Bill Clinton opens annual NYC meeting with call for action on pressing world problems

by
September 24, 2012

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Former President Bill Clinton on Sunday challenged Wal-Mart to open a store in Libya and help create jobs in the world’s most troubled areas.

“If the new president of Libya asked you to open a store in Tripoli, would you consider it?” Clinton asked Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke at the opening session of the Clinton Global Initiative.

The annual forum brings together leaders in politics, business and philanthropy for three days of brainstorming about the most pressing global problems.

Duke was on a Clinton-mediated panel with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Queen Rania of Jordan and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

The Wal-Mart executive — jokingly calling the corporate giant a “small company from Arkansas,” Clinton’s home state — said the company already operates in high-risk areas including parts of sub-Saharan Africa. But Wal-Mart has no presence in Tripoli, the Libyan capital Clinton named as a possible location.

Newly elected Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif is listed among about 1,000 forum participants, as is Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, a leader of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.

Libya faces more domestic upheaval after the killings of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in the Libyan city of Benghazi earlier this month. Both Egypt and Libya have seen protests against an anti-Islam film made in the United States that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad.

More than 50 current or former heads of state are lined up for this year’s high-power gathering. On Sunday, the audience in the ballroom of the Sheraton New York Hotel included the former president’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is to speak on Monday morning, and President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday.

The theme of the 2012 meeting is “Designing for Impact.” Its stated purpose is to consider 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.”

To read more, visit: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/bill-clinton-opens-annual-nyc-meeting-with-call-for-action-on-pressing-world-problems/2012/09/23/bce6c946-05e0-11e2-9eea-333857f6a7bd_story.html

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