Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting (CFAMM)
On Thursday 16th September 2021, Minister Sylvestre Radegonde joined his counterparts from the other 53 member countries of the Commonwealth at the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting (CFAMM), that was held virtually.
The meeting mainly focused on the Commonwealth’s roles and contributions towards its member states’ recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his intervention, Minister Radegonde highlighted that amidst the unprecedented challenges brought about by the pandemic, trade and economic recovery must remain a priority. “The Commonwealth has a leading role to play in ensuring that the international trading system plays a crucial role in assuring that no one is left behind in the post-pandemic trade and economic recovery. Innovative approaches, such as the Small States Trade Facility, need to be further encouraged and backed with the necessary support”, remarked the Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism.
Addressing the issue of health and vaccine equity, Minister Radegonde noted that while there have indeed been several encouraging developments, most notably in research and development, and to some extent in the distribution of vaccines, still there is a long way to go, and urged renewed commitment and concerted action.
The Seychelles Minister also spoke on the challenges of climate change faced by Small Island Developing States, and the forthcoming COP26, which will be held beginning of November in Glasgow. “If financial resources are not made available, then all our pledges are likely to remain just pledges on paper. It is our hope that COP26 will address this and other pertinent issues”, stressed Minister Radegonde.
Ministers at the meeting were also provided with policy and operational updates by the Commonwealth Secretary-General and Rwanda, the latter as the incoming Chair-in-office on the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali.
The Seychelles delegation at the virtual meeting also included Ambassador Vivianne Fock Tave, Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr Terry Romain, Acting High Commissioner in the Seychelles High Commission in London, Ms. Amenda Padayachy, Director General for Multilateral Affairs Division, and Mr Jean-Paul d’Offay, Director for Multilateral Affairs Division.
The Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting which is held annually was first established in 2002 at the direction of the Heads of Government in order to discuss matters of collective interest.
The Commonwealth groups 54 member states and is home to 2.4 billion people. Seychelles joined the Commonwealth in 1976.