Seychelles Chairs African Island States High-Level Meeting

At the sidelines of the 37th AU Summit, Seychelles chaired the African Island States High-Level Meeting as recommended during the Ministerial Meeting at COP 28. Directed by the AISCC Secretariat and its partners, under the leadership of the AISCC chair (Seychelles), the inaugural Summit aimed to foster stronger cooperation among African Island States for a thriving and resilient future. This significant gathering took place on Friday, February 16, amidst the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union.

The meeting convened high-level representatives and delegations from AISCC member states to assess the operationalization status of the AISCC and provide their direction for the advancement of this Commission. The event consisted of two panels’ discussion; one featuring the head delegations of the AISCC, moderated by Minister Flavien Joubert, and another with representatives of development partners, moderated by Mr. Nassim Oulmane, Director of the Technology Climate Change and Natural Resource Management Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

The main objectives of this High-Level event were to advance the African islands’ agenda through the AISCC as a coordinating entity that supports Island States; assists them in the preparations for the 4th International SIDS Conference; bring together Member States delegates, experts, and relevant partners to accelerate the operationalization of the AISCC; highlight the key achievement of the AISCC’s annual report which will be presented at the Committee of Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) meeting; present an update on the AISCC Readiness project RESIslands, funded by GCF and delivered by UNECA, and lastly to share to a wider audience the work of the AISCC.

In his opening statement the Minister, representing the President of the Republic of Seychelles and Chair of the AISCC, President Wavel Ramkalawan, highlighted that Seychelles is prepared and committed to work with international communities strongly, and decisively combating this climate crisis glob ambitious ocean climate action, comprehensive protection of biodiversity and advocating for sustainability development especially in small island developing states and developing countries.

“Collaborations with ambition to remain the bedrock of our relationship and as African Island and African Countries to more and more explore ways for us to mutually assist each other to enhance our resilience to climate change. The possibilities for us to corporate, to create stronger Islands that are resilient are there, we need to step up our action and make use of the resourcefulness that exist in Africa its Islands. At this 37th AU Summit we should demonstrate that Islands despite being the victims of climate deregulations can also lead the way on several issues. Critical for the development of Africa such as the development of the Blue Economy, and also that Islands can be an important voice of Advocacy for Africa on Climate Change.” Said Minister Flavien Joubert.

Following the opening ceremony with representatives of the AU, CAHOSCC, and AISCC, member states shared their perspectives and guidance to strengthen the AISCC. Subsequently, key AISCC partners reiterated their commitments to support the Commission.
The latter part of the meeting representatives from the African Union Commission and the UN outlined the way forward, emphasizing the importance of access to financing, mechanisms to facilitate access, and capacity building. The next official meeting of the AISCC is scheduled for October 2024, preceding COP29.

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