Six islands of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands gathered in Antananarivo Madagascar for the May Ministerial Meeting of the Vanilla Islands Regional Organization. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, who is also the sitting President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands and chairing his last meeting of his mandate.
For the first time, all the six islands of the initial grouping of the Vanilla Islands – Comoros, La Reunion, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, and the Seychelles were present for the meeting. Maldives was the only island being recorded as being absent.
The main item on the agenda was the election of the next President of the Vanilla Islands to take over from Minister Alain St.Ange who was ending his second mandate as the head of the organization. Many points were tabled and discussed including the endorsement of actions undertaken by the organization since the Seychelles Ministerial Meeting in April.
The meeting also approved the move to make the Calendar of Events of the Vanilla Islands more visible by seeking to advertise the events of the islands in airline magazines on planes serving the region and especially on those based in the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands.
The support by the Vanilla Islands for press to cover the events by member states was also discussed and approved.
The coming Indian Ocean Rim Association meeting in Seychelles in October by the UNWTO and ICAO Ministerial of Tourism and Transport Ministers and the April 2015 UNWTO Commission for Africa meeting that will also be held in Seychelles just before the Seychelles Carnaval International de Victoria were discussed and entered as important events to be supported by the Vanilla Islands.
Minister Alain St.Ange closed the meeting by thanking all member states for the support extended to him during his two terms as President of the organization. “It was demanding, it was also not easy, but we are here today with an organization that is on a firm footing,” said Alain St.Ange, the outgoing President of the Vanilla Islands.
With a vote of thanks and a resounding round of applause, the formal Ministerial Meeting of the Indian Ocean Vanilla islands was closed, and the assembly called to elect the new President of their organization.