Address By Mr. Danny Faure, Vice President On The Occasion Of The Rio + 20 World Summit To Be Held In Rio De Janeiro - Brazil 20th To 22nd June 2012

27 June 2012 | Foreign Affairs

Mr Chairman
Excellencies Heads of State and Government
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen  

The world needs a new vision. We need an effective collaborative effort to eliminate over-production and useless consumption and to promote fairer trade and better access to finance through such initiatives like carbon credit, low interest development loans or debt swaps for a range of initiatives in areas such as conservation of biodiversity, education, health and climate change adaptation.  

At the national and local levels, we must all do more to eradicate poverty, empower women and girls and eliminate all forms of discrimination while investing in the necessary infrastructure, programmes, services and measures that will enable long term sustainability.

Small Islands Developing States, as we all know, were recognised here in Rio de Janeiro 20 years ago as a special case both for environment and development.

It must be emphasized that without the support of the international community in the development and adoption of favourable conditions and measures for SIDS, it will be extremely difficult for our small developing states to make real progress towards the eradication of poverty and the adoption of a low carbon economy although these are recognised as requirements for the long term survival of our nations.

Blue economy, Ocean and Fisheries
Seychelles fully support the movement towards a blue economy for the simple reason that our livelihood and those of other coastal communities depend heavily on the state of the marine environment and the natural resources it harbours.  
The model of the blue⁄green economy adopted by countries and the pace of implementation must be of their own choosing, based on their specificities but they must lead to incremental changes towards sustainability based on scientifically sound information.

It is our common responsibility to address the problems impacting upon the health and productivity of our seas and oceans especially those that are manmade such as global warming, coral bleaching, ocean acidification, pollution, overfishing and piracy.

Never has piracy, in our recent history, had such a detrimental impact on the livelihood of coastal communities and sustainable development in the countries of the Indian Ocean region, as today.  I therefore appeal to the international community, to continue supporting the affected countries by using all measures available to ensure the safe use of the Indian Ocean and the safe passage of ships in the region.

Seychelles continues to step up to the global environmental challenges and provide political environmental leadership even if these cause immediate strains on our economy.  We continue to invest strongly in the protection of our environment and our natural capital.  

In 2010 our President made a commitment to declare over 50% of our terrestrial area under biodiversity conservation and efforts have now started for us to commit 30% of our marine area. This will exceed the 17% set by the Convention on Biodiversity for National Marine Territory.  

Climate Change and Natural Disasters are the greatest threats to sustainable development of islands.  Recent events have shown that one major storm alone can wipe out progress made during two decades.  

We, feel that we cannot and should not wait for the necessary commitments within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be made, we have decided together with the other Indian Island states, the Indian Ocean Commission and the Global Island Partnership to put together a work programme for the Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge.  

It is a very bold adaptation initiative, which will provide clear political leadership and open the way for major investment to tackle the negative impact of climate change and other associated coastal challenges that affect islanders and coastal communities of the Indian Ocean.

Seychelles, as the current President of the Indian Ocean Commission, strongly call for more support for these regional organisations regrouping Small Island States of the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.  I wish to bring to your attention that the full statement from the Indian Ocean Commission is available here in the plenary.

We all have great hopes on the outcomes of this World Summit.  We are hoping that we will be able to find and adopt a new energy paradigm to spearhead the development process for the developing world.

A solution would need to be found to strengthen the base of sustainable development so that vulnerable countries can withstand the destabilising factors of global economic crisis and the volatility of international oil prices as they plan to transform their economy.

The development needs of vulnerable countries should not go unnoticed or be overlooked and their aspirations should not be limited just because they have limited resources and that their voices are downplayed.     

I join my country’s voice with that of other states, to pledge to do everything possible to ensure that recommendations from this Summit are taken forward through concrete and concerted actions, for we all firmly believe that there is a brighter future and it belongs to us and generations to come.    

Thank you for your attention.    

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