Gordon Brown has only been Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for a short while, but I am already a fan. He has begun to embrace an ambitious humanitarian agenda that ranges from ending the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan to reducing world poverty.
His rise to power comes at a time when both these campaigns need new energy and vision.
He brought up Darfur in his first meetings with President Bush and at a joint press conference. European press reports have suggested that he and Nicolas Sarkozy, the new President of France, might go to Darfur together to highlight the violence there and to put new pressure on Sudan’s government to work aggressively for peace in Darfur, where some 400,000 people have died and more than 2.2 million have been displaced during four years of brutal civil war.
In New York City on Tuesday Mr. Brown will give a major address on the reduction of global poverty, as called for in the Millennium Development Goals adopted by world leaders at the UN in 2000.
Both Tony Blair, Mr. Brown’s predecessor, and President Bush talked of taking leadership roles on these important issues, but Mr. Blair stepped down in June, and Mr. Bush’s attention has been be diverted by Iraq, immigration reform, and other issues.
It is good to have Prime Minister Brown taking up these issues. I hope his attention does not wander.
By Ken Bacon
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