World Population Day-Minister Meriton’s message


Minister Meriton

“In the year that the world faces so many challenges that put immense pressure on the world population such as climate change and the global economic crisis, Seychelles joins the international community in reflecting on the status of our population. Indeed it is the 19th consecutive year that Seychelles celebrates World Population Day, a day dedicated to creating awareness among the general population of all age groups, sex and ability on issues that have impacts on their lives with a view of improving their wellbeing.

“The theme chosen by the United Nations for this year’s activities is ‘Universal access to reproductive health’, through which the United Nations stresses on the necessity to re-energize commitments towards recognising those who provide information, services and supplies, including voluntary family planning, assisted child birth and prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

“While, in some parts of the world, the right to access reproductive health services remain unachievable, in Seychelles the people-centred approach to development has been high on the government’s agenda. Investment in social programmes such as health, education and social protection has been crucial to our human development, even in trying times, to ensure that our population continues to access health services and more importantly in their community.

“As a nation we are striving for a new Seychelles and to achieve the ultimate goal, as healthy men, women, boys and girls we have the ability and capacity to make our contributions to the society in a positive way. It is important that we continue giving back to the community that we live in by doing the best that we can. For many years, through our hard work we have been able to meet the targets set by international organisations such as being ranked fourth to be born a girl in the Commonwealth, achieved almost all of the MDG’s, being among the countries with the highest percentage of women in decision making positions, among the top countries for environmental sustainability and the first country in Africa for high human development index.

“We cannot afford to be laid-back and allow the emerging social challenges to threaten our hard work and undo our accomplishments. With the same determination that ensured our economic success and brought more prosperity to our shores we should seize the opportunity at all levels to join forces to respond to the call for transformation through the social renaissance initiative to address once and for all the root of our substance addiction problem, teenage pregnancy, prostitution, criminality and child abuse. The values once deeply protected and shared between family members are slowly eroding away and many of our parents lack the basic skills required to raise children in a loving and protected environment. It is clear that the key to solving the social ills rest in the hands of each one of us individuals, adults and parents who have been blessed with the responsibility of nurturing the nation’s children.

“The laissez-faire children of yesterday become the laissez-faire parents of today producing laissez-faire children of tomorrow. Education begins at home; the school plays a complementary role and society through the various organisations, using all appropriate means need to take parenting education to the community and the workplace to make it more meaningful to everyone.

The mass media, the churches and all faith-based organisations have to ensure that in every corner of Seychelles we are sending the same message to different population group; that all of us together must become the agents of change to give hope to all those touched by different situations and more importantly to our children.

“I commend all agencies and organisations within the public, private and civil society sectors providing services to the various groups of the population. Let us intensify our efforts to engage each individual, family and community in this social transformation to maintain the high human development we have achieved and for further social and economic progress. Let us not forget that change always begins within each one of us.

“I take this opportunity to wish all Seychellois a happy World Population Day!”