NEW YORK – There's a role for artists and other famous faces to play when it comes to global issues, Shakira said during her visit to the Clinton Global Initiative conference, a meeting that has its share of well-known attendees.
But boldface names are not enough for former President Bill Clinton, who started the initiative in 2005. He wants everyone to be involved. So CGI is expanding to college campuses, Clinton told The Associated Press on Thursday.
"My objective here is ... to try, in effect, to make this a habit of citizenship, to make this something that everybody does," he said.
CGI brings together attendees to discuss global issues and asks them to take concrete steps on those causes. It was due to conclude Friday.
Shakira was there to announce her own commitment, which involved a $40 million project to help Peru and Nicaragua rebuild after natural disasters, as well as a $5 million commitment for health and education services in four Latin American countries.
"I believe that some of these issues need a vehicle, a bridge that brings people together and that somehow can affect directly and touch directly our generation," the Colombian pop diva said.
The effort to extend the conference to colleges, called CGI U, will be similar in structure to the annual CGI conference, Clinton said. The first event is planned early next year at Tulane University in New Orleans.
Among the entities joining Clinton's effort to draw in young people is MTV, which planned to highlight the partnership at an event Saturday at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. It was to feature Clinton, Bono, Chris Rock, Shakira, Alicia Keys and Wyclef Jean.
The second day of the CGI conference started with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson talking about a world leader who was not attending — his boss, President Bush.
Paulson spoke on a panel looking at issues of economic growth in a time of climate change. His comments came as Bush convened a two-day meeting on climate issues. It emphasized creating more processes to find a solution to global warming, rather than setting firm goals for reducing carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for the environmental problem.
It's an approach that has garnered Bush some criticism, but Paulson said the president was serious about finding solutions.
"I don't see how it can be anything other than a positive to get the major economies of the world, to get the nations that are responsible for 80 percent of carbon emissions, to get them together to deal with the global problem," he said, responding to a question from moderator Tom Brokaw.
Among other commitments Thursday:
• Palo Alto, Calif.- based Ausra committed to development of solar-thermal plants that will generate 1,000 megawatts of power. The company plans to start with a 175-megawatt plant.
• The Sabin Vaccine Institute launched a campaign to raise $25 million to control and prevent neglected tropical diseases like river blindness and hookworm infection.
• Pfizer Inc. launched a 5-year program to support malaria treatment and management initiatives in Kenya, Ghana and Senegal.