The Elders visited Paris from 11-12 December to meet President Emmanuel Macron for a discussion on global challenges from climate change to conflicts across the Middle East, and to participate at the One Planet climate summit.

Kofi Annan, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Ban Ki-moon, Lakhdar Brahimi and Mary Robinson met President Macron at the Elysée Palace on 11 December.

They discussed climate action with the President, welcoming the French-hosted One Planet summit on 12 December as a chance to accelerate momentum and ambition in global climate policy to safeguard commitments made at the COP21 Paris summit in December 2015.

The Elders and President Macron also focused on conflicts in the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula and Myanmar; how to manage refugees and migration; and the need to reinforce the multilateral system underpinning international relations.

Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders, said: “President Macron has shown impressive leadership on climate, building on France’s success in securing the Paris Agreement in December 2015. The decision by the US President to withdraw from the agreement makes it all the more important to guarantee commitment to future action from other states, as well as business, cities and regions.”

Mary Robinson, Elder and former UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, added: “The One Planet summit underscores that climate is an issue of human rights, justice and equality as well as environmental sustainability. Faced with a growing wave of populist isolationism and short-term decision making, the world needs to act responsibly to address long-term problems. I am heartened that France is rising to this challenge, following the leadership already shown by least-developed countries, small island states and civil society.”

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