Three Northern parties at Clinton conference (SBP – 24th September 2006)

An article of mine from today’s Sunday Business Post:

Leaders of three of the North’s four main political parties attended the second Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting held this week in New York.

The aim of the meeting, which ran from Wednesday to Friday and was hosted by former US president Bill Clinton, was to bring individuals from charities, business and politics together to discuss international problems and their solutions.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, SDLP leader Mark Durkan and UUP leader Reg Empey were at the invitation-only meeting, along with former taoiseach Albert Reynolds, former Irish president and UN ambassador Mary Robinson and Tom Arnold, chief executive of the charity Concern.The gathering focused on climate change, global health, poverty alleviation and also religious conflict such as the growing rift between Islam and the West.

Last Thursday Virgin boss Richard Branson pledged $3 billion (€2.34 billion) to tackle global warming as part of the initiative, $500 million more than the total amount raised at last year’s event.

Other prominent figures at last week’s event included Microsoft head Bill Gates, philanthropist Warren Buffett and media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Former US secretary of state Colin Powell, UN secretary general Kofi Annan and former US vice-president Al Gore also attended the event.

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