Bono Urges Western Governments To Fight Poverty, AIDS, Debt in Africa During Speech at University of Pennsylvania
Irish rock star Bono on Monday in a commencement speech at the University of Pennsylvania called on Western governments to fight HIV/AIDS, poverty and debt in Africa, saying that wealthy countries have the financial and technological capacity to alleviate the conditions that lead to 7,000 deaths per day from preventable diseases on the continent, Reuters reports. Bono, founder of the debt, AIDS and trade advocacy group DATA, called on the graduates to use their university educations to help solve problems facing Africa and the world. "Your pockets are full and now you have got to figure out what to spend it on," Bono said, adding, "If you are going to live up to your ideals and your education, it's going to cost you" (Hurdle, Reuters, 5/17). Bono on Sunday at Philadelphia's Independence Mall joined former NBA Philadelphia 76er Dikembe Mutombo and others in signing a petition for the ONE Campaign, which will call on politicians to support the fight against HIV/AIDS, according to KYW/CBS3. Mutombo said, "All of the people must come together from different races and do what ever we have to do [to] rally together and find a way to find a cure and find money" (Min, "Eyewitness News," KYW/CBS3, 5/16). The ONE Campaign petition says, "We recognize that a pact including such measures as fair trade, debt relief, fighting corruption and targeting an additional 1% of the U.S. budget towards providing basic needs -- education, health, clean water, food and care for orphans -- would transform the futures and hopes of an entire generation in the poorest countries. We commit ourselves -- one person, one voice, one vote at a time -- to make a better, safer world for all" (ONE Campaign Web site, 5/18).
Fight AIDS To Fight Terrorism, Editorial Says
The United States can help fight terrorism by using "unparalleled military might," but helping to combat HIV/AIDS and alleviate poverty in African countries would show the "benign side of the American superpower by aiding struggling nations ... that might become havens for terrorists," a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial says. The ONE Campaign advocates a "more vigorous" fight against HIV/AIDS and other ills that result from extreme poverty, according to the editorial. The campaign also urges debt relief for developing countries so they have the funds to tackle domestic problems without an "enormous chunk" of money going to debt service, the editorial says. In addition, developed countries need to give more in "strategically aimed" foreign aid to countries use the money in a "transparent" way to fight against corruption, according to the editorial. Congress and President Bush need to support funding for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Millennium Challenge Account, because "[w]inning such battles of the heart and mind may be the best way to defend the United States -- and what it stands for," the editorial concludes (Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/18).