"I am thrilled to see such a turnout for this Summit,which is one of the most important gatherings that we could have anywhere in our world."
--Hillary Rodham Clinton (First Lady, United States)
Over 2,900 people, representing 1,500 organizations from 137 countries, attended the Microcredit Summit in Washington, D.C., February 2-4, 1997. The Summit launched a nine-year campaign to reach 100 million of the world's poorest families, especially the women of those families, with credit for self-employment and other financial and business services by 2005. Present at the Microcredit Summit were Prime Ministers and Presidents, Queens and First Ladies, Heads of UN Agencies and Donor Agencies, Ministers of Governments, leaders in business and finance, and hundreds of grassroots leaders from around the world.
The spirit of cooperation and the commitment to action present at the Summit was reflected in the Communiqué issued by the Council of Heads of State and Government:
"We believe that if we all work together this campaign will become one of the great new chapters in human history and will allow tens of millions of people to free themselves and their families from the vicious cycle of poverty."