1. Cabinet has reviewed the situation regarding the leaked document on the proposal of the European Commission to review the Sugar Regime with ACP countries which would bring down the price of sugar by 37% in 2007, and has taken note that at a meeting which the Prime Minister and Ministers concerned had on 1 July 2004 with all stakeholders, there has been consensus on the following:
(a) the situation was very serious and would sound the death knell of the sugar sectors of most ACP countries if the proposals contained therein were left unchanged;
(b) priority consideration should be given to the intense diplomatic and political lobbying of the Economic Commission, EU Countries, and EU Parliament with a view to obtaining a revision in the order of the proposed reduction in the prices of sugar, an extended time frame and adequate compensation for eventual reduction in prices; and
(c) unfinished business on measures proposed in the Sugar Sector Strategic Plan should be completed urgently and new suggestions made on any other measures which could be implemented.
The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture, Food Technology and Natural Resources will meet EU Commissioner F. Fischler in Vienna on 8 July and will also have meetings with Agriculture Ministers of Belgium, Austria and France. They also propose to have a meeting with the Consultative Group of ACP on 9 July.
The Prime Minister will be absent from 4 to 11 July 2004 to attend the African Union Summit at Addis Ababa from 6 to 8 July and to meet the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth in London on 9 July. On his return he and the Deputy Prime Minister will meet the Leader of the Opposition to brief him in confidentiality on the Sugar issue and the Chagos issue.
The Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister will also meet small planters and other workers of the Sugar Industry as well as representatives of their trade unions on 13 July to inform them of the situation.
2. Cabinet has reviewed the situation regarding the Chagos Archipelago and has taken note that at the meeting chaired by the Prime Minister on 30 June, it has been agreed to maintain the decision to apply to the International Court of Justice for a legal opinion on our sovereignty over the archipelago unless in the meantime there is any positive development on the British side. However, before acting, Government will wait for the views of Mr Brownlie, International Legal Expert who has been consulted on the matter.
3. Cabinet has reviewed arrangements for the ACP Trade Ministers' Meeting and the G90 Meeting which will take place from 9 to 13 July 2004 and has taken note that Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, Director General of the World Trade Organisation, Mr Pascal Lamy, EU Commissioner, Mr R. Zoellick, US Trade Representative and the Trade Ministers of India and Brazil have confirmed that they will attend the G90 Meeting.
4. Cabinet has taken note that Sir Victor Glover, former Chief Justice will preside the Commission of Inquiry on Sale by Levy as soon as he will have completed his assignment on the Commission of Inquiry on acquisition of gantry cranes. Sir V. Glover will be assisted by Mr Henri Denis Vellien, Chairperson of the Information and Communication Technology Appeal Tribunal and by a second person whose name will be confirmed shortly.
5. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of a new Tourism Bill. The Bill will be circulated to all stakeholders and Members of Parliament on Friday 9 July 2004 to enable them to examine it thoroughly and will be included on the Order Paper for the sitting of the National Assembly of Tuesday 20 July 2004 to be examined through all stages.
6. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius ratifying the SADC Protocol on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal matters which requires inter alia State Parties to provide each other with the widest possible measure of mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the activities being organized in the context of the World Population Day 2004 which is observed on 11 July each year.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the constitution of the Le Morne Heritage Trust Fund Board under the chairmanship of Mr Louis Jean Bernard Perrine.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of -
(i) the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Regional Cooperation to Sao Paulo, Brazil from 13 to 18 June 2004 where he attended the UNCTAD XI Conference;
(ii) the Minister of Agriculture, Food Technology and Natural Resources to Maputo, Mozambique from 21 to 24 June 2004 where he led a delegation to participate in the Joint Meeting of ACP Foreign Affairs Ministers and ACP Council of Ministers and the 4th Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government; and
(iii) the Minister of Education and Scientific Research to Singapore from 02 to 04 June where he had discussions with the Singaporean Authorities in the field of education, science and technology.