Press release

President Michel pledges support and expresses profound sadness following devastating cyclone in Vanuatu

March 16, 2015

Following a devastating cyclone which ravaged the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, President James Michel has addressed a message of condolences and solidarity to Ni-Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale and the Government and people of Vanuatu, on behalf of the government and people of Seychelles.

In his message President Michel expressed his grief and sadness at the catastrophic devastation and the human suffering caused by cyclone Pam to Vanuatu. He expressed his heartfelt condolences to the Government and the people of Vanuatu on the loss of life and the widespread destruction of property. “The thoughts and prayers of the Seychellois people are with Vanuatu in these darkest of moments,” said President Michel. 

Seychelles, it is to be noted, has long been a champion of Small Island Developing States and has emerged as a leading advocate on issues pertaining to climate change. “This tragic event underlines the vulnerability of SIDS, and this is why one of the fundamental foreign policy objectives of Seychelles has been to mobilise the international community to adopt a special Vulnerability Index to address the inherent vulnerabilities of SIDS,” said the Seychelles Head of State.  

“The cyclone, which has just struck Vanuatu – a sister Small Island State – with such catastrophic effects and the tragic loss of lives is a clear manifestation of climate change, which some persist to deny. Today it is the South Pacific, tomorrow it could be us,” added President Michel. “When will the international community wake up to reality and put our efforts and resources to get a binding agreement to reduce global warming and sustain the survival of our planet?” he asked.

President Michel noted that the tragic situation witnessed in Vanuatu serves as a stark reminder to the international community of the real and devastating consequences of climate change.

In the wake of cyclone Pam, President Michel reaffirmed his commitment to working with Vanuatu and the SIDS community towards galvanising meaningful action on climate change.

In a show of solidarity with Vanuatu, President James Michel has tasked Seychelles Ambassador for Climate Change and Small Island Developing Issues, Ronny Jumeau, with calling an emergency meeting of the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS) in order to determine how to provide and coordinate assistance to Vanuatu and seek support for the Island nation. 

On behalf of the Government of Seychelles, President James Michel has additionally pledged the sum of 100.000 United States Dollars to Vanuatu to assist in on-going emergency relief efforts.

“As a like-minded Small Island Developing State, Seychelles strongly identifies with the difficult developmental challenges that the SIDS typically face, and we will continue to stand in close solidarity with Vanuatu”, reflected President Michel in his message.