Seychelles delegation at the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union
The 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), which kicked off on 9 February 2020, came to an end at the headquarters of the AU, in Addis Ababa today.
Vice-President Meriton, was representing President Danny Faure, at this year’s Assembly held from 9 to 10 February 2020 and was preceded by the 36th Session of the African Union Executive Council held from 6 to 7 February 2020.
The Summit includes the presence and participation of numerous African Heads of State and Government, who discussed over the two day event different issues of importance to the continent as well as deliberated on a number of reports including those related to peace and security, blue economy, and trade.
The highlights of this year’s event was the presentation of the report of the Champion of the Blue Economy for Africa by Vice President Meriton. This report underscored the achievement thus far recorded by Seychelles in its promotion and implementation of the Blue Economy concept at national, regional, continental and global level.
In concluding the report, Vice President Meriton called upon the leaders to “be cognizant of the abundance of resources that our continent boasts especially in our oceanic and aquatic spaces, which represent vital opportunities for the prosperity and well-being of our present and future generation”.
Apart from the Assembly, the Seychelles delegation also seized the occasion to partake in the following:
The Seychelles delegation co-hosted along with the Kingdom of Morocco and The Gabonese Republic a side event on “Climate Change Adaptation strategies for improved resilience in Africa, on 7th February 2020. Mr Wills Agricole, Principal Secretary for Energy and Climate Change was a panellist at this event.
The Seychelles delegation also attended the Meeting of the Committee of the African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), on 8th February 2020, whereby Mr. Agricole also delivered a progress report on the Africa Island States Commission.
Seychelles co-hosted the High Level Side Event on Africa’s Blue Economy on 8th February 2020, alongside the Republic of Kenya and the Republic of Togo in collaboration with the African Union Commission and the Kingdom of Norway. The highlight of the event was the launch of the African Blue Economy Framework by H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission. Seychelles and the African Union Commission worked in close collaboration on this framework, which was validated by Member States of the Union.
Seychelles also officially launched the African Island State Climate Commission on 9th February 2020, whereby the mechanism’s structure and road map were presented to the members of the Commission.
Two important signing by Vice President Meriton also took place on the sideline of the Summit. These consisted of the African Medicine Agency Treaty and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for Seychelles to accede to the African Peer Review Mechanism along with the Republic of Zimbabwe at the 29th Session of the African Peer Review (APR) Forum.
Vice President Meriton and the Seychelles delegation also conducted a bilateral meeting with Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of AUDA- NEPAD, pertaining to ongoing cooperation as well as to explore avenues of future collaboration in the field of The Blue Economy, Renewable Energy, Transportation and Cyber Security.
Furthermore, Vice President Meriton met briefly with H.E. Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius whereby the discussions centred on bilateral and multilateral matters of shared interests. Vice President Meriton equally engaged on issues of common interest within the bilateral and multilateral realm, with H.E. Liu Yuxi, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the African Union Commission.
Additionally, Dr. Marina Confait and Mr. Wills Agricole held a bilateral meeting with H.E. Dr. Alastair McPhail, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the Federal Republic of Ethiopia whereby the main discussion focussed on the upcoming COP 26, scheduled in November 2020, in Glasgow, Scotland.
Vice President Meriton was accompanied by Dr. Marina Confait, Principal Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador David Pierre, Seychelles Permanent Representative to the African Union, Mr. Kenneth Racombo, Principal Secretary of the Department of The Blue Economy, Mr. Wills Agricole, Principal Secretary of the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Mrs. Johnette Stephen, Principal Counsellor in the Embassy of Seychelles in Addis Ababa, Ms. Patsy Moustache, Director for World Affairs, Regions and Countries of the Department of Foreign Affairs,, Ms. Wendy Isnard, First Secretary for Organisations and Candidatures Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Ms. Fatime Kante, Senior Economist of the Department of The Blue Economy.