Your Royal Highness, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen I can only offer you my deepest gratitude for your attendance at what, perhaps might, for you never know, come to be regarded as a truly historic meeting. A meeting when some of the World’s pre-eminent leaders, in the middle of grappling with the worst financial and economic crisis in living memory, had the wisdom and foresight to pause, consider and determine a course of action to save the planet’s rainforests and therefore secure the future of our children and grandchildren. For that is what it is really all about.
I am profoundly grateful that so much support has been expressed for the establishment of the International Working Group and that such a rigorous and to me at least, appropriate, timetable has been approved.
If I may, I should like to write to each of you, setting out what has been agreed this afternoon. I hope you would agree that, at the very least, we have made substantial progress in a very short time and I am only sorry that not everyone at the table has had the chance to express a view.
Over the next 24 hours you will be seeking answers to the grave financial problems with which the world is faced. You will, I am sure, come up with many solutions to stimulate the World’s economy in a sustainable way. I believe that the consensus achieved at this meeting will enable the development of an approach to dealing with the issue of deforestation capable not only of easing the plight of millions of the poorest people on our planet but also of giving us that most elusive and precious gift in our fight against climate change, time.