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Remarks by Jean-Paul Adam, Minister of Foreign Affairs on the Occasion of the Ministry Open Day

13.12.2012

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

It is our great pleasure to welcome you once again to our 3rd Ministry Open day.

Our ministry’s open day is symbolic of the way in which Seychelles’ active diplomacy aspires to make us be both better connected to the world, as well as with our own community.

Former Secretary General Kofi Annan has previously remarked that a ‘global era requires global engagement’.

While our own global engagement may be seen to be limited by our small size, we know that non-engagement is not an option.  Whether it is a question of economic crisis, or the threat of piracy- events far from our shores impact our daily lives.

And we are determined not to simply be victims of global processes.

From piracy to climate change, we have shown how we can have an influence at the global level.  On many issues we have illustrated how the action of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) can have a meaningful impact.

For a small country- finding an effective voice is always challenging.

We can be very proud of how, through our embassies, and through our team of dedicated diplomatic staff both in Seychelles and abroad, we are able to channel our messages effectively.

Our open day today highlights particularly the role that our diplomatic missions play in representing our interests abroad.

With our embassies, that are often operating on a skeleton staff, we are projecting a strong image for Seychelles, whilst also providing support to Seychelles’ strategic and economic interests, as well as helping expatriate and travelling Seychellois as much as possible in terms of visas and consular assistance.

We appreciate this opportunity to showcase but a few of their many efforts to ensure that our flag flies as high as possible.

Our embassies have played a critical role in supporting the enhanced engagement of Seychelles internationally.  Through our embassies we are engaged in some of the most important ongoing debates of our time- the efforts to tackle climate change and piracy, as well as ongoing trade negotiations, whether in terms of the Economic Partnership Agreements with the EU, or in terms of getting more support from regional development organisations.

In 2012, we are also pleased to have strengthened our bilateral relations with a number of our bilateral partners in a very significant way.

I would thus also like to thank all those states who have embassies present in Seychelles, and whose engagement is also reflected in this open day.

We have often said, that we also consider you as our own locally based ambassadors, and we appreciate how much you have contributed to help Seychelles be better connected to the world at this time of great uncertainty.

This year we have also engaged in enhancing our ‘circle of friendship’ in the Indian Ocean.  It is clear that our own stability can only be as certain as the stability of our neighbours.

In the context of creating a new architecture for sustainable development after Rio +20, these regional partnerships are going to be even more important for the concepts of the ‘green economy’ and the ‘blue economy’.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

President Michel also announced earlier this year, Seychelles’ intention to bid for a Security Council Seat for the period 2017-2018.

We believe that Seychelles, and all Seychellois, have a lot to share with the rest of the world, while we also want to use this campaign as a learning experience.

In terms of global governance structures, the Security Council represents one of the foremost institutions.  By aiming to become the smallest state to ever serve on the UNSC, we want to truly create awareness of the importance of inclusion and participation of all states in the international system.

Our Security Council represents an opportunity for all Seychellois.  We are aiming to give ourselves an even stronger voice on the global stage.

I am very encouraged by the support that has been expressed from a wide variety of representatives in our society.  I also welcome the opportunity to further discuss the bid with all who still have questions on the subject.  Our candidature is positioned in the spirit of provoking debate about the most important issues for us in the international system.

 

Excellences, Mesdameset Messieurs,

Le mois prochain, la présidenceseychelloise de la COI arrive à sa fin.  Nous avonsœuvré pendant cettepériode à mieuxappuyer les capacités de nosétatsmembres à luttercontre la piraterie, à mieuxdéfendre les intérêts des petitsétatsinsulaires, à mieuxcombattre le changementclimatique et à trouver des solutions aux défisquereprésente le manque de connections maritime ouaériennes entre nosespacesinsulaires.

Pendant notreprésidence nous avonsappuyé la mise en œuvre de la feuille de route de la SADC en ce qui concerne la sortie de crise à Madagascar.  Les deuxmédiationstenues aux Seychelles nous ontpermis de confirmer le soutien des deuxprincipauxprotagonistes à l’organisation des élections en mai 2013.  Lors du Sommet de la SADC à Maputo en aout, les Chefs d’Etats et de gouvernementontvalidé les propositions adoptées aux Seychelles, y compriscelledemandant aux deuxprotagonistes de s’abstenir de se présenter aux prochainesélections.

La résolution de la crisemalgachedemeureunepriorité pour la famille de la COI, et nous restonsconvaincusquec’estl’organisation des élections, dans la paix et la sérénité en mai, qui marqueradéfinitivement la fin de cettecrise.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Before concluding, I would like to take this opportunity to express my most sincere appreciation to all the staff of the ministry- here at MaisonQuéau de Quinssy and at our missions- not only to organise this open day- but to also work diligently to make Seychelles’ voice heard consistently.

In the last few years, we often find ourselves in new and unfamiliar situations.  And I am proud of how our staff have responded.  We know there are many more challenges ahead.  I am very encouraged that we have the team to be able to take on these challenges.

I thank you all also for being here today to support their efforts.

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