Stars and leaders sign up for Clinton forum

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 October, 2008, 12:00am

Actor Jet Li, Noble Peace Prize winner R.K. Pachauri, Asean Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan, Japanese legislator Yuriko Koike and business leaders Victor Fung Kwok-king, and Tulsi Tanti from India, have signed on for Bill Clinton's Global Initiative meeting in Hong Kong in December, it was announced yesterday.

The former US president said last month that Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would join him at the special regional conference, a two-day event at which hundreds of Asia's elite will be asked to commit to change in education, energy and public health.

The Hong Kong meeting is the first time the Clinton Global Initiative, established in 2005, will be held outside the United States.

'Asia's role as a catalyst for growth in today's global economy has enabled its leaders to address challenges at the local, regional, and international levels,' Mr Clinton said yesterday.

'Modelled after our successful Clinton Global Initiative - through which members have made nearly 1,200 commitments, valued at US$46 billion, and have already impacted 200 million lives in 150 countries - the upcoming CGI meeting in Asia will give us the opportunity to devise innovative solutions that draw upon the unique expertise and resources of the region,' he added.

Mr Clinton also announced the programme for the two days of panels and working sessions at the Grand Hyatt on December 2 and 3.

Broader plenary sessions will include such topics as 'Next Generation Philanthropy', 'Building Prosperity from Diversity' and 'PostDisaster Relief', while working sessions would discuss issues specific to education, environment and health.

In the past, CGI members have helped reduce carbon dioxide emissions, improve health services and provide clean energy, schooling and microfinance funding to millions.

Mr Clinton had said earlier he chose Hong Kong because of its accessibility and success.