Commonwealth can be 'pivotal' in solving global issues, Prince of Wales says

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The Commonwealth can play a "pivotal" role in tackling global challenges, the Prince of Wales has said in the keynote speech of his south-east Asia tour.

Charles highlighted how the family of nations could draw on its "wide range of national contexts, experiences, traditions" in finding a solution to the major issues, as he addressed Malaysian leaders with the Duchess of Cornwall.

In his speech he highlighted problems such as climate change, overpopulation in cities and the threat to the world's oceans.

His comments made at a Kuala Lumpur gala dinner celebrating 60 years of UK-Malaysian diplomatic relations, are a statement of his belief in the Commonwealth - Britain's former empire - which have been a fundamental part of the Queen's public life.

When Charles becomes King it is thought he will not automatically follow the Queen and become head of the Commonwealth, as it is ultimately up to the 52 nation's heads of government to decide what they want to do with the symbolic non-hereditary post.

But with the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting being staged in London next April, the heir to the throne is likely to play an important role supporting the Queen and his speech has highlighted his strong commitment institution.

In contrast to the serious points about the future of the planet, earlier the Prince was photographed emerging from a replica of Doctor Who's Tardis when he visited a co-working space aimed at supporting start up companies in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

He emerged from the famous Time Lord's time machine and joked with the waiting photographers before meeting young entrepreneurs, established business leaders and tech-savvy school children.

Speaking at an exclusive hotel to Malaysia's rulers including the head of state, prime minister and leading Malaysians from all walks of life, Charles said of the problems he highlighted: "For the resolution of all these issues, the Commonwealth should, and does, have a pivotal role to play.

"Representing a third of the world's population and a fifth of its land-mass, it can draw on a uniquely wide range of national contexts, experiences, traditions and, above all, professional associations - something, of course, which makes the Commonwealth unlike anything else in the world - for the solutions that we all so desperately need now."