State of Hope
Juan Manuel Santos, a former President of Colombia and Nobel Peace Laureate explores the mindset required to champion peace and the lessons that can still be learned from Nelson Mandela’s victory over apartheid in South Africa. Initial broadcast July 2021.
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State of Hope Gatherings

Juan Manuel Santos

Former President of Colombia, Nobel Peace Laureate and member of The Elders

Malala Yousafzai

A response from

Malala Yousafzai

Nobel Peace Laureate and global education activist

Malala Yousafzai

State of Hope concluding remarks from

Ban Ki-moon

Deputy Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary General


Peacebuilding and conflict resolution is essential for humanity to flourish. Yet wars have continued to rage even amid the pandemic, with too few leaders ready to put common interests over short-term goals. Juan Manuel Santos explores the political and psychological mindset required to champion peace, drawing on his experience of negotiating an end to Colombia’s civil war and the lessons all world leaders can still learn from Nelson Mandela’s victory over apartheid in South Africa.

The Elders believe that sustainable peace will only be achieved when root causes of conflict are tackled, impunity is challenged and human rights take centre stage. They endeavour to assist in efforts to secure peaceful resolution to conflicts through quiet diplomacy and a willingness to talk to all sides, and in recent years have focused on supporting peace and dialogue in the Middle East, Zimbabwe and Myanmar.

Photo credit: UN Women/Joe Saade

“We urgently need to restore a sense of hope. We must generate momentum behind the bold, ambitious and progressive changes needed to build back a better, safer and more just world.” – Juan Manuel Santos


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