Reuters : Stars Send Wishes for Millennium - U2 France
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Reuters : Stars Send Wishes for Millennium

mardi 7 décembre 1999

Source : Reuters

From Reuters :

Past is past, icons wish for new start in millenniumBy Lyndsay Griffiths

LONDON (Reuters) - Sports legends and men of God have united with pop iconsand politicians in wishing the world a happy new millennium, free of war andfull of hope.

In a series of messages for the new era, achievers of the 20th centuryreflected on the many gains made in science, space and beyond and the toofew tyrannies vanquished. From Lebanon to London, Moscow to Milan, theyspoke as one in pleading for a new age of peace after a night of unforgettableparties.

"Have a good thousand years. Come on world — I hope it’s a lot better thanthis old miserable century,’’ said Irish pop singer Bob Geldof, whose LiveAid rock concert in 1985 raised $200 million for African famine victims.

Bighearted U.S. guitarist B.B. King hoped "that people stop fighting, thatwe will feed everybody, be nice and kind to everybody.’’

Others wanted good times AND a better world.

"Pop stars have two instincts. They want to have fun and they want tochange the world. This millennium we can do both,’’ said Bono of Irishband U2.

Bono urged the rich to mark the date change by writing off debts of theworld’s poorest nations : "This is the only idea big enough to fill theshoes of the date.’’


But his plea for the poor was just one on a long wish list that emerged froma series of millennium interviews conducted around the world by ReutersTelevision.

"Stop all the hatred,’’ urged U.S. pop diva Mariah Carey. "It would benice to just kind of enhance each other rather than bringing each other down.’’

"Do what you want. Freedom is the first thing that has to be respected,’’said Italian fashion designer Gianfranco Ferre.

Legendary singer Tina Turner predicted "a new world coming. I think it’sgoing to be a better world. I think it’s going to be a world of betterpeople.’’

"Be at peace. Just be at peace with yourself,’’ said fellow diva WhitneyHouston.

Politicians preferred the rule of law. "The next century will be aboutpersuasion, law and civilized cooperation ... a better thing than the firsthalf of the century, which was a world of force, cohesion and the big guywinning,’’ said Mike Moore, who heads the World Trade Organization.

For Mikhail Gorbachev, credited with helping free the people of the formerSoviet Union, this is a chance to cast aside past horrors and look to abrighter future.

"We should try to take all the humane achievements, all the scientificadvances and all the knowledge we obtained with us into the next century.But we must put an end to violence, hegemony and wars,’’ he said.

The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, spoke, as ever, from exile,surrounded by refugees from former Yugoslavia. "We human beings, especiallythe troublemakers, should make good preparations so that the new millenniumcan be more peaceful,’’ he said. "Killing is ... no use.’’


Olympic president Juan Antonio Samaranch wished for a return to the foundingideals of his games, allowing "the youth of the world to join in, in peace,friendship and solidarity.’’

For Pele too tomorrow belongs to the young. ``My message to great, powerfulnations, the great presidents of the world, is ’You must invest more in theyouth of the poor countries because only with that can we change the worldfor the better,’’ said one of soccer’s greatest stars.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter wished that tomorrow’s Peles "should not onlybe boys but also girls.’’

Ethiopia’s Haile Gebreselassie, Olympic gold medalist and the finestdistance runner of the era, spoke for a continent when he said : ``My dream of thisnew millennium is for Africa to be at peace — no war, no starvation, to cometogether.’’

It was a dream shared by Zambian President Frederick Chiluba, who said itwas time that Africa "move from the politics of strong men and women to thoseof politics of compromise. ... People matter.’’


Eduard Shevardnadze, architect of Moscow’s perestroika-era foreign policy,saw plenty of reasons to celebrate early.

"The great evils of this century and probably of the past millennium havebeen banished — these evils are imperialism, totalitarianism and especiallyfascism and bolshevism,’’ said the Georgian leader as he raised a glass ofchampagne.

Indeed, future fun — not problems past — was the focus for all sorts ofnewsmakers. "I hope that people that are born into the new millennium haveas much fun as I had in the old one,’’ said former New York City Mayor EdKoch.

Rolling Stone Mick Jagger insisted "it’s not really about partying’’ — whoexpects him to stay home alone ? — while David Bowie was off to New Zealandbut ``running away from nothing.’’

Elizabeth Hurley said she might cozy up at home with a plate of baked beanson toast — and her boyfriend Hugh Grant. Liam Neeson would uncork ``awonderful bottle of Chateau Lafitte 1963’’ while fellow actor ChristopherLambert vowed to flee the city and hide "because it’s going to be a zoo.’’

Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke saw no need to run or hide frommillennium madness, but the British visionary was unusually ambivalent aboutthe brave new world about to dawn.

"Don’t panic,’’ said Clarke. "Never give up. Never give up. Never evergive up.’’

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