President Wavel Ramkalawan is currently leading the Seychelles delegation at the 10th OACPS Summit of Heads of State and Government being held in Luanda Angola where he delivered his general debate statement yesterday, during the closed high-level session.
Addressing the audience, the President highlighted that in order for member states to surmount some of the global present day challenges, necessitates the adoption a dynamic and collective approach of operation by the OACPS, in order ensure the survival and optimum benefits for all member state nations.
“It is for me a pleasure to participate in the 10th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States – the first for me since assuming office in 2020. After two years of pandemic, followed by a war in Europe, most of us are still grappling with rising food insecurity, supply chain disruptions, high energy prices and the global inflation.
There are many lessons here to be learned. The first being that we can no longer accept business-as-usual. A sustainable path for the OACPS requires a robust, modern, inclusive and diversified development agenda for our regions, taking full advantage of the technological advancements of this millennium”.
In advancing the cause of access to finance, President Ramkalawan further made an urgent plea to governments and international financial institutions to form part of the transformation of nations faced with various plights that are beyond their financial means.
“I therefore call on your leadership to support the universal adoption of a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index to benefit vulnerable countries, not least Small Island Developing States. We cannot leave anyone behind.
Lessons must also be learnt from the pandemic. The tools and science to overcome the weaknesses in our health systems exist, but are not accessible to us all and equally. The OACPS must identify strategic partnerships to ensure equity and access to treatment, patent-waivers and technology-transfers. Such partnerships are essential in the fight against global crises and emerging challenges.
Economic diversification is a necessity for our economic progress. As an example, investment opportunities in the blue economy are plentiful in Seychelles. The OACPS should promote these lucrative areas to investors from within our regions and elsewhere. I commend the establishment of a Business Forum which seeks to facilitate business-to-business networking within our regions.”
In concluding his statement, the President reaffirmed Seychelles’ commitment to the ideals of the OACPS, and called on all OACPS leaders to join together to build a successful and resilient OACPS for a fairer and more equitable world order for their peoples and future generations to come.
On the final day of the Summit, the Heads of State and Government were also briefed on the state of play on the implementation of the Revised Georgetown Agreement which was signed at the previous Summit in December 2019 and came into force in April 2020. The Revised Georgetown Agreement changed the organization from the ACP Group of States to the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (OACPS) and expanded the Organisation’s mandate to address global challenges and current issues such as the environment and climate change and peace and security.
The Summit also welcomed the Republic of Maldives as the newest member of the OACPS and also took note of the withdrawal of the Republic of South Africa from the Organisation.
President Ramkalawan endorsed the Luanda Declaration which will provide strategic direction for the Organisation for the next three years.
President is accompanied at the OACPS Summit by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde, the Ambassador Beryl Samson, Ambassador of the Republic of Seychelles to the Kingdom of Belgium, responsible for the OACPS dossier and Department of Foreign Affairs Second-secretary, Mr. Marco Larsen.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of State House – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles.