Skip to main content

Read Our Blog

Read Our Blog

Blog Posts 2022

Is Anyone Listening?

Purple background with white megaphones with the title "Is anyone listening?"


For this newsletter we are sharing a recent letter issued by The Elders and penned by the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. The Elders was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007. They are an independent group of global leaders working for peace, justice, human rights and a sustainable planet. Please join me in signing The Elder's letter to global leaders.


Despite the urgency of the multiple crises our world is facing, there is a dangerous lack of cooperation and accountability among leaders. We need an urgent change of direction in global decision-making, with a bold new approach rooted in justice and dignity. We need ‘long-view leadership.’

Last month, on the eve of the Munich Security Conference, The Elders published an open letter in partnership with the Future of Life Institute. Together, we called for long-view leadership from decision-makers who understand the urgency of the existential threats we face, and believe in our ability to overcome them. This letter was co-signed by over 150 former leaders, Nobel Laureates, scientists, philanthropists, campaigners, activists, artists, and public commentators, demonstrating the strength of our shared concern.

We invite all those who want to see greater urgency from decision-makers to also sign and share this letter. You can add your name here.

Right now, too many leaders are failing to think beyond short-term political cycles. We need decision-makers who have the moral strength to address both current concerns and long-term risks, often at the expense of their own vested interests. This requires the determination to resolve intractable problems not just manage them, the wisdom to make decisions based on scientific evidence and reason, and the humility to listen to all those affected by the crises we face.

Crucial to long-view leadership is cooperation. This means revitalizing multilateralism, upholding the international rule of law, and ensuring accountability for decisions made. This is what my fellow Elders and I urged for at the Munich Security Conference last month.

Our delegation met with ministers and senior officials from around the world to discuss the importance of bold leadership to building peace, delivering nuclear arms controls and creating a Pandemic Accord.

Addressing the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza was our central priority. The Elders met the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Andriy Yermak, to discuss Ukraine’s peace formula. We stressed the importance of building a global consensus on a just and sustainable peace.

In meetings with the Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell, and Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Karim Khan, we discussed the urgent need for a ceasefire in Gaza. We also discussed the need for a restoration of UNRWA funding, accountability for atrocity crimes committed by Israeli forces and Hamas, and a pathway to realise a Palestinian state, free from occupation.

As my fellow Elder Gro Harlem Brundtland told the Munich Security Conference, "We have one common future, or no future.” We need leaders to understand this if we are to ensure a safe world for current and future generations. A better future can still be possible - it is not too late for a renewed awareness of our common humanity.

With warm regards,

Marilyn Turkovich


This message from Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion, appears on ✨The Spark✨ the Charter for Compassion's bi-monthly newsletter, which came from The Elders. If you'd like to sign up for ✨The Spark✨, click/tap here!