Tirant presented his credentials as the new permanent delegate to UNESCO to Audrey Azoulay on Thursday. (Foreign Affairs Department)
Seychelles is seeking to strengthen ties with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in various fields, including culture and education, said the newly appointed ambassador, George Tirant.
The Foreign Affairs Department said in a press statement on Thursday that Tirant, Seychelles’ ambassador in France, presented his credentials as the new permanent delegate to UNESCO to Audrey Azoulay, the director general.
During his meeting with Azoulay, Tirant talked about the importance Seychelles attaches to Priority Africa 2022-2029 programmes as well as the small island seveloping states (SIDS) vulnerabilities where environment and climate change are concerned.
Tirant also reiterated the importance of conserving Seychelles’ two UNESCO World Heritage sites; the Aldabra Atoll and the Vallée de Mai, as well as protecting Seychelles’ cultural heritage.
A World Heritage Site since 1982, the Aldabra Atoll is an outstanding example of a raised coral atoll. Due to its remoteness and inaccessibility, it has remained largely untouched by humans for the majority of its existence.
Vallee de Mai is a special reserve on Praslin, the second most populated island of Seychelles. It is one of two places where the world’s biggest nut, which is endemic to Seychelles grows, naturally.
Tirant also expressed his appreciation for the recent inscription of the traditional Seychelles dance “Moutya” as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
He also mentioned the efforts underway to have the town of Venn, the site of the ruins of an old mission at Sans Soucis, on the main islands of Mahe, to be named as the third UNESCO World Heritage Site in the country.
Venn’s Town was officially opened in Seychelles on March 20, 1876, as the first educational institution for the children of liberated slaves.
Other areas UNESCO has helped the Seychelles with include support for its Institute for Early Childhood Development – due to be officially inaugurated on October 27, 2023.
This comes after the enactment of the new Early Childhood Development (ECD) Act 2022, which came into force effective January 2023- granting IECD legal mandate for all childcare in the country.
Tirant took the opportunity to invite Azoulay and her team to the official event to be held in the Western Indian Ocean archipelago.
On her side, Azoulay thanked Seychelles for supporting UNESCO‘s activities in the field of environmental sciences with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, Education, and Culture.