Press release

The official launch of the UN Country Retreat, 17 April to 19 April 2019

April 18, 2019

A delegation of 29 UN representatives from various UN organisations are meeting in Seychelles this week for the UN Country retreat which was officially launched on Wednesday 17, April.

In her welcome speech, the Resident Coordinator for Seychelles, Mrs. Christine Umutoni conveyed her sincere thanks to the Government of Seychelles, particularly to President Faure for his hindsights to guide the UN deliberations throughout the retreat.

The 3 day retreat, which is an annual event, involves teambuilding activities and also a day of exploring the country for some cultural experience.

Mrs. Umutoni also expressed her appreciation for the high level UN delegation participating in the retreat, which includes four UN Regional Directors for Africa: IOM Regional Director, Mr. Charles Kwenin, UNESCO Regional Director, Mrs. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, UNFPA Regional Director, Mrs. Julitta Onabanjo and UNWTO Regional Director, Ms. Elcia Grandcourt.

“I am privileged to be at the helm of the UN team for this retreat and the level of commitment of UN bodies present, brings the retreat to a different level along with the commitment of the Seychelles Government, we have a great partnership all around”.

The Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and of the Blue Economy, Ambassador Barry Faure followed with his key note address on behalf of the Government of Seychelles in reiterating his welcome to the UN team and the excellent partnership between Seychelles and UN. “Your presence here this week signifies the precious ties that exist between Seychelles and the UN family” said Ambassador Faure.

The event was also followed by the launching of the Seychelles Strategic Partnership Framework (SPF) Steering Committee. The SPF which is a significant milestone in the progression of Seychelles for the next five years, brings together UN collective support and collaboration towards four strategic priority areas for Seychelles: Economic Transformation, Sustainability and Resilience, Human Capital Development and Science, and Technology and Innovation Development and Data Development.

“These strategic priorities are all aligned to the pillars of the National Development Strategy” noted Ambassador Faure.

Due to the UN support, it was therefore fitting that the launch of the SPF Steering Committee took place in the presence of so many high level UN representatives.

The programme ended with a panel discussion with the theme ‘Delivering as ONE to achieve the SDGs at country and regional level in the context of the UN reforms’.

The panel chaired by the UNESCO Regional Director, Ms. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, consisted of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and the Blue Economy, Ambassador Barry Faure, Principal Secretary of Economic Planning Development, Mrs. Elizabeth Agathine, IOM Regional Director, Mr. Charles Kwenin, UNWTO Regional Director, Ms. Elcia Grandcourt, UN Resident Coordinator for Seychelles, Mrs. Christine N. Umutoni, UN Resident Coordinator for Comoros, Mr. Matthias Naab, UN Resident Coordinator for Madagascar, Ms. Violet Kakyomya and Seychelles Permanent Liaison Officer to the Indian Ocean Commission, Mr. Jacques Belle.

In appreciation of the UN for the unwavering support that it continues to extend to Seychelles, the Department of Foreign Affairs will this evening host a gala dinner for the delegation.