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CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE
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CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE

September 2006 saw companies, governments and non-profit organizations commit $7.3 billion towards making the world a better place. The money was pledged by global leaders who were brought together by the Clinton Global Initiative to devise and implement solutions to some of the world most pressing problems..


Launched in 2005 by former US president Bill Clinton and the William J. Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative was set up to help the world develop into a more integrated global community of shared benefits, responsibilities, and values. The initiative does this by bringing together a carefully selected group of the world's best minds and most distinguished problem solvers to "pledge to take a specific action in one of our focus areas".The initiative then monitors the progress and success of these commitments. At last year's inaugural summit, nearly 300 CGI commitments were valued at $2.5 billion.

The focus areas of CGI for 2006 are energy and climate change, global health, mitigating religions and ethnic conflict, and poverty alleviation. This year's annual meeting drew appearances from the likes of Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, Alvaro Uribe Velez, the President of Colombia, Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, & King Abdullah II of Jordan, Kofi Annan, of the United Nations, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, and Shimon Peres of Israel among several others.

CGI's commitments range from a 10-year $3 billion pledge from Sir Richard Branson towards the research of environmentally friendly fuels to a $100m pledge to fight HIV/Aids in Africa and provide 20,000 bicycles in disaster-torn Sri Lanka. First Lady Laura Bush also announced a public-private partnership with the Case Foundation and others to install 4,000 Roundabout PlayPumps to bring water to up to 10 million people in Africa. On September 29th 2006. The Irish Goverment pledged €70 Million ($88 million) to the foundation, the single largest donation so far.

There has been some criticism and skepticism levelled against Clinton with some viewing has work as a mere publicity stunt, an attempt to help his wife, New York Senator Hilary Clinton's image or an act of redemption to improve his own. But the man himself says "My primary motivation is that I love this stuff… If you can do something that makes a difference, you have a moral obligation. But it's not a burden, it's a joy. I think those are my motives,"

Clinton's call to action has motivated global leaders, NGO's and private citizens to step forward with concrete actions to help mitigate and eventually eradicate modern day evils. No matter which country one hails from, or which political end of the spectrum one participates in, this working symposium engenders communication and partnership. It fosters a generally positive atmosphere with discussions aimed at bridge-building and functional partnerships. The intention of the Clinton Global Initiative is to encourage individuals, companies and governments to come up with solutions now--to make the world a better place.

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