U2 and their manager Paul McGuinness have been named ’2005 Ambassadors of Conscience’, an Amnesty International Award.
Art for Amnesty spokesperson Bill Shipsey said that ‘for their art and music alone U2 would be worthy recipients of Amnesty’s most prestigious human rights Award’. The Irish poet Seamus Heaney, whose work inspired the award, commented ‘U2 have sung themselves to where great singing comes from, that place where art and ardency meet in the light of conscience.’
The band were lauded for their promotion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights during the shows on their current Vertigo World Tour.
Amnesty International Secretary Irene Khan said: ‘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.”
Amnesty International’s “Ambassador of Conscience” Award recognises exceptional individual leadership and witness in the fight to protect and promote human rights. Past winners include Vaclav Havel and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson.
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