Minister for Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy addresses UN Security council on Security Challenges faced by SIDS
‘The Blue Economy builds security and development’- Seychelles briefs UN Security Council
Minister of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy, Jean-Paul Adam, has addressed the UN Security Council on the subject of security challenges faced by Small Island Developing States, at the invitation of the current presidency of the Council, held by New Zealand, through Minister of Foreign Affairs, Murray McCully.
Minister Adam represented President James Michel at the special Open Debate of the Security Council as one of 3 high level briefers, alongside the Prime Minister of Samoa, H.E Mr. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, and H.E Mrs. Portia Simpson-Miller, the Prime Minister of Jamaica.
In his briefing, the Minister emphasised that the relative lack of governance and the lawlessness that too often characterises management of oceans is a primary security and development challenge for SIDS and for all states- “With 75% of our planet being made up by oceans, the weak global governance of our oceanic spaces undermines our global security. We are all vulnerable.” He also contextualised the debate in the context of climate change- underlining that climate change is the foremost security threat for SIDS and which also affects the whole world.
He briefed the council on efforts that Seychelles is making to enhance its own governance of its marine spaces such as through the creation of its new Blue Economy Department, its marine spatial plan, the creation of marine protected areas and the development of enhanced fisheries management mechanisms including through financing by ‘blue bonds’.
The Minister also highlighted the critical role that Seychelles has played in responding to the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean. By ensuring that prosecutions were possible against pirates, the business model of piracy had been broken, but he warned against complacency, noting the rise of associated criminal activity. He also expressed concern about the continued threat of terrorism in the region as illustrated through the continued actions of terrorist group Al Shabab.
The Minister urged enhanced information sharing as a solution, and illustrated Seychelles’ experience through its regional information fusion and law enforcement centre (REFLECS3). He also called on UNSC members to reinforce the maritime domain awareness capacity of SIDS to empower them as ‘sentinels of the sea’.
The Minister also referenced the heavy impact felt by SIDS due to drug addiction among young people, a consequence of the continued rise of global drug trafficking and a problem affecting SIDS from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean to the Caribbean.
The issue of climate change was one referenced by most delegations in relation to the world’s security. Minister Adam underlined the issue in his remarks and also stressed that the Blue Economy was the development mechanism that best allowed SIDS to simultaneously address these challenges while creating new opportunities. He also called on UNSC members to ensure that climate change was adequately addressed in terms of its security implications and noted that as with all threats, the best response involved pre-emoting the threat.
“We have an opportunity to set a standard for global governance and for enhanced global security in Paris. Let us ensure we take it! Better governance of our oceans through the Blue Economy can already help us ensure that we can build climate resilient growth. The fast track to better maritime security is the fast track to establish our blue economy”, the Minister emphasised in his concluding remarks.