Press release

New Seychelles Ambassador to the Holy See and Sovereign Order of Malta presents Credentials to Pope Francis and The Grandmaster, Fra’ Mathew Festing

May 30, 2016
Ambassador Selby Pillay was one of six new envoys who presented his Letters of Credence to Pope Francis on 19th May 2016, at the Vatican, accrediting him to the Holy See.
The Pontiff reciprocated President James Michel’s greetings, and conveyed his prayers and best wishes. His Holiness also asked God to grant peace and prosperity to all fellow citizens of Seychelles.
In his address to the new Ambassadors, the Pope highlighted that their presence at the Pontifical Palace is a poignant reminder that, “though our nationalities, cultures and religious beliefs may be different, we are united by our common humanity and a shared mission to care for society and creation. This service has taken on a particular urgency, as so many in our world are suffering conflicts and war, forced migration and displacement, and the uncertainty born of economic hardship. These problems demand not only that we reflect upon them and discuss them, but that we also express concrete signs of solidarity with our brothers and sisters in grave need.”
Ambassador Pillay emphasized the commitments of Seychelles in engaging all religious beliefs in order “to address critical national and global issues, and to continue working together towards promoting human dignity.”
Later in the day, the Ambassador was also accredited to the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, commonly known as Order of Malta. He presented his Credentials to The Grandmaster, Fra’ Mathew Festing at the Magistral Palace in Rome. His Most Eminent Highness has accepted an invitation from President James Michel to visit Seychelles next year.  Seychelles greatly values the excellent and privileged relationship with the Order which continues to provide the country with many forms of assistance. 
In his audience with the Grandmaster, Ambassador Pillay highlighted that, “In spite of the inherent challenges we face as a SIDS, we have been able to achieve much progress. This would not have been possible without our own determination, the assistance and concerted effort of our multilateral and bilateral partners, to which we count the Order as one such valued partner”. The Order is willing to assist us with future training in the field of health, and possibly provide equipment as well.
The international engagement and work of the Order around the world continue to be carried out in line with their 900-year long tradition, irrespective of race or religion. And throughout its 40 years of independence, Seychelles’ approach to economic and social development has been very much people-centered – a strategy incorporating values of justice, sustainability and inclusiveness that Seychelles Government and the Order have in common.