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For Immediate Release
September 15, 2006

Mrs. Bush's Week During the UN General Assembly

September 18 – 21, 2006


Literacy is of paramount importance for a strong, free society.  Literate adults help raise a new generation of literate children. Literate mothers help improve the health of their families. Literacy leads to productive jobs, so that families can be economically self-sufficient. Literacy strengthens families just as it strengthens free societies.

Hosts and Delivers Remarks at the White House Conference on Global Literacy – Monday, September 18.
Mrs. Laura Bush will host her first international conference, the White House Conference on Global Literacy, at the New York Public Library. This Conference came about as a result of Mrs. Bush’s visits to countries around the world where she witnessed the power of literacy to improve lives, especially for women and girls.  The Conference will help other First Ladies, First Spouses, Ministers of Education, and national decision-makers from all over the world to implement successful literacy programs in their countries. The panels will cover three themes: Mother-Child Literacy and Intergenerational Learning, Literacy for Health, and Literacy for Economic Self-Sufficiency.  These themes position literacy as a catalyst to advance social and economic participation, human development and poverty reduction. 

NYSE Closing Bell Ceremony with Women Entrepreneurs – Monday, September 18.
To symbolize the vital contribution that women bring to a growing global economy, Mrs. Bush and women entrepreneurs from around the world will join Catherine Kinney, President and Co-Chief Operating Officer, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), to ring the NYSE closing bell. The NYSE, also nicknamed the “Big Board,” is the largest stock exchange in the world by dollar volume and second largest by number of companies listed.

Hosts Roundtable Discussion about the Humanitarian Crisis in Burma Tuesday, September 19.
Mrs. Bush will host a roundtable discussion at the U.N. to help raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Burma and to help gain support for a U.S.-sponsored U.N. Security Resolution to call out Burma for political and human rights violations.  The U.S. is currently working to sponsor a U.N. Security Council resolution to call for an all-inclusive political process and the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners; call on the Burmese regime to ensure access and security for humanitarian workers; call on the Burmese regime to take steps to end ethnic violence against the Karen; and call on the Burmese regime to address HIV/AIDS and drugs and human trafficking.

Delivers Remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative (New York, NY) –  Wednesday, September 20.
Mrs. Bush will deliver remarks and announce a new public-private partnership to improve global health and sustain healthy environments at the second annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).  CGI brings together some of the world’s best minds and most distinguished problem-solvers to identify immediate, practical solutions to the world’s most challenging issues. This year the conference will focus on four key challenges:  (1) how to reduce poverty, (2) how to reconcile religious and ethnic conflicts, (3) how to meet increasing energy needs while addressing climate change and (4) how to improve global health. 

Delivers Remarks and Accepts the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Freedom Award (Washington, DC) - Thursday, September 21.
Mrs. Bush will be recognized as an advocate of freedom through her work of promoting education and literacy. Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf will also receive an award.  President George W. Bush received this award in 2005. The International Republican Institute (IRI) conducts a wide range of international programs to promote and strengthen democratic ideals and institutions. IRI programs are individually structured to meet the needs of the participants in the host country. These programs include training on such issues as civic responsibility, the legislative process for newly elected government officials and the mechanics of organizing political parties and election campaigns. The Board of Directors is chaired by U.S. Senator John McCain.

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