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Seychelles unanimously re-admitted to IOR-ARC

Seychelles unanimously re-admitted to IOR-ARC (Forimmediaterelease.net) Seychelles has rejoined the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation this week following a unanimous vote by member states at the 11th Council of Ministers meeting held in Bengaluru, India.

In addressing the council, the Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, described the IOR-ARC as a “natural home" and the perfect platform on which to build-up on the experience and practices of sub-regional groupings such as the Indian Ocean Commission, offering a wider framework for cooperation.

“The Indian Ocean is our platform that can allow a small state such as ours to be able to better weather the vagaries of globalization. The need for cooperation among states of our region is more relevant than ever. We may all be members of other regional groupings, but the Indian Ocean connects us in a fundamental way that goes beyond political groupings," said the minister.

In addition to highlighting the need to better coordinate with other regional mechanisms, the minister also stressed the importance of avoiding project duplications, particularly in tackling piracy, a problem he described as the biggest threat to development in the region.

The ministers gathered agreed that piracy and maritime security, which was one of the main topics of deliberations, required concerted actions and complementary projects in order to boost regional and the national efforts of member states and ensure practical outcomes.

The council also identified a further five areas of focus for the organization, and they include environmental cooperation, fisheries, tourism, academic exchanges, and trade and investment.

During this IOR-ARC session, India and Australia took the positions of Chairmanship and Vice Chair, respectively, and Ambassador K. V. Bhagirath from the Republic of India, was elected as the new Secretary General.

Seychelles had previously joined the organization in March 1999 but withdrew in July 2003 due to the foreign exchange shortages of that period, which forced the government to minimize its engagement with the international community, however, following the financial reforms of 2008 and Seychelles President James Michel's policy of active economic diplomacy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has pursued a more active role with such vital organizations.

PHOTO (L to R): HE Mr. S.M. Krishna, Minister of External Affairs of India; Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs; Ambassador Morteza Sarmadi, Secretary General of IOR-ARC / Photo from Seychelles Tourism Board

MEDIA CONTACT: Alain St.Ange, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board, Email: alain.s@seychelles.com

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