Mauritius: The Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Alan Ganoo, led a Mauritian delegation to Seychelles to attend the 13th Session of the Mauritius-Seychelles Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (CBC), which was held from 03 to 06 April 2023.
The event comprised a Senior Officials meeting on 03 and 04 April 2023 and was followed by a Ministerial meeting on 06 April 2023.
Speaking at the opening of the Ministerial meeting, Minister Ganoo highlighted that the CBC is a testament to our common resolve and determination to work towards strengthening the ties between Mauritius and Seychelles.
He mentioned that the meeting aimed at building complementarities, synergies and resilience in all desired areas. Given the unprecedented transformations worldwide, Mauritius and Seychelles should collaborate more closely on innovation across all sectors, he stated.
Regarding the SIDS issue, the Minister emphasised that both countries should continue to be forward-looking and intensify joint efforts to gain more resources and tap new growth opportunities in emerging areas.
He thus spoke about the importance of maritime security and the preservation of marine resources. For him, new sustainable ocean industries, such as sustainable fisheries, aquaculture, and marine renewable energy, present opportunities to generate new sources of employment and growth. He called for greater collaboration between the two countries in fighting drug trafficking and other illicit activities in the Indian Ocean.
Minister Ganoo likewise expressed gratitude to Seychelles for supporting Mauritius’s candidatures, namely a Non-Permanent Seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the term 2025-2026; and the Executive Board of the United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for the term 2023-2027.
In his concluding remarks, he emphasised that the success of Mauritius-Seychelles cooperation lies in jointly agreeing on programmes and projects and ensuring their execution and implementation.
During his mission in the Seychelles, Minister Ganoo met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism of Seychelles, Mr Sylvestre Radegonde, to review and discuss ways to strengthen our bilateral relations. The meeting culminated in signing the agreed minutes of the CBC prepared by the Senior Officials of both countries, followed by an interaction with the press by both Ministers.
Minister Ganoo also had a bilateral meeting with the President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr Wavel Louis Charles Ramkalawan, during which the need to further enhance cooperation on the blue economy, maritime security, and combatting drug and another illicit trafficking in the region was highlighted.
President Ramkalawan reiterated that it is only through effective collaboration that the Mauritius-Seychelles partnership can reach new heights for the benefit of its people. He underlined the importance of working together to confront the challenges of climate emergency, biodiversity loss, food security, fuel and energy crisis.
The CBC is a mechanism to further the multi-dimensional cooperation between Mauritius and Seychelles, and provides a valuable opportunity to convene and strengthen ties. It is a forum to discuss issues of mutual interest, formulate joint strategies, explore new areas of cooperation and find common positions to defend our interests in the regional and international fora.
In addition, the CBC demonstrates the commitment of both countries to meet regularly, agree on policy directions and chart out strategic partnerships.
Discussions during the CBC focused on cooperation in several areas, namely: Police; Fire Services; Legal Affairs; Financial Services; Environment and Climate Change; Maritime Connectivity and Security; Blue Economy; Fisheries; ICT; Education; Arts and Culture, Youth and Sports; Family Affairs; Handicraft; Tourism, Health; Bilateral Air Services Agreement; Port Management, Circular Economy; SIDS; and Ease of Doing Business.