Minister Sinon represents Seychelles at SADC Summit


The Seychelles delegation at the SADC Summit

Minister Sinon was accompanied at the August 17-18 Summit by high commissioner Joseph Nourrice and the director of Development and Integration in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kenneth Racombo.

The Summit, held under the chairmanship of President José Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola who took over from President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia, was preceded by the senior officials and council of minister’s meetings under the theme ‘Infrastructural
Development for Regional Integration’.

Minister Sinon also represented Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Paul Adam at this preparatory meeting.

Amongst the many issues discussed was the progress on the regional integration process where Seychelles was congratulated for having decided and initiated the preliminary processes of joining the SADC Free Trade Area (FTA).

The importance of regional infrastructure to be the cornerstone of a more efficient and effective integration was highlighted on many occasions. Seychelles and Mauritius however emphasised on the lack of projects and/or programmes in the ‘Regional Infrastructure Action Plan’ that is being formulated that adequately address infrastructural impediments faced by island states members of SADC in this integration process.

SADC secretariat gave an engagement to start the process of developing a special Infrastructure Action Plan for Mauritius and Seychelles. This was approved by the participants of the Summit. Follow-up actions will start in earnest.

The Summit endorsed the Maritime Security Strategy to lead and consolidate the fight against piracy in the SADC member states waters.

Minister Sinon commended SADC for taking up this initiative, stating that this “would provide and deepen cooperation amongst member states of the SADC group and build on our capacity to act as a coordinated group against insecurity posed by acts of piracy”.

Political development in SADC member states and the need for resolving old and emerging conflicts took centre stage. Madagascar and Zimbabwe were the two main items on this agenda.

 In this context Seychelles was praised on the recent peaceful and fair election, thereby marking a major step in the consolidation of democracy within the SADC.

Members of the Summit were also informed of the progress and reaffirmed its support to South Africa hosting the 17th Conference of Parties (COP 17) for Sustainable Development.

Member states were urged to take an active part to ensure that the region’s concerns are given priority attention on the agenda. It reiterated that paramount to integrating, our economies invariably entail improving the lives of its ordinary citizens.

Mindful of the famine in Somalia, the Summit reaffirmed its solidarity with the people of the Republic of Somalia and urged member states to pledge humanitarian assistance.

The Seychelles government and the local non-governmental organisations have already joined hands to bring our modest contribution to the Somalis. The Republic of South Africa pledged to airlift the collected items from Johannesburg to Somalia for member countries that have difficulties to do so. This should intensify the efforts by stakeholders who are involved in raising funds and/or collecting needed items for this charitable cause.

Minister Sinon described the Summit as one where major decisions to move the regional integration agenda further have been taken and one where the political willpower to have those decisions implemented has been endorsed at the highest level.

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