Helping Leaders Govern

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Helen Clark and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf appointed WHO panel co-Chairs

 Jul 9, 2020 8:00 AM

GLF Members Helen Clark and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf have been appointed co-Chairs of the World Health Organisation's   Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness & Response. They will select the remaining Members of their panel from candidates proposed by Member states.



Balbec Capital join GLF International Council

 Jul 7, 2020 4:00 AM


GLF Members Sign A Call to Defend Democracy

 Jun 25, 2020 5:00 AM

Twenty two GLF Members have signed International IDEA's Call to Defend Democracy which has been also signed by over 70 international institutions and a long list of distinguished leaders. The statement claims that the Coronavirus pandemic threatens the future of liberal democracy.

A full list of signatories is available here


GLF welcomes Supachai Panitchpakdi as a new Member

 Jun 22, 2020 6:00 AM

GLF recently welcomed Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi as a new Member and we are delighted that he accepted the Chairman's invitation.

He was Secretaray General of The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 2005 - 2013, Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) 2002 - 2005 and prior to that, he was the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand 1997 - 2000.


GLF welcomes new Member George Robertson

 Jun 8, 2020 6:00 AM

GLF is delighted that George Robertson as accepted the Chairman's invitation to join GLF as a Member.

He was Secretary of State for Defence 1997-99 before becoming Secretary General of NATO 1999-2004. After retiring from Political life, Lord Robertson became President of Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and Vice President of Westminster Foundation for Democracy.


GLF welcomes M. Hamid Ansari as a new Member

 Jun 5, 2020 8:00 AM

GLF is proud to announce that M. Hamid Ansari has accepted the Chairman's invitation to become a Member of the Global Leadership Foundation.

M. Hamid Ansari was Vice President of India, 2007 - 2017 and prior to that served as the Indian Ambassador to Australia, Afghanistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia. He also served as the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations between 1993 and 1995.


GLF Members sign second Letter to G20 Leaders

 Jun 1, 2020 3:00 PM

A total of thirty three GLF Members signed the follow up letter to G20 Leaders. The letter asks that Governments work together in a more coordinated way and that they develop both national and international infrastructure to build a new and more effective form of multilateralism which will improve the world's preparedness and capacity to react to the next crisis.

The letter was co-authored by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Swedish economist Erik Berglof, African Union Special Envoy for Covid-19 Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and our very own GLF Vice Chair, Helen Clark.

Moving forwards, they ask that G20 Leaders invest in 'green' infrastructure to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) and Climate change agreements. They also ask leaders to think about a 'global growth target' as government's try to rebuild global trading relationships. Thirdly, they ask that in order to increase government revenue, leaders shouls work together in a coordinated approach to recover money lost to tax havens. 



GLF welcomes Pascal Couchepin as a Patron

 May 29, 2020 8:00 AM

Pascal Couchepin has recently stepped down as a GLF Member but we are delighted to announce that he has accepted the Chairman's invitation to become a Patron.

He joined the Foundation in 2010 and we have throroughly enjoyed working with him for the past 10 years.


GLF appoints Helen Clark as Vice Chairman

 May 4, 2020 8:00 AM

GLF Members recently elected Helen Clark as the new GLF Vice Chairman. She takes over fellow GLF Member Chester Crocker who had been acting as the Interim GLF Vice Chair after long term Vice Chair Joe Clark stepped down last year. Clark will be a Co-Vice Chairman alongside Sir Victor Blank who is the Chairman of the Strategy and Development Committee.

Helen Clark was the Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999 - 2008 and then became the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). She has been a Member of the GLF since 2017.

We look forward to working with her in her new capacity.



GLF Joins Transition of Power Initiative

 Apr 29, 2020 11:00 AM

GLF is proud to be partnering with the 'Transitions of Power' initiative which aims to support smooth transitions of leadership following democratic elections. Free and fair elections are crucial in democratic societies but well-organised transitions from one elected government to another help to establish smooth continuity of governance and minimal disruption.

The initiative aims to provide a resource database for the many elements of an executive transition and advocates that effective working relationships and the availability of quality information can help seamless changes of government and prevent costly mistakes.

"Transitions to Power" was initiated by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in USA. Other partners include: Center for Presidential Transition, Constitutional Term Limits Initiative, George W Bush Institute, Ghana Centre for Democratic Development, National Endowment for Democracy, Save Democracy Africa and The White House Transitions Project


Statement by GLF Board

 Apr 24, 2020 9:00 AM

The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis of immense proportions. The virus respects no borders and does not discriminate between continents. It is uncertain when the world will emerge from the crisis. What is certain is the need for immediate, coordinated and resolute action.

Africa is particularly vulnerable. Many health systems are unable to cope and most governments are in no position to offer financial support to businesses and individuals.

Such a global pandemic can only be combated through coordinated multilateral action. The World Health Organisation, as the primary global agency responsible for public health and as the partner of choice for national health institutions in Africa and other developing countries, needs support and resources now more acutely than ever.

We are deeply concerned about the adverse economic impact of the pandemic. We support the call for collective international action by a number of European and African leaders published in the Financial Times on 14th April and welcome the helpful steps taken by G20 Finance Ministers, IMF, World Bank and others to mobilize with Africa to fight COVID-19.

Non-governmental organisations and foundations that have targeted assistance programmes for Africa and other developing countries deserve strong continuing support, as do regional and national community-based civil society organisations as well as African developing countries with good healthcare systems that can share experience and good practice.

In is imperative to provide basic necessities where they are needed most – Personal Protective Equipment, ventilators and testing kits. Security forces can play an important role in providing logistical support to civilian administrations. Key scientific and clinical knowledge should be widely shared through the WHO and other international, national and non-official channels. When a vaccine emerges, it should be made available to all at affordable prices.

The Global Leadership Foundation works on invitation to support national leaders in key areas of governance. We remain ready to offer our considerable pool of knowledge and experience in public policy development and crisis management to those leaders who feel they can benefit from it.

Let us all work together to mitigate an unprecedented humanitarian disaster and chart a way forward.


GLF Board

24 April 2020


Note to Editors
The Global Leadership Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation founded by former South African President FW de Klerk in 2004, which brings together 44 retired leaders from across the globe. It offers advice on a confidential basis, on request, to current national leaders. Other former African Heads of State and Government who are among the Members of the Foundation are John Kufuor of Ghana, Festus Mogae of Botswana, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Cassam Uteem from Mauritius. For further information please visit


Donald Kaberuka appointed Special Envoy of African Union

 Apr 20, 2020 5:00 AM

GLF Member Donald Kaberuka has been appointed a Special Envoy of the African Union by current Chairperson, President Ramaphosa of South Africa. Dr Kaberuka and the three other Special Envoys have been tasked by President Ramaphosa to mobilise international support to address the economic challenges faced by the continent of Africa as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. 


Statement by GLF Chairman FW de Klerk

 Apr 16, 2020 10:00 AM

These are terrible times for so many millions of people all around the world, for many of
them the worst in living memory. With borders closed, people isolated, resources
stretched and economies in difficulties, leaders of today have one thing on their minds –
the health and wellbeing of their people. As the COVID–19 virus engulfs the world, we
see instances of international cooperation – for example, the critically important exchange
of medical data and clinical experience as the international scientific community works to
find a treatment and a vaccine - but for the most part national leaders are facing their
challenges in isolation from the world community.

At such a time, those leaders naturally focus their attention on managing the resources
available to them in order to provide the best care they can for their people to limit the
spread of the disease, to protect their economies and to preserve their societies. The
difficult and delicate challenge for leaders today is to save both lives and livelihood, and
the way that leaders respond to both challenges will be critical.

Meanwhile, my fellow Members and I are thinking about the future – the time after the
immediate health crisis has passed – by considering how we will be able to assist leaders,
emerging from the crisis, to assess their priorities. Recovery from this calamity will be
slow and long, but this crisis too shall pass. Communities will re-build, businesses will regenerate,
trade will be re-established and normal life will start again.

While the tried and trusted way for the Global Leadership Foundation to provide
assistance to leaders in discreet face-to-face discussions is obviously not possible at this
time, I would like our friends around the world to know that we are here, ready, willing
and available to assist you from a distance if you should need us.

There is much that GLF can offer and we must therefore be on a sound footing, well
prepared to react effectively. I consider it most important that we emerge from this crisis
ready and willing to make a difference, by helping leaders govern successfully in the best
interests of their people – and we will.


FW de Klerk

16 April 2020


Kevin Rudd joins IMF External Advisory Group

 Apr 10, 2020 5:00 AM

GLF Member Kevin Rudd has been appointed a Member to the External Advisory Group of the International Monetary Fund. The group, set up by IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, has been tasked with global perspectives on international policy issues and development. This includes policy responses to the Coronavirus, as well as its economic impact.

The group convened for the first time on 10 April 2020 online and is set to meet several times a year. 



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