The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde, signed the agreement on Wednesday. (Department of Foreign Affairs)
Seychelles signed the Samoa Agreement, which is a framework for the relations between the European Union (EU) and the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS), on Wednesday, said the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde, signed the agreement after attending the Special Session of the Council of Ministers of OACPS and 46th Session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers in Apia, Samoa, on Tuesday.
The new partnership agreement, which succeeds the Cotonou Partnership Agreement signed in 2000, will serve as the new legal framework for EU relations with 79 countries and this includes 47 African, 16 Caribbean and 15 Pacific countries, and Maldives.
Its aim is to strengthen the capacity of the EU and the ACP countries to address global challenges together.
The new agreement underscores pivotal areas for partnership encompassing human rights, democracy, governance, peace and security, human and social development, inclusive sustainable economic growth and development, environmental sustainability, climate change, migration, and mobility.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the signing ceremony symbolises a new chapter in the collaborative efforts of OACPS member states and the EU and marks a step forward in their shared pursuit of sustainable development and prosperity.
The new agreement covers six priority areas and these are democracy and human rights, sustainable economic growth and development, climate change, human and social development, peace and security, and migration and mobility.
The new Samoa Agreement will also seek to establish a genuine partnership among equals whose aim is to go far beyond aid and trade.
Under the former Cotonou Agreement, since 2012 Seychelles and the EU have been holding a political dialogue and the last one was held in October in the archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
The EU remains a key economic partner for Seychelles and the most important export market especially for the fisheries sector, the first provider of tourists and a reliable source of foreign direct investments.