What do you say to a global leader who has devoted 15 years of his life to improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable citizens? What do you say to a team of dedicated humanitarian professionals as they wrap up an extraordinary initiative that has had enormous global impact?
These were the questions I was asking myself earlier this week, as I talked with former President Bill Clinton on the eve of the final meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)—and again when I joined Chelsea Clinton onstage in the final CGI plenary session to mark a new commitment by PATH. We joined a number of public- and private-sector partners to commit to bringing lifesaving oxygen therapy to premature infants, young children, and other patients suffering acute respiratory illness in Ethiopia, in support of the government’s ambitious roadmap to provide oxygen even in the lowest-resource communities.
PATH and our partners were honored to be a part of CGI’s celebration of the potential for social innovation and multisector collaboration to overcome some of the world’s most intractable problems.
This was not the first time that PATH has made a commitment to CGI. In fact, PATH has led or partnered on 22 global health commitments through CGI since 2005. Working with a wide range of partners, our commitments have covered a variety of global health imperatives over the past decade. Developing and introducing vaccines against meningitis A and human papillomavirus. Reducing maternal and child mortality. Combatting malaria. Strengthening local health systems. Improving supply chains for lifesaving drugs. These commitments have literally touched hundreds of millions of lives.
Over the past several days in New York, I’ve spent time talking with many partners across government, civil society, and the private sector. These conversations have left me more energized than ever about the opportunity for social innovation and multisector partnerships to address pressing needs and advance human potential. At PATH, we are doubling down on some of the biggest problems facing the planet, through our work on vaccine innovation and access, malaria control and elimination, maternal and child health, digital health solutions, and strengthening systems for improved health. We are also tackling key emerging issues, such as global health security, pandemic preparedness, and the rising problem of noncommunicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries.
All week long, I have felt a sense of momentum and determination in our community, and a growing recognition that multisector collaboration can lead us to greater impact and faster progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals that the world embraced one year ago.
As President Clinton said earlier this week, we can overcome whatever is wrong with our nation and our world by tapping into exactly what’s so enduringly great about America and the global community.
So what did I say to President Clinton?
I said thank you.
Thank you, President Clinton and everyone who has been a part of the Clinton Global Initiative, for your extraordinary leadership and commitment, in bringing people together across government, business, academia, nonprofit organizations, and other sectors, to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable citizens on our planet. PATH is proud to have been a part of this effort for more than a decade. And PATH is committed to do our part to ensure that the innovations, partnerships, and concrete actions inspired by CGI continue, on our mission to reach the 2030 global goals.
- Steve Davis is the president and CEO of PATH.