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Last Updated: Friday, 1 July, 2005, 18:03 GMT 19:03 UK
Annan reminds G8 of world's poor
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
UN chief Kofi Annan urged the G8 not to forget the world's poor
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has told G8 leaders not to forget the world's poor as Scotland prepares for their upcoming summit.

Mr Annan reminded them that the globe's impoverished people needed their help at next week's event.

He sent his message to the world's most powerful men as he picked up an honorary fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh.

He told the politicians: "The poor need you. Don't forget them."

Despite the nature of Mr Annan's visit, the 6 July Gleneagles summit was not far from his mind and he was very optimistic about its outcome for the world and that of the United Nations.

A few hours in Edinburgh can help save lives elsewhere
Mary Cullen
Make Poverty History

He said: "I hope the focus on Africa and the fight against poverty will help move our concerns forward.

"Already there have been very good developments. The European Union members have more or less doubled their development assistance for the poorer countries and 50% of that will go to Africa.

"There are good indications that the G8 heads of state will confirm the debt-relief matters being recommended by their foreign ministers and I hope they will also be forward-looking and take some concrete steps on trade negotiations."

Ouside of the UN leader's flying visit, the Scottish capital was making preparation for Saturday's mass Make Poverty History March.

EDINBURGH MARCH
See the route of Saturday's Make Poverty History march

A record 250,000 protesters are predicted to turn up and take part in the demonstration which is the first of a series of events relating to the G8 summit. Edinburgh City Council and businesses have said they want the city to come across as tolerant and understanding.

However, some shops plan to close while others have boarded up windows to guard against a potential outbreak of violence.

Concrete bollards have also been placed around the city to block traffic and extensive parking restrictions will also be put in place.

In addition, dozens of post boxes will be sealed and petrol stations will not be allowed to sell fuel in cans.

Boarded up shop in Edinburgh
Some stores in Edinburgh have boarded up their shopfronts

Speaking on the eve of the mass demonstration, officials behind the campaign made a final rallying call for people to join the protest.

The chair of Make Poverty History in Scotland, Mary Cullen, said: "Simply by joining in the march on the streets of Edinburgh, Scots have the chance to make the world of a difference to men, women and children throughout the world.

"A few hours in Edinburgh can help save lives elsewhere."

On Sunday an Anti-war Coalition demonstration will take place in the city followed by the Carnival for Full Enjoyment on Monday.

The local authority has set up a camp site at Niddrie to accommodate up to 15,000 visitors.




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