December date for Clinton forum

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 July, 2008, 12:00am

The city will host the first Clinton Global Initiative international meeting, led by the former US president Bill Clinton, on December 2-3.

The former president will be joined by Asian heads of states, chief executives, directors of NGOs, philanthropists, scholars and the media to address global challenges in the areas of education, energy and climate change, and public health.

It will be the first time a Clinton Global Initiative forum will be held outside the US since its first annual meeting in New York in 2005. Labelled CGI Asia, it is the first of a series of international meetings.

'This meeting holds tremendous promise and opportunity for change throughout the Asian continent and around the world,' Mr Clinton said.

He said the meeting would combine Asia's unique capacity to lead on pressing issues such as poverty alleviation and global health, with the initiative's successful model that had inspired US$30 billion worth of commitments to improve 200 million lives in 100 countries.

The two-day meeting will engage members in panel discussions and interactive work sessions.

Guided by facilitators, participants will discuss new ideas and uncover new insights to address specific problems.

Each participant will be asked to make a 'Commitment to Action' in one of the initiative's focus areas. In the past, initiative members from the corporate sector have committed to new approaches to their businesses, which generate financial, social and environmental value.

Past participants include Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi , UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, World Health Organisation director general Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and actor Jet Li.

In the three years since CGI's inception, members have committed to reducing more than 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and providing 8.5 million children access to education.