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New Libyan Leader to Attend Clinton-Run NY Meeting

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton walks out to address the audience during the opening plenary, of the seventh annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty)

Libya's newly-elected leader will join Egypt's president and the U.N. secretary-general for the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York City.

Former President Bill Clinton announced the lineup for the high-power gathering of more than 50 other current or former heads of state. The meeting starts on Sunday.

President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney are expected to speak Tuesday to about 1,000 members of Clinton's nonpartisan forum, which also includes CEOs, foundation heads and philanthropists. Romney's address is scheduled for 9 a.m.; the president is to speak at noon.

Participants will attend three days of sessions aimed at solving pressing world problems.

A potentially explosive development is the turbulence in the Middle East that resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya last week. At next week's conference, leaders in government, business and philanthropy will have a chance speak to Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Since Clinton created the initiative in 2005, "the best way to describe the work is by looking at the impact of 2,100 commitments made that have already improved the lives of 400 million people in over 180 countries," said Craig Minassian, a spokesman for the initiative.

In 2010, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, founded by the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, pledged to support 100,000 female entrepreneurs with business ventures, access to mobile technology and value-added services in regions with large gender gaps: Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

According to a 2012 progress report - required for each commitment - this project is proceeding smoothly and is on track to conclude by November.

The theme of the meeting is "Designing for Impact," whose stated purpose is how the Clinton Global Initiative community "can utilize our abundance of global capacity to invent better tools, build more effective interventions, and work creatively and collaboratively to design a future worth pursuing."

A series of discussions hosted by prominent broadcast journalists are to be televised to an international audience.

At one, the role of business in global social challenges is to be addressed by three chairmen and CEOs of their respective companies: Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein, Dow Chemical's Andrew Liveris, and Cisco's John Chambers.

Obama has spoken at an initiative meeting three other times - once as a presidential candidate in 2008, when Republican candidate John McCain also spoke, the other times as president.

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