Kofi Annan, Bob Geldof and Bono. Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/Crown copyright �
Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan with Bob Geldof and Bono.
Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/Crown copyright �

His colleague, Bono of U2, who sang at the Live 8 concert, also welcomed the deal: "The world spoke and the politicians listened." He praised Mr Bush for "moving so far so quickly", and pointed out he was taking the lead on Aids and malaria.

The G8 - Britain, the US, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada and Russia - were joined by leaders from Africa, China and India. At a press conference to mark the summit's end, Mr Blair said he had not achieved everything he wanted but they had made "substantial progress", and the Africa package would take millions out of poverty.

"Politics is about getting things done step by step, progress by progress," he said. "This is big progress, and we should be proud of it."

Campaigners described the aid increase as welcome but said it fell far short of the hopes of millions of people who had backed the Make Poverty History campaign and attended the Live 8 rock concerts around the world to put pressure on the G8.

Climate climbdown

Environmentalists said the summit had failed to make any progress on climate change and blamed Mr Bush for blocking action by the other leaders. The president of the Royal Society, Lord May, labelled the communique on climate change a "disappointing failure".

He said: "Make no mistake, the science already justifies reversing - not merely slowing - the global growth of greenhouse gas emissions."

But the environment secretary, Margaret Beckett, said it was "absolute rubbish" to claim the G8 summit had not signed up to anything new.

Olusegun Obasanjo, the Nigerian president and president of the 53-member African Union, described the summit a "a great success". Mr Obasanjo is also a member of the Commission of Africa, which was set up by Mr Blair to provide recommendations to help the continent. No 10 said the summit had agreed to 50 of its proposals.

logo Guardian Unlimited � Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005. This article was first published by The Guardian, (Saturday July 9, 2005). All rights reserved. Reproduced with kind permission.

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ke to get their hands dirty.

Bob Geldof, a leader of the Make Poverty History campaign and organiser of the Live 8 concerts, fell out with fellow campaigners for carping about the deal and described it as a great day for millions in Africa. He called their criticism of the G8 agreement "a disgrace", and said the plan to double aid to Africa by 2010 and the promise to relieve debt was welcome. "On aid: 10 out of 10; on debt: eight out of 10."

He also praised "a serious and excellent result on trade".

"Time will tell if this is a historic summit," Geldof said. "What is true is that people have forced a change of policy on to the global agenda and today that policy has been forcefully addressed."