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Ewan McGregor Makes Plea to G-8 Leaders

Actor Ewan McGregor (search) called for international action to help children afflicted by poverty, saying G-8 leaders meeting this week have the power to make a difference.

"These eight leaders are going to have at their fingertips the power to make extraordinary changes in the world, truly to make poverty history for these people," McGregor said Sunday, launching a three-day workshop run by the U.N.'s children organization, UNICEF (search).

The program, UNICEF's first C8 Children's Forum, will be held July 3-5 in Dunblane.

"Now it's time to hear the voices from the developing world, especially young voices," said McGregor, who starred in the film, "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith (search)."

Children from eight of the world's poorest countries and the G-8 (search) nations — Britain, the United States, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Russia — are taking part in the UNICEF program, and will draw up a list of recommendations they hope to present to G-8 leaders.

According to its Web site, UNICEF estimates that more than 1 billion children suffer from severe deprivations associated with poverty — lacking such basics as shelter, sanitation, safe water, nutrition, and access to school or health care.