Bono calls Canada a global leader at Montreal AIDS conference

Bono, on Justin Trudeau’s embrace of feminism: “The world hears you when you say ‘poverty is sexist.'”

U2's Bono. (REUTERS/John Kolesidis)

U2’s Bono. (REUTERS/John Kolesidis)

MONTREAL — Canada is a leader when it comes to collaborating on global issues, rockstar Bono said Saturday during his keynote address at a Montreal conference to fundraise for AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

“It’s just great to see Canada leading on this,” he said. “You’ve always been ahead of the curve in realizing we can do more if the international community works together and subsuming your ego into the grand plan.”

Bono was joined onstage by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates for the second and final day of an international donor conference that hopes to raise $13 billion to replenish the Global Fund for the fight against these three major infectious diseases.

Canada has already promised more than $800 million for the 2017-19 funding period.

The U2 frontman and humanitarian also saluted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s commitment to equality, especially to girls and women in poverty.

“The world hears you when you say ‘poverty is sexist,'” he said.

“I’m a fan of Canada,” he continued in French to applause.

The Irish musician also met privately with Trudeau.

In his own keynote address, Gates said the funds raised during the conference would help get more people into treatment and keep the three deadly infectious diseases under control.

“The commitments we’re making here in Montreal are an opportunity to show that even in challenging times, we still care and we’re willing to invest in the things that will make a more equitable, prosperous and secure world for people everywhere,” Gates said.

The $13-billion funding goal would support the fund’s goals for the next three years. The United Nations has a goal of eliminating the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by the year 2013.

Mark Dybul, the fund’s executive director, said the three diseases are preventable, deadly and disproportionately affect marginalized and vulnerable populations.

“We are the generation that can bring these epidemic under control,” he said.

He said the world was moving toward eliminating the diseases but warned that they could return in stronger, more drug-resistant forms if not controlled.

On Saturday, the organization announced the pledges from private donors reached US$250 million.

Trudeau is hosting the conference, which is designed to show Canadian leadership on the international stage ahead of what is expected to be his first address to the United Nations General Assembly next week.


Bono calls Canada a global leader at Montreal AIDS conference

  1. Where have we heard this before? Hmmm?

    Elton John, who has been a leading activist on AIDS issues since the 1980s, gives President Bush credit for launching the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) a $15 billion program Bush signed into law in 2004 to provide treatment and prevention for millions of HIV-infected people in Africa.

    Asked directly what President has done more than any other to combat AIDS, John answered without hesitation: “George Bush.”

    “At the Kennedy Center concert we spent some time in the intermission with the President, George Bush, and he was an amazingly informed about AIDS,” John recounted. “He treated us with such kindness. I had so much respect for him, especially when the PEPFAR thing was announced when he gave 15 billion dollars to AIDS. He knew what he was talking about.”

  2. Meanwhile Bill Gate and his foundation gave $600 million over the same time period, almost as much as an entire country. Why do they concentrate on TB and AIDS together? They often appear together. People with treatment resistant TB often have AIDS as well. As for Malara, it cuts down many African men in their prime and the prevention is a simple mosquito net. People worry about accountability.,,is the money getting where it is needs to go and are the returns making the investment worthwhile. Well Bill Gates is concerned with this as well and so his foundation researches where they spend money and what the investments bring them. If they don’t see efficacy and efficiency, they change strategies. Governments know this. This global isn’t get partly funded by Gates, it is administered by he and his fund. They are the experts and they have being doing for some time. Let’s give the kudos where they belong. Canada has been given our foreign aid to them for years and so have many billionaire families. People like Belinda Stronak not only give of their time but of their resources when it comes to providing Malaria nets.

  3. 600 million is a lot of tax payers money.I think the gay community has done great work stoping the spread of aids but the drug addicted world has not.I would hope that Canada starts to use money wisely instead of just filling the economic part and just extend the pay for people who are not producing any resultuous and use protections. If the research is not producing results and just doing trests that other countries have already done the research should be shut down and spend the money on places like Main and Haistings for addiction or stopping Natives for being so promiscuous and have safe sex practices.

    • The annual rate of new AIDS cases in Canada seems to be stuck at an aggravating 9 percent, down from 12 percent three years ago. In a first world society this is unacceptable. Those new cases are shared fairly equally among target groups with a surprising number still appearing in young homosexual men – although native women seems to be the other predominating group. One of the problems again seems to be awareness insofar as the disease, while transmissible, often appears ‘hidden’ for a year or more, after infection, and before it begins to cause physical debilities that lead to diagnosis. Most new AIDS cases continue to be generated by those who do not know they are infected and continue to take no precautions.