Seychelles and UAE continue to develop exemplary partnership on sustainable development
On a working visit in Abu Dhabi, on his way back to Seychelles from his participation in the 20th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Paul Adam held high level discussions with the Director General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, H.E Mr. Saif Al Suwaidi and with H.E Dr. Ahmad Behloul, CEO of MASDAR, the UAE’s renewable energy company.
“At the discussions on climate change, the link between climate change and sustainable development could not be more apparent. Seychelles’ partnership with the UAE has already yielded projects that have contributed significantly to increase our resilience- from renewable wind energy projects to improving provision of fresh water through desalination plants. As we prepare the route towards an agreement on climate change in Paris, Seychelles and UAE can offer a positive example of partnership for sustainable development,” Minister Adam remarked.
In his discussions with the Abu Dhabi Fund he expressed the appreciation of the Seychellois people for the strength of engagement of the UAE government and ensured that Seychelles would continue to prioritise people centred development. The Abu Dhabi fund is currently engaged in the ongoing construction of social housing on the island of Perseverance for example.
In addition, in his discussions with MASDAR, Minister Adam highlighted the positive development of Seychelles’ first major renewable energy project that marked an important step in reducing the county’s reliance on imported and polluting fossil fuels. In his discussions with MASDAR and the ADFD, the expansion of further renewable energy projects was discussed.
Minister Adam also took the opportunity of his visit to express his appreciation for the UAE’s ongoing support to further develop the Blue Economy concept.
“The successful holding of the first Blue Economy Summit on the sidelines of the Sustainability Summit in Abu Dhabi in January 2014 illustrated the shared vision of President James Michel, and HH. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to bring further development opportunities based on our oceanic spaces for the people of both countries. As part of discussions on sustainable development, we are confident that the strategic partnership between the two countries will continue to be a driver for the Blue Economy Concept on the world stage”, Minister Adam remarked.
In his discussions with ADFD and MASDAR, the Minister underlined that no country- no matter how big or small- could develop in isolation from global processes.
“For SIDS such as Seychelles, partners such as the UAE can be key in enhancing technology transfer and in building opportunities for Seychelles based entrepreneurs around new development in the Blue Economy. Through our partnership we know we can further engage in global processes- and not become a victim of them” the Minister added.
These discussions to review existing cooperation and identify new opportunities follows the recent visit of President James Michel to the UAE where he had high level discussions with HH. Sheik Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahryan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces where he also witnessed the historic signing of the visa waiver agreement between the Seychelles and the UAE for all passport holders. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is engaged in the process of ensuring that the necessary national processes are completed before the agreement comes into force and the date of this will be communicated in due course.