Minister Launches EU Maritime Capacity Project
The Foreign Minister has thanked the European Union for responding to President James Michel’s appeal to world leaders by committing to enhancing regional capacity in the fight against piracy through the EUCAP Nestor project.
In a ceremony held to mark the operational launch of the project at the Seychelles Coast Guard base with the Head of Mission for EUCAP Nestor, Admiral Jacques Launay, Minister Jean-Paul Adam, described the EU as an essential stakeholder in the fight against the scourge of piracy who have responded both bilaterally and regionally:
“In this respect, the EUCAP NESTOR mission was mandated to help build maritime capacities and address the underlying roots of piracy in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean. It initially started with a Technical Assessment mission, which came to Seychelles in February 2012, and was called ‘Regional Maritime Capacity Building’ at the time.
“Since then, I am pleased to note that much has happened… The results of the partnership in the fight against piracy between the EU and Seychelles speak for itself in the dramatic reduction in successful piracy attacks.”
The Minister added that this level of engagement from the EU shows that securing the Indian Ocean was more than securing a highway for trade for Seychelles, but rather for the whole world.
“Thus, while we may consider that the cost of the fight against piracy is very high- the cost of doing nothing is even higher… Creating a secure ocean- means investing in a common future- investing in a future where we do not only look at our own capacity- but that of the region.”
During the ceremony Admiral Launay commended the Seychelles Government’s approach in dealing with piracy as a model for the region to follow:
“The Seychelles has – and continues to make – a substantial contribution to the fight against piracy. The Seychelles does this by engaging in the entire chain of counter-piracy, ranging from interdiction and deterrence at sea to prosecution, imprisonment, and transfer of pirates – to Somalia – to serve their sentence in their home land.”
The EUCAP Nestor mission is a civilian EU mission launched in July 2012 and formally opened its Headquarters in Djibouti in February. The presence in the Seychelles currently consists of four EU experts but will expand in the coming months. Project is charged with assisting the Seychelles Coast Guard, Seychelles Air Force, Police, and Judiciary in their capacity building in dealing with maritime security, including counter-piracy and maritime governance. The Project will also see the EU experts offering advisory services to the relevant authorities and see the build up of some key equipment that will boost operations.