(02-16-2004) Bono to Join Brown at Anti-Poverty Conference - Scotsman.com * - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-16-2004, 07:57 AM   #1
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(02-16-2004) Bono to Join Brown at Anti-Poverty Conference - Scotsman.com *

Bono to Join Brown at Anti-Poverty Conference

By Tim Ross, PA News.

Chancellor Gordon Brown was expected to set out his vision for tackling world poverty today, at a major international conference on globalisation.

Mr Brown said he would be trying to build support for his plans to raise £50 billion for the fight against poverty and disease in the Third World.

Among the other speakers at today’s event, taking place at the Treasury in central London, were rock musician Bono and the president of the World Bank.

The U2 frontman, who has long campaigned on issues including poverty and Aids, was addressing the conference via video link.

Writing in The Sun ahead of today’s conference Mr Brown said: “Four people a minute die of Aids. Eleven million children are orphaned in Africa alone. Another 20 million are expected to lose one or both parents in the next six years.

“We want to make the rest of the developed world act on the scourge of poverty and disease.”

He went on: “In the war on diseases like Aids, polio, measles and malaria I am calling for an extra 140 million dollars a year.”

He said this would save the lives of two million children under the age of five each year.

Today’s event was being sponsored by former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton, and Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach, Lady Thatcher’s ex-policy adviser.

A Treasury spokesman said the conference was designed “to focus the attention of the world on the urgent need for action to meet the millennium development goals to deliver primary education and the halving of world poverty”.

The spokesman said that 20 years on from Live Aid “the UK G8 presidency in 2005 represents a major opportunity to reach agreement” on how to meet the internationally accepted goals.

“We know Lord Carey and the delegates at this conference will demand that we rise to the challenge.”

Among other contributors expected to speak today were International Development secretary Hilary Benn, and Jim Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank.

President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil was expected to speak via videolink.

Lord Griffiths, who was then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s head of the Downing Street policy unit, urged the Tories to back the Chancellor’s plans.

In a report to be published today by the Centre for Policy Studies think-tank, Lord Griffiths said Mr Brown’s proposal to double the amount of foreign aid given by rich countries to the developing world deserved support.

He said countries receiving aid should be expected to embrace the market economy, with more aid given via the private sector and NGOs.

Mr Brown has said Britain would use its chairmanship of the G8 group of wealthy countries in 2005 to push forward debt relief and improved aid to the developing world.

The millennium development goals centre on reducing poverty and increasing access to healthcare and education in the Third World by 2015.

Mr Brown’s proposals involve setting up an International Finance Facility (IFF) to double the cash available to poorer countries by leveraging in private finance.

The Chancellor has said the IFF could boost support for poorer countries from £50 billion to £100 billion a year by allowing them to borrow against future aid pledges

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