United Nations Country Team (UNCT) retreat May 18 to 20 |20 May 2022
Seychelles, UNCT hold first multi-sector policy dialogue
The cabinet of ministers, heads of different United Nations agencies covering Seychelles and Mauritius or UN country team members, principal secretaries, several senior government officials, yesterday held high-level discussions during a day-long multi-sector policy dialogue.
The dialogue, which took place at the STC conference hall, was co-chaired by Sylvestre Radegonde, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, and Christine N. Umutoni, the United Nations resident coordinator (UNRC) for Seychelles and Mauritius.
The dialogue was organised as an open and constructive exchange between the Seychelles’ ministers and other representatives from both the government and the UN, in order to reflect on the country’s response to Covid-19 pandemic and to identify priority areas of support and cooperation for the next UN-Seychelles Strategic Partnership Framework (SPF - 2024-2028) in parallel with the country’s National Development Strategy (NDS).
The high-level multi-sector dialogue is but one component of the UNCT retreat being held here from May 18 to 20.
Addressing the delegates and other guests while launching the discussions, Minister Radegonde noted that this dialogue which has brought together our partners, provides an excellent opportunity for the government and the United Nations representatives to exchange views on matters of mutual interest and concern within the framework of our partnership. It is also the opportunity to take stock of where we are following the slowing down of the Covid-19 pandemic and to consider the direction in which we are heading.
“Together, over the past decades, we have achieved much. I would like to express my personal gratitude and that of the government to the United Nations for its presence in our country, for all the projects undertaken over the years and for the new areas of support to be realised soon.
Seychelles, as a member state of the United Nations, remains committed to strengthening the partnership that it has with the United Nations Country Team to boost its socio-economic development,” said Minister Radegonde.
He went on to note that the opening of a first United Nations resident coordinator’s office in Seychelles in November last year marks a milestone in the history of our relations with the United Nations and is testament to the commitment of the United Nations towards Small Island Developing States (Sids).
‘’I am more than convinced that the collaboration that exists between the United Nations Country Team and my government will be further reinforced and that it will allow the different UN agencies to join forces and work in synergy on various projects and initiatives in Seychelles,” Minister Radegonde remarked.
For her part the United Nations resident coordinator for Seychelles and Mauritius, Christine N. Umutoni, described this dialogue as “a unique opportunity to meet the ministers we work with in one room”.
She said the UNCT members are here to discuss the new cooperation framework with Seychelles and “to listen to your different challenges and together explore ways to assist you”.
“We know that Seychelles is a leader in many aspects as well as a champion of democracy where after the recent elections the transfer of power was a smooth process watched by the whole of Africa,” she remarked and commended Seychelles for having brought together the cabinet of ministers for this important dialogue.
“As the UNCT we welcome the opportunity to hear from the highest authorities and we will be given a clearer vision of your different situations and our assistance will be a more collaborative process to better accompany and support your national priorities,” Ms Umutoni noted.
She went on to reaffirm the UN’s commitment to continue its partnership with Seychelles.
During the discussions the delegates exchanged experiences and best practices on possible cooperation on a number of issues of common interest, including the priority areas outlined for the next NDS, namely transformative economy, environment sustainability, climate change, human rights, law and order, health, social affairs, education and culture.
Each minister concerned by the different themes talked about their situation, projects, plans in line with the themes, and highlighted the challenges they are facing.
All the different recommendations from the dialogue will be discussed further by both parties, prioritised before being considered by the UN team for any future support and assistance.
Marie-Anne Lepathy/Press release from the department of Foreign Affairs
Photos by Louis Toussaint