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Assembly approves three new ambassadors • President presents them with Instrument of Appointment

assemblyJean Claude Adrienne, Michelle Murray and Conrad Mederic, three Seychellois who have built a career in diplomacy with many years of experience in their field and recently appointed as ambassadors by President Danny Faure, have received the unanimous approval of the National Assembly in its session yesterday morning.

The three appointees presented themselves one by one in the above mentioned order to be questioned by Assembly members after they had made a brief presentation of themselves, their career journey and progression leading to their appointment as ambassador.

Following their approval by the National Assembly in the morning, President Danny Faure met the three new ambassadors at State House in the afternoon to present them with their Instrument of Appointment as ambassador and congratulated them on their appointments.

The President also thanked members of the National Assembly for their support and the important role they played in appointing the new ambassadors.

Mr Adrienne, aged 57 years, is presently the director of consular affairs in the Department of Foreign Affairs. He is an inhabitant of Au Cap, a married father of two who started his career as an immigration officer in 1977 after completing his studies at the then Seychelles College. In September 1980 he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a protocol officer and remained so for eight years during which time he learned and developed a passion for diplomacy and accumulated experience.

Over the years he occupied different positions and was entrusted with various responsibilities including several bilateral and multilateral dossiers.

Mr Adrienne also followed several training courses in different countries to enrich his knowledge and competence to help him better discharge his responsibilities. Visa related matters including taking care of formalities for visas which can be very complicated and frustrating, negotiating with different countries leading to visa waiver agreements benefitting local citizens is one particular area in which Mr Adrienne is more associated with.

In 2010 he was appointed number two in Seychelles’ high commission in India where he worked for three years with the opportunity to be in charge of the high commission in his capacity as interim chargé d’affaires.

“The experience I accumulated has enriched my competence and ability and strengthened my confidence to effectively take charge of an embassy abroad and represent my country,” Mr Adrienne pointed out, noting that he now has what it takes and what he needs to work for and deliver for Seychelles.

He noted that in his present position his responsibilities include coordinating activities for our consular network abroad which comprises 91 consuls. Among his greatest accomplishment is the organisation every two years of the consul conference here, the most recent dating October this year.

Mr Adrienne expressed his gratitude to all the different ministers and other personnel of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs he has worked with over the past 36 years to advance our diplomacy.

Several MNAs from both sides of the House questioned Mr Adrienne on his competence and ability to run an embassy in today’s challenging and turbulent world.

Mr Adrienne stressed that with his experience he will strive to turn challenges into opportunities to deliver for his country.

Described as a soft spoken person, Mr Adrienne pointed out that in spite of that based on his experience he will ensure the voice of Seychelles will be heard in international forum noting that his priority will be to work towards poverty alleviation engaging with all concerned organisations to make a difference for Seychelles on this issue.

The fact that diplomacy is not a field which is attractive to the young people Mr Adrienne agreed that there is a need for the ministry concerned to step up effort to encourage more young people to build a career in diplomacy.

He stressed on the need to have an academy to train young Seychellois diplomats and this could be explored in consultation with the University of Seychelles.

Commenting on the fact that he has been rewarded this position after so many years, Mr Adrienne said this has allowed him to gather a lot of experience and he is happy his hard work, patience and devotion has paid off.

He called on young aspiring diplomats to be patient, to work hard and to gather as much experience as they remain committed to their chosen profession and be rewarded one day.

For Ms Murray, currently the principal secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs, she described herself as a ‘child of Maison Quéau de Quinssy’.

Aged 33, married with two sons and hailing from St Louis, Ms Murray had deep expression of gratitude for her family, especially husband Oliver Bastienne and mother Marie-Ange Dine who give her all the support she requires.

On completing her studies at A-Level in the early 2000, Ms Murray studied political science for four years at the University of Ottawa, Ontario on a scholarship of the Canadian government .

She completed her studies with 1st class honours and returned to take her first posting as a protocol officer at Maison Quéau de Quinssy.

“As a protocol officer I carried out my duties as was required and I recall one of my  greatest honours was to be part of the team to organise the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to Seychelles, the biggest visit in the history of Maison Quéau de Quinssy,” Ms Murray said.

From protocol Ms Murray moved to the division of multilateral and international relations before being posted in the Paris embassy for three years to assist the ambassador there.

At the end of her Paris posting, Ms Murray returned to Seychelles to take charge of the Division of International Relations as director before being promoted director general of the same division.

Last month Ms Murray was appointed in her present position.

“I have always been passionate about international relations. I believe in the power of diplomacy, in consensus, in dialogue, in the power of partnership  between different states, in multilateralism and these are the reasons that fuel my passion to work in international relations,” Ms Murray stressed.

Following her nomination as ambassador, Ms Murray said it does not  mean she will be removed as principal secretary but it is up to President Danny Faure to decide if she will be assigned specific mission as a special envoy or be posted at an embassy abroad.

In order to encourage more women to make a career in diplomacy Ms Murray said she will strive to be an example for other young professional women.

“As a woman who has to juggle between profession and family life with children, I will show what I can accomplish and encourage other young women to commit themselves to their studies and career.  It is not easy but you have to remain firm as diplomacy is a field dominated by men,” Ms Murray said.

But she stressed that women who are passionate about building a career in this field and have the capacity should be committed to their studies and prove that women too can reach great heights in diplomacy.

She noted that the way she will carry herself and the professional manner in which she will accomplish her work will be an example for other young Seychellois women.

Ms Murray went on to say that an ambassador is a civil servant loyal to the Constitution, representing the people of Seychelles internationally.

She said as an ambassador everything she does would remain focus on reaping as much tangible benefits for Seychelles and the Seychellois people.

Ms Murray went on to add that in her career she has always been guided by such values as integrity, transparency, hard work and excellence to always achieve the best for Seychelles and its people.

Mr Mederic, aged 50 and married with three children, joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs soon after completing his studies at the Polytechnic in 1987 as a trainee third secretary but obtained an Indian scholarship to study political science at Delhi University from 1988 -1991.

Mr Mederic has since then remained in diplomacy occupying different positions, working with different ministers and building a career spanning several years in diplomacy being responsible for different dossiers and representing Seychelles in numerous countries including China as well as being part of different presidential visits.

In 2011 he was posted in Seychelles diplomatic mission in Pretoria, South Africa where he spent three years before being posted in Colombo, Sri Lanka in October 2014 where he opened the first high commission in Sri Lanka as chargé d’affaires. Presently he is the principal advisor at the same embassy.

“I am really proud of my appointment as ambassador and I believe I have enough experience and competence to discharge my responsibilities for my country and my people,” he told members of the Assembly.

Mr Mederic said as an ambassador he will continue to promote an active diplomacy and strive to ensure Seychelles honours its obligation in relation to international treaties as he has worked closely with different international treaties.

Encouraging more foreign investment to Seychelles is another of his priorities.

He admitted that there are numerous challenges and limited resources in terms of us meeting our reporting obligations on different treaties.

Mr Mederic said he will continue to remain connected to and provide support to our people who visit Sri Lanka for medical and other reasons and provide help and support where needed.

He noted that as more Seychellois visit Sri Lanka and use it as a gateway to other counties in Asia and Europe, it is important that we have a diplomatic representation in Colombo.

Assembly members congratulated the three diplomats and expressed satisfaction that they have been appointed as ambassadors.

Source : Seychelles NATION

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