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U2 honoured with Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience award
10 years ago
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Irish rock superstars U2 have been honoured with Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience award.

The human rights foundation insists the CITY OF BLINDING LIGHTS rockers have heightened awareness of debt and trade injustice, and inspire the world to take note of the needy.

Amnesty boss IRENE KHAN says, "U2 has arguably done more than any band to highlight the cause of global human rights.

"They have inspired and empowered millions."

10/12/2005 14:17
10 years ago
official press release
10 years ago


AI Index: ACT 10/005/2005 (Public)
News Service No: 335
10 December 2005

Embargo Date: 10 December 2005 00:00 GMT

Art for Amnesty: U2 receives highest human rights award
Today, U2 band members were awarded Amnesty International's highest human rights accolade -- the "Ambassador of Conscience" Award for 2005.

"U2 have sung themselves to where great singing comes from, that place where art and ardency meet in the light of conscience," said Nobel Literature Laureate Seamus Heaney, upon hearing of the award to U2 band members Bono, Edge, Larry Mullen Jr. Adam Clayton and manager Paul McGuinness.

Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan also praised the work of the band and their ongoing commitment to human rights and Amnesty International, which stretches back over 21 years. "On the day when human rights are being celebrated around the world and Amnesty International launches its first global music venture 'Make Some Noise', U2 is being honoured with this year's 'Ambassador of Conscience' Award," said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

"From Live Aid in 1985 and Amnesty International's 1986 'Conspiracy of Hope' tour, through to Live 8 this past July, U2 has arguably done more than any other band to highlight the cause of global human rights in general and Amnesty International's work in particular. Their leadership in linking music to the struggle for human rights and human dignity worldwide has been ground-breaking and unwavering. They have inspired and empowered millions with their music and by speaking out on behalf of the poor, the powerless and the oppressed."

Bill Shipsey, founder of "Art for Amnesty" -- the organization's global artist support network that organises the annual Award event -- said that "for their art and music alone U2 would be worthy candidates of Amnesty International's most prestigious human rights Award. With songs like 'Pride (In The Name of Love)', 'MLK', 'Miss Sarajevo', 'Mothers of the Disappeared', 'Walk On' (written for Burmese political activist Aung San Syu Kyi), and of course the song that has become an anthem to Amnesty, 'One', U2 has helped spread the human rights message of Amnesty International to a global audience."

He continued, "But U2 is, and always has been, about much more than just music. Band members have used their music and celebrity to champion countless human rights causes. Through their more recent involvement with DATA and The One Campaign they have brought the issues of debt, aid and trade -- particularly as they affect Africa -- to the world's attention. They have shown that it is not enough to leave it to the politicians and 'traditional' world leaders to change the world. They have empowered and inspired millions of people with their music, their example and their action."

The Award announcement also cited U2's promotion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which features prominently on a giant video screen during all concerts on U2's current "Vertigo" World Tour. U2's Edge is quoted as saying that they regard the Universal Declaration as the "greatest piece of literature ever written”"

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson joined in the tributes, quoting Eleanor Roosevelt, who stressed the importance of human rights "mattering in small places close to home". She added that "it helps to have them matter under bright lights on a big stage in front of thousands of people”"
10 years ago
U2 most certianly deserves the highest Human Rights Award. !!!!!!!
10 years ago
Oops, forgot to post official link.  Here it is:

Yes, I do believe U2 deserves this award for their work to promote Amnesty and human rights in general.

(p.s. Only 10 days until my first U2 concert, eeeeeeeeeee!
10 years ago
for the offical link. I saw U2 nov 9, they were fantastic. I'm so glad they are honoured  by Amnesty with such a prestigious Human Rights Award
10 years ago
Bono and crew definitely deserve this honor.
9 years ago
Thanks for the invite Fran, I agree its great to see them recieve such an honour x x
9 years ago
so much for joining the group, Michelle. There are so many Humantiatian causes that Bono is into, Besides U2 being such a good band for over 25 years...