Press release

Ambassador Barry Faure attends IORA 19th Council of Ministers

November 8, 2019

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and the Blue Economy, Ambassador Barry Faure, represented Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Vincent Meriton, Seychelles at the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) 19th Council of Ministers Meeting on 7th November in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The meeting witnessed the official handing over of the two-year Chairmanship of the IORA from the Republic of South Africa to the UAE, and the assumption of Vice-Chairmanship by the Republic of Bangladesh. The meeting was held under the theme selected by the UAE for the period of its Chairmanship: Promoting a Shared Destiny and Path to Prosperity in the Indian Ocean, and was represented by the 22 Member States, including the newest member of IORA, the Republic of Maldives, and 9 Dialogue Partners.

Member States underscored the benefits for multilateral cooperation amongst each other for a more peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indian Ocean region. Ambassador Faure delivered a statement highlighting the importance of the Blue Economy for Seychelles and commended IORA for the strides it has taken in this priority area, such as the establishment of the new Working Group on Blue Economy. The many achievements of Seychelles in this field were also touched upon, including the Debt-for-Nature Swap initiative. Ambassador Faure emphasized the need to find viable solutions to common IORA objectives while promoting regional cooperation and collaboration. He commended the UAE on its decision to set up an IORA Development Fund.

The Ministers issued the Abu Dhabi Communiqué which, among other issues, recognized the importance of ocean health for a sustainable blue economy and well-being of Indian Ocean communities, as well as our shared desire to safeguard maritime security and mitigate climate change in the region.

In the margins of the meeting, Seychelles also held several meetings including consultations with member states of the Indian Ocean Commission and a bilateral meeting with the Maldives.

The Council of Ministers was preceded by the two-day Committee of Senior Officials, which were attended by Ambassador Jean-Claude Adrienne, resident ambassador to the UAE, and Ms Veronique Morel, Second Secretary at the Department of Foreign Affairs.