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One thousand pledges made to the Clinton Global Initiative

One thousand pledges made to the Clinton Global Initiative

News (International)

Former US President Bill Clinton has announced nearly 1,000 "Commitments to Action" to improve over 200 million lives in more than 100 countries.

Members of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), including 82 former and current heads of state and 325 CEOs, have made the commitments. CGI was founded by Clinton in 2005.

"We've accomplished so much already in just three years - a true testament to what can be achieved when the public and private sectors put ideas into action and bring resources to bear where they are needed most," said Clinton during CGI’s mid-year meeting in New York City, which was open to the public.

CGI commitments focus on education, climate, health and poverty alleviation. Some 200 have already been completed, CGI said.

Clinton’s progress report of the commitments included “Education that Pays for Itself”, a commitment to action made by Fundación Paraguaya in 2007 to expand its innovative approach of quality high school education in sustainable agriculture and entrepreneurship to an additional 50 developing countries and schools by 2017, directly impacting 120,000 disadvantaged youth from rural areas.

Since the Annual Meeting in 2007, Fundación Paraguaya has held the first International Conference on Self-Sufficient Schools with 140 participants from 20 countries in Paraguay, where they launched the idea of reinventing rural education through entrepreneurship.

Other commitments range from $100,000 in support from the Hashoo Foundation for women beekeepers in Pakistan to an estimated $1.5m in support from the United Methodist Church to fight malaria in the Ivory Coast with insecticide-treated nets.

Visa Inc. has made CGI's first commitment of 2008, pledging to increase financial literacy for 10m people over five years, but has not revealed how much money it planned to commit.

Though CGI pledges are not required to lay out a minimum amount of money, they are, in a sense, socially binding: organisations and individuals that do not live up to them are barred from attending the annual summit; a glamorous assembly of global leaders and celebrities.

In December, Clinton will travel to Hong Kong to launch the first meeting of CGI International. Beginning in Asia, CGI International will supplement the CGI Annual Meeting in New York with meetings in various regions of the world to examine issues and challenges of importance to leaders in that region. 

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