It is announced from the office of the founding president of Seychelles that Sir James R. Mancham has accepted the invitation of Ambassador Smail Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union (AU) to attend the 3rd Retreat of the Panel of the Wise of the AU.
The AU is organising the panel in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (Accord) to deliberate on the institutionalisation of the Pan-African Network of the Wise (PanWise) in furtherance of decisions taken in 2013 at the AU heads of state summit.
The objectives of PanWise are to cement relations between the panel of the wise of the AU with such institution as the Council of the Elders of Comesa (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) in order to enhance their collaborative effort in the area of conflict prevention, mediation and the consolidation of the African peace and security architecture.
It is to be recalled that five years ago Sir James was elected a member of the Committee of the Elders of Comesa on the proposal of the government of the Republic of Seychelles. During his tenure of office in that position Sir James led a Comesa mission of mediation to Zaire and Rwanda, represented the AU at the Egyptian presidential election following the fall of Hosni Mubarak and on different goodwill missions to Kenya, Zambia and Nigeria.
Early this year Sir James was unanimously re-elected to a second term of office as a member of the Committee of the Elders and was scheduled to take part in a Comesa retreat in Luanda, Angola in July 2015 which was abruptly postponed because of internal problems within the nation.
The Addis Ababa retreat is expected to bring together all members of the Panel of the Wise of the Committee of Elders of Comesa and the members of the Council of the Wise of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) as well as the members of the Panel of the Elders of the SADC (Southern African Development Community) and other regional organisations.
The office of the former president has also announced that as a result of his commitment in Addis Ababa Sir James will unfortunately not be able to take part in the World Ocean Council’s Sustainable Ocean Summit 2015 which is intended to bring the global ocean business community close to the global centre of marine biodiversity.
It is understood that Sir James has sent a special message of support to Paul Holthus, chief executive of the World Ocean Council explaining his absence and assuring the World Ocean Council of Seychelles’ full support for the success of the conference, noting particularly the importance of coral reefs within the context of fisheries and food security. However, Sir James will be flying to Manila to deliver a keynote address at the Gusi peace Prize Award ceremony against the background of a long-standing commitment.
On his trip to Addis Ababa Sir James will be accompanied by his protocol officer Bernard Racombo.
He is personally due back in Seychelles towards the end of November.
Source : Seychelles NATION