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US President Bill Clinton at Warwick University
"A belief in the inherent dignity and the quality of all humans"
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Thursday, 14 December, 2000, 16:18 GMT
Clinton backs globalisation

Mr Blair praised President Clinton as a "true leader"
Outgoing US President Bill Clinton has said globalisation would help poor as well as rich nations.

Giving his final UK speech as US president, he emphasised the move towards a global economy was "irreversible", but said this need not mean poorer countries losing out to those with stronger economies.

Mr Clinton was speaking at Warwick University, after a two-day visit to help further the Northern Ireland peace process.

The president was introduced by Prime Minister Tony Blair, who emphasised the "special relationship" between the UK and the US, as well as his personal friendship with Mr Clinton.

Mr Blair described the president as a "true leader of the western world", as well as a "friend and counsel to me and other leaders".

Protests against globalisation, such as those which led to the so-called "battle of Seattle" at last November's World Trade Organisation conference, have focused on the inequalities that the lifting of international trade barriers and protection could bring.

But Mr Clinton told his audience: "In developing countries, globalisation brings the promise, but not the guarantee, of prosperity."

He said: "No generation has had the opportunity, as we now have, to build a global economy that leaves no-one behind.

"It is a wonderful opportunity, but also a profound responsibility."

Mr Clinton also addressed the issue of global warming, warning that more needed to be done to stop a global catastrophe.

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See also:

14 Dec 00 | Education
President's visit a boost for Warwick
14 Sep 00 | e-cyclopedia
Globalisation: What on Earth is it about?
25 Sep 00 | Business
Does growth benefit the poor?
14 Dec 00 | Northern Ireland
Clinton meets Queen on UK visit
12 Dec 00 | Europe
Clinton begins final Irish visit
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