Kofi Annan has addressed supporters of The Elders after taking over as the organization’s Chair from Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

“As you may know, Archbishop Tutu was instrumental in bringing The Elders together in 2007,” he wrote. "Since then he has led our group with a firm hand, irrepressible humour and boundless optimism, even when dealing with the most challenging subjects.

“It is difficult to imagine ‘The Elders’ without Archbishop Tutu in charge. Whilst he remains an honorary member and will always be part of The Elders family, we will certainly miss his warm presence at our meetings and his influence as we carry out our work. We therefore felt a mixture of sadness and deep gratitude when he announced that he would be stepping down.

“Although we are Elders, our organisation is less than six years old. To quote our outgoing Chair, we are still very much ‘learning to Elder’, still working out how we can be most effective and identifying where we can have the greatest impact.

“We are, as ever, reliant on your support and encouragement in our endeavours and I look forward to keeping in touch with you as we develop our plans for the future.”

Find out more about The Elders here.

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