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Annual Clinton summit advocates practical approach to curb poverty

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 25 2012 11:43 a.m. MDT

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is introduced by former President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, in New York.

Mark Lennihan, Associated Press

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A cooperative and shrewd approach to philanthropy, along with practical solutions to the world's biggest poverty problems, were the major focus of Bill Clinton's annual philanthropic summit, which opened Sunday.

"We live to prove that cooperation works better than conflict," Clinton said at the opening session of the eighth Clinton Global Initiative in New York, Reuters reported. "Today we want to talk about how you can design your actions in advance to make it more likely that those efforts will succeed."

"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," Haaretz reported.

Clinton's initiative is aimed as producing tangible results, something he rarely saw when president, Reuters reported. More top corporations and businesses executives are now looking at philanthropy through an investment lens, which is improving results.

"At this year's summit, businessman and philanthropist Tom Golisano pledged $12 million to expand the Special Olympics' health-related services to people with intellectual disabilities," Reuters reported. The summit addressed a wide range of other issues and will feature everyone from current president Barrack Obama to Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi as it continues throughout the week.

"In one session, World Bank leader Jim Yong Kim, Queen Rania of Jordan, Walmart chief executive Michael Duke and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon discussed how to reduce youth unemployment in the Arab world, maintain peace in countries like the Ivory Coast and ensure that students are taught skills that businesses need," the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported.

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

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