Seychelles National Consultative Forum closes for 2014

President James Michel of the Seychelles personally chaired the 5th and final meeting of 2014 of the National Consultative Forum this morning at State House.

Seychelles National Consultative Forum closes for 2014

President James Michel of the Seychelles personally chaired the 5th and final meeting of 2014 of the National Consultative Forum this morning at State House.

In his closing remarks, following the five months of the forum’s existence, President Michel thanked the members of the forum for promoting national unity and for working to find solutions to the problems that are dividing the Seychellois people.

He said that it is the forum’s responsibility to bring these to their collective attention, so that they can act as the catalyst by calling all the relevant persons or agencies to focus on the problem and find speedy solutions.

“We are too small a country to be divided among ourselves. Working together as we have shown we can provide the stability that is so necessary for progress and development. This forum has demonstrated that we have reached a level of political maturity that helps us to put aside any personal differences for the greater good of Seychelles and Seychellois people,” said the President.

Mr. Michel also listed the achievements of the forum in its deliberations:

• We have focused mainly on getting a better understanding of the needs of our country, our education system, and on our proposals for improvements.

• We have made suggestions for national capacity building to ensure that Seychellois are well trained for the diversity of economic development.

• We have also nurtured a number of high-level forum to address sector-specific issues.

• We raised a number of political issues, such as pending legislation on elections and political party registration, and these have been addressed rapidly.

• We have taken measures to de-politicize state functions.

• We have put into action the suggestions of the Forum for the introduction of a national honors scheme that will recognize the personal achievements of our citizens.

• We are addressing the issue of efficiency of our institutions of democracy.

• We are getting our various agencies and NGOs to work better together, for example in assisting victims of substance abuse and other areas also where NGOs can play a very important role.

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• There remain many other issues for us to address, such as the role of an independent media, innovative Government and the need for ongoing constitutional reform. I am encouraged by the progress that we have made together.

The meeting of the Forum today rounded off its discussions on the Education sector, and summarized its observations and recommendations to Government for its consideration.

Mr. Patrick Victor, who is a member of the Forum, presented three papers on the state of Arts & Culture in Seychelles. The forum heard that Seychellois artistes felt that there should be a better enabling framework within which they could contribute more to economic development, alongside the tourism sector. They wanted a closer working relationship with the Culture Department. They called for the construction of a suitable venue where large musical shows could be held. They looked forward to the long-awaited Arts Village.

Mr. Victor also called for greater promotion of, and discipline in the use of the Creole language. For example, many senior officers made statements in a mixture of Creole and English when being interviewed by the media for Creole news and documentaries; this was not considered acceptable practice.

The forum also called on institutions of good governance, such as the Office of the Ombudsman, the National Human Rights Commission, and the Seychelles Media Commission, to play a greater advocacy role to sensitize the public on the functions they discharged.

The forum advised that the Interfaith Committee (SIFCO) suggest a form of common prayer which could be used regularly in school assemblies. This would contribute to the moral and spiritual development of young persons.

The next meeting of the forum is expected to be on January 22, 2015.

The forum is chaired by the President.

The members are as follow:

-President James Michel
-Vice-President Danny Faure
-Bishop Denis Wiehe
-Mr. Daniel Belle
-Mr. Marco Francis
-Mr. Jude Fred
-Mr. Bernard Georges
-Mr. Edmond Hoareau
-Mr. Michel Madeleine
-Mrs. Marguerite Mancienne
-Mrs. Mahroohk Pardiwalla
-Mr. William Rose
– Dr. Nirmal Shah
-Mr. Patrick Victor
-Mr. Jean Weeling-Lee

Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .

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