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Creole Diplomacy: towards Smart Small Island State Policy

Creole Diplomacy: towards Smart Small Island State Policy

11.01.2022

On Monday 20 December 2021, Minister Sylvestre Radegonde and members of the Foreign Affairs Department attended a presentation on ‘Creole Diplomacy: towards Smart Small Island State Policy’ graciously hosted by world-renowned researcher Dr. Christian Bueger, Professor of International Relations at Copenhagen University and Honorary Professor at the University of Seychelles. He is also a non-resident Research Fellow at the University of Stellenbosch, editor of the European Journal of International Security (Cambridge UP) and the director of the ‘SafeSeas’ initiative.

Dr. Bueger’s accomplishments and recognition stems from his extensive research in the field of maritime crime, maritime security strategy, maritime domain awareness and capacity building, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.

His study on piracy off the Coast of Somalia is built upon his experience and engagement with the Contact Group on Piracy of the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) and other regional and multilateral platforms. His contributions on these platforms has provided much needed clarity in fostering a more cohesive regional maritime security framework and strategy. In his current project he compares regional maritime security governance in the Western Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

Prof. Bueger' presentation to the Foreign Affairs Department encompassed three main points: key principles for Seychelles Foreign Policy, Global Political trends, concrete proposals that could potentially address some of the challenges that Seychelles experiences due to its size. He provided his insights and analysis on creole diplomacy as a concept and how Seychelles could benefit from unlocking its full potential and strengths as small island state. The importance of world political trends was also emphasised, including the return of geopolitics, the ocean revolution that is currently taking place and the new developments that could threaten the marine environment such as seabed mining.

The Professor noted Seychelles’ status as a one of the pioneers of the Blue Economy, and underline the need to advance the concept of blue diplomacy by further equipping diplomats with the knowledge and skills needed to jointly enhance the sustainable economic development of the oceans.
 
He concluded his lecture on the mutually dependent relationship between blue economy and maritime security and how Seychelles as leaders in both fields could make further progress. He added that there is a need to address auxiliary maritime security issues such as ‘paper parks’ – marine protected areas with inadequate maritime security or surveillance measures, and the need for data, surveillance and information fusion through capacity building and the advancement of blue technology and innovation.
 
Minister Radegonde, thanked Professor Christian Bueger on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism for the informative and engaging session, and reciprocated the significance of maritime security and blue diplomacy in Seychelles’ engagements both domestically and internationally.

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