The Elders' Debate: inspiring the youth

“It is your future, it is all in your hands!”

This the encouragement from the four panelists at the The Elders’ debate, live on the 2nd of June.

The programme saw President Carter, Kofi Annan, President Robinson and Hina Jilani in an open dialogue with young people on current affairs’ topics.
Matthew Amroliwala presented the special edition on air at 16:00 GTM on BBC World News.

The guests are four of The Elders, the group officially launched in July 2007 by Nelson Mandela.
The aim was to gather former statemen and statewomen in order to work for peace and human rights in the 'global village' that occurs to be our even more interconnected world.

Any questions?

The topics treated:

Middle East
Who should do what?
How to free people from extremism?
What if President Assan were to fall from power?

Any responsibility from the EU for giving asylum?
Is there adequate aid?

Are sanctions on Russia economy working?

In the middle of the rounds for the current issues, it came the "quickfire" turn: each Elder was addressed with a specific question related to his/her area of major interest.

"What advice would you give to your 18 years old self?" was the final round which closed the debate.

Free interaction among the Elders, the around-20-years-old audience in the studio, and the live reactions from the social media, sustained the lively pace of the one-hour programme.

As former authorities still engaged with global issues, the Elders are able to talk above and over possible political constraints.

Such honest debate helps to understand the youth is not so wrong, despite the usual pessimism in the air for our ideas.
The are values that are still worth fighting for, althought the ongoing financial and humanitarian crises.

The right encouragement and ears ready to listen to are what is sometimes missing.

If you have missed the on air, you can still catch up with the BBC news report or the videos on The Elders' website.