“We are more determined than ever to continue investing in inter-island partnership”
Seychelles President James Michel hosted an official reception at the State House this evening, in honour of President Tommy Esang Remengesau of the Republic of Palau, that was attended by Seychellois and Palauan dignitaries as well as members of the diplomatic corps.
“We are proud to celebrate with you our island identity and way of life, our affinity, our common aspirations to development, our joint commitment and dedication to the advocacy of SIDS. Thanks to the power of island innovative partnership, we have achieved a lot together. Together we will continue to emphasise the challenges and opportunities faced by SIDS. Together we will continue to advance the cause of SIDS internationally and, at the same time, provide solutions to the world in relation to our needs and special circumstances,” said President Michel in a toast in honour of President Remengesau.
The President noted that the two island nations’ priorities are to address the core vulnerability of SIDS, to underline the opportunity that the Blue Economy presents for islands, to continue calling for the need of comprehensive measures to better address the economic development of SIDS, including through initiatives addressing islands’ debt.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Mr. President, for your support to the Seychelles initiative for our debt-swap deal in relation to the financing of climate change. The Paris Club debt-buy back agreement with Seychelles has developed a mechanism which can be emulated by other small island states. We would be more than happy to share our experience with you and other small island nations,” said Mr. Michel.
The President added that 2015 is a crucial year for SIDS where a deal will be negotiated in Paris and which will see the launch of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, and he stressed that islands are more determined than ever to make their voices heard.
“We are more determined than ever to continue investing in inter-island partnership, through mutually beneficial programmes of cooperation…. We passionately believe in the power of such island partnership to help overcome our common challenges.”
During his toast, President Remengesau thanked the Seychelles government and people of Seychelles for the warm welcome the Palau delegation received on the first visit to Seychelles.
“This is my first time in the Indian Ocean, and it seems like we never left home. I am truly affected by the show of hospitality, by the show of pride that the people have, and by the unity… of the people of Seychelles… that I can truly identify myself with,” said the President of Palau.
“No country is an island…in this day and age no country can be an island by itself, whether you are small or big. But in this case more than ever, we as island nations must come together and join hands, for if we try to go ahead alone, we become truly isolated islands, and so for us to come here, and see the mutual values that Seychelles shares….which are the things that remind of the challenges that we face in the Pacific, it brings not only passion, but it brings more determination that there are more people in the world that share the same aspirations, the same dreams, the same values…but we have to band together, and the world will listen if we band together, after all we are not small island states we are large ocean states and we should be proud!” said Mr. Remengesau.
During the evening, the Seychelles National Troupe performed a selection traditional dances, and the National Day Song Competition winners Judith Hoareau and Antoinette Dodin performed several songs.