Mancham to highlight Indian Ocean’s geo-political importance at US forum


Mr Mancham will on Tuesday September 18 be at the US Savannah Ocean Exchange Summit as a recently appointed member of its board of governors.

Founded by a former banker of high US national repute Howard Morrison, who is now chairperson Emeritus of the exchange, and the organisation’s chief executive Cort Atkinson – a specialist in improving business performance through organisational design – the exchange seeks solution to inspiring action with respect to problems confronting the sea, the oceans and the coast.
It is a non-profit organisation which annually brings together representatives from industry, research, education, government and conservation to identify an annual theme addressing pressing ocean issues.

The board of directors consists of global thought-leaders of diverse disciplines including ocean experts, major corporations, representations from major universities and the US federal government.

The inaugural board included such eminent achievers as John Bruton, a former Irish Prime Minister who presided over the successful Irish-EU presidency in 1996 and helped finalise the Stability and Growth Pact which governs the management of the single European currency, the euro.

Following discussions with the Seychelles Minister for Environment and Energy, Professor Rolph Payet on Friday, Mr Mancham said since Seychelles is a maritime nation which has proved itself as a leader in conservation  and  taking into account its recent landmark treaty with Mauritius on the Extended Continental Shelf, Seychelles’ significant contribution towards combating and solving the piracy issue and the growing energy prospects in the western Indian Ocean – he feels all possible areas of collaboration between the government of Seychelles and the Savannah Ocean Exchange should be explored for mutual benefits.

Mr Mancham said that when in Savannah, Georgia, he will also vigorously pursue his crusade for the US to re-open a fully-fledged embassy in Port Victoria with a resident ambassador as is the case with UK, France, India, Russia, China and Cuba.

“It is not fair for the US superpower to play the game of gun boat diplomacy vis-à-vis the Seychelles and denying us the respectability which we deserve as a fully sovereign nation,” he said – reiterating once more his favourite line, “No country is small if it is surrounded by the sea”.

In May, Mr Mancham raised the diplomatic issue during a programme titled Global Hotspots: Insiders’ Briefing that was held at Hoovers Institute of War, Revolution and Peace of Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, after which he discussed his points with US assistant secretary for African Affairs at the State Department Johnnie Carson.

Mr Mancham said he has received encouraging messages from many leading US citizens who are supportive of his crusade which also carries the backing of President James Michel and Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Paul Adam.


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