U2 frontman Bono is urging Justin Trudeau to resist ruling out a foreign-aid boost to help Canada meet a United Nations development target, even though the Liberal government has deemed it too ambitious.
In an exclusive interview with The Canadian Press, the Irish rock star praises Canada for showing an openness to the world at a time when many countries have been retreating deeper into isolation. But Bono, who will meet Trudeau this weekend at an international-aid event, says while he recognizes the U-N’s recommended spending objective is a difficult goal – he hopes the prime minister doesn’t push it aside.
The U-N target challenges countries to dedicate at least 0.7 per cent of their gross national income to foreign aid. Bono is calling on Canada to use the target as a kind of beacon of hope — not only for the people whose lives depend on Canadian dollars, but for Canada to have that place in the world itself.
Bono will appear alongside Trudeau, Microsoft’s Bill Gates and actress Danai Gurira at an event Saturday in Montreal, where the prime minister will also host a conference for the replenishment of the Global Fund. It’s an international partnership focused on eradicating AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Trudeau has committed 785-million dollars from Canada over two years to the Global Fund – a 20-per-cent increase.