Ted Turner Launches American India Foundation and United Nations Foundation Partnership
San Francisco, CA — May 12, 2004
The American India Foundation (AIF) and the United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation) will announce the launch of a new partnership at a dinner May 14, 2004, at the Westin Hotel in Santa Clara, CA, at 7pm to rally support for India’s development.
More than 200 guests from high-tech firms and other corporations throughout California are expected to attend the dinner. Philanthropist and businessman Ted Turner will be the keynote speaker and will greet sponsors and donors at a VIP reception before the dinner. Mr. Turner’s speech will take the form of a public interview conducted by Jane Wales, President of the World Affairs Council where he will share his insights into his business and philanthropic careers.
In 1998, Mr. Turner created the UN Foundation with his historic $1 billion gift to the United Nations and its programs. The UN Foundation has committed more than $28 million to India’s economic and social development, as well as to the protection of its environment. Launched in 2003, the UN Foundation’s Pride in India campaign is mobilizing resources to address the country’s most pressing challenges.
“India is at a critical point in its development and has set its eyes on eradicating poverty by 2020,” said Timothy E. Wirth, President of the UN Foundation. “The UN is working hard to advance India’s goals, and the Indian Diaspora has a tremendous opportunity to work with the AIF-UN Foundation partnership and leverage UN expertise to make a difference in India at this critical juncture in its history.”
AIF is dedicated to working on economic empowerment of women and education of the left out child in India . In three years, AIF has built an extraordinary infrastructure in India and the US to support the effective deployment of resources to have a multiplier effect in India ’s development.
“We strongly believe that partnerships with credible institutions like the UNF will be a more sustainable method of leveraging strengths in effecting meaningful social and economic change in India . We are excited about working with UNF and applaud the vision of Mr. Turner in philanthropy” said Lata Krishnan, President of AIF.
The organizations will initially focus fund-raising efforts to bring a unique approach to environmental and livelihood preservation. Together, the two organizations will preserve India’s five natural World Heritage Sites —areas that have been designed by the United Nations as having universal value to the world—and also promote alternative livelihoods for local communities living around them. India’s five natural sites are significant because they are home to many endangered species including the one-horned rhinoceros, the Asian water buffalo, tiger, leopard, the Asian elephant, and the sloth bear. Sustainable preservation is only possible if the surrounding local communities who are among the poorest of the poor in India, are provided with income and employment options, thereby reducing their natural resource dependency.
AIF has set a goal of raising $1 million from Indo-centric individuals, corporations and foundations in support of this initiative, and the UN Foundation will match contributions dollar-for-dollar.
The UN Foundation and AIF also are exploring partnerships in other areas critical to India’s social development including empowering women, educating girls, and improving health services for children.
The United Nations Foundation was created in 1998 with businessman and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic gift to support UN causes. The United Nations Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the United Nations and its Charter. Through its grant making and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the United Nations Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century.
The American India Foundation was founded in 2001 under the leadership of former President Bill Clinton, Rajat Gupta, former McKinsey & Co. Managing Director, and Victor Menezes, Citibank N.A. Chairman & CEO. The American India Foundation is devoted to accelerating social and economic change in India by connecting communities and resources across the United States and India.
The UN Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the United Nations and its Charter. Through grantmaking and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the United Nations Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century.