Remarks by His Majesty The King at the United Nations Office Nairobi, Kenya


As we look ahead to COP twenty-eight in another months time, we must remember what President Ruto said at the Africa Climate Summit – “we go far when we go together”.

Director General, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I can assure you that I have had a wonderfully warm welcome coming here. I could not get over how many staff were waiting outside and I fear it may have caused a total disruption to the smooth running of this remarkable organisation, particularly if I’ve ruined their lunch break!

I cannot tell you how enormously touched I am that you have invited me to be with you today at the centre of global efforts to protect our planet for future generations. As you might know, I have long cared deeply about this increasingly urgent mission, and I am moved by your very warm welcome and kind words.

It matters greatly, I think, that for over fifty years, the United Nations' environmental leadership has been based here in the heart of Africa – the only U.N. Headquarters in the Commonwealth. I have seen at first hand the devastating effects of climate change and biodiversity loss across the Commonwealth: from rising sea levels that threaten small island states and coastal communities, to droughts that have left millions at risk of famine. Wildfires have left countless acres bereft of the healthy forests that sustain our planet and our livelihoods, and cyclones and floods continue to devastate both farms and cities. It is particularly heart-breaking to know that in the Horn of Africa alone, tens of millions of people face severe hunger and drought.

As I am sure the many experts in this room know only too well, left unchecked, global warming, biodiversity loss and climate change are challenges which threaten us all and can only be met by the whole of society working together in the spirit of action, partnership and commitment. Nowhere is this spirit better embodied than here, in all of you. Your tireless efforts to find common ground have given birth to the treaties on which global environmental action now depends. Thanks to you, and particularly to the U.N. Environment Programme and U.N. Habitat, plastics are being removed from our oceans and the hole in the ozone layer is shrinking. Similarly, countless U.N. agencies from within the U.N. family are working together to support those who suffer from food and water insecurity. I hope that the Global Food Security Summit that the United Kingdom will host, will contribute to these efforts to build more climate resilient and sustainable food systems.

I really am sorry that I am unlikely to get to meet quite all of the thousands of people who work here, from across all the U.N.'s agencies. But I particularly wanted to visit your Headquarters to thank and encourage you all. Put simply, as a result of your efforts, millions of the most vulnerable people in the world have a greater measure of security, safety and support.

As we heard at the Africa Climate Summit, action is needed desperately to conserve and save our natural world, to after all, there are 100’s of millions of hectares of depleted land all across the world, with 700 million alone in Africa, that could be brought back to life in order to help those countries and communities on the front line of this crisis. Kenya, through its leadership and the ingenuity of its youth, will play a vital role – but only through continued cooperation will we succeed.

As we look ahead to COP twenty-eight in another months time, we must remember what President Ruto said at the Africa Climate Summit – “we go far when we go together”.

Tufaulu pamoja

[Let’s succeed together]

na asanteni sana

[thank you all]

for being here today.

Related content


Commonwealth Day 2024

11 March 2024
Commonwealth Day Service 2024

The King's Commonwealth Day Message 2024

The Commonwealth family is strongest when we are connected, through friendship.

11 March 2024

A speech by His Majesty The King at the opening of COP28, Dubai, U.A.E

Change will come by working together and making it easier to embrace decisions that will sustain our world, rather than carry on as though there are no limits – or as though...

01 December 2023
Press release November 2023

The King will attend COP28 UAE

Read more

A Speech by His Majesty The King at the State Banquet, Kenya

We both take considerable pride in renewing the ties between the United Kingdom and Kenya, a country that has long held such special meaning for my family.

31 October 2023

State Visit to Kenya

03 November 2023
The King and Queen at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage

Commonwealth Day 2023

13 March 2023
The King signs the Commonwealth Charter

The King and Diplomacy

Find out more about The King's work representing the UK at home and abroad.
King Charles III receives Francella Strickland, the High Commissioner of Samoa

A speech by The Prince of Wales at the Accra International Convention Centre, Accra, Ghana

It is clear to me that the Commonwealth remains as vital today, as it has ever been. It brings us together, building bridges between our governments and our people

05 November 2018

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess Cornwall tour of Ghana

Find out more about The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's tour of West Africa

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018

Find out more about Royal events at this year's meeting, which is being held in London

Commonwealth Day 2018

12 March 2018
Press release 27 July 2017

Opening of The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

Read more

Remembrance 2016

The Queen and the Royal Family attend engagements to mark Remembrance 2016

Day two of #ColombiaStateVisit

02 November 2016
Press release 28 October 2015

The Queen will open the Commonwealth Games

Read more
Press release 27 October 2015

State Visit to Malta and CHOGM

Read more
Press release March 2015

Mexico State Visit Programme

Read more
Press release April 2013

United Arab Emirates State Visit Programme

Read more
Press release October 2012

Indonesian State Visit Programme

Read more
Press release 14 December 2011

Regional and overseas visits to mark the Diamond Jubilee

Read more
Press release October 2010

Qatar State Visit Programme

Read more

State Visit, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, 7 March 2006

I have vivid and happy memories of my visit to Brazil with Prince Philip in 1968, especially the warmth and hospitality of the Brazilian people.

07 March 2006