Press release

Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago establish relations

September 30, 2009

NEW YORK (Seychelles Permanent Mission to the United Nations): Seychelles and Trinidad and Tobago established diplomatic relations today.

 Seychelles’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Ronny Jumeau, and his counterpart from Trinidad and Tobago, Amb. Marina Valere, signed the official agreement at the Commonwealth Joint Office in New York, where the Seychelles Mission to the UN is based, in the presence of staff from the two missions.

 The two ambassadors agreed it was timely, with all the crises the world currently faces, especially climate change, for the small island developing states (SIDS) to reach out to each other more as only they could really understand the particular challenges and vulnerabilities SIDS face.

 A joint communique issued by the two countries said they were guided by a shared willingness to develop ties of friendship and cooperation in political, economic, cultural, humanitarian and other fields.

The two governments also reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of the United Nations and international law, including the sovereign equality of states, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of another state.

 Speaking at the signing, Amb Jumeau noted it is the usual practice for SIDS, when seeking  assistance to help them meet their development goals, to reach out to historical bilateral partners, mainly from the developed world, and multilateral organisations.  However, while their fellow SIDS may not have the economic means to provide the assistance required, they nevertheless shared similar experiences and development paths and had technical expertise to offer.

 “After all, who best to understand the development challenges of a small island state than another small island country,” Mr Jumeau said.

 Giving her country as an example, Amb Valere said Trinidad and Tobago, the leading producer of oil and natural gas in the Caribbean and among the SIDS, has offered it’s technical expertise in this field to Africa.  “Seychelles is not only part of Africa, but also a fellow member of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS),” she noted.

The diplomatic relations between the two republics, at non-residential ambassadorial level, were set up a mere three days before the start of the November 27-29 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago.  Seychelles and Trinidad and Tobago (pop.1.3 million) are both small island developing states of the Commonwealth.