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Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Kofi Annan addresses MPs and peers about contemporary poverty in Africa and calls for G8 promises to be fulfilled.

Annan plea on Africa poverty - Guardian


"In a rare address to MPs and peers the former UN secretary general Kofi Annan yesterday marked the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain by arguing that an attack on contemporary poverty in Africa was the best way to heal the wounds of slavery.

Mr Annan rejected calls for reparations, saying: "Many Africans believe history has not yet repaired past wounds at all. The movement for reparations is fuelled by the desire for recognition. This is a battle better fought in the development domain."

Speaking in the Lords Gallery, Mr Annan was introduced by John Prescott, the deputy prime minister, who has overseen much of the British commemoration. Mr Prescott expressed the government's "deep regret and sorrow" over the trade.

Mr Annan said: "A bold investment in addressing poverty in Africa, as promised by the G8 in Gleneagles, would be the best way to heal the wounds of the past and turn the page.""

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