Clinton initiative reined inFebruary 2009
The activities of the Clinton Global Initiative, which supports companies in making new corporate responsibility commitments, have been restricted after last month’s appointment of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.
The initiative, an offshoot of the Clinton Foundation formed by former president Bill Clinton, has announced it will no longer hold events outside the US and will refuse any further contributions from foreign governments.
The decisions, which will limit the organization’s ability to raise funds or increase its influence beyond the Americas, are an attempt to counter suggestions that some donors might be tempted to give money to curry favour with Hillary Clinton in her foreign affairs role.
The foundation has also published the names of everyone who has ever provided it with cash donations, showing that more than 200,000 contributors have given $500million (£343m).
It said publication was meant to ensure that ‘not even the appearance of a conflict of interest exists between the Clinton Foundation’s operations and [Hillary] Clinton’s service as secretary of state’.
Hillary Clinton faced questions on the issue from Republicans at her confirmation hearing as secretary of state.
Indiana senator Richard Lugar, the senior Republican on the senate foreign relations committee, said: ‘The core of the problem is that foreign governments and entities may perceive the Clinton Foundation as a means to gain favour with the secretary of state.’
Since 2001 the foundation has grown to employ more than 1100 staff and volunteers working in more than 40 countries on projects dealing with HIV/Aids, climate change, sustainable economic development and childhood obesity.
As part of its work, nearly 1200 commitments to action, valued at $46billion, have been made by members of the Clinton Global Initiative, many of which are multinational businesses.
The biggest corporate donors include Alltel, Sterling Stamos Capital Management, Suzlon Energy, Swiss Reinsurance, and Wal-Mart Foundation (all between $1m and $5m each).
Largest country donors include the governments of Saudi Arabia (who have given between $10m and $25m each), Brunei, Kuwait, Norway, Oman, Qatar and Taiwan ($1m plus).
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