1. Cabinet has reviewed the situation regarding the Chagos Archipelago and has taken note of the discussions which the Prime Minister had in London with the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Mr D. McKinnon and Professor Ian Brownlie who has advised on action to be taken by the Mauritius Government in order to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the Chagos Issue. Government will take time to consider the best strategy to be adopted.
2. Cabinet has taken note that in the Sugar Regime Reform Plan of the European Commission submitted to the EU Council of Ministers, there have been some positive developments although the main proposals remain unacceptable to ACP Sugar Producing Countries. As this movement was a direct consequence of lobbying action taken so far, Cabinet agreed that such action be pursued vis a vis the Commission, the EU Member States and the EU Parliament to keep the focus on the sugar issue.
3. Cabinet has taken note of the positive outcome of the ACP Trade Ministers' and G90 Meetings and the consensus reached on all issues discussed before the World Trade Organisation Meeting scheduled from 27 to 29 July in Geneva. The meeting also provided the opportunity for bilateral talks between the Mauritian side and Mr R. Zoellick, US Trade Representative and Mr Pascal Lamy, EU Commissioner on Trade respectively. Mr. R. Zoellick has pledged to support Mauritius in its quest to benefit from the third-country fabric derogation under AGOA III.
4. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the visit of the President to the Republic of Ghana from 1 to 3 July 2004, where he was the Chief Guest on the occasion of the 44th celebration of the Republic Day of Ghana on 1 July 2004.
5. Cabinet has taken note of the positive outcome of the mission of the Prime Minister to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 6 to 8 July 2004 where he participated in the Third Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU). The Prime Minister also participated in -
(i) a High Level Seminar on Agricultural Development and Food Security; and
(ii) the 11th Meeting of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee.
6. Cabinet has taken note of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry on the procurement of two ship-to-shore gantry cranes by the Cargo Handling Corporation Ltd. by Sir Victor Glover, Kt, GOSK and has agreed that the Report be made public.
7. Cabinet has taken note that the Commission of Inquiry on Sale by Levy has been appointed on 7 July 2004 with Sir Victor Glover, Kt, GOSK as President and Messrs Yuvraj Thacoor and Henry Denis Vellien as Assessors.
The Terms of Reference of the Commission of Inquiry are to -
(a) inquire and report on whether the current system of sale by levy -
(i) gives rise to or allows any malpractices;
(ii) causes undue hardship or prejudice to debtors;
(b) report on such changes, including statutory amendments, as may be necessary to better safeguard the interest of the public at large and debtors in particular.
8. Cabinet has agreed that a bust of late Sir Veerasamy Ringadoo, GCSK be put up at Place d'Armes, Port Louis on the occasion of his 84th birth anniversary on 9 September 2004. Government has also agreed that a stèle in memory of late Sir Razack Mohamed and a bust of late Sir Gëatan Duval be put up at Place d'Armes, which would become a "Lieu de Mémoire".
9. Cabinet has reviewed the Bank Fisheries Sector and the non-utilization of life jackets by fishers and has considered various suggestions to sensitize fishers to adhere to safety requirements. The Prime Minister will chair a meeting with all stakeholders on that issue shortly.
10. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of-
(i) the Bail (Amendment) Bill which provides, inter alia, that it will no longer be mandatory for a person charged with less serious offences under the Dangerous Drugs Act to furnish a surety for his release on bail, or to subscribe to recognizance in money or money's worth or to pay court fees of costs when released on bail;
(ii) the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill which provides, inter alia, that a person arrested for a drug offence be granted bail despite a previous conviction for a drug offence under section 34 of the Act;
(iii) the Civil Status (Amendment) Bill which makes, inter alia, better provision for the registration of births, deaths and marriages in the Chagos Archipelago since 1965; and
(iv) the Local Government (Amendment) Bill.
11. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Youth and Sports to Reunion from 11 to 12 July 2004 where he attended the Annual Ministerial Meeting of the "Commission de la Jeunesse et des Sports de l'Ocean Indien" (CJSOI).