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Way forward to achieve Africa's Agenda 2063 a key focus at the 25th AU summit: President Michel leads Seychelles delegation

Victoria, Seychelles | June 13, 2015, Saturday @ 09:44 in National » DIPLOMACY | By: Sharon Uranie | Views: 1249
Way forward to achieve Africa's Agenda 2063 a key focus at the 25th AU summit: President Michel leads Seychelles delegation

Seychelles President James Michel is leading the island nation's delegation at the 25th African Union summit in South Africa (Seychelles News Agency)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - More than 50 African Heads of State and Heads of Government have converged to South Africa, which is hosting the 25th African Union (AU) Summit this weekend.

The gathering themed "Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa's Agenda 2063" is being held in Johannesburg from June 14 to 15.

In a press statement issued Friday evening, State House said the Seychelles President James Michel is leading the Indian Ocean archipelago’s delegation to the summit, where he will be using the opportunity “to assert Seychelles' voice and to contribute meaningfully in setting the agenda, direction and pace of change in the region.”

The first 10-year Implementation Plan for the realisation of the African Agenda 2063 is expected to be highly debated upon and adopted during the summit.

Agenda 2063 is a global and inclusive African strategy to use resources on the African continent for the benefit of all Africans within the next 50 years.

“It will be an opportunity for Seychelles to express its appreciation for the Plan which includes, inter alia, island priorities and to emphasis the need for the African Union and member States to seek the resources necessary for the sustainable implementation of the Plan,” reads the State House statement.

The Blue Economy concept which Seychelles is promoting will also be put to the fore as well as the country’s recent historic debt swap deal with the Paris Club.

“This landmark financing innovation can provide other SIDS and other African countries with a tested model of sustainable financing for climate change action,” reads State House in the press release.

“President Michel will therefore be calling for the promotion of such a mechanism in this year where the world is seeking to adopt new sustainable goals and reach a binding agreement on climate change.”

Peace and security, including maritime security where the AU Summit will also be apprised of preparations for the upcoming AU – EU Conference on Maritime Safety and Security, which will take place in Togo will also feature highly on the agenda

The 25th African Union Summit has been preceded by meetings of the different AU organs and decision-making bodies.

The Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport Jöel Morgan, has chaired a gathering of African Island States which saw discussions on the strengthening of the island states voice within the African Union.

According to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Transport Friday afternoon, the meeting saw the participation of foreign affairs ministers from the Island States of Cabo Verde and the Indian Ocean islands of the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles.

Issues deemed priority areas for the islands for the next ten years as part of the AU’s First Ten-Year Plan on the Implementation of Agenda 2063’ including the environment, tourism, climate change, air and maritime connectivity and the Blue Economy were some of the key issues tabled.

“Within Africa there are only six African Island States, and while we are spread across two oceans on opposing ends of the continent, our commonalities are clear. It is therefore important that we are always working together to ensure our inclusivity within the African Union in the context of our concerns, specificities and vulnerabilities,” said Morgan, according to the MFAT statement.

Seychelles is one of the 54 member states of the African Union.

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Tags: African Union, South Africa, President James Michel, climate change, Joel Morgan, Blue Economy

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