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CONNECT THE WORLD
Teams Criticize Commonwealth Games Venues; Bob Geldof Discusses U.N. Millennium Development Goals on Eradicating World Poverty; Middle East Peace Efforts Struggle to Gain Traction; President Obama Addresses United Nations
Aired September 22, 2010 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: See that black hole, quite literally, the feeling is fully in on Delhi's Commonwealth games worth.
An Australian reporter is trying to show just how easy it could be to breach security at the event.
Tonight, the English team (inaudible) tells us how these games are on a knife-edge as he calls on the Indian prime minister to provide assurances that the world athletes will be safe.
Going beyond border on the day's biggest stories for you on the CNN, this is the hour we "Connect the World."
Well, New Delhi tonight is on probation. The head of Commonwealth Games Federation rushes to India for talks with Prime Minister Singh. The question is this can the Asian nation convince the world that it can stage a safe and secure event.
I'm Becky Anderson in London for the story and its ramification.
I've tweeted on this today. The issue, should the games go ahead? It's a simple question. My personal address is at beckycnn. Do log on and join the conversation.
Also this hour, taking claim, Russia wants to own a black gold below the Arctic. Problem is, so do Denmark and Canada and the U.S.
From music to live aid to the U.N.'s development goals, Bob Geldof is taking your questions live on the show. He's your "Connector of the Day" tonight. And --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the time is for young people if they can do something else. When you get to my age then if your health is good, (inaudible).
Up close and personal, Alex Ferguson talks to CNN about his beloved Manchester United team. You wouldn't want to miss that. It's coming up in the next 60 minutes here on CNN.
First up though, this evening, India racing against the clock. Tonight, convince dozens of countries that it can provide secure world class facilities for the Commonwealth games, but as the problems keep piling up, more national teams are threatening to stay home if they're aren't fix and fast.
We're going to begin this hour with Sara Sidner in New Delhi.
SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Too many problems, very little time to fix them. Officials say India's failure to construct and test all of the Commonwealth games venues on deadline has put into question whether or not these games will go forward as planned.
Now within 24 hours, athletes officially starting to arrive at the games venue. Two athletes have pulled out of the games and an entire team is threatening to cancel its trip. Another team has delayed its trip to Delhi because of glaring problems that came to life about the Athletes Village.
The decision comes after the Commonwealth Games Federation launched an official complaint about the Athletes Village calling it too disgusting to live in. The same day, a footbridge built for the Commonwealth games collapsed injuring more than two dozen workers.
And on Sunday, a tourist targeted shooting left two tourist injured in the city of Delhi. Since then a minor, but very visible problem, part of a ceiling fell at one of the venues.
And on top of all that, a new report from Australian television channel that is putting into question how the preparations are going for security for the games.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE DUFFY (voice-over): This is New Delhi mine Commonwealth Games stadium and this is the police security guys. While they're distracted by their own cars, (inaudible) with an oversize suitcase. There are dozens of police, but nobody asked me what it's for and this is no ordinary piece of luggage.
(on camera): So you can flatten an entire building with that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
DUFFY (voice-over): It's a portable purpose-built casing for a remote detonation kit. The unit is capable of setting off 200 explosions. We were offered the device out of a car (boot) in a car park north of Delhi.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will say ready to shoot, shoot or turn off.
DUFFY: We tied it up and took the case. Ever since the Mumbai terrorist attacks, India's games organizers have been at times to find Delhi security situation in a good lie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Security has been (inaudible) agenda for us.
LALIN BHANOT, ORGANIZING COMMITTEE SECRETARY: Delhi police has taken full control of it and they will assure that it will be a safe game.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I need to blow up this car, all I need, further, is a detonator and an explosive.
DUFFY: So we source those too. In India's mining areas, the black market for explosives is (inaudible). From here, it's just a day's drive back to the Commonwealth games.
(on camera): This one's about 3 kilos. This is about 300 grams. This one here is ammonium nitrate.
(voice-over): We even get a demonstration.
(on camera): That was actually quite frightening. You can actually feel the blast from here. He used about, I don't know, a tenth of what was in that bag and we're a 100 meters away, and you could physically feel it.
(voice-over): In Australia, these explosives and the devices that control them are under extremely tight regulations. But in this region alone, 160 truckloads of explosives have gone missing from official records since May.
CLIVE WILLIAMS, FORMER MILITARY INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: I'm a bit concerned of the venues haven't been secured yet because that means somebody could, for example, hide explosives and remotely detonate them.
DUFFY: If Commonwealth games security is on high alert already, you'd never know it. Mike Duffy, Seven News.
JAIPAL REDDY, INDIAN URBAN DEVELOPMENT MINISTER: I must clarify that the incidents shown on an Australian channel have been because this was hitched long before the security network was in place.
SIDNER(voice-over): In the meantime, there has been an outbreak of mosquito born dengue fever and more flood inducing rains making it difficult to put the last minute touches on the venues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: Indian officials say they will have that games village cleaned up before the athletes arrive and the government says it will have all the problems taken cared of before the opening ceremonies on October 3rd.
However, all these problems have certainly damaged India Inc.'s reputation. The headline in one of the papers today, "C'wealth Games India's Shame."
Sara Sidner, CNN, New Delhi.
ANDERSON: Well, 11 days and counting. As Sara suggested, some countries are taking what is a wait and see approach before they send their athletes to India making it clear they won't wait for long.
Scotland, for example, is delaying the departure of its team for a few days. While Wales is giving game organizers a deadline of Wednesday night to address concerns about security and cleanliness.
Canada, in the meantime, reconsidering whether to send its team to the games at all, telling the CBC that accommodation in the Athletes Village needed, quote, "a good deep, deep cleaning," some strong words.
Also coming from England today, its Commonwealth games chairman says, the event now hangs on a knife-edge. I spoke with Andrew Foster a short time ago asking first a very simple question, should the games go ahead?
ANDREW FOSTER, CHAIRMAN, COMMONWEALTH GAMES ENGLAND: Yes, they definitely should go ahead. There are lots of positive there and lots of things are right, but two or three things that are very worrying to us. We're very committed to be involved, but we absolutely must have a good standard in the village.
And at the moment, things are not up to that standard and we must have a real clear assurance about the safety of the stadium. We are saying that we need that sort of assurance to make absolutely certain that our involvement goes ahead. And we are evaluating that on an hour by hour, day by day basis.
ANDERSON: When will you make a definitive decision as to whether Team England will travel to India?
FOSTER: It would be in the next three to four days. It is difficult to give an exact and precise definition to that because it literally depends on what happens daily and what progress we see.
And this is far too important a decision. Masses of athletes want to go, quite a few are worried about it and we need to get it right, and that means assessing daily.
ANDERSON: What are you most concerned about? Is it the state of the facilities or security?
FOSTER: I'm most concerned at this moment about the state of the accommodation where the athletes will live. I then am concern to make sure that all of the structures had been passed as fine, strong fit that we get absolutely clear independent authentication of that.
ANDERSON: Do you really think you'll get those assurances as quickly as you need and given the state of the facilities as we see them today?
FOSTER: Well, we have 10 people there right now. I've spent an hour and a half on the phone with them. They've been working around it. They have, in fact, seen quite a lot of improvement today.
People who now in there will know that India regularly puts hundreds of people to complete major building works, that is what they would be needing to do and that is what will be needing to assess.
It isn't necessarily the way it happens in other countries. It is quite often the way, it happens in India and this is an Indian game that we need to work and understand, but we also need to do right and will by our athletes.
ANDERSON: What about these claims out of Australia that a television reporter was able to smuggle in a detonating device into one of the venues. Does that concern you?
FOSTER: Well, we - we had been involved in a major review of the development of security arrangements. We've see all of the police from the different countries that are involved.
All of the security advisers from the different countries are telling us that there is now a very systematic, a very thorough, a very Western- influenced security sets and arrangements that are there and ready to go.
If the Australian media had shown other things that needs to be responded to for I have seen a development over the last year very strongly influenced by a whole range of external expertise gets stronger and stronger and stronger, and we had been given a reasonable level confidence about the security relative to the venues.
ANDERSON: What would you like to hear from the Indian prime minister at this point?
FOSTER: We want the Indian prime minister to be bringing major pressure to bear for these last things to be done to give assurance to visiting teams to come.
ANDERSON: No definitive decision by Team England as to whether they will be competing at the Commonwealth games. A lot of to- and-fro going on there. Stay with CNN. We'll keep you bang up to date on that story. Those games, of course, begin in October.
Well, you're watching "Connect the World." Coming up, taking the rivalry out of rival claims.
The North Pole is hot property, but who's property is it? In Moscow, the talks about who gets the top is frozen riches.
And the faith of millions of people trapped in poverty around the world is on the top of Bob Geldof's agenda. This is singer activist is at the U.N. He is taking your questions live on this show as your "Connector of the Day." That's coming up in the next 30 minutes or so. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Kludge your flag, state your claim. A tradition handed down from the age of exploration. A few years ago, Russia made tracks in the Arctic sea beds quite literally when it (inaudible) in a much coveted underwater mountain range. Could this be the start of a new cold war was the question at the time.
Well, Moscow isn't the only one getting territorial. Massive oil resources sipped in (inaudible) Arctic Ocean and that is stirring plenty of debate on dry land as countries state rival claims.
Their leaders meeting face to face in Moscow where CNN's national correspondent Matthew Chance tells us we're pretty keen decide the future of the Arctic altogether.
MATTHEW CHANCE, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's not every day such a strategically important and valuable part of the planet comes up for grabs.
And this international Arctic forum is an opportunity for the various countries with interest in the region to discuss cooperation and to assert their respective claims on the Arctic's fast riches.
There are an estimated - or there is an estimated one quarter of the world's gas and oil believed to lie beneath the Arctic Ocean and as the Polar Ice cap melts due to global warming, it's becoming much, much more accessible. That's why several countries are now rushing to state their claims. Russia, Norway, Canada, the Unites States, Denmark, all hold sometimes competing claims on the territory in the Arctic.
Moscow has perhaps been most aggressive. Three years ago, a Russian expedition planted the Russian on the Arctic sea bed in a symbolic gesture of ownership. It's also just (inaudible) spending tens of millions of dollars on scientific research and approving that fast tracks of Arctic territory are geographically extensions of Russia.
Canada and Denmark are also planning to submit that kind of claims. Again, the danger is that these disputes could in the future lead to something much more serious even to military tensions, military conflict.
So all the 10, all the countries involved it seems at the moment are trying to take opportunities like this Arctic forum to hammer out their differences and to avoid confrontation in the future. Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.
ANDERSON: Well, Matthew mentioned how several countries already laying claims to the Arctic resources. Denmark, Canada and the U.S. all seeking a piece of North Pole at this point, Russia claimed the largest area, shown here in red.
Geologists believed the entire area is home to almost a quarter of the world's undiscovered oil and gas reserves perhaps as much as 90 billion barrels of oil.
You're watching "Connect the World," the show where we join the dot from the big stories around the globe for you.
Still to come, one of the most successful managers in football history, Mr. Alex Ferguson answering your questions in a CNN exclusive.
And eating Vietnam's ant eaters to extinction. The bid to save this endangered species up next.
ANDERSON: (Inaudible) in small gold (inaudible) looking more like gray (parry) these days, but there is a change in the air. This giant tourist balloon doubles as a pollution monitor, a high profile reminder of the need to be greener.
It's just one of the initiatives that we've been focusing on this week as we look on what is being done to turn around the impact of our ecological footprints.
We visited what remains of Brazil's vanishing Atlantic forest. There we discovered how rodents disperse seeds and the farmers that self (inaudible) can make all the difference.
Well, tonight the plight of the pangolins, the Vietnamese anteater. It's a delicacy and it's on Asian menus. This is place at on a rapid part to extinction. Dan Rivers met a small team of researchers who have taken on one of the big challenge to keep one of these alive.
DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pity the pangolin, but most people never even heard of one. That's (inaudible) seen one of these endangered ant-eating mammals.
The way things are going, they may become famous because there are none left. Two species are especially under threat in Asia, the Chinese pangolin and the Sunda pangolin. Experts say both are being hunted to extinction.
LEANNE CLARK, WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY: I think we're going to watch those species, both species disappear either in the next 5 to 10 years if we don't do anything, which is intensely sad. You know, they were listed as common until very recently.
RIVERS: It's why this special pangolarium has been built in Vietnam's Cuc Phuong National Park. Staffs are trying to rehabilitate rescued pangolins, which are notoriously difficult to keep. But at least here they are safe from the poachers who priced their meat.
NGUYEN VAN THAI, CARNIVORE AND PANGOLIN CONSERVATION PROGRAM: If you buy from the hunter (inaudible) $100 per kilogram so we don't anymore weight from 5 to 7 kilograms. So it's (inaudible) $500 to $600.
RIVERS (on camera): These are just some of the 47.5 tons of pangolins that were ceased in Vietnam in just a 4-year period. Many ends up in freezers in restaurants across the country served up as a delicacy and their scales are used in Chinese medicine.
(voice-over): Pangolin meat is often preserved in rice wines supposedly giving the drinker strength and vitality. Restaurant menus across the country boost pangolin grilled, fried or steamed, part of an illegal trade worth millions of dollars. Raids by the police turned up dozens of pangolins netted and ready for freezing.
In China, this summer, the police found an entire boat load of 290 frozen pangolins below deck bag after bag full of the dead creatures.
CLARK: When we're talking about confiscations of 17 tons of frozen pangolins that's thousands and thousands of pangolins. We know they're slow to breed. They only have one baby when they do breed. They're solo animals and they have quite a large time range. So they're not animals that can reproduce very quickly to try and you know, cope with that kind of demand.
RIVERS: Experts say a few decades ago, Pangolins were killed by villagers thinking they brought bad luck. But now if they find one, they know they've hit the jackpot. Each is worth six months' salary to a farmer in Vietnam.
CLARK: They're such an interesting little mammal, you know, it's devastating to think that these animals, you know, might go extinct while we're watching if we don't do enough.
RIVERS: But the rescue center, they are hoping to slowly start releasing captured pangolins after they've been given a clean bill of health. But they need funding and more staff to ensure these creatures don't disappear completely in just a few years time. Dan Rivers, CNN, Cuc Phoung National Park, Vietnam.
ANDERSON: Well, pangolin's plight makes you wonder what other threatened species in ecosystems there are that we don't know about (inaudible).
Environmental activist, Philippe Cousteau is rallying an army of citizen journalist to help bring local environmental issues to the global spotlight.
I spoke to him earlier today about his initiative, his citizen journalist of initiative effectively. I began by asking him if it's a response to what some people perceived as a waning enthusiasm for the conservation cause. This is what he told me.
PHILIPPE COUSTEAU, ENVIRONMENTALIST: I think in general if we look at the trend overtime, it's good news. If we look 10, 20 years ago, climate change really isn't - wasn't even on the agenda.
Biodiversity law and things like that really were just starting to get attention and now they're at least part of the daily discourse. So that's - that's good sign, but I do agree that I think we've seen a dip and enthusiasm about conservation around the world and that's - that's very worrying.
ANDERSON: You've got a new initiative I know, which effectively reaches out to students around the world and asked them to get involved in citizen journalist around the issues of the environment. Talk to me about that if you will.
COUSTEAU: Well, I spend work - most of my work is working with young people through my non-profit EarthEcho International and I travel around the world and see the fire and enthusiasm that young people have for making the world a better place.
And so I spend most actually this summer dealing with the Gulf crisis, the oil spill down there and seeing a frustration on the faces of so many young people there about not having a voice and not having the power to actually share the stories on how their communities are being impacted.
So yesterday at the Clinton Global Initiative yesterday morning, on stage with President Clinton, we announced that brand new program that we call "Stream," which is to train and empower young people to be citizen journalist around the world.
ANDERSON: You've done some work I know recently in the Florida Keys and accessing effectively the environmental damage to the reef there over the last 20 years. Talk briefly what you found.
COUSTEAU: Well, you know, it's - it's a worrying trend. I've spent a lot of time in the Florida Keys over the last several years and even in my, you know, 10, 15 years of diving there, I've seen a decline in the health of the reefs.
And what we did, with you all, actually a few weeks ago down in the Florida Keys was go in and show the before and after. Basically, we took footage from the 1980s and paired it up next to footage from just literally that we filmed a few weeks ago to show the decline in the health of coral reefs.
Not just in the Florida Keys, but as an example of what's happening to the health of the oceans around the world. The coral reefs are declining. Ocean ecosystems are in trouble and of course, oceans provide oxygen, food, regulate climate and a life support system of this planet.
And as oceans go so do - so as the rest of the life on this planet so it's - it's a worrying sign that we were trying to illustrate through that - that passage of time.
ANDERSON: And the footages are remarkable, let me tell you. Philippe Cousteau joins us this weekend as the host of a CNN Going Green special. You'll get a unique view of undersea world of deteriorating coral reef. Can it be saved?
We'll explore on the show some innovative ideas and more, Saturday, 5:30 London, 6:30 in Central Europe and the times that you work them out where you're watching locally.
You're watching CNN overtime, things do change. Take a look at this vegetable patch. It's not a back garden as you might traditionally expect (inaudible) Manhattan rooftop.
Even more surprisingly, all the fresh produce for a new restaurant. We're going to take a look at the rooftop to Table Bistro tomorrow night when we continue our week long special and the changes we are making to the environment.
Coming up this evening, at the U.N., they are discussing the millennium development goals. Closing at session these past couple of days is the effort to cut in half the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015.
Our "Connector of the Day" today is there as well, Geldof taking your questions on how we're doing and what more needs to be done. That's next, stay with us.
ANDERSON: Just before half past the hour. You are - welcome back to "Connect the World" here on CNN. I'm Becky Anderson in London.
Coming up, musician activist and now your "Connector of the Day." We want to hear from Bob Geldof discussing what can be done to meet our ambitious goals on eradicating world poverty.
Clashes on the ground in the Middle East as peace efforts of the U.N. struggle to gain some traction and one on one tonight with Alex, one of football's most storied managers sits down with us here at CNN.
Those stories are ahead in the next 30 minutes. (Inaudible) quick check of the headlines before that here on CNN.
National teams are stepping up their criticism of hygiene and security at venues in India's Commonwealth games. The big event now less than two weeks away and several top athletes have now pulled out of competition. Organizers say an intense effort is being made to address complaints.
Nine people are dead and another 20 are wounded following an attack in northwestern Iran. It happened in the city of Mahabad during a military parade marking the 30th anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war. Most of the victims are reported to be women and children.
US president Barack Obama is to address the United Nations shortly. He's joining other leaders from across the globe in the fight against poverty. This is the final day of the summit on the Millennium Development Goals, as their known. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon unveiled a $40 billion drive earlier to improve the lives of impoverished women and children around the world.
Singer and activist Bob Geldof is at the UN right now pushing for progress on those Millennium Development Goals. We're going to put your questions to him live from New York in just a few minutes.
First, a little bit more about the man himself. Have a listen to this.
ANDERSON (voice-over): He's a musical icon who isn't afraid to speak up for the world's poor.
BOB GELDOF, SINGER/ACTIVIST: Can you accept this, sitting in this hall, that 90 percent of the children of Africa -- 90 percent of the children of Africa will go to bed hungry tonight. And tomorrow, and yesterday.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Singer Bob Geldof rose to fame with rock group The Boomtown Rats in the late 1970s. But it's his humanitarian work that catapulted him to worldwide fame. Uniting some of the biggest names in music, the star co-wrote the 1984 pop hit "Do They Know It's Christmas" to raise money for Ethiopia, which was gripped by famine.
Geldof organized Live Aid, one of the largest charity concerts in history. And 20 years later, the singer put on Live 8, a series of concerts around the world to draw attention to poverty in Africa.
This week, he's at the UN, where world leaders are discussing the Millennium Development Goals. The musician and activist Bob Geldof is your Connector of the Day.
ANDERSON: Yes, he is, and he joins me now, I'm delighted to say, from UN headquarters in New York, where he's been for a couple of days. Bob, thanks for joining us. I'm going to get straight to viewer questions for you, not hold you up.
Joseph Deiss said Monday that the Millennium Development Goals are within reach if a commitment is made. Do you think that's possible?
GELDOF: Yes. I mean, the were in reach if the commitment is made back when they were initially made in the year 2000. The good news is, around the world, many of them will be achieved, which is extraordinary.
I don't want make long answers, but go back to the year 2000 when we were letting off fireworks, building bridges and concrete domes to celebrate a new thousand years. The UN, in a very elegant gift to ourselves, decided to lift half the half the world's extreme poor out of that condition. And to a large extent, it succeeded. Not necessarily because of the Nordstroms and bromides (ph) put in place there, but because of economic development in China and India.
Africa's a little behind, but many of them will be achieved, and it will be because of -- yes, because of activities from the UN and governments and NGOs, but also simply by the fact that the African continent is powering ahead economically itself.
ANDERSON: Sure, OK. So you raise the challenges, but you're also fairly positive about just how far we've come with these MDGs over sort of eight areas, particularly focusing on poverty and education. Bob, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, noted in New York while she's been there that development aid cannot go on forever. What is your message? To, not developed countries, but developing countries about what they can do to help themselves and their people?
GELDOF: Well, they do. She's right, Merkel's right, trying to, for example, I think it's -- I don't know how much it is from the German budget, but I think they get $34 million from the Global Fund for AIDS, which is a hugely effective organization. It's -- puts for -- gives antiretrovirals to four million people every day in Africa, the epicenter of AIDS. In 2002, only 50,000 people got them, and they had to pay for them.
But China is able to take care of that itself, now, so Germany will claw back that money. But it should put it back into the global fund or into other bilateral or multilateral aid programs.
Yes, that's what's happened. That was always the argument. As soon as an economy goes up, aid goes down, and it goes into the places where it's needed, so that can build that economy. And that's the idea, and it works.
ANDERSON: Yes, good stuff. All right. Shelby writing in. He says, "Bob, do you think discussions at the UNGA should be open to NGOs and other organizations? Would this help," he says, "to make these thoughts more practical than what we see on the television a lot of the time, which sounds an awful lot like a lot of theory and no practice?"
GELDOF: They are. I'm not here just observing. I've done four panels today, I've made three speeches, I chaired another one. And the NGOs are all over this. They're included almost in everything. What you see are the plenary sessions where the heads of state talk. And they're not the useful ones. It's the off piece sessions, where resolutions are actually made tangible and real.
Look. The main benefit of these gab fests -- they are exhausting. I was up at 7:00, my first speech was twenty past seven, I'll be out of here at 9:00 tonight. I can't stand it, I get bored, I go on the razzle, I'm not good early in the morning. But you have to focus. And that's largely what these people do. They focus.
And it just needs -- it's a big old wheel disk. And it needs another push, more shoulder to the wheel. Because that wheel is the wheel of equity and justice. And it is turning, but it turns slowly. And these sort of things, while they appear to not do anything, they do re-focus the idea. They do hold some people -- hold their feet to the fire. And you do get newer things happening.
They're not going to set the world alight. It's a long struggle. But it does change slightly.
ANDERSON: All right. How about his one from Samantha G. She says, "Bob, how do you deal with the people who give you stick about doing all you can, but poverty still being an issue around the world?"
GELDOF: Yes. Of course they give you stick, and of course poverty's an issue. But in the 26 years that I've sort of been doing it, I've seen a change.
I traveled through China years ago. If you had told me that this would be the paradigm power of the 21st century, I'd have laughed. I'd have looked out the train window and said, "How?" And yet, they pulled 400 million people out of poverty and injected all that creativity, all that productivity, all that dynamism, all that intellectualism into the global economic well-being.
And, in fact, it was the poor, exactly as all us types have argued forever, that actually saved the economic climate of the world in the last three years. Because the banking crisis knocked the west and the north for six. Now, if it wasn't for the new wealth of the newer developing countries, we would have been flat out.
So that argument, that by lifting the poor out of poverty and injecting them into the global commonwealth of the global good actually pertains. We've just got to take the last, now, the remaining ones, particularly in the continent of Africa and do the same thing.
But the figures from Africa on the McKinsey reports -- and we're talking about hard-headed, hard-headed, hard-boiled business people -- are extraordinary. The discretionary spending power of Africans, that is, the surplus money they have to spend on things like you and I spend them on, consumer goods, now matches Russia and India. There's 52 cities in Africa that have more than a million people. That's the same as Europe and more than India.
GELDOF: There'll be more working people in Africa in ten years than there are in China and India. The greatest science in school between 03 and 07 are Ghana and Tunisia in the world. So this thing is happening.
I can also tell you, and we can also see, the starving people and the conflict and all those other stories that are true and have to be dealt with. But there's other things happening underneath our noses very similar to China and India.
ANDERSON: Yes, I get it. No, you make a very good point. There are governance issues in many of these places as well, which ought to be dealt with. And I know that's something that you will bang on about as well, and rightly so. But you're making some really good points.
Listen. Let me ask you one more question. It's about Band Aid, back in the 80s, and Live 8 a couple of years ago. In the piece that we did going into you, we reminded ourselves about the big concert back in the 80s. What do you miss about those old days, Bob? Because you got involved at that point. I'm wondering -- one question is simply this, how long did it take to write the song? And remind us what that whole kind of era was all about for you.
GELDOF: I saw on the BCC, I saw the 6:00 news something that utterly shocked me. I had a little girl, my first baby, perhaps was that, and 30 million people dying of starvation.
Back in the 80s, the argument was about the surplus food that Europe was producing and how we spent tax money to destroy that food, while eight miles south of the richest continent on the planet, and still is, Europe, is the poorest one. Eight miles south of us, burning food, 30 million people died of starvation. And the next day, I said, to die of want in a world of surplus. It's not only intellectually absurd, it's morally repulsive.
So I called some friends of the ten years that I've been in rock and roll, wrote a song with Midge Ure. Midge produced the song, I organized the thing. I thought we'd be out by Christmas, I'd get a hundred thousand quid, give it to OxFam or Save the Children, I'd be gone.
But that isn't what happened. Millions of people saw that, and that little piece of plastic became the focus of their shock and their anger and their outrage and their shame. And so, you get to 26 years later, the concert raised $150 million.
I understood that this was famine. Ill-health, corruption, conflict, are only symptoms of a singular economic condition called poverty. If it's economic and political, then it can be resolved. It is soluble. So, for the next 20 years, we spent time creating organizations like the One Campaign that I started with Bono to do policy. We've got 72 people in Washington, 26 in London, 8 in Berlin, 8 in Africa. We lobby all the time. We have immense access.
I asked Tony Blair, who was a kid at the time of Band Aid, to create the Commission for Africa. To analyze, exactly, why Africa remains outside the economic global loop. Why, exactly? I sat on that, that led to Make Poverty History, Live 8, and the G8 at Gleneagles, which was the road map to the Millennium Development Goals --
GELDOF: Which we're now accessing here at the UN and looking back on those. I then joined with Kofi Annan at the Africa Progress Panel to monitor progress in Africa. La da da da da da da da da.
ANDERSON: You are exhausting --
GELDOF: And there you are.
ANDERSON: To listen to. You must be exhausted by the process. As we've been speaking, Obama has arrived in the building.
GELDOF: I'm -- my ball back.
ANDERSON: You're ball back. All right, mate. Well, listen.
ANDERSON: Don't go yet, because Obama is arriving in the building, and he'll be making what is --
GELDOF: I've got to go --
ANDERSON: The kind of closing speech on the Millennium Development Goals. So I'm going to let you go.
ANDERSON: We're hoping to hear from him. We're going to take a very short break. We've been delighted to have you on. Come and see us in London when you're back. Bob Geldof, your Connector of the Day.
GELDOF: Becky? Becky, I'd just like to apologize for Spurs' pathetic performance last night. Go Chelsea.
ANDERSON: Talking about Tottenham Hotspur. Anyway, whatever. He's a Chelsea fan.
Well, to bring you a star power to a global cause, actor Edward Norton. He's -- too has been rubbing shoulders with global leaders at the UN General Assembly meeting. That actor and activist is pushing his green message as a UN Goodwill Ambassador. Biodiversity. Tune in tomorrow when he'll answer your questions on that and, of course, being an actor. Being in a movie with Brad Pitt, for example. We asked him about that. Head to cnn.com/connect, find out who's coming up on the show. Send us your questions and your comments for our Connectors. Remember to tell us where you're writing in from.
Tonight, much more ahead, including a live update from the United Nations. World leaders at the summit wrapping up talks on reducing poverty, and we are now just minutes away from the prominent keynote speaker taking to the stage. That, of course, is President Obama. That coming up after this.
ANDERSON: I'm going take you to the United Nations in New York. Live pictures coming in on the final day of the Millennium Development Goals summit. You're looking there at Britain's deputy prime minister Nick Clegg. We're waiting for US president Barack Obama to take to the podium any moment now. We're going to bring you his speech live.
Also watching important meetings on the sidelines, including talks on Middle East peace. There's a reason you haven't heard many updates. Israeli prime minister -- oh, sorry, deputy foreign minister Daniel Ayalon and the Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad were supposed to hold a news conference yesterday, but ended up canceling it.
Israeli media report Fayyad stormed out after Ayalon refused to accept a declaration referring to two states. Ayalon insisted the wording should be "two states with two peoples" instead to leave no doubt about Israel's Jewish nature.
While the Middle East quartet never talked to reporters either, they did pose for the cameras, but scrapped a planned news conference at the last minute citing technical difficulties. UN officials blamed an electrical malfunction.
Iran's president is wading into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with some pretty inflammatory remarks, it's got to be said. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took a break from his rounds at the United Nations today to talk to my colleague Larry King at CNN. The entire interview will air right here on CNN in about four and a half hours from now. But here's a quick excerpt for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, CNN HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Prime Minister Netanyahu was a guest recently on our program, and he said, quote, "The greatest threat facing humanity" -- humanity, that's the world, "is that Iran would acquire nuclear weapons." If Israel feels that strongly, and you don't directly assure them, don't you fear that they might do a first strike?
MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): So you think that we are concerned -- we should be concerned about allaying Mr. Netanyahu's fears and concerns?
AHMADINEJAD (through translator): Why should we be doing that for him? Who is he?
KING: He's the head of a country.
AHMADINEJAD (through translator): Who is he in the first place to begin with? He is a skilled killer. All dictators in the world have condemned others, and he's one of many of them.
KING: You would put --
AHMADINEJAD (through translator): He should be put on trial for killing Palestinians, for placing Gaza under siege, which is against the law and against the spirit of the charter of the United Nations. He should be put on trial for killing women and children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: That's President Ahmadinejad there speaking to Larry King. He will take to the world stage again tomorrow when he speaks to the United Nations General Assembly. But there is still a lot going on there today.
Let's check in with our Senior UN Correspondent, Richard Roth. Richard, the end of the MDG summit, the beginning of what is the sort of grandstanding by the world's leaders. What have we had today?
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT: I like the way you said "grandstanding" there. We're going to have President Obama here at the United Nations. He's in the building. He arrived a short time ago. This is his second official visit to the United Nations.
He will make remarks on Thursday about the rest of the world, but generally, President Obama now is going to talk about development, and how the US considers economic growth important, yes, but that many things can be changed if you get people out of poverty and provide more education, better health conditions, help the environment, that everyone benefits.
He's expected to announce some more US focus in this group, in this area, maybe a streamlining, an agency focus. And he's expected to speak after the British deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.
For the United States, they had said ahead of time they weren't going to be offering a lot of new money, that they have paid over $60 billion in development funds over the last few days -- last few years to different agencies.
So, President Obama is going to be here for the next two and a half days, and this is the start of all this.
At the end, Becky, the end of tonight, New York time, the -- all the nations will sign onto this already pre-cooked compromise Millennium Development Goal document, saying that they vow to live out -- live up to those promises made ten years ago.
ROTH: The eight goals, ranging from poverty to education to environment.
ANDERSON: All right, Richard. I want you to stay with me for the moment. We're waiting, of course, for Obama's speech. We're going to bring that live to our viewers. So stay with me for the time being.
I want to bring up one of the subjects that we were eluding to before we started with you. As diplomats talk Middle East peace at the United Nations, certainly not prepared to talk to the media about it, though, new violence breaks out in Jerusalem near one of the holiest sites to both Muslims and Jews. If we've got time before President Obama speaks, let's take a look at this report by Paula Hancocks on a day of clashes triggered by an early-morning shooting.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The body of Samer Sarhan is carried from Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque to its final resting place. A Palestinian who police say was shot by an Israeli settler guard in the early hours of Wednesday.
A potent mix of anger and grief as round 1,000 people attend the burial. Palestinian youth set two nearby cars on fire. The Israeli authorities turned the water canon on those protesting in the cemetery, some of whom are throwing stones at the police.
Tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber bullets from the Israeli police, stones from the Palestinian youth. A continuation of earlier clashes Wednesday, all stemming from the early-morning shooting. Both sides blame the other for the escalation in tensions at dawn.
The Israeli police say residents threw stones at the Israeli security guard's car and blocked the road with rubbish as he drove through Silwan. And the guard fired his gun, killing 32-year-old Sarhan.
Sarhan's cousin, who says he saw the incident, disagrees. He tells us a group of Palestinians were heading for the mosque. The settler guard provoked them, and they had an argument. He said then the guard got out of the car and started shooting randomly.
HANCOCKS (on camera): This is not an unusual situation here in Silwan. There are quite often these kinds of clashes, but today, the anger on the streets is even higher. At least one person has been killed. And you can see, they've been burning these tires. It's kind of a smokescreen for them. Thick (coughs) putrid smoke coming off them, so that they could hide behind it as they're trying to throw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who were just up there.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): These bloodstains show the spot where paramedics try to resuscitate Sarhan, a father of three. Police say they're investigating. Silwan has been the site of numerous clashes. An area with around 50,000 Palestinians and 70 Israeli families.
So now, a family mourns as tensions become even higher. A reminder to politicians of what's at stake. Paula Hancocks, CNN, Silwan, East Jerusalem.
ANDERSON: All right. A look there at the continuing crisis in the Middle East. Let's get to the United Nations. President Barack Obama speaking now at the General Assembly discussing the international body's Millennium Development Goals. We're going to have a quick listen in to what he's talking about. We'll get back to Richard Roth in a moment.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When a disease goes unchecked, it's going to endanger the health of millions around the world. So, let's put to rest the old myth that development is mere charity that does not serve our interests. And let's reject the cynicism that says certain countries are condemned to perpetual poverty.
For the past half century has witnessed more gains in human development than at any time in history. A disease that had ravaged the generations, smallpox, was eradicated. Health care has reached the far corners of the world, saving the lives of millions. From Latin America, to Africa, to Asia, developing nations have transformed into leaders in the global economy.
Nor can anyone deny the progress that has been made toward achieving certain Millennium Development Goals. The doors of education have been opened to tens of millions of children, boys and girls. New cases of HIV- AIDS and malaria and tuberculosis are down. Access to clean drinking water is up. Around the world, hundreds of millions of people have been lifted from extreme poverty. That is all for the good. And it's a testimony to the extraordinary work that's been done both within countries and by the international community.
Yet we must also face the fact that progress towards other goals that were set has not come nearly fast enough. Not for the hundreds of thousands of women who lose their lives every year simply giving birth. Not for the millions of children who die from the agony of malnutrition. Not for the nearly one billion people who endure the misery of chronic hunger.
This is the reality we must face. That if the international community just keeps doing the same things the same way, we may make some modest program here and there, but we will miss many development goals. That is the truth. With ten years down and just five years before our development targets come due, we must do better.
Now I know --
ANDERSON: You're listening to President Obama as they close out in New York at the summit on Millennium Development Goals. Started in 2000, those goals, well, they hope will be reached by 2015. Let's check in with our Senior UN Correspondent, Richard Roth.
I'm surprised, Richard. Actually quite positive about much of what has been achieved by the MDGs. We were talking to Bob Geldof earlier on as well, who all say pretty positive -- although both Obama and Geldof suggesting there are challenges still to come. Richard, as we leave Obama talking about development goals and poverty, we are moving, of course, into what is the main part of this summit. What can we expect tomorrow?
ROTH: Well, President Obama will speak to the world about all issues that's on the mind of the United States president. No doubt Iran, probably Sudan, the global picture, Afghanistan. There will be all eyes of the world more focused on that speech by President Obama tomorrow, Thursday.
ANDERSON: All right, good stuff. Thank you for that. Richard Roth in New York for you. I'm Becky Anderson in London. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. We'll be right back after this very short break.
ANDERSON: Just time for our Parting Shots this evening, the part of the show where we highlight some of the world's quirky connections through the best of the pictures out there. And today, it's the power of protest as we go through the lens for you, then.
Look at these pictures from Cairo on Tuesday. Three hundred people took the streets voicing what many Egyptians have only quietly voiced before. Power should not be inherited, they say. They are angry that elections next November are being seen as a stepping stone for Gamal Mubarak to succeed his father as president. As you can see, things getting a little bit heated. Protesting not -- clearly not for the faint-hearted in Egypt.
To your New York next, where you can find a new protest on something or other every day. Signs saying "Hilton shelters our enemies." That's where Iran's President Ahmadinejad is staying. Many Americans are upset that he's been allowed to speak at the UNGA and across their TV networks.
But Mr. Ahmadinejad himself, seen here vigorously shaking the hand of the UN Secretary General says he's upset there's a lack of protest in the US over the impending execution of a female murderer in the state of Virginia. He says that that contrasts with the storm surrounding a woman sentenced to being stoned -- or to be stoned in Iran.
And then to Middle East for you this evening. Violent clashes erupting Wednesday in parts of East Jerusalem after a Palestinian man was shot and killed by an Israeli security guard. After the shooting, protesters threw stones at Israeli police. They fired back using tear gas.
Around the world, every day there are protests. If you don't have a personal stake in them, it can be irritating to be held up in traffic or miss a crucial appointment. But look on the bright side. From Cairo to New York to Jerusalem and many more places with varying degrees, at least you are allowed to protest. For regular viewers of this show, sadly, you'll know it's hard to do that in many parts of the world.
That's your Parting Shot this evening. I'm Becky Anderson. That's your world connected. We're going to take a very quick break. I'll be back with the headlines after this.