Bono and Bob Geldof have welcomed commitments from the G8 leaders to
double aid to Africa.
'If an Irish rock star can quote Churchill, this is not the end of extreme poverty, but it is the beginning of the end,' said Bono said after the summit of the Group of Eight (G8) nations at Gleneagles, Scotland. 'Six hundred thousand people,' he added, referring to those who die from malaria, 'Will be alive to remember this G8 in Gleneagles who would have lost their lives to a mosquito bite.'
Geldof, who organised the Live 8
concerts last Saturday to put pressure on the G8, called the summit a 'qualified triumph'.
'Never before have so many people forced a change of policy onto a global agenda. If anyone had said eight weeks ago will we get a doubling of aid, will we get a deal on debt, people would have said 'no'.
He gave the leaders 10 marks out of 10 for their pledges on aid and eight out of 10 for debt relief.
'A great justice has been done. We are beginning to see the lives of the poor of Africa determined not by charity but by justice.'
In addition to the doubling of aid, the African plan commits the G8 to:
-Cancel $40 billion in debt owed by the world's poorest countries.
-Provide universal access to treatment for AIDS and other diseases.
-Bolster an African peacekeeping force.
-Work toward a deal to end trade-distorting subsidies that hurt Africa.
In return, African countries must commit to fight corruption and promote democracy, good governance, human rights and rule of law. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo hailed the agreement as 'a great success.'
Bono and Geldof, both in Edinburgh to mark the end of the G8 meetings, urged
people who attended or watched the Live 8 concerts and supported the Make
coalition of charities, churches and other groups to make sure the G8 leaders stick to their pledges.
'The world spoke out and the politicians listened,' said Bono. 'Now, if the world keeps an eye out, they will keep their promises.'