Former Seychelles president heads to World Oceans Summit in San Francisco
James R. Mancham (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles former President James Mancham has said he will highlight the Indian Ocean’s 'Blue Economy' concept for the sustainable development of marine resources at The Economist’s World Ocean Summit due to take place from February 24 to 26 in San Francisco, USA.
The former opposition politician said he is attending the summit as a member of the board of advisers of the Ocean Exchange of Savannah, Georgia, USA. The summit is organised by The Economist magazine in partnership with National Geographic magazine and will address the balances between economic development and sustainability in marine envrionments.
“I am very much looking forward to the event particularly as my views coincide with those of President James Michel, who stated in his foreword to ‘Seychelles’ vision for a Blue Horizon’ [book], that island nations such as the Seychelles are defined by the oceans that surround them, isolate them, and connect them to the rest of the world, ” said Mancham in a press statement.
He commended Michel for “referring to Seychelles as a ‘Determined Nation’ at this time when the United Nations has proposed 2014 as the ‘International Year of Small Island Developing States’”.
“Seychelles under President Michel’s leadership has over recent years, achieved a lot to justify the stand I have taken at many international forums over the years that no country is small if is surrounded by the sea and the fact that, even if we come from a small country, this does not necessarily mean we are small people,” said Mancham.
He said that he has copies of the “The Blue Economy” book, which charts the Seychelles' strategy to develop marine based resources, which he will give to some of the major players at the summit.
Sir James Mancham was the first president of the Indian Ocean island nation. He was ousted by his prime minister France Albert Rene in a coup in 1977, and later to returned to Seychelles in 1992 to head the Democratic Party. Mancham left politics in 2005, and has since become an advocate of peace and reconciliation at international gatherings.