The Ministerial segment of the 13th Session of the Seychelles-Mauritius Commission on Bilateral Cooperation, co-chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism of Seychelles, Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde, and the Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration, and International Trade of Mauritius, the HonourableAlan Ganoo (GCSK), was held on Thursday 6th April at Maison Quéau de Quinssy.
In his statement, Minister Radegonde remarked: “This Commission is a testament to the strong and enduring friendship between our two nations. We are bonded together by our shared history, culture, and geography, and we have much to gain from working together on a wide range of issues”. This was reflected over the three-day Senior Officials Meeting, where key issues were addressed, such as trade links, the blue economy, fisheries, tourism, health, education, climate change and maritime security, among others.
He added that while “our countries share a vision for a peaceful and prosperous Indian Ocean region, and we are committed to working together to achieve this goal, we need to be mindful of the increasing complexity of maritime security challenges within our region, hindering our aspirations of attaining a sustainable ocean-based economy.” He emphasised that the two countries should have a more integrated approach for addressing jointly common concerns and interests on international platforms, such as maritime security threats, climate change related issues, and the adoption of a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI) which strives to increase the eligibility for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to access concessional financing for their development needs.
Minister Radegonde reassured Minister Ganoo that guided by the United Nations Charter, the Seychelles Government has supported and will continue to support Mauritius’ right to exercise sole and absolute sovereignty over the Chagos archipelago and declared that Seychelles will also support Mauritius’ bid to secure a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council (UNSC) for the period 2025-2026, as well as Mauritius candidature for the Executive Board of UNESCO for the term 2023-2027.
He also seized the opportunity to congratulate his counterpart for his recent and well-deserved elevation to ‘Grand Commander of the Order of the State and Key of the Indian Ocean (GCSK), as well as for Mauritius assuming the presidency of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC). In this regard, he expressed his conviction that under the Mauritian leadership, the IOC will be further energized to achieve the common goals of all its member states.
On his part, Minister Ganoo stated that this long-anticipated session of the Commission on Bilateral Commission is a testament to the two countries common resolve and determination to work towards the strengthening of the relationship between Mauritius and Seychelles, two brother countries locked in the same ocean, imbued with the same development aspirations and guided by the same destiny.
Minister Ganoo said that the meeting was neither to negotiate, nor to bargain, but rather to build complementarities, synergies and resilience in all desired areas and at all levels. On behalf of the Government of Mauritius, Minister Ganoo also thanked Seychelles for its support to Mauritius for its candidatures for the UNSC and the UNESCO.
Minister Ganoo also expressed satisfaction that in building synergies between Mauritius and Seychelles, the two countries are exploring various proposals for economic collaboration in many domains including ease-of-doing-business, handicraft, ICT, financial services, tourism, amongst others. He referred to the ocean, being the guardian of common future which unites Mauritius and Seychelles, that will always figure prominently on bilateral engagements on critical issues, such as maritime security and preservation of marine resources. He added that new sustainable oceans industries, such as sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, marine renewable energy, present opportunities to generate new sources of employment and growth. He reaffirmed Mauritius’ commitment in the fight against drug trafficking and other illicit maritime activities.
Minister Ganoo emphasised that the success of the Mauritius-Seychelles cooperation does not solely lie in us jointly agreeing on programs and projects but to a very large extent in the execution and implementation of such agreed joint projects and programs.
In his conclusion, Hon. Minister A. Ganoo, GCSK thanked the Government of Seychelles for hosting this meeting, the excellent work done by both sides and for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to his delegation and for the excellent logistics.
The 13th Session of the Commission on Bilateral Commission concluded with the signing of the Agreed Minutes by the two Co-Chairs.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism – Foreign Affairs Department, Republic of Seychelles.