How to ensure peace and stability in the Western Indian Ocean and prevent threats such as piracy? How might the foreign policy and diplomacy of Seychelles be supported with good training and research? What is the best role for Seychelles as a global intellectual leader in sustainable development for other countries, in particular small island states? These are some of the questions that the University of Seychelles’ newest research centre, named after former President and ambassador for peace, Sir James Mancham, addresses.
The Sir James Mancham International Centre for Peace Studies & Diplomacy (JMPC) will conduct research in the area of peace and security, foreign policy and diplomacy, paying particular attention to questions such as the political dynamics in the Western Indian Ocean region, maritime security, reconciliation and capacity building, and the role of small island states in world politics. The centre adds a vital new area of research linked to policy, in order to fulfil UniSey’s objective to be the knowledge hub of the Indian Ocean.
JMPC will be formally inaugurated on Friday 11th August 2017 from 4.30pm to 6.30pm at the Eden Bleu Hotel. The programme will recognise the tireless campaigning of Sir James, coupled with a look to the future to show how the centre will continue his good work.
The centre has already developed an impressive range of activities, with policy workshops on small state foreign policy, on reconciliation, and the link between maritime security and the blue economy. It has also initiated strong strategic partnerships, with organisations such as the Indian Ocean Research Group, Cardiff University, Durban University of Technology, Université de la Réunion, University of Bristol, the online journal piracy-studies.org, or and the Southern African Defense and Security Management Network.
The centre’s mission will be to provide a public space for the discussion of crucial challenges in foreign and security policy within Seychelles, but also with the wider region. It will work closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but also other governmental and civil society actors. As a hub for research and training in the field it will not only become an important instrument to strengthen the role of Seychelles on the world and regional stages, but also promises to bring significant benefits to the local knowledge economy.
JMPC is grateful to have received generous sponsorship for the inauguration event from the Development Bank of Seychelles, Allied Builders (Seychelles) Limited, VCS Pty Ltd, Seashell Travel and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.
Further information on the centre, its mission and research, staff and publications is available at http://www.manchampeacecentre.com/.