Getting our priorities right

by | Jan 10, 2011


I am hugely reassured to hear that, in this era of global crisis, British diplomats are focusing on the really important issues:

An agreement has been signed to bring two giant pandas to Edinburgh Zoo, the first to live in the UK for 17 years.

The deal was signed at Lancaster House in London by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association.

It was witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Vice Premier of China Li Keqiang.

Tian Tian and Yangguang, a breeding pair born in 2003, will be under the custodianship of the zoo society.

The project represents the culmination of five years of political and diplomatic negotiation at the highest level and it is anticipated the giant pandas will arrive in their new home as soon as a date is agreed.

The Chinese government is said to charge around $2m a year to rent a pair of pandas. Apparently though, “the Giant Panda Project will be funded through sponsorship, offering unparalleled opportunities in terms of international corporate, commercial and diplomatic relationships between China and the UK.”

Happy days.

Author

  • David Steven is a senior fellow at New York University, where he founded the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children and the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, a multi-stakeholder partnership to deliver the SDG targets for preventing all forms of violence, strengthening governance, and promoting justice and inclusion. He was lead author for the ministerial Task Force on Justice for All and senior external adviser for the UN-World Bank flagship study on prevention, Pathways for Peace. He is a former senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-author of The Risk Pivot: Great Powers, International Security, and the Energy Revolution (Brookings Institution Press, 2014). In 2001, he helped develop and launch the UK’s network of climate diplomats. David lives in and works from Pisa, Italy.


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