Clinton Global Initiative holds final meeting
Tolga Tanış-NEW YORKThe Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which has created more than 3,600 commitments to improve lives, held its 12th and final annual meeting in New York last week, with the attendance of more than 100 high level high level guests, including Hürriyet chair Vuslat Doğan Sabancı and Doğan Holding chair Begümhan Doğan Faralyalı from Turkey.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said the initiative has been able to improve the lives of 430 million people across 180 countries, noting that over 11 million females were supported financially and 27 million people reached clean water, in a speech at the last CGI meeting.
He also noted that over 46 million children were helped to get better educational opportunities in the last 12 years.
The Clinton Foundation is facing election-year scrutiny, burdened by the political complications of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for president. In an attempt to quiet critics, Bill Clinton said he would step down from the foundation board if his wife was elected president of the United States. He also said 2016 marked the last CGI meeting, regardless of the outcome of the upcoming election.
“When we started this in 2005 it was a great gamble,” Clinton said. “The way to end this is not on a nostalgia trip” but to “keep working to push the ball forward,” he noted, then sharing the stories of some people whose lives were improved thanks to the contributions of the initiative.
“I’ll miss this,” he concluded his speech.
Clinton and Doğan Sabancı came together in a roundtable at the conference, which Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and famous Sudanese entrepreneur Mo Ibrahim also attended. As Doğan Sabancı was the only female attendee of this roundtable, gender equality was one of the discussion topics.
“I was asked why woman cannot climb the career ladders. I replied: ‘You, as males, should answer this question.’ Why? As women do what they need to in a great way. I just reminded men’s responsibility in ensuring gender equality,” she said following the meeting.
Doğan Sabancı and Doğan Faralyalı also came together with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.