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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 18 May 2007

Cabinet Decisions taken on 18 May 2007


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1. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Civil Aviation (Hijacking and Other Offences) (Amendment) Bill.

Though the Civil Aviation (Hijacking and Other Offences) Act of 1985 incorporates the provision of Tokyo Convention, the Hague Convention as well as the Montreal Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, the Act falls short of addressing offences relating to drunkenness, misbehaviour with crew members and creating disorder on board aircrafts. Moreover, Air Mauritius has repeatedly reported to the increasing number of incidents taking place on board its aircrafts involving passengers who fail to either comply with rules of conduct or follow instructions of crew members thereby disrupting order and discipline and endangering the safety of other passengers and the aircraft.
The Amendment Bill, provides for new offences, such as:-

(i) intimidation, threat and use of abusive language;

(ii) obstruction or hindrance of crew members in the performance of their duties;

(iii) refusal to follow lawful instructions by aircraft commander for the purpose of maintaining good order and discipline on board;

(iv) damage of property and belongings;

(v) unruly behaviour as a result of drunkenness; and

(vi) unauthorized use of electronic devices.

2. Cabinet has taken note that, as decided at the International Conference on "Peace, Non-Violence and Empowerment - Gandhian Philosophy in the 21st Century" held in New Delhi in January 2007, and which was attended by the Prime Minister, Mauritius would co-sponsor with the Government of India a resolution to the United Nations to declare 2 October, date of birth of Mahatma Gandhi, as the International Non-Violence Day.

3. Cabinet has taken note that, during the forthcoming visit of the delegation led by the Mayor of the City of Qingdao of the People's Republic of China to Mauritius from 24 to 26 May 2007, the following Agreements would be signed -

(i) Agreement of Cooperation between the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Qingdao;

(ii) Agreement between the Grand Port Savanne District Council and the City of Qingdao on the establishment of Friendship City Relationship; and

(iii) Agreement for Scientific and Educational Cooperation between the Mauritius Oceanography Institute and the Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The delegation would call on various personalities and have working sessions,
inter alia, with Enterprise Mauritius and the Board of Investment. The Chief Commissioner of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly would also be invited to participate in the working sessions.

4. Cabinet has taken note of activities organised to mark Africa Day, viz.-
(i) the message of the African Union Secretariat would be read in the morning assembly of secondary schools on 25 May 2007;

(ii) the organization of a debate/round table on MBC/TV;

(iii) the display of the flag of the African Union and its 53 Member States in front of the Government House, Port Louis;

(iv) the holding of an exhibition/demonstration of sculpture together with traditional African Music performance at Jardin de la Compagnie, Port Louis; and

(v) the holding of a cultural show at Plaza Esplanade, Rose Hill.

Africa Day is celebrated on 25 May to mark the anniversary of the setting up of the Organisation of Africa Unity, now known as the African Union. The theme for this year’s celebrations is “Let’s Strengthen Africa’s Place in the World through Strategic, Balanced and Responsible Partnerships.”

5. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Eleventh Meeting of Ministers of Justice and Attorneys General of COMESA held on 10 May 2007 in Kenya and which was attended by the Attorney General, Minister of Justice & Human Rights.
The Meeting adopted the Investment Agreement for the COMESA Common Investment Area (CCIA) which aims at enabling the region to attract greater and sustainable levels of investment through the creation of an internationally competitive investment area, thus allowing for free movement of capital, labour, goods and services across the borders of Member States. It also considered the Report of the COMESA Court of Justice and decided that Member States should be encouraged to accede to the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement Arbitral Awards and other related international conventions so that the CCIA Agreement could be easily implemented.

6. Cabinet has taken note that Dr (Mrs) Amita Pathak, Regional Public Health Superintendent at the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life has been designated to head the National Aids Committee Secretariat at the Prime Minister’s Office.

7. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Professional Architects Council for the period 2007-2009.