Seychelles advocates for urgent maritime security action in the Indian Ocean |19 August 2019
Attending the 39th Ordinary SADC Summit, President Danny Faure raised the attention of member states on challenges being faced by countries in the Western part of the Indian Ocean during his intervention on maritime security.
President Faure urged the African leaders present to adopt a more proactive strategy and to collectively find common solutions to address the rising maritime security challenges and secure the region.
“Our challenge today is not only to look at security challenges on the continent but the maritime space that we share. As an oceanic state, economic activities in our EEZ and in the international waters around us, relating mostly to transportation, fisheries and tourism, contribute towards 44% percent of our GDP,” said President Faure.
During his intervention, the President highlighted how the scourge of piracy has for the past years affected and threatened the livelihoods and economic activities of countries in this region and why further collective commitment and immediate action is critical.
“Towards the end of the first decade of the 21st Century, the Indian Ocean and the Eastern Coast of Africa were plagued by a series of piracy attacks, which threatened to cut global shipment of goods and the safety of maritime activities in this region. It was thanks to a regional and global effort, that we were able to raise awareness and develop a strategy that could control the growth and spread of piracy in our region. Today, Seychelles and her neighbours, including many of you here, continue to invest millions in order to protect our territorial waters and the economic livelihood of our countries.
“Sadly, as we seem to be putting one crisis under control, others continue to emerge, albeit more subtly. There is growing number of other illicit activities such as drug and human trafficking in our EEZ, illegal unreported and unregulated fishing; and the poaching of our marine resources including fish and other sea products and greater conditions for terrorist activities to manifest. For these, we need to find common solutions,” said President Faure.
President Faure commended Mauritius and the SADC secretariat for the recent initiatives related to reducing maritime security threats, but also called for an urgent gathering of member states to discuss sensitive security issues, threatening the region.
“The message today is that we need an urgent strategy and action plan in order to secure our region from these scourges. Our Blue Economy agenda will remain an agenda if we fail to secure the very environment it needs to grow,” warned President Faure.
While participating in the deliberations on SADC current affairs, President Faure also made numerous interventions on key SADC decisions such as increasing intra-regional trade and job creation, as well as gender and development.