Michel congratulates new Commonwealth leader, a citizen of a small Caribbean island

Diplomacy |Author: Betymie Bonnelame | April 1, 2016, Friday @ 15:26| 3931 views

The Seychelles President James Michel ( Seychelles News Agency)

(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles’ President James Michel on Friday congratulated Baroness Patricia Scotland, the first woman to assume the office of the Secretary General of the Commonwealth.

“I wish to congratulate you as the first woman to take up the post of Secretary General. This is truly a momentous occasion for women and highlights their potential,” said President Michel.

President Michel added that the election of Baroness Scotland last November was a strong recognition of her capabilities and trust that the Commonwealth family has placed in her abilities. It is also a testament to the pivotal role that women assume in the context of the Commonwealth and the world.

Scotland is a dual citizen of the U.K. and the Caribbean island of Dominica.

The appointment of Baroness Scotland as Secretary General will give greater impetus to the agenda of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and ensure that the international community continues to address the vulnerabilities of Small Island States such as Seychelles, the president said.

President Michel said: “Count on our support in consolidating the important role that SIDS play in the development of our Organization by making it a truly ‘Inclusive Commonwealth.”

Seychelles will be hosting important Commonwealth events in May, namely the Commonwealth Open Ended Ministerial Working Group Meeting on Small States and the Global Biennial Conference on Small States.

The two events will provide an important platform for the development agenda of SIDS especially combating climate change, promoting the Blue Economy and realising the sustainable development goals.

In a separate message, President Michel thanked the outgoing Commonwealth’s Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma, for the active role he played.

“Seychelles very much appreciates the commitment that you have shown to our Organisation especially in terms of the various reforms undertaken to make the Commonwealth more responsive and more relevant to the needs of its members in the 21st century,” said Michel.

He added that Sharma has ensured that the Commonwealth strengthens its role in carrying out its mission of building peace and solidarity and forging ever-closer ties of friendship and collaboration amongst the Commonwealth family.

“You leave behind a legacy of commitment towards the promotion of the development agenda of Small Island Developing States especially where it concerns the need to derive maximum benefit from the opportunities presented by our Blue Economy,” said President Michel.  

Tags: Baroness Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth, SIDS


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