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Opening Remarks by Minister of Foreign Affairs Honorary Consuls Conference Savoy Hotel, 24th October 2016

24.10.2016

Monsieur le Président de la République

Mesdames et Messieurs les Ministres

Excellences Mesdames et Messieurs les Ambassadeurs

Mesdames et Messieurs les Consuls et Consuls honoraires

Distingués Invités

Mesdames et Messieurs,

 

Je voudrais avant tout vous dire combien je suis honoré de vous accueillir à cette importante Conférence qui reste pour moi un excellent moment de partage.  Vous devinez sans doute la joie et l’émotion qui sont les miennes aujourd’hui.  D’abord, c’est la première conférence des Consuls à laquelle j’ai le privilège de m’adresser depuis mon accession à la tête de la diplomatie seychelloise.  Ensuite, c’est la première grande rencontre, qui se voit offrir le privilège d’accueillir le nouveau Président de la République Monsieur Danny Faure quelques jours seulement après son investiture.  Enfin, et non moins important, c’est l’occasion de vous rencontrer,  vous avec lesquels nous avons établi des relations amicales, faites de cordialité et de respect.

Aussi, est-il important de préciser que, si j’ai tenu à renouer avec la tradition de cette conférence,  c’est parce que j’ai la ferme conviction qu’elle offre le cadre idéal pour livrer une réflexion intelligente sur nos relations consulaires, en passant en revue ses acquis, ses capacités et ses potentialités ainsi que les défis qu'elles se doivent de relever. 

 

Mon souhait est qu’elle continue à être un rendez-vous régulier et un moment d’échanges avec vous et les Ambassadeurs: le thème choisi, à savoir « Renforcer l'engagement international des Seychelles », traduisant éloquemment tous les espoirs placés en elle.

 

Je me réjouis de la pertinence de ce thème,  car il incite à faire de cette rencontre une occasion propice pour engager entre nous les consultations et les concertations nécessaires, afin de définir les actions et les initiatives devant régir les actions à venir, conformément aux orientations de la diplomatie seychelloise. Il s'agit donc de renforcer la performance consulaire et, partant, de conforter la position des Seychelles dans vos pays respectifs.

 

Merci à tous les Consuls et Ambassadeurs qui nous accompagnent aujourd’hui, et qui, individuellement ou collectivement, participent à la qualité de nos relations pour le plus grand bien de nos citoyens et de nos peuples respectifs. 

Merci aussi à tous ceux qui, selon une tradition maintenant bien établie, participent régulièrement au rehaussement de cette conférence.

Merci également à tous ceux qui ont contribué à organiser merveilleusement cette conférence et continuent à lui donner un supplément d’âme et de chaleur.

 

Excellencies, 

Ministers, 

Ambassadors, 

Consuls from near and far, 

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

On this most auspicious occasion it is my distinct pleasure to welcome you to this Consuls’ Conference.

 

In this day and age, a country’s weight in the global arena is no longer measured in terms of its size, but rather in its capacity and willingness to effectively contribute to the search for solutions to the growing number of challenges of a transnational nature besetting humanity.  Our honorary consuls and consuls general symbolise the global reach of the foreign policy of one of the smallest countries in the world.  They are spread over 95 cities in 65 countries across the globe.  They are the proud consular representatives of a maritime, small island developing state with high ambitions which can be summed up as an unflinching willingness to offer the Seychellois people access to the best quality of life its society can offer and sustain, while smartly navigating the meanders of a complex global order.  As movers and shakers of this tall order, they must be apprised of the various drivers of this high ambition and the mechanisms of its delivery.

This is the very objective of this Consul’s Conference. 

 

Distinguished Guests

In a globalised world, a country can only be on the winning side if it enhances economic cooperation with other nations.  It is imperative that we build on the foundations in place and make the most of the mileage we have procured.  In this context, we will have a more credible and visible presence in the international arena.

 

The Blue Economy is a key element of our international policy.  The ocean, of course, is one of our greatest assets.  And this is why our contributions to International Forums, Seminars, Conferences and Summits have in recent times encapsulated this concept.  Seychelles continues to spearhead the Blue Economy concept worldwide.  It has taken a leadership role in promulgating policy in line with objectives that are unquestionably for the benefit of all countries.  In this regard, Small Island Developing States, or SIDS, require sustained support in terms of resilience and capacity building.  I urge you all to continue to support Seychelles in this regard. 

 

We experienced a 19% increase in tourism arrivals in the last year.   Tourism is one of our key industries and I am proud to see that Seychelles remains an increasingly attractive tourist destination.   We must continue to sustain this and aim for continual but sustainable growth.   The region and market is highly competitive but we believe that Seychelles under the slogan of ‘Seychelles Islands, Another World’ can distinguish itself from the rest. 

 

Distinguished Guests

 

While we are touching on the tourism industry – I believe this to be a fitting occasion in which to express my gratitude to you all for your part in orchestrating another wonderful carnival this year.  This annual event, showcasing the very best in which Seychelles has to offer has become a permanent fixture in the Calendar and has acquired considerable international exposure.  The concoction of vibrant cultures, myriad of colours and ethnicities welcome the world and depict Victoria at its very best. We are a country with roots from Africa, Asia and Europe and this is a celebration of our diversity – the work of you all who have contributed to bring delegations to Seychelles has been well noted and I thank you. 

 

Our national airline in collaboration with Etihad airways continues to move from strength to strength.  We maintained the four star airline classification by Skytrax earlier this year.  This partnership has indeed made the facilitation and quality of travel both easier and more comfortable.  The surge in tourist arrivals is certainly testament to this.  The knock-on effect of this is, of course, increased job opportunities, increased productivity and delivery of services by the private sector.  Our partnership with Etihad has also enabled many of our nationals to undertake training in Abu Dhabi and acquire first hand expertise and knowledge in state of the art facilities. 

 

Dear Consuls, Dear Friends

This conference provides us all with an invaluable opportunity to connect, formulate new strategies to enhance more effective communication and to establish mechanisms to provide you all with the necessary support required.  

 

Before I finish, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Savoy Hotel for accommodating us all.  Not just this morning, but throughout the ensuing days.  I think that this is a fitting and beautiful location to hold such a meeting and I’m sure it will be one that proves to be truly constructive. 

 

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you.

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