1. Cabinet has reviewed developments regarding the EU Sugar Protocol and has taken note of the outcome of the Workshop held by ACP Sugar Supplying States from 4 to 6 October in Brussels to prepare their submission in response to the European Commission’s Communication of 14 July 2004 on the reform of the EU Sugar Regime. The ACP States have highlighted the following salient points:
(i) the obligation of the EU to respect commitments enshrined in the Protocol in terms of guarantees with regard to price, access and indefinite duration;
(ii) the ACP States consider that the reform should not start before 2008;
(iii) the implementation period should not be less than 8 years; and
(iv) they should benefit from comparable treatment with outmost regions of the EU.
Cabinet has also taken note that the Panel set up by the WTO in the context of the challenge by Brazil, Australia and Thailand to the EC Sugar Regime has produced its report which has been communicated to Parties. The report will in due course be made public.
Further, Government is intensifying its lobbying campaign and in that context, Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Regional Cooperation has had talks with Mr Jack Straw, British Foreign Secretary on 4 October, and the Minister of Agriculture and Food Technology and Natural Resources is presently on mission in European Countries.
2. Cabinet has taken note that the report on a “Harmonized Writing system for the Mauritian Creole Language” by Prof. V. Hookoomsing has been well received by the public and that a technical committee is being set up by the Ministry of Education and Scientific Research to look into the recommendations and implications of the report.
3. Cabinet has taken note that Mr A. Radhakeessoon has met the Prime Minister and has expressed the wish to withdraw as Executive Chairperson of both the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and of the Information and Communications Technologies Authority (ICTA). The Prime Minister has thanked him for his contribution and wished him well in the continuation of his career in the legal profession. Mr Dev Ramdeo Erriah, Barrister-at-Law and Legal Consultant has been designated to be part-time Chairperson of the ICT Board and necessary consultations will be held for the appointment of a part-time Chairperson for the IBA.
4. Cabinet has reviewed the hotel development projects and
(a) has taken note that -
(i) there had been major procedural shortcomings in the public deposit process of the Grand Port/Savanne Outline Scheme at the Town and Country Planning Board (TCPB) which will delay the implementation of some hotel projects at St Félix. In this connection, Cabinet has agreed that a Police enquiry be carried out to determine any case of conspiracy or criminal negligence. Further, to enhance the efficiency of the TCPB, action will be taken to strengthen its manpower;
(ii) the Board of Investment and the TCPB will speed up the process for the delivery of required permits, licences and clearances for the implementation of an integrated Resort Project at Tamarin by the Tamarina Golf Estate Co. Ltd;
(iii) the Le Morne IRS Project which would consist of the construction of a Five Star Hotel, Villas, a golf course and a cultural centre at the foot of Le Morne Mountain. The project is at present being examined by the Le Morne Heritage Trust Fund Board.
(b) Cabinet has agreed that -
(i) the services of the Consultancy Firm Halcrow which has extensive experience in beach re-engineering would be enlisted to assist in the implementation of the five star Public Beach at Bel Ombre, including a swimming area; and
(ii) the submission of the joint inscription of Le Morne Mountain and Black River Gorges National Park and the Aapravasi Ghat on the list of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO would be postponed by one year to give more time for the preparation of the dossiers.
5. Cabinet has agreed that in view of the deterioration of the airstrip at Agalega, the ‘Dornier’ will effect flights to Agalega on an emergency basis only. The reconstruction of the airstrip will be carried out as soon as possible with the assistance of the Aéroport de Paris. A decision has yet to be taken as to whether the client would be the Outer Islands Development Corporation (OIDC) or the Airport of Mauritius Ltd (AML).
6. Cabinet has reviewed the arrangements being made jointly by the Ministry of Arts and Culture and the Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund Board to commemorate the 170th Anniversary of the arrival of Indian indentured labourers in Mauritius on 2 November 2004 and has agreed to the programme of activities.
7. Cabinet has reviewed the programme of the unveiling ceremony of the bust of late Sir Veerasamy Ringadoo, G.C.S.K., Q.C. which will be held on Sunday 24 October at 1000 hrs at Place d’Armes, Port Louis. The ceremony will be held in the context of his 84th birth Anniversary.
8. Cabinet has taken note that the Baie Jacotet at Riviere des Galets, will be declared restricted area in the interest of public safety in accordance with section 13 B of the Police Act, in view of the Ground Landing Monitoring Station which has been set up by Mauritius Telecom in the context of the installation of fibre optic telecommunication cable (SAFE) project.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the missions of –
(i) the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Handicraft and Informal Sector to Milan and Athens from 20 to 24 September 2004 to explore possibilities of joint ventures in the footwear sector and to seek technical assistance in the field of training and design in footwear, handicraft and textile;
(ii) the Minister of Public Utilities to Vienna, Austria from 20 to 24 September 2004, where he attended the 48th Session of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA);
(iii) the Minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms to Johannesburg, South Africa from 28 September to 1 October 2004, where he attended the African Public Service Ministers Meeting;
(iv) the Minister of Tourism and Leisure to India from 19 to 27 September 2004, where he attended the Travel Agents Association of India (IAAI) Convention and a workshop organized by the MTPA to forge new partnerships and identify new potential synergies in the Indian travel market; and
(v) the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and Human Rights to Beijing, People’s Republic of China from 12 to 19 September 2004 where he attended the XVIIth International Congress of Penal Law.
10. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Tourism and Leisure in collaboration with the Municipal Council of Port Louis, the MGI and Tour Operators will organize a “Festival de Port Louis” on 9 October 2004.
11. Cabinet has taken note of the activities which are being organized to mark World Mental Health Day 2004 on 10 October. The theme chosen this year by the World Federation for Mental Health is “The relationship of physical and mental health: Co-occuring mental and physical disorders”. Activities will be focused on the emerging recognition of the close relationship between physical and mental health.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the setting-up of :
(i) a National Committee under the chair of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, to make the necessary preparations for the organization of a series of activities to mark 2005 as the International Year for Sport and Physical Education; and
(ii) an organizing Committee to prepare the Senior African Athletics Championship to be held in year 2006 under the chair of Mr Michael Glover, CVO, Director, Trust Fund for Excellence in Sports.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the holding of the Annual General Meeting of the World Squash Federation in Mauritius from 6 to 10 October 2004. His Royal Highness Prince Tunku Imran of Malaysia, Patron of the World Squash Federation and Mr Jahangir Khan, President of the World Squash Federation and former World Champion will be among the VIP’s attending the meeting.