The Prince of Wales called on Commonwealth leaders to take bold action and steer the world in the “right direction” towards a sustainable future.
Harles described the family of nations as a “common market” which, if it worked together, could solve a problem that “lies at the very heart of what the Commonwealth seeks to achieve”.
At a meeting as part of his Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI), launched in 2020 to accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable future, the Prince spoke to world leaders in Rwanda, including African President Paul Kagame and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Prince told delegates, among whom was FIFA President Gianni Infantino: “If we can be bold in our ambitions – but more importantly, in our actions – the Commonwealth, as one of the world’s largest ‘common markets’, will have a real opportunity to lead the world. in the right direction”.
The heir to the throne continued: “In fact, this meeting was prepared for three years.
“Following Chogm 2018 in London, I have a strong sense that sustainability and a truly sustainable future are at the core of what the Commonwealth aims to achieve – for nature, people and the planet.”
Charles told the audience that he has been working with his SMI for the past three years and now has over 300 CEOs from around the world, representing what he says are $70 trillion worth of assets, “who are willing to contribute to accelerating the global green economy.” . .
He added: “But ladies and gentlemen, they cannot do this without your help.
“To move forward at pace and scale, we need to be clear about the enabling environment and demand signals so that industry and investors know where to go, whether it be renewable energy, sustainable infrastructure, clean aviation fuel or regenerative agriculture.”
In a separate meeting with other Commonwealth leaders, Charles warned that efforts to eradicate malaria have been thwarted by Covid-19.
Speaking at the Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Summit at the nearby Intare Convention Center in Kigali, the Prince said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, 2022 should be a turning point.
“The post-Covid-19 world is focusing more on infectious diseases and we need to capitalize on this to ensure we have the right support to prepare for and respond to infectious disease outbreaks.”
During the event, the heir to the throne also met with Melinda French Gates and World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedross Adhan-Ghebreyesus and Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi.
Charles, President of Malaria No More UK, added: “Largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there is still a lot of work to be done if we are to realize our ambitions.”
At a lighter moment during the day, Charles adopted an injured crane yesterday that had lost the ability to fly and joked, “No flies on me.”
Charles visited Kigali’s first wildlife sanctuary, Umusambi village, home to over 50 endangered crane species. A peaceful reserve with lush green wetlands and trees lies on the outskirts of the Rwandan capital.
As he walked around the village, Charles was told that the endangered cranes survive in the wetlands, but most of the world’s wetlands are disappearing.
He then met a crane named Mutesi, which means “spoiled” because the bird was so well treated that it prefers the company of humans to its feathered friends.
Olivier Nsengimana, founder and CEO of the Rwandan Wildlife Conservation Association, presented Charles with the bird’s adoption certificate, telling the prince, “From now on, it’s yours.”
Clearly delighted, Charles replied, “Oh. You must keep me posted.”