Seychelles is committed to working closely with India in responding to security threats
During his state visit to India, Seychelles President James Michel delivered the 19th Sapru House Lecture at the Indian Council for World Affairs, on the theme ‘Maritime Security for the Blue Economy.’
Director General of the ICWA, Ambassador Nalin Surie, welcomed the President and his delegation, and presented them to an audience of distinguished academics, diplomats and journalists.
In his address, President Michel stated that India and Seychelles have a shared interest in the maritime security of the Indian Ocean, which he said is an element of their collective human security.
The President said; “It is therefore important that we continue to strive for ownership of our maritime safety and security. We cannot leave it others to secure our maritime space.”
He called for greater cooperation between India and Seychelles in the maritime sphere, especially as the Indian Ocean is a shared space that that connects the two countries to the world and is a critical space for world trade.
“Seychelles is committed to working closely with India in responding to security threats and ensuring the safety of our sea-lanes, the arteries of trade with the outside world. Today we have with India an exemplary partnership in the defense and security sectors. India’s determined and pro-active action in the fight against piracy and other forms of transnational crimes is highly commendable. We have, for our part, been successful in prevailing over piracy, to the extent that it no longer poses the existential threat that it did at the outset of the piracy crisis. But we have to remain vigilant. Seychelles will continue to act decisively with India against all forms of transnational crimes,” he said.
Mr. Michel said that Seychelles wishes for the ocean to remain a space for development for the benefit of the peoples of the region, and would work towards ensuring its sustainable use.
“India is an inspiring maritime nation. We are extremely pleased to have India as a partner in the development of our Blue Economy. The signature of the agreement yesterday between India and Seychelles in the field of the Blue Economy will increase our understanding of marine ecology and resources. It will be a major boost to our scientific and economic cooperation….The Blue Economy is key to our future as an island state. It is also key to the future of the Indian Ocean region. It is key to the future of Africa and indeed key to the future of the world as a whole.”
The President noted that today the Blue Economy is an important component of debate and action on the international agenda, including the economic agenda of the Indian Ocean Commission and the Indian Ocean Rim Association. It is an integral component of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 as well as the Organisation’s Integrated Maritime Strategy. It is also a key element of the new United Nation’s sustainable development goals of the Post 2015 Development Agenda.
Following the President’s introductory remarks, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Mr. Joel Morgan, and the Minister for Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, addressed the members of the Indian Council of World Affairs, to provide further analysis of the challenges concerning maritime security and the Blue Economy. They also participated in a Question-and-Answer Session with members of the audience.
- For the full text of the President’s speech, see http://www.statehouse.gov.sc/speeches.php?news_id=2856
- The Indian Council of World Affairs was established in 1943 by a group of Indian intellectuals as a think tank. By an Act of Parliament in 2001, the Indian Council of World Affairs has been declared an institution of national importance. The Vice President of India is the ex-officio President of ICWA.