The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon adopted a lion cub in Nairobi National Park as a sign of support for efforts against wildlife trafficking.
Mr. Ban 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.”
Speaking to reporters in Nairobi on Saturday, Mr Ban said he adopted the lion with hope that all human beings and animals can live in peace and harmony.
“Human beings should know how to live harmoniously with our Mother Nature,” Mr Ban added.
This followed a week of high-level United Nations discussions on the environment. He attended the closing ceremony of the inaugural UN Environment Assembly (UNEA), 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.
The UN Chief said the same routes used to smuggle wildlife and timber across countries and continents are often used to smuggle weapons, drugs and people.
During a meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr. Ban also 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.
“Not one single country or one single organization can handle this on its own. We have to have unity and solidarity among nations.”
He emphasized that terrorism must be addressed comprehensively.