24 May 2016

Activities of Secretary-General in Seychelles, 7-8 May

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by his wife Ban Soon-taek, arrived in Victoria, Seychelles, from Washington, D.C., on Saturday morning, 7 May.  This was the first time a Secretary-General visited the country.

They first visited the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve on Praslin Island.  The reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a symbol of the country’s conservation work.

The Secretary-General then met with President James Alix Michel and members of the Cabinet.  Speaking to the media afterwards, the Secretary-General said that he was impressed by the Seychelles’ sense of responsibility in our world.  He thanked the Government and people of the Seychelles for their leadership on the issues of climate change, poverty and insecurity – and particularly for the ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change.  He also said that he appreciated the Seychelles’ leadership on the problem of piracy.

On Sunday, 8 May, the Secretary-General addressed the Seychelles National Assembly.  He said that small States like the Seychelles have served as a magnifying lens for many of the climate and development issues that all nations must face.  He added that their experiences, commitment and insights had been invaluable.  The Secretary-General also praised the country’s record on the Millennium Development Goals and commended the Assembly’s strong record on democracy, demonstrated most recently by the decision to limit presidential terms.  (See Press Release SG/SM/17736.)

The Secretary-General also visited the Palace of Justice, as well as a coast guard base, and was briefed on the country’s efforts to fight piracy.  He also visited the Botanical Gardens and planted a coco-de-mer, the world’s largest seed, which is found in the Seychelles.

The Secretary-General then held a working lunch with Joël Morgan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport of the Seychelles.

The Secretary-General left the Seychelles for Mauritius in the early afternoon of Sunday, 8 May.

For information media. Not an official record.