CEPS Vice Chairperson Mr. Jude Fred was part of the presidential delegation that effected a state visit to Mauritius last weekend. During the visit, Mr. Fred met with representatives of Mauritius Council of Social Services (MACOSS) namely the President Mr. Paramasiva Chengan and the members of the executive committee.
During the meeting both parties agreed on the importance of strengthening the good relationship through the MOU that was signed in October 2015. This will be in the area of exchange between Civil Society Organization’s, sharing of best practices and enhancing the democratic values within the two countries.
Further to that the roles of NGOS in poverty alleviation and drug trafficking was discussed and both parties have agreed to take the subject a little further through more discussion and exchanges.
Over the past two years CEPS has been pushing the agenda for the formation of a regional civil society platform that will which will allow CSO’s within the region to network and mobilize funds together for common purposes. In the meeting both parties agreed to finalize the regional framework.
Strengthening of relationships between the two organizations was also part of the discussion and common issues such as facilitating the lives of people living with disability, chronic diseases such as diabetes, the situation of the drug scourge and what better way to deal and eliminate or minimize their effects were also addressed.
One of the key issues on the table was the finalization of an MOU with Rodrigues Island; this will be an added plus in many aspects of cooperation as we already have ties with Reunion and Madagascar.
CEPS have offered to provide its expertise in many aspects, to help regional civil society integration. In this light MACOSS will benefit with expertise of the Seychelles in the setting up of their own platform to enable both to function under common principles.
Another field of interest that was discussed at length was the issue of TUNA stock and how to practice sustainable fishing in order to preserve the tuna stock and also prevent over-fishing.
As we are both Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) our challenges are nearly the same but in context a little different. “Seychelles has set an example for Mauritius through meeting most requirements of the MDGs namely through involvement of the civil society and this is where Mauritius will also learn from the Seychelles” Mr. Fred stated. On this aspect Seychelles has already reached the stage of attaining SDGs’.
As we all have nearly the same challenges, it will be best to have a concerted effort to address them, therefore we will surely need the support of the government and all other affiliated agencies to support us in this quest.