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Seychelles hails inclusion of Small Island Developing States in Commonwealth Charter

Seychelles hails inclusion of Small Island Developing States in Commonwealth Charter (Forimmediaterelease.net) The Commonwealth Ministerial Meeting 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 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 has 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.

Seychelles says that it is proud to contribute to the Commonwealth renewal process

Seychelles is one of 12 countries represented in a ministerial task force established following the Perth Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) last year to review and renew the work of the Commonwealth to better meet the challenges of its member states.

The Ministerial Task Force met this week in London under the Chairmanship of HE Senator Bob Carr, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia. Seychelles was represented at the meeting by Foreign Minister Jean-Paul Adam.

“Seychelles is proud to be part of this task force that has such an important role in relation to the process of renewal of the Commonwealth. The invitation addressed to Seychelles reflects the efforts that Seychelles is making to provide leadership both in terms of issues concerning Small Island Developing States (SIDS) as well as governance issues in general,” Minister Adam stated.

The Task Force was mandated to consider the draft Commonwealth Charter that had first been tabled in Perth, with a view to presenting an updated text to the full meeting of Commonwealth Ministers to meet in New York in September.

The concept of a Charter for the Commonwealth is to encapsulate all the values that are cherished by the diverse membership of the Commonwealth family, and which ensures that the Commonwealth is an organization based on equality, and where there is “no core and no periphery” as was noted by the Secretary General, HE Mr. Kamalesh Sharma.

“The Commonwealth is one of the few international organizations that has continued to champion the cause of Small States, and in particular Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and we believe very strongly that the new Commonwealth Charter will play a key role in bringing populations around the Commonwealth closer together,” Minister Adam remarked.

The Task Force also considered a number of recommendations made by the Eminent Person’s Group that had presented its report entitled “A Commonwealth of the People- Time for Urgent Reform” to the Perth CHOGM with a view of suggesting new measures that the Commonwealth could consider adopting to strengthen its value in the modern era.

Finally the task force considered the new Strategic Plan for the Commonwealth Secretariat 2013-2016.

All the recommendations of the task force will subsequently be submitted to the full meeting of all Commonwealth ministers, and then subsequently to the Heads of Government for endorsement.

MEDIA CONTACT: seychellesupdatednews@googlemail.com

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