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Foreign minister explains Seychelles’ stance not to vote on UN Resolution last month |21 November 2023

Seychelles did not vote on the United Nations General Resolution which called for the “protection of civilians and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations” for the Gaza crisis, because it felt there were certain issues with the wordings that it was not satisfied with.

That was the explanation given to the National Assembly by Minister Sylvestre Radegonde in yesterday’s sitting when answering a question from the proportionate member of the United Seychelles party, Johan Loze, on Seychelles’ stance on the matter, its decision not to vote and whether the country had enough resources to meet its obligations at the United Nations in New York.

Minister Radegonde explained there was a Resolution proposed by Canada, which Seychelles felt was closer to what the resolution should have been, “meaning condemning both sides, because they are both at fault. But the Resolution from Canada was not approved. And they went to the initial one that we had issues with”.

“Similar to what we have done in the past, at the UN and other forums, in such instances, we either vote yes, against or we remain in the room and abstain. Or we just decide not to turn up. In that case, we thought it would be better if we were not present,” said the minister, adding “This is a position I maintain”.

According to him, Seychelles has taken such a strategic position thrice at the United Nations General Assembly. “Subsequently for your information, there was another Resolution presented in the UNESCO’s General Assembly on the matter and we supported the Resolution,” said Mr Radegonde.

He also informed the House that Seychelles condemns all attacks by any parties on innocent lives and this was made clear when there was an attack on Israel on October 7, and when the country retaliated. The foreign affairs minister added Seychelles’ position has always been for a ceasefire and the warring parties to sit and discuss their issue.

“Our position is one similar to that of the previous government; which is for two states in the region, an independent Palestinian state and an independent Israeli state,” said Mr Radegonde.

It should be noted that Seychelles NATION wrote an article on the matter on October 31, entitled ‘Seychelles does not vote at UN General Assembly’s emergency session’ and had sought an interview from the Foreign Affairs department on the matter. Although we were informed the minister would revert to us, Seychelles NATION did not get an interview.

Seychelles was among 14 countries not to vote on the resolution. The UN’s emergency session on the ongoing Gaza crisis received 120 votes FOR, 14 AGAINST and 45 ABSTAIN.


Patsy Canaya

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