Wed, 04 October 2017
Former Seychelles President James Alix Michel has today addressed the 6th South China Sea Conference which is taking place in Malaysia under the theme “Forging a shared future in the South china Sea”, in conjunction with the Malaysia International Marine Expo (MIMEX) 2017 at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur.
“In some respects there are general principles to guide our actions, equally applicable to all the oceans. But, while there is much in common from one part of the world to another, there are also important differences. If we are to successfully address the challenge of sustainability, we must first take account of our unique physical and geopolitical features. And take account of what we mean by “ocean governance”.’ said President Michel in his address.
Former Seychelles President James Alix Michel highlighted the importance of ocean governance – noting that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is a key consideration.
“Whilst it has its inherent weaknesses – among them, the absence of a universally-accepted framework for the governance of the high seas – it does provide us with an international and institutional framework for ocean governance. We can improve on it. We need to show goodwill and demonstrate political will and statesmanship. This is the only way forward. Governance of our oceans demands this of us. It demands dialogue and cooperation,” said President Michel
Mr. Michel also spoke about the Blue Economy as making greater use of the sea but about making better use of it too. He argued that the way this can be done is by recognising the importance of sustainability.
“Suffice to say that the Blue Economy embraces not one set of activities but many. It is also not confined to any one part of the world. There is something of interest to all nations, large and small, north and south, landlocked as well as maritime. Certainly, not all nations will approach it in the same way, but different aspects will appeal more in different circumstances. There is a common core of ideas but also the potential for numerous variations,” said former President Michel.
In his address the former President highlighted how the concept of the Blue Economy is significant to the challenges facing the South China Sea and referred to some of the innovative measures that have been introduced in Seychelles.
He also referred to his Foundation which, focusing on the Blue Economy, Climate Change and Sustainability, is “already proving to be a hub in a burgeoning network of ideas to realise the potential of the world’s oceans”. He invited individuals, organisations, enterprises and the new generation of researchers to join forces with the James Michel Foundation.
“It is time to step forward. The Blue Economy is the new frontier whose time has come”, concluded former President Michel in his speech.
For further information, read the full speech here.