Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is one of the greatest living moral icons of our time.
He was a key player in the fight against apartheid in South Africa and the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and in 1984 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
From his work against apartheid in South Africa, to his championing of democracy, freedom and human rights – including for those still living under the scourge of racism, xenophobia and homophobia – Archbishop Tutu has served as the vocal conscience of a generation.
When Archbishop Tutu retired in 1996, Nelson Mandela told those at a dinner to honour him:
His joy in our diversity and his spirit of forgiveness are as much part of his immeasurable contribution to our nation as his passion for justice and his solidarity with the poor.
In 2007 Archbishop Tutu, Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel convened The Elders, a group of world leaders who contribute their integrity and leadership in dealing with some of the world's most pressing problems. Archbishop Tutu is now an Honorary Elder, having served as chairman for six years, and continues to work energetically in a number of areas of human rights.
Archbishop Tutu was involved in the work which led to International Alert’s founding in 1986 and was the first Vice-Chairman of our Board of Trustees. On his role as our patron he says:
The need for us all to continue the fight for peace has never been greater. I am very proud to be International Alert’s patron as they continue to build peace around the world.
Their track record of working with courage and compassion to inspire hope in troubled communities is invaluable. From holding hands with Rwandans in the aftermath of genocide, to supporting young Syrians today. Always building, always challenging, always inspiring.
They are part of a global network for good, extending from the villages of DRC to the corridors of the United Nations.