Introductory remarks by President Michel on “Maritime Security for the Blue Economy,” at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), Delhi, Thursday 27th August 2015
Sun, 30 August 2015
Director General, Ambassador Nalin Surie,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like, first of all, to express my appreciation for the kind invitation extended to me to address your prestigious institution and share with you our reflection on the theme of Maritime Security for the Blue economy.
India and Seychelles are two neighbouring countries of the Indian Ocean. We are linked by the currents of the same ocean. We have a shared vision of peace and prosperity in the region. We are two partner countries that have a lot to offer each other and the world.
Our two countries have a shared interest in the maritime security of the Indian Ocean. Maritime security is in our common thread and an element of our collective human security. It is therefore important that we continue to strive for ownership of our maritime safety and security. We cannot leave it others to secure our maritime space.
The need for cooperation between our two countries is more relevant than ever. The Indian Ocean connects us in a fundamental way. It is a shared space that that connects us to the world. It is a critical space for world trade.
Seychelles is committed to working closely with India in responding to security threats and ensuring the safety of our sea-lanes, the arteries of trade with the outside world.
Today we have with India an exemplary partnership in the defense and security sectors. India’s determined and pro-active action in the fight against piracy and other forms of transnational crimes is highly commendable. We have, for our part, been successful in prevailing over piracy, to the extent that it no longer poses the existential threat that it did at the outset of the piracy crisis. But we have to remain vigilant. Seychelles will continue to act decisively with India against all forms of transnational crimes.
We will continue to act decisively to ensure that our seas remain a space for development for the benefit of the peoples of the region. However, with development comes the responsibility to conserve and ensure their sustainable use. We see the oceans as a strategic natural capital for sustainable growth rather than just a pool of resources to be exploited.
Our ocean is our common heritage and represents untapped opportunities for future generations. We must encourage innovation, research and entrepreneurship that looks to engage with the sea in novel ways.
India is an inspiring maritime nation. We are extremely pleased to have India as a partner in the development of our Blue Economy. The signature of the agreement yesterday between India and Seychelles in the field of the Blue Economy will increase our understanding of marine ecology and resources. It will be a major boost to our scientific and economic cooperation.
With our exclusive economic zone of 1.3 million square kilometres, Seychelles is heavily reliant on the Blue Economy, especially through our fishing and tourism sectors. In Seychelles we are committed and engaged in managing and protecting our marine resources.
The Blue Economy is key to our future as an island state. It is also key to the future of the Indian Ocean region. It is key to the future of Africa and indeed key to the future of the world as a whole.
It is for this reason that we have been championing the importance of the Blue Economy not only at the national level, but also at the regional and global levels. Today the Blue Economy is an important component of debate and action on the international agenda. It is at the heart of the economic agenda of the Indian Ocean Commission and the Indian Ocean Rim Association. It is an integral component of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 as well as the Organisation’s Integrated Maritime Strategy. It is also a key element of the new United Nation’s sustainable development goals of the Post 2015 Development Agenda.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Transport and the Minister of Finance, Trade and the Blue economy will now expound on these critical issues.
I thank you.