Helping the world's hungry feed themselves
May 18th, 2012
10:17 AM ET

Helping the world's hungry feed themselves

The campaign to feed the world's poor will get some much needed star power Friday when Bono, co-founder of the global advocacy organization ONE, arrives to rally leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations to take action.

While the crisis in the eurozone will no doubt top the agenda when the G8 leaders gather Friday for a two-day summit, the talks will also tackle the issue of food security and ways to feed a growing world population.

At their annual summit in L'Aquila, Italy, in 2009, leaders pledged to provide $20 billion to fight hunger in the developing world over three years. Since then, U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have embraced food security as a signature foreign policy issue, working to support farmers in Africa and other developing countries to improve agriculture.

Now, those 2009 commitments are set to expire. In an age of shrinking aid budgets with fewer resources available, donor governments can't solve the problem of world hunger alone.

Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said in an interview that major gains have been made in reducing hunger in most of the world, with the exception of sub-Saharan Africa. While he said the private sector has been interested in developing the African market, companies have been reluctant because of corruption and a lack of infrastructure.

Click here for the full story  at CNN's Security Clearance blog

Topics: Africa • Food Security • G-8
POTUS Day Ahead: G-8 edition
May 18th, 2012
07:43 AM ET

POTUS Day Ahead: G-8 edition

Friday marks the beginning of the G-8 summit at Camp David. Leaders from eight of the largest economies in the world will be arriving at Washington’s Dulles Airport throughout the day, and in the morning President Obama will hold his first meeting with newly elected French President Francois Hollande.

Following his bilateral meeting at the White House, Hollande will head across the street to Blair House for a luncheon hosted by Secretary Hillary Clinton.

The G8 schedule begins with working dinner for leaders only at Camp David on Friday night. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon said the dinner would include conversations on “regional and political issues” with a focus on “security issues.”

Specifically, Donilon said likely issues include Iran, where the U.S. is looking to advance the theme of international unity as well as preview expectations of the May 23rd second round of meetings with Iranians in Baghdad; North Korea; Burma, where the administration is emphasizing “remarkable progress” and “the start of a long but promising path towards democracy;” and Syria.

Saturday the summit will turn to the global economic crisis, which is widely seen as the central focus of the G8 meeting. Additionally there will be separate sessions dedicated to energy and climate, food security, the Afghan economic transition and the Middle East and North Africa transition. Donilon also emphasized on Thursday that leaders would likely have individual meetings on the “margins” of the larger conference, citing this as one of the prime reasons why Camp David was selected as the site for this summit.

But before all the G8 excitement begins, Obama is scheduled to deliver what White House officials have called “a very important speech” on food security at the Reagan building on Friday morning. To add to the conversation on food security at Camp David, four African leaders will also be attending the summit – current chairman of the African Union, Yayi Bonin of Benin, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and President Atta Mills of Ghana. These leaders were chosen because of their work on food security in their own nations.

Below is the full schedule as released by the White House:


Topics: Daily Schedule • G-8
POTUS's schedule for Thursday, May 17th, 2012
May 17th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

POTUS's schedule for Thursday, May 17th, 2012

President Obama lays low at the White House today. There's nothing on his public schedule but we can assume that he is preparing behind the scenes for this weekend's diplomatic events of the G8 and NATO summits. We will get to hear from National Security Adviser, Tom Donilon in the daily briefing. He's expected to give a preview of issues surrounding the upcoming summits.


10:00AM Pool Call Time

Briefing Schedule

2:00PM Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon


Topics: Daily Schedule • G-8
Obama-Putin scheduling conflicts
May 14th, 2012
01:21 PM ET

Obama-Putin scheduling conflicts

Although the White House has said they have a "mutual commitment" to strengthening the relationship between the U.S and Russia, neither leader will visit the other on their turf in the summits that each country is hosting in the next several months.

The White House confirmed on Monday that President Obama will not be attending the APEC summit in Russia in November.

This after a phone conversation last week, where President Putin told Obama he wouldn't be able to attend the upcoming G8 Summit at Camp David because he was still forming his government and getting settled back into the role of Russian president.  President Obama said he understood and looked forward to meeting with former President and current Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev during the summit.

The two leaders will eventually meet at the G20 summit in Mexico in June and have their first face-to-face meeting since Putin was elected president for the second time. They previously met in 2009 when Putin was the prime minister and Obama visited Moscow to sign a preliminary agreement for nuclear arms reduction along-side of then-President Medvedev.

But the White House says not to read anything into the scheduling no-shows.

"The fact of the matter is we have a comprehensive relationship with Russia that's built on working together in areas where we agree and that has borne significant successes, that approach, and then be very clear about where we disagree but not letting those disagreements undermine the overall relationship," Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One on the way to New York City for the Barnard College commencement. "And that was true under President Medvedev when Vladimir Putin was prime minister, and it will continue to be true now that Mr. Putin has returned to the presidency and Mr. Medvedev is now prime minister."

Topics: G-8 • Russia • Vladimir Putin
Zuckerberg friends Merkel, Sarkozy at G8
May 26th, 2011
12:27 PM ET

Zuckerberg friends Merkel, Sarkozy at G8

Facebook head honcho Mark Zuckerberg popped up at the G8 Summit in Deauville, France Thursday, appearing on a panel with other Silicon Valley all-stars to discuss the Internet’s effect on the global economy.

But at least one world leader was also interested in his thoughts on ‘The Social Network,’ the Oscar-nominated movie about Facebook’s founding that did not portray Zuckerberg in the best of lights.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared to be a big fan of the film, proclaiming to Zuckerberg and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, “I saw it and I liked it,” according to the pool report. Sarkozy indicated he is also a fan of the Aaron Sorkin-directed hit.

"And did you see it?" she asked Zuckerberg.

"I didn't like it," he replied, smiling. Merkel responded that “maybe you'll like the next one.”

Other business leaders taking part in the Internet panel include Eric Schmidt of Google, Yuri Milner of Digital Sky Technologies, Hiroshi Mikitani of Rakuten, Maurice Levy of Publicis and Stephane Richard of Orange.

Topics: G-8 • Mark Zuckerberg