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Bill Clinton outlined views on 21st century challenges October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Politics, Shows & Conferences.
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The Capital Forum in cooperation with the American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce hosted a conference with keynote speaker the 42nd President of the United States of America, William Jefferson Clinton, on Friday, at the Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel in Athens.

Former US president Bill Clinton brought his message of viable development and market-friendly environmental advocacy for the 21st century to Athens on Friday evening, addressing an audience that included almost half of the government Cabinet, top opposition politicians and scores of senior executives.

Less than a day after defining a personal role for himself in a possible future Hillary Clinton administration, namely, to restore America’s standing overseas, as he said, the charismatic leader detailed his outlook on the challenges humanity will face in the coming 50 years. Clinton, 61, also outlined his leitmotif approach of “partnerships” between philanthropists, governments and the private sector around the world to tackle monumental problems, i.e. AIDS treatment and childhood diseases in the Third World.

True to form, the former US president and husband of top Democratic contender Sen. Hillary Clinton ticked off climate change, loss of resources and population explosion in the coming decades as the ecumenical challenges facing the world. However, he devoted a good portion of his address to the issue of “identity” as a source of numerous and intricate crises plaguing humanity, noting that this issue, in a sense, is behind global terror.

He said the issue of “identity”, beyond whatever legitimate problems and differences, dominates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; played a elemental role in the break-up and subsequent clashes in the former Yugoslavia, and today is evident in the grumbling, for instance, between Turkey and Iraq’s Kurds. He also mentioned the Cyprus problem as containing the issue of “identity” as well as thorny Greece-Turkey ties.

In fact, Clinton said the 1996 Imia incident, which almost resulted in an armed conflict between Greece and Turkey over an uninhabited rock islet in the eastern Aegean, actually made him a better president. Clinton said he realised the graveness of the incident, which was initially deemed as inconsequential by outsiders, after being briefed in detail by experts on Greek-Turkish relations.

Finally, he cited rapprochement between Athens and Ankara following the mutual assistance provided by each government when both countries experienced major earthquakes in the late 1990s.

Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis received Clinton at his Maximos Mansion office on Saturday, while the popular Arkansas statesman toured the Acropolis the same day. The event was jointly organised by the Capital Forum group and the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce.

Related Links > www.amcham.gr

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