Seychelles made significant progress in promoting rule of law and good governance, says foreign minister
Minister Radegonde invited participants "to maintain the same vision for Seychelles as we present our perspectives and discuss the cooperation opportunities." (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
The 9th Seychelles-European Union (EU) Political Dialogue held on Tuesday, saw the tabling of pertinent topics covering a wide range of political, environmental and socioeconomic issues.
Allowing for an extensive dialogue reaffirming mutual interests and values between Seychelles and the EU, the political dialogue also promotes sustainable development and climate action, encourages development cooperation and strengthens strategic partnerships in key priority sectors.
The delegations debated on areas of economic, financial and social impact of global crises, governance, rule of law, human rights, environment, climate change, the Blue Economy and the Fisheries Partnership Agreement, peace and stability, and cooperation in international fora.
In his opening remarks, Seychelles' foreign affairs and tourism minister and a co-chair of the event, Sylvestre Radegonde, said, "Our vision of Seychelles is that of a small dynamic island state, vibrant and full of opportunities infinite, with a diverse economic base and strong resilience in the face of external shocks and climate change."
"For this dialogue, I would therefore like to invite you all to maintain the same vision for Seychelles as we present our perspectives and discuss the cooperation opportunities," said Radegonde.
He added that on the national scene, significant progress has been achieved in promoting the rule of law and the principles of good governance, by reinforcing national legislation and tackling strategic deficiencies, particularly relating to tax governance, anti-money laundering and anti-corruption.
On his side, the EU Ambassador to Seychelles, Vincent Degert, said that the dialogue is an opportunity to reaffirm the strategic partnership between the EU and Seychelles.
"It is also an opportunity to discuss how we can further work together to overcome the many challenges that lie ahead, both in the region and in the wider global context. The EU-Seychelles partnership is clearly a strategic one. It has grown over the years and allows us to pursue broad and fruitful cooperation in many key areas of common interest," said Degert.
The political dialogue is an extension of the current partnership between the EU and its member states and the member states of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS),
Held each year, it is organised under the Cotonou Partnership Agreement which promotes cooperation, trade and political dialogue between European Union and Small Island States.
This year's dialogue included six local ministers and a number of high-level government officials. It also brought together ambassadors and representatives from nine EU Member States - Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Romania, Spain and Sweden - as well as a delegation of the EU Naval Force – Somalia Operation ATALANTA.