In our 25th anniversary year, International Alert invited a group of influential and highly respected peace advocates to become Patrons. We are greatly honoured to have the support and endorsement of two Nobel laureates Archbishop Dr Desmond Tutu and Wole Soyinka, and of Brian Eno and Mark Stephens CBE.
Archbishop Tutu needs little introduction: Nobel Peace Laureate in 1984, he is one of the greatest living moral icons of our time. A key role player in the fight against apartheid in South Africa and the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he has served as the vocal conscience of a generation. Archbishop Tutu was involved in the work which lead to International Alert’s founding in 1986 and was the first Vice-Chairman of their Board of Trustees.
'I am delighted and honoured to become a Patron of International Alert. They have been a force for peace for many years and the time has come for people to recognise the results of their quiet work of peacebuilding – the lives that International Alert gives back to so many communities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East who have suffered from violent conflict, and the lives that have been protected as violent conflict has been prevented', said Archbishop Tutu.
Akinwande Oluwole ‘Wole’ Soyinka, Nobel Laureate for Literature in 1986, is active on various human rights and cultural organisations including UNESCO, for which he is a Goodwill Ambassador. He is currently President’s Professor at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles and Professor Emeritus at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
Brian Eno is one of popular music's most influential figures: a composer, producer, visual artist and a pioneer of musical electronics, he first came to fame in the early 1970’s with the group Roxy Music. Brian is also a committed activist in the anti-war movement, and he is a board member of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) and the environmental NGO ClientEarth.
Mark Stephens CBE has been described as ‘the patron solicitor of previously lost causes’. He is a lawyer, broadcaster, writer and lecturer and has undertaken some of the highest profile cases in the UK and abroad. Well known as a passionate supporter of human rights, he is also 'one of the best advocates for freedom of expression' (The Times).
International Alert plans to add more names to this illustrious list in the coming months and in so doing hopes to put peacebuilding at the forefront of the international development agenda and into the public spotlight.
Find out more about Alert's patrons:
'I am delighted and honoured to become a Patron of International Alert. They have been a force for peace for many years and the time has come for people to recognise the results of their quiet work of peacebuilding – the lives that International Alert gives back to so many communities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East who have suffered from violent conflict and the lives that have been protected as violent conflict has been prevented.'
'Peace is the precondition for civilisation. In its absence there is poverty, wasted lives and resources. But Peace isn't the default condition of humanity: it's something we have to work towards creating and maintaining. International Alert has been building sustainable peace in some of the world's most challenging conflict regions for over 25 years. I hope you will join me in supporting their efforts.'
'As remote as the moon once appeared to mankind, Peace remains the ultimate yearning, even in the furnace of conflict. Every initiative by individuals, institutions, even governments in pursuit of this prize is a leap of faith. It transcends even the pioneer astronauts' "one small step for man", its optimism the starting block towards the crowning "giant leap for humanity.'
'For many years we have talked about ending global poverty, but without peace, prosperity will always remain a distant dream. As long as conflict continues, people will remain poor, frightened, dispossessed and angry. We have the opportunity to make the world a safer and more prosperous place for generations to come if we face up to the challenges of tackling conflicts and shape thoughtful solutions that address the underlying problems. We must hold to account those who proliferate conflict through the exploitation of natural resources. International Alert has been working towards this for over 25 years and the time has come to put the spotlight on their work. I hope you will join me in supporting their efforts.'