The Scope of Peace and Security should also encompass the Maritime Domain
The 31st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union which was being held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, was closed on 2nd July 2018. The last day of the Summit offered another suitable platform for Seychelles to reiterate its support for the commitments undertaken by the African Union towards peace and security in Africa.
“Remember, insecurity, instability anywhere on the continent is a threat to prosperity everywhere in Africa. We cannot ignore the concerns we have over the remaining challenges in security and peace across the continent. As called for in Agenda 2063, all wars and violent conflicts in Africa must stop. We should resort to peaceful dialogue to resolve our differences,” said Vice President Vincent Meriton who was representing President Danny Faure at the Assembly. The Vice President also highlighted the leadership role played by Seychelles in 2016 and 2017 on the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia which was a first for the region.
In an interactive luncheon on Financing of AU-led Peace Support operations authorized by the UN Security Council, hosted the President of France, H.E. Emmanuel Macron, Vice President Meriton underscored the collaboration between France and Africa in upholding peace and security across the continent. “The scope of peace and security should not be restricted to the continent only but should also encompass the maritime domain. Maritime crimes such as drugs smuggling, human trafficking and the lingering scourge of piracy continue to undermine development of both coastal and landlocked countries,” said the Vice President.
Emphasis was also placed on the Seychelles- led initiatives and programmes as well as structures within the Indian Ocean Commission to assist in combatting these scourges. To note, the IOC has shown its worth by assisting to develop maritime surveillance and response structures like the EU-funded Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre in Madagascar and the Regional Centre for Operational Coordination in Seychelles under the MASE programme. On the margins of the Assembly the Vice President had bilateral meetings with leaders from South Africa, Egypt, Rwanda, Mauritius and Morocco.
The Seychelles delegation consisted of Secretary of State in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Barry Faure, Ambassador David Pierre, Permanent Representative for Seychelles in Addis Ababa, Ms. Cillia Mangroo, Principal Secretary for Trade and Mrs. Johnette Stephen, Principal Counsellor, Embassy of Seychelles in Addis Ababa.