Seychelles President James Michel received the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, at State House this evening. The two leaders discussed state affairs in a tête-à-tête meeting before joining a bilateral meeting which was attended by Vice-President Danny Faure, Seychelles Government Ministers, and other senior officials from the United Nations delegation.
In his introductory remarks at the bilateral meeting, President Michel welcomed the Secretary-General and his delegation to Seychelles and expressed his appreciation for Mr. Ban Ki-Moon’s inspiring leadership in building peace, development, and prosperity in the world.
“We are deeply thankful for your valued and consistent support to the position of Small Island States like Seychelles. Such support has transformed our development perspectives… and has given us a powerful voice in the international scene,” said President Michel.
The discussions centered on climate change, democracy, development goals, sustainable use, and conservation of oceanic resources, as well as the fights against terrorism, corruption, and piracy in the world.
The UN Secretary-General congratulated President Michel on his re-election and commended his commitment to democracy and democratic values.
He said that Seychelles had made a great impact in the international arena in championing the cause of Small Island Developing States and the fight against climate change.
Following the meeting, the two leaders addressed members of the Seychelles and UN media.
“Mr. Ban Ki-moon and myself have agreed on the seriousness and urgency of the threat posed by climate change and on the need for a rapid implementation of the Paris Agreement by all parties concerned. I have reaffirmed Seychelles’ continued engagement and commitment in the implementation of the landmark 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. In this regard, I have outlined the actions that Seychelles is already taking on climate change in the spirit of the Samoa Pathway, in promoting the Blue Economy concept, as well as the use of climate forecasting services to boost development… I have also reiterated to Mr. Ban Ki-moon Seychelles’ appreciation for his valued support to our national and regional efforts in combating transnational crimes, like piracy and drug trafficking, and in promoting maritime security across the Indian Ocean and in Africa,” said President Michel.
Mr. Ban Ki-Moon said that the United Nations stands ready to work with Seychelles for a better future on a cleaner planet, and that the country is in an excellent position to build on its record of protecting the environment, creating sustainable livelihoods, and increasing the use of renewable energy.
“I have just held fruitful meetings with His Excellency President James Alix Michel and his cabinet members. …. I am confident that the leadership will continue to build on Seychelles’ record as a strong and vibrant democracy. These islands are famous for their natural beauty. Earlier this afternoon, I visited the breathtaking Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve. I think that this is a common asset for the whole humanity and thank you for preserving all this very valuable treasure of humanity. I am even more impressed by the Seychelles’ sense of responsibility in our world. The problems we face as a planet – climate change, poverty, and insecurity – will only be solved through a global, multilateral response. I thank the government and people of the Seychelles for their leadership on these issues, and particularly for your early ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. You are one of the 16 countries who have ratified at such an early stage. I sincerely hope that you will exercise your political leadership to encourage many other countries to follow suit. You and your peers have shown that small islands have big ideas and big political will,” said Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
President James Michel and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were then joined by dignitaries and guests for a reception in honor of Mr. Ban, who was accompanied by his spouse, Mrs. Ban Soon-taek.
Miss Sonam Tsultrim, a youth who participated in an international competition for the International Year of SIDS in 2014, by composing a letter to Mr. Ban Ki-moon about the need to preserve islands and their environment, read out her letter to him, which was warmly applauded by the Secretary General.
Popular singer and songwriter, Mr. Joe Samy, and a school choir, also performed a song for the guests. The National Cultural Troupe also presented a series of traditional dances for the United Nations delegation.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .