Outgoing British HC describes tenure as ‘eventful’

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Outgoing British HC describes tenure as ‘eventful’

Post  Sirop14 on Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:36 pm

Outgoing British HC describes tenure as ‘eventful’

05-August-2015
The outgoing British high commissioner to Seychelles, Lindsay Skoll, has described her three-year tenure in the country as “eventful, but hopeful, in a very good way”.
She said it has been “incredibly interesting, endlessly fascinating, quite challenging at times but overall extremely rewarding”.
Mrs Skoll was speaking to the media ahead of her departure to her homeland later this week.
Yesterday, she paid a farewell call on President James Michel at State House.

President Michel thanked Mrs Skoll for her hard work, dedication and contribution to the development of excellent relations between Seychelles and the United Kingdom, particularly in the fight against piracy, education, capacity building and the Blue Economy.
“I would like thank you for the work you have accomplished during your mandate to further deepen the friendship between the United Kingdom and Seychelles, with fruitful partnerships and positive outcomes. The UK remains one of Seychelles’ valued developmental partners, bilaterally and through international bodies like the European Union and the Commonwealth. Our two countries have benefited from the friendship and history we share to collaborate at ever greater levels,” said President Michel.
The President and the high commissioner reviewed the various cooperation programmes between the UK and Seychelles and spoke of the plans to increase cooperation and develop new partnerships in the future.
Mrs Skoll thanked the President and his government for the support she has received during her tenure and said that the relations between the two countries are a real partnership where transformational work has taken place.
In her farewell interview on Monday, Mrs Skoll expressed her appreciation to the local media, which she said is maturing and growing over the years and where there has been very good relationships between the two.
She is also very grateful for the interest and coverage the British high commission has been given for its various projects during her three-year term.
She said a great deal goes on in small places or small islands like Seychelles, to the bewilderment of some people. And her job was to find out what was happening here, work out how best she and her country could help the government and people of Seychelles to see where they could make improvements, work closely in partnership and by also telling good news story to the rest of the international community about what is happening here in Seychelles.
Mrs Skoll’s eventful mandate in Seychelles is based mainly on what she calls the PPPs, which she said really encapsulates some of the best work in partnership between the British government and the government of Seychelles
The first ‘P’ is piracy; the second ‘para olympics’; and the third ‘prison‘.
On piracy she said: “I arrived in 2012 at the height of the piracy crisis. And that’s been a really fascinating piece of work Mrs Skoll during her farewell interview with the media mostly with all these warships, working with the international community through the EU (European Union), Nato (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) and combined maritime forces, to make sure that we could rid the Seychelles EEZ (exclusive economic zone) of any pirate. And also to make the whole horn of Africa and the high risks zone safer for all commercial and fishing traffic as well.”
She described the venture as an amazing progress and a collective success with Seychelles at the helm.
She added that she was really pleased the British government, through the British high commissione, was able to provide legal, judicial, police help and prison assistance at every stage of the piracy legal finish process.
Talking about the other ‘p’, which is the para olympics, Mrs Skoll said it was a real passion for her because it both englobes disability rights and a real symbol of how Seychelles has so much potential.
She mentioned the 2012 Olympics Games in London which was the most successful para olympics ever. As part of that, Britain wanted to help five countries in the world become members of the International Para Olympics Movement (IPC).
“I was very keen that Seychelles should be chosen,” she said. And her dream was realised because in three years’ time there was a fully-fledged para-olympics team here in Seychelles and it was the first country to join the IPC. Currently there are para-olympics athletes competing in the US (and have even won gold medals) and also at the ongoing 9th Indian Ocean Islands Games in Reunion.
Her third ‘p’ is prison and Mrs Skoll said she was very passionate about what went on at Montagne Posée in terms of improving prison conditions and working with prisoners to ensure meaningful and fruitful things during their time behind bars.
She remarked that the British high commission’s works there is through its own project funding and also through UNODC (United Nations Office on Drug and Crime) to provide amenities like medical and dental facilities, music studios, craft training, working with the women through sewing to make sure that they can make craft which they can then sell and re-invest the money into their own rehabilitation work.
She also highlighted the work done on the programme called re-storage of justice, to turn prisoners’ lives around and those of their families as well.
She also acknowledged Superintendent Maxim Tirant’s impressive work at the prison saying that in three years’ time, the prison has been transformed.
She also commented on the drugs and crime situation in Seychelles which she described as a massive hurdle for the government of Seychelles to overcome though this affects every country in the world.
But, she said, Seychelles is hit very hard.
The outgoing British high commissioner also mentioned other remarkable works done during her three-year term like on domestic violence, giving people the entrepreneurial inspiration that they can do it, prisoners who have been released and currently have a new job and supporting their family, and the carrying of the Queen’s baton during the Commonwealth Games.
“Sometimes it’s not about the big events, but the people behind those stories,” said Mrs Skoll.
Mrs Skoll also talked about unhappy moments and one of them was, she said, the misinterpretation and misinformation regarding the gay marriage held here in Seychelles, hosted by the British HC.
Her words of advice to her successor are:
“Assume nothing. Listen very hard and keep your eyes wide open.”
She said Seychelles is a place that has much complexity – socially, politically, culturally -- and it would be well-advised to any newcomer here to listen, look and learn before saying too much.
She advises her successor not to just sit at the high commission or at its residence, but to engage with the population.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=246316

Sirop14

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Seychelles celebrates Commonwealth Day for third year

Post  Sirop14 on Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:08 pm

Seychelles celebrates Commonwealth Day for third year

15-March-2016

Seychelles was among 850 Commonwealth nations where the organisation’s flag was raised in celebration of Commonwealth Day yesterday.
The event here took place at 10am during a short ceremony at the Freedom Square.
The Commonwealth of Nations is an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states that were mostly territories of the former British Empire and this year’s theme for Commonwealth Day is ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’.
The flag was raised alongside others at locations throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, UK Overseas Territories, and Commonwealth countries.
Present at the ceremony were high commissioners, ambassadors, Seychelles ex-servicemen, among other high officials and representatives of the Seychelles Scouts Association.
In her remarks to address those present the British high commissioner Caron Rohsler said the Commonwealth is an institution built on inclusion.
“What truly reflects the inclusivity of the Commonwealth are the shared values to which all member states commit by upholding the Commonwealth Charter. The Charter’s values include tolerance, freedom of expression, respect for human rights, the rule of law, protecting the environment, access to health, education, food and shelter, and gender equality. Yet 40 of the countries that have laws criminalising homosexuality are in the Commonwealth. It is to Seychelles' credit that – National Assembly permitting – it will soon reduce this number to 39. What a great way for Seychelles to mark the Commonwealth’s year of inclusion,” she said.
“In Seychelles the Commonwealth has delivered some very well-targeted, influential and successful projects,” she added.
She highlighted the visits by experts from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and Commonwealth Secretariat, economists from the Commonwealth Secretariat who are working alongside professionals in different sectors of the government and the Commonwealth's support for the judiciary.
She also pointed out that Angelique Pouponneau, a winner of one of the Queen’s Young Leader Awards, and vice-chairperson for Inclusion and Engagement on the Commonwealth Youth Council, will stand alongside other young people from across the Commonwealth, in Westminster Abbey in London, where they will be joined by Her Majesty the Queen to celebrate Commonwealth Day.
The Commonwealth affirmation was read by Kurtis Lespoir of the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) and Harry Anacoura from the Association of Seychellois Ex-Servicemen Personnel (British Army Forces) read the address of Commonwealth secretary-general Kamalesh Sharma.
This was followed by the raising of the flag by a Scout member.
An exhibition organised by CYC and Seychelles National Youth Council (SNYC) was later held on the ground floor of Orion Mall aimed at raising awareness and getting people talking about an inclusive Commonwealth.
The exhibition showcased past achievements of the CYC and photos with a message about what an inclusive Commonwealth means to the youth.
Chief executive of SNYC Alvin Laurence said the young people are to be the agents of inclusiveness.
“We are determined to ensure that all young people take their rightful place and make the rightful contribution,” he said.
According to Adolf Nourrice, an inclusive Commonwealth is to incorporate every idea and every person across the globe.
“It is not limited only to the 54 Commonwealth countries but rather the entire world as we need to take everyone into consideration and through that new ideas and innovation with different perspectives can arise,” he said.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=248738

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