There aren’t many people who have had face-to-face meetings with the presidents of the United States and China in the span of three months.
But when Prince William did, he urged them both to add their political muscle and influence to the ongoing fight against illegal wildlife trade.
And both world leaders must have felt William’s passion for the cause as President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping have issued a joint statement on their countries’ aims to combat wildlife trafficking.
Crucial to their commitment is a clampdown on the import and export of ivory. In a joint declaration following the Chinese president’s state visit to the U.S., they said they recognize the “importance and urgency” of the fight.
Emphasizing their commitment to working with other counties to combat the trade, they said they hope to “enact nearly complete bans on ivory import and export, including significant and timely restrictions on the import of ivory as hunting trophies, and to take significant and timely steps to halt the domestic commercial trade of ivory.”
“The two sides decided to further cooperate in joint training, technical exchanges, information sharing, and public education on combating wildlife trafficking, and enhance international law enforcement cooperation in this field,” the statement continued.
William’s office at Kensington Palace didn’t provide any additional comments, but they did share a Tweet about William’s efforts to raise the important issue with the two leaders over the past year.
The prince, who set up the conservation organization, United For Wildlife, met President Obama at the White House in December and made a hard-hitting appeal in China when he spoke about the issue during his visit with President Xi Jinping in March.
The news comes as William prepares to make a direct television appeal to Chinese consumers via a speech that will be shown on China’s top-rated TV channel. The upcoming broadcast of the speech, which will be in English in a show called Let’s Talk, will air around the same time as a state visit to London by the Chinese president and his wife, Peng Liyuan.
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