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Rock star and humanitarian Peter Gabriel has commented on the inspiration behind forming The Elders, the group of public figures he established with Richard Branson to solve global figures.

“People have lost trust in a lot of institutions around the world, but they still have faith in certain of key individuals,” said the 58-year-old. "We felt that if we could get a group of elder statesmen and women together, they could have an influence and leverage and help on a few situations. We went to Nelson Mandela and he set it up a couple of years ago. We have Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan. They can connect people on the ground who are suffering with people who can make a phone call."

The Global Elders group was set up in 2007 to bring “almost 1,000 years of collective experience” to work on solutions for seemingly insurmountable problems like climate change, HIV/AIDS, and poverty, and “use their political independence to help resolve some of the world’s most intractable conflicts.” There are currently 12 active members, including Jimmy Carter and Aung San Suu Kyi. They have launched peace missions in Darfur, the Middle East, and Zimbabwe.

More information about the work of the Global Elders can be found at their official website.

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