Comments on the launch of the Seychelles News Agency
Sharon Uranie and Rassin Vannier, Co-editors of the Seychelles News Agency (Mervyn Marie, Seychelles News Agency)
The Seychelles News Agency is officially online today!
The agency is a new voice for Seychelles and small island developing states in the world, giving daily 'as -it-happens' news and features focusing on the islands' environment, defence and maritime security, oil exploration, tourism and business development as well as news and views from other Indian Ocean islands, and key African events.
The agency will be the first national news agency in the world to use the Creative Commons licensing system for online low resolution photos (640 x 427 pixels) posted on its site, while offering the option for users and media to buy high resolution versions. All text is free for use, as long as the agency is cited.
The project is being funded by the Department of Information of the Government of Seychelles.
The project idea was initiated by the Honorary Consul for Seychelles in Bulgaria, Mr. Maxim Behar, who owns and manages a leading PR and Social Media corporation M3 Communications Group, Inc. He presented the idea to Seychelles President James Michel, who is also the Minister for Information, and offered to make the concept and software development a donation to the Seychelles, during his visit to Seychelles in November 2013. Behar set up Sofia News Agency in 2001, and currently has 3 language versions; novinite.bg, novinite.ru, novinite.com.
The following is a selection of comments on the launch of the Seychelles News Agency on April 22, 2014
"We are a determined island nation, determined to be heard by the rest of the world. We are fully engaged in world affairs to fight climate change, as well as ensuring peace and security in the Indian Ocean and East Africa. We want to show the world how a small island state can be a model for sustainable development. The Seychelles News Agency will enable the world community to keep up to date with all these events in our islands and the Indian ocean region."
James Michel, President of the Republic of Seychelles.
" We welcome the launch of the Seychelles News Agency. The Commonwealth sees it as a particular priority that due international attention should be paid both to the particular challenges faced by small island developing states, and to their potential... (..) Seychelles is an engaged and active member of the Commonwealth. Our collective advocacy can be all the more potent with a new clear voice alerting the world in our digital age to the perspectives, expectations and needs of citizens in small island developing states generally, and Seychelles in particular, and to the many economic and developmental opportunities that exist."
Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary General of the Commonwealth.
" Smalls islands are often ignored in world discourse just because they are seen as 'small' players. As a group, however we are numerous and together we have an impact in world politics. This is the year of small islands and we want to make our voices heard. Seychelles has a lot to share with the world, to bring its experience and expertise to the attention of the world community. The Seychelles News Agency will help to give us a voice on the world stage, and share some of the interesting events that happen in our islands. "
Jean-Paul Adam, Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs
"Nowadays the information flow is crucial not only for the marketing of each country, but also for developing the international relations, even for the diplomacy and purely human relations. That is why, I do consider launch of the first professional purely online media on Seychelles - the News Agency as significant step for promoting our achievements, our people, our beauty and nature to the world and also I am absolutely sure that it will have huge positive impact of promoting the country as a whole. Seychelles News Agency has all latest softwares in that industry and for sure will be one of the most modern in the world."
Maxim Behar, Chairman of M3 Communications
" I believe Seychelles is an important player on the world stage not only on various issues of regional and global importance but also given her role as an important tourism destination, her forays into Blue Economy concept, being a torch-bearer for small island states in the Indian Ocean and beyond and also owing to her championing of anti-piracy initiatives.
Thanglura Darlong, Indian high commissioner to Seychelles
"Seychelles is the forefront of anti-piracy in Indian Ocean. ..(..). It is also an important supply port for navy ships from many countries including China. As a small island developing country, Seychelles is playing an active role on the world stage. We appreciate Seychelles’ contribution in common issues such as the development of SIDS and climate change...(..)..Thanks to mutual visa-waiver practice and direct flights from Hong Kong to Seychelles, Chinese tourists arrival keeps on rising, and this year it is expected to surpass 10,000. We hope more and more Chinese citizens will come and discover Seychelles.
Shi Zhongyun, Chinese ambassador to Seychelles
"Seychelles is rightly at the nexus of a fascinating mix of global issues, from counter-piracy to climate change. This is a small place thinking big and acting on its ambitions to provide creative leadership on the maritime space, whether its sustainable development or its security. Seychelles is a country worth watching and listening to, and a terrifically varied place to be a diplomat."
Lindsay Skoll, British high commissioner to Seychelles
" Seychelles has assumed a prime regional role, which reinforces the historical bilateral relationship with neighbouring France in the Indian Ocean. Our level of commitment is strong and is nourished by our long and fraternal friendship. We also share the same democratic values and are working together to preserve peace and security as well as our shared environment in all forums and well beyond our territories."
Genevieve Iancu, French ambassador to Seychelles
" Seychelles – a bright star in the constellation of small island developing states in the central part of Indian Ocean is a modern and dynamic nation that is at the forefront of the fight with piracy, successfully executes the IMF program of reforms, develops its industry, implements a number of environmental projects, consistently pursues the concept of the Blue Economy...(..).. The number of tourists is increasing every year, with Russian compatriots being the fourth largest nation visiting the islands, which are also an ideal place for investment, acquisition of real estate or starting your own business."
Vladimir Belous, Russian ambassador to Seychelles