World Beat News
Calls on U.S., Europe To Increase Efforts
To Fight HIV/AIDS,
Says Africa 'Bursting Into Flames'
musician Bono on Wednesday called
on the United States and Europe to
increase efforts to fight HIV/AIDS
and poverty in Africa, saying that
the continent is "bursting into
flames," the AP/ABCNews.com reports.
Bono -- founder of the AIDS, debt
relief and trade advocacy group DATA
-- at the annual conference of the
United Kingdom's governing Labour
Party in Brighton, England, said that
6,500 Africans are "dying a day
of a treatable, preventable disease,
dying for want of medicines you and
I can get at our local chemist."
added, "Let's get real here on a couple
of things. Let's get to some uncomfortable
truths. This is not about charity, this
is about justice." The musician also
"heaped praise" on British Prime
Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor of the
Exchequer Gordon Brown for promising "to
make tackling Africa's woes the priority"
next year when Britain serves as chair of
the Group of Eight and during the United
Kingdom's presidency of the European Union,
according to the AP/ABCNews.com (AP/ABCNews.com,
Blair in February announced the establishment
of a commission on Africa, which will examine
HIV/AIDS and other challenges facing the
continent and ways to resolve those issues.
The commission -- which will include politicians,
economists and advocates from Africa and
developed nations -- has one year to develop
a report that aims to put Africa in the
forefront of the international agenda (Kaiser
Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/1).
the opening day of the conference, Brown
said that it is "vital" to remove
international trade barriers for developing
countries as many are "crippled by
repaying their debt," the AP/ABCNews.com
reports (AP/ABCNews.com, 9/30). The British
government on Sunday announced a new effort
to pay down 10% of the total amount owed
by low-income nations to international agencies
and challenged other nations to implement
similar policies. Brown said that Britain
will earmark $180 million annually until
2015 to pay off 10% of the money owed by
32 low-income nations to international lenders,
in particular the World Bank and the African
Development Bank (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS
Report, 9/27). "[Blair and Brown] are
the kind of John [Lennon] and Paul [McCartney]
of the global development stage, in my opinion,"
Bono said, adding, "But the point is,
Lennon and McCartney changed my interior
world; Blair and Brown can change the real
world" (AP/ABCNews.com, 9/30).