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President arrives in NY to attend Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting today

Sep 19, 2011 3:25:36 PM - www.ft.lk

Nisthar Cassim in New York
President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in New York today to attend and address the UN General Assembly later this week, whilst he will participate in the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting on Tuesday.

Rajapaksa will be among top global political and business leaders attending the CGI event with others being US President Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State, US Department of State; Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Bill Clinton, former US President, Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile and First Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women; Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway; Muhammad Yunus; John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco; Bob Diamond, Chief Executive of Barclays; Bob McDonald, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Procter & Gamble; Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company; Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo; Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever; and Jim Rogers.
The seventh in the annual meeting series, it addresses global challenges through three topics: ‘Jobs, Jobs, Jobs’; ‘Increasing Sustainable Consumption’; and ‘Empowering Girls and Women’.
On 23 September President is slated to address the 66th UN General Assembly and his speech is being eagerly awaited. On the sidelines, President Rajapaksa is also scheduled to hold a series of bilateral meetings with select political leaders of several countries. Several Senior Ministers and officials are part of the Sri Lankan delegation for the UN Assembly.
This year’s CGI gathering will bring together an estimated 1,200 diverse stakeholders, including current and former heads of state, Fortune 500 CEOs, national and local government officials, and leaders from the non-profit sector to devise and implement workable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
“Since we began in 2005, CGI members have made great progress in addressing critical global issues by making more than 2,000 commitments through CGI that have and will improve the lives of more than 300 million people in more than 180 countries,” President Clinton said. “As many of these commitments come to fruition, I am proud that we will be showcasing the tangible impact they have made.”
Sessions will also address critical issues in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the role architecture, sports, and the arts play in fostering positive change.
In a special ceremony, President Clinton will also present the fifth annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards, which recognise remarkable individuals for their leadership in addressing global challenges in philanthropy, government, civil society and the corporate sector.