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Executive Summary of the Seychelles Foreign Policy 2021-2025

Introduction

Seychelles Foreign Policy is based on a peaceful, proactive and innovative diplomatic practice. The foreign relations of Seychelles are determined by its system of national laws, the Seychelles Constitution implemented by the Government. Internationally, two principal instruments defines the framework for diplomatic relations between independent sovereign states are: the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961; and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963. The Constitution vests the President with powers to conduct the foreign policy of Seychelles. Article 70 empowers the President to appoint a Minister for Foreign Affairs and delegate such functions as necessary to conduct Seychelles Foreign Policy, and Article 71 requires the Minister to be accountable to the President for the administration of the foreign policy mandate. Article 64 provides for the President to appoint Ambassadors, High Commissioners, any principal representatives, receive accredited envoys, and execute or cause to be executed treaties in the name of the Republic.

The Guiding Principles

The Republic of Seychelles as a state and a subject of the international community, acknowledges, is bound and upholds principles of international law and customs that are fundamental in achieving fruitful and commendable foreign relations. Recognition of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, developing diplomatic and friendly relations with other states, bearing in mind the right of states to self-determination; Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all whilst safeguarding important moral values and the rule of law. Regional integration and or cooperation as a means to enhance foreign cooperation. Persuasion that diplomacy and diplomatic practices continue to be a cornerstone in generating excellent relations among the governments of the world and conducive to fruitful negotiations, peaceful solution of disputes, among others and noninterference in the internal affairs of other states.Promotion of bilateral, regional and international trade as a relevant approach in achieving sustainable socio-economic development;

The Policy Statements

Seychelles Foreign Policy is based on a peaceful, proactive and innovative diplomatic practice. Therefore, to protect and promote Seychelles’ national interest, 15 key policy areas are formulated into primary objectives to align diplomatic endeavours.

I. Strengthen and develop Seychelles’ relations throughout the global system of international relations, honouring the principles of mutual respect, the rule of law, peaceful co-existence and respect for human rights;

II. Pursue diplomatic opportunities to support Seychelles’ national socio-economic development through the mobilization of resources from international partners;

III. Project global leadership in promoting the SIDS agenda;

IV. Promote and protect the rights and interests of Seychellois abroad, respond to citizens in distress and explore the contributions of the Diaspora;

V. Protect and promote Seychelles’ pristine environment­­­­­, against existential threats including climate change;

VI. Promote the sustainable development agenda at the regional, continental and global levels;

VII. Negotiate visa facilitation and elimination and promote air and sea connectivity;

VIII. Honour our commitments to international law, including human rights instruments and the international treaties and conventions that are ratified;

IX. Pursue the Blue Economy agenda worldwide;

X. Promote Seychelles as a competitive, safe and secure international financial and investment destination;                                                   

XI. Promote tourism, and trade relations with other countries and economic groups;

XII. Contribute towards governance, peace, stability and security including maritime security and safety within the region and the world;

XIII. Advance South-South cooperation and regional integration.

XIV. Advance North-South cooperation.

XV. Advocate for Food and Human Security

International Relations

Seychelles pursues bilateral, multilateral and regional relations in a peaceful, proactive and innovative manner.

Seychelles bilateral relations focus on manifesting economic partnerships and cooperation, development of the various sectors of the economy, including the blue economy, trade, foreign direct investment, fisheries and tourism. Seychelles will prioritize; maritime safety and security, education, renewable energy, environment protection, aviation, infrastructure projects, health, social development, technical assistance, education, training and cultural exchanges. Visa waiver will be pursued to facilitate entry and reciprocity with more countries.

Seychelles believes in strong multilateral relations, where its voice can be expressed on a shared platform and whose joint decisions are also considered legitimate and binding by all state parties. Multilateral institutions bring states, partners, and stakeholders together to provide a useful platform for amplifying the voice of small island nations. Multilateral organisations also provide economies of scale and opportunities for mutually beneficial trade regimes.

Regarding regional affairs, Seychelles subscribes to the broader concept of human security and supports initiatives that create favourable conditions for regional stability, international cooperation, and economic prosperity and shall contribute to peace, security and stability in the region through proactive diplomacy. As a Small Island Developing State with a vast maritime space, Seychelles will pursue the sustainable exploitation of natural resources within the blue economy to contribute meaningfully to Seychelles’ economic growth.

Way forward

In the next five years – 2021-2025- Seychelles will strengthen its international relations, bilaterally, multilaterally and regionally, peacefully, proactively and innovatively.