UNODC CHIEF COMMENDS SEYCHELLES CONTRIBUTION TO ANTIPIRACY EFFORT
President James Michel met with the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Mr. Yuri Fedotov, at State House this morning.
The meeting was attended by the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, Mr. Joel Morgan, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, as well as the Regional Representative for UNODC Ms. Loide Lungameni, the Regional Coordinator for UNODC, Mr. Alan Cole, and the UNODC Programme Management Officer, Mr. Sergey Peresada.
President Michel thanked the UNODC for the support Seychelles is receiving in the fight against piracy, such as the construction of a prison building for pirates at the Montagne Posee Prison as well as contribution towards projects such as the Juvenile Detention Centre.
“ We can work together to further strengthen our strategic partnership, and encourage other countries of the Indian Ocean region to share the burden of the fight against piracy. Seychelles remains committed to the work of bringing the pirates to justice and we will continue to put emphasis on the importance of targeting the financiers of piracy,” said President Michel.
The President and the Executive Director also discussed areas in which the UNODC can develop its support to the Seychelles judiciary, the Social Renaissance programme, as well as reinforcing anti-money laundering initiatives.
“I was very pleased with the President’s commitment and support for UNODC. The purpose of my mission to East Africa, include the Seychelles, is to see what more can be done to support countries in the region to fight the scourge of piracy off the coast of Somalia. We are trying to help countries including Seychelles. I would like to commend the contribution of Seychelles in terms of prosecution and jailing pirates. If you see the number of pirates being held in Seychelles and compared to the population of this country, of course that should be the greatest country which takes very seriously the fight against the pirates. We fully understand that, that is a very heavy burden for the Seychelles that is why we will continue to encourage other countries in the region to do the same, to follow the example of the Seychelles, but also we are going to insist and to encourage that the pirates should be transferred to Somalia to serve their sentences, said Mr. Fedotov.
The Executive Director of the UNODC said that following his visit to Seychelles he will travel to Puntland, Somalia, to lay a foundation stone for a new prison for piracy convicts.
“ The jail will be completed in October next year and that would enhance the capacities to absorb more pirates, including from the Seychelles,” he said.