Press release

Ambassador Marie- Louise Potter, Permanent Representative of Seychelles to the United Nations addresses the 71st Session of the General Assembly Debates

September 28, 2016

Ambassador Potter today delivered a statement on behalf of President James Michel, at the 71st Session of the UN General Debate. 

In her address the Seychelles Permanent Representative (PR) hailed the collaborative Journey that the world has embarked upon in implementing Agenda 2030, a year after its adoption. She noted that the chosen theme for this year’s assembly which is “sustainable development goals: a universal push to transform the world”, serves to reminds us of the emergency for nations to improve the livelihood of the weak and marginalized by addressing poverty in all its forms, whilst promoting human rights, good governance and environmental sustainability. 

The UN was reminded that Seychelles had achieved most of the targets set out in the MDGs and remains impassioned in its charge to maintain this momentum in implementing the SDGs, which she said “was reflected by our push to integrate the 2030 Agenda alongside the African Agenda of 2063, into a National Development Strategy”.

She noted however that the path to transformation was not one which could be travelled alone, as affirmed by SDG 17, which focuses on partnership for sustainable development. “For real change to occur the word will need to stand together, in ensuring that Strong actions is backed by adequate financial supports which is needed for an overall achievement of the goals” the PR noted. These includes giving due consideration to the special conditions that small island developing states are faced with, notably, the implementation of the vulnerability index in development frameworks, which enables a fairer measurement of economies and serves as a more appropriate reference tool for financial support, than the traditionally emphasized GDP per Capita. 

Highlighting the pivotal role that goal 14 plays in the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development, the PR noted that SDG 14 is synonymous to our Blue economy drive which calls for global action to harness the power of the ocean as a tool for transformation. 

The impact that climate change is having on Small Island Developing States which are heavily dependent on the environment for its very survival was also addressed. “Climate change occupy a permanent position in the minds of our people, and we are exposed to its devastating consequences not as mere bystanders, but through first-hand experience which are felt by our families and which threaten our livelihoods” Ambassador Potter reiterated. 

The need to addressing the impact of climate change cannot be overstate, as Seychelles places itself at the forefront of this battle which we cannot afford to lose. 

To note that Seychelles was among the first 20 states to ratify the Paris Agreement, in New York earlier this year.  

Seychelles Ambassador also highlighted the gains made in terms of the long fought battle against piracy which is further strengthened through the work currently being undertaken by the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast pf Somalia (CGPCS), which Seychelles currently chairs. 

Seychelles’ support was also voiced towards seeking a diplomatic and political solution through the ongoing crisis facing Syria, which continues to plague innocent lives and whose solution shall further contribute towards mitigating the spread of extremism, as well as ideologies of hate, which continues to rip devastating consequences on various countries as attested by the global humanitarian crisis that weighs heavily on the heart of mankind. 

In concluding, the Permanent Representative expressed Seychelles’ appreciation for the dynamism, hard work, and devotion of outgoing Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, during his term of office.  “The strong legacy he leaves behind in terms of his determination to see a more peaceful and equitable future for the world, as well as his championing of the causes of Small Island Nations, will stay engraved in our collective memories” she concluded. 

The statement by Ambassador Potter follows the opening of the 71st session of the General Assembly General Debate which took place on the 20th September, during which we also saw the final address by outgoing Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and President Barack Obama, whose term of office ends this year.

During the week, Ambassador Marie-Louise Potter also delivered a statement on behalf of Minister Joël Morgan at a High Level Side Event entitled “Measuring and Tackling Poverty in All Its Dimensions” co-hosted by the Government of South Africa and Seychelles, who are both members of the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN).

Ambassador Potter also represented Minister Joël Morgan, at the annual Commonwealth Foreign Ministers Meeting, which also took place on the sidelines of the 71st Session of the General Debate. 

The Seychelles delegation also consisted of Mr. Ronny Jumeau – Ambassador for Climate Change and SIDS Issues, Ambassador Beryl Samson, Mr. Justin Etzin – Consul General of Seychelles in New York, Ms. Wendy Isnard – Second Secretary in the Permanent Mission of Seychelles, and Ms. Deborah Cholmondeley – Attaché in the Permanent Mission of Seychelles in New York.