1. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Human Tissue (Removal, Preservation and Transplant) Bill which provides for a legal framework for carrying out the removal, preservation and transplant of human tissue, other than blood, under appropriate medical supervision. The Bill also provides for the establishment of an Organ and Tissue Transplant Board which will inter alia monitor all the activities governed by the legislation, ensure appropriate follow-up action as well as determine which persons and which health institutions would be permitted to perform these activities.
2.Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Hon Prime Minister to Malta where he attended a Meeting of the Commonwealth Business Forum on 22 and 23 November and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) from 22 to 27 November 2005. The theme of the Forum was "The Commonwealth, Europe and the Mediterranean – Window on Business Opportunities". The Business Forum which was attended by 620 leaders from business and Government from 50 countries, discussed a wide number of topics of relevance in both SMEs and larger companies in areas including international trade, foreign investment, manufacturing, services, transportation, travel and tourism, energy and ICT.
The special theme of the CHOGM 2005 was “Networking the Commonwealth for Development”. The Meeting reaffirmed its commitment to the Commonwealth's fundamental political values of tolerance, respect, international peace and security, democracy, good governance, human rights, gender equality, rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, freedom of expression and a political culture that promotes transparency, accountability and economic development. In his intervention, the Prime Minister drew the attention of the CHOGM to the serious adverse socio-economic effects of the sugar reform on Mauritius. The Commonwealth leaders adopted a separate statement on Multilateral Trade issues, known as the Valletta Statement, which expressed the hope of the Commonwealth that the Doha Development Round of global trade would be brought to successful conclusion by the end of 2006.
The Prime Minister also had a tête-à-tête meeting with the Rt Hon Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the UK and the subjects covered included the impact of the EU Sugar Reform on Mauritius, the fall-out of the ending of the Multi-Fibre Agreement on our country and the issue of Chagos Archipelago. He inter alia explained to the British Prime Minister that a 36% cut in sugar prices, as adopted by the European Agriculture Council now, would have disastrous consequences for Mauritius in as much as our revenue loss would amount to EUROS 103m annually after a cumulative shortfall of about EUROS 175m for years 2006-2010.
3.Cabinet has also taken note of the mission of the Prime Minister to Bamako, Mali from 3 to 4 December 2005 where he attended the 23rd Conference of Heads of State and Government of Africa and France. The main theme of the Conference was "African Youth : its activity, creativity and aspirations".
In the margin of the Conference, the Prime Minister had a meeting with President Chirac during the course of which President Chirac re-affirmed his commitment to have the proposal of the EU Commission on the Sugar Regime reviewed. In fact, during the closed session of the Conference President Chirac emphatically stated that “Ces pays pauvres sont en train de subir un traumatisme économique. Ils risquent d’être victimes d’un système inique et que j’espère encore pouvoir corriger. C’est injuste et pas conforme à l’ésprit international. Je critique ces actions au nom de la morale et de l’éthique. Je suis très attentif à cette dérive liberale qui se fait au détriment des pays pauvres et au bénefice de pays industriels/emergeants. Le nouveau régime sucrier doit être révu et corrigé. Je condamne l’Union Européenne pour la façon dont les dossiers sucre, cotton, banane et thon ont été traités."
In Paris, the Prime Minister had bilateral meetings with Mr Pascal Clément, Garde des Sceaux who agreed to consider the possibility of the French authorities helping Mauritius reform its judicial system. The Prime Minister also had meetings with the Director and the members of the Caisse d'Epargne of France whom he invited to invest in Mauritius.
4.With a view to enhancing competition in the tendering exercise for road projects executed by the Road Development Authority and ensuring value for money and cost-efficiency, Cabinet has taken note that road contractors would be categorized depending on their financial and technical capabilities.
5.Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Joint Donors' Ministerial Meeting on the Waste Water Sector held on 1 December 2005 at Domaine Les Pailles. The objective of the Meeting was to follow up on the last Donors' Meeting at Technical and Ministerial levels held in November 2004, to exchange information on the different components of the National Sewerage Progamme (NSP) and to promote dialogue between Government and donors especially on the legal, policy and institutional aspects of the programme.
6.Cabinet has taken note of the setting up of an Expenditure Review Committee (ERC) chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance & Economic Development, to carry out a full scale review of Government programmes with a view to reallocating expenditures from lower to higher priorities, reducing costs and wastage and improving efficiency of expenditure. The ERC would also consider ways for strengthening project management, improving monitoring mechanisms and enhancing delivery of services to the public.
7. Cabinet has taken note that classes in secondary schools, including Lower VI, would resume on Wednesday 11 January 2006.
8. Cabinet took note of the visit in January 2006 of Sir John Daniel, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Learning, an organization created by the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government to encourage the development and sharing of open and distance education, knowledge, resources and technologies, and to assist governments, which are members of the Commonwealth, to benefit therefrom. During his visit, Sir John would call on high personalities and have meetings with the University of Mauritius and other tertiary education institutions.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the recommendations made by the International Independent Advisory Committee set up by the Mauritius Research Council to assess the capacity for clinical training facilities in our hospitals. The Committee has found that there are sufficient facilities available to support training of 100 medical students per year in a new medical school and has inter alia recommended that the curriculum must reflect the health needs of the local or host community and country, and a patient charter should be developed that allows patients to opt out of being utilized as clinical teaching material.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Training Workshop on Capacity Building of Government Officials and NGOs on Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS held from 24 November to 2 December 2005. One of the main objectives of the workshop, which was attended by Government officials and representatives of NGOs, was to empower as many people as possible, inspite of limited resources, to deal with the drug problem in a ore holistic way by involving people from different fields in a highly performing network.
11.Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life would publish and release the Family Planning and Demographic Year Book 2004 which provides data and vital statistics on population, family planning and health service points from Mauritius and Rodrigues. The Family Planning and Demographic Year Book indicates inter alia that Mauritius has experienced a rapid demographic transition from high to low fertility and mortality rates, the proportion of the elderly population aged 60 years and above was 5.4% of the total population in Mauritius in 1962 compared to 9.4% in 2004.
12.Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, in collaboration with the Blood Donors Association, would hold its fourth Mega Blood Donation on the Esplanade of Emmanuel Anquetil Building, Port Louis on 22 December 2005 from 800 hours to 1800 hours. It is expected that the collection of a large volume of blood during the Mega Blood Donation would help maintain an adequate stock of blood as well as strengthen the culture to donate blood.
13.Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the missions of –
(i) the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade & Cooperation to Lusaka, Zambia on 5 and 6 December 2005 where he attended the 20th Council of Ministers Meeting of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). The theme of the meeting was "Deepening Regional Integration through Customs Union". He also seized the opportunity to hold bilateral discussions with Ministers of various countries including Burundi, Djibouti, Malawi and Zambia;
(ii) the Minister of Education & Human Resources to –
(a) Sierra Leone from 14 to 16 November 2005 where he attended the 15th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers Mid Term Review Meeting, the objectives of which were inter alia to take cognizance of developments in the key action areas in education for which Country Reports needed to be submitted and to reflect on concerns of funding agencies/donor countries and fast highlighting track procedures, share information, experiences and good practices/bold initiatives that act as enablers towards the attainment of set targets in Commonwealth countries; and
(b) Madagascar from 22 to 24 November 2005 where he attended the 21st Session of the "Conference Ministerielle de la Francophonie" and the 58th Session of the "Conseil Permanent de la Francophonie (CPF)" in the capacity of "President en exercise de la CONFEMEN (Conference des Ministres de l'Education ayant le français en partage". During his visit, he paid courtesy calls on the Hon H.N. Razafinjatovo, Minister of Education & Scientific Research of Madagascar, Hon O. Adenji, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria and Hon Cheikh Tidione Gadiu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Senegal;
(iii) the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations & Employment to India from 7 to 11 November 2005 where he discussed with his counterparts and relevant authorities about the conditions of recruitment of Indian workers, technical assistance for the setting up of the occupational safety and health laboratory in the context of the implementation of the recently enacted Occupational Safety and Health Act and explored new avenues for employment creation and the integration of laid-off workers and the long term unemployed into the world of work. During his visit, he met inter alia Mr P. Chauhan, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office of India and Mr K.H. Sahni, the Secretary for Labour; and
(iv) the Minister of Health and Quality of Life to India from 1 to 7 December 2005 where he participated in the Pharma Expo 2005 held at HITEX City, Hyderabad, established new avenues of cooperation with state-of-the-art Medical Institutions for the treatment of cases inoperable in Mauritius and to solve problems faced by stretcher patients, and explored opportunities for exchange of medical know-how and technology.
14.Cabinet has taken note of the appointment of the Venerable Archdeacon James Richard Wong Yin Song as Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the St Andrews College Foundation.
15.Cabinet has taken note that Mrs S. Dhunookchand, Director (Support Services) at the Ministry of Education & Human Resources, has been designated as Secretary General of the Mauritius National Commission (NATCOM) for UNESCO with effect from 8 November 2005.
16.Cabinet has taken note of the candidature of Ms Pramila Patten for re-election to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women which would be held during the Fourteenth Meeting of State Parties to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women scheduled on 23 June 2006 in New York.
17.Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Boards/Committees/Councils of the following organisations –
(i) the Human Resource Development Council with Mr Deepak Tulsidas as Chairperson;
(ii) the Mauritius Examinations Syndicate with Mr Somamum Seegolam, as Chairperson;
(iii) the Mauritius Institute of Education with Prof. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim as Chairperson;
(iv) the Mauritius Qualifications Authority with Mr Ranjit Singh Soomarooah, as Chairperson;
(v) the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council with Mr Avinash Ramtohul as Chairperson;
(vi) the Tertiary Education Commission with Prof. D. Ah Chuen as Chairperson;
(vii) the Private Secondary Schools Authority with Mr Ramsing Prem Hurrynag as Chairperson;
(viii) the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre Trust Fund with Dr M. Bhuruth as Chairperson;
(ix) the Technical School Management Trust Fund with Mr Rajendraparsad Mungur as Chairperson;
(x) the University of Mauritius with Prof. S. Jugessur as Chairperson;
(xi) the National Solidarity Fund with Mrs F. Ng Cheng Hin as Chairperson;
(xii) the Special Fund for the Welfare of the Elderly with Mrs Chandranee K. Bhuckory as Chairperson;
(xiii) the Rehabilitation Youth Centre Board of Visitors with Mrs Renouka Brigemohane as Chairperson
(xiv) the Dangerous Chemicals Control Board with Dr Ravinandan Sibartie a Chairperson;
(xv) the Mental Health Board with Dr Dipuck Heeramun as Chairperson;
(xvi) the Mental Health Commission with Dr G. Bauljeewon as Chairperson;
(xvii) the Probation Hostel for Boys with Mr T. Thodda as Chairperson;
(xviii) the Probation Home for Girls with Mrs S. Baguant, CSK,OSK, as Chairperson;
(xix) the National Computer Board with Mr Newrajlall Burton as Chairperson;
(xx) the Trust Fund for Excellence in Sports with Mr Desire Tsang Kwai Kew as Chairperson;
(xxi) the Mauritius Sports Council with Mr Dhiraj Singh Kamajeet as Chairperson;
(xxii) the ICT Advisory Council with Mr Sunassee Ramsamy as Chairperson;
(xxiii) the Trust Fund for Specialised Medical Care with Mr Dewanaidu Siv Muthada Potaya as Chairperson;
(xxiv) the Medical Disciplinary Tribunal with Mr A.M.G. Ahmed as Chairperson;
(xxv) the Regional Health Advisory Board (Region 1 – Dr A. G. Jeetoo Hospital) with Mr Mohammad Raffique Santally, M.S.K. as Chairperson;
(xxvi) the Regional Health Advisory Board (Region 2 – SSRN Hospital) with Mr Rajesh Ramasamy as Chairperson;
(xxvii) the Regional Health Advisory Board (Region 3 – Flacq Hospital) with Mr Anand Bundhun as Chairperson;
(xxviii) the Regional Health Advisory Board (Regional 4 – Jawaharlall Nehru Hospital) with Dr Sunil K. Ram as Chairperson.
18. Cabinet has also taken note of the composition of the Board of –
(a) the Medical Council of Mauritius;
(b) the Nursing Council of Mauritius
(c) the Dental Council of Mauritius;
Members of the Board would elect the Chairperson.
19. Cabinet has taken note that Mr Arnaud Godère would be recommended for appointment as Chairperson of the Mauritius Post Ltd.
20. Cabinet has taken note that Mr Krishna Coonjan would be recommended for appointment as Director of Mauritius Qualifications Authority.