Press Releases

Former President Clinton Announces Program for 2008 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

September 18, 2008

New York – Former President Bill Clinton today announced the program for the 2008 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting to be held September 23-26, in New York City.

"I am excited to work together with leaders from across the political spectrum and around the world to address critical global challenges, like the food and energy crises, at our Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting this year," President Clinton said. "Through our Annual Meeting, CGI members have made upwards of $30 billion in commitments to improve more than 200 million lives in over 150 countries, and I’m confident you will see our members redouble their efforts this year."

Since 2005, more than 80 current and former heads of state; hundreds of leading CEOs, philanthropists, and NGO leaders; and 10 of the last 16 Nobel Peace Prize laureates have attended CGI. This year, President Clinton will again be joined by leading voices from every sector to take action in CGI’s four focus areas: education, energy & climate change, global health, and poverty alleviation.

The following are among those who have confirmed their attendance at the 2008 CGI Annual Meeting: Queen Rania Al-Abdullah (Jordan), Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (Italy), Prime Minister Gordon Brown (UK), President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa (Mexico), President Leonel Fernández (Dominican Republic), President Armando Guebuza (Mozambique), President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Liberia), President Paul Kagame (Rwanda), President Hamid Karzai (Afghanistan), President Shimon Peres (Israel), Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (Australia), President Jalal Talabani (Iraq), former Prime Minister Tony Blair (UK), former President Ernesto Zedillo (Mexico), former Vice President Al Gore (United States), Senator John McCain (Arizona), Senator Barack Obama (Illinois), Mayor Bill White (Houston), former Senator Bill Frist (Tennessee), Jacques Aigrain (Swiss Re), Muhammad Ali (Athletes for Hope), Bradbury Anderson (Best Buy), Lance Armstrong (Lance Armstrong Foundation), Craig Barrett (Intel), Maria Bartiromo (CNBC), Bono (ONE), Tom Brokaw (NBC News), Lester Brown (Earth Policy Institute), John Chambers (Cisco), Peter Chernin (News Corporation), Former Army General Wesley Clark (UCLA's Burkle Center for International Relations; Emergya Wind Technologies, BV), Ian Davis (McKinsey & Company), Paul Farmer (Partners in Health), Bob Geldof, David Gergen (Harvard University), Neville Isdell (The Coca-Cola Company), Wyclef Jean (Yéle Haiti), Ashley Judd, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (Riverkeeper Alliance; NRDC), Anne Lauvergeon (Areva), Wangari Maathai (Green Belt Movement, Kenya), Amre Moussa (League of Arab States), Dikembe Mutombo (Dikembe Mutombo Foundation), R.K. Pachauri (TERI), T. Boone Pickens (BP Capital), Victor Pinchuk (The Victor Pinchuk Foundation), Carl Pope (Sierra Club), Judith Rodin (Rockefeller Foundation), Robert Rubin (Citi), Joseph Saunders (Visa Inc), Josette Sheeran (World Food Programme), Dominique Strauss-Kahn (IMF), Barbara Streisand (The Streisand Foundation), Myron Ullman (J.C. Penny’s), Ann Veneman (UNICEF), and Muhammad Yunus (Grameen Bank).

Both United States presidential candidates will have a role in the Annual Meeting. Senator John McCain will deliver the opening remarks live at the "Integrated Solutions: water, food and energy" plenary session. Senator Barack Obama will address meeting participants via satellite.

The following plenary session and working group topics are the basis for discussion and action at the Annual Meeting:

Plenary Sessions

Plenary sessions are panels that introduce and assess cross-sectoral issues for further examination within the working sessions. Below are this year’s plenary session topics.

  • A Call to Action – Explores the transformative capacity of business, government, and NGOs to collaboratively develop and implement sustainable solutions for the major challenges that CGI is focusing on this year.
  • Generating Profits, Jobs, and Equitable Growth – Highlights solutions from the public and private sectors that are generating profits, driving sustainable economic growth, and creating high-quality jobs in both developed and developing nations.
  • Integrated Solutions: Water, Food, and Energy – Discusses ways to use water more efficiently, expand food security, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels to create a more sustainable future.
  • Meeting the Demands of Population Growth and Urbanization – Features policies for growing cities to build and strengthen infrastructure that can help countries transform population growth into an opportunity for development.
  • The Global Impact of Rural Innovation – Includes information about business and technological innovations that serve rural communities that can also be applied around the world.

Working Sessions

Working sessions are divided into three segments and are designed to transform ideas into action. The first segment features a panel discussion among three to four leaders already taking action on a specific issue. During the second segment, audience members collaboratively assess opportunities for action through intimate, highly interactive table discussions led by knowledgeable, professionally trained facilitators. The final segment reconvenes the larger discussion and through the use of information technology, enables real-time analysis and summary of the many proposals for action developed during the table discussions.

Education working sessions:

  • Global Expansion of Programs that Increase Quality Education
  • Providing Real Choices: What works for at-risk adolescent girls and boys?
  • Joint Session on Education and Global Health: Expanding the School-Health Connection
  • Beyond Microfinance: Strengthening Business and Entrepreneurship Education for Women in Emerging Economies

Energy & Climate Change working sessions:

  • Ending Energy Waste
  • Renewables Revolution
  • Clean Transport
  • Special Session: Climate Change and Poverty Alleviation

Global Health working sessions:

  • Healthy Transitions for Adolescent Girls
  • Expanding the Global Health Workforce
  • Joint Session on Education and Global Health: Expanding the School-Health Connection
  • Maternal and Child Nutrition

Poverty Alleviation working sessions:

  • Strengthening Livelihoods through Financial Services for the Poor
  • Food Security and Poverty
  • Improving Livelihoods in the Wake of Conflict
  • Special Session: Climate Change and Poverty Alleviation

On Tuesday, September 23, CGI will launch CGI Exchange, a new forum for CGI members to showcase their projects and accomplishments. This exhibition event will provide an opportunity for members to learn about commitments and network with other CGI members to build partnerships.

On Thursday, September 25, President Clinton will host the second annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards, which recognizes extraordinary individuals who have demonstrated innovative leadership in solving pressing global challenges. The ceremony will be taped to broadcast as a special on CNBC, and will be hosted by Maria Bartiromo. Through their work, these honorees have proven that cross-sectors of society, including governments, corporations, philanthropists and non-governmental organizations, can work together successfully to implement and devise solutions that effect positive, lasting social change.

As a non-profit organization, CGI depends upon sponsorship assistance to fund its operations and Annual Meeting. CGI would like to thank Tom Golisano, major underwriter of the Annual Meeting. CGI also thanks the following sponsors: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, Citi, the Doris and Donald Fisher Fund, Green Rubber, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Cisco, the Sultanate of Oman, Calyon, CLSA, CNBC, Deutsche Bank, Duke Energy, The Economist, Energy Developments and Investments Corporation, GSD&M’s Idea City, the Howard Gilman Foundation, HP, Knoll, Microsoft, the Rockefeller Foundation, Suzlon, Swiss Re, and Thomson Reuters.

Media who wish to attend the 2008 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting may contact press@clintonglobalinitiative.org for press credentials. Applications for credentials should be received no later than September 19, 2008. Please note: Attending media are not permitted to use wireless microphones.


About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 as a project of the non-partisan William J. Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI members have made nearly 1,000 Commitments to Action valued at upwards of $30 billion to improve more than 200 million lives in over 150 countries around the world. Through past Annual Meetings, CGI has brought together more than 80 current and former heads of state, hundreds of top CEOs and non-profit leaders, major philanthropists, and 10 of the last 16 Nobel Peace Prize laureates.

The CGI community also includes: CGI University (CGI U), a forum to engage college students in global citizenship; CGI Asia, the first in a series of regional CGI meetings; and, MyCommitment.org, an online portal where anybody can make their own Commitment to Action. For more details on CGI and the 2008 Annual Meeting, please visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.

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