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Bush, Blair and Chirac may not have been noted for their 'bling' before but that's how Bono saw them in a speech at the weekend. He was receiving the International Statesman award - previous winners include Anwar Sadat, Mickhail Gorbechev, and Yitzsak Rabin - from the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia.


In his speech he spoke of the lives of those who are trapped in extreme poverty - and of the progress made towards ending such poverty in 2005.

'Six-and-a-half thousand Africans are dying every single day of AIDS -- a preventable, treatable disease,' he explained. 'Justice is a higher standard. It questions our commitment, because there is no way we can look at what is happening in Africa and, if we're honest, conclude that it would ever be allowed to happen anywhere else - anywhere else.'


But 2005 had seen real progress, notably at the G8 Summit at Gleneagles in Scotland in July. 'The Group of 8 is the big rich countries. It's like the hip-hop stars of geopolitics. [President George W.] Bush, [UK Prime Minister Tony] Blair, [French Prime Minister Jacques] Chirac -- the guys with the bling.'

'...They actually got to some serious business, and pledged $50 billion more additional for the world's poorest people, half of it for Africa, which is great.'

Keep up to speed with the political campaign to fight global poverty at DATA, the campaigning group founded by Bono. http://www.data.org/

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