BUILDING A PARTNERSHIP FOR INDIAN OCEAN PEACE AND SECURITY
President James Michel has called on the international community to build a partnership to ensure peace and security in the Indian Ocean, during the opening ceremony of the Symposium on Piracy this afternoon.
President Michel said that the piracy activity off the Somali coast is potentially one of the most disruptive forces to sustainable development of the region, and that Seychelles has suffered a loss of 4% of GDP in 2009 due to the costs of piracy.
“ Insurance costs have ballooned by 50%. Port and fisheries receipts have dropped by 30%. And we are spending over 2.3 million Euros per year on our anti-piracy patrols and surveillance. While trade levels drop, anarchy is being exported across our region,” said President Michel.
President Michel said that Seychelles is committed to its antipiracy efforts.
“ But we will not succeed alone….. We have to be armed with a realistic appreciation of the situation and make informed decisions, as individual States, as a region, and as part of the international community. A piecemeal approach will simply defer the problem.”
The President said that the Seychelles’ maritime security plan is spread over a 30-year period and that this had an optimistic outlook, where Seychelles would succeed in addressing the piracy problem with the aid of its partners in the search for a durable solution.
“Enhancing our existing actions puts an additional strain on all our resources at this time of austerity around the world. But the cost will only increase tomorrow, if we don’t action now! So let us act today.”
The Symposium on Piracy includes the participation of high-level representatives from the United Nations Secretary General’s Office, the African Union, the Indian Ocean Commission, SADC, COMESA, the United Nations office on Drugs and Crime, the International Maritime Organizations, Interpol, the World Bank, the EU, NATO, as well as representatives from the UK, France, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Italy, Japan, the US, Canada, South Africa, Mauritius, Madagascar, the Maldives, Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti, Egypt, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, China, India, and Russia.