The Clinton Global Initiative taking place in New York City September 18-19, is aimed at bringing together organizations across government, business, and civil society; established and emerging leaders; activists and advocates; and community workers and doers who are on the front lines of our most pressing global challenges, and facilitate collaborations and actions that have real impact on people’s lives around the world.
Launched by President Clinton in 2005, CGI has built a community of doers who are taking action to make a tangible difference in people’s lives around the world.
CGI works with partners to develop Commitments to Action, which are new, specific, and measurable solutions. Since 2005, more than 3,900 Commitments to Action have been launched through CGI. At the 2022 meeting, members of the CGI community launched more than 140 Commitments to Action that are now improving access to health care, advancing sustainability, creating employment opportunities, supporting refugee resettlement, and more.
President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton, in a letter to the CGI community, said this year’s meeting would focus on how to “keep going” – in spite of the difficulties that arise – to build a stronger future for all.
“We all have the power to make a difference, and therefore the responsibility at least to try. This fundamental belief is what led us to call the CGI community back together in 2022. The response was remarkable: more than 2,000 leaders attended our September meeting in New York City, where more than 650 partnering organizations came together to launch more than 140 Commitments to Action – new, specific, measurable projects. All told, the CGI community has now made more than 3,900 Commitments.
“Throughout 2023, we’ve built on that momentum, convening leaders, innovators and dreamers across geographies and areas of focus to forge new partnerships and drive further action, all to achieve more durable, meaningful and yes, measurable impact. In the spring alone, we hosted events on five continents to get input from the CGI network and bring more partners into the fold—and we heard from you over and over again how important it is to reconvene CGI again this September.
“That’s why, on September 18-19, we will gather again in New York City. This year’s meeting will focus on what it takes to keep going—to maintain and advance progress, in spite of the difficulties that arise, and increase our capacity to cross the divides and make common cause with one another wherever possible to build a stronger future for all.
“At CGI’s annual meeting, we’ll hear from those who are tackling some of today’s most pressing issues, including climate change, health inequities, food insecurity, economic inequality, threats to democracy around the world, and record-breaking refugee displacement. We will examine ways to channel energy and investment to scale solutions that are already improving people’s lives, and explore how tools like AI can be responsibly harnessed for good. As always, the focus will be on what we can do, not what we can’t—and will highlight how even seemingly small actions, when taken together, can turn the tide on even our most stubborn challenges.”
At CGI 2023, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton will be joined by leaders from across business, government, philanthropy, and civil society, including Noubar Afeyan, Founder and CEO, Flagship Pioneering; Co-Founder and Chairman, Moderna; Ajay Banga, World Bank President; Jason Buechel, CEO, Whole Foods; Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education; Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO, Airbnb; Daniels, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Directors/Writers/Producers; Philip E. Davis, Prime Minister, The Bahamas; Patrick Dempsey, Actor, Producer, Founder and Board Member of The Dempsey Center; Michael J. Fox, Founder, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research; Maura Healey, Governor, Massachusetts; Kathy Hochul, Governor, New York; Padma Lakshmi, Host/Executive Producer of Hulu’s Taste the Nation, Writer, and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador; Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, CEO, MercyCorps; David Miliband, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee; La June Montgomery Tabron, President and CEO, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Wes Moore, Governor, Maryland; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization; Noel Quinn, CEO, HSBC; J.B. Pritzker, Governor, Illinois; Liev Schreiber, Co-Founder, Blue Check Ukraine; Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation; will.i.am, President & Founder, i.am Angel Foundation.
Additional featured participants include Rolando Gonzalez-Bunster, Founder, President, and CEO, InterEnergy; Nicole Hockley, CEO, Sandy Hook Promise; Eugenia Kargbo, Arsht-Rock Chief Heat Officer, Freetown, Sierra Leone; Francine Katsoudas, Executive Vice President and Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer of Cisco; Sophia Kianni, Founder and Executive Director, Climate Cardinals; Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist and Author; Peter Laugharn, President and CEO, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation; Sage Lenier, Founder & Executive Director, Sustainable & Just Future; Louise Emmanuelle Mabulo, Founder, The Cacao Project; Janet Murguía, President, UnidosUS; Vaishali Nigam-Sinha, Co-Founder & Chairperson, Sustainability, ReNew Energy Global PLC; ‘Aholotu Palu, Chief Executive of the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company; Amy Pope, Incoming Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM); Keller Rinaudo Cliffton, Founder and CEO, Zipline; Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Founder & Chair, Council for Inclusive Capitalism and CEO, E.L. Rothschild; Paul Stormoen, CEO, OX2; Pete Upton, CEO and Chairperson, Native CDFI Network; Asha Varghese, President, Caterpillar Foundation; Gary White, Co-Founder, Water.org; Debra Whitman, Executive Vice President and Chief Public Policy Officer, AARP; Darrin Williams, CEO, Southern Bancorp.
Previously announced featured participants include José Andrés, Founder and Chief Feeding Officer, World Central Kitchen; Orlando Bloom, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador; Albert Bourla, CEO, Pfizer; Jesper Brodin, Chairman and CEO, INGKA Holding; Matt Damon, Co-Founder, Water.org; Tony Elumelu, Founder and Chair, The Tony Elumelu Foundation; Ilan Goldfajn, President, Inter-American Development Bank; Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; Ashley Judd, Author and Goodwill Ambassador, UNFPA; Karlie Kloss, Entrepreneur and Founder of Kode With Klossy; Lorenzo P. Lewis, Founder, the Confess Project; Tsitsi Masiyiwa, Co-Founder and Chair of Higherlife Foundation and Delta Philanthropies; Cindy H. McCain, Executive Director of the World Food Programme; Ai-jen Poo, President, National Domestic Workers Alliance; Catherine Russell, Executive Director, UNICEF; Ai Weiwei, Artist; and more.
Sponsors for the CGI 2023 meeting span a broad range of supporters from business, philanthropy, and civil society. CGI is grateful for their support in building a convening that will help drive action across the major global challenges of our time. They include InterEnergy/Evergo, Domuschiev Impact, AFT, American Beverage, APCO Worldwide, Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, Beatrice Snyder Foundation, Bob and Jane Harrison, Caterpillar Foundation, Christie’s, Cisco, Dream, The EKTA Foundation, The Elevate Prize Foundation, Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali, Flagship Pioneering, Fondation Botnar, Global Education Foundation, Global Sae-A, JetBlue, Joyce Aboussie, The Marc Haas Foundation, The Masimo Foundation, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, MEBO International, Pernod Ricard USA, Pfizer Inc., SAP, Tarsadia Foundation, Teena Hostovich, The Nima Taghavi Foundation, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In addition, Postcode Lottery Group is serving as a partner for the CGI 2023 Meeting. For the second consecutive year, decision intelligence company Morning Consult is serving as the official data partner.
The CGI 2023 Meeting will also include the return of two programs launched in 2022 – CGI Greenhouse that directly connects entrepreneurs with partnership and scaling opportunities; and the CGI Story Studio that inspires action through stories of frontline leaders and lived experiences.
You can livestream the event by registering to participate.
I am so sick of Donald Trump and his sleezy band of “surrogates” attacking the Clinton Foundation as if it were run in the same way and for the same purpose as the corrupt and self-serving Trump Foundation, rather than being the catalyst for sustainable development that has meaningfully lifted millions out of poverty, provided life-saving medications and vaccines, expanded health care and educational opportunities, fostered the cultural changes to lift up women and girls and reduce gender violence and inequality. And that’s just for starters.
At an emotional Closing Plenary Session of the 12th and final Clinton Global Initiative – the annual meeting that brings together philanthropists, corporations, government leaders and non-governmental organizations to partner together on sustainable projects that actually help solve the intractable problems of the world, from poverty to gender inequality to conflict resolution -, President Clinton delivered a personal reflection on what the last 15 years of the Clinton Foundation have meant to him and discussed how CGI helped redefine philanthropy.
“It has been one of the great honors of my life. You are living proof that good people committed to create cooperation have almost unlimited positive impact to help people today and give our kids better tomorrows. I have spent the last 15 years of my life working to advance that idea,” President Clinton said.
During the three days of the gathering, CGI “members” (who are obligated to make and implement commitments) discussed and announced 96 new Commitments to Action to continue driving progress on pressing global issues, including preventing the spread of Zika, addressing the refugee crisis in Syria, reducing violence against women in the developing world, peacebuilding in post-conflict areas, and strengthening business supply chains so that companies can do well by doing good.
What started with 600 commitments in 100 countries in CGI’s first two years has since grown to more than 3,600 commitments spanning more than 180 countries, which have improved the lives of over 435 million people. The impact of CGI will continue through the work of CGI members who are implementing their Commitments to Action. When fully funded and implemented, commitments announced by CGI members over the past 11 years will ensure that:
More than 52 million childrenhave access to a better education.
More than 33 million peoplehave increased access to safe drinking water and sanitation.
More than 13 million girls and womenhave been supported through empowerment initiatives.
More than $1.6 billionhas been invested or loaned to small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Nearly 35 million peoplehave access to information technologies.
More than 50 million farmers or small-scale producers have gained access toinputs, supports, and markets
More than 8 million people have gained skills to cope with the risks of environmental stress and natural disasters.
More than 401 million acres of foresthave been protected or restored.
Nearly 4 million clean jobs have been created.
More than 114 million peoplehave increased access to maternal and child health and survival programs.
More than $318 million in research and development funds has been spent on new vaccines, medicines, and diagnostics.
“I started CGI in 2005 because I believed people wanted to come together and work together to solve big problems and seize key opportunities.,” said President Clinton. “It has changed the landscape of modern philanthropy. Putting ideas into action is no longer the exception but the rule. I look forward to seeing new Commitments to Action announced which will continue to improve lives long into the future.”
“Every year, CGI’s Annual Meeting has been a place where we see unlikely partnerships form – in the hallways, at a discussion table, or right on stage,” said Chelsea Clinton. “I’m excited to see what partnerships emerge this year to tackle challenges in education, global health and development broadly – and to look back and continue to learn from the impact of CGI partnerships through the years on pivotal issues like Ebola relief, disaster response, increased opportunities for girls and women, climate change, and sustainable economic development.”
CGI built a forum for government, business, and civil society to come together and turn ideas into action through the Commitment to Action model — the defining feature of CGI. Since the first Annual Meeting in 2005, CGI has brought together nearly 190 sitting and former heads of state, more than 20 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of business, philanthropic, non-profit leaders, and influential civic voices. Timed to continue the dialogue on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the CGI Annual Meeting has guided members to expand and replicate proven solutions to pressing challenges.
At the meeting, several CGI members expressed their appreciation and gratitude for the work of CGI within their remarks, including:
Zainab Salbi, Founder of Women for Women International, said, “I have been a proud member of CGI since 2005. I have witnessed its unique, practical, and measurable contributions in the world, the opportunities it created for marginalized voices to be heard, and how it helped push social issues otherwise ignored to the limelight. This may be the last Annual Meeting, but the work and the spirit of President Clinton’s mission and the CGI committed community will live on forever.”
The theme of CGI is “Turning Ideas Into Action,” and Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever noted, “the Clinton Global Initiative has done much more than that. It has been an enormous convening power to bring people together who otherwise would not have come together.”
“The question you need to ask them is it’s not just about how to innovate, but how to innovate and develop a business model which produces global access to that idea. Because innovation that nobody gets access to is not innovation,” said Andrew Witty, Chief Executive Officer, GlaxoSmithKline
“The truth is you cannot find a more dedicated group of problem solvers, visionaries and altruists anywhere in the world than at CGI,” Madeleine Albright, Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group, said. “The Clinton Foundation had done more to help alleviate poverty and disease, and further global development than any platform I know.”
The final CGI was a kind of valedictory, reflecting back on what has been achieved, and in some ways, ending up the way it started, with a strong focus on Women and Girls (because when women succeed, society succeeds), and conflict resolution, with extremely stirring presentations that featured Aleksandar Vucic, Prime Minister, Serbia, together with Camil Durakovic, Mayor, Municipality of Srebrenica who have managed to come together 21 years after the massacre at Srebrenica, and Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, President, Colombia, honored as with a Global Citizen Award for
making peace after 50 years of civil war; Advija Ibrahimovic a survivor of Srebrenica, who presented a Global Citizen Award to Nadia Mura for the courage to tell her story of being kidnapped and exploited by ISIS who after her escape has become a voice for the thousands of women and children who have been trafficked in situations of conflict.
What can the Trump Foundation show? It does not have a legal certificate to solicit the millions of dollars, does not spend Donald’s own money but takes credit for others’ contributions, uses contributions to bolster his business and his personal reputation. He went on TV to solicit funds for veterans groups (as an excuse to not show up at a Republican debate) but only actually gave up the money after being exposed by the press (illegal to do that). He used his contribution to sway the Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi from investigating the Trump University fraud. Donald Trump has launched a new personal attack saying “follow the money”. Well here it is:
Among the new commitment announcements from the 12th and final Annual Meeting were those addressing critical issues such as the refugee crisis and the containment of infectious diseases like Zika, and a score of commitments aimed at addressing violence against women and gender inequality.
Here are details of just some of the commitments, in the hopes they will provide models for others to follow after there is no more Clinton Global Initiative to catalyze such partnerships, to inspire and to monitor and bring them to fruition:
U.ME.WE Campaign Commitment by: Ubuntu Education Fund Partner(s): Colin Cowie Events; De Agostini SpA; Eastern Cape Province Department of Health; Knowledge is Power Program; McKinsey & Company
PROGRESS REPORT: In 2012, Ubuntu Education Fund committed to launch the U.ME.WE. Campaign, a three year, $25 million initiative to provide long-term financial stability and develop the Ubuntu Centre in Port Elizabeth, South Africa into a world class health and education campus, transforming the lives of 2,000 children and their families from cradle to career. Led by an experienced and dedicated medical team, the organization’s health program offered comprehensive HIV/TB services from testing to adherence support, sexual and reproductive health interventions, primary care, and nutritional support. Ubuntu has provided well over 24,200 medical services to 2,000 of Port Elizabeth, South Africa’s most vulnerable children, as well as piloted an early childhood development program that has grown from 38 to 148 children, created a university preparation program for Grade 12 scholars, and enhanced household security through Ubuntu’s Family Support Specialists. Through this Clinton Global Initiative commitment, the organization has ensured that the birthplaces of 2,000 orphaned and vulnerable children living in Port Elizabeth’s townships do not have to determine their futures.
Amplifying the Voices of Poor Women to Create Inclusive Cities Commitment by: Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centers (SPARC) Partner(s): Arghyam; Cities Alliance; Shack/Slum Dwellers International; Tata Trusts; United Cities and Local Governments Africa
NEW: In 2016, the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centers (SPARC) and their partners committed to amplify the voices of slum dwellers in Odisha and Maharashtra, India. Over the next three years, SPARC, in collaboration with partners and local governments, will train local informal residents and collect previously absent and unattainable citywide slum data, while developing projects to address the priority issue areas articulated by residents in seven towns with the greatest demonstrated WASH and vulnerable housing needs in India. The participation and leadership of slum dwellers is key to demonstrating inclusive and equitable city development planning, which should incorporate the participation of and reflect the needs of resident slum dwellers, from start to finish. Ultimately, this Commitment to Action will impact more than 1,300,000 slum dwellers in more than 1,000 slum communities throughout India.
Increasing Adoption of Clean Energy Technology in Mozambique Commitment by: Edp – Energias De Portugal, S.A. Partner(s): OIKOS – Cooperação e Desenvolvimento; Leigos para o Desenvolvimento; SAN-JFS
NEW: In 2016, EDP – Energias de Portugal, S.A. committed to launch a program that will promote community adoption and integration of electricity in the village of Titimane in Mozambique. Titimane will gain access to electricity for the first time through the development of a renewable-energy powered mini-grid. While this new access to clean energy will promote sustainable economic development, EDP is well aware of the challenges off-grid villages face in transitioning away from previous energy sources and adopting new clean energy technologies. Working with two local NGO implementation partners, EDP will develop an integrated behavior-based economic development approach that will enable all 4,000 members of the community to leverage this new access to electricity by providing comprehensive outreach, training and community programming over 2.5 years in four focus areas: entrepreneurship, education, health, and community empowerment.
Haiti Commitment Cluster
PROGRESS REPORT: Approximately 30 organizations who have made commitments through the Haiti Action Network will announce progress and celebrate the over 100 commitments that have been made to benefit Haiti, including commitments made by Habitat for Humanity, Heifer Project International, Heineken, Marriot International, Inc., The Timberland Company, and West Elm. New commitments will also be announced to improve Haiti’s education, expand economic opportunity, and increase sustainability.
Tackling Childcare: Good for Business and Development Commitment by: IFC Partner(s): Aeromexico; Afrifresh; Axiata Group; Bauducco; Care.com, Inc.; Danone; Dialog Axiata Plc; EY; Grupo M; HBL Bank; HCL Technologies Limited; Institute for Women’s Policy Research; International Labour Organization; Kidogo; MAS Holdings (Pvt) Ltd.; Pepsico; Safaricom Limited; Sumimoto Chemical
NEW: In 2016, IFC (a member of the World Bank Group), brought together a group of private sector companies operating in a variety of different business sectors in emerging as well as developed markets to identify and implement childcare solutions that are good for business, employees, and communities. Private sector partners commit to at least three gender smart measures from a menu of options that focus on substantiating the business case for employer-supported childcare and putting this business case into practice. Strategic partners will provide knowledge, best practices, lessons learned, and data to help the private sector commitment members realize their commitments. The Tackling Childcare Secretariat housed in IFC will provide technical expertise, host learning events, provide communications opportunities, and compile the group’s learning on how employer-supported childcare can work in different regions, industries, and business environments in a global best practice “Tackling Childcare” report on employer-supported childcare. Ultimately, the commitment aims to directly impact the lives of working parents in participating organization, improve learning and awareness about the business case and best practices for employer-supported childcare, and encourage others to start or scale up their own employer-supported childcare efforts.
The New Luxury: Catalyzing Influencers to Curb Global Ivory Commitment by: Save the Elephants Partner(s): Tiffany & Co.; Marc Jacobs International; DNA Model Management; Edelman; Doutzen Kroes
NEW: In 2016, Save the Elephants, in partnership with Elephants Action Network Members, the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, and leading industry influencers including Tiffany & Co., Marc Jacobs International, DNA Model Management, Edelman, and Doutzen Kroes committed to the creation of a multi-stakeholder campaign leveraging their global taste-making status to curb the demand for elephant ivory in key buying markets. Fashion influencers, those brands and individuals who create and steward the goods and preferences that are so central to consumers’ identities, will communicate out their commitments to ivory-free products and lifestyles via a range of media platforms. Influencers will simultaneously drive $1 million in donations to the Elephant Crisis Fund, which supports anti-poaching efforts facing immediate need, via the unified #knotonmyplanet campaign. This messaging overtly links the consumption of ivory with the killing of elephants, and along with tailored influencer-created assets, will target populations in the United States and high-ivory demand East Asian countries at strategic intervals.
Igniting Ideas for Greece’s Future: The Angelopoulos 100 (CGI Annual Meeting 2016) Commitment by: Gianna Angelopoulos
NEW: In 2016, Ambassador Gianna Angelopoulos committed to scaling up her efforts to develop young Greek social entrepreneurs by recruiting, selecting, training, and supporting 100 Angelopoulos Fellows in implementing and sustaining projects that address Greece’s major challenges. Due to the financial crisis that has plagued Greece for almost a decade, career opportunities are limited and well educated young Greeks are quickly leaving the country. This commitment will connect young Greeks with relevant experts, mentorship opportunities, access to capital, and connections to international contacts and conferences to support them in their entrepreneurial endeavors. Creating an extensive, ongoing community network for the 100 Fellows will assist them in developing successful social enterprises that will positively impact communities across Greece.
Disabilities: Social & Financial Inclusion for Women & Girls Commitment by: Keystone Human Services Partner(s): Czech Development Agency; East European Foundation; Moldova, Republic of; National Agency for Employment; Soros Foundation; Step by Step Management, Inc.; Swedish Organization for Individual Relief; United States Agency for International Development; Winrock International
PROGRESS REPORT: In 2013, Keystone Human Services committed to improve social and financial inclusion for women and girls with disabilities in the United States and Eastern Europe, specifically in Pennsylvania, Moldova, and Russia. Through this commitment, Keystone aims to deinstitutionalize young women with disabilities, moving them from state institutions to community homes, and provide them with the necessary, community-based support structures. A complementary program aims to establish an inclusive, family-oriented, workforce model that effectively reduces obstacles to employment for women with disabilities and women caregivers of children with disabilities. Initially, Keystone intended to impact that lives of 60 women and girls, but the program has seen incredible successful and far exceed expectations. In Moldova, The Equal Access to Education program, an inclusive education project, has been piloted in 22 schools, and is being promoted and replicated at the national level. This has benefited many girls who now have access to education, health services, orthopedic and optical items, rehabilitation centers, physical therapy, counseling, and psychological support.
Life Saving Healthcare for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Commitment by: Unipol Gruppo Finanziario SpA Partner(s): United Nations Refugee Agency
NEW: In 2016, Unipol committed to provide humanitarian assistance to more than 300 refugees over two years in Lebanon, which is host to the highest number of Syrian refugees in proportion to its population size. Unipol will contribute a cash donation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which will provide treatment for emergency and lifesaving secondary and tertiary healthcare, such as normal and caesarian deliveries, as well as hospitalization costs and surgeries for emergency care. Rather than establishing new services, UNHCR will offset costs to ensure that Syrian refugees can access quality public healthcare. Complementing this donation, Unipol will raise awareness of the plight of Syrian refugees in host countries by implementing a communication campaign in Italy. With approximately 15,000 employees and over 16 million customers, Unipol will give UNHCR the possibility to reach a widespread audience. In addition, clients subscribing to Unipol life insurances will be given the option to indicate UNHCR among their beneficiaries, providing a key fundraising opportunity for UNHCR.
Building Peace: Higher Education for Syrian Youth Commitment by: Syria Relief and Development Partner(s): University of Idlib
NEW: In 2016, Syria Relief and Development (SRD) committed to supporting the University of Idlib in northwestern Syria over a period of two years to ensure continued access to higher education and prevent brain drain as a significant percentage of the population flees the country due to the ongoing civil war. Recognizing the vital – yet underfunded – role of tertiary education during times of crisis, SRD will provide free tuition to over 1,300 enrolled students (focusing on at-risk populations) and provide the departments of pharmacy, mechanical engineering, education, and agriculture with financial support, consulting services, educational technology, and assistance with curriculum development. Additionally, SRD will introduce a job training and internship program for more than 300 students, as well as reproductive health, family planning, and skills building courses for 500 women. As a result, SRD will ensure that the education of the next generation of Syrian doctors, civil engineers, and teachers will not be placed on hold.
Business and Employability Skills in Jordan Commitment by: City & Guilds Group; Near East Foundation
NEW: In 2016, Near East Foundation (NEF) and Building Markets committed to providing business development and employability skills training to over 6,000 refugees and Jordanians over two years, addressing the economic vulnerabilities that refugees and Jordanians alike face. NEF and Building Markets will focus on women and youth, thus contributing to their financial self-reliance, and will prioritize areas in Jordan with a high number of refugees and concentrated poverty. NEF will deliver training in livelihood support hubs, or “Siraj Centers”, where local Master Trainers will help women and youth refugees to build skills to either find employment or to start their own micro-enterprises and generate stable income. In addition, Building Markets and NEF will provide advanced support to at least 300 participants who demonstrate high business growth potential to scale their ventures, increasing income and creating job opportunities for Jordanians and refugees.
FARMS: Bridging the Humanitarian-Development Commitment by: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Partner(s): Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation; Jordan River Foundation; Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, Jordan
NEW: In 2016, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) committed to establish the Facility for Refugees, Migrants, Forced Displacement, and Rural Stability (FARMS) to raise $100 million in new funds for agricultural development targeted towards rural communities, refugees, and displaced individuals. FARMS will support agriculture-related training, financial access and adaptation technologies to increase the self-reliance of refugees and strengthen the resilience of host communities. The commitment will focus on countries with large proportions of refugee and displaced communities and the initial focus will include Jordan, Iraq, and Sudan, with planned expansion to the broader Middle East and North Africa region. In the long term, FARMS will support projects that focus on restoring agricultural productivity in origin areas from where refugees have fled so that people who have left are motivated to return to their native countries, and those who remain have a chance to rebuild their lives.
Transitioning Girls & Women from Cash to the Workforce Commitment by: Women’s Refugee Commission Partner(s): Danish Refugee Council; Mercy Corps; Norwegian Refugee Council
NEW: In 2016, Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) committed to safely transition refugee women and girls in Jordan and Turkey from cash assistance to the workforce in order to provide economic self-reliance and support women and girls as they re-connect or enter into the formal workforce for the first time. This will help to address a common sentiment among refugee women of powerlessness, hopelessness, high stress, and various protection risks, all of which are tied to a lack of financial resources. Over the course of two years, WRC will conduct research that builds on its current studies that demonstrate how cash-based initiatives can prevent gender based violence, and will build the capacity of partners in the private sector and non-governmental organization service providers to prepare displaced women and girls of working age to safely obtain formal employment. WRC will also build global awareness on issues such as the right to work and decent work legislation for refugee women and girls.
Reinventing Refugee Employment and Integration in Italy Commitment by: Kairos Rainbow Srl Partner(s): Centro Astalli; Istituto Massimiliano Massimo; Italian Institute for Asia and the Mediterranean (ISIAMED); Jesuit Foundation for Education; Ristrutturazioni Italiana Srl; SCM Srl; Tras. Co. Italia
NEW: In 2016, Kairos Rainbow committed to address the gap that exists in Italy between skilled refugees and a lack of job opportunities by providing 180 refugees, including from Somalia, Pakistan, and Syria, with language courses, legal counseling, and job placements to facilitate their social and economic integration in the country. To do so, over a period of two years, Kairos will partner with Italian companies who will create tailored training programs and offer internships which will ultimately make it easier for refugees to obtain full time employment, as well as partner with local organizations that will provide social services, such as assistance to renew residency and work permits. Through this commitment, Kairos aims to change the perception of refugees in Italy from scapegoats to integrated and empowered participants in the country’s economy and society. The commitment will pilot in Rome and, based on its success, will expand to other cities in Italy.
Turning Waste into Energy at Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan Commitment by: Solar CITIES Partner(s): Arava Institute for Environmental Studies; Blueprint for Survival, Tamera ecoVillage; Foam Tech Insulation Services; HomeBiogas Israel; Schools for Sustainability; Solar CITIES – Palestine/Jordan Chapter; UNICEF
NEW: In 2016, Solar CITIES committed to installing two biogas hubs and educating 50 new biogas technicians and closed-loop farmers in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp over the next three years. The biogas hubs will turn food and animal wastes into clean and safe fuel and fertilizer, while eliminating pathogens that cause illness and attract disease-carrying animals. The hubs will provide access to energy and opportunities for residents to learn, share and implement clean and renewable energy solutions within Zaatari, with future plans to expand to Greece, Lebanon and Turkey. The biogas technicians will become micro-waste management experts and closed-loop farmers will gain income by building farm- and community-scale biodigesters, selling the fertilizer and biogas, and working with Solar CITIES to schedule a series of workshops with local community members to scale biodigester construction. Increased access to renewable energy will reduce fossil fuel usage and indoor air pollution while controlling rodent and insect populations by better managing food waste at its source, ultimately impacting more than 11,000 residents and saving more than 100,000 KwH of energy.
SOS: Focus on Syrian Medical Students & Doctors Commitment by: Global Platform for Syrian Students Partner(s): American University of Beirut; University Dohok, Iraq; University Nova, Lisbon; The Hashemite University, Jordan; World Health Organization
NEW: In 2016, The Global Platform for Syrian Students, established by former President of Portugal Jorge Sampaio, committed to providing scholarships to 200 medical students who are displaced by the Syrian Civil War and to support specialist training programs for 200 Syrian doctors still working within the country in order to allow Syrians to continue their medical residency or post-graduate specialist training. This approach will help to address the challenges that Syrian medical students face both within and outside of the country, whose education and training have been interrupted by the conflict, and will invest in critical capacity building for the Syrian medical profession. The commitment will take place over three academic years and will begin with a pilot in 2016 with scholarships for 75 Syrian students in partner universities in Portugal, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, which will be scaled to additional students over the next three years. The specialist training in Syria will commence in early 2017, and the goal is that at least 30% of the students and doctors will be women.
Zika Prevention & Care Commitment by: Direct Relief International Partner(s): 3M Foundation; Ansell Limited; Asociacoin de Salud Primeria de Puerto Rico (ASPPR); Batey Relief Alliance; Florida Association of Community Health Centers (FACHC); Fundacion Ruth Paz; FUSAL; Greenlid Envirosciences; Hopital Albert Schweitzer; International Planned Parenthood Federation; Jamaica; Medtronic, Inc.; Ministerio de la Primera Infancia, Argentina; Ministry of Health of Jamaica; National Association of Community Health Centers; Proyecto Aldea Global; Texas Association of Community Health Centers
NEW: In 2016, Direct Relief, in partnership with International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR), Batey Relief Alliance, and others, committed to launch a multi-national response to the current Zika outbreak across Latin America, the United States, and the Caribbean. The multi-faceted response will focus on reproductive health and family planning, prenatal care, and the prevention of transmission through the distribution of essential commodities empowering communities to take preventative actions and make informed decisions about their health. This response will take the form of Zika Modules designed to protect against the transmission and the potentially devastating consequences of the virus. Direct Relief will distribute up to Zika Modules to partners involved in comprehensive, community-based Zika response efforts in Argentina, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, the United States (specifically Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas), and Venezuela. Modules will include: insect repellent, biodegradable mosquito traps, digital thermometers, ultrasounds, fetal dopplers, and contraceptives.
Women Deliver Young Leaders Initiative
Commitment by: Women Deliver
Partner(s): European Parliamentary Forum; Global Fund for Women; Johnson & Johnson
PROGRESS REPORT: In 2012, Women Deliver committed to expand the youth component of its programming by scaling up its engagement with a diverse cohort of young people early in their careers. As a result of this commitment, young leaders will receive the following skills: basic and intermediate advocacy skills; information and communications technology skills; technical skills related to maternal health and sexual and reproductive health and rights; and networking and social media skills. In addition to a first round of e-learning opportunities offered in 2012, Young Leaders participated in a second e-course focused on deepening their ability to design and implement projects in their communities. The Young Leaders who successfully completed the e-course were eligible to submit a grant proposal to receive seed funding to implement a project in their community. Ten grants were awarded to Young Leaders in Mexico, Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, Bangladesh, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Sixteen Young Leaders, including all 10 seed grantees, attended The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health Partners’ Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa as speakers, participants, facilitators, and bloggers, where they were able to share best practices, key learnings, and outcomes from their projects. The work of the Young Leaders continues to receive media attention, particularly at the national level. All of this has led to the creation of the Young Leaders Program, which, apart from increasing the number of Young Leaders to 200, includes a robust recruitment process, advocacy training and opportunities, a Speakers’ Bureau, alumni network, mentorship network, and more.
Partner(s): AMIDEAST; AOL Charitable Foundation; ARM Holdings; British Council; Million Women Mentors; Motorola Solutions Foundation; Municipality of Barcelona; U.S. – Mexico Foundation; World Learning
PROGRESS REPORT: In 2014, the New York Academy of Sciences (the Academy) committed to launch a three-year, $2 million mentorship program to increase girls and women’s participation in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). The Academy developed a mentorship program that paired 1,000 high-school aged girls with mentors who study or work in STEM fields. The girls received year-long one-on-one mentor support, online training in foundational skills development, and the opportunity to attend an annual Program Summit. All items in the Action Plan to date for the 2015 cohort were accomplished. More than 300 girls from 12 countries were nominated for the program’s first cohort, and in an overwhelming show of support, more than 500 applications were received from professional women seeking to be mentors. As this first cohort of young women are now completing the online curriculum, Academy staff are actively preparing for the first Summit, scheduled to take place July 26-28, 2016, in New York City. Planning is also underway to offer the program to the second cohort of young women beginning in September 2016.
Addressing Harmful Practices: FGC and Child Marriage
Commitment by: United Postcode Lotteries
Partner(s): Amref Health Africa; Girls Not Brides; Tostan
PROGRESS REPORT: In 2013, The United Postcode Lotteries (UPL) committed, together with its partners AMREF, Tostan and Girls Not Brides, to work towards bringing an end to harmful practices affecting girls and young women, specifically child marriage and female genital cutting (FGC), with a specific focus on East and West Africa. This commitment brings together a donor focused on girls’ and women’s rights, a global partnership of almost 300 organizations based in 50 countries focused on child marriage, and two NGOs with a deep and proven commitment to working directly with communities in Africa to address these practices. A summary of key results so far (status bi-annual report year 3 implementation) include: 7,755 girls from Samburu, Magadi, Loitoktok, and Kilindi participated in one of the Alternative Rites of Passage; more than 100,000 girls, parents, and cultural elders were educated about the effects of FGC; 354 peer educators from the communities were trained in sexual and reproductive health, sexual and gender based violence, human rights, effects of FGC, Alternative Rites of Passage, and mobilization approaches; 850 Traditional Birth Attendants, who are often also circumcisers, were trained on the possible health effects of FGC. Many of them are now ARP ambassadors. The Alternative Rites of Passage is very mediagenic, especially in Kenya, USA, Canada, and the Netherlands, the project received attention in newspapers, magazines, online, television, and radio. Some of the projects key champion community leaders have been featured on national television. Nice Leng’ete, a campaigner/project officer, received international recognition from DFID as one of the most influential young campaigner, and Kenya’s first lady Margaret Kenyatta attended one of the Alternative Rites of Passage and has become a great supporter of Amref’s approach to tackle FGC.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Empowering Women Through Travel
Commitment by: Airbnb, Inc.
Partner(s): Global Fund for Women; Vital Voices Global Partnership
NEW: In 2016, Airbnb committed to accommodate the travel needs of Global Fund for Women and Vital Voices for convenings. The travel credits will be disseminated to more than 100 female entrepreneurs, small business owners, and human rights activists. Upon completion of the reports, Airbnb will explore a second phase of partnership with Vital Voices and Global Fund for Women. Airbnb will also focus on the economic impact of home sharing on female hosts and contribute to their broader strategy of economic empowerment. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Confronting
Commitment by: American Jewish World Service
Partner(s): The Kendeda Fund
NEW: In 2016, the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) committed to support 50 grassroots, capacity-building and research organizations to address child, early and forced marriage in India. Through strategic grant making and organizational meetings, AJWS will work on the local and national level in India and social movements to enable girls to have access to services in their communities. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Justice Institute on GBV
Commitment by: Avon Products, Inc.
Partner(s): Vital Voices Global Partnership
NEW: In 2016, Avon committed to support the creation of 10 new Justice Institutes in 2017 and 2018 in countries that represent top global markets, as well as in countries where previous Institutes are ready to expand. With a commitment of $1 million, Avon will support the training of 500 women throughout the expansion of 10 country Institutes over the course of two years from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Banking the Unbanked
Commitment by: CARE
NEW: In 2016, CARE committed to providing 500,000 women access to formal financial services in Africa and Asia by 2020. Presently, 1.1 billion women lack access to financial services, while many have access only to the informal financial sector. Given this deficit, CARE will widen women’s access to formal financial services through strengthening its Village Savings Loan Association network, identifying mature VSLA communities, leveraging its relationships with banks and mobile network operators, and developing culturally responsive digital products, where possible. Commencing in East Africa—where CARE has a large existing network—the commitment will expand to Western and Southern Africa and Asia from 2016 – 2020. Looking ahead, this commitment will contribute to CARE’s broader global strategy to provide 30 million women access to formal financial services by 2020.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Entrepreneurs & Tech
Commitment by: Cherie Blair Foundation For Women
NEW: In 2016, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women committed to giving 10,000 women entrepreneurs access to digital channels, mentoring, and the valuable information they need to grow their businesses. The Foundation has committed to developing an application through its Technology Program that will deliver information via SMS to women entrepreneurs that will have a networking component. The commitment will identify one country to implement the project and will work with local partners, including a local NGO as well as a mobile network operator to deliver this commitment. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: FITE Entrepreneur Accelerator
Commitment by: Dermalogica
Partner(s): City & Guilds Group; Operation Hope, Inc.; U.S. Small Business Administration
NEW: In 2016, Dermalogica committed to a two phase program to provide vocational training to women. Dermalogica has committed to creating industry specific business skills by building off of their FITE Entrepreneur Accelerator Program with free online classes to support vocational training education. The first phase will be the development of the online platform, which will then phase into marketing and distribution, as well as new courses added in 2017-2018. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Mining Communities
Commitment by: Freeport-McMoRan Inc.
Partner(s): Don Bosco Institute; Thunderbird School Of Global Management; WEConnect International
NEW: In 2016, Freeport-McMoRan committed to invest $5 million to promote women’s economic empowerment and address violence against women in four countries by 2021. Starting in 2017, Freeport-McMoRan will scale up its online platform DreamBuilder entrepreneurship training program for women to develop skills to strengthen their businesses. Broadly, Freeport-McMoRan will work to develop programs that will support women through resources, training, consulting services and mentoring. They will also offer at least $1 million in new capital to facilitate the growth of at least 60 women-owned businesses. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: A Multi-Sector Approach
Commitment by: Global Fund for Women
Partner(s): Clinton Foundation; Vital Voices Global Partnership; WEConnect International
NEW: In 2016, Global Fund for Women committed to investing $3 million over a two year period in partnerships that will raise the visibility of women-led organizations removing barriers to gender equality globally. Global Fund for Women will make grants averaging $40,000 to grantee partners through their annual open call for proposals. This commitment will further contribute to the mission of Global Fund for Women to change the systems in which women and girls live and work; and build movements that catalyze transformation for individuals and societies. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Buying from Women
NEW: In 2016, WEConnect International committed to expanding upon a previous CGI commitment to track and measure global contract opportunities for women owned business based outside of the U.S. WEConnect will focus on making it easier for corporations to find and do business with more women as suppliers and to measure their progress from 2016 to 2021. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: McLarty Global Fellowship
Commitment by: McLarty Associates
Partner(s): Vital Voices Global Partnership
NEW: In 2016, The McLarty Global Fellowship committed to working with Vital Voices to contribute research to advance the research and advocacy for women and girls conducted by Vital Voices. The McLarty Global Fellowship will support two graduate students from the Clinton School at the University of Arkansas to spend a semester in Washington, DC advancing the work of Vital Voices. One Fellow will be assigned to the economic empowerment team at Vital Voices and the second Fellow will work directly with the Human Rights team. This commitment is part of the Girls, Women & the Global Goals coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Skills Training for Women
Commitment by: Nest
Partner(s): If Hummingbird Foundation Inc.; West Elm
NEW: In 2016, Nest committed to reaching 100,000 artisans by expanding its Nest Professional Program by growing brand partnerships over the next three years. Craft production enables women to work while caring for dependents and provides employment where gender discrimination is prevalent. Nest’s commitment will match artisan producers with high caliber industry experts by leveraging brand partnership to ensure the work is not only efficient and effective, but also sustainable. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Business Development
Commitment by: Procter & Gamble
Partner(s): WEConnect International
NEW: In 2016, Proctor and Gamble committed to implementing Women’s Business Development Programs in order to train 100 women business owners by 2017. P&G will initially target the following countries: China, Mexico, Turkey, South Africa, and the United States. Ultimately, this commitment will contribute to P&G’s goal of enabling women business owners to build their business and have a greater economic impact in the communities in which they operate. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: End Workplace Violence
Commitment by: Sodexo Group
NEW: In 2016, Sodexo committed to improve the quality of life of women in the communities it serves by focusing on gender equality and empowerment through operations in Latin America and India. By August 2019, Sodexo will: 1) Promote awareness of gender-based violence; 2) Provide in-depth training about gender-based violence prevention; 3) Provide economic opportunity for survivors of violence; and 4) Lead collaboration in the countries where they work to make a larger impact in the community. This commitment is part of the Girls, Women & the Global Goals coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Every Hour Matters Campaign
Commitment by: Together For Girls
Partner(s): Becton, Dickinson and Company; CARE; Child Helpline International; Cummins&Partners; Pan-American Health Organization; SafeTrek; Save the Children; United Nations Women; Women Deliver; World Health Organization
NEW: In 2016, Through its Every Hour Matters campaign, Together for Girls committed to assisting girls and women who have experienced rape or sexual assault. Sexual violence is a pervasive problem that leaves a proportion of survivors with only 72 hours to receive life-saving post exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV and 120 hours to receive emergency contraception. Together for Girls will increase awareness of the importance of rapid access to post-rape care by increasing the public’s awareness and building partnerships with leaders to improve survivors’ access to comprehensive services. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners: Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Ending Gender-Based Violence
Commitment by: United Nations Women
NEW: In 2016, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women committed to funding $1 million in grants targeting projects and supporting civil society organizations that empower refugee women and girls in an effort to address the issue of sexual and gender based violence experienced by refugee women and girls. Prioritizing countries that have been impacted by the ongoing refugee crisis. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Empowering Changemakers with Pond’s
Commitment by: Unilever
Partner(s): Vital Voices Global Partnership
NEW: In 2016, Unilever launched a fellowship program that will invest in 100 emerging global women leaders over the next four years through its brand Pond’s. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Dignified Jobs for India’s Poorest
Commitment by: Upaya Social Ventures
Partner(s): anant Learning and Development Pvt. Ltd; Krishi Star; Maitri; Open Road Alliance; Saahas; Tamul Plates
NEW: In 2016, Upaya committed to investing in more women led enterprises over the next three years to increase the total number of women in its portfolio by 50%. Upaya will invest in agribusiness, skill development, and labor intensive manufacturing businesses. These businesses will participate in a financial management program. Over three years, Upaya will work with 50 companies and invest in 10 of them. This new approach will allow Upaya to create new partnerships with industry experts and investors to empower women entrepreneurs. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Tech for Women’s Rights
Commitment by: WAKE: Women’s Alliance for Knowledge Exchange
NEW: In 2016, WAKE committed to investing in three to five NGOs from its Tech2Empower (T2E) initiative, a tech and communications training workshop for leaders of women’s rights organizations. WAKE’s commitment will focus on three expansions of T2E: expanding to two new regions (Central America, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa); launching T2E Fellowships; and establishing Learning Hubs. In its expansion WAKE will hold T2E workshops to train NGO leaders in the two regions, which will provide a foundation for T2E Fellowships and Learning Hubs. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Delivering for Good
Commitment by: Women Deliver
Partner(s): Together For Girls
NEW: In 2016, Women Deliver committed to launching a four year global campaign, Deliver for Good, which promotes investments (political, programmatic, and financial) in girls and women, specifically focusing on violence against girls and women. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Empowering Women in Conflict Areas
Commitment by: Women For Women International
Partner(s): Kingdom of the Netherlands
NEW: In 2016, Women for Women International (WfWI) commits to supporting economic empowerment activities for socially and economically marginalized women over the age of 18 who are in the greatest need, through its comprehensive women’s empowerment program. Through this program, WfWI will focus on developing a curriculum reaching 25 women that would build empowerment skills and engaging men in activities that will address issues of violence against girls and women. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sectors.
Girls, Women & the Global Goals: Advancing Women in the Workforce
Commitment by: Women’s Funding Network
NEW: In 2016, Women’s Funding Network committed to build their Advancing Women in the Workforce program with up to 10 women’s foundations in the US. This one-year commitment will secure $30,000 in funding from its members to launch a women’s economic security digital storytelling platform that will drive engagement with women’s foundations and provide a valuable fundraising tool and 70,000 to work in target communities. This commitment is part of the “Girls, Women & the Global Goals” coalition of multi-sectoral partners convened by No Ceilings, Vital Voices, and WEConnect International. The coalition is working collectively to advance gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, particularly focused on the areas of promoting women’s economic participation; addressing violence against girls and women; and advancing women’s leadership in both private and public sector.
Pathway to Social Entrepreneurship for Young Leaders
Commitment by: The Resolution Project
Partner(s): African Leadership Academy; Axiom Investment Advisors; Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation; DuPont Company; Echoing Green; General Electric; Gerson Lehrman Group, Inc.; Group 113; Harvard University; Hatzimemos Libby; Jim Mannino Public Relations; National Society of High School Scholars; Semester at Sea; The Geraldine y Gabriel Sunshine Foundation; The World Model UN Conference
PROGRESS REPORT: In 2014, The Resolution Project (‘Resolution’) committed to expand its Resolution Fellowship to support 400 college students from across the globe who seek to address an array of global challenges through social entrepreneurship. Resolution also launched new initiatives – the Resolution Institute, Pathway and Corporate Program Partnerships, the Fellow Resources System, and The Resolution SOLVE Summit – to provide a comprehensive ecosystem of resources for young social entrepreneurs. More than 60% of Resolution Fellows report they would have been unlikely to launch their social venture without the support of Resolution, proving that they play a catalytic role in their Fellows’ development as socially responsible leaders. Resolution Fellows report improvements in their adaptability, leadership, and organizational skills and note that Resolution has helped them respond to challenges and obstacles. Resolution Fellows have gone on to secure more than $2.5 million in additional funding through revenue, grants, awards, etc. More than 90% of Resolution Fellows report high satisfaction rates with the mentorship they receive from volunteer Guides.
From Divisive Crisis to Inclusive Cities: Catalyzing Transformative Partnerships in Greater Monrovia
Commitment by: Cities Alliance
Partner(s): Comic Relief; Habitat For Humanity International; Ministry of Internal Affairs, Department of Urban Affairs, Government of Libera; Monrovia City Corporation (MCC); Paynesville City Corporation (PCC); Shack/Slum Dwellers International; StreetNet International; UN-Habitat; United Cities and Local Governments Africa; UNOPS; Women In Informal Employment: Globalizing And Organizing; YMCA Liberia
NEW: In 2016, Cities Alliance committed to improving the lives of 400,000 slum dwellers in Greater Monrovia, Liberia by empowering local residents to create lasting change in their communities through partnership with government, the private sector and civil society. Cities Alliance, in partnership with local and national government, UCLG, UN-Habitat, UNOPS, Habitat for Humanity International, Comic Relief, YMCA, WIEGO, StreetNet International, and SDI will mobilize communities and equip them to undertake comprehensive urban development solutions, enabling basic service improvements, affordable housing schemes, enhanced small business opportunities and resilience upgrades in existing slums and poor neighborhoods, including in hazard prone coastal and wetland areas. Empowering local communities and building capacity among civic leaders via neighborhood associations, Cities Alliances wishes to bridge the existing gap between slum dwellers and both local and national levels of government, improving strategic urban planning frameworks and enhancing national enabling environments, in order to develop and bring about meaningful change in the lives of the urban poor.
MHNOW: Closing the Mental Health Treatment Gap
Commitment by: Global Development Incubator
Partner(s): Arogya World; Basic Needs; Children’s Health Fund; Clear Village; Falkora; Global Futures Group; Grand Challenges Canada; Hans Foundation; Harvard School Of Public Health; International Institute for Mental Health Leadership; International Medical Corps; Johnson & Johnson; Keystone Human Services; King’s College London; Many Minds Collaborative; Peter C. Alderman Foundation; Step Up on Second; StrongMinds, Inc.
NEW: In 2016, the Global Development Incubator, BasicNeeds, Johnson & Johnson, Grand Challenges Canada and 20 others committed to launch mhNOW (Mental Health Now), a Multi-Stakeholder Initiative (MSI) to catalyze, connect, and support cities committed to driving change in the field of mental health. mhNOW’s ambition is to activate leadership and empower cities to catalyze cross-sector collective actions to close the mental health gap in 30 cities by 2030. The mhNOW MSI will mobilize and channel resources and networks to city projects through a challenge prize and through technical assistance to 1) scale local innovations; 2) mobilize youth leadership; and 3) improve the evidence base for the return on investment in mental health and establish a monitoring and evaluation framework to aggregate city and global data indicators. During its first year, partners will engage communities as various as Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Vietnam, Singapore, and the United States and in cities that span from Nairobi and Chennai to Philadelphia and Flint.
CGI members have frequently come together to find unconventional partners—across sectors—for collective impact:“A 2014 analysis of CGI commitments reveals that the most successful Commitments to Action involve partnerships. Since 2005, members of the CGI community have worked together to leverage each organization’s strengths and expertise to achieve their shared goals for social impact.”
CGI members have helped define innovative investing for social good: “CGI members have created and scaled innovative investment models—pioneering methods that have become the new standard.”
CGI members have put girls and women at the center of every issue: “The unique challenges facing girls and women worldwide are at the forefront of CGI programming and are integrated across all our focus areas. Whether a commitment targets technology, health care, the environment, or education—members are encouraged to integrate the perspective of girls and women into both the design and implementation of their commitments. To date, CGI members have supported 11 million girls and women through empowerment initiatives.”
CGI members have responded quickly to disasters and have helped make our communities more resilient: “When disaster strikes, the CGI community is positioned to act fast—it comes together to assess needs and assist with critical resources.”
CGI members have advanced the approach of “doing well by doing good:” “For the past 11 years, President Clinton has been a leading advocate for engaging the private sector to create positive change. This philosophy of “doing well by doing good” has been enthusiastically embraced by CGI members from the business community, whose commitments have transcended conventional Corporate Social Responsibility and have helped push modern philanthropy forward.”
Devex provided a preview of the program and will be exploring CGI’s legacy and the role it has played in developed in its coverage throughout the event.
In a New York Times piece that discussed recent developments in the ivory trade, CGI’s three-year long campaign to save the elephant population was highlighted. Progress on this commitment will be announced in the coming days.
CGI commitment-maker Ubuntu’s Jake Lief wrote in Quartz on how leadership lessons for charities often come from stories about failure.
CGI CEO Bob Harrison discussed the 2016 CGI Annual Meeting and how CGI has changed philanthropy on Bloomberg Radio.
Last week on CNN, Clinton Foundation President Donna Shalala discussed the Annual Meeting and CGI’s impact across the world.
As we mark the passing of Shimon Peres, the former President of Israel, who New York Times in its obituary called A Pillar of Israel, From Its Founding to the Oslo Accords, I reflect back on what was very possibly the closest Israel and Palestine ever came to forging a true peace, and it came during the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative, when Peres sat next to Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority, on a panel with President Bill Clinton and Bahrain’s Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa and provided a roadmap to cooperation. Here’s my column from that panel, on September 21, 2010:
Israel, Palestine Leaders Offer Vision of Peace – and It Looks Real
Prayers for peace in the Middle East are a ritual in Great Neck, and for one hour last week at the Clinton Global Initiative, a vision for peace seemed less than a perennial dream, and took the shape of a real prospect.
During a special session at the Clinton Global Initiative, which brings together world leaders, business moguls, philanthropists and do-gooders who labor at nongovernmental organizations, the President of Israel and the Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority painted their vision of what peace would look like: a vast economic region with joint projects including a water pipeline crossing the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, modern irrigation techniques that could make the Palestinian desert bloom as it does in Israel, even a regional electric grid, and an economic boom that could snuff out the anger that fuels terrorism. There would even be equality for women.
And for that hour, it all seemed within grasp, with the Bahrainian Crown Prince giving his imprimatur to how the whole region would benefit from a peace “dividend.”
But just days after, the expiration of Israel’s 10-month moratorium on settlement building in the disputed territory of the West Bank which brought out jubilant and triumphant settlers who released white-and-blue balloons, has burst that bubble of optimism over whether the Palestinian Authority will follow through on its threat to pull out of this latest effort at peace negotiations.
Still, the Palestinians seemed to hang in there as the Obama Administration – Sec. Hillary Clinton and special envoy George Mitchell – were frantically trying to keep things together.
Here’s why this time might be different: the leaders were able to specify the economic and social benefits.
What is more, the body language looked good.
Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority and Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel shook hands, genuinely, then took seats next to each other, rather than bookending President Bill Clinton and HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Seated elbow to elbow, Fayad and Peres looked straight into each other’s faces when the other was speaking. Mostly.
President Clinton posed the question to the Prime Minister first: “Assume that the parties come together, and don’t want to wait another decade, what would peace look like?”
Fayyad, offered his vision of what peace would look like in the state of Palestine, but when I heard him say “Jerusalem as its capital” I thought the session would end as quickly as it began, or veer off. But Peres never addressed the remark; his body language did not change.
But Fayyad continued: “What the region might look like minus the conflict? The vast economic potential – the region looks like a single economic space. ..vast growth potential, that can be exploited by dealing with elements that impeded commerce across state lines…That’s the kind of region that I believe can emerge after so many decades of conflict, with obvious benefits – for Arabs, Israelis and the rest of the Arab world.
“Amongst the possibilities: infrastructure improvements that cut across borders. Several have been on the drawing board – one is [close to] the heart of Shimon Peres – a project intended to link the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, to deal with ever shrinking [water supplies] that threatens to make it even more dead than it is. That’s one project that could happen..even before the conflict over. Something that could prepare for a better future. There are a lot of projects of direct benefit, cutting across boundaries in the region – in the area of energy, electricity, regional power grid….
“We could devote more energy, time and resources to bring about development –economic, socially, culturally. [Peace] would remove all the obstacles to interact with the rest of humanity on the basis of shared values, equal opportunity, no discrimination against women… ”
Women’s rights, Fayyad said “is something that unfortunately has caused us a lot of problems in region and around the world. The problem has to be addressed not only because of vast potential if women are afforded opportunity, but because it’s the right thing to do… ”
Then to Peres, Clinton said, “Suppose peace was made 3 or 4 days ago. What does Israel want out of it, what can Israel do to make sure it takes hold In order to make sustainable peace? [Particularly in the area of food production]… Today you can produce food not by size or land but science and technology. There is almost no water, yet [Israel’s] agriculture produces eight times more from same acre than 50 years ago.”
Technology has unleashed economic development throughout the developing world, and can do its magic in the Middle East, as well. Sharing Israel’s innovations with the Palestinian state would be a key benefit of the peace dividend, Peres offered.
“One thing both of us agree – not just governmental intervention but private initiative…we all are ready to accept high tech in their countries- that has nothing to do with territory… it’s global,” Peres said. “The two young boys that created Google didn’t hurt anyone…[technology] can build an economy, and I think that should be the first…. We are ready in Israel to share what we have. Our high tech started with agriculture. You can have it the next morning, and provide food to the children. That’s number one, after peace. Number two is health. ..There is no hospital in Israel where you don’t have Arab doctors and Arab patients…. If we can live in peace in hospital, why can’t we live in peace out of hospital?
“Next: Education. The moment we have peace is the moment we can provide for education.
“Other things: Tourism. Tourism accounts for 17% of world economy, and we have everything to attract the largest amount of tourists but peace. If we shall make peace – with the Palestinians and the Jordanians, have enough points of attraction to promote ..
“Water. We are saving half of the water that is being used elsewhere. By irrigation, by recycling, by introducing vegetation that don’t drink so much water, using electronic controls. All of this is available.
“Now when it comes to electricity – the choice is that everyone will build a nuclear reactor for electricity… The greatest nuclear reactor in the world is the sun. The sun is democratic, open to everyone. We know already how to produce solar energy, but not to produce it in a competitive way. We believe by [marshalling] solar energy…. it would enable us to be natural, would be cheaper…and give the people water and electricity..
“We introduced ‘drip irrigation,’ now we have ‘drip electricity’ – we can move electricity from one place to another without physical connection.” [Israeli companies have developed a technology that transmits electricity the same way, over the same architecture, as wireless voice communications.]
“We can send electricity 2-4 miles away, and it can reach the target. It is quite revolutionary,” he said.
“I believe that the future, that the most sensational 10 years in human life will occur because of the level of computerization.”
President Clinton noted that even in this economic downturn, Israel has done well, “and most certainly will be the first to have 100,000 electric cars on the road.”
Israel and Palestine have a lot to gain from a peace dividend, but how might countries in the region like Bahrain benefit? Will there be a regional economy, and what does that mean for you? President Clinton posed to Prince Salman.
“Our region is caught between the rule of the gun and the rule of Koran, captive market and capitalist markets, pluralism and plutocrats,” Prince Salman said. “The region has been held back by the negative. In every choice, people have singled out their fear, mistrust, disappointment, in the ability of governments to achieve the dignity they [deserve]. We must achieve this peace – because the future is very bright.”
He said that the region represents a $1 trillion market, and by 2020 will be a $2 trillion market…”It grew at 70% in the last 8 years, 40% [of exports] go to the region, so you can start to see that regional economic cooperation is a reality… and if we can build on what President Peres said about science… that the world in 15-20 years will be fundamentally different, then the future will be bright, whether agriculture, medicine, productivity. I am very optimistic…. the ease by which we can communicate, the productivity we have gained… in the development of human history, this is a flash, a spike.
“We will be cooperating, the dislocations that shake us, to our core, will be absent. ….It is a future I see very much in a positive way…. That I will dedicate myself to, to come true, and one in which all of us have a role to play.
“The private sector in US., government in Middle East. We must all believe in this process, make the hard choices that need to be made, and when the process looks shaky, that we are there to support it. Thank you Mr. President, for getting us here today, and even though I am on the periphery and not a direct negotiator, my life, my children’s lives will be immeasurably better.”
Giving a vision of hope, Peres suggested it might finally be time. “In Europe, if someone would have stood up in 1943 that in 30-40 years, Europe would be united, people would laugh. It took generations for French, Germans, British to come together. The young people, anyway, live in a different world. They are connected personally. The world is more connected, and the younger you are, the more connected.
“Today the greatest choice before the Middle East is either to be a Middle East of independent states or fall under the spell of Iranians,” Peres said. “This is the greatest danger. Under the spell of Iranians is also terror. We have a common menace, if not a common enemy, so we have a common purpose.
But Clinton noted, “If the vision [for peace and regional cooperation] you are sketching out takes hold, the Iranians would have a very different choice than they do today. It would maximize that the current fears we have can be resolved in a peaceful way, and maximize the risk if they choose not to do that.”
“I think [peace] would be better for everyone,” said Fayyad. “People throughout the region could interact more freely – in peace, security. We could focus on doing things better, governing better, providing services more effectively. Our economy is only 4% the size of the Israeli economy – that alone, even if you don’t factor in what this means in regional cooperation, and better access to rest of region — simply by virtue of sitting alongside such a huge economy, that is Israel. When you begin to factor in other benefits – tranquility, civility in the region, you can see how the benefits would begin to spread. That would happen on the strength of having some serious partnerships here.”
The 10th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards, held during a special ceremony during the 12th and last Clinton Global Initiative to honor outstanding individuals for their exemplary leadership and groundbreaking work which has effected positive social change.
This year’s ceremony honored Jon Bon Jovi in recognition of the 10-year anniversary of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation which focuses on the issues of affordable housing and hunger in the U.S. through community development initiatives. Bon Jovi also entertained.
Additional honorees include President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia for his commitment to establish peace in Colombia following a 50 year civil war; Dr.Hawa Abdi for her work to provide refuge, quality healthcare, education and entrepreneurship opportunities to all Somalis; Adi Godrej for transforming his family’s multinational company into a leader of social and environmental value creation; and Nadia Mura, a Yazidi woman captured and enslaved by ISIS, for the courage to tell her story and be a voice for the thousands of women and children who have been trafficked in situations of conflict.
In addition to Bon Jovi’s performance, there was a special appearance of Andrea Bocelli who performed with the Voices of Haiti Choir.
Presenters were themselves noteworthy humanitarians and activists: Sister Mary Scullion, executive director of Project HOME in Philadelphia, who presented the award to Jon Bon Jovi; Iman who presented the award to Dr. Doqo Mohamed who accepted on behalf of her mother, Dr. Hawa Abdi; Luis A. Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, who presented the award to President Santos; Advija Ibrahimovic, a survivor of the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1992, presented the award to Nadia Murad, and Hikmet Ersek President & CEO of The Western Union Company, presented the award to Adi Godrej.
Jon Bon Jovi, Leadership in Philanthropy
Sister Mary Scullion, who heads Project HOME, focused on breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty, presented the Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Philanthropy to Jon Bon Jovi, saying, “He refused to let his fame and fortune shield him from the pain and suffering in society.
Ten years ago, he established the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing about positive change and helping the lives of those in need, “one SOUL at a time.” The Soul Foundation funds partnerships that address the issues of hunger and shelter, benefiting temporary shelters, transitional housing for teens, permanent supportive housing—including housing for veterans and special needs populations—as well as providing home ownership opportunities. In October 2011, the foundation opened the first JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, New Jersey to address issues of food insecurity. Staying true to Bon Jovi’s roots, the foundation aided in local recovery efforts in the days following Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The following year, Bon Jovi donated $1 million to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.
Over the past 10 years, it has served over 1000 families, veterans and youth; served 55,000 meals at the Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, where millionaires sit at tables with homeless, paying what they can or if they don’t have the cash, volunteering their time. A second restaurant has opened in Toms River.
“It is testament to the fundamental dignity of every person, what our world can and should be: a place where everyone is served with dignity, given an opportunity to work, and create more just and welcoming society.”
Bon Jovi, who said he was inspired by Clinton, reflected, “In 2005, I saw a homeless person sleeping on a grate in front of City Hall. I realized homelessness could affect any one. Most people are just one catastrophe away from financial ruin.
“In 2008, I saw food insecurity. In the most powerful country in the world, 1 in 7 don’t have enough food, one in five children are food insecure. It’s a matter of access and opportunity, so when we started the restaurant, we had a pay-it-forward concept.
“This is the 10th anniversary of our foundation. I humbly accept this recognition on behalf of our staff, volunteers, and 55,000 supporters who have dined with us.”
“President Clinton is fond of saying, ‘There is nothing wrong with America that can’t be cured by what is right with America’.”
Nadia Murad, Leadership in Civil Society
Advija Ibrahimovic, who presented the Global Citizen award to Nadia Murad, was herself a survivor of genocidal atrocity, orphaned when she was just 11 in the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1992.
“I was 11 when I lost both my parents in the Bosnian genocide. Like Nadia, I experienced violence and deep loss. Everything can be taken from a person except freedom to decide what you will do with your heart and mind. She dedicated herself to raising awareness of these women.”
She shared the story of Nadia Murad, who was born and raised in the quiet agricultural village of Kocho, Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, Nadia and her family lived a peaceful, happy life. On August 3, 2014 her village was attacked by ISIS, marking the beginning of its savage genocidal campaign against the Yazidi people. Six of her nine brothers were executed on the spot. In all, she lost 18 family members that day; in all, 1000 Yazidi men were massacred.
Murad, along with her two sisters and thousands of other men, women, and children were taken captive and subjected to unspeakable crimes. Murad was initially held hostage in a building with thousands of families. She witnessed young children given to ISIS soldiers as sexual “gifts.” She was raped and tortured on a daily basis. But after facing unimaginable brutality, she was able to escape.
Murad immigrated to Germany where she received medical attention and was reunited with other survivors. In total, she lost 18 family members. With the assistance of Yazda, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Yazidi survivors and defending the rights of marginalized ethnic and religious minorities, Murad has been able to tell her story on the world stage, forcing world leaders to listen to the horrors of the ongoing genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
Just 23 years old now, Murad, a human rights activist, was named a UN Goodwill Ambassador on Friday and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Dr. Hawa Abdi, Leadership in Civil Society
Iman presented the Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Civil Society to Dr. Hawa Abdi, known as the Mother Theresa of Somalia, because of her life-saving work on behalf of Somalis displaced by war.
“She became a doctor, Somalia’s first female gynecologist, and opened a rural health clinic, organized on ancestral land. During the civil war, the government collapsed, famine was widespread, and she opened her land to refugees. By 2012, she was providing sanctuary for 90,000 displaced people.
She opened a 400 bed hospital, a school, organized a fishing and farming program and her land is the only source of fresh water in region.
“Today, Abdi continues to fight for the women, children, and elderly people of the Hawa Abdi Village. With the help of her daughters, Deqo and Amina, both of whom are doctors, Abdi continues to keep a candle of light lit for the people of the Afgooye Corridor.” Abdi has won numerous distinctions and awards, including the John Jay Justice Award, Vital Voices’ Women of the Year Award, and a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012.”
President Juan Manuel Santosof Colombia, Leadership in Public Service
“After 50 years of war, most people had never lived with peace – 6 million fled homes,” said Luis A. Moreno, current President of the Inter-American Development Bank, introducing President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia. “Today, we are on the threshold of concluding a historic agreement to bring a permanent end to the conflict.”
He said the seeds were sown when Moreno was serving as Colombia’s Ambassador to US when President Bill Clinton was in the White House, and credited Clinton’s “visionary aid program that allowed my country to achieve stability, attract investment, and set the conditions for peace. President Clinton made peace in Colombia his priority and brought Republicans and Democrats together.”
Clinton’s successors, George W. Bush and Barack Obama “followed Clinton’s example and supported” his policy.
Meanwhile, the Colombian President Santos put his presidency on the line during difficult negotiations with the FARC that dragged on for four long years.
“There were many setbacks but on August 24, the hope of millions was fulfilled when FARC and the government announced a final settlement. It is now up to the people, who will vote in plebiscite on Oct. 22.
“President Santos wanted a fully democratic process – a plebecite marks the beginning of a new, more complex chapter in our history. Every day, every Colombian will need to make personal decision – for lasting peace won’t be easy. Remembering is easy for those who have memory. Forgetting is hard for those who have heart.”
Convinced Colombia can be reunited together, write new chapter in history of beloved nation.
Accepting the award for Leadership in Public Service, President Santos said, “Peace is a right. It is in the constitution. To be a normal country, we had to stop war. I approached negotiations in a different way: Victims should be placed at the center of a solution – a human rights perspective was the key to success.
“One week from today, we will sign an agreement with FARC – 297 pages long, no detail was left out – and we will start to build a new history.
“War lasted three generations. It robbed us of compassion, the ability to feel suffering of others.
“I thank you in the name of 8 million victims of war over 50 years. The victims were most generous, willing to forgive – they don’t want others to suffer what we have.”
Juan Manuel Santos has been the president of the Republic of Colombia since 2010. Previously, President Santos was minister of defense, minister of finance, minister of foreign trade, designate to the presidency, and chief of the Colombian delegation before the International Coffee Organization. He created the Good Government Foundation (Fundación Buen Gobierno) and founded Colombia’s largest political party, Partido de la U. President Santos was awarded the King of Spain Prize and was president of the Freedom of Expression Commission for the Inter American Press Association. He has published several books, including “The Third Way,” co-written with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and “Check on Terror” (Jaque al Terror). President Santos is a graduate of the London School of Economics, Harvard University, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Adi Godrej, Leadership in the Private Sector
Adi Godrej, Chairman of Godrej Group, Godrej Industries Limited, was presented with the Global Citizen Award for Leadership in the Private Sector by Hikmet Ersek President & CEO of The Western Union Company.
Godrej is the vanguard of green development, committed to alleviating poverty, preserving natural resources, and holding 24% of its revenues in a trust for philanthropic purpose, and a motto that “The business of business is goodness. Let’s make Goodness.”
“It’s important to remain a good company,” he said. “We have always actively supported social responsibility. 24% of the corporate funds is in trust that invests in environment and education.”
He said that the company has set three goals for 2020 – train 1 million youth in skills to enhance earnings, build a greener India, generate one-third of potential revenue in products that are environmentally sustainable.
Adi Godrej is chairman of the Godrej Group, a more than 100-year-old family conglomerate, with operations in India and several other countries. Godrej is chairman of the board of the Indian School of Business and former president of the Confederation of Indian Industry. He has been a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management and a member of the Wharton Asian Executive Board. Godrej is the recipient of several awards and recognitions, including the Rajiv Gandhi Award (2002), the American India Foundation Leadership in Philanthropy Award (2010), The Entrepreneur of the Year for the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (2010), Chemexcil’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2010), AIMA-JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award (2010), Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (2012), Padma Bhushan (2012), and All India Management Association-Business Leader of the Year (2015). Godrej holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from MIT.
For a few precious days each year for the past 10 years, I have had the privilege of stepping into what felt as an alternate universe – a place of possibility and progress, where the intractable challenges of all time, like health care, religious wars, systemic poverty, racism and sexism, global warming, had solutions, not just pie-in-the-sky ideas, that were being implemented. Year after year, we could see the faces of people whose lives were saved or improved – many even attended the annual meeting to talk personally – and we could measure the progress.
This was the Clinton Global Initiative, an extraordinary gathering of Movers and Shakers of the world – senior ministers of government, CEOs of multinational corporations and financial institutions, wealthy philanthropists, along with the NGOs (nongovernmental organization) worker bees who are the ones who actually labor to improve lives in their local communities. They included among them Nobel laureates like Mohammed Yunus of Bangladesh, who transformed his society using microfinance. They had the scions of billionaires like Warren Buffet’s son, Peter Buffet, Co-chair, NoVo Foundation, which committed $30 million over five years to help rebuild the education systems and address violence against women and girls in post-conflict West Africa; the Nike Foundation that financed programs empowering girls (“The Girl Effect”), Sophie Gasperment, CEO of BodyShop who sponsored a new approach to stop child sex trafficking.
This was not charity. This was a nonprofit institution that figured out how to create sustainable development. The model has since been used by the Obama Administration, in the design of Strong Cities, Strong Communities program which forged public-private partnerships to spur economic development in cities like Detroit, for example, in programs forging public-private partnerships to cultivate adoption of clean, renewable energy, and in Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” initiative and the “Joining Forces” program to incentivize companies to hire veterans returned from war.
At the first Clinton Global Initiative, Condoleezza Rice shared the stage with Al Gore. Over the years, other prominent Republicans – including Republican candidates for president (John McCain, Mitt Romney), made appearances if not in person, by videolink. But that pretty much stopped after Florida Governor Charlie Crist was photographed hugging President Clinton at a session on climate change; the photo was blasted on page 1 all over Florida, and he was drummed out of the Republican Party and Florida politics.
Sure I gagged when I heard Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs say “We are doing God’s work,” but there was former Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson calling for a tax on carbon. “We need a national policy to unleash the markets, unleash innovation, that will lead to new technologies and change behavior – business and consumer behavior.”
“We started CGI to create a new kind of community built around the new realities of our modern world, where problem-solving requires the active partnership of government, business, and civil society,” President Bill Clinton stated when he announced changes to the Clinton Foundation and that this year’s Clinton Global Initiative would be the last. “We’ve brought together leaders from across sectors and around the world both to talk about our challenges, and to commit publicly to actually do something about them. It was something different, but our bet paid off: there was a hunger for the chance to make an impact that brought together people and organizations with the resources to make a difference with people who have the knowledge and experience to turn good ideas into action. Corporations, governments, and non-governmental organizations began combining their strengths and finding entirely new approaches to old problems. CGI quickly became an embodiment of what works best in the 21st-century world, and what has been behind all of the Clinton Foundation’s work since the very beginning: networks of cooperation.
“This partnership model, which may seem self-evident today, was simply not how philanthropy and corporate responsibility worked over a decade ago. Today, members of the Clinton Global Initiative have made more than 3,500 commitments that are already improving over 430 million lives in more than 180 countries. These projects will continue to make an impact around the world and in the U.S. The idea that working together beats going it alone has caught on well beyond our CGI community.”
The Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative have been the greatest force for good in a very disturbed, unsettled, increasingly dark world – it makes Jimmy Carter’s Habitat for Humanity look like the Cub Scouts.
And because Clinton Global Initiative has been such a gamechanger in actually making progress against the most intractable challenges facing the planet today, the Republicans have been trying to kill it forever. That’s because the Republicans realize that their power and control depends upon persistent income inequality, suffering and despair, and an underclass of voiceless, unrepresented people. They don’t want real solutions to anything. They want to be able to throw a few dollars at a problem for their own sense of redemption, while actually committing pay-for-play in accommodating their donors, like Dirty Fuels and the NRA.
Now Donald Trump, desperate to turn the tide on his disgraceful, despicable campaign, has been searching for something, anything, to distract. So far, that has been Clinton’s emails and Benghazi. But even that could only go so far. So now it is Clinton Foundation and his trumped up scandal of pay-for-play without a single instance of actual wrongdoing. He has accused Hillary Clinton of “selling her office” to the detriment of national security.
Trump’s wet dream is that a special prosecutor, a la Ken Starr, would be appointed, with likely the same tactics as Starr used – locking up people until they gave the evidence he wanted. And when nothing was found to show the Clintons did anything illegal in the Whitewater land deal, Starr (the guy who had to resign his post at Baylor over ignoring sexual assault on campus) simply shifted gears to go after Clinton’s adultery. (Clearly, this is another case of projection by Donald Trump, who attacks opponents for the impropriety that he commits, including pay for play, which he has boasted of mastering, as when he got New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to reduce a $30 million tax bill on his failed Atlantic City casinos to a mere $5 million.)
CGI was so successful precisely because it brought on board leaders in government, industry, finance and philanthropy, together with NGOs and entrepreneurs. So why should it be a surprise that these same people – the Crown Prince of Bahrain, Bill and Melinda Gates – would also meet with the Secretary of State? Cause and effect are mixed up. These weren’t unknown money people who only after making a donation to the Clinton Foundation, not only got a meeting with Secretary of State they wouldn’t otherwise have had, but also some action that somehow was counter to the interests of the United States.
The Clinton Global Initiative has had stunning success in creating new programs to bring clean water, seeds, medicine, health care including training midwives (delivering birth was the most dangerous thing a woman could do), solar energy, education. Their projects have saved millions of children from death from disease and hunger, addressing issues such as child brides, human trafficking, drought, famine. And we haven’t even started on global warming, protecting the ocean, education, entrepreneurship, conflict resolution.
The programs have not just fostered new insights and new partnerships that could produce solutions to problems, but have changed cultures of countries and corporations and societies. Walmart – the company progressives love to hate – introduced sustainability throughout its delivery chain, resulting in tens of thousands of fewer trucks on the road spewing carbon emissions contributing to global warming, Goldman Sachs devised a new sort of bond to help fund repair of coral reefs. A company found investors for a process to turn algae production into fuel to power US Naval ships instead of diesel.
It is remarkable to hear Queen Rania of Jordan, a regular at CGI, speak about the need to improve access to education and jobs for women, and for young people generally, and (in 2010). I recall one panel discussion with HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Kingdom of Bahrain, President Bill Clinton, Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority together with Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel, talking about peace in the Middle East that was probably the closest the two intransigents had ever been to actual agreement. Or hear Bill Gates talk about having cut the number of child deaths in half, with a goal of reducing the number even further – to a mere 3 million a year, “where child in low income country can survive as well as a child in middle income country.”
It literally restores faith in a way that praying in church can’t possibly.
CGI has paved the way for a generational change in outlook through its CGI University, bringing college-age people together to channel their vision, their entrepreneurism, their talents and energies on these problems of health, education, global warming, poverty.
Last year’s Hult Prize at CGI– a competition for young entrepreneurs to solve a problem around a particular theme or problem (the winner gets $1 million in start-up capital), went to IMPCT for a project to create small play-based daycare franchises, owned and operated by a local entrepreneur to serve 20 nearby families with affordable early education, right in Brazilian slum neighborhoods, enabling mothers to work, children to have a decent place to learn, and create new pathways to entrepreneurship for women.
The unique aspect of Clinton Global Initiative is that every participant must make a commitment, and that commitment is monitored for implementation and measured for success. (You can’t even trace Donald Trump’s so-called “charitable contributions” or what went purely to get a tax deduction, or in the case of his recent adoration for veterans groups, to buy votes.)
The CGI provided a unique forum, a unique space, for these various entities to meet, even serendipitously, and partner together on “commitments.” I heard this same thing over and over. The conference offers a showcase for the “idea” people to pitch to the people who can fund and implement – so you see extraordinary collaborations.
So far, besides a couple of requests for meetings (which Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin said needed to go through official channels), a request for help with a visa (denied), or introduction to an ambassador by a Lebanese Nigerian who wanted to convey some information about an upcoming election in Lebanon, there has been no evidence of inappropriate action on Secretary Clinton’s part – that is, something that went counter to US interests, or specifically benefited the Clinton Foundation or them personally.
The billions of dollars that have been funneled into these projects went into the projects, not into the Clintons’ pockets.
Ah, but the appearance, the perception, we are told.
Trump is trumping this whole thing up because he is absolutely desperate, and this (thanks to Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein, whose entire attack hinged on Hillary’s connections with corporations and special interests), is his last straw (well, along with the conspiracy that Hillary is sick).
As a result, we aren’t hearing anything about Hillary Clinton’s proposal for a rapid response to pandemics and bolster health infrastructure – issues that have been tackled at CGIs – or how she would promote small businesses in minority communities, which she announced last week. Or any of her specific plans to create jobs, fight ISIS, make communities safer and more successful.
And yet, Donald Trump has run his campaign as an infomercial, has clearly directed campaign spending directly to his own companies, family members and friends, has as his “advisers” his biggest donors (Carl Icahn, Robert Mercer), has refused to be transparent about what he owns and what he owes (like the millions he is in hock to with banks owned by the Chinese government), has clearly bought favors and would very likely bring these practices directly into the Oval Office, making or breaking deals through the prism of what benefits his own personal business interests.
Trump said years ago that he thought it would be possible for a presidential campaign to actually earn money, and that is exactly what he is doing. And there is no indication whatsoever that he wouldn’t do the same if he actually was in the Oval Office.
No one has been so scrutinized, analyzed, dissected as much as Hillary Clinton. If the same level of analysis was applied to anyone else (like Donald Trump, Jill Stein), I doubt they would pass muster. We actually don’t know anything about Donald Trump’s real income or supposed success as a businessman, whether he contributes to charity or whether he uses his “contributions” to buy politicians. He has said himself that no one knows the system better than he does. And these attacks on the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons is yet the latest example of “projection” – attacking the opponent for the very thing that you are doing. Trump has admitted to being a master at rigging the system.
And the real tragedy is that the Clintons are planning to shut down Clinton Global Initiative altogether and dramatically curtail the Clinton Foundation. Instead, they should do what any other president would do – resign as members of the Board and have a “blind trust” while Hillary Clinton is president.
Some Examples of Clinton Global Initiative Commitments
Here are some examples of the more than 3,000 CGI commitments:
Reaching 1 New Person with Clean Water Every 10 Seconds, Commitment by: World Vision, Partners: Procter & Gamble, Sesame Workshop, Coca-Cola, Grundfos, United Solar Initiative, University of North Carolina Water Institute, Denver Mattress, Kohler, Water Now, Water4, Well Spring for the World, Drexel University, Design Outreach, Desert Research Institute, Messiah College. In 2015, World Vision and partners committed to reaching one new person every ten seconds with clean water and sanitation on or before 2020, directly impacting 13 million people in 36 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. To do so, World Vision will form committees in each of the communities in which they work which are responsible for managing the community’s water points, which may include traditional boreholes with a hand pump, mechanized boreholes with solar power, protected springs, and rainwater harvesting. As girls and women bear the burden of collecting water globally, World Vision will specifically engage women in leadership positions within the committees. This commitment scales upon World Vision’s 2011 commitment to provide water, sanitation and hygiene solutions in 10 African countries.
Books For All: A Digital Library for 5 Million People: Commitment by: Worldreader; Partners: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Penguin Random House, Inc., Longhorn Publishers, Pratham, Microsoft, Rosetta Books, Cisco Foundation, Vodafone Group Foundation, Hesperian Books. In 2014, Worldreader committed to provide 5 million people with increased access to digital books in the next three years. The organization will quadruple the size of its digital library by 20,000 book titles, adding titles in English and local languages, with a particular focus on STEM and health content, as well as increase the number of distribution channels available by creating Android-based and web browser mobile reading applications. Worldreader announced today that as of March 2015, 4,230 books have been added to its global library, with a focus on reading materials that are about girls’ empowerment and STEM. Worldreader has reached 489,725 more readers since the CGI commitment was realized.
African Rhino Protection Program, Commitment by: United Postcode Lotteries, Partners: Peace Parks Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, South African National Parks, Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, Government of South Africa
Partnership to Map Air Pollution Across California Cities, Commitment by: Aclima, Partner: Google
Healthy Honey Bees: Linking Food Security & the Environment, Commitment by: Monsanto Company, Partners: National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance, Western Growers, American Honey Producers Association, American Beekeeping Federation, Eastern Kentucky University, National Cotton Council of America, Project Apis m., The Keystone Alliance, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Field to Market