Seychelles is one of 12 countries represented in a ministerial task force established following the Perth Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) last year to review and renew the work of the Commonwealth to better meet the challenges of its member states.
The Ministerial Task Force met this week in London under the Chairmanship of HE Senator Bob Carr, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia. Seychelles was represented at the meeting by Foreign Minister Jean-Paul Adam.
“Seychelles is proud to be part of this task force that has such an important role in relation to the process of renewal of the Commonwealth. The invitation addressed to Seychelles reflects the efforts that Seychelles is making to provide leadership both in terms of issues concerning Small Island Developing States (SIDS) as well as governance issues in general,” Minister Adam stated.
The Task Force was mandated to consider the draft Commonwealth Charter that had first been tabled in Perth, with a view to presenting an updated text to the full meeting of Commonwealth Ministers to meet in New York in September.
The concept of a Charter for the Commonwealth is to encapsulate all the values that are cherished by the diverse membership of the Commonwealth family, and which ensures that the Commonwealth is an organization based on equality, and where there is “no core and no periphery” as was noted by the Secretary General, HE Mr. Kamalesh Sharma.
“The Commonwealth is one of the few international organizations that has continued to champion the cause of Small States, and in particular Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and we believe very strongly that the new Commonwealth Charter will play a key role in bringing populations around the Commonwealth closer together,” Minister Adam remarked.
The Task Force also considered a number of recommendations made by the Eminent Person’s Group that had presented its report entitled “A Commonwealth of the People - Time for Urgent Reform” to the Perth CHOGM with a view of suggesting new measures that the Commonwealth could consider adopting to strengthen its value in the modern era.
Finally, the task force considered the new Strategic Plan for the Commonwealth Secretariat 2013-2016.
All the recommendations of the task force will subsequently be submitted to the full meeting of all Commonwealth ministers, and then subsequently to the heads of government for endorsement.
The Ministerial Task Force was composed of representatives of the following countries: Australia (Chairperson), Barbados, Belize, Canada, India, Malaysia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Solomon Islands, and the United Kingdom.