UN chief adopts lion cub to support efforts against wildlife trafficking

NAIROBI: UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has adopted a lion cub in Nairobi National Park as a sign of support for efforts against the trafficking of animals around the world, following a week of high-level United Nations discussions on the environment.

“I adopted this lion cub with the hope that all human beings and animals can live in peace and harmony,” Mr. Ban told reporters in the Kenyan capital. “Human beings should know how to live harmoniously with Mother Nature.” Mr. Ban also said he adopted the six-month old cub, whose Kiswahili name Tumaini means “hope”, to show solidarity for the preservation efforts of the Kenyan people, and as a token of his concern for the Kenya Wildlife Service and park rangers.

“Wildlife crime is not simply a threat to animals,” Mr. Ban said. “With its links to organised crime and even insurgent groups, it is a major security issue.” “The same routes used to smuggle wildlife and timber across countries and continents are often used to smuggle weapons, drugs and people,” he added.

During a meeting this afternoon with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr. Ban discussed international terrorism and security issues, particularly how the UN and the Kenyan Government can work together to reinforce and enhance the capacity of Kenyan security forces.

Referring to the repeated abduction of Nigerian school girls, Mr. Ban said that terrorism must be addressed comprehensively, “Not one single country or one single organisation can handle this on its own. We have to have unity and solidarity among nations.” Mr. Ban also attended the closing ceremony of the inaugural UN Environment Assembly, which addressed illegal wildlife trafficking, as well as sustainable consumption and production, the green economy, and the links between environment, poverty and human well-being.