CABINET DECISIONS – 19 FEBRUARY 2010
1. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the third round of discussions at Senior Officials’ level between Mauritius and France on the co-management of Tromelin held on 3 and 4 February 2010 in Mauritius. Following the meeting Dr the Hon Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, Prime Minister, had with President Sarkozy during his visit to France in 2008, it was decided that both countries should meet to hold discussions on the co-management of Tromelin pending the resolution of the sovereignty issue. At the Meeting on 3 and 4 February 2010, the following were finalized –
(a) the framework Agreement which provides for the establishment of a regime of economic, scientific and environmental co-management of Tromelin Island, its territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone;
(b) the implementing agreement on fisheries which provides for the implementation of a common fisheries policy aimed at ensuring the conservation and sustainable management of fisheries in the surrounding maritime areas of Tromelin. It has been agreed that fishing licences would be delivered by the Mauritian authorities to Mauritian flag vessels while fishing licences for French flag vessels would be issued by the French authorities. As for vessels of third countries, they would need to be issued with fishing licences from both the Mauritian and French authorities;
(c) the implementing agreement on archaeological research which provides for measures to be taken by Mauritius and France following the two archaeological campaigns on Tromelin Island in 2006 and 2008; and
(d) the implementing agreement on the protection of the environment which establishes a framework for the responsible management of the environment of Tromelin Island and its surrounding maritime areas.
Cabinet has further taken note that the Framework Agreement and implementing agreements would not prejudice the sovereignty of Mauritius over Tromelin.
2. Cabinet has taken note that the price of cement would register a decrease of 11%, i.e., from Rs 182.90 to Rs 162.80 per bag of 50 kg (ex-Fort George), as from the first consignment to be imported by the State Trading Corporation in March 2010.
3. Cabinet has taken note that a survey carried out in 2009 has revealed that 50% of the Mauritian population is either diabetic or pre-diabetic, about 37.9% has high blood pressure level and almost 50.9% is either overweight or obese. Moreover, Mauritius is classified second after the Republic of Nauru on the list of countries with high prevalence of diabetes.
Cabinet has taken note that, Professor David Owens, Director of the Diabetes Research Unit at Llandough Hospital in Cardiff, Wales, UK, would be appointed Adviser to the Prime Minister on matters relating to diabetes to work out strategies to circumspect, prevent and control the disease. Moreover, Professor Owens would also act as Clinical Director, Diabetes and Vascular Health Centre. He would further assist the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life in, inter alia, -
(a) the implementation of the National Service Framework for Diabetes;
(b) the consolidation of the podiatry and retinal services;
(c) the provision of a basic structure for the development of a multi-disciplinary training programme for health care professionals involved in diabetes care; and
(d) initiating early and late phase clinical research programmes in Mauritius.
Cabinet has further taken note that Dr K. Pauvaday would be assigned the duties of Director of the Non-Communicable Diseases and Health Promotion Unit which is responsible for the management of non-communicable and associated diseases.
4. Cabinet has taken note that the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, comprising Lord Nicholas Phillips, Lord Robert Walker, Lord Lawrence Antony Collins, Sir Brian Kerr and Sir Anthony Clarke, would hold its second sitting in Mauritius from 26 to 30 April 2010.
5. Cabinet has agreed to the commemoration of the centenary of Renganaden Seeneevassen in April 2010 to pay homage to his invaluable contribution to the country as lawyer and politician. The following activities would be organized in that context -
(a) unveiling of a bust in the Recreational Area on the ground floor of the Renganaden Seeneevassen Building;
(b) issue of a special commemorative cover by the Mauritius Post Ltd.;
(c) an exhibition of photographs and press cuttings and an essay and a poem competition by the Renganaden Seeneevassen Government School and the Renganaden Seeneevassen State Secondary School;
(d) launching of a booklet; and
(e) broadcast of a documentary film on his life and career by the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation.
6. Cabinet has taken note of development in the preparation of a Strategic Plan for the Shipping Sector in Mauritius for the period 2010-2015. The objective of the Plan would be to steer the development of the Shipping Sector and to allow stakeholders to meet emerging challenges.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the activities which would be organized by the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre during the year 2010 to vulgarise science, particularly among students, with a view to developing analytical thinking, communication and presentation skills and initiating them on the investigation of contextual science problems encountered in daily life. The activities include –
(a) a science communication contest;
(b) the National Science Challenge;
(c) a young scientist’s workshop and a National Youth Summit;
(d) sky observations;
(e) Science Demonstration Lectures; and
(f) projects on “Maurice Ile Durable” for students of primary and secondary schools.
8. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius signing the Djibouti Code of Conduct to combat piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. The Code of Conduct, a regional agreement, provides for cooperation amongst signatory States for the repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships using existing resources and in line with national and international legislation in the following fields -
(a) the investigation, arrest and prosecution of persons, who are reasonably suspected of having committed acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships, including those inciting or intentionally facilitating such acts;
(b) the interdiction and seizure of suspect ships and property on board such ships; and
(c) the facilitation of proper care, treatment and repatriation of seafarers, fishers and other shipboard personnel and passengers, particularly those who have been subjected to piracy and armed robbery.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the launching of the Mauritius SME Portal which will act as a platform to enable interactions between the various stakeholders of the SME sector, such as, entrepreneurs, investors, firms and the public at large, and provide tailor-made information and services to both potential and existing entrepreneurs with a view to eliminating administrative bottlenecks and reducing processing time.
10. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius submitting to the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) Secretariat a proposal for the creation of an economic and commercial space within the IOC with a view to fostering the regional integration policies and fast-tracking the regional process of COMESA and the Tripartite Framework of SADC/EAC/COMESA to cater for the specific needs of the IOC members.
11. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the third round of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Mauritius and Turkey, held from 9 to 10 February 2010. Discussions focused on the list of concessions to be granted by both parties, and rules of origin. Cabinet has further taken note that the next round of discussions would be held in Ankara in June 2010.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the launching by the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare & Reform Institutions of the “Best Practice Guide on Integrity Building for NGOs” which -
(a) promotes a culture of integrity in the NGO sector;
(b) fosters greater professionalism with regard to operation and service delivery of NGOs;
(c) encourages NGOs to be more transparent and accountable in the management of their financial operations; and
(d) inculcates the values of good governance which are fundamental to the NGO/Stakeholder relationship.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the launching of the Disability Watch by the National Council for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled. The Disability Watch is a network of regional watch (“cellules de proximité”) based in the community to ensure generally the security and protection of disabled persons. The main objectives of the Disability Watch are, inter alia, to –
(a) identify at the level of the community cases of abuse (physical, verbal, psychological or emotional) and neglect of disabled persons;
(b) provide psychological and psychosocial support to disabled persons subjected to abuse or neglect;
(c) carry out mediation exercise with the family or community for the welfare of disabled persons;
(d) advise on referral procedures to the authorities concerned; and
(e) mount appropriate programmes at community level with a view to creating greater awareness on the security and protection needs of disabled persons.
14. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities from 31 January to 2 February 2010 to Ethiopia where he attended the Fourteenth Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union. The theme of the Summit was “Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Africa: Challenges and Prospects for Development” and the key issues discussed were amongst others, the AU Budget and the Scale of Assessment, Peace and Security in Africa, Unconstitutional Changes of Government including Madagascar crisis, African Year of Peace and Security, NEPAD, UN Security Council Reform, Climate Change, International Criminal Court Review Conference, the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction and the situation in the Middle East.
In the margin of the AU Summit, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities met Mr Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank, with whom he discussed issues relating to sustainable development and energy security.
15. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade from 3 and 4 February 2010 to South Africa where he attended the Strategic Forum and the Ministerial Meeting of the Task Force on Regional Economic Integration of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which aims at providing greater political guidance on the way forward towards the launch of the SADC Customs Union and the SADC engagement in the Tripartite initiative for a larger Free Trade Area among the Member States of SADC, COMESA and EAC.
16. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the fifth Indo-Mauritian Joint Committee on Hydrography held from 8 to 11 February 2010 following the Memorandum of Understanding on Hydrography signed in October 2005 between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of Republic of Mauritius. The issues discussed were, inter alia, -
(a) hydrographic surveys at St. Brandon Island, Grand Port Southern Entrance and Flic-en-Flac;
(b) Bathymetric survey of the Mascarene Plateau; and
(c) establishment of a Protocol for the sale of Electronic Navigational Charts.
17. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Health and Quality of Life would promulgate regulations under the Dental Council Act to provide for the inclusion of the SRM University, India on the list of medical institutions recognized by the Dental Council of Mauritius for the purpose of registration.
18. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Health and Quality of Life would promulgate regulations under the Medical Council Act to provide for the inclusion of the Universidad de Buenos Aires and the Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, Argentina in the list of medical institutions recognised by the Medical Council of Mauritius for the purpose of registration.
19. Cabinet has taken note of activities which the Ministry for Consumer Protection and Citizens Charter proposes to organize to mark the World Consumer Rights Day observed on 15 March 2010, viz. -
(a) a one-day workshop on the theme chosen for the year, “Our money, our rights”; and
(b) talks, panel and group discussions, presentations on the MBC/TV and radio by officers of the Consumer Protection Unit.