Seychelles and Cook Islands discuss establishing diplomatic relations

Diplomacy |Author: Betymie Bonnelame | April 11, 2024, Thursday @ 15:12| 8433 views

Discussions between President Ramkalawan (right) and Prime Minister Brown, were held on the margins of the 2024 United Nations Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona. (State House)  

(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Mark Brown, held discussions on establishing diplomatic relations on the margins of the 2024 United Nations Ocean Decade Conference taking place in Barcelona, Spain.

State House said in a communique on Thursday that during discussions between the two heads of state, Ramkalawan reciprocated  Seychelles' interest in furthering talks to establish diplomatic relations with the Cook Islands.

"Our two countries share the common goals of furthering the cause of SIDS (small island developing states) in the face of unprecedented threats of climate change. Therefore, establishing diplomatic relations will further enhance the opportunities of working together to promote and defend the interest of SIDS in combatting climate change as well as other important issues for our people. We look forward to further strengthening the ties we have discussed today," said Ramkalawan.

Prime Minister Brown reiterated his country's wishes to further explore and deepen areas of bilateral cooperation with Seychelles in offering the two island nations the potential for productive engagements on SIDS-specific issues. These included strengthening international commitments to climate change matters and sharing the best policy measures in addressing climate mitigation and adaptation.

The Cook Islands are a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean located approximately halfway between French Polynesia and American Samoa comprising of 15 islands and has a population of around 17,500. The islands are made up of a combination of volcanic islands and coral atolls with a total land area of 236 square kilometres and an Exclusive Economic Zone of over 2.2 million square kilometres.

The two sides share many similarities as SIDS, championing pressing issues on climate action and carbon neutrality.

Seychelles and the Cook Islands are members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and the Organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) - two crucial organisations for SIDS advocacy.

Both nations are considered high-income countries. The Cook Islands attained high-income status in 2020 and Seychelles graduated to high-income status in 2015, and both economies are heavily dependent on tourism.

Other possible areas of cooperation discussed include tourism, Blue Economy through deepwater science research, shared best practices and sea bed exploration techniques. 

Tags: 2024 United Nations Ocean Decade Conference, Alliance of Small Island States, Organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific States


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