President Danny Faure met with the chairman and members of the Citizen Engagement Platform Seychelles (CEPS), at State House yesterday.
As he welcomed them to State House, the President noted the close working relationship he had with CEPS in his previous capacity as Vice President and how he value the work that the Non-Governmental Organization is doing.
"With my new responsibility as the President, I believe that we can consolidate the work that we have done together and I look forward to working with you. I will give a lot of importance to the work that civil society needs to carry out. We need to have a representative of CEPS on major committees dealing with societal problems. We as government, we should not think that we alone can bring solutions to major problems affecting society, we believe that working together we will be able to address these problems. CEPS will play a major role in the committees that we will create," said the President.
Issues discussed in the meeting included the right structure for a genuine partnership between the government and CEPS, reviewing the Memorandum of Understanding between the government and CEPS, the necessary for proper consultation with CEPS on major policies prior to decision making, and financing and future projects for CEPS, citizens' education and the Citizen's Advisory Bureau among.
President Faure highlighted the importance for CEPS to play a leading role together with the Seychelles Inter-faith Council (SIFCO) on what are considered societal problems.
"The time has come for Seychelles to embark on a process of dialogue. We're searching for reconciliation and healing. Our ultimate objective is to have a united country in all sense, which is at peace with itself in our hearts Whatever we are doing, let us not lose sight of the objective of why we are there. So, I want CEPS as well to joins this movement. I am not there to dictate how you do it but I am reaching out to you, to use your influence in society. I am ready to move this country from where it is now to the next level and today I am asking you as CEPS, to join me in this crusade of bringing hope to our nation," said President Faure.
Speaking to the local press after the meeting, the Chairman of CEPS, Mr. Jules Hoareau affirmed the full support of CEPS to the innovative approach taken by President Faure. He also mentioned their proposal for the government to consider a Ministry for Family and Social Affairs which could also support families and further women's empowerment.
"The President has agreed himself that the civil society sector through the platform of CEPS has a leading role to play in helping to bring about effective contribution from the civil society sector, so we have agreed to be consulted on major policy issues. We have also agreed that we will support the new announcement made by the President, because we are also advocating good governance, accountability and transparency. We want to work closer with the government because at the end of the day we have an important role in sensitizing and especially representing, the citizens, so we are happy that the President has agreed that there will be a closer working relationship with the civil society sector," said Mr. Hoareau.
Also accompanying the President at the meeting this morning was the Secretary of State for Cabinet Affairs Mr. Mohammed Afif, Deputy Cabinet Secretary Mrs. Jeanne Simeon, Diplomatic Advisor to the President Ambassador Callixte D'offay, Economic Advisor to the President Mr. Bertrand Belle and the Chief of Presidential Protocol Mrs. Jacqueline Moustache-Belle.