A special day for Seychelles at Yeosu Expo


Minister Adam (standing left on dais) at the special ceremony dedicated to Seychelles at the Yeosu Expo

The event, which coincided with Seychelles’ Independence anniversary, was attended by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam.

Also in attendance was a large group of ‘friends of Seychelles’ led by Seychelles’ honorary consul general Dong Chang Jeong along with the commissioner general of the expo, Lee Joon-Hee and other directors.

This celebration of Seychelles-Korea friendship focused on Seychelles’ contribution to the promotion of the expo theme ‘The living ocean and coast’.

Launching the celebrations, Minister Adam pointed out that “the expo theme carries a lot of meaning to the international community in general and to Seychelles in particular as it symbolises our way of life”.

“President Michel’s visit to attend the expo’s opening on May 12 was indeed testament to the fact that Yeosu’s theme is of extreme relevance to all small island developing states,” Mr Adam said.

Referring to Seychelles’ pavilion, Minister Adam said that “we let visitors ask themselves how such valuable heritage can be preserved, not just for the well-being of Seychellois people and tourists but in the interest of mankind as we are one of the most reliable indicators of what is coming next at global level…for the simple reason that we are among the first ones to feel the impact of all these changes that day after day hit us”.

In return, Commissioner Lee stated that “as part of a league of island nations in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is also a vocal advocate in raising concerns about climate change and rising sea levels on an international level, as well as proponents of eco-tourism and the blue economy.

As such Seychelles’ interests are closely related to the theme of Yeosu Expo, which deals with ocean and sustainable development. We highly value Seychelles’ participation at Yeosu Expo, which is deeply appreciated by the Korean government.”

“It is also encouraging that Seychelles and Korea can work together to tackle global environmental challenges through eco-tourism. I am confident that Seychelles’ participation at Yeosu Expo will further our friendly bilateral relationship as well as deepen the mutual understanding between our two people,” Commissioner Lee added.

Seychelles’ pavilion puts emphasis on the country’s natural beauty and on the collective efforts needed to face current environmental and economic challenges and further develop Seychelles as one of the best international tourism destinations and a world leader in nature preservation.

Seychelles’ special day in Yeosu benefited from a wide Korean and international media coverage as Seychelles pavilion is very different from other booths in the Indian Ocean Joint pavilion.

Seychelles’ pavilion highlights the government’s policy in the fields covered by the Expo theme and devotes a significant part of exhibition space to both the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and Nature Seychelles and their pro-active respective agendas to promote the “blue economy” concept that advocates the sustainable management of marine and coastal resources.

In the same pro-active spirit the pavilion has taken a number of eco-friendly initiatives, especially distributing traditional fans with a message inviting visitors to rely more on human than fossil energy, and also tee-shirts, brochures and flyers advocating environment-related causes the government, IOC, Nature Seychelles and other Seychellois and Seychelles-based NGOs are fighting for.

On the occasion of his visit to Yeosu, Minister Adam, who was accompanied by non-resident Seychelles ambassador to Korea, Philippe Le Gall, also commissioner for Seychelles, visited a number of pavilions including those for China, France, Russia, Japan, Germany, UAE ( Dubai being candidate to host a world expo in 2020 ), Thailand (also candidate for 2020), Italy  the 2015 World Expo on the theme of food security will be held in Milano), Belgium (Liege being candidate to the 2017 International Expo) and Comoros, the only other IOC member state participating in Yeosu.

Minister Adam also availed of this opportunity to follow up President Michel’s visit to Suncheon last May and discussed furthering a twinning agreement between Suncheon – Korea’s first and main eco-friendly city – and Victoria, as well as Seychelles’ participation in the 2013 Suncheon Bay Garden Expo, two projects actively supported by Honorary Consul Jeong to whom Minister Adam expressed Seychelles government's gratitude.
The minister also met representatives of major Korean companies in the field of renewable energy.