Seychelles assumes presidency of SIDS DOCK |27 September 2023
Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan is the new president of SIDS DOCK, a small island developing states initiative for renewable energy and sustainable development.
President Ramkalawan formally assumed the presidency of SIDS DOCK during the seventh session of the organisation’s assembly, where he was leading the Seychelles Foreign Affairs delegation.
Members of the delegation included the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde; the ambassador of the Republic of Seychelles to the United States of America and Seychelles’ permanent representative to the United Nations, Ian Madeleine; and other officials from the department of Foreign Affairs.
The session also saw the election of vice-presidents of the 7th Assembly – Honourable John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize, representing the Caribbean Region, and Honourable Siaosi 'Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni (Hon. Hu'akavameiliku), Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga, representing the Pacific Region.
SIDS DOCK is a United Nations (UN)-recognised international organisation established in 2015 with all the rights and privileges for addressing climate change, resilience, and energy security in small islands. SIDS DOCK represents 32 small islands and low-lying developing states across the globe.
The opening session began with the opening remarks by the ambassador and permanent representative, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Tonga to the United Nations and chair of the SIDS DOCK executive council, Vaʻinga Tōnē who presided as the acting President of the sixth session of the SIDS DOCK Assembly representing the Honourable Siaosi ‘Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni (Hon. Huʻakavameiliku), Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga.
The proceedings of the session included organisation of work; Election of Officers, President and Vice-Presidents of the Assembly, credentials, board members and adoption of previous report of the 6th extended session of the Assembly. This was followed by the presentation of the report of the chair of the executive council.
Delivering in his acceptance statement of the SIDS DOCK presidency, President Ramkalawan expressed how honoured he is for the opportunity to serve his fellow island nations.
“I welcome this privileged opportunity to serve the SIDS community and to work with each one of you, our partners, donors, and stakeholders, throughout the upcoming session. I am deeply honoured by the trust our members have placed in me to continue in a leadership role within the SIDS DOCK organisation, and for the support I have received for my election as the Seventh President of the SIDS DOCK Assembly.
“The Office of the President of the SIDS DOCK Assembly during its seventh session will pursue a youth-focused integrated agenda that involves SIDS-SIDS Peer Learning, Collective Capacity Strengthening and Information Sharing. The theme proposed by Seychelles for this agenda, which encompasses sustainable energy and climate resilience, is centered on ‘survival’ and thus titled: ‘Building a Plan for Future Generations to Survive and Thrive.’ The vision of this theme is squarely focused on the current and future generations of small island developing states and puts forward a ‘Plan’ to help our youth to survive and thrive in a world of changing climate.
“In this context, the Seventh SIDS DOCK Assembly aims to promote the energy-water-waste nexus, through a gender-sensitive approach which will utilise the energy sector as the entry point in job and enterprise creation for our young people. Furthermore, through this plan the Assembly seeks to replace projected losses in tourism and other resource-based jobs; promote sustainable energy and the uptake of SIDS-Appropriate Technologies; and develop education and awareness programmes.
SIDS are now in ‘survival mode’. We are surviving only because of our enduring resilience, and every day we fight to survive and to exist despite our vulnerabilities. There are no indicators showing that our situation will get any better, therefore, we must put a definitive plan in place to help our young people.
“The Plan to Survive and Thrive is a mechanism that provides the youth of SIDS with tools to prosper on a planet adversely impacted by changing climate long into the future, due to the accumulated levels of green house gases in the atmosphere and oceans. Our youth will have to continue building the SIDS ‘Blue and Green Economy’, for the future of their countries, while preparing for the next generation of ‘Blue Guardians’. The capacity of these young people to live in harmony with nature and to manage and maintain local water, air and land resources effectively is vital for the survival of our cultures and our economies.
“Through meaningful partnerships and the support of the SIDS DOCK secretariat, we plan to promote socio-economic opportunities in key areas to attract young people, enhance their skills and secure a resilient future.”
The session also saw the presentation of updates on Implementation of the Modified programme of work and budget for the period of June 2023 to December 2025. SIDS Ocean Programme: Global Ocean Energy Alliance (GLOEA) and the Ocean Energy for Blue Economies Platform. Updated: President's Personal Initiative (2022-2023): Commercial-Scale Deployment of Ocean-based and Waste-to-Energy SIDS-Appropriate Technologies. The forum also held update on the President's Personal Initiative (2024): Building A Plan for Future Generations to Survive and Thrive.
During discussions the SIDS member states collectively stressed on the need for SIDS DOCK to enhance global recognition of ocean energy under the presidency of President Ramkalawan hence make ocean energy a major global agenda item.
Press release from the Office of the President