Seychelles' Europe-based honorary consuls meet, discuss strategy for first time in 3 years
Maison Queau de Quincy which houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Climate change, green and renewable energy, foreign direct investment and the COVID-19 pandemic were among the topics the Seychelles' honorary consuls based in Europe were to discuss in a virtual conference Monday.
President Wavel Ramkalawan launched the group's first meeting after a three-year break.
Although Seychelles is a small island nation in the western Indian Ocean with around 99,000 inhabitants, its network of consular representation spans across 61 countries where 88 consulates represent its interests.
Ramkalawan explained that the country's "means and limited human resources do not allow us to have diplomatic representation in your countries of residence and jurisdictions."
He also thanked the consuls for their work and contributions such as their SCR 4.5 million contributions to the COVID-19 fund.
"Equally appreciated are also your contributions of COVID-19 supplies which are important in the fight against the pandemic," said the President.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism was restructured early this year to ensure that it is more effective in addressing the country's needs.
The consular conference is part of the new administration's strategy "to constantly remind the international community in the countries represented at the meeting that Seychelles is also facing challenges," said Ramkalawan.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde, said that the consuls had a role of "voicing our concerns to the world to ensure that our interests are taken into account and that our vulnerabilities are appropriately addressed. You have a crucial role in this process."
Radegonde reminded the consuls that part of their role is "promoting the visibility of our country, promoting Seychelles as a safe tourism destination".
"Our priorities should be your priorities and they include the promotion of business opportunities, inward investments, technical and scientific corporation, exchanges," said Radegonde.
Among other topics addressed were the different ways through which those living in the diaspora could be included in the efforts for Seychelles to help the economy's recovery.
Radegonde also informed those present that the next meeting of the consuls will be held next year