The Better World Fund was founded in 1998 by media mogul, philanthropist, and humanitarian Ted Turner. The man who brought us the cable station CNN started the Fund as an umbrella organization to facilitate public-private partnerships to address a range of global concerns, including health crises and environmental problems. The fund also serves as an advocacy and outreach organization to support the work of the United Nations and to lobby for the US Government to provide political, financial and sometimes military support for UN humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts.
The major initiative of the Better World Fund is the Better World Campaign, whose publicity and advocacy work currently focuses on what the organization calls its “key issues.” The top three of those issues are climate change, global health, and international security.
In each of these areas, the Better World Fund and the Better World Campaign work to build support for UN initiatives. On climate change, they advocate for the adoption of the Copenhagen Accord, which establishes a registry to keep track of the ways that different nations are responding to climate change. The Accord also commits developed countries to provide up to $100 billion per year by 2020 to reduce emissions and take other measures to address climate change.
In the area of global health, the Better World Fund supports UN education and treatment efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and malaria, and it supports vaccination efforts to eradicate polio. In the area of international security, the Fund advocates for UN efforts to end nuclear proliferation, to combat international terrorism, and to enforce maritime laws governing the activities of governments and businesses, and the management of marine natural resources.
The Fund’s Board of Directors includes former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, civil rights leader Andrew Young, and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan.