Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Keynote Address by President James Alix Michel at the Second Blue Economy Summit – “One Ocean, One Future”, Abu Dhabi, 19 January 2016

Keynote Address by President James Alix Michel at the Second Blue Economy Summit – “One Ocean, One Future”, Abu Dhabi, 19 January 2016Your Excellency Dr Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of the Republic of Iceland,

Your Excellency Mr Tommy Remengesau, President of the Republic of Palau,
Dr Sultan Bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change of the United Arab Emirates,
Dr Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
The great English poet, John Donne, said: “No man is an island, entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main”. We islanders are keenly aware of this – in fact, all too aware of this – and none less so than our two very special guests and participants at this conference.
Ladies and gentlemen,

Please join me in applauding the President of Iceland, Dr Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, and the President of Palau, Mr Tommy Remengesau. Thank you kindly, gentlemen, for being with us.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Government of the United Arab Emirates, represented here by Dr Al Jaber, for having kindly accepted to co-organise and co-host this conference, for the second time, within the framework of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. We take great pride in this partnership which will confer added visibility to our conference on the Blue Economy.

On a more personal note, I would like to make special mention of the support and contribution of Abu Dhabi to the development efforts of Seychelles, not least in the field of renewable and clean energy. His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, have, over many years, been steadfast – and selflessly so – in their support of my country. I acknowledge, on behalf of the government and people of Seychelles, their boundless generosity with deep gratitude.

Last but not least, I would like to thank Dr Ryabinin of the IOC for joining us in partnership in co-hosting today’s event.

My thanks also go out to you all for being with us here today. Your presence denotes your firm belief in the Blue Economy concept as the way forward to sustainable development.

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,
From a relatively unknown paradigm a few years ago, the concept of the “Blue Economy” has become a fixture of the international agenda on sustainable development. It is not possible to address sustainable development unless we are also addressing the Blue Economy. Today, no discourse relating to Small Island Developing States and littoral states, to ocean governance, to management and exploitation of marine resources, is possible without mention of the “Blue Economy”. Read More...


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