitment of the United States to the values and institutions of multilateralism, including support to improve global coordination in tackling COVID-19. 

Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, said: 

“Joe Biden’s presidency offers the chance for a global reset, and his Executive Orders to rejoin the Paris Agreement and re-engage with the WHO are excellent steps in the right direction. We are also expecting to see similar commitments to international cooperation on the existential threats posed by nuclear weapons and future pandemics. I welcome the fact that we will now see sustained US support for multilateralism, underwritten by a solid commitment to universal human rights.” 

About The Elders

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 BrahimiGro Harlem BrundtlandZeid Raad Al HusseinHina JilaniEllen Johnson SirleafRicardo LagosGraça Machel (Deputy Chair), Juan Manuel SantosMary Robinson (Chair) and Ernesto Zedillo.

Martti AhtisaariEla BhattFernando Henrique CardosoJimmy 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.