Press release


October 30, 2011

On the final day of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, President James Michel has stated that youth leadership is essential for the Commonwealth to progress.

“Too often we speak of our youth as the leadership of tomorrow.  It is clear that we must let them provide leadership today- whether it be in education, the environment or the economies of our countries.  By investing our trust in the youth, our youth will invest their trust in our respective governments and our organisation,” said the President.

One of the features of the CHOGM meeting was that the youth forum of the Commonwealth also presented its recommendations to the Summit. The President welcomed this initiative and also took the opportunity to brief the Commonwealth on Seychelles’ initiatives to empower young people such as the Young Leaders Programme.

The President also noted of the importance of facilitating financing of affordable business loans for young people across the Commonwealth as a means of empowering young entrepreneurs.

On the closing of CHOGM, President Michel welcomed the agreed conclusions of the final communiqué of the Commonwealth Heads of Government, particularly their reflection on the ‘multiple development challenges confronting small states in the global economy as a result of their inherent vulnerabilities,’ as well as the Commonwealth’s support of small and vulnerable states in relation to climate change mitigation.

During the CHOGM, the Heads of Government agreed that ‘vulnerability to climate change is widespread and particularly affects small states. The Commonwealth has important role to play in advancing climate change priorities of Commonwealth small and vulnerable states as well as fostering mutual collaboration among Commonwealth countries in order to address such priorities.’

The Heads also agreed to ‘assist small and vulnerable states to develop their capacity to respond in a timely and effective way to disasters and to build their national disaster response capabilities’ as well as mobilize ‘funding for urgent and effective mitigation, adaptation and capacity building, prioritizing the most vulnerable developing countries, including small island developing states.’

President Michel also hailed the commitment of the Commonwealth towards improving international security. The Heads of Government agreed to accelerate efforts to combat piracy through ‘enhancing the capacity of coastal states’ as well as urging the international community to ‘recognise that the menace of piracy in the Indian Ocean cannot be effectively tackled in the absence of political stability and security in Somalia.’

Before his departure from the CHOGM, the President also took the time to meet with several young Seychellois students studying in Western Australia at various universities.