The commissioner of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Yeung Kam John Yeung Sik Yuen, said this yesterday after paying a courtesy call on President James Michel at State House.
Honourable Sik Yuen and his delegation are here on a promotion mission from April 6-10 on the invitation of the Seychelles government.
The President congratulated Commissioner Yeung Sik Yuen, who is also the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Mauritius, for taking up such an important post in the region and he welcomed the visit of the commissioner and his team.
President Michel expressed support on exchanging views and collaboration between the commission and the government of Seychelles.
“I hope that your visit will provide opportunities for you and your team to see the status of human rights in Seychelles. Since the economic reforms, we have been promoting transparency, human rights, good governance, freedom of speech, the conditions that are necessary in a democratic society. Nevertheless, we need to reinforce structures already in place. Your visit will not only enable you to assess the current situation but also to advise us on how we can do better,” said President Michel.
Speaking to the local media, Commissioner Yeung Sik Yuen said he briefed the president on his mission to Seychelles, meetings held with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as other meetings scheduled during the delegation’s visit.
Commissioner Yeung Sik Yuen said the president is interested and supportive of such an initiative from the commission.
He explained that the main goal of the commission is promoting and protecting human rights and that visiting the country is also an opportunity for learning and sharing between the commission and Seychelles.
He noted that during the meeting they discussed various areas where the commission can learn a lot from Seychelles, such as areas where positive action is taken and also areas that can be improved.
“Our mission is still at first stage and I would like to meet as many people as possible at all angles, all stakeholders involved with the promotion and protection on human rights. By far and large, Seychelles is doing pretty well but of course I keep on repeating in all such missions I go across Africa, human rights is a field where no state can score 100 percent, so one should not be ashamed when someone says look, perhaps in that certain area there is a need for improvement in the system. It is with this spirit that we approach our mission, and I’ve said we learn from these visits, and what we learn we pass on to other countries. We also bring something new as well, because from what we’ve learned elsewhere may be applicable here in Seychelles,” said Commissioner Yeung Sik Yuen.
Present during the State House meeting were the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport Joël Morgan, and the President’s diplomatic advisor, Ambassador Callixte D’Offay.
The commissioner was accompanied by legal officers at the secretariat of the commission – Bagona Anita and Bruno Menzan – as well as finance officer at the secretariat, Philbert Bayeka.