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Sep22
Former President Bill Clinton Leads 2nd Annual Clinton Global Initiative

Former President Clinton was at his best this week as he hosted the Clinton Global Initiative. The conference, which ran from September 20-22 gathered an impressive list of world and business leaders as well as some Hollywood celebrities (never missing a chance to be on stage next to Bill). As it concluded today, the former president announced a total of $7.3 billion in pledges that will help reduce global warming and fight Third World poverty, disease and ethnic strife.

From its website,

“The Clinton Global Initiative is designed to inspire action. Every participant mustCGI logo.jpg pledge to take a specific action in one of our focus areas. These commitments have ranged from $100 million to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa, to a donation of 20,000 bicycles in disaster-torn Sri Lanka, to 100 hours volunteered in an interfaith youth group.”

In only its second year, the conference was a dazzling success. According to the Washington Post,

“The three-day Clinton Global Initiative, which attracted world leaders, corporate titans and, produced at least 215 commitments of financial support to a range of projects supported by the Clinton Foundation. Last year's gathering produced 300 commitments worth $2.5 billion.”

Sir Richard Branson was a significant reason for the increase in financial commitments as he pledged $3 billion to develop alternative energy sources.CIG Branson.jpg


To assist him in his global fight against poverty, disease, war and pollution, Clinton handpicked his invitees, bringing together some of the richest and most influential people on Earth and energizing them to take on some of the world's worst problems. Clinton is impressive in his ability to attract support and garner followers. The list of invitees included nearly 50 heads of state as well as billionaires and a variety of royalty and Hollywood stars.

Attendees gathered in support of Clinton and these important issues included First Lady Laura Bush (in photo with Steve Case AOL founder), former Vice President Al Gore, and billionaire businessmenCIG 1.jpg Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch, cyclist Lance Armstrong, CBS News anchor Katie Couric and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Clinton was clear that he was reaching out to solve world problems, something that he felt must rise above partisan politics.

"No matter what your politics are, there ought to be things that we can agree on need to be done," Clinton said. "Shouldn't there be some forum where Americans and citizens of the world can put aside their differences and find common ground?"

Clinton’s charisma, personality and commitment to solve issues draw people to him. In a world divided on so many levels, a non-partisan commitment to improve the human family is needed. The intitiative of one leader has taken a great step toward a solution

Branson Photo Credit: Tina Fineberg -- Associated Press Photo


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