[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 2 July, 2005, 17:38 GMT 18:38 UK
Speeches: Make Poverty History march
Figures from right across the social and political spectrum addressed thousands of demonstrators around Edinburgh during the Make Poverty History march.

Speakers included Chancellor Gordon Brown, Scotland's First Minister Jack McConnell, religious leaders and celebrities.

Here are some extracts from the speeches.


Mr Brown addressed a Christian Aid and Church of Scotland rally:

We are today seeing Britain at its best, united as one for a great cause.

Make Poverty History is exposing the sorrows of the left-out millions and is a beacon of hope pointing the way to a better future.

We have come a long way and have still a long way to go.

This is more than a week's work at the G8. It is a lifetime's work across the world.


The SNP leader made his speech on the Stop the War/CND stage in the Meadows and said:

We need only look to Darfur or Congo, Rwanda or Palestine, to know that war and conflict is as big an issue if we are serious about ending poverty and injustice in Africa and elsewhere.

Today, let's make our commitment clear. We should spend less fighting wars, fuelling conflict and more, much more, fighting poverty.

If we are serious about opening new doors for the world's poorest through fairer trade, about giving people the tools and the opportunities to build their own wealth, we must also get serious about our part in providing the weapons of war and oppression.

The G8 leaders must not forget this crucial part of the equation - more peace can deliver less poverty.


The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster told demonstrators they were part of "a moral awakening" and said:

People all over the western world are sitting up straight and asking why is it that our poorest brothers and sisters must go to bed hungry or die needlessly.

The question is not can the scourge of global poverty be confined to history? It can be - but will it be?

I want to appeal to the G8 leaders now on your behalf and on behalf of the millions across the world whom we stand here representing.

I want to ask them to unshackle once and for all, the chains binding the poor so that we can again see one family at one table.


Cardinal O'Brien addressed the Make Poverty History rally and said:

We are here today because we are scandalised by the needless suffering that poverty causes.

To be passive or indifferent in the knowledge that one child dies needlessly every three seconds is to be an accomplice in barbarity. We say to the leaders of the worldıs richest nations: we have no intention of being accomplices in barbarity.

There is a great realisation today among the peoples of the world that we have a moral obligation to share of our goods wealth with those who have none.

He also passed on words of support from Pope Benedict XVI who said:

People from the world's richest countries should be prepared to accept the burden of debt reduction for heavily indebted poor countries and should urge their leaders to fulfil the pledges made to reduce world poverty, especially in Africa, by the year 2015.


Rev. Lacy spoke to the Make Poverty History march in The Meadows before it set off around the city and said:

For all my time in the Church of Scotland, and for a long time before that, we have been calling for justice for the poor, for love of our neighbours throughout the whole world.

Now is the time because Britain chairs the G8 and assumes the presidency of the EU and we have leaders, Christians themselves, who have responded to our long and oft-repeated calls.

Let us leave behind all fashionable cynicism about our politicians and back them up with the political groundswell they need to do even more.

No more excuses. No more delays. Now is the time.


Speaking towards the end of the rally Mr Bragg told the crowd from the main stage:

The presence of 200,000 people in Edinburgh is sending a very strong message to the leaders who will be meeting in the next few days.

If in a year's time suddenly nothing has changed, it won't be the fault of Bob Geldof, Christian Aid or Oxfam or 400 NGOs.

It will be the fault of eight men and we need to send a message to those eight men - and that message is, we know where you live.


Ms Jagger said ahead of her appearance on the main stage:

I appeal to the public that we understand what we really want and that we make politicians accountable.

I was born in the Third World in Nicaragua and I know what it means to see someone die in poverty.

I have seen children die of Aids with no-one to help them, with no medicine available.

I'm here to demand that the G8 leaders to do what is necessary, to take real serious measures and changes in order to achieve the eradication of poverty in the developing world.


Mr Postlethwaite spoke to the crowd as they waited to set-off on their march and said:

We have had enough political spin, promises, and downright lies.


Mr Dimbleby offered up some passionate words on the main stage in The Meadows ahead of the march and said:

I am here because I share your urge to challenge the G8 to live up to the warm words we have heard for far too long about the need to make poverty history.

I am here, because like you I know it is an obscenity that 50,000 die every day unnecessarily as a consequence of poverty.

I have seen, touched, heard and smelt the dying and the dead - often in very large numbers.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific