Good morning and welcome to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Open Day under the theme “Seychelles Foreign Missions, Closer to the Community”.
Last year, we promised we would open our doors once again to allow you and members of the public to gain further insight of the work being done by our Ministry. We kept our promise and I trust you will have an enjoyable visit.
This year the Open Day is different from what we showcased last year and for those of you that participated last November you will detect the changes.
Given that we have opened another Mission in Addis Ababa in 2012, bringing our Diplomatic Missions overseas to ten including our Geneva Office, we have decided to showcase and better inform you and members of the public the kind of work our Embassies abroad do.
It is worth noting that since 2004 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has grown from just 2 Foreign Missions to 10 by November, 2012.
Seychelles is therefore represented overseas by 10 Ambassadors and 86 Honorary Consuls in 59 countries. Seychelles has Diplomatic Relations with 150 countries worldwide and 8 such countries have a permanent mission in Victoria. Another 20 countries are represented by their Honorary Consuls.
As we prepare Seychelles candidature for a seat as a non permanent member in the UN Security Council 2017-18 we will deploy all our resources starting in January 2013 at the AU Summit in Addis to ensure our election.
We will require additional resources both human and financial to ensure our successful term in office as we make our voice count for Seychelles, the Small Island Developing States and the international community at large.
To achieve this ultimate goal, we will review the way we do business using our Honorary Consuls. Early in the New Year I will chair a Committee that will have as its principal objective to ensure better results for Seychelles from our Honorary Consuls overseas. This does not mean that we are dissatisfied with the work being done, a number of our committed Honorary Consuls have themselves expressed the desire to do more.
The Ministry has worked under difficult financial, human and technical resources constraints whilst embracing plans to modernize, expand and upgrade its institution and services. We have been punching above our weight for the last 2 years or more.
With Minister Adam’s drive and leadership we need all the support and assistance we can get. When I pester my colleagues – Principal Secretaries for a comment, an input or amendment to an MOU or the redrafting of an Article in the SOFA, we do this as time is always of the essence, more so in Diplomacy.
I take this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Public Administration for their support and understanding and to humbly request for their continued collaboration for the coming years leading to 2017-18.
Finally a few words to my colleagues at the MFA. This year has been particularly challenging and we have performed well, however we did make a few mistakes along the way. We have all agreed to learn from those mistakes and work better as a team.
Your enthusiasm and dedication to accept change for the overall improvement of the MFA is in my view real. If you keep this up you will certainly get my full support and that of Minister Adam.
Ladies and Gentlemen
I wish to thank this year’s organizing committee and all the Staff of the Ministry together with the participating, organizations that have worked and prepared this Open Day 2012.
Before I give the floor to Minister Adam, let me remind you that today and tomorrow we are at your disposal to make your visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs an interesting and memorable one.
Thank you and see you all again next year.