A speech by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell defending U.S. international AIDS and environmental policies drew angry shouts and boos from listeners Wednesday at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. Powell, speaking at the summit's closing session, said the Bush administration has stepped up its support of the developing world, including helping to establish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
Powell's speech was interrupted repeatedly by protesters who booed and shouted "Shame on Bush!" Two people held up a banner reading, "Betrayed by governments." Thirteen protestors were removed from the auditorium where Powell was speaking. Powell, visibly annoyed by the protesters, at one point responded to their jeers by answering back, "I have now heard you. I ask that you hear me."
South African foreign minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who chaired the summit meeting, frequently shouted back at the protesters, calling their outbursts "totally unacceptable."