16 October 2001
Bono Calls on Canadian PM Jean Chrétien
Bono took advantage of U2's Canadian shows to meet with Canadian Prime Minster Jean Chrétien and discuss global poverty and the G8 Summit.
The private meeting lasted 90 minutes and, according to the PM's spokesman, it focussed on the agenda for next summer's meeting of Group of Eight leaders in Kananaskis, Alta. Chrétien has said the meeting should focus on poverty, health and other developmental problems in Africa.
'They talked about the whole African initiative in light of the upcoming G-8 meeting in Canada,' he said. 'It was a continuation of their talk on Africa in Genoa, Italy.'
During the last meeting in July of the world's largest industrial nations, Bono and Bob Geldof spoke with Chrétien about the need to reduce the debts of the world's poorest nations, many of which are in Africa. Later they praised Canada for its efforts to put the debt relief issue on the international agenda.
At the close of the Montreal show, Bono referenced the events of September 11th and disclosed his meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister earlier in the day.
'Want to thank you for your support on the Drop the Debt campaign, you know since Sept 11th the work that we were doing, you were doing, somehow doesn't feel so left of centre, somehow feels.. just feels really right, because this crisis, this emergency has it's roots in poverty and in the poverty of the continent of Africa where people feel like the world has abandoned them and we just don't want to let crazy fanatics live off the poverty of these people. 'We went to see your Prime Minister today and he said some interesting things, we tied him to a chair and he said, you don't have to tie me to a chair at the next G8 summit in Canada - your subject, the subject of Africa, is the centre piece of the G8. And I want to thank him for that...'
For more information on the growing campaign in North America to cancel the unpayable debts of the worlds poorest countries visit www.jubileeusa.org