UN General Assembly: Seychelles' president urges action on climate-related disasters
President Faure during his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday. (State House)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles’ President Danny Faure urged the international community to take more seriously the need to address the increasingly destructive climate-related disasters during an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.
Faure said the thoughts of the government and people of Seychelles went out to the millions of people in South Asia, Africa, the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean who have suffered unimaginable losses from extreme weather and earthquakes these past months.
This year’s theme at the U.N. General Assembly was "Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet."
For there to be peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet, it was not enough to just throw more resources into implementing the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change, Faure said.
“All these processes should be democratically governed underpinned by transparency and accountability along the way and in harmony with and respect for the natural environment in which we live," Faure said.
In Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, the private sector, civil society and parliamentarians had joined the public sector in a concerted effort to integrate the 2030 Agenda and the Development Goals into the country’s budget and development plans.
Faure said the same approach is applied to step up implementation of the Paris Agreement in the light of recent global developments.
He reiterated what he said at the Conference of the Parties (COP22) climate change summit in Morocco last November.
The Seychelles’ president had said that: "For the very first time in history, a global climate change deal, giving renewed hope to the world, has been reached. We find ourselves at a crossroads and cannot afford to renege on our collective commitment to travel the moral path for the sake of humanity.”
Speaking of the action Seychelles has taken, Faure said last year the island nation reached an agreement with the Paris Club and others on a first-of-its-kind debt-for-adaptation swap to protect 30 percent of its Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.37 million square kilometres.
The Seychelles reached the debt buyback agreement worth $30 million with the Paris Club group of creditors and South Africa in the French capital in 2015 which was transferred to a trust which will conserve the archipelago’s ocean spaces.
As a follow-up, the island nation will launch the world's first blue bonds by the end of this year to raise another $15 million for sustainable fishing practices in its waters.
Faure thanked the Seychelles' partners at home and abroad who helped the country on this “bold and exciting new path to sustainable development and resilience to climate change.”
In noting the success of UN Ocean Conference in New York in June, Faure said, “I would like to reiterate Seychelles’ commitment to continue playing a pioneering role in finding innovative ways to respond to the Call for Action.”