Seychelles President meets with Commonwealth SG |04 December 2023
President Wavel Ramkalawan currently in Dubai participating in the 28th Session of the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP28) met with the secretary general (SG) of the Commonwealth, the Rt Hon. Baroness Patricia Scotland KC, on the sidelines of the conference.
President Ramkalawan expressed appreciation to the Commonwealth SG and underscored the enduring partnership that exists between Seychelles and the Commonwealth, as a testament to the common values and critical need for greater advocacy of the rising climate change threats to SIDS (small island developing states).
“I would like to acknowledge our shared commitment to the Commonwealth values. Democracy, human rights, and the rule of law are not only principles we hold close but also the cornerstones of peace and prosperity globally. Climate Change is the defining crisis of our time and poses an existential threat to Small Island Developing States (SIDS), such as Seychelles, and low-lying coastal states. It is important that we stress the urgency for climate actions, as we are witnessing the devastating consequences of the climate crisis, from more frequent and severe extreme weather events to rising sea levels.”
During the discussion, the two leaders acknowledged and welcomed the important role the Commonwealth has played to advocate for climate actions, in the interests of its most vulnerable members.
Both agreed on the necessity for greater bolder collective actions during COP28, more collaboration among Commonwealth countries as a powerful force for sharing best practices, pooling resources, and jointly tackling climate challenges.
President Ramkalawan took this opportunity to extend Seychelles’ appreciation to the Commonwealth for the assistance and support Seychelles has received under the Climate Change Programme.
Mr. Aurelius Nkonde, who was deployed as a Climate Finance Advisor to Seychelles in April 2023 under the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub (CCFAH), has been instrumental in the country’s efforts to mobilise and access climate finance.
He further welcomed all the endeavours by the Commonwealth, especially in lobbying countries to deliver on their pledge towards the Green Climate Fund.
On her part the Rt, Hon. Baroness Scotland commended Seychelles for its various climate change actions and environment conservation efforts particularly with the example of the recent return of a population of blue whales near the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean that was previously wiped out half a century ago which according to studies returned after the area was protected.
She reiterated her organisation's commitment in further supporting SIDS member states particularly in line with the access to concessionary climate funding vis-à-vis the Multi-Dimensional Index (MVI) and their challenges accessing the Loss and Damage Fund.
Press release from State House