Press release

Former President Sir James Mancham participates in world Eco-Safety Assembly in Bali, Indonesia

December 13, 2012

Founding president James R.Mancham, was yesterday evening one of three persons elected to the presidium of the council of the International  Eco-Safety Collaborative Organization(IESCO), at a special meeting of the Council’s presidium, held in Bali, Indonesia, on the eve of the opening of the Conference of the council of World Eco-Safety Assembly (WESA).

The other two new members of 17 strong presidium elected alongside Sir James Mancham was H.E Sheila Copps, former Deputy-Prime Minister of Canada and H.E Anna  K. Tabaijuka, Minister of Land Resources and Housing of the United Republic of Tanzania.

The election took effect from 12 December 2012 and will terminate end of December 2017.

The IESCO presidium is jointly chaired by the Honourable Dr. Jiang MingJun, founding President and Director-General of IESCO; and Hon. Jose de Venecia, former Speaker of the National Assembly of the Philippines; and H.E Zhang Deguang, President  of China Foundation of International Studies.

The other distinguished members of the prestigious presidium include:

H.E Dr. MARZUKI Alie, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia; H.E  Sokans, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia; H.E Nassir Abdulaziz Al Nasser, President of the 66th session of the  UN General Assembly, who is the high representative of UN Alliance of Civilization; H.E Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Former UN Under-Secretary General and Chairperson of UN Culture of Peace; Hon. Jose Manuel Ramos Horta. Former President of the Republic of East Timor; H.E Madhav K.Nepal, former Prime Minister of the Federal Republic Of Nepal; H.E Gustavo Carvajal Moreno, Former Speaker of the House of Representatives of Mexico and Deputy President of the Permanent Conference Of Political Parties Of Latin America and the Caribbean; HE Arthur N.Chilingarov, representative of Russian Federation for InternationalCooperation in Arctic and Antarctic Affairs; H.E Nalineetaveesin , Minister of Prime Minister Office of Kingdom of Thailand; H.E Mendsaikhan Enhksaikhan, Former Prime Minister of Mongolia; and H.E Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Senator of Pakistan, Secretary-General of CAPDI

The first plenary conference opened up this morning at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre, attended by over 300 international and Indonesian delegates, mostly from global peers like China, USA, Canada, Japan, amongst other Developing nations.

President Mancham was one of the keynote speakers at the opening of the Assembly. Before delivering his keynote address, founding president Mancham read a special message from President James A. Michel who was not able to participate in the conference due to other engagements.

 “We are the barometers for the health of our planet. If we face rising sea levels, or coral bleaching, it is not just our homes and livelihoods that are affected, it is the heritage of humanity which is at risk.“President Michel had stated before commending WESA for mobilizing support for action to better structure the world economy and the management of the environment at the global level.

“In the post Rio landscape, we are encouraged by the potential growth of the blue economy and green Eco, which, we need to ensure in the interest of economic growth and environmental sustainability.” The President stated further.

Regretting that he was unable to attend the landmark event personally, President Michel conveyed his heartfelt good wishes for the success of the conference and acknowledged the role of Sir James Mancham, the founding President in this context. Thanking the organizers for their support, President Michel stated that implementing Eco-safety in Seychelles is both a challenge and an opportunity.

Founding President Mancham, in his own address, questioned the attitude of the big powers who were not, in his view, doing enough to resolve the problem of climate change and global warming. He quoted John Donne’s famous phrase that no man is an island entire of himself and that we are all part of the whole, which means that today we are living in a global village situation. Unfortunately, Mr. Mancham said, “far too much money has been spent on defence budget as opposed to human resource development”, expressing his concern at the state of global politics where there is an upsurge in nationalist pride and fervour.

Mr. Mancham called on global leaders to put the interest of the globe first. He said that he was speaking from the heart, and without speaking about statistics, he can confirm that in his own experience in his lifetime that certain coastal fishes in Seychelles waters are no more around, and certain beaches have been gravely affected by erosion. He stated further that the big nations must lead by example and that he himself ascribed to the notion that no country is small if it is surrounded by the sea, and that Seychelles participation at WESA’ conference in Bali reflects the often forgotten fact that we are all part of the same universe and it is certainly a matter of grave concern that the total world defence budget is about 30 times more than what the world is spending on human resource development.

“It also seems that the gods of the world which is represented by nature as over recent times been sending messages that despite all scientific development and achievements, nature remains overriding and supreme.”

Also participating in the conference, are two members of the Seychelles diplomatic mission in China- Mr. Christian Faure, Second Secretary, and Mr. LI Huanhuan, member of the Ambassador’s Secretariat.