I was Googling around and found that our friends at As Time Goes By had a nice summary of press clips about The Elders.
“…Mr Mandela explained that The Elders would be able to dedicate their experience and moral courage to help solve some of the problems the world was facing.
“’The Elders can become a fiercely independent and robust group that tackles these issues,’ [said Mandela.]”
– Bua News, 19 July 2007
There is more background on the group here.