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Diplomatic Cocktail 2023 - Speech by Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism


Multipolarity: Seychelles’ Place in the Emerging World Order



  • President of the Republic of Seychelles and Mrs. Linda Ramkalawan
  • Speaker of the National Assembly
  • President of the Court of Appeal
  • Colleague Ministers
  • Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly
  • Dean of the Diplomatic Corps
  • Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps
  • Attorney General
  • Commissioner of Police
  • Chief of the Defence Forces
  • Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly
  • Chairman and Members of the International Affairs Committee in the National Assembly
  • Distinguished Guests
  • Ladies and Gentlemen




It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all this evening to our annual diplomatic reception. It is the occasion for me, on behalf of the President and the Government of Seychelles, to express our gratitude to the diplomatic corps for the partnership between the nations and institutions that they represent, and also the occasion for us all to reaffirm our shared commitments and the values that we share.


I am pleased to welcome the new Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador Alessandra Azais of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Over the past 25 years that she has been living in Seychelles, Ambassador Azais has been supporting the country immensely. We are grateful to her and assure her of my Ministry’s full support in her new tasks and responsibilities.


I would like to take the opportunity to also welcome the new Heads of Missions who have joined the Diplomatic Corps during the past year, namely, Mme Olivia Berkeley-Christmann, l’Ambassadeur de France; Mr. Kartik Pande, High Commissioner of India; Mrs. Aissatou Diallo, Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund;and the Counsellor of the United States of America to Seychelles, Mr. James Donegan.


I would also like to take a moment to remember our former Honorary Consul in Milan, who passed away a few days ago. We remember Tony Rolfini with affection and salute his many accomplishments and his devotion to his adopted country. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time.


I wish to also remember our other four Honorary Consuls who have passed away since 2020, namely:


i)             Mr. Shivdev Gorowara, Mumbai (passed away in 2020)

ii)            Mr. Andrej Hrycova, Slovakia (passed away in 2021)

iii)          Mr. Harold Green, Alaska (passed away in 2022)

iv)          Mr. Luiz Picollo, Sao Paolo, Brazil (passed away in 2022)


Heads of Missions and Members of the Diplomatic Corps,


Having myself served in several postings overseas over the years, I am all too familiar with the exigencies of the job and what it entails. You have a key contribution to make to the development of Seychelles. Not only do you represent the bonds of friendship and cooperation between Seychelles and your respective countries and institutions, but you also serve as the touchpoint for your compatriots who have chosen to make Seychelles their second home, their holiday destination or even a point for their investments.


More than ever, strong partnerships, friendship and cooperation, mutual respect, trust and understanding are required if we are to overcome the global challenges facing us all. Which brings me to the theme of my address tonight.


I want to talk to you on “Multipolarity: Seychelles’ Place in the Emerging World Order”.


A profound systemic change is happening. We are facing a rapidly changing global landscape, a shift away from so-called established poles of centric power, might, influence and rivalry to a new system of relations between states. Of course, “a new world order” is a highly debated and controversial topic, with different interpretations and connotations depending on political, cultural and ideological perspectives. Be it as it may, advances in technology and communication, shifts in the political and economic landscape, the rise of globalisation and interconnectedness are all playing a role in shaping this emerging new world order.


Our position on this issue is unequivocal: we reject any order, by whichever designation, based on force, coercion and threats, and on the advancement of the sole interests and values of a few…


We believe that a more equitable and sustainable world order should be based on cooperation, dialogue, solidarity, respect for the sovereignty of nations and the rights of individual nations and individuals.


Above all, the emerging multipolar world order must be based on the United Nations Charter, and grounded on respect for international law, the right to peace and security, the protection of human rights, the development of friendly relations among nations, and the universally-accepted principles of democracy, the rule of law, equality, and human rights. Such a world order would require the commitment of all nations to work towards common goals, and to abide by the rules and norms in accordance with the principles outlined in the Charter.


This is the new world order that Seychelles aspires to. Together with like-minded nations – and there are many of us – we shall continue to work towards that goal.


As this architecture continues to evolve and affirm itself, it is important to understand the place of Seychelles in this new emerging world order.


The principles that guide Seychelles' foreign policy are of capital importance to the nation, and they reflect the values, culture, aspirations and principles of our people. And Seychelles is committed to never compromising on its principles, despite the challenges that we face. This commitment is reflected in our actions and decisions, as well as in our engagement with the international community. We are determined to maintain our independence and to promote our interests, even in the face of challenges and opposition.


Our foreign policy is simple and clear:


One of its key pillars is the promotion of stability and security in the region. Seychelles has a long-standing commitment to regional peace and stability, and we work closely with our neighbours and regional organisations to prevent conflict and promote security. Seychelles has played a key role in mediating conflicts in the past.


The country has hosted peace negotiations between warring factions and has used its diplomatic skills to help resolve disputes between neighbouring countries.


Stability and security are preconditions for our prosperity and livelihoods. Piracy in our waters and in the area around the coast of Somalia posed a grave threat to us. As a result of concerted efforts and international collaboration, this threat has abated. But issues such as transnational crime, in all its forms, and illegal and unreported fishing remain of grave concern to us. We continue to address these threats.


As a peace-loving nation and as an active proponent of peace among nations, Seychelles has been proactive in promoting disarmament and non-proliferation, and has played an active role in the international community in efforts to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction.


In terms of economic development, Seychelles is all too aware of the importance of foreign investment, and has established a business-friendly environment to attract investors. The country has signed several free trade agreements and has worked to create a stable macroeconomic environment to encourage investment in key sectors of the economy, not least in tourism and fishing. Seychelles has also been proactive in promoting tourism as a key driver of economic growth, leveraging our natural assets to attract visitors from around the world.


Another key aspect of our foreign policy is characterised by an abiding commitment to environmental protection and sustainable development. Seychelles is one of the smallest countries in the world, but it is also one of the most biodiverse. We recognise the importance of preserving this precious natural heritage and work to promote sustainable development and environmental protection both at home and abroad.


It is in the same context that we embraced the concept of the Blue Economy as a means of promoting economic growth and diversification while also preserving the country’s unique marine environment and resources for future generations.


One of the main vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States is our exposure to the impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels, more intense and frequent natural disasters, and changing weather patterns that can disrupt agriculture and fishing. These impacts can undermine the very survival of some small island states and pose a threat to the well-being of their populations.


In addition, SIDS often lack the resources and infrastructure to respond effectively to natural disasters and humanitarian crises, making them highly dependent on foreign aid and assistance. This can leave them vulnerable to external influence and undermine their sovereignty and independence.


That is why a key feature of our foreign policy is our forceful and consistent advocacy for the global adoption of a Muti-Dimensional Vulnerability Index. Notwithstanding our efforts, our key partners, the real decision-makers, are not yet ready to give it the consideration the MDVI merits.  But we shall keep pushing for it. Hopefully, someday, the message will get through!


Finally, yet another pillar of Seychelles' foreign policy is the protection of its sovereignty and independence. Seychelles is a proud and independent nation, and it is committed to maintaining its independence and protecting its national interests. This pillar is critical to Seychelles' ability to determine its own future and to pursue its national goals and objectives.


Your Excellencies,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,


I am glad to have had the opportunity to address you tonight on some of the main features of the foreign policy of Seychelles, on how we see the emerging new world order and Seychelles’ place in it.


With the emerging world order, we are seeing a shift towards multipolarity, with multiple powers vying for influence and power. Not least in our own region, which is becoming a major theatre of economic and strategic power. This is changing the traditional relationships between states, and creating new opportunities and challenges for Small Island Developing States like Seychelles. Despite its small size, Seychelles has been proactive in engaging with the international community, building and reinforcing relationships with major powers, and participating in regional organisations to promote stability, peace, cooperation and security in the region.  In many instances, we had been punching above our weight!



Invités distingués,

Mesdames et Messieurs,


Les Seychelles sont confrontées à un paysage mondial en évolution rapide, mais elles ont le potentiel de jouer un rôle important dans l'ordre mondial émergent, surtout dans cette partie du monde. Notre engagement pour la stabilité et la sécurité, et notre leadership sur les questions environnementales en font un acteur essentiel dans la région. Il est essentiel que les Seychelles continuent de s'engager auprès de la communauté internationale, d'établir des relations avec autant de pays que possible et de participer activement aux organisations régionales pour promouvoir ses intérêts et protéger son peuple face à l'ordre mondial en évolution rapide. La politique étrangère de la République des Seychelles est orientée vers cette fin. Bien que notre politique étrangère soit guidée par un ensemble de principes et de piliers bien définis, elle n'est pas rigide. Comme tout autre pays, nous nous accordons une certaine flexibilité, au besoin, pour nous adapter à un monde en constante évolution. Cependant, il y a certains principes sur lesquels ce gouvernement ne transigera jamais. Pas à n'importe quel prix ! Les Seychelles et les pays et institutions que vous représentez ici entretiennent de solides liens d'amitié et de coopération depuis de nombreuses années. Une amitié durable qui crée une compréhension et un respect mutuels. Des partenariats solides qui peuvent survivre à des désaccords momentanés. Points de vue divers et divergents. Ils font tous partie de la nature humaine, mais aussi de la nature des relations interétatiques. Puissent nos relations continuer à se renforcer dans les mois et les années à venir.



Envite distenge,

Msye, Madanm,


Mon swete, pou terminen, remersye zot tou, ankor enn fwa, pour zot sipor anver lepep ek Gouvernman Sesel. Mon remersye zot osi pour sipor ki zot akord mwan ek mon bann koleg dan Minister. Nou apresye li bokou. Mersi osi pour zot presans isi tanto.


Finalman, mon oule eksprim mon profon gratitid anver Prezidan pou son sipor, tou mon staff ek koleg dan Minister Zafer Etranzer pour zot sipor, zot langazman personnel ek zot travay dir. Si parfwa mon pous zot pou fer ankor plis, pou met ankor plis zefor, se akoz mwan-menn mon toultan pous mon prop lekor pou fer ankor plis pou akonpli bann lobzektif ki nou’n fikse nou!


Your Excellencies,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,


May I now ask you to raise your glass in a toast to President Wavel Ramkalawan, to the friendship between us and to our continued good health.


Thank you.


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