Climate change, poverty and insecurity, were just but some of the main topics on the menu, when UN chief Ban Ki-Moon held multilateral talks with President James Michel of Seychelles.
During his visit to the small island nation on Saturday and Sunday, Moon lauded the remarkable progress made by Seychelles on climate action, environmental protection and the fight against maritime crime.
“These islands are famous for their natural beauty. Earlier this afternoon, I visited the breathtaking Valle de Mai Nature Reserve. I think that this is a common asset for the whole humanity and thank you for preserving all this very valuable treasure of humanity,” Mr. Ban told reporters in Victoria, the archipelago’s capital city.
I am even more impressed by the Seychelles' sense of responsibility in our world.
Having wrapped up fruitful meetings with President James Alix Michel and his cabinet members, the UN chief said he is confident that the leadership will continue to build on Seychelles’ record as a strong and vibrant democracy.
“I am even more impressed by the Seychelles’ sense of responsibility in our world,” the Secretary-general continued, thanking the Government and people for their leadership on key issues on the international agenda, particularly the country’s early ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
He went on to say that the UN also appreciates Seychelles’ leadership on the problem of piracy as Chair of the Contact Group on piracy off the coast of Somalia – and noted that he was encouraged that since 2013, no commercial shipping vessels have been kidnapped by pirates – [and such] common solidarity and commitment on tackling transnational crime in the region, while respecting international norms and human rights.
“I applaud Seychelles for working with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to ensure that suspects are given fair and efficient trials,” said Mr. Ban, the first-ever UN chief to visit the country, noting that tomorrow he would visit a coastguard station and he looks forward to hearing about approaches to maritime crime.
The Indian Ocean archipelago which is vulnerable to storm surges, is among the first 16 countries to ratify the Paris agreement on climate change.
Ban Ki-Moon is the first UN Secretary General to visit Seychelles since its independence in June 1976. He will wind up his Indian Ocean tour with visits to Mauritius and Madagascar.