Presentation of Sir James R. Mancham at the Academy for Cultural Diplomacy

The founder of the Republic of the Seychelles gave a presentation on the future perspectives of Seychelles and the African Union

May 30th, 2016

On May 25th, 2016, ICD Academy was honoured to host Sir James R. Mancham. He held a presentation by the name „The African Union – The Current Challenges: Seychelles Perspectives“, and as a founder of the Republic of Seychelles, Sir Mancham has a lot of professional experience and many stories to share.

He was born in 1939, in Mahé, Seychelles and was the first President of the small archipelago Islands from 1976 to 1977. Sir James studied law in London, and returned to the Seychelles to practice as a barrister and attorney. After Britain gave independence to the nation, Mancham was elected First Chief Minister and then elected as President in 1976.

Not only is Mancham an ambassador of national reconciliation, but also an advocate for global reconciliation. He is aware of the problems of other African countries, former Soviet block states and many developing countries around the world face, and he works relentlessly to advance international peace. Some of the things he is well known for, is that he is the President of the Global Peace Council of the Universal Peace Federation and he strongly believes that dialogue and diplomacy between nations are essentials in maintaining world peace and security. As a member of numerous other international peace organisations, he has been engaged in the promotion of peace in nations like Kenya, Korea, Kosovo, Serbia, and many in the Middle East.

His work did not go unrecognized, and he was awarded many times during his lifetime. The latest ones were the prestigious International Jurists Award for world peace at the International Conference of Jurists, the award for “distinguished contributions to the field of cultural diplomacy and world peace" at a special ceremony in the House of Lords in London, and the Africa Peace Award, which the United Religions Initiative (URI) has decided to honour him with in 2016.

As well as being involved on the international stage, Mancham is concerned about the future and the security of the Seychelles. The geo-political position of the Seychelles means that it is at great risk from Somali pirates and Mancham is trying to reduce this risk.

Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement and Sir James shared his thoughts on Seychelles' perspectives for the future. He reiterated his conviction that the world's powers must move away from the policy of "might is right" to the policy of "right is might", and that it is clear that we must first build a culture of peace, reconciliation and harmony. It goes hand in hand with the Center for Peace Studies and Reconciliation that is being established in Seychelles, and Mancham was glad to promote it.

At the end of the presentation, he was kind enough to answer the students' questions about current global affairs, and trough a short discussion to give some insight from his professional point of view.

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Nela Pejkovic, CD News