OACPS: Seychelles urges access to financing for nations facing plights beyond their means
President Ramkalawan (centre) with the Seychelles delegation at the Summit. (State House)
Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan has made an urgent plea to governments and international financial institutions to form part of the transformation of nations faced with various plights that are beyond their financial means.
State House said on Sunday that Ramkalawan made the statement in his address during a closed high-level session at the 10th Summit of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) for heads of state and government that took place in Angola.
Ramkalawan said that for member states to surmount some of the global present-day challenges, it is necessary for the adoption of a dynamic and collective approach to operation by the OACPS to ensure the survival and optimum benefits for all member states.
"After two years of the pandemic, followed by a war in Europe, most of us are still grappling with rising food insecurity, supply chain disruptions, high energy prices and the global inflation [...]. There are many lessons here to be learned. The first is that we can no longer accept business as usual. A sustainable path for the OACPS requires a robust, modern, inclusive and diversified development agenda for our regions, taking full advantage of the technological advancements of this millennium," said the President.
The head of state of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, said that lessons must also be learned from the pandemic.
"The tools and science to overcome the weaknesses in our health systems exist but are not accessible to us all and equally. The OACPS must identify strategic partnerships to ensure equity and access to treatment, patent waivers and technology transfers. Such partnerships are essential in the fight against global crises and emerging challenges," he added.
Ramkalawan said that economic diversification is a necessity for economic progress and gave as an example that investment opportunities in the Blue Economy are plentiful in Seychelles.
"The OACPS should promote these lucrative areas to investors from within our regions and elsewhere. I commend the establishment of a Business Forum which seeks to facilitate business-to-business networking within our regions," explained the President.
He called on leaders to support the universal adoption of a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index to benefit vulnerable countries, not least Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
On the final day of the summit, leaders were also briefed on the implementation of the revised Georgetown Agreement signed at the Summit in December 2019 and came into force in April 2020. The agreement changed the organisation from the ACP Group of States to the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (OACPS) and expanded the organisation's mandate to address global challenges and current issues such as the environment and climate change and peace and security.
The summit also welcomed Maldives as the newest member of the OACPS and also took note of the withdrawal of South Africa from the organisation.
Ramkalawan endorsed the Luanda Declaration which will provide strategic direction for the OACPS for the next three years.