Press release

Seychelles reiterates call for a vulnerability index at ACP Council of Ministers

November 26, 2015

Seychelles took the opportunity at the ACP Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels at its 102nd session to reiterate its call for a vulnerability index for Small Island Developing States. It will be recalled that President Michel made this call at the Third UN International SIDS Conference in Samoa last year. It is thus a key foreign policy agenda of the Government of Seychelles.

Speaking at the ACP Ministerial Development Finance Meeting, Secretary of State, Ambassador Barry Faure, representing Foreign Minister Joel Morgan, stated: “The World Bank has recently categorized Seychelles as a high income country. Despite our criticism of the indiscriminate use of the GDP per capita criteria to measure development, this recognizes the commendable transformation of the country under the leadership of President James Michel. The flip side of the coin, however, is that this high income status further hurts our access to development cooperation financing, which is already limited for Middle Income Countries. We will not be eligible for grants and favourable concessionary loans to support our sustainable development programmes and inclusive growth. Therefore, while we reflect on the issues of Post 2020 Cooperation Financing and the implementation of the SDGs, Seychelles would like to continue its advocacy work for the creation of a specific instrument in the next multi-annual financial framework to deal with Small Vulnerable Economies (SVEs). The single and indiscriminate use of GDP per capita when it comes to development assistance works against SIDS and SVEs. This practice has to be abandoned.”

The Seychelles delegate also pointed out that whilst we understand and would support the principle of “differentiation” in the EU Agenda for Change, it has to recognize and accommodate the specificities and peculiarities of SIDS and SVEs in order to preserve the gains achieved under past progressive EU development policies. Seychelles called for the interest of SIDS and SVEs to be seriously considered in post 2020 Joint ACP-EU Partnership.

The ACP Council endorsed the Seychelles position and the European Commission showed willingness to work with the ACP Secretariat to accommodate the concerns of ACP SIDS.