Toast for the reception hosted by President James A Michel in honour of His Excellency Mr Tommy Esang Remengesau, President of The Republic of Palau, Tuesday 30th June 2015
Tue, 30 June 2015
Your Excellency Mr. Tommy Esang Remengesau,
President of the Republic of Palau,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I wish to extend, once again, to you and to the members of your delegation a very warm welcome to our country.
It is a great privilege to host the Head of State of a fellow small island state as our guest of honour at our National Day celebrations. Your visit is an historic milestone in our relations. It underscores the special bonds of friendship between Palau and Seychelles on the basis of our common destiny and our shared vision for the development of Small Island Developing States.
Your presence amongst us is not only an opportunity for you to celebrate with us our Independence Day, our National Day, to share our joy and achievements as a nation, but also an occasion to strengthen even further the strong island partnership and kinship between our two brotherly countries and between islands everywhere.
We are proud to celebrate with you our island identity and way of life, our affinity, our common aspirations to development, our joint commitment and dedication to the advocacy of SIDS.
Thanks to the power of island innovative partnership, we have achieved a lot together. Together we will continue to emphasise the challenges and opportunities faced by SIDS. Together we will continue to advance the cause of SIDS internationally and, at the same time, provide solutions to the world in relation to our needs and special circumstances.
Our priorities are to address the core vulnerability of SIDS, to underline the opportunity that the Blue Economy presents for all of us, to continue calling for the need of comprehensive measures to better address the economic development of SIDS, including through initiatives addressing our debt. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Mr. President, for your support to the Seychelles initiative for our debt-swap deal in relation to the financing of climate change. The Paris Club debt-buy back agreement with Seychelles has developed a mechanism which can be emulated by other small island states. We would be more than happy to share our experience with you and other small island nations
In this crucial year where a deal will be negotiated in Paris and which will see the launch of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, we are more determined than ever to make our voices heard. We are more determined than ever to continue investing in inter-island partnership, through mutually beneficial programmes of cooperation.
It is in this spirit, that as two islands of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, our two countries have signed this morning a General Cooperation Agreement and a Visa Waiver Agreement, thereby providing more space for the creation of opportunities and development for our respective peoples. We passionately believe in the power of such island partnership to help overcome our common challenges.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Please join me in a toast to the good health of President Remengesau and to the prosperity of the government and people of Palau. Long live the friendship between Seychelles and Palau and our island partnership!