The newly appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport has said the ministry in 2015 will carry on the work of his predecessor and the approach to diplomacy will continue to be based on pragmatism and reciprocity.
Minister Joel Morgan made the remark when addressing members of the diplomatic corps gathered for the annual diplomatic cocktail hosted by the ministry at La Plaine St Andre on Friday evening.
Also present for the event was Vice-President Danny Faure, several ministers, other distinguished guests and staff of the ministry.
“We need to ensure that Seychelles remains as visible as ever on the international stage,” Minister Morgan pointed out, stressing that Seychelles must continue to be vocal in expressing its opinion and position based on our priorities as a country and as a responsible player in the international system.
“This forms the basis of our campaign for a seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2017-18,” he added.
He noted that this year will be a significant one for Seychelles as we will join the rest of the world in commemorating the 70th anniversary of the United Nations and we will also see the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). But Minister Morgan did not miss to draw attention to the uncertainty with which 2015 began as we witnessed horrific terror attacks in France and other parts of the world.
“Seychelles will continue to express its unreserved condemnation in the face of atrocities perpetrated by terrorist groups,” Minister Morgan told everyone present.
He said Seychelles will also continue to advocate for peaceful resolutions to conflicts and disputes through dialogue and diplomatic processes that restore constitutional order, address genuine grievances and promote reconciliation.
Looking back at Seychelles’ diplomatic achievements of 2014, Minister Morgan acknowledged the invaluable support of its foreign partners which he said “allowed us to look forward to 2015 with confidence and optimism as we work towards consolidating further victories for Seychelles”.
“2014 has been a particularly productive year for Seychelles on the diplomatic front. We have proven on numerous occasions that our size will not be the barometer on which our actions will be measured,” Minister Morgan pointed out.
He said we have been the determined island nation that President James Michel encouraged us to be during the International Year of Small Island States.
He added that Seychelles has a diverse group of dynamic and committed individuals who chose to rise to the challenge and create a dynamic and proactive nation which is not afraid to speak its mind on global issues and ensure our voice was heard in the great halls of international forums.
Minister Morgan stressed that this is not an easy endeavour as the numerous challenges faced by the international community today continue to test our ability to cooperate.
“But owing to the strength and resilience of the values and principles that have always guided our foreign policy, we remain engaged and relevant,” Minister Morgan pointed out.
Minister Morgan also availed of the opportunity to on behalf of President Michel and the Seychellois people express sincere gratitude to all our partners for their unfailing support to our development efforts and initiatives.
He also commended the high standard and quality of the work carried out by his predecessor Minister Jean-Paul Adam.
For her part the dean of the diplomatic corps, British high commissioner Lindsay Skoll congratulated Minister Morgan on his new appointment as well as for the continuity and fresh perspective she said she expects he will bring to the ministry.
Ms Skoll pointed out that as diplomats posted here, no matter which country they represent, it is not hard to be impressed by the various successes which have granted tiny Seychelles a continental leadership position, be it in health care, education, gender equality or per capita GDP.
“But where we as diplomats can truly add value is in offering an outsider’s voice — as a friend who cares, who is honest and frank — that we best serve both our own governments and the government and people of Seychelles,” Ms Skoll stressed.
“While we applaud Seychelles’ rising levels of income, we will help work with you in partnership to address the growing income inequality. We will support and applaud your international commitments to progress on human rights, but equally encourage and assist an active human rights agenda and commitments embedded at home,” Ms Skoll added.
Minister Morgan and Ms Skoll then toast to last year’s achievements, to the year ahead, to the work done by Minister Adam and the team at Maison Queau de Quinssy and to more successes in 2015.
Source : http://www.nation.sc (Seychelles)