Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Clinton Global Initiative Conference Opens in New York

The Clinton Global Initiative Annual Conference opened in New York yesterday.  According to a New York Times article, (which quotes Professor Harvey Dale) the attendees are increasingly concerned with the Wall Street crisis:

Preparing to open his annual philanthropy gathering here against the backdrop of historic upheaval on Wall Street, former president Bill Clinton expressed concern Monday that the economic downturn could undermine major charitable investments around the world just when help is particularly needed. Clinton called on businesses, foundations and other benefactors to increase their giving to combat climate change, alleviate poverty and expand access to education and health care in the developing world, saying that philanthropy "is even more important over the next two or three years than it would otherwise have been."

The 2008 CGI Annual Conference program is available here.  Here is the description of one special session entitled, "Overcoming Poverty in Challenging Environments:"

Despite historic gains in poverty reduction in countries such as India and China, endemic poverty persists as a central challenge in much of the developing world. In many impoverished nations, efforts to stimulate development and to fight poverty are undermined by conflict, disease, corruption, and weak institutions. Overcoming challenges in these difficult environments requires innovative approaches to strengthen governance, empower local communities, and ignite private-sector growth. This special session will feature world leaders who have developed and implemented innovative approaches to poverty alleviation under exceptional circumstances. The discussion will focus on critical areas for engagement and action by CGI members in the midst of today’s most challenging economic and political circumstances.

Program Participants:

Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Helene D. Gayle, President and CEO, CARE USA
His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma, President, Republic of Sierra Leone
Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General, ASEAN
His Excellency René Préval, President, Republic of Haiti

dkj

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