On the third and final day of the 2nd Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, President Clinton announced that hundreds of participants had made 215 commitments, totaling over $7.3 billion. Combined with last year's totals, CGI has resulted in nearly $10 billion worth of commitments in just its first two years. Commitments will continue to be made throughout the coming weeks and over the course of this next year.
At this morning's plenary session, renowned journalist Tom Brokaw moderated a discussion entitled "What Can Business Do," with a distinguished group of panelists: former Secretary of State and retired General Colin Powell, Wal-Mart President and CEO H. Lee Scott, Jr., News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch and Carlos Slim Helu, Chairman of the Board of Grupo Carso SA de CV. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton also moderated a special session called "Women and the Power of Economic Opportunity."
During his closing remarks, President Clinton thanked the participants for their efforts during the past three days. He stressed the important role of individuals in solving the world's most urgent problems.
"Today, three billion people around the globe are trapped behind the bars of extreme poverty, of a lack of health care, of war and of environmental devastation," said President Clinton. "It's our job to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. It's our responsibility to cast off each other's chains."
Over a thousand leaders of business, government and non-governmental organizations attended this year's meeting of CGI, in addition to nearly 50 current and former heads of state. Highlights include a commitment announced by First Lady Laura Bush to bring clean drinking water to 1,000 communities in sub-Saharan Africa, and Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson's $3 billion commitment toward bio-fuel initiatives.
Among the additional commitments announced today were:
Swiss Reinsurance Company
Swiss Re's new "COyou2 -Reduce and Gain" program, launching in January 2007, will offer each employee 5,000 Swiss francs (roughly $4,000) every five years as a match to any investment that he or she makes to reduce emissions. Eligible projects include buying a hybrid car or installing solar panels or heat pumps in the home. This grant could also be used to pay for days that employees take off work to volunteer in climate-related activities. If half the company's employees use the program, Swiss Re would be investing $5 million annually. Swiss Re has also committed to making the CGI annual meeting carbon neutral.
Lee Scott, President and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Lee Scott, President and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. committed to improve the packaging of every item sold by Wal-Mart. The improvements generated by the Wal-Mart Supplier Packaging Scorecard and Virtual Trade Show will reduce the environmental impact and cost of the 160,000 products that are sold world-wide to Wal-Mart's 184 million weekly customers. With this Scorecard, Wal-Mart will measure the environmental impact of the packaging for the products in its stores and reward the suppliers who reduce the environmental impact and cost of their packaging, creating an expected 667,000 metric tonnes of CO2 reductions cumulative by 2013. By re-inventing the packing industry and getting 213,000 trucks off the road annually by 2013, Wal-Mart will help to conserve vast amounts of natural resources, reduce global warming pollution, spark universal innovations, and save money for everyone involved. Wal-Mart estimates that this commitment will result in billions of dollars in cumulative savings to the global supply chain by 2013.
President Clinton, Vinod Khosla, James D. Wolfensohn, Ron Burkle & Steve Bing
In connection with the annual Clinton Global Initiative, President Clinton, Vinod Khosla, James D. Wolfensohn, Ron Burkle and Steve Bing today announced their intention to team up to pursue opportunities in the areas of clean alternative and renewable energy sources. The group intends to promote the emergence of clean, alternative and renewable energy sources and technologies over the next decade. Through the leadership of its founders, the group will seek to help reduce world-wide dependence on fossil fuels, create jobs, lessen pollution, and aid in the reduction of global warming. The formation of this group is another tangible step for the Clinton Global Initiative and will enhance the work of the President's Climate Change initiative as well.
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
In January 2007, the U.S. Green Building Council, in partnership with Newland Communities, will launch a yearlong campaign to educate consumers in the United States about the benefits of green homes. The cornerstone of this $250,000 effort will be an online consumer education resource, located at www.usgbc.org, which will provide current and potential homeowners with information on how to make their homes more efficient, healthier places to live.
Donating $1 million from her fall concert tour to the Clinton Climate Initiative which will create a consortium through which cities around the world can buy products to drive down greenhouse gas emissions.
Merck is committing $75 million in a partnership with the government of Nicaragua to vaccinate every child born in Nicaragua over the next three years against rotavirus, the most common cause of severe diarrhea among children. Merck will give an estimated 1.5 million doses of its RotaTeq vaccine. The program is part of a bigger effort by Merck to cut the time required to introduce a new vaccine into the developing world - a process that sometimes takes 15, even 20 years. Merck hopes its rotavirus vaccine program will be a model of how to introduce new vaccines around the world in the future.
DeBeers Family of Companies
De Beers will work with Williamson Diamond Ltd., the Government of Tanzania, local communities, business, NGOs and UN agencies to create a "Community Diamond" partnership to encourage economic development and good health in communities with small-scale diamond mining. The partners will work together to ensure that unregulated Tanzanian miners maintain good health and receive their fair share of the wealth they create. Equally important, the Community Diamond partnership will work to transform the communities surrounding the mines, offering health services to manage HIV/AIDS and malaria, supporting sustainable farming, and providing training and education programs.
U.S. Fund for UNICEF
UNICEF committed $247.7 million over four years to accelerate and sustain the rate of child survival in ten sub-Saharan African countries. UNICEF's Accelerated Child Survival and Development (ACSD) Initiative will improve the health care delivery system in each of these ten countries, and identify and remove the bottlenecks in those systems that prevent desperately needed services from reaching children. UNICEF will create packages for each country that will includes various cost-effective priority interventions, like vaccinating children, promoting breast-feeding, giving Vitamin A supplements, and organizing community prenatal care. By 2009, the Accelerated Child Survival and Development program will save an estimated 399,300 children's lives every year.
Catholic Medical Mission Board
During the CGI Conference 2006, the Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) committed $2 million in in-kind donations from pharmaceutical companies to treat neglected tropical and chronic diseases in Honduras over the next two years. It will use those medications in coordination with volunteer nurses and physicians from the U.S. to help diagnose and deliver these life-sustaining products. CMMB will also assess the extent to which volunteers and medicines are coordinated in an integrated way and determine whether a model has been created which can be adopted in the countries where CMMB has volunteers and/or it deliver medicines.
The Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
The Mailman School of Public Health will commit $75 million over five years to improve women's health by decreasing maternal death and disability through access to maternity care services; increasing prevention, care and treatment for women affected with HIV/AIDS; and reducing incidence of violence against women by armed conflict and those in other vulnerable settings.
International Partnership for Microbicides
In partnership with the Harvard Business School, Harvard Medical School, Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health and Partners In Health, the International Partnership for Micriobicides will commit $3 million over three years to accelerate the availability of HIV-preventing microbicides for use by women in developing countries by minimizing the time between proof of product effectiveness and product introduction and scale up - with specific focus on ensuring that women's needs and preferences are at the heart of access strategies.
The United Way is currently working with 150 partner organizations to help maximize the volunteer impact on civic engagement across the United States, and through their commitment to CGI they will expand this base of partners and related opportunities around the world. Over the next five years the United Way will identify, manage and facilitate an additional five million volunteer connections in areas consistent with CGI's focus areas in the 47 countries and territories around the world in which the United Way is represented.
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) and ACCION International
AIG and ACCION International are partnering to commit $5.25 million over three years to fund 30 microfinance institutions throughout the Americas, Africa, and Asia. They will provide more than one million poor entrepreneurs with innovative financial products, like housing loans, insurance, savings and remittances. AIG and ACCION International will also establish the AIG Prize for Microfinance Innovation to reward institutions that devise new and successful microfinance products. Also, they will sponsor ACCION's Financial Literacy Program, which will provide over 450,000 courses in business development and financial literacy.
Dr. Iqbal Surve and The Surve Family Foundation
Dr. Iqbal Surve and The Surve Family Foundation are partnering with the Sekunjalo Group to invest $10 million over five years to establish the Social Entrepreneurship Foundation in South Africa. The new Foundation will fund "social entrepreneurs," people who are directing their ambition and resourcefulness toward measurable goals, not by making money, but by aiding others. The Foundation will also support existing social entrepreneurial initiatives that fight poverty in South Africa, especially among poor urban and rural blacks, and promote tolerance.
Philip & Donna Berber, A Glimmer of Hope Foundation
The Foundation will provide $1 million over the next 3-5 in seed capital to kick-start income-generation programs for households and communities living in abject poverty in rural Ethiopia. A Glimmer of Hope has been funding and operating an innovative, effective model of direct aid in Ethiopia for five years. It now seeks to augment humanitarian aid - in water, health, and education - with income generation. New programs will also include the development of affordable irrigation.
Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA)
FINCA will commit $40 million over 5 years to open 100,000 Village Banks that will reach more than one million people in communities that not currently served by the formal financial sector. The Village Banking model helps the poorest of the poor raise themselves out of poverty by injecting a number of small loans into their community and helping to create community-run, community-focused credit and savings associations. FINCA's loan range of $50-$500 ensures that the poorest of the poor are reached. FINCA will leverage its network of individual, corporate and foundation partners to operate 100,000 Village Banks.
Walter Shorenstein, Douglas Ahlers & Walter Isaacson
Building on the Leadership Dialogues sponsored by Walter H. Shorenstein and others in their 2005 Clinton Global Initiative commitment, Walter Shorenstein, Douglas Ahlers and Walter Isaacson are now committing to work with a number of local partners to revitalize the Broadmoor neighborhood in New Orleans. The project will promote a redevelopment plan approved by local residents in a neighborhood that was eight feet under water following Hurricane Katrina. To foster civic engagement, the participants will lead local workshops and an annual Leadership Forum in the neighborhood - historically one of the most diverse in New Orleans.
Vital Voices Global Partnership
Partnering with The Nike Foundation, Standard Chartered Bank, Starbucks Coffee and ExxonMibil Foundaton the Vital Voice Global Partnership will bring together 200 emerging women leaders and girls from throughout Africa for the Vital Voices Pan-African Leadership Summit for Women & Girls. The weeklong Summit will be held in Cape Town, South Africa January 13-19, 2007. The Summit will recognize the critical role that African women and girls must play in moving the continent forward to achieve greater health and welfare along with more stable governments and economies.
Citigroup is committing $100 million to expand and accelerate Citigroup's global commitment to supporting the growth sustainable microfinance institutions (MFI), which provide finaincial services to low income and poor individuals. As Citigroup expands the program, they will target microfinance institutions that have had limited access to term local currency financing. Partnering with the Overseas Private Investment Corporations, Citigroup will significantly increase funding to MFIs in Africa, Asia, Central/Eastern Europe and Latin America.
To renew historic links between the U.S. African American community and Liberia, BET founder and RLJ Companies CEO Bob Johnson has committed to mobilizing $30 million for health, education, and agriculture programs in Liberia. He will also lead delegations of prominent African American executives to Liberia to examine obstacles faced by the business community there.
MITIGATION OF RELIGIOUS AND ETHNIC CONFLICT
Humanity United, Center for American Progress, International Crisis Group
Humanity United will make a commitment of $3.6 million to organize and mount a comprehensive, non-partisan campaign to end mass atrocities by bringing broad-based, diverse, creative, and sustained advocacy to bear on policymakers and decision-makers in the U.S. and other key countries. The goal is to build the capacity of a nascent movement that will invigorate public advocacy and offer policy options to prevent the commission of mass atrocities where ever they may be found through out the world.
International Crisis Group (ICG)
The International Crisis, working in partnership with the Radcliffe Foundation, the Iara Lee & George Gund III Foundation, and Hamza Al Kholi, is committing $900,000 over 3 years to fund a five-track diplomatic strategy for resolving conflict in the Middle East. ICG is developing a detailed strategy, which involves the Quartet (U.S., EU, Russia, UN) working with key Arab League countries, to generate new diplomatic momentum for a comprehensive, just, and sustainable peace. Already ICG convened a brainstorming session with UN officials earlier this month and it plans to convene a high-level group of former U.S. Government officials to generate bipartisan U.S. support for this effort. ICG will produce a series of reports and briefings on the Arab-Israeli conflict to be presented to relevant policy-makers.
James Zogby, Host & Producer, Abu Dhabi TV, and the President of the Arab American Institute
Partnering with Americans for Informed Democracy, Abu Dhabi TV will invest $150,000 to create four live interactive television programs with participating audiences drawn American campuses and campuses in Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. These interactive sessions will allow students to speak to one another, breaking down the too-common barriers of distrust and ignorance between Americans and Arabs, and to build relationships together. The programs will be broadcast in Europe, in the U.S. and across the Arab world.
Search for Common Ground, Alan B. Slifka Foundation & Unbound Philanthropy
This is an idea that came out of one of the mitigating religious and ethnic conflict working sessions on Thursday, where the idea was proposed and the money was pledged. John Marks (President, Search for Common Ground), Alan Slifka (Alan B. Slifka Foundation), Kamran Elahian, and Deborah Berger (President, Unbound Philanthropy) committed $150,000 towards bringing together a number of world-renowned, influential people, to create a series of public-service announcements that will promote tolerance and reconciliation worldwide.
CGI participants Archbishop Tutu and Cicely Tyson will be among those featured in the announcements, alongside musicians, athletes and other accomplished and well-known figures.
2006 Olympic Gold Medalist Joey Cheek, Founder of the Where Will We Be Campaign, has committed to unite a majority of 2008 Olympians to speak with one voice, to apply political pressure, to build partnerships with NGOs, and to help end the crisis in the Sudan by the summer Olympics of 2008. Cheek will assemble a core group of elite, international athletes to travel to Sudan and film a documentary of their experiences on the ground. Each athlete will return to his or her home country and share their experience and call upon other athletes to join the campaign to end the violence in Darfur. By speaking out on the tragedy of Darfur, Cheek hopes to reach an audience of 3.9 billion viewers worldwide during the 2008 games.
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