Conclusion of the first virtual Regional Consular Conference for the Seychelles Honorary Consuls
The Regional Consular Conference of the Republic of Seychelles concluded its deliberations yesterday, Monday 11th October 2021. The Conference, which lasted four days and was hosted virtually and regionally, was the first of its type.
In a pre-recorded statement, the President of the Republic, Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan, set the tone for the ceremony by thanking the Honorary Consuls for their valuable contributions to Seychelles' progress. The President emphasized the importance of their consular role in his speech, especially in countries where Seychelles does not have formal diplomatic presence. Additionally, in the interest of Seychelles, President Ramkalawan called upon each of the Honorary Consuls to share their ideas and views on Government policy objectives and to continue supporting Seychelles in its efforts to fund new initiatives to boost the country’s economic activities.
In his address, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde emphasized that “The appointment of Honorary Consuls and the retention of their services should be, and must be, on the basis of a mutually beneficial and rewarding relationship. A relationship of trust, accountability and transparency”. He also added that, “You are our eyes and ears on the ground. We rely on you to promote and defend the interests of Seychelles and our people in your respective countries”, reminding them to be mindful and vigilant of abuse (of their kindness).
Minister Radegonde also thanked the Honorary Consuls for their substantial contribution towards the COVID-19 Relief Fund. A total of SCR 4.5 million out of total of SCR 78 million has been collected from the Consular network in solidarity towards the people of Seychelles in these difficult times.
There were also interactive sessions, which allowed the parties to discuss a variety of topics, including the priorities of the Government's Foreign Policy and how to promote it, as well as ways to bring more revenue to Seychelles through investments, tourism, and diaspora. These include, among other things, obtaining necessary financial resources to assist Seychelles' recovery from the pandemic in reducing debt sustainability risks and finding new initiatives to boost the country's economic activities.
Finally, the Consuls were presented with an initiative that the Foreign Affairs Department plans to implement early next year - “Adoption of Districts.” The initiative aims at bringing the Consuls closer to the Seychelles community, allowing them to assist in the implementation of projects in their adopted districts. The next Honorary Consuls meeting is scheduled to take place in Seychelles next year, providing an opportunity for the Consuls to visit the districts.
The Seychelles delegation was led by Minister Radegonde and included the Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Vivianne Fock Tave; Principal Secretary for Tourism, Mrs Sherin Francis; Principal Secretary for Economic Planning, Mrs. Elizabeth Agathine, Ambassador Lalatiana Accouche, the Seychelles Heads of Missions abroad and other senior officials of the Foreign Affairs Department.