Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Commitment - The Key to Change

Clinton Global Initiative Places Change Makers, World Leaders, and Funders Together

Commitment [kuh-mit-muh nt]: involving yourself, pledging support, the most necessary step toward action. A college professor, and long time United Nations insider, once told me the General Assembly opening session speeches are a nice part of the United Nations, but the real work goes on in the small meeting rooms nestled in the nooks and crannies of the famous building. It represents one of the rare opportunities heads of states get to talk national interest agendas and weigh support of foreign policy issues face to face without the media or work up of official state visits. In the professor’s words, “It’s where the ball really gets rolling”.

Bringing these world leaders together is a great benefit unfortunately at times missed by mass media. Some reporters and news outlets focus attention on President Bush and President Ahmadinejad speeches billing the headline as “The Great Showdown”, as if Monday Night Football coverage translated to the diplomacy and international relations arena. These two speeches, though important, and excerpts of interviews with Ahmadinejad were ubiquitous across media channels as the only coverage of the day’s events north of Houston Street in New York City. Nonexistent is coverage for a four day conference this
week that takes advantage of the UN’s high ranking guests and gets the ball rolling on the critical issues that face our world.

“Over 80 former and current heads of state, hundreds of top CEOs and non-profit leaders, major philanthropists, and 10 of the last 16 Nobel Peace Laureates” will attend the Clinton Global Initiative meeting this year and focus on four of the great challenges of our time and world: education, poverty alleviation, global health, and energy & climate change. At this invite only conference leaders of the different sectors gain the ability to meet, view, and discuss concrete opportunities through panels, breakout sessions, and an internet platform that allows for a free flow of ideas, dialogue, and support.

What this conference seeks to build and guarantee is commitment. Since starting in 2005, “CGI members have made nearly 1,000 commitments valued at over $30 billion to improve more than 200 million lives in over 150 countries.” It places together innovative and highly effective change makers and non-profits with the people who are enablers. Nothing gets passed with more success through any government or corporation than a bill the president is moved to create or support. He or She will find the funds when they see results are attainable. Getting these types of members on board, talking, and part of the equation are fundamental to the creating the success the Clinton Foundation strives to develop. Former President Clinton established the CGI to “help turn good intentions in to real action and results.” He understands the essential nature of this link and his post presidential legacy will be cemented through the works and actions of his foundation and centered of the most important word – commitment.

The CGI meeting is viewable by internet. Schedule. Featured Commitments.


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