The Elders, a group of independent and eminent global leaders originally brought together by Nelson Mandela, have announced their plans to visit Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza at the end of August. The delegation will be led by former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, and will include Ela Bhatt (India), Gro Brundtland (Norway), Jimmy Carter (former US President), Mary Robinson (Ireland), and Desmond Tutu (South Africa).
Skoll in particular has already been active in promoting a greener Middle East. This year the Skoll Foundation awarded a $750,000 grant to EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) in order to expand its cross border community based activities and deepen its organizational capacity to advance water and peace issues in the Middle East.
The objective of the Elders’ visit is to meet a wide cross-section of members of Israeli and Palestinian society, including grassroots organizations, young people, members of civil society, independent experts, business leaders, and others. The Elders “want to offer their support to those who are working hard for peaceful coexistence while also listening to the concerns and aspirations of a broad range of individuals on both sides.
The other Elders who will not be coming to the Middle East later this month include Kofi Annan, Lakhdar Brahimi, Graca Machel, and Muhammad Yunus.
Read more about the endeavors of Richard Branson and Jeff Skoll::