News from the Consular Missions - Sweden

Some personal notes from the Consul Meeting in London 7 February

Personal notes from the Consul Seminar in London, 7 February 2014: information for the new Consul’s Website.

The meeting was called for by HE M-P Lloyd, the Seychelles High Commissioner in London. She had invited consuls from the 10 European countries under her jurisdiction and we had representation from UK, Sweden (3 consuls!), Finland, Norway, Greece and Cyprus. A nice crowd from both northern and southern Europe!

It was clarified that this was not a “European" meeting, as expected by some, and that the main purpose was to get to know each other in the "London Group" and discuss a number of issues before the April Conference in Mahe. Mdm Lloyd further clarified which European countries were under her jurisdiction, and which were under Brussels and Paris respectively.

The Agenda included items such as Communications, Appointment procedures for New Consuls, Accreditation, establishment of a Consular Handbook and a Consular Association, local National Day arrangements, legalization of documents etc. In additions items like gifts from Consuls and investment policies were brought up, and discussions were both lively and rewarding. Minutes will be prepared and circulated by the HC Secretariat.

Some selected points:

We concluded that a Consular Handbook and a Consular Association were not necessarily needed for the moment, since we have the Consul's Website and the Guidelines Procedures paper. This paper might however require some updating before being circulated to all consuls.

Regarding contributions and gifts from Consuls, the discussion was both constructive and detailed. A number of options were reviewed, such as the entrepreneurial education scheme now being started by the Seychelles University. Following an insightful and comprehensive presentation of the drug situation in Seychelles by HE Mdm Lloyd, we had a good discussion of the severity of the problem and the serious threat it poses to many of the country’s development goals. I suggested that an intervention by consuls in this field could be a recognizable and attractive way for us to contribute as a community, e g by supporting a clinic or educational programs on a sustained basis. This idea was generally accepted as something to be further investigated and possibly brought up in April. In the April Conference, we also need time to find a good procedure, which is both efficient and generally recognized, for our common decision-making concerning future contributions

We all agreed that the meeting was a really fruitful one and that the discussions and conclusions could provide a useful input to the April Conference. We also thanked Mdm Lloyd warmly for her generous hospitality and guidance as well as all preparations made by herself and her staff, and look forward to the more detailed notes being circulated.

And, finally, we all look forward to meeting again with all our fellow Consuls in April!

 

Lars Kristoferson

Seychelles Consul General to Sweden

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