Seychelles and EU's 10th Political Dialogue makes progress in multiple areas of cooperation
The 10th Seychelles-EU Political Dialogue took place at Eden Bleu on Thursday. (Foreign Affairs Department)
Seychelles and the European Union (EU) agreed to enhance their cooperation in the areas of maritime security, sustainable ocean management, fisheries and trade among others at the 10th Political Dialogue.
According to Seychelles' Foreign Affairs Department, the Seychelles-EU Political Dialogue took place at Eden Bleu on Thursday, co-chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde, and the newly accredited Ambassador of the EU to Seychelles, Oskar Benedikt.
In his statement, Radegonde said "The dialogue itself has served as a platform for open and constructive exchanges on a wide range of issues, from political cooperation and economic development to environmental sustainability and social progress. It has allowed us to strengthen our ties, deepen our understanding, and find common ground on matters of regional and global importance."
He said that as a result Seychelles and the European Union have forged a remarkable alliance, bound by a commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
"Our partnership has yielded fruitful results in various areas, such as trade and investments, security cooperation, capacity building and sustainable development. Together, we have worked to promote peace, stability, and prosperity in our region and beyond," he added.
On his side, Ambassador Benedikt said that the EU and Seychelles have been close partners for many years, supporting each other.
"I am grateful we once again had a fruitful and honest exchange. The EU and its Member States remain key partners for Seychelles, in terms of tourism, investments and trade, fisheries, maritime security and the protection of the ocean and its resources. We have taken stock of the progress of our cooperation in these areas, based on our joint agreements and our shared values of rule of law and democracy, multilateralism, and human rights," he added.
The two parties acknowledged the positive impact of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) on Seychelles' fisheries industry, the development of aquaculture, and the artisanal fisheries infrastructure development. The EU is the main market for Seychelles' fish exports.
Seychelles and the EU reiterated their strong commitment to continue to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) and welcome inspectors from EU countries in inspections done at sea and at the port.
They also agreed to continue to enhance their cooperation in the framework of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) in favour of sustainable fisheries.
The EU welcomed Seychelles' acceptance of the Wordl Trade Organisation agreement on disciplining harmful fisheries subsidies worldwide as a key initiative to promote the sustainability of ocean resources at a global level.
Seychelles has been commended for adopting bold objectives in favour of healthier oceans, in particular, its commitment to protecting 50 percent of its seagrass by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030, after having already one of the largest marine protected areas in the world.
The EU also welcomed the creation of the Maritime Environment Fund under the SFPA, which will be financed by the EU and contribute to cleaner Seychelles' waters.
The two parties took note of the actions implemented as part of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) support programme in favour of economic diversification, support to small and medium enterprises and customs operations' facilitation.
They also acknowledged and welcomed the modernisation of Port Victoria's operations with the introduction of a comprehensive management information system supported by the EU.
The EU reaffirmed its commitment to continue to work with Seychelles and its readiness to provide technical assistance in tax governance. This is being done in consideration of Seychelles' concerns over the consequences of its overall rating as 'Partially Compliant' by the Global Forum of Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.
Both parties also confirmed their determination to continue to work together for the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals as the reference for a safer, cleaner, fairer and more prosperous future.
After the political dialogue, the EU ambassadors met with President Wavel Ramkalawan at State House.