Seychelles first chair of re-structured Global Island Partnership


Glispa's growing steering committee which met in Washington last week with Ambassador Jumeau seated in the middle

He will thus lead Glispa into 2014 which will be the International Year of Small Island Developing States (Sids) and also see the holding of the Third Global Conference on Sids in Samoa in the Pacific.

Glispa, co-chaired by President James Michel along with the President of Palau and the Prime Minister of Grenada, has grown from strength to strength as more partners join the steering committee which meets in the US capital Washington DC every year. 

This year, for example, Glispa's growing worldwide influence and reputation attracted non-sovereign islands and overseas entities such as the Hawaii Green Growth Initiative and the British Virgin Islands of the European Union's Overseas Countries and Territories Association (Octa), including a representative of the association itself, to travel to Washington to join the steering committee.
Other new partners present included more United Nations bodies and conventions.

Last year's meeting therefore called for a more manageable governance structure and sustainability plans which were launched in Washington last week.

The steering committee, which until last year was led by representatives of the three Glispa co-chairs, focuses on developing and implementing the Glispa strategy and is made up of island states, countries which have islands, organisations and individuals which have made significant commitments to advance Glispa's mission.

A new and smaller executive committee was set up this year from within the steering committee to focus on the day to day governance of Glispa.  The executive committee answers to the steering committee and both are chaired by the same person.

Mr Jumeau, a roving ambassador or ambassador at large based in New York, was President Michel's representative on the steering committee over the past five years.  Last week he was unanimously selected to be the first chair of the new-look steering committee.

Amb Jumeau addressing the closing session of the steering committee

Commenting on his appointment Ambassador Jumeau said: "It is a recognition and consequence of Seychelles' growing reputation on island issues.

“It reflected Seychelles' commitment to and leadership of the global island agenda whether it be in conservation of the environment including tackling alien invasive species as a threat to development as well as to biodiversity, promoting sustainable livelihoods and development and blue-green growth, combating climate change including through ecosystem-based adaptation, finding sustainable and innovative ways of raising financing for islands such as through debt-for-adaptation swaps, sustainably managing oceans and ocean resources, or promoting renewable energy, among others.”

"Last year for example Seychelles impressed major donors and the global island community when it committed at the Rio+20 summit on sustainable development to help finance Glispa with US $10,000 a year for the next three years," Mr Jumeau said. 

At this year's meeting of the steering committee Palau, as one of the three co-chairs of Glispa, declared it would follow suit with a matching contribution.  Grenada could not be present at the Washington meeting because it was holding general elections which saw a change in leadership in the country.

"What we are doing by helping finance and ensure the sustainability our own partnership at a time when everyone is suffering from economic and financial constraints is declaring to the world that we the small island developing states are not just begging for money, but are calling on the international community to help us help ourselves," Mr Jumeau said.

Seychelles is also the first country and island member of Glispa to formally appoint a specific focal point at senior level to liaise between the partnership and relevant ministries and agencies in the country.  He is Alain de Comarmond, a director-general in the Ministry of Environment and Energy, who attended his first steering committee meeting in Washington last week.

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