Prince Charles urges Commonwealth to move towards 'sustainable future'

Prince Charles urges Commonwealth leaders to act together as one of the world’s largest ‘common markets’ to move towards a ‘sustainable future’ during speech in Rwanda

  • Prince Charles told Commonwealth leaders they can work together to tackle sustainability issues in the hopes it will ‘lead the world in the right direction’  
  • He also spoke of the impact that coronavirus has had on tackling malaria  
  • The Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall touched down in Kigali earlier this week
  • The heir to the throne is the first member of the Royal Family to visit Rwanda 

Prince Charles has urged Commonwealth leaders to work together and take action in leading the world towards a more sustainable future. 

Speaking in a meeting of his Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) in Rwanda, the Prince of Wales told leaders of the family of nations, which he described as a ‘common market’ they could work together to tackle sustainability issues. 

The Prince launched SMI in 2020 to help accelerate the world’s transition into a sustainable future. 

He told delegates, who included Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Fifa President Gianni Infantino: ‘If we can commit to being bold in our ambition – but more importantly in our action – the Commonwealth, as one of the world largest ‘common markets’ has a real opportunity to lead the world in the right direction.’ 

The Prince launched SMI in 2020 to help accelerate the world’s transition into a sustainable future

The heir to the throne told the meeting he had been working for the past three years with SMI and now had more than 300 chief executive officers around the globe. 

‘This meeting has been, in fact, three years on the making,’ he said. 

The chief executives represent assets worth 70 trillion dollar ‘wanting to contribute to accelerating the world’s green economy’ he added. 

‘But, ladies and gentlemen, they cannot do this without your help,’ he said. ‘To move forward at pace and scale we need to be clear on the enabling environment and the demand signals so that industry and investors know where to go, be it for renewable energy, sustainable infrastructure, sustainable aviation fuel or regenerative agriculture.’ 

Charles is representing the Queen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting for the first time since he was chosen to inherit her position as head of the global ‘family of nations’ in 2018. 

In another meeting with other Commonwealth leaders, he spoke of how attempts to wipe of malaria have been derailed by coronavirus. 

 ‘As we emerge from the pandemic, 2022 must be a turning point,’ he said to delegates during a summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases at the Intare Conference Centre in Kigali. 

In another meeting with other Commonwealth leaders, Prince Charles spoke of how attempts to wipe of malaria have been derailed by coronavirus.

In a lighter moment of the visit, Prince Charles was presented with an adoption certificate for an injured crane

‘Post Covid-19, the world is paying greater attention to infectious diseases, and we must capitalise on this to provide proper support to prepare for, and respond to, infectious disease outbreaks.

‘Largely due to Covid-19 pandemic there remains a great amount to do if our ambitions are to be met.’

There, the Prince, who is President of Malaria No More Uk, met Melinda French Gates and Director General of the World Health Organisation Dr Tedroos Adhanom-Ghebreyesus. 

In a lighter moment of the visit, Prince Charles was presented with an adoption certificate for an injured crane. 

He was visiting Kigali’s first wildlife sanctuary, Umusambi Village, which is home to more than 50 endangered crane species. 

The Duke and Duchess attend a fashion event as part of the Kigali Fashion Week at Kigali Arena

The Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall touched down in Kigali earlier this week

Olivier Nsengimana, founder and executive of Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association, presented him with an adoption certificate for the bird, telling the Prince: ‘From now on, she is yours’ to which he replied: ‘Oh. You must keep me informed.’ 

The Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall touched down in Kigali earlier this week. He is the first member of the Royal Family to set foot on Rwandan soil.

Charles is set to hold several meetings to during his visit to ‘listen and continue to learn’ about the key issues that the countries of the Commonwealth are facing, particularly over climate change, economic development, opportunities for the young and gender equality. 

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