President Bill Clinton, Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton closed the 10th Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting this week by announcing new Commitments to Action and issuing a call to action to members in four critical issue areas: addressing energy poverty around the world, tackling food insecurity and hunger in the United States, increasing access to water, and responding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Over three days, CGI members made 188 new Commitments to Action, expected to impact nearly 4.9 million lives around the world when fully funded and implemented.
Highlights from the final day of the Annual Meeting included:
- Featured speakers included: President Bill Clinton, Founding Chairman, Clinton Global Initiative, 42nd President of the United States; Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Senator from New York; Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation; Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan; Cady Coleman, Astronaut, NASA; Katie Couric, Global Anchor, Yahoo News; Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman and Founder, X PRIZE Foundation; Melinda Gates, Co-chair and Trustee, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, 2011, President, Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa; Hikmet Ersek, President, CEO and Director, The Western Union Company; David Leonhardt, Editor, The Upshot, The New York Times; Graça Machel, Founder, Graça Machel Trust and Foundation for Community Development; Nilofar Sakhi, Chief Executive Officer, American University of Afghanistan; and Reid Wiseman, Astronaut, NASA , Commander, U.S. NAVY.
- Melinda Gates joined Secretary Clinton to examine the progress that has been made since the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and what challenges remain.
- CNN’s Erin Burnett hosted a retrospective conversation on lessons learned since CGI was founded. Participants included President Bill Clinton, Founding Chairman, Clinton Global Initiative; 42nd President of the United States; Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister, United Kingdom; Ashley Judd, Actor, Author, Advocate, Population Services International; Zainab Salbi, Founder, Executive Producer and Co-Creator, Women for Women International; The Trials of Spring.
- The Haiti Action Network joined together to highlight the work of the group and debate how members can continue designing and implementing Commitments to Action that build local capacity and have clear exit strategies to enable Haiti to prosper far into the future.
- A discussion hosted by CNN’s Sanjay Gupta discussed the importance of investing in early childhood education and development. Participants included Geoffrey Canada, President, Harlem Children’s Zone; Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; Nadine Burke Harris, Founder and CEO, Center for Youth Wellness; Cindy McCain, Founding Member, Eastern Congo Initiative; and Rosemarie T. Truglio, Senior Vice President, Global Education Content, Sesame Workshop.
- CGI members discussed their current efforts underway to combat the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa and explored ways to leverage partnerships in response to the outbreak.
- At the closing, Secretary Clinton had a conversation with Graça Machel, Founder, Graça Machel Trust and Foundation for Community Development, and presented her with the Clinton Global Citizen Award for Civil Service
In the closing plenary, Secretary Clinton issued calls to action to members to develop innovative commitments in four issue areas:
• Committing to make dramatic progress on energy access and energy poverty. As many as 1.3 billion people around the world do not have access to electricity today;
• Helping communities around the world get the clean water they need. In the majority of developed countries, access to clean water is often taken for granted, but worldwide 780 million people lack access because of poor quality or insufficient supplies;
• Increasing access to and improving the affordability of healthy food in low-income communities across America. An estimated 15 percent of all American households, or roughly 49 million Americans, experience food insecurity or hunger;
• Providing immediate assistance and strengthening health systems to respond to the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The Annual Meeting is sponsored by Ambassador Gianna Angelopoulos, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., Hult Prize Foundation, Starkey Hearing Foundation, Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Barclays, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company, Ford Foundation, Monsanto, P&G, Rockefeller Foundation, United Postcode Lotteries, Varkey Gems Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Cisco Systems, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women, NRG Energy, PWC, Blackstone, Deutsche Bank, ExxonMobil, HP, Inter-American Development Bank, InterEnergy, Laureate International Universities, Microsoft, Standard Chartered Bank, Swiss Re, Western Union, APCO Worldwide, Diageo, Jive, and Knoll.