President Danny Faure addresses the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly | 26 September 2019
‘Secure and sustainable future for Seychelles’
President Danny Faure has stressed on the drive of Seychelles as a small island nation towards the goal of a secure and sustainable future for its nation, when addressing world leaders yesterday at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly’s heads of states and governments debate currently being held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States of America.
Mr Faure’s address also laid emphasis on other salient topics such as climate action and the plight of small island developing states vis-à-vis the multilateral international order.
“More than most, island nations must have faith in the multilateral international order. We are by nature isolated and by design, our livelihoods are tied to the rest of the world. We rely heavily on this premise as well as on the actions or inactions of others for our very survival.
“Climate change has become an existential threat not only to the lives of people in island states, but the world as a whole. It is clear that we are no longer in a position to indiscriminately plunder under the guise of development for the sake of short-term profits. I am aware that development has lifted our people from poverty, but through exploitation we are dooming future generations to a planet beyond their ability to repair,” said President Faure
The first day of the high-level general debate on Tuesday September 24, 2019, saw the official opening of the general debate featuring several addresses by world leaders and heads of governments led by the first address by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres.
President Faure also highlighted the underpinning role of the stance taken by the youths not only as the future generations but the crucial role they can further play in advancing the plight of climate change.
“Fortunately, young people around the world have taken a stand to secure their future. In Seychelles, we are seeing youth-led NGOs partnering with government to prioritise the fight against climate change, pollution and other threats to the environment. Youth-led grassroots movement led to a ban on many single-use plastics, and continue to advocate for ocean protection.
“To us islanders, the ocean represents not only our livelihood but also a way of life. The Seychellois people are bound to the sea and are cognisant of the untapped opportunities that it presents. Our pioneering development of the blue economy has the potential to unlock multiplier effects, which will increase economic opportunities while equally protecting the ocean for generations to come. In our view, the ocean is the last frontier – if used responsibly it will lead to shared prosperity, food security and innovation,” added President Faure.
In relation to Ocean Climate Action, the president further pledged that Seychelles will remain at the forefront of the discourse on climate change and in further ensuring as citizens of the world we continue to be guardians of two-thirds of the common blue planet; the Ocean.
“The deep ocean is the beating heart of the planet, yet we have better maps of Mars than we do of the ocean floor. This needs to change, as we gather the information available to identify priority areas for protection. This information should be used to take concrete action to preserve our oceans, extending beyond national jurisdictions. This is a global issue, and so it needs a global approach.
“Seychelles is 100% committed to the ongoing work by the United Nations to develop a legally binding framework to conserve our oceans, in areas outside national borders. If we want to survive, this is the only way forward. We anticipate a transparent and inclusive instrument that offers due recognition of our special circumstance as a SIDS and an adjacent coastal state. This implies including appropriate mechanisms for benefit sharing, capacity building and the transfer of marine technology.
“Earlier this year, Seychelles partnered with the Nekton Mission and University of Oxford to conduct research in a bid to conserve our maritime spaces and the Indian Ocean. In April this year, I was proud to deliver a speech broadcasted live from 407 feet below ocean surface, calling for greater worldwide effort to protect the beating blue heart of our planet: our oceans. But the novelty of the event should not overshadow the message: safeguarding the oceans and marine life from climate change, overfishing, plastic pollution and other threats is an urgent, global responsibility,” noted President Faure.
He further commended the United Nations Secretary General Guterres for his staunch advocacy of small island developing states, highlighting the impacts of climate change facing island nations as frontline line states in this fight and for the organising the first Climate Action Summit in the margins of the General Debate.
The annual rendez-vous, in September, is where all 193 member states of the organisation join together to discuss and work on a wide array of international issues covered by the Charter of the United Nations.