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Opening Statement of Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism 8th Seychelles – European Union Political Dialogue


Ambassador Vincent Degert,

Colleague Ministers,

Ambassadors and Distinguished Representatives of EU Member States,

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

It is with pleasure that I welcome you all here today to the eighth Seychelles - European Union (EU) Political Dialogue, as per the requirement of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the EU and its Member States, and African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) group of states.

Our presence here today, notwithstanding the difficulties posed by the pandemic, demonstrates, in no small measure, our commitment to strengthening the cooperation that exists between Seychelles and the EU. The Dialogue adds a political dimension to our development, trade, and economic cooperation.

The EU has accompanied Seychelles in its socio-economic development and the diversification of our economy over the last decades and remains a strategic partner for the modern and forward-thinking Seychelles.

I wish to place on record our satisfaction at the achievements that Seychelles and the EU have made over the years. It has been a fruitful collaboration, not only with the government but with the private sector and civil society.

However, since this is a dialogue among trusted partners, in the spirit of the frankness and openness of this partnership, I must bring forth two issues of concern, in particular, which are a constant source of disappointment and exasperation for us.

The first relates to climate change. Pledges and commitments have been made. What have been the concrete results of such pledges and commitments. To what extent have they been translated into action? To speak plainly, we have to walk the talk! We must go beyond rhetoric. With just a few weeks to go until COP26, the message is clear: we must step up our global response to the climate crisis. We urge the EU to take the lead in Glasgow. To negotiate a substantial package, with binding commitments, to address the challenges of climate change. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) should not be neglected in the process. Under the pretext that we are too rich!

Which brings me to my second point:  the vulnerabilities of SIDS and the application of a Vulnerability Index. You hold us to the highest standards where democracy, human rights, the rule of law, good governance are concerned. We have no problem with that. Because we share those same values and principles. We live by them. 

But let us not forget that they can only thrive in an environment where development is sustained. A “one-size-fits-all” approach runs counter to this, especially where access to external funds is concerned. This is why we continue to advocate for the effective implementation of a Vulnerability Index, which takes into account the real issues facing maritime micro-nations such as ours. This would help to grant SIDS access to much-needed international financing and other support, during and in the wake of the pandemic, to rebuild our livelihoods and economies.  Being a high-income Small Island State should not be a barrier to this. Nor should we be “penalised” for the success that we have achieved.

Our vulnerabilities have been exposed even more by the pandemic. My colleague, the Minister of Finance, will later outline the impacts of the pandemic on our economy. Its ripple effects have also been felt at the social and development levels.

The pandemic has also caused delays in the delivery of certain projects and activities in Seychelles being supported by the EU, specifically:

  •  The construction of rainwater drains and infrastructures on La Digue;


  • and activities under the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement.



Chers collègues,

Madame, Messieurs les Ambassadeurs,

Mesdames, Messieurs,


Au regard des défis mondiaux, les Seychelles doivent y prêter attention, s'adapter et agir en conséquence. A cet égard, nous faisons confiance et comptons sur le partenariat qui existe entre nous pour soutenir davantage les investissements dans les domaines critiques du développement de notre économie.

Je note que l'Union Européenne suit de très près les progrès des Seychelles pour remédier aux lacunes de la lutte contre le blanchiment d'argent, le financement du terrorisme ainsi que les questions fiscales. Le Gouvernement s'est engagé à soutenir pleinement cet exercice en l’érigeant en priorité nationale. Nous avons veillé à ce que les ressources nécessaires soient fournies aux autorités compétentes en la matière, pour mener à bien cet exercice jusqu’à son terme.


Est-il encore besoin de dire que les Seychelles apprécient son partenariat avec l'Union Européenne sur les questions de paix, de sécurité et de gouvernance. Dans ces domaines, nous sommes totalement en phase, et nous souhaitons ardemment y élargir notre collaboration.

Aujourd'hui, nous espérons tenir des discussions sur notre partenariat actuel et futur, échanger nos points de vue de manière franche sur divers sujets et parvenir à un accord sur la voie à suivre. Le dialogue vise non seulement à réaffirmer la grande importance que nous accordons à nos relations avec l'Union Européenne, mais aussi à discuter des voies et moyens de les renforcer davantage.

Aussi, j’encourage tous les membres ici présents à tirer le meilleur parti de cette importante occasion de dialogue constructif et ouvert.

Je souhaite à tous une délibération très fructueuse.

Je vous remercie  de votre attention!

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