F20 Foundations Take a Stand: The Elders

Claudia Leisinger
Sustainable Development

In times when multilateralism seems at stake, it is even more important to remind the G20 Heads of State that global challenges require global solutions. Foundations from all parts of the world have established the F20 platform to advance the 2030 Agenda of the UN and be part of the solution, especially with regards to climate change. The goal is to build bridges between civil society, business, and politics within the G20 countries and beyond. In our series, we will introduce some of the foundations.

Allison Robertshaw, Senior Policy Advisor at The Elders

Why are you part of F20?

Allison Robertshaw: The Elders view the G20 as a critical multilateral forum which can encourage the world’s richest countries to engage in critical issues such as sustainable development and climate change. The role of philanthropy is critical to this effort as it supports and funds much of the civil-society work that is necessary to keep up the pressure on governments to engage on these broader issues. To that end, The Elders hope that we can support the F20 network, work to coordinate our efforts with the F20 and leverage wherever possible our voice to support the work being done by the F20.


F20 Foundations Platform

The F20 Foundations Platform is an unprecedented alliance of more than 45 foundations and philanthropic organizations from around the world. The BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt is part of the platform’s Steering Group. The participating foundations seek to identify and expose pathways towards sustainable development and call upon the G20 Heads of State to take action. Its aim is to gather momentum for the implementation of the UN Paris climate agreement in order to build bridges between different stakeholders – including the private sector and civil society. The 2018 G20 Summit will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the end of November.

What can you contribute?

Allison Robertshaw: The Elders have access to the highest levels of decision-making at multilateral organizations like the World Bank or the United Nations, as well as to heads of state around the world and can help open doors and press issues with senior leaders. The group can also help transmit difficult messages to decisionmakers as it is accepted as an honest broker, speaking not on behalf of specific interest but on behalf of the global commons. From this perspective, it can enter into difficult conversations, launch new discourses and disseminate ideas which are critical to the F20’s work.

What is The Elders in a nutshell?

Allison Robertshaw: The Elders is an organization of former heads of states, UN Secretary Generals and Nobel Prize winners focused on creating a sustainable world, in an economic as well as environmental sense, where the dignity and human rights of all people are respected. In view of the fact that today’s challenges are more and more interconnected and need multidimensional answers, its scope of action spans very broadly, from climate change to multilateralism, peace and human rights to access to justice.

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