Seychelles Hails Inclusion Of SIDS In Commonwealth Charter
4 October 2012
The Commonwealth Ministerial Meeting has met in New York last week in the margins of the United Nations and endorsed the draft Commonwealth Charter proposed by the Commonwealth Ministerial Task Force. The Charter will now be submitted to the heads of state and government for final adoption.
Seychellois Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam, was a member of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group that was recommending the draft Charter for the full assembly of the Commonwealth Ministers’ endorsement.
The Ministerial Task Force was composed of representatives of the following countries: Australia (Chairperson), Barbados, Belize, Canada, India, Malaysia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Solomon Islands, and the United Kingdom that met in London in June this year.
“This new Commonwealth Charter enshrines the Commonwealth’s commitment to support small and vulnerable countries, in particular Small Island Developing States (SIDS), in new and more fundamental ways. Seychelles is pleased and proud to have played a key role in the process, and we look forward to its adoption after being sent out to all heads of state and government,” the Minister remarked.
The Commonwealth Ministerial meeting in New York also endorsed the recommendations of the Eminent Persons Group that had also been reviewed by the Ministerial Task Force, as well as considering the initial proposals for the Commonwealth Strategic Plan put forward by the Secretary General.
“We are very encouraged by the process of renewal being undertaken by the Commonwealth, which will strengthen its position as a defender of the values of good governance, which we share in the Commonwealth family, as well as strengthening its support for the development capacity of its members, and in particular its smallest and most vulnerable members,” Minister Adam added.
The Sri Lankan delegation also used the opportunity of the ministerial meeting to update partners on the preparations being undertaken to host the Commonwealth Summit in 2013 in Colombo. The Commonwealth meeting congratulated Sri Lanka on its preparations. “The fact that the last CHOGM was held in Perth, to be followed by Sri Lanka next year and Mauritius in 2015, is a strong indication of the strategic importance of the Indian Ocean region, and we reiterate our support for the Commonwealth’s efforts in strengthening the capacity of our region,” Minister Adam noted.
Minister Adam was accompanied in the meeting by Ambassador Marie-Louise Potter, Seychelles Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Ronny Jumeau, Ambassador for SIDS and Climate Change, and Selby Pillay, Minister Counsellor in the Seychelles Mission to the UN.
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