Seychelles- South Africa 3rd Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation
The Seychelles and South African delegation met today, Tuesday 26th July 2022, to kick start the Seychelles-South Africa 3rd Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation. Discussions within the Joint Commission, co-chaired by Ambassador Vivianne FOCK TAVE and High Commissioner Claude Morel on the Seychelles side and Ms. Tselane Mokuena on the South Africa side, are taking place until Thursday 28th July with various local Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation is a platform where cooperation matters are addressed and it takes place every 2 years. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the two sides had not met since 2018.
In her opening remarks, the Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Vivianne Fock Tave stated, “Our two countries enjoy very close and cordial relations which have been strengthened over many years through our shared ambitions to enhance our relationship to a higher level. Our meeting this week will allow us to further solidify our existing partnership and give a new impetus to our cooperation”.
The Seychelles Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs also pointed out that Seychelles and South Africa have much to share at the regional and international levels, especially at the United Nations, the African Union, the Commonwealth and SADC, where the two countries can work together on issues of common interests, such as the threat of Climate Change, among others.
Ambassador Fock Tave also added, “Peace and security in our region, including maritime security, is another concern to both our countries. We would like to commend South Africa for its leadership role with regard the SADC Mission in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. As a SADC Member State, Seychelles will continue to support the Mission through regional maritime patrols and surveillance of the Western Indian Ocean to interdict the flow of weapons and other illicit materials. Therefore, in this way, Seychelles will contribute towards maintaining peace and security in the region.”
On her part, Ms. Tselane Mokuena, Chief Director of East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, remarked that the Joint Commission is taking place during a special month, the Mandela month, which is celebrated throughout the world. She also reiterated the South Africa and Seychelles’ excellent relations, dating back to South Africa’s struggles for liberation.
Ms. Mokuena noted that the signature of the Joint Cooperation Agreement signed in 2007 has served as the framework for guiding the cooperation of the two countries. She added that the relations between the two countries were further strengthened in July 2019, when Seychelles unveiled the late Nelson Mandela Statue in Victoria.
Ms. Mokuena also pointed out that despite the 3rd Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation having occurred later than scheduled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, much efforts have been placed into preparing for this meeting. As such, she hopes that over the course of the three days, both sides can have deeper discussions on issues relating to trade, tourism, the ocean economy, science and technology, health, police, and cultural exchanges, among others.
The South African delegation also comprised the High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa to the Republic of Seychelles, H.E. Dr. Hlamalani Nelly Manzini, and representatives from various government organisations.