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Actor Brad Pitt was honored at the Clinton Global Initiative on Thursday for his humanitarian work in helping rebuild New Orleans.

Former President Bill Clinton presented Pitt with a plaque from the U.S. Green Building Council which said the actor and his Make It Right Foundation had created the “largest and greenest single-family community in the world.”

‘Make It Right’ has exceeded my expectations," said Pitt. "Our criteria from the beginning were at odds, to say the least. We demanded that these homes be sustainable, that they have aesthetic qualities … that they be storm resilient and take safety in mind of the families who live there and that they would be affordable.

“If we had not been so blissfully naive to the potential, we would not be experiencing what we are seeing today and that is the unquantifiable joy of families returning home to the 9th Ward and returning home to something that was better than before. What the team has done here is not so exceptional. All we did was put the right people together and answer the problems as they came along and that is why we’re here today.”

The Clinton Global Initiative attracted a number of high-profile figures this year. Queen Rania Al Abdullah spoke of the need for education, stating that it is an issue many politicians jump on when running for office, but also one they mysteriously forget about once voted into power.

“The benefits of education sometimes don’t fit in with the political cycle because you reap the benefits way down the line,” she said. “What we need to do is realize that sense of urgency when it comes to education, because education is a matter of life and death.”

She also emphasized the importance of the quality of education, saying that there hasn’t been enough focus in the Middle East on teaching young people the skills to get them through life.

“Take young people who are opportunity starved, and there is political conflict around them, and that makes a very dangerous social mix. As you all know, what happens in the Middle East, does not stay in the Middle East. Critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, those kinds of skills are extremely important to empower our young people.”

Rock star Bono and actress Jessica Alba also attended, throwing their support behind 1GOAL, an initiative committed to ensuring that the legacy of the 2010 Football World Cup will provide universal access to education for all children. Clinton told the audience “this is a staggering opportunity” to make a big difference for girls and boys around the world.

To find out more about the 1GOAL campaign, click here.

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