Press release

President Michel Congratulates New Director General of FAO

June 28, 2011

Following the recent election of the new Director General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Mr. Graziano da Silva of Brazil, President James Michel has sent a message of congratulations on behalf of the government and people of Seychelles.

The President has welcomed the election as being very important for developing nations and their fight for better food security and called on the newly elected Brazilian to ensure that the organisation continues to respond to the needs of vulnerable small island states.

“I am certain that under your leadership the FAO will continue to support and enable developing countries to adequately face the challenges of climate change and the increased interdependence of states to ensure sustainable food security for all,” said President Michel.

President Michel also took this opportunity to highlight new, additional challenges to food security such as the scourge of piracy in the Indian Ocean and welcomed new initiatives to address these challenges:

“As a Small Island Developing State, the Seychelles is particularly vulnerable to the effects of the drastically changing global environment and economic uncertainty that has been characteristic of recent years. In addition to the issues of biodiversity, water shortages, and the difficulties of reconciling development needs with preserving the environment, Seychelles is also faced with the added burden of piracy in the Indian Ocean which is significantly impacting our fishing industries.

“However, despite these difficult challenges, the Seychelles has managed to prosper and mature through hard work and the support of organisations like the FAO. We hope that this support not only remains but flourishes under your guidance and we look forward to new initiatives to address additional threats like piracy.”

Mr. da Silva, who is the first Latin American to be elected to this position, will take up his new post in January next year.