Seychelles: President of Seychelles Reminds UN General Assembly of Needs of Small Island States

Catching up on the action at UN Headquarters during the 73rd Assembly.

The President of Seychelles, Danny Faure, called for a new economic model that takes the specific needs of small island states into consideration in his address at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, State House said on Tuesday.

Faure drew the Assembly's attention to the theme of the 73rd session 'Making the United Nations Relevant to All People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies.'

He said that sustainable societies held a particular resonance with islanders who live the stark realities of unpredictable weather patterns every day. Faure used the opportunity to advocate for a specific vulnerability and resilience index for small islands developing states to better reflect the realities facing them.

Faure also gave a keynote address in a meeting organised by Seychelles and the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of nations on Tuesday.

The meeting gave small islands developing states the opportunity to share experiences in harnessing the potential of the Blue Economy.

In his address, Faure highlighted the experience of Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, in gaining tangible benefits for people through the Blue Economy.

"Seychelles' Blue Economy has developed an integrated approach to ocean-based sustainable development that brings together the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental and social. This is informally known under corporate sustainability as 'people, planet and profits'," said Faure.

Seychelles embarked on a development programme of the Blue Economy with the launching of the Blue Economy vision in 2014 to promote ocean-based sustainable and resilient development as a pathway to the island nation's shared prosperity.

Several initiatives have been undertaken with success since then including the debt swap for conservation and climate adaptation, with the support of the Paris Club of creditors and The Nature Conservancy at a value of $21.6 million.

Faure also spoke on the global significance of oceanic spaces and the key role it plays in people's lives, saying those vast expanses of maritime territory had the potential to transform small islands states into 'large ocean nations'.

In his address, Faure stressed the importance of sustainable development that is focused on an equitable allocation of resources and the participation of citizens; informing members that Seychelles is focused on people-centred development.

The Seychelles' head of state thanked all ACP members for their hard work in implementing goal 14 of the sustainable development goals which is to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

He concluded by saying, "Today, oceans, climate and sustainable development are firmly on the global agenda, and we should seize every opportunity to keep the momentum going."

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