Seychelles is the first African country to formally hand its document of accession to an international accord aimed at combating illegal fishing and has urged other coastal states to follow suit.
Seychelles deposited its instrument of accession to the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing to the FAO at the 38th session of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) held in Rome last week.
Ambassador Bernard Shamlaye, who is Seychelles‚Äô resident ambassador in Paris, represented Seychelles at this conference. He was accompanied by Antoine-Marie Moustache, special adviser in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources and National correspondent for the FAO.
Ambassador Shamlaye, who is also the country‚Äôs permanent representative designate to the FAO, delivered Seychelles statement to the conference, highlighting the importance of fisheries and the blue economy and the leading role played by the country in promoting responsible and sustainable exploitation of ocean resources.
Calling for further cooperation between FAO and other partners and Seychelles, Ambassador Shamlaye referred to the renewed attention being given to national food production.
Delegates to the conference were received by Pope Francis at the Vatican who spoke of the scandal of millions of people suffering and dying of starvation when the current levels of food production are sufficient.
The Pope warned that people risked being turned into “vague abstractions in the face of issues like the use of force, war, malnutrition, marginalisation, the violation of basic liberties, and financial speculation which presently affects the price of food, treating it like any other merchandise and overlooking its primary function.”
He encouraged the initiatives and activities of the FAO and expressed the Catholic Church‚Äôs support in the effort to build ‚Äúconcrete solidarity‚Äù.
The 38th session of the FAO Conference approved the organisation‚Äôs programme of work 2014-2015 with an increased budget over the current one.
Brunei Darussalam, Singapore and South Sudan were admitted as member-states of the FAO.
The Seychelles delegates took the opportunity to establish links with certain other delegates and follow up on projects with the FAO.