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Bono: Poor must be included in Davos

The Irish rock star took part in a debate with UK Prime Minister David Cameron in Davos.

A screenshot of Irish rock star and lead singer of U2, Bono, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, 24 January 2014. Picture: weforum.org.

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND - U2 frontman Bono has told the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos that the United Nations development goals will only be realised if the poor are properly included.

He took part in a debate, which also included British Prime Minister David Cameron, on the issue of international aid and development.

Bono set the tone early when the host asked, "Where are the poor today?"

"Where are they? Well, they're not here. We know that."

Then he made his main point, saying, "I think these new goals that we speak of will be way more successful the more the poor are consulted, because the people these goals seek to serve are often left out of the process."

His argument echoes that of South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan who said inclusivity was a key factor in moving forward with economic growth and stability.

Also speaking in Davos, the minister on Tuesday told delegates: "I think more and more we need to talk about inclusivity. We need to talk about who benefits from growth and in which sections of society. All of us across the world are looking for answers on inclusivity and creating less inequality."

Responding to Bono's argument about the lack of involvement of poor people, CNN's Richard Quest told 567 CapeTalk/Talk Radio 702's Bruce Whitfield that the rock star's views were unrealistic.

"It ignores the point. These are the people, whether you like it or not, who can affect change," he says, referring to the rich and powerful in attendance at Davos.

Bono also made sure to point out that he had no problem with capitalism as a whole, saying he believed the system could lift people out of poverty.

"Capitalism can be a great creative force but it can also be a very destructive force. It is not immoral, but it is amoral. We need to give it some instructions."

Cameron used the Koreas to illustrate his beliefs on the topic.

"Why is North Korea poor and South Korea rich? It's not the weather, it's not the part of the world they're living in, it's to do with the institutions under which they live."

Watch the full debate below: