CABINET DECISIONS – 3 APRIL 2009
1. Cabinet has taken note of the Report of the Fact Finding Committee set up to look into the ex-Lola flooding with a mandate of establishing facts which led to losses of life and property; identifying the institutional and systemic lapses, the capacity to face such and other extreme weather events; and making recommendations. The recommendations contained in the Report are being examined by Ministers concerned who would report to Cabinet on their implementation at the earliest.
2. Cabinet has taken note that, following the recent information campaign carried out by the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Empowerment in Western Europe on the financial services sector, tax information mechanism and measures put in place to combat money laundering, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has placed Mauritius on the white list of the jurisdictions that implemented the internationally agreed tax standard for its transparency, accountability and good governance. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development plays a leading role in such areas as tax policy, competition policy, cross-border investment, corporate governance and fight against corruption.
3. Cabinet has taken note that, in line with the policy of Government to provide a roof for all, the National Housing Development Company Limited would construct 468 apartments for the middle income group at Mon Rocher (Pamplemousses), Cap Malheureux, Cascavelle, La Gaulette and Moka.
4. Cabinet has taken note that the construction of the Terre Rouge-Verdun-Trianon Link Road and works on the Pamplemousses-Grand Baie dual carriageway would start very soon.
Cabinet has further taken note that a feasibility study on the second part of the Port Louis Ring Road Project would be carried out shortly.
5. Cabinet has taken note that Mauritius was reviewed under the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism of the Human Rights Council during the Fourth Session of the Working Group of the Human Rights Council held in Geneva. Mauritius was, in general, praised for its firm commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and for progress achieved in various areas, namely -
(a) the ratification of the core human rights treaties and conventions;
(b) its commitment to democratic principles and empowerment of people;
(c) its high level of human development and socio-economic growth;
(d) being a model of stability and democracy in the region and its positive role in Africa;
(e) the fields of education, health care, children’s rights, gender equality, domestic violence, eradication of poverty, and attainment of the MDGs;
(f) steps taken to safeguard the welfare of vulnerable groups, including the elderly; and
(g) the passing of the Equal Opportunities Act which, inter alia, prohibits discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation.
6. In the context of the World Football Cup to be held in 2010 in South Africa, Cabinet has agreed to a Ministerial Committee being set up to look into infrastructural and other facilities to be provided to foreign football teams to train in Mauritius. The Committee would comprise –
(a) the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism, Leisure and External Communications;
(b) the Minister of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport and Shipping;
(c) the Attorney General;
(d) the Minister for Consumer Protection and Citizens Charter;
(e) the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment; and
(f) the Minister of Youth and Sports.
7. With a view to modernising and introducing high tech procedures to enhance blood safety and to establishing a tissue and stem cell bank, Cabinet has agreed to the establishment of a Trust Fund to manage the National Blood Transfusion Service which is responsible for the collection and provision of blood and blood products to all public and private health care institutions.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the recommendations of a World Bank Mission on Non-Tariff Barriers and that a Joint Public-Private Sector Standing Committee has been set up to monitor the implementation of the recommendations to promote and sustain competitiveness in both short and medium terms.
9. Cabinet has taken note that the COMESA Extraordinary Meeting of the Committee on Peace and Security would be held in Mauritius from 21 to 22 May 2009 to discuss peace and security in the region, namely in Madagascar and Zimbabwe.
Cabinet has further taken note that the First COMESA Expert Workshop on the Conflict and Early Warning System, initially scheduled to be held in Mauritius from 22 to 25 April 2009, would now be held from 18 to 20 May 2009.
10. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare & Reform Institutions would organise one National Conference and two Regional Conferences on biopsychosocial aspect of ageing and its pathologies in April 2009. The objective of the Conferences is to increase awareness about biopsychosocial impacts of ageing.
Dr J. Gerard Moutou, a Mauritian National established in Reunion Island and Director and Psycho-Geriatrician of EST Hospital, Reunion, will be the resource person for the Conferences. He has lectured widely in France on Geriatrics, Gerontology and related issues and published a number of works on pathologies affecting the elderly, including Alzheimer's disease.
11. Cabinet has taken note that, in the context of the implementation of the National Policy Paper and the Plan of Action on Disability, the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare & Reform Institutions, in collaboration with stakeholders, has -
(a) mounted sensitization campaigns on the need for persons with disabilities to have access to training and employment opportunities;
(b) conducted Job and Training Fairs for Persons with Disabilities;
(c) organized Training Programmes for disabled persons in Office and IT skills;
(d) ensured that public buildings are equipped with access features for disabled persons;
(e) arranged for the enlargement of destination boxes in buses so that they are clearly visible to visually impaired and elderly persons;
(f) set up a database on disability;
(g) set up the Centre for Elderly Persons with Severe Disabilities at Petit Verger, Pointe aux Sables;
(h) opened a Pre-primary School for Blind Children at the Loïs Lagesse Centre, Beau Bassin; and
(i) implemented of the Mauritian Sign Language project.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities to Istanbul, Turkey from 20 to 22 March 2009 where he participated in the Ministerial Meeting of the Fifth World Water Forum. The theme of the Forum was “Bridging Divides for Water”.
Ministerial Roundtables were held during the Meeting on the following issues -
(a) Freshwater coastal areas;
(b) Reducing the impact of water-related disasters;
(c) Bridging the water and climate agenda;
(d) Water for energy, energy for water;
(e) Financing water infrastructure and energy services;
(f) Water for development in Africa;
(g) Water for food and poverty eradication; and
(h) International year on sanitation.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities also proceeded to London on 23 March 2009 where he had discussions with
Dr David Vincent, Director, Projects at the Carbon Trust, and with representatives of ENVIROS, a UK based Environment Consultancy group with wide experience on waste incineration.
13. Cabinet has taken note that the Southern African Development Community Centre for Distance Education would hold its next Advisory Board Meeting in Mauritius on 4 May 2009. The objectives of the Centre are, inter alia, to -
(a) develop plans and strategies for systemic research and the dissemination of the findings/relevant information, through journals/newsletters and other available means;
(b) engage in and collaborate with other regional and international institutions in staff development, training and systemic research activities in Open and Distance Learning;
(c) identify and meet the education and training needs in Open and Distance Learning of different professional groups; and
(d) serve as a Centre of Expertise/Excellence in Open and Distance Learning for the Southern Africa region.
14. In the context of the ratification of the Convention on Promotional Framework on Occupational Safety and Health (Convention No. 187), Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment, in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), would organise a two-day workshop on 06 and 07 April 2009 to discuss and validate a draft National Profile on Occupational Safety and Health prepared for Mauritius by Dr Benjamin Ali, an international Consultant.
15. Cabinet has taken note of activities that would be organized by the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life to mark World Health Day 2009 on 7 April, namely -
(a) a special presentation on the theme of the World Health Day “Health Facilities in Emergencies” in the “Allo Docter” programme broadcast on MBC TV on Sundays;
(b) holding of a one-day workshop to review and update existing arrangements regarding the running of hospitals in cyclonic periods, during torrential rains, Tsunami and other natural disasters;
(c) launching of an Essay Competition on the subject “What can health services offer in cases of emergencies?”;
(d) launching of a National Action Plan on Nutrition; and
(e) an exhibition and demonstration around the theme “adoption of healthy lifestyle”.
16. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Youth and Sports to Burundi where he participated in the 32nd Session of the Conférence des Ministres de la Jeunesse et des Sports des Etats et Gouvernements ayant le Français en Partage (CONFEJES) on 23 and 24 March 2009.
The Meeting agreed to -
(a) Cambodia being admitted as the 43rd member of CONFEJES;
(b) the calendar of activities for 2009 and the programme for the year
(c) Tchad hosting the 33rd Session in 2011; and
(d) the adoption of the Bujumbura Declaration.
17. Cabinet has taken note of the report on lagoonal monitoring in the region of Port Louis, i.e., from Baie du Tombeau to Pointe aux Sables, during the period January to December 2008 and agreed to the recommendations of the Monitoring Committee, inter-alia, -
(a) no swimming should be undertaken as from 700 metres North of the public beach of La Pointe at Pointe aux Sables up to 100m northward of Nassau Bay until further notice; and
(b) no effluents shall be allowed to be discharged in the storm water drains.
It is expected that the water quality in the lagoon will improve once the households in the region from Baie du Tombeau to Pointe aux Sables are connected to the sewer network.
18. Cabinet has taken note that Dr Farhad Aumeer has been appointed as Chairperson of the Islamic Cultural Centre Trust Fund Board.