Time magazine was praised by U2 singer Bono for its support of his campaign against Third World debt.
Bono was among those honoured at the Time European Hero and Readers Choice awards at the Royal Opera House in London.
He told Press Gazette that Time had taken an interest in his organisation DATA (Debt, Aids, Trade in Africa) and given it a lot of coverage, for which he was thankful and pleased to attend the ceremony to accept the award.
According to Time, Bono is now Africa’s best voice in the developed world. “He can open any door – the Vatican, the White House – and his pitch eschews emotion for realpolitik,” the magazine said.
Bono began campaigning on Third World debt around the time of Live Aid in 1985. He later spent six weeks with his wife in Wello, Ethiopia, working at an orphanage.
“You’d walk out of your tent and count bodies of dead and abandoned children,” he said. In 1999 he joined the Jubilee 2000 movement which aimed to get wealthy nations to wipe out the debts of 52 of the world’s poorest countries.
Oasis singer Liam Gallagher also collected an award on behalf of British rock legend Roger Daltrey, who was honoured for his support for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Among the other “European Heroes” to attend the ceremony were Iris Berben, campaigner for Christian Jewish understanding; James Moulton, a British soldier who recently served in Iraq and Icelander Asbjorn Bjorgvinsson, who has made a strong business case – as well as an environmental one – for whale conservation.
Time editor Eric Pooleyadded: “The story of each hero is inspirational – many of these people have stood up for the disposed, faced down dictatorships, achieved objectives against the greatest odds, saved endangered species, fled oppressive regimes in the most terrifying circumstances, and put their lives back together in the face of tragedy.”
By Ruth Addicott