BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Languages
Last Updated: Saturday, 2 July, 2005, 22:50 GMT 23:50 UK
G8 leaders 'real stars of show'
Bob Geldof
Poor countries must be allowed to end unjust trade, the letter says
The leaders of the G8 countries are the real "stars of the show", Bob Geldof has told them in an open letter to coincide with the Live 8 concerts.

A failure to achieve "a historic breakthrough" at next week's G8 Gleneagles summit would betray the world's poorest people, he says.

The Live 8 organiser's letter has been published in UK newspapers.

Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Canterbury has urged the leaders to "love thy neighbour" in a sermon.

We will not applaud half-measures, or politics as usual - this must be a historic breakthrough
Open letter from Bob Geldof

Geldof's letter says the organisers have gathered "the largest mandate for action in history" to end the poverty "killing 50,000 each day".

Live 8 was taking place so that the leaders could make the breakthrough in "the battle towards making poverty history", he says.

Speaking to BBC News, Geldof attacked those who suggested aid and debt cancellation would not help because of corruption in Africa.

"Those critics are just being stupid. They don't know what they are talking about. I do. I've been doing it for 20 years.

"Africa is not mired in corruption, it is mired in poverty. Corruption is a by-product of poverty, just like dying of famine or Aids."

But he said it was important that good governance was encouraged.

"When you live in a country that's got nothing and finally you make it to the top and you start grabbing what little there is you kill people below you."

He added: "They must be transparent, they must be accountable first to their own people then to rest of the world.

"If they do that we will come with the debt trade aid package. I'm not interested in critics."

A series of concerts were held around the world, including in London's Hyde Park, on Saturday.

The eight of Live 8 are not eight musicians or bands, but the eight leaders of the G8, Geldof writes.

"We will not applaud half-measures, or politics as usual - this must be a historic breakthrough," he adds in the letter.

'Decisive steps'

It calls on leaders to give an extra 13.8bn in aid for Africa, along with the same amount for the world's other poorest countries.

And Wednesday's G8 summit must also confirm the cancellation of all debt for countries who need it, Geldof says.

"Do not disappoint us, do not create a generation of cynics, do not betray the desires of billions and the hopes of the poorest of our world."

There is nothing abstract or idealistic about the call to love this neighbour - this is the most realistic command that could be given
Dr Rowan Williams

"Are those 50,000 people each day to be allowed to live, or not?"

Meanwhile, in a sermon at Lambeth Palace on Saturday, Dr Rowan Williams said that the challenges faced by G8 leaders gave relevance to the Christian message of love thy neighbour.

"Pandemics, poverty (and) ecological degradation are everyone's business, and there is no escape pod reserved for those who are comfortable and prosperous just at the moment," he said.

A "suffering stranger" in a place "where poverty, disease and disaster" are found is a neighbour, he added.

"And there is nothing abstract or idealistic about the call to love this neighbour - this is the most realistic command that could be given."




BBC NEWS:VIDEO AND AUDIO
Watch aerial footage of protesters in Edinburgh



RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific