Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has assembled world leaders, activists and academics in New York to address the issues of poverty, global warning and conflict.

Opening Thursday, the Clinton Global Initiative's conference coincides with the Millennium summit of the United Nations General Assembly.

Mr. Clinton says the focus of the three-day conference is to secure concrete pledges from leaders to address significant problems, not to simply talk about them. 

Organizers say the conference is different from other forums because participants are required to pledge to address issues in concrete ways and to report back on their progress.

Expected attendees or speakers include British Prime Minister Tony Blair, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres. 

Some information for this story provided by AP and AFP.