36th SADC Mission for Heads of State and Government: Seychelles welcomes SADC Observer Mission
The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Barry Faure, represented the President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr James Michel, at the 36th Summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government held in Lozitha, Swaziland, from 30th to 31st August 2016. The Chair of the organisation is now assumed by His Majesty King Mswati III, King of Swaziland, who succeeds Lieutenant General Dr Seretse Khama, President of Botswana.
Speaking on the subject of governance in the region, Secretary of State Faure conveyed the appreciation of President Michel to the SADC Electoral Observer Mission’s report on the December 2015 Presidential Election. The Lozitha Summit commended Seychelles for holding a ‘credible and successful election” last December. He also spoke about the preparations for the forthcoming National Assembly election and welcomed the presence of the Observer Mission once more.
The incoming Chair of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security cooperation, Tanzania, is despatching its Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Coorperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga, to officially launch the SADC electoral observer mission on Friday 2nd September.
Secretary of State Faure, reflecting on this year’s Summit theme ‘Resource Mobilisation for Sustainable Energy Infrastructure for an Inclusive SADC Industrialisation for the Prosperity of the Region’,said that it demonstrates the region’s continued resolve to intensify its efforts to mobilise resources to drive our regional integration process. He reiterated how “the shift to sustainable energy can be an engine for poverty reduction, social progress, enhanced resilience, economic growth and environmental sustainability”.
Secretary of State Faure also commended the outgoing Chair of SADC, Lieutenant General Dr Seretse Khama of Botswana, for his initiatives to address challenges impeding the implementation of SADC regional integration agenda. ‘Poverty Eradication and Food Security’, ‘Energy and Water Crisis’ and ‘Illegal trade in Wildlife’ are challenges for member states to address as a matter of priority and it is vital they establish a framework to agree on practical solutions in addressing these challenges.
Secretary of State Faure further reiterated President Michel’s support for President Khama’s Declaration of the Regional Drought Disaster and the Regional Humanitarian Appeal, launched on 26th July 2016 on behalf of SADC. He noted that our region will continue to be faced by the challenges brought about by Climate Change and that, as a country that is also facing similar challenges, Seychelles strongly supports this initiative which aims to address the serious threat to food security and the displacement of populations.
Finally, Seychelles submitted earlier in the year the candidature of Ambassador Dr Erna Athanasius for one of the five positions of the Panel of Elders within the framework of the SADC Mediation, Conflict Prevention and Preventive Diplomacy Structure. The Summit endorsed Dr Athanasius’ appointment as the fifth member of the panel.
Other members of the Seychelles delegation were: Mr Claude Morel, the Non-Resident High Commissioner of the Republic of Seychelles to the Kingdom of Swaziland and Permanent Representative to SADC; Mr Kenneth Racombo, Director General for Development and Regional Integration of the Department of Foreign Affairs; Mr Nasser Mansoor, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Seychelles in the Kingdom of Swaziland; and Ms Sandra Isnard, Technical Officer from Department of Foreign Affairs.
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