Press release

Extraordinary COMESA Council of Ministers Meeting held by video conferencing

May 15, 2020

Following the Trade and Customs Committee meeting which was held on 28th April and 5th May 2020 and the Intergovernmental Committee meeting held on 12th May 2020, the COMESA Council of Ministers met in an extraordinary session on 14th May 2020 to approve the aforementioned discussions.

The main points on the agenda were the consideration of the:

· Draft guidelines for the movement of Goods and Services across the COMESA Region during the COVID-19 Pandemic; and

· Solidarity and mitigation austerity measures and appeal for remittance of Member States’ contributions along with reduction in COMESA membership contribution.

With the input from Trade Department following the Trade and Customs Committee meeting, the Seychelles delegation attending the Council of Ministers meeting endorsed the guidelines.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic which will lead the region and world into an economic pandemic, the Seychelles delegation made an intervention to request the COMESA Secretariat to undertake an assessment to further review Member States’ contribution for the year 2020.

The above assessment will be presented to Member States for consideration in an upcoming COMESA meeting.

Ambassador Barry Faure, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and of the Blue Economy headed the Seychelles delegation at the Extraordinary Council of Ministers Meeting. Other delegates were Mr. Gamini Herath, Auditor General, Ms. Amanda Padayachy, Director General for International Cooperation and Regional Integration Division, Mr. Jacques Belle, Director General for Protocol, Consular and Maritime Affairs Division at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean-Paul d’Offay, Director for Regional Integration and Mr. Marco Larsen, Officer responsible for COMESA.