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Gordon Brown speaks about global poverty to US Congress

Today British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is in Washington, DC where he addressed the US Congress just a few hours ago. In his remarks, the Prime Minister spoke at length about extreme global poverty, particularly about the need for education.

Below are some excerpts from his delivered remarks, full transcript here

And let us not forget the poorest.

In the Rwandan Museum of genocide, there is a memorial to the countless children who were among those murdered in the massacres in Rwanda.

And there is a portrait of a child, David. The words beneath him are brief yet they weigh on me heavily.

It says name David, age 10, favourite sport football, enjoyed making people laugh, dream to become a doctor, cause of death tortured to death, last words - the UN will come for us.

But we never did. That David believed the best of us, that he was wrong is to our eternal discredit.

We tend to think of a day of judgement as a moment to come. But our faith tells us, as a writer says, that judgement is more than that.

It is a summary court in perpetual session and when I visit those bare, rundown yet teeming classrooms across Africa, they are full of children, like our children, desperate to learn.

At their best, our values tell us that we cannot be wholly content while others go without, cannot be fully comfortable while millions go without comfort, cannot be truly happy while others grieve alone.

And this too is true All of us know that in a recession the wealthiest, the ten most powerful and the most privileged can find a way through for themselves.

So we do not value the wealthy less when we say that our first duty is to help the not so wealthy.

We do not value the powerful less when we say that our first responsibility is to help the powerless. And we do not value those who are secure less when we say that our first priority must be to help the insecure.


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