The Elders – the group of independent leaders who use their collective experience and influence for peace, justice and human rights worldwide – warmly welcome the recent agreement on chemical weapons reached between Russia and the United States in Geneva, which could open up the prospect for a peaceful path out of the Syrian crisis.

“This agreement is an important breakthrough,” said Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. “There are still difficulties to overcome to ensure that the chemical weapons in Syria are safely, quickly and permanently decommissioned.”

“This agreement renews hope that diplomacy can still work. The Security Council must now urgently forge a consensus to build on this momentum and ensure that the Geneva II conference is convened soon in order to secure a peaceful and lasting resolution to the Syrian conflict.”

The group was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, and also includes Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson.

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