Former President Clinton gets $2 billion in pledges to tackle world's woes
By Edith Honan | September 26, 2012 12:21 PM EST
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 U.S. 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 $2 billion (1.2 billion pounds) 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 U.S. President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, as well as Egypt's new Islamist president, Mohamed Mursi.
"I am convinced that cooperation, not conflict, will define this century," Clinton said.
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 programs. 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.
(Reporting By Edith Honan; editing by Christopher Wilson)
Most Popular Slideshows
- Pope Francis Meets Sudanese Woman Who Was Spared Death for Apostasy (PHOTOS)
- Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: King Williem-Alexander, Queen Maxima Hold Solemn Reception Ceremony for Victims
- Jennifer Lawrence & Nicholas Hoult Allegedly Split: Mad Max Actor Cheats with Kristen Stewart & Riley Keough - Reports
- Celebrities Suffering From Lupus: Facts About the Disease
Join the Conversation
- Tourre on stand says email in SEC case 'not accurate'
- Syrian authorities blocking access to needy in Homs - Red Cross
- Faith in European Union at low ebb, EU poll says
- Former UBS banker gets 18 months, $1 million fine, for muni bid-rigging scheme
- U.S. judge halts challenges to Detroit's bankruptcy bid
- Apple iPhone 6 on Two Confirmed Release Dates, New Parts Leaked Suggesting Bigger iPhone to Come
- Google Nexus 6, 8 with Android L on Release Date Promises Killer Mobile Device Experience
- iPhone 6 Release Date Relevance to iOS Newbies: Specs Meaning, Price Considerations
- Xiaomi Mi4 vs OnePlusOne vs Nexus 5: Mi4 is the ‘Perfect’ Phone
- Israeli Women Stripping Naked for IDF Soldiers
- HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update Roll Out, Introducing the HTC One Remix
- Shocking Video of Pedigree Dog Culling in Bali Emerges [Video]