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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 20 July 2007

Cabinet Decisions taken on 20 July 2007

1. Cabinet has taken note of the sustained performance of the EPZ Sector for the period January to April 2007 compared to the corresponding period in 2006 -

(a) total exports in the EPZ Sector increased from Rs 9.2 billion to Rs 11.47 billion, i.e., by 24.7%;

(b) exports in the Apparel and Clothing Sector increased from 40.3 million pieces to 42.7 million pieces;

(c) the volume of exports in Textile yarns and Fabrics increased from 2,565 tons to 3,176 tons, representing a positive growth rate of 24%; and

(d) the sub-sectors of Watches and Clocks, and Precious & Semi Precious Stones have registered an increase of 47% and 11% respectively.

2. Cabinet has taken note that a meeting of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) of the National Service Framework for Diabetes (NSFD) would be held from 2 to 6 August 2007 at Domaine les Pailles. Eminent professors and doctors from abroad would attend the meeting.

The objects of the IAC are to:

(i) guide and give momentum to the implementation of the NSFD;

(ii) help the development of Mauritius as WHO Collaborating Centre for diabetes for the region;

(iii) advise on the setting up of a Mauritius Diabetes and Cardiovascular Institute; and

(iv) provide technical support for diabetes care in Mauritius.

It is expected that activities held in the context of the meeting of the IAC would boost the momentum for the fight against Non-Communicable Diseases, particularly with regard to diabetes and its related complications. The meeting would also help take stock of the diabetes situation and mobilize funds and technical support internationally for diabetes care in Mauritius.

The professors and doctors would also help update our medical and paramedical staff in latest developments in the treatment of diabetes.

3. Cabinet has taken note that a Probation Home for girls would be put up at Beau Bassin with a view to providing better security to residents and staff.

The Probation Home for Girls is a semi-open residential institution for girls below the age of 18, whose home environment is not conducive to their character development and ability to integrate the mainstream society. In the Home, the girls benefit from the services of Psychologists and Primary School Teachers. They also attend secondary and vocational institutions.

4. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius signing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol. The Convention promotes, protects and ensures the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities and promotes respect for their inherent dignity.

5. Cabinet has taken note that the Regulations and Rules under the Quarantine Act would be amended in line with the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 which came into force on 15 June 2007. The purpose and scope of the IHR are to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of diseases in ways that are commensurate with and restricted to public health risks and which avoid unnecessary interference with international trade and traffic. The IHR will help ensure that outbreaks and other public health emergencies of international concern, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or any potential human influenza virus, are detected and investigated more rapidly and that collective international action is taken to support affected countries to contain the emergency, save lives and prevent its spread.

6. Cabinet has taken note that a new morcellement legislation would be prepared to replace the Morcellement Act 1990, with a view to, inter alia, better monitoring the execution of infrastructural works prior to the issue of a morcellement permit, providing for an appeal mechanism for aggrieved persons, and making stringent provisions for offences relating to selling or entering into an agreement to sell a plot of land in a morcellement which has not been approved.

7. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the National Trust Fund for Community Health (Repeal) Bill which aims at repealing the National Trust Fund for Community Health Act and providing for the transfer of the rights and obligations of the Fund to the Government.

8. Cabinet has agreed to the International Organization for Migration setting up an office in Mauritius. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), an international organization, established in 1951 assists its members in meeting the growing operational challenges for migration management, and promotes understanding of migration issues. The setting up of an office would enable Government and the Organisation to work in close cooperation in migration management, particularly in the promotion and recruitment programme from Mauritius.

9. Cabinet has taken note that 196 athletes from Mauritius would participate in the following sports disciplines in the Seventh Indian Ocean Islands Games (IOIG) to be held from 9 to 19 August 2007 in Madagascar -
Athletics Judo Tae Kwon Do
Basketball Karate Tennis
Boxing Petanque Volleyball
Cycling Swimming Wrestling
Football Table Tennis Weightlifting
The IOIG is the most important sporting event organized every four years in the Indian Ocean Region with the participation of Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Reunion Island and Seychelles.
10. Cabinet has taken note that the University of Mauritius, with the collaboration of the African Union, is organsing a Workshop on the theme "Bioprospecting and the exploration into the sustainable utilization of medicinal plants". One of the main priorities of the African Union is to ensure mainstreaming of traditional medicine into health care systems across Africa. In this context, the African Union has, along with the World Health Organization, announced the period 2002 to 2012 as the decade for traditional medicine. The main objective of the Workshop is to look into the bioprospecting issue which is critical in the field of African Medicinal Plants, especially if member countries are to exploit and develop the sector. The workshop would discuss issues like Intellectual Property Rights, sustainable development and the importance of traditional medicine. At the end of the Workshop, a policy paper would be produced to sensitize African governments on the need for policy measures to protect and ensure sustainable use of African biodiversity.

11. Cabinet has taken note of the mission of the Minister of Industry, Small & Medium Enterprises, Commerce & Cooperatives to India, in connection with the signing of an agreement between the State Trading Corporation and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd for the supply of the country's requirements in petroleum products.

During his visit, the Minister of Industry, Small & Medium Enterprises, Commerce & Cooperatives also had discussions with the Hon M. Deora, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Hon S. Patil, Minister of Home Affairs on investment opportunities in Mauritius and bilateral cooperation.

12. Cabinet has taken note of activities which would be organized to mark the SADC Day on 17 August 2007, viz.,

(a) The SADC Anthem, with its wordings in French language, would be played in all primary and secondary schools including Rodrigues and all ‘Centre de Lecture et d’Animation Culturelle’ (CLAC);

(b) the SADC flag and the national flags of the 14 Member States of SADC would be displayed at the Government House, the Caudan Waterfront and Port Mathurin (Rodrigues);

(c) A quiz competition would be organised in CLAC Centres, including Rodrigues, to sensitise their members on SADC;

(d) A Cultural Programme at Jardin de La Compagnie; and
(e) The Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture, in collaboration with the Ministry of Arts and Culture, would organise a Cultural Show on 18 August 2007 at Le Caudan Waterfront, Port Louis.