Clinton summit draws new leaders of Egypt, Libya

Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:16pm BST

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* Obama, Romney due to speak on Tuesday

* Eighth annual event coincides with U.N. General Assembly

By Edith Honan

NEW YORK, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton's annual philanthropic summit will attract the new leaders of Egypt and Libya plus this year's U.S. presidential candidates to a forum that once again competes for attention with the United Nations General Assembly.

Libya's new head of state, Mohammed Magarief, and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi will appear at the eighth Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which Clinton hosts in New York when many world leaders are in town for the annual U.N. meeting.

President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney were set to appear separately on Tuesday. Others on the bill include new Barclays PLC Chief Executive Antony Jenkins and Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, among other luminaries.

This year's theme, "Designing for Impact," will focus panel discussions on topics such as providing safe and reliable energy, sustainable tourism, promoting a greater role for women in civics, and "food security," or guaranteeing access to food in the face of extreme weather conditions as a result of climate change.

"We've always been in the business of inspiring concrete solutions," said Robert Harrison, the initiative's chief executive. He said the meeting would focus on "the how" of solving problems.

The idea for the summit came from Clinton's frustration while president from 1993 to 2001 at attending conferences that prompted no action. When the initiative began, corporations tended to show up and write checks to fund humanitarian programs. Now many see philanthropy in terms of investment opportunities.

"CGI is built on the spirit of non-partisan, cross-sector collaborations that drive action, and I'm proud that, since we began in 2005, CGI members have made more than 2,100 commitments that are already improving the lives of 400 million people all over the world," Clinton said in a statement.

Since the initiative started, more than 2,000 pledges have been made valued at more than $69 billion, and they have improved the lives of more than 400 million people in 180 countries, Clinton said.

If a company or individual fails to keep a pledge, they are not invited the following year.

Romney was due to offer remarks at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) on Sept. 25, with Obama following at noon (1600 GMT).

The full agenda can be seen at www.clintonglobalinitiative.org/2012

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