Bono, Bob Geldof, Others Appeal To Pope For Debt-Dropping Support

When you try to get between wealthy countries and money owed to them, it always helps to have the Pope on your side.

At least that’s what U2 frontman Bono and other members of a Jubilee 2000 delegation are hoping for. The singer, along with Live Aid organizer Bob Geldof, producer/record label head Quincy Jones, Harvard University Professor of Economics Jeffrey Sachs and other representatives, will be meeting with the Pope at his summer residence in Rome, Italy, this Thursday — exactly 100 days before the millennium.

The delegation hopes to garner the Pope’s blessing and support for Jubilee 2000’s mission of debt cancellation for the world’s poorest countries by the millennium. Jubilee 2000 is a coalition of charities, grassroots organizations, and celebrities dedicated to convincing wealthy countries to cancel Third World debt.

Other high-profile members of Jubilee 2000 include Bono’s bandmate The Edge, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, and ex-Jane’s Addiction/Porno
For Pyros frontman Perry Farrell (see “U2, Radiohead, Perry Farrell Ask World Leaders To Wipe Out Third World Debt” ).

Immediately following the meeting with the Pope, Bono, Professor Jeffrey Sachs and Ann Pettifor of Jubilee 2000 U.K. will fly directly to Washington D.C., where they will hold a press conference to further encourage governments to drop debts owed to them by poorer nations.

Of course, this isn’t all Bono is doing to help the needy. His collaboration with Wyclef Jean, “New Day,” is in stores now, and the two plan to perform together at the upcoming NetAid concert at Giants Stadium in New Jersey on October 9 (see “Wyclef Records Charity Single With Bono, Preps For Woodstock” and “Puff Daddy, Sting, More Join NetAid As Lineups Are Announced; Bono Talks Wyclef” ).

— Brian Ives