Why Seychelles?

Politically, the Republic of Seychelles is a small island state that is a friend of other nations and a threat to none; its neutrality is a key consideration.  Indeed, neutrality made possible a much-lauded attempt by the President, James Michel, to broker an agreement between opposing factions in Madagascar at a time of political deadlock.

Socially, the country has an enviable record of ethnic harmony.  It is widely regarded as a peaceful society.  Where better to locate an international Centre for peace studies?

Geographically, it is located in the Indian Ocean, just a few hours from the African continent and the Middle East, two regions where national and regional conflicts are too often in evidence.

Environmentally, Seychelles is a mecca for tourists who value the exceptional quality of its islands and turquoise seas.  As a tranquil backcloth to negotiations on war and peace, it is hard to imagine a more conducive setting.

But there is another reason too why this is an ideal location.  For many years, the first President of the Republic of Seychelles, Sir James Mancham has forged links with a wide range of international organisations and he, himself, is a renowned spokesperson for peace and reconciliation.  Only recently he was awarded the prestigious Africa Peace Award 2016.

For all these reasons, Seychelles lends itself to this innovative proposal to establish a permanent Centre for peace studies in the Indian Ocean.