President Faure takes part in OACPS extraordinary summit | 05 June 2020
President Danny Faure took part in the first Extraordinary Inter-Sessional Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS), virtually on Wednesday afternoon.
The historic OACPS inter-sessional summit was led by the President-in-office of the OACPS and President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta. It aimed to address risks arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and find collective solutions under the theme ‘Transcending the COVID-19 Pandemic: Building Resilience through Global Solidarity’.
In his remarks, President Faure called on all OACPS leaders to be bold and an agent of change in this difficult time and be conscious of the specific vulnerabilities of small island developing states (Sids), saying: “The East African region which Seychelles represents on the ACP bureau has the highest number of Sids in Africa. I am therefore obliged to speak on the behalf of Sids in the region. The well-documented vulnerabilities of Sids have become evident during and in the immediate aftermath of the first phases of this crisis. It is apparent that the crisis is likely to have a lasting negative economic impact on our countries. This could further lead to serious negative impacts on social indicators if governments cannot fund a decisive multi-sector response in the next 12 to 18 months,” said President Faure.
The president’s statement further highlighted the issue of the high gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, which gives Sids difficulties to access international development aid, including loans at preferential rates to fund their post-COVID-19 recovery and adaptation efforts. As the Sids depend highly on tourism, President Faure spoke about the impact of the crisis which will induce significant decline on their economies in 2020, with a substantial increase in unemployment and a drastic drop in the value of their currency.
He called for a greater sense of solidarity among development partners to find innovative approaches to help small island developing states overcome the crisis, and using the recovery to shape a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient path to development.
Addressing the issue of the European Union report on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing which has branded a set of OACPS and African states as ‘high risk third countries’, President Faure made an appeal to the EU to withhold the publication of its report and accord a moratorium for those targeted states to align their rules and regulations with international norms, saying, “such a unilateral action pursued without consultation with the targeted states will adversely affect those states’ economic recovery during such a challenging time. It also erodes the principle of consultation which should characterise our partnership”.
This first Extraordinary Inter-Sessional Summit included strategic development partners, such as the United Nations, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the European Council, and heads of state and government including President of the Republic of France, Emmanuel Macron; Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Soldberg; Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison.
Press release from the Office of the President