Press release

Minister Radegonde addresses the 1st Meeting of the Strategic Planning Steering Group

February 11, 2021

Minister Sylvestre Radegonde delivered the opening statement at the first meeting of the Strategic Planning Steering Group (SPSG), which took place virtually today.

The establishment of the SPSG is based on the recommendations of the 22nd Plenary Session of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), held in Mauritius in 2019, which acknowledged the need for the Group to adopt a new strategic direction and map out the future of CGPCS.

The SPSG is tasked with developing the draft “CGPCS Strategic Plan” for consideration and approval by the Plenary Session of the CGPCS, and to maintain and update the Strategic Plan and any derivative support plans as may be directed by the CGPCS Chair or Plenary.

Minister Radegonde had the honour to present a statement, on behalf of the Republic of Seychelles, addressing various areas where the CGPCS has been successful in the suppression of piracy off the coast of Somalia and emphasising on the importance to remain alert as piracy, organised crime and other illegal activities remain a menace to our collective security and livelihoods. Minister Radegonde also commended the work of the various member states and organisations in the CGPCS’ mission by their participation in the work of the SPSG.

In delivering his statement, Minister Radegonde also took the opportunity to officially submit Seychelles as Chair of the SPSG and announced the appointment of Mr. Steve Lalande, Director General of Regional Affairs at the Foreign Affairs Department, also present at the meeting, to Chair the SPSG.

Through its Chairmanship, Seychelles hopes to revitalize the work of the CGPCS around the following key areas:

  1. Resources to sustain the activities of CGPCS.
  2. Strengthening synergy between relevant organizations, programmes and mechanisms.
  3. Adopting a holistic approach to address other illicit maritime activities, such as drug trafficking, arms trafficking, trafficking in persons, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, terrorism and other forms of organized crime on the high seas.

Also present at the meeting were Mr Jacques Belle, Director General of Protocol, Consular and Maritime Affairs, Mr. Ian Madeleine, Director of Maritime Affairs and Ms. Dericka Figaro, Second Secretary at Foreign Affairs Department.