1. Cabinet has reviewed the situation regarding the illegal exportation of tuna loins to a country of the European Union and has taken note that the Police had in that connection arrested two persons. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Regional Cooperation will send a note to the European Union to reassure them that Mauritius was taking a serious view of the matter and necessary measures were being taken to counteract such illegal transaction.
2. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius signing:
(i) the Protocol on the Amendments to the Constitutive Act of the African Union which provides for the inclusion of three new objectives aimed at ensuring the effective participation of women in decision making, development and promotion of common policies on trade, defence and foreign relations and the participation of the African Diaspora in the building of the African Union; and
(ii) an Agreement for the establishment of the Global Crop Diversity Trust which provides for the long-term conservation and availability of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture to ensure global food security and sustainable agriculture.
3. Cabinet has agreed to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Technology and Natural Resources and the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden Trust entering into an Agreement with the Sugar Investment Trust and the State Investment Corporation (SIT/SIC) for the renovation and upliftment of the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden. Further an extent of land of some 17.65 acres would be leased to the SIT/SIC to carry out the required infrastructural works to provide leisure, recreational and commercial activities.
4. Cabinet has reviewed the road infrastructure in connection with hotel projects at St. Félix and Bel Ombre and has taken note that road works at Bel Ombre have been completed, whereas Phase 1 of the road construction project at St. Félix had been completed and 40% of works had been carried out under the second phase, which was due for completion in June 2005.
5. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius hosting the Sixth Technical Committee Meeting on Conservation of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEMA) in March/April 2005. The Technical Committee Meeting will focus on creating a legal basis for concerted conservation and management policy for migratory waterbird species.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the Central Statistics Office (CSO) will conduct an Agricultural Cost of Production Survey in Mauritius and Rodrigues from January to December 2005 to strengthen the data base relating to the various inputs which are used in the cultivation of crops, update the technical ratios used in the estimation of various inputs of the agricultural sector and provide accurate measures of unit cost of production.
7. Cabinet has agreed to the early introduction into the National Assembly of:
(i) the Freeport Bill which provides for the integration of the Mauritius Freeport Authority (MFA) within the Board of Investment (BOI). Under the new set up, responsibility for matters relating to investment and ventures in the Freeport will therefore be under the BOI;
(ii) the Education (Amendment) Bill which provides for the introduction of compulsory education up to the age of 16 as from the academic year 2005, in line with international practice; and
(iii) the Professor Basdeo Bissoondoyal Trust Fund Bill to provide for the establishment and management of the Professor Basdeo Bissoondoyal Trust Fund. The objects of the Trust Fund would inter alia be to collect and preserve the writing of Professor Bissondoyal as part of the Mauritius Literary Heritage and to study the works and ideals of the Professor and principles based on the Indian Cultural Heritage, Gandhian philosophy and universal values.
8. Cabinet has reviewed the programme of activities for the National Eid Celebrations as recommended by a Committee comprising representatives of the Ministry of Arts and Culture, the Islamic Cultural Centre and the Urdu Speaking Union. The official celebrations will be held on Sunday 28 November 2004 within the premises of the Islamic Cultural Centre. Activities will include a sound and light show on the arrival of Muslims and their contribution in making a modern Mauritius. A Quawali Troupe led by Aslam Sabri from India will also be in Mauritius from 18 to 25 November 2004 in the context of the Eid festivities.
Cabinet has also taken note of the activities being organized to:
(i) celebrate the International Day of Fishermen on 21 November 2004, in collaboration with the Fishermen Welfare Fund, having as theme “the promotion of fisher’s identity”; and
(ii) mark the World Aids Day 2004 on 1 December 2004, having as campaign theme “Women, Girls, HIV and AIDS”.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the official visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Regional Cooperation to India from 4 to 11 November 2004. During the course of the visit he met the Indian Prime Minister, the Minister of External Affairs as well as the SADC countries and other African representatives in New Delhi.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the holding of a ‘Salon de l’Agriculture’ at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden from 3 to 5 December 2004 to highlight the achievements in the Agricultural Sector and demonstrate the country’s vision for the next decade. Arrangements have been made for the provision of bus shuttles. Opening hours will be from 0900 to 1800 hours.
11. Cabinet has taken note of the participation of a technical team of the Ministry of Fisheries in the 23rd Meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, Hobart, Australia from 25 October to 5 November 2004. Mauritius attended the Meeting as a new Acceding State to the Convention.