Clinton gets $2bn to tackle world's woes

2012-09-26 13:01
Bill Clinton (AP)

Bill Clinton (AP)

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New York - Healthcare for athletes with mental disabilities, organic know-how for Indian farmers and solar technology for isolated communities were among the pledges made at former US President Bill Clinton's philanthropic summit, which ended on Tuesday.

With its theme of "Designing for Impact" and an emphasis on improving the lives of women and girls in the developing world, heads of states, business leaders and humanitarians at the eighth annual Clinton Global Initiative made 150 new pledges valued at about $2bn to tackle some of the world's woes.

The three-day summit, scheduled when world leaders are in New York for the annual United Nations General Assembly, also featured appearances from US President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, as well as Egypt's new Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi.

"I am convinced that co-operation, not conflict, will define this century," Clinton said.

Networking

The meeting is largely a networking opportunity for some of the world's power brokers to exchange ideas and forge partnerships.

It also offers a chance for successful companies to highlight projects that demonstrate social responsibility.

On the opening day, Clinton asked Wal-Mart CEO Michael Duke if the company would consider opening a store in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. Duke noted the company has opened stores in some of the world's more troubled cities, but politely declined the suggestion.

The summit was also a family affair. Clinton introduced his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who made remarks. And their daughter Chelsea, a board member, moderated a session called "The Case for Optimism in the 21st Century."

The idea for the summit came from Clinton's frustration with attending conferences while he was president that prompted no action. When the initiative began, corporations tended to show up and write checks to fund humanitarian programmes. Now many see philanthropy in terms of investment opportunities.

The pledges will impact 22 million people, the Clinton initiative said. Some of the commitments took the form of donations.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Suntech Power Holdings and the GlobalECHO Foundation teamed up to install $250 000 worth of solar panels worth $250 000 at a hospital that treats victims of sexual violence.

"When you hear the stories of what they're dealing with, you can't not help them," said Andrew Beebe, Suntech's chief commercial officer.

Read more on:    hillary clinton  |  barack obama  |  mitt romney  |  bill clinton  |  mohammed morsi  |  us
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