Seychelles well-placed for MDG+
04 October 2010 |
October 4, 2010 -- President James Michel has said Seychelles is well-placed to continue its progress after achieving most of the MDG (Millennium Development Goals).
He was speaking on SBC television last night on En Moman Avek Prezidan (Meeting the President) programme.
Asked whether Seychelles is ready to move towards MDG+, Mr Michel said the country is well-placed to move forward as it has done well and achieved most of the MDG targets and therefore it cannot stall.
There are eight MDGS which set targets for the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, universal primary education achievement, promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women, reduction of child mortality rate, improvement of maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, and development of global partnership for development.
These goals were agreed on by the United Nations member states and international organizations in 2000 and they are to be achieved by the year 2015.
"It was with much pride that we informed the United Nations of our success in achieving almost all of the targets of the MDGs," President Michel said on SBC television.
It was the Vice-President, Mr Danny Faure, who represented Seychelles at the summit of heads of states and governments in New York September 20-22, organized by the United Nations to evaluate progress their respective countries have made on the MDGs.
The summit also reviewed the challenges countries are facing to sustain the successes and move towards further development.
President Michel told SBC television that Seychelles, proud of its achievements in meeting almost all the targets of the MDGs, will keep on ensuring the international community recognizes the importance of continued financial help for countries to sustain their progress.
He said this is important because otherwise the developments of many countries, especially small island states that have succeeded in achieving the MDGs, will stall and they will revert back to poverty if they do not continue to get further financial help to sustain their achievements and continued progress.
The impact of the financial, fuel and food crises on countries' abilities to meet the MDG targets were also assessed at the New York UN summit.
President Michel pointed out that Seychelles, too, suffered from the effects of these crises but at the same time used the challenges as opportunities.
The President cited areas where Seychelles has done well towards meeting the MDG targets.
In education, he said Seychelles has done well even before the UN set the targets. He noted that this is because it has always been our vision to give each Seychellois equal opportunity in education and "this is what we have been doing for many years".
As for health, Seychelles is among few countries which give their people free access to health care.
He pointed out that Seychelles has 47% of its territory reserved for environment protection and is pushing for a target of 50%.
In the area of gender quality, the President said in Seychelles men and women have the same opportunity in education and employment.
Infant and maternal mortality rates have gone down considerably compared to many other countries, added the President.
On the economic front the reforms the country carried out have opened avenues to meet the MDGs targets.
Seychelles is now classified a middle income country which no longer qualifies for concessionary help from international organizations. It has to turn to commercial institutions for financial support. That is why, the President explained, Seychelles has in the past five years placed a lot of emphasis on developing partnerships with other countries that are ready to help us by investing here.
He noted that Seychelles' active diplomacy has also proved very effective as we turn to new partners like Gulf countries, China, India and South Africa. The relations and partnerships, he said, would help fund our development projects and ensure our further progress, he said.
On moving towards MDGs, President Michel said: "We have informed the UN and the UNDP that we are working towards new targets: the MDG+ which have among its main aims to ensure a very high level of education, more women in key positions in government and ensure better health for our environment."