UN official hails ‘innovative’ blue economy plan


President Michel welcomes Mr Wu at State House

“The ‘blue economy’ is a novel idea and it has been explained to me by your president,” said Mr Wu. “This is part of a sustainable development agenda for the future.”

Mr Wu made the comments after a courtesy visit to President James Michel at State House yesterday. He is currently in the country to attend the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and South China Sea (Aims) sub-regional grouping preparatory meeting which opens today at the Kempinski hotel.

The sub-regional meeting forms part of the preparatory process for the third international conference on small island developing states (Sids) due to be held in Samoa next year, of which Mr Wu will be the secretary general.

Desa works closely with governments and stakeholders to help countries around the world meet their economic, social and environmental goals.

Reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been an integral focus of Desa’s work and informs many aspects of the department’s programming.
As the 2015 deadline for achieving the goals approaches, Desa is now working with a range of partners to build on the MDGs and help create a vision for the future that puts people and planet first.

Mr Wu would not comment specifically on Seychelles’ progress in meeting its MDGs, but said that generally, a lot of progress had been made since the goals were set in 2000.

“In some areas, the world has been doing quite well, for instance in the eradication of poverty,” he said. “The goal is to smash the number of people living in extreme poverty by half by the year 2015, and actually we have already reached the target some years ago.”

He acknowledged that there were problems with reaching global targets set with gender equality, maternal and infant mortality rate and also in the fight to eradicate communicable diseas
“The UN secretary general himself (Ban Ki Moon) is determined to renew the political commitment of the international community so we still have two years to go,” he added.

“In September this year there will be a summit on the implementation of MDGs and the UN would like to urge all the member states to redouble their efforts in the next two years to reach as much as possible the MDGs.”

When it came to Sids, Mr Wu said development challenges varied from one small state to another.
“It’s difficult to summarise, for instance the per capita GDP is very high, but you do have your own challenges which are quite different from others,” he said.

Mr Wu also urged the international community to honour pledges made to the Official Development Assistance (ODA) fund to help developing countries meet their MDGs.

“Because of the economic slowdown and crisis, many commitments have not been honoured in full, so we urge the developed countries to do more to help developing countries.”