Seychelles and EU pledge to strengthen multilateralism in 9th Political Dialogue
EU Ambassador Degert said that the EU-Seychelles partnership is clearly a strategic one. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Seychelles and the European Union (EU) have agreed to enhance cooperation in maritime security, sustainable Blue Economy, trade and investment as well as the environment and climate change at the 9th Political Dialogue on Tuesday.
In a joint press statement, Seychelles and the EU expressed their satisfaction for the achievements of the strategic partnership at the end of the dialogue, co-chaired by Seychelles' foreign affairs minister Sylvestre Radegonde and EU ambassador Vincent Degert.
In his statement, Radegonde said that "our engagement, covering a wide range of political, environmental and socioeconomic issues, allows for an extensive dialogue reaffirming our mutual interests and values. It promotes sustainable development and climate action, encourages development cooperation and strengthens strategic partnerships in key priority sectors."
He said that Seychelles' vulnerabilities have been further heightened by a two-year pandemic, global inflation in food and energy prices, supply chain disruptions and international and regional conflicts.
"As such, we will continue to passionately advocate for a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI), but we also call on your support to leverage your influence in securing a universal adoption of the MVI," added Radegonde.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Degert said, "The multiple challenges we are facing underline with strength that humanity is at risk and that we need more than ever a stronger multilateralism to reinforce cooperation in building and increasing our resilience to be able to tackle for current and future crises to come."
He said that in this challenging and difficult context, the EU and Seychelles can fully appreciate the value of the partnership.
"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 like peace and security; sustainable economic growth; health and resilience; climate change and governance and human rights," added Degert.
The two sides reaffirmed their strong attachment to multilateralism, the UN Charter and the universality of human rights and shared their views on the consequences of the Covid pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.
Discussions also touched on the consequences of the war on global food security and energy prices and agreed to explore how they can work together to boost Seychelles' food sovereignty as well as renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Both parties agreed on the importance of stronger cooperation to address the global crises and their ongoing consequences notably on poverty, food security and energy with a view to reinforcing the resilience of their economies and societies.
On the importance of safe seas and freedom of navigation for trade and the economy overall, Seychelles and the EU acknowledged their fruitful cooperation in the fight against piracy. They also underlined the pivotal role of the Regional Centre for Operational Coordination hosted by Seychelles within the Regional Maritime Surveillance Mechanism.
The importance of regional ownership was emphasised both sides welcomed the ongoing discussions that will result in a deterrent effect on illicit maritime crimes.
With regard to the strategic partnership in the area of fisheries, both sides agreed to continue joining forces to prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
The EU also underlined the importance of partnership in advocating strongly for sustainable fisheries within the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC).
Seychelles was congratulated for being removed from the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes and further encouraged to continue its efforts to align with international best practices in the anti-money laundering and to make best use of its technical assistance.
The EU confirmed its readiness to continue to work with Seychelles in these areas that are the subject of increased attention at the international level.
Concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, both parties recognised the importance of building resilience to any future pandemic and maintaining cooperation.