Pope Francis and Bill Clinton set discussion on climate change at Clinton Global Initiative

Pope Francis attends the weekly general audience in St. Peter's at the Vatican, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. Pope Francis will discuss how to address the world’s pressing issues with former President Bill Clinton to open this year’s Clinton Global Initiative, organizers announced Thursday. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Pope Francis will discuss how to address the world's pressing issues with former President Bill Clinton to open this year's Clinton Global Initiative, organizers announced Thursday.

The pontiff will discuss broad issues — including climate change, the refugee crisis, the welfare of children — during an onstage videoconference with Clinton Monday morning, while also telling attendees about specific projects like the work of Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital in Italy. The two-day conference will take place in New York on Monday and Tuesday, as leaders in politics, business and philanthropy gather to work on potential solutions to global concerns.

A conversation between U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also added to the conference Thursday, along with panels featuring Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Alphabet and Google President Ruth Porat, and NBA Hall of Famer and philanthropist Dwyane Wade.

They join previously announced “leaders, innovators and dreamers” including World Bank President Ajay Banga, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, World Central Kitchen founder Jose Andres and Ford Foundation CEO Darren Walker, as well as A-list actors and philanthropists Orlando Bloom, Matt Damon, and Ashley Judd. The annual conference, which returned last year after a six-year hiatus, is focused on securing commitments to address climate change, health care issues, gender-based violence, the war in Ukraine and other issues.

“Every day, billions of people around the world, even in the face of the most dire circumstances, make a profound decision to choose hope and keep going,” former President Bill Clinton told The Associated Press in an emailed statement last month. “At CGI, we’re focusing on how to move forward in the face of daunting challenges—to act now, find new partners, and stick with it to make a positive difference in people’s lives.”


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