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Old 01-03-2005, 06:34 AM   #1
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An Appeal From Bono

Daily Telegraph
3rd January 2005

Demand a better deal for the poor of the world in 2005

By Bill Gates and Bono

There are moments in history when civilisation redefines itself. Times
when momentum builds to bring down a status quo that people are no
longer willing to accept. The abolition of slavery was one. So were the
fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of apartheid.

When it comes to the wanton loss of lives to extreme poverty and
disease, 2005 might be such a moment. Right now it seems unthinkable:
the year has begun on an incomprehensibly tragic note in Asia. Yet
momentum has been building to make this the year when the world finally
gets serious about changing the future for its poorest people. The
coming 12 months are a test for us all - especially the leaders of G8
nations, whose vision and resolve have never been more on the line.

History's judgment will be harsh if we fail, precisely because we are
the first generation with the power to succeed. New tools and ideas are
creating opportunities that were, very recently, unthinkable.
Conventional wisdom used to be that foreign aid could not buy
measurable results. That attitude -with its ally, indifference - is
eroding in the face of dramatic progress, particularly in health.

Diseases that have wiped out generations of poor people are now,
themselves, on the brink of extinction. Fifteen years ago, polio
afflicted 350,000; today, that number is 800, and could soon be zero.
In the past five years, increased immunisation has saved the lives of
half a million children, a number that could triple over the next

Another old, unjust idea is fading: the notion that poor countries,
shackled by old Cold War debts to the richest countries, have to pay us
back, no matter the cost in human suffering. Now that wealthy nations
are writing off some of that debt, the poorest countries have been able
to boost their spending on other urgent priorities such as health and
education. Uganda, for example, has used its savings to double the
number of children in primary school.

More than ever, the world knows what works. Five years ago, world
leaders vowed to make it work even better, in more places, for more
people. A set of Millennium Development Goals pledged to the world's
poor that, in this new century, basic human needs would finally be met.
Food, clean water, health services and education would be the
birthright of every child.

Heads of state are talking seriously not just about fighting disease
and deprivation, but about ending them. After a decade of declining aid
flows, some wealthy countries are stepping up to their pledges to do
more, including Britain. In 2005, Britain's role in the chair of the G8
group of nations and as president of the EU means that Tony Blair and
Gordon Brown are ideally placed to broker a much better deal from other

The temptation to trim or cut back is a strong force in nations facing
budget pressures. This has to be weighed against the costs of inaction.
In Africa today, 10 million Aids orphans need care because their
parents could not get access to anti-retroviral drugs. There may be 20
million more by 2010. Surely it's cheaper, smarter and easier to
prevent fires like these from starting than to stop them once they're

Only one of us is known for crunching numbers. But we both believe that
investments in human potential pay off many times over. They have the
power to end extreme poverty. But only if we learn to think big again.

The Marshall Plan, which rebuilt Europe after the Second World War and
became a bulwark against Soviet expansion, cost the United States two
per cent of its GDP over four years. Today, in tense, nervous times, an
investment of less could not only transform more people's lives, but
also transform the way those people see us.

Our momentum, then, is real but fragile. This year brings a unique
convergence of global summits, progress reports, and negotiations on
debt, trade and effective aid. The acronyms - G8, UN MDGs, WTO, IMF -
cause eyes to glaze, but they amount to the best chance yet for the
world to learn from its successes and to keep moving forward.

For a start, we hope that the leaders of every developed nation will
resolve to take four crucial steps in 2005. The wealthy world has
already committed itself to some of these ideas. Promises made must be
promises kept. First: double the amount of effective foreign assistance
- possibly through the International Finance Facility, a UK proposal to
frontload aid and get it flowing immediately.

A British- and French-backed initiative using the same principles is
ready to roll now and could save five million lives by increasing child
immunisation. Second: finish the job on poor countries' debts. They
need more than relief - they need full debt cancellation. Third: change
unfair trade rules, creating a pathway for poor countries to reach
self-reliance. Fourth: provide funding for the Global HIV Vaccine
Enterprise, a more aggressive and coordinated approach to developing an
HIV vaccine.

In these and other ways, our governments can make history - and we must
demand that they do so. That is why, three days into the year, "2005"
movements have already taken root, bringing unlikely allies - CEOs and
NGOs, pop stars and priests, mothers' unions and student unions -
together in a global campaign for justice.

The story of 2005 will have its leaders and laggards, and in a year's
time it will be clear to all of us who was which. In the meantime, it
is up to us how we want our generation to be remembered. For the
internet? Or the war on terror? Or for finally deciding that where a
child happens to live will no longer determine whether that child gets
to go on living?

Lines of latitude and longitude are stronger than any Iron Curtain and
divide us more than apartheid. The world has the resources and the
technology to change all this. The question to be answered in 2005 is
whether we can summon the will.

Bill Gates is chairman of Microsoft and co-founder of the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation. Bono is lead singer of the pop group U2 and
co-founder of DATA (Debt, Aids, Trade, Africa)

(c) Telegraph Group Ltd. 2005


I just came across this article and wanted to post it here asap.

I found it to be one of the MOST INSPIRING appeals to direct action against extreme poverty that I have read in some time.

But then, who better than Bono to inspire us to action to help the world's poorest people?

I hope it inspires you to do what you can to help MAKE POVERTY HISTORY starting in 2005!

Thanks for reading.

(I think this would make a good article for the Interference homepage)

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Old 01-03-2005, 08:59 AM   #2
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Re: An Appeal From Bono


History's judgment will be harsh if we fail, precisely because we are the first generation with the power to succeed.
It amazes me to see how wonderful humans can be in reaction to a tragedy where many lose their lives in one moment in time. Watching everyone band together to help get tsunami victims relief and aid them in re-establishing their lives is wonderful.

Why is it that we do not do the same for victims of poverty? In Africa, 6,300 people die EVERYDAY of a preventable disease. Every 24 days, the death toll is as high as the latest natural disaster. 15.21 times more people are lost every year. (2,299,500 people)

Why are we so slow to consider this an emergency and act in the same generous way we are in assisting the victims of tsunami?

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Old 01-03-2005, 09:04 AM   #3
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Wow Jamila, thanks for posting that! What an exciting statement. I personally want to applaud you for your own passion when it comes to making a difference and for inspiring the rest of us here into action. God bless you! Why shouldn't we think we can eradicate poverty? Is it really that big of a problem? The biggest problem is our apathy, and you, like Bono and others, are fighting that. Thank you.

Keep it up,

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Old 01-03-2005, 09:10 AM   #4
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Right on BostonAnne! We must pray that not only will everyone with a heart beat do what they can to help the tsunami victims, but also that this horrific tragedy will awaken our hearts to a sincere understanding of the plight others around the world face. My prayer is that the generosity and compassion exercised in response to the tsunami tragedy will only increase as people understand the real devastation that's the result of AIDS and poverty as well.
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Old 01-03-2005, 09:47 AM   #5
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What a wonderful read. We can and *will* make a difference. Change starts one person at a time.

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Old 01-03-2005, 11:14 AM   #6
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Absolutely, and folks, I'm here to tell you, if it was your new years's resolution to DO MORE, or just do something, a letter to your elected officials on the INSANITY of the debt of impoverished nations is the best way I can think of. As always, links, info and even sample letters are at the Angel's site in my sig. Don't forget to let Queen Bee know if you've sent your letter so she can add you to the Angel's list (hey, we like to give credit where credit is due).
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Old 01-03-2005, 02:03 PM   #7
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Yes, we need to keep up the pressure on the politicians to get this stuff done. Hopefully the tsunami aid effort will be a catalyst in making a real difference. We can do it!
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Old 01-03-2005, 06:10 PM   #8
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I love everything I see here! I would like to encourage everyone to write a letter to the editor of their local papers...possibly even tying in this recent article. It is simple to do but it can really help to get the word out and passing on the spirit of this campaign can have a wonderful ripple effect: Use your voice to show other that they have the power to use thier voices to speak up for those that cannot speak for themselves!

We CAN do this!

(BTW, Queen Bee--I haven't checked recently but last time I did I wasn't on the Bono's Angels list, can you add me peez?)
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Old 01-03-2005, 06:14 PM   #9
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One thing that struck me is, fair play to the Daily Telegraph for printing this as they are quite a conservative paper with a mainly conservative readership. Compassionate conservatism, maybe?
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Old 01-03-2005, 06:22 PM   #10
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My hope is that this will be the year that people around the world take action personally to combat poverty around the world.
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Old 01-03-2005, 06:30 PM   #11
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Wonderful, a powerful manifesto to start the year off with. I hope to help as much as possible this year. If everyone decided to help, just a little, imagine the difference that would make!
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:09 PM   #12
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"Why are we so slow to consider this an emergency and act in the same generous way we are in assisting the victims of tsunami?"


There is no reason the rest of the world can't act in the same decisive and generous way with regards to the unnecessary and preventable disease and poverty of Africa. This is a human disaster that can be stopped.
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:31 PM   #13
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This is a wonderful statement from 2 great men. I,too, have been hoping that this tragedy could be a watershed moment for humanity. Perhaps the indifference and apathy exhibited by the majority of society might be expunged with this global catastrophe. The people in this forum are examples of the people who can change this indifference.

I have been trying to raise money at my workplace through donations and I think we have raised around $1500 so far but I still have 2 more groups of staff to bug. I also am trying to get our company to match our individual donations. Don't get me wrong, I am hardly an activist but I do follow world events and politics very closely. I have had to argue (well, not argue but vigorously discuss the tragedy and its effects) with people to get them to donate money ?!?!? They have all these excuses for not all my money going to the people, I already gave through my tax dollars, I would rather see money spent in our country and help our own people, there are too many people over there anyway, they have already raised enough, how can my money help all those dead people, etc. I do my best to answer these questions and am batting 1.000 in getting a donation.I am stunned by some people who have no idea what events are happening on our planet. It pisses me off that so many people are only concerned about themselves and have no interest in what happens to other people in the rest of the world. They have no empathy. One girl said to me, "they choose to live there", yeah, right, people choose to live in poverty. After explaining how nobody chooses their place of birth and how they cannot just get in the car and move to a new city with a new job, she kind of had a better understanding. After the conversation, she said to me " what are you the advocate for the victims?" To which I replied " I guess I am"

Politicians talk a good game and say the right things but rarely ever act upon their words. I fear that just like last year's earthquake in Bam, Iran, much of the world will forget and not follow through with their aid to the fullest extent. For me, talking to other people and educating them (I am not an expert but I try to give people something to think about) about the daily burdens millions of people suffer each day is my way of changing the world. It's not much but it makes me feel less helpless. Some people may disagree with my points of view about the world but any discussion is positive. There are so many people out there who refuse to watch/ read the news because it makes them sad. Well, here I am to make you sad and maybe you will do something good and it will make you feel happy. Forums like this are great for people to share ideas and experiences. Unfortunately, we are already aware of the issues but change gotta start somewhere.

Sorry about the extended response but I had to get it off my chest with like-minded individuals. Thanks guys.

"Where you live should not decide,
Whether you live or whether you die."

"Would you deny for others,
What you demand for yourself?"
-from Crumbs From Your Table

Peace out.
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Old 01-03-2005, 11:10 PM   #14
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thanks, everyone, for your kind words and encouragement for each other. This is always nice to see in FYM.

Each of us has a role to play in helping to make our world a better place and each of us can play a CRUCIAL ROLE in helping to make poverty history starting in 2005!

Let's hope that the international goodwill shown so far in the tsunami aftermath will continue to OPEN PEOPLE'S HEARTS to care more for others around the world who are in desparate need, especially in Africa.

There are many things that we can do to be an active part of this struggle for Justice:

write a letter of concern to the editor of your local newspaper and then post it here for all of us to read (thanks stars)

learn as much as you can about extreme poverty and ways to end it (visit to start and read the various news articles they have on their website)

and don't forget to visit

and SIGN THE PETITION for Africa's Future.

You'll be glad you did.
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Old 01-04-2005, 12:54 AM   #15
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Two men I definately admire - Bill Gates, not only as a businessman, but such a generous guy. Of course, Bono, the best singer and performer I'll ever know, also a man who can help us ditch our differences and come together with his non-partisan activism. To think that they don't have to do what they're doing - you know it's in their hearts to relieve those who have been in a lifelong struggle.

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