The Fondation Chirac was launched by former French President Jacques Chirac, after having served two terms in office between 1995 and 2007. Since 2008, this foundation strives for peace through five advocacy programmes:
- conflict prevention
- access to water and sanitation
- access to quality medicines and healthcare
- access to land resources
- and preservation of cultural diversity
The foundation's stated priorities include combating falsified medicines, deforestation and desertification, and helping to preserve endangered languages and cultures. The "Sorosoro programme" took its name from an Araki word for "breath, speech, language". The endangered Araki language, in Vanuatu, was spoken by then by only eight people, and the programme's stated objective was to "participate actively in the struggle for the preservation and revitalisation of these endangered languages".
The Foundation was officially launched on June 9, 2008 at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, with the attendance of most of its Honour Committee's members, such as:
- Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize.
- Andrés Pastrana Arango, former President of Colombia.
- Abdou Diouf, former President of Senegal.
- Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, former President of Mauritania.
- Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
- Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Guatemalan Nobel Peace Prize.
- Youssou N'Dour, artist, Minister of Tourism and Culture of Senegal.
Board of the Fondation Chirac
- Jacques Chirac : President (deceased September 2019)
- Jean-Pierre Lafon : Vice-President
- Bernard Vatier: Vice-President and legal advisor.
- Valérie Terranova: Council Secretary
- Marie-Hélène Bérard: Treasurer
Board of Directors
- Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Photographer, journalist, writer and environmentalist.
- Marie-Hélène Bérard, President and CEO of MHB SA.
- Michel Camdessus (founding member), Director of the Treasury (1982-1984), Governor of the Bank of France (1984-1987), and Director General of the International Monetary Fund (1987-2000).
- Catherine Colonna, Ambassador of France to UNESCO until 2010.
- Geneviève Ferone, Director of Sustainable Development at Veolia Environnement.
- Marc Gentilini, President of the Pan-African Organization against AIDS (OPALS) and Honorary President and Member of the French National Academy of Medicine.
- Jean-Pierre Lafon (founding member), Ambassador of France.
- Tristan Lecomte, Founder and President of Fair Trade importers Alter Eco.
- Stéphane Martin, President of the public establishment of the Quai Branly Museum.
- Fahi Nahas, Ecuadorian Honorary Consul General in Turkey and Chairman of NA Plus SA.
- René Ricol (founding member), President of Ricol Lasteyrie.
- Jean-Michel Severino, Director of the French Development Agency from 2001 to 2010.
- Valérie Terranova (founding member), strategy consultant.
- Bernard Vatier (founding member), Lawyer, former President of the Paris bar.
- Fernando Henrique Cardoso, President of thé Federal Republic of Brazil (1995-2002), founder of the “Brazilian Foundation for Sustainable Development".
- François Cheng, Member of the Académie française.
- Joaquim Alberto Chissano, President of the Republic of Mozambique (1986 to 2005), President of the “Chissano Foundation”.
- Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister of Canada (1993 to 2003).
- Abdou Diouf, President of the Republic of Senegal (1981 to 2000), Secretary General of the International Organization of French-speaking communities.
- Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, President of the Republic of Iceland (1980 to 1996), UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador for languages.
- Enrique V. Iglesias, President of the InterAmerican Development Bank (1988 to 2005), former Minister of Foreign Affaires of Uruguay.
- Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore (1959 to 1990).
- Federico Mayor, Director-General of UNESCO (1987 to 1999).
- Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Nobel Peace Prize 1992, President of Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation.
- Louis Michel, Member of the Federal Parliament of Belgium (1978 to 2004), former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium and Vice Prime Minister (1999 to 2004).
- Youssou N’Dour, artist, goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, the FAO, and Amnesty International.
- Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, Economist and Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
- Andres Pastrana Arango, President of the Republic of Colombia (1998 to 2002).
- Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio.
- Ismaïl Serageldin, Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
- Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (2005 to 2007).
- Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of the Republic of Latvia (1999 to 2007).
- Muhammad Yunus, Founder and Director of the Grameen Bank.
- The Fondation Chirac Prize for Conflict Prevention Archived March 27, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- "Chirac : «Je veux réveiller les consciences»", Le Figaro, June 6, 2008,
- "Chirac launches foundation 'to awaken consciences'" Archived June 7, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, AFP, June 8, 2008
- "Sorosoro", Fondation Chirac
- "La fondation Jacques Chirac officiellement lancée", Le Nouvel Observateur, 9 March 2008