African Union Commission, Heads of State and Government,
INTERVENTIONS BY MR. DANNY FAURE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SEYCHELLES, AT THE ASSEMBLY OF THE AFRICAN UNION, 30-31st JANUARY 2015, ADDIS ABABA, FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA.
AFRICAN ISLAND STATES WITHIN AGENDA 2063
Mr. Chairman, we warmly congratulate you on your accession to the chair and appreciate your leadership in our deliberations. We also reiterate our thanks and support to our outgoing Chair for his commitment to the common cause of our Union which has allowed to us strive forward with determination and conviction.
Seychelles, as an African Island State, welcomes the importance being placed on Small Island Developing States in the Agenda 2063.
Although small, our role as custodians of our oceanic spaces, means that our development translates into the development of Africa as a whole.
Oceans transcend island states - they cover the majority of our planet and touch each and every one of us.
The Blue Economy is an opportunity for African nations to define the best use of our sovereign maritime space. It must be defined by us- and not by others.
Seychelles is proud to have hosted a first Blue Economy High level meeting in partnership with the UAE during the Sustainability Week in Abu Dhabi in January 2014. At that summit we agreed to harness our oceans to accelerate our ability to produce food and energy, whilst also diversifying our economies.
It is with this mindset that Seychelles will host a Second Blue Economy Conference in December 2015. We hope at that meeting to be able to also make a real contribution to Africa’s capacity to develop its oceans potential- its own terms, on African shores. We count on the support of the African Union and all our partners to make this conference a success.
INTERVENTION POINTS RELATING TO THE THEME OF YEAR OF WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
2015, the Year of Women Empowerment and Development, is an opportunity for the African man. I say this because it is an opportunity for men to take a more central role in the empowerment of African women.
For too long women have been leading their struggle for empowerment alone; it is time to share the burden.
It is time for fathers and husbands to be 100% committed to ensuring that our daughters have the same respect and opportunity as our sons; that they can enjoy equal prosperity and reap the benefits of the Africa of tomorrow we are building.
It is time, to borrow the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, to “Make it Happen”.
Seychelles is proud of what we have achieved in empowering women, their leadership and contributions are evident everywhere in our society but we still have some way to go before the work is done. So, as a husband and father of daughters, I applaud and welcome this year’s theme.
African women are the continents secret weapons. Let us celebrate and empower them. For us to achieve the Agenda 2063 vision, the ‘Africa We Want’, let them be secret no more.
I am also convinced Mr. Chairman, that our continent’s women have a critical role to play in the fight against climate change and in our efforts to ensure fairer and sustainable development of Africa’s rich natural resources. By empowering women- by empowering them as leaders of our communities- we can achieve more even development.
If we have doubt about the impacts of climate change- let us ask the mothers. They will tell us in the most fundamental way the link between empowering women and fighting climate change through sustainable development.
As we celebrate women, I would also like to seize this opportunity to express my delegations congratulations and appreciation to our Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, for her strong leadership of our organization.
May I firstly commend President Kikwete for the report he has presented on climate change.
This year, it is imperative that we translate the discourse of climate change into concrete action. We must ensure that at every opportunity we remind our partners of the necessity for a legally binding and fair agreement in Paris at the end of this year.
It is essential that temperature rises are limited to well below 2degrees. In fact the scientific assessments estimate that the real danger point lies at 1.5 degrees, and as an African island state, Seychelles subscribes to the precautionary approach whereby we must do our utmost to limit the negative impacts that climate change will have on all countries.
Climate change is poised to be one of the biggest obstacles to sustainable development.
Thus as we seek to rise to Meet Africa’s energy challenge we have the opportunity to create growth based on renewable energy and also on sustainable practices that are based more on value addition than extraction.
In this regard we also see our efforts to develop the blue economy in the context of Agenda 2063 as part of our continent’s contribution to buttress our economies against the risks of climate change. We believe that through sustainable oceanic development we can reconcile building climate resilience and economic growth.
We believe that African leadership will be key to getting an agreement in December. Let us all impress on our partners that we cannot speaks of development- of true sustainable development- unless we address this issue.
I thank you.