Bono urges renewed focus on world poverty

  • @_seanogrady

The anti-poverty campaigner and rock star Bono has told participants at the World Economic Forum of his disappointment at the lack of commitment to the Millennium Development Goals of driving down poverty in Africa and raising partnership aid to $50bn (£25bn) per annum by 2010.

"The G8 are not making good – largely – on their commitments," he said. "The Millennium Development Goals look like they're not going to happen. This is a scandal. It makes the dialogue between social change movements are having with governments look preposterous... it looks like we're being led a dance."

Today, the Prime Minister Gordon Brown will also call on the world to refocus on the Millennium Development Goals.

Bono was sharing a platform with the former US Vice-President Al Gore, who has spent many years campaigning against climate change, winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. Despite his disappointment at Western governments' failure to move faster on aid to Africa, Bono was in an equable mood, telling the 7.45am meeting: "If anyone sees my band would they please not tell them I was up this early."

Mr Gore and Bono stressed the links between what Bono called the "three extremes" – extreme poverty, extreme climate change, extreme ideologies: "This is an issue of justice rather than one of charity ... a crushing blow to our value system."

Pointing out that the poor in areas such as the Horn of Africa and Darfur are the least able to deal with the consequences of climate change, the U2 frontman confessed to feeling slightly like a sinner telling all to "Father Al", and a "little unsettledness" as a "rock star with blue suede shoes and a big carbon footprint".

Bono will appear again today with Bill Gates, Mr Brown and Kofi Annan.