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Bob Geldof Calls for Fair Trade

November 24, 2005

ROME (AP) _ Irish rocker Bob Geldof appealed for fair trade Thursday as he received a peace award in Rome that recognizes his campaigns against poverty.

Geldof, dressed in a striped suit, received the Man for Peace award from former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who heads the foundation that hands out the prize, and Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni.

``Africa must be allowed to trade itself out of poverty,″ Geldof said during the ceremony on Rome’s Capitoline Hill.

He said it was up to the European Union to enable a breakthrough at next month’s World Trade Organization talks in Hong Kong. The EU has come under increasing pressure from poor countries and trade rivals to cut tariffs on farm products ahead of the talks.

``Today is the perfect moment to talk ahead of the WTO negotiations,″ Geldof said. ``The EU must break the deadlock and as of today it has failed to do so.″

The ceremony in Rome marks the opening of a meeting of Nobel Peace Prize laureates organized every year in Rome by the Gorbachev Foundation and city hall.

Geldof’s anti-poverty efforts include the Live 8 concerts held across the world in July, including one in the Italian capital, to raise awareness about Third World poverty. Twenty years earlier, Geldof’s legendary Live Aid concerts raised money for famine relief in Ethiopia.

``We live in a broken world which has never been healthier, wealthier or bizarrely, free of conflict, but some 500 kilometers south of here they die of want,″ Geldof said. ``It’s not only intellectually absurd, but also morally repulsive.″

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