Indian Ocean Commission, African Union and Seychelles discuss greater cooperation
Seychelles Foreign Minister, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, has met with the African Union Chairperson, Mr. Jean Ping, to discuss the increased cooperation between the Indian Ocean Commission and the AU, as well as Seychelles and the AU, particularly in the area of piracy in the Indian Ocean.
During a brief stop-over visit to Seychelles yesterday, the minister took the opportunity to thank Mr. Ping and the AU for the recent acceptance of the Indian Ocean Commission to official observer status within the AU.
"The IOC is becoming an increasingly important voice in the region and the opportunity to engage with the wider African continent on such an important platform as the AU, particularly when it comes to piracy concerns whose effects are not exclusive to Indian Ocean islands," said the Minister.
Among other issues discussed, the increased engagement of the AU in fighting the scourge of piracy featured prominently.
The Minister briefed Mr. Ping on recent developments in the region, particularly since Seychelles assumed presidency of the IOC in October last year. It was agreed that as the issue of piracy and instability in Somalia is of great importance to the African region, due attention would be given to the ongoing struggle in the run-up to the AU Summit being held later this month.
It was also noted that there was a need to further strengthen the African Mission in Somalia (AMISSOM), with the possibility of developing a naval element to the operation.
The AU is a pan-African organization whose goal is to propel a united continent towards peace and prosperity. The AU supports political and economic integration among its now 54 member states, with the recent inclusion of the republic of South Sudan.
It aims to secure Africa's democracy, human rights, and a sustainable economy, especially by bringing an end to intra-African conflict and creating an effective common market.
Seychelles has been a member of the preceding organization, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), since independence in 1976, and has remained a member after its modernization to the African Union.