(AFP) – Sep 21, 2010
NEW YORK — Former president Bill Clinton on Tuesday launched the sixth year of his annual conference which brings together leaders from government and the private sector to find ways to help the world's poor.
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) was started in 2005 to help raise money and create practical solutions for the most intractable problems facing the developing world.
"At the end of last year's conference we had 1,700 commitments that have already had a positive impact on 300 million people," Clinton said as this year's meetings got underway.
"More than 60 million women and children have better care, better access to education. We have had hundreds of energy initiatives, micro credit initiatives, cleaner water initiatives," he said listing the effort's achievements so far.
"But we must continue," the former president said, adding that more effort in particular must be devoted to reacting to natural disasters, after massive earthquakes this year in Chile and Haiti and cataclysmic flooding in Pakistan.
Over the years, the CGI Annual Meetings have assembled more than 125 current and former heads of state, hundreds of CEOs of major companies, and leaders from the philanthropic world and non-governmental organizations, securing commitments valued at some 57 billion dollars
Among those attending this year's meetings are Google's CEO Eric Schmidt, the former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, and Melinda Gates, wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle were due to attend on Thursday, the last day of three-day conference.
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