Dear friends,

Our world stands at a critical moment. We face existential threats that could imperil the future of human existence itself, from the climate and nature crisis to pandemics, nuclear weapons and unregulated Artificial Intelligence (AI). Vicious wars in Gaza and Ukraine are an assault not only on innocent civilians but also on the foundations of international law on which our shared peace and security depends.

In the face of such daunting and interlinked crises, people could be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed. But all of us have choices, and all of us have a responsibility to act in a way that supports the common good. This year, more than half the world’s adult population will vote in elections.

I know from my own experience in Mongolia that democracy is a hard-won asset that should never be taken for granted. In an era of populism, disinformation and extremism, it is more important than ever for leaders and citizens alike to take their democratic responsibilities seriously, uphold the integrity of electoral systems and protect the space for critical voices and dissent.

The decisions that candidates and electors are taking in 2024 will have a huge impact not just on today’s world but for decades to come.

This is why The Elders are calling for long-view leadership that goes beyond short-term political cycles and delivers solutions for both current and future generations. Last month, Mary Robinson and Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein spoke at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford about the importance of following this model of leadership in the fields of politics, philanthropy and civil society.

None of the problems facing our world can be solved by one nation or one section of society alone. Compromise and collaboration is essential, just as it is to durable conflict resolution.

These values lie at the heart of The Elders’ mission and inform all the activities we undertake. We have just published our 2023 Annual Review, which explains how we worked together to pursue the goals of peace, justice, human rights and a sustainable planet through high-level visits and grassroots dialogue.

Our work in 2024 is continuing in the same vein, and we are looking forward to our upcoming board meeting this month in Brazil where we will discuss future priorities and meet with representatives of civil society and government. As the current holders of the G20 presidency, and the climate COP30 and BRICS+ presidencies in 2025, Brazil can demonstrate much-needed leadership on the global stage. The Elders look forward to discussing these opportunities in Brazil later this month.


With thanks for your ongoing support,

Elbegdorj Tsakhia

Former President and Prime Minister of Mongolia