1. Cabinet has taken note that, at a meeting of the Inner Temple’s Bench Table on 3 March 2011, Dr the Hon Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, Prime Minister, was unanimously elected as an “Overseas Bencher” of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. This is the greatest honour that the Inn bestows on its overseas members who have attained distinction in legal and public life within their home jurisdictions. On 22 July 2011, the Prime Minister will proceed to the UK to receive the Award at the Trinity Term Call Night to be held at the Inner Temple.
During his visit to the UK, the Prime Minister will –
(a) have a working session with Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, and other eminent Justices on the reform of the Judiciary;
(b) attend the Signature Ceremony of the Agreement on the establishment and operation of the MIAC-LCIA Arbitration Centre in Mauritius. The Agreement will be signed by the Mauritius International Arbitration Centre Ltd (MIAC) and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) in the presence, amongst others, of Baroness Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union and Vice-President of the European Commission, HE Mr Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations, and our High Commissioner in London;
(c) have a meeting with Baroness Ashton on issues relating to Mauritius–EU Cooperation, in particular the Eastern and Southern Africa–European Union Partnership Agreement, the Financial Perspectives for period 2014 – 2020 and Piracy; and
(d) meet HE Mr Kamalesh Sharma regarding the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), in particular, the case of Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) within the Commonwealth.
2. Cabinet has taken note of progress in the finalization of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Eastern and Southern African States. During a recent round of technical negotiations, the chapters on trade facilitation, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures were finalized and agreement was reached on the issue of trade in services and Rules of Origin.
3. Cabinet has taken note of the constitution of the Clinical Research Regulatory Council under the Chairmanship of Dr Soondal Koomar Surrun, former Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Internal Medicine, Singapore General Hospital. The functions of the Council are, inter alia, to -
(a) consider and grant or refuse applications for a trial licence;
(b) issue, amend, extend, review, suspend or cancel trial licences;
(c) examine and approve the qualifications of every investigator;
(d) exercise control over licensees and on sites by inspection, examination of any reports received and such other means, as may be appropriate;
(e) consult regularly with, and consider reports and recommendations from, the Ethics Committee, the Pharmacovigilance Committee and the Trade and Therapeutics Committee; and
(f) prepare or approve guidelines for the safe and ethical operation of clinical trials.
4. Cabinet has taken note of the status of investments by Mauritians in agro-industry projects in Mozambique. So far, four consortiums have been offered some 20,000 hectares of land for the cultivation of rice, maize, soya beans, and other food crops, and for aquaculture projects.
5. Cabinet has taken note that the Award Ceremony to winners of the third edition of the Mauritius Business Excellence Award would be held on 29 July 2011. The aim of the Mauritius Business Excellence Award is to encourage Mauritian entrepreneurs to adopt best business practices in the management of enterprises to achieve higher productivity and to increase competitiveness. The criteria for the Award, based on the Malcolm-Baldridge model, cover the following key areas of business: vision and strategic planning, leadership, human resource empowerment, sales and marketing management, production management processes and improvement, measurement, analysis, knowledge management, financial management and results, information technology, and innovation. 145 entrepreneurs participated in the third edition of the Award. The fourth edition of the Award would also be launched on 29 July 2011.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the following regional Meeting/training course would be organized by the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security in December 2011 –
(a) the Mid-Term Coordination Meeting on ‘Enhancing the Productivity of High Value Crops and Income Generation with Small-Scale Irrigation Technologies’. The objective of the Meeting is to review progress made by Member States in the implementation of the Regional Project RAF/5/058 of the International Atomic Energy Agency Technical Cooperation which aims at improving the income of poor farmers through the adoption of cost-effective small scale irrigation methods to increase the yield and quality of high value crops; and
(b) the Regional Training Course on the use of Isotopic and Related Techniques for Improving Water Use Efficiency of High Value Crops. The purpose of the regional training course is to provide training on the use of isotopic and conventional methods for improving water use efficiency.
Participants from Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe are expected to attend the two events.
7. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment, in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), would organize a three-day tripartite workshop on Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention 2006 (C187) from 25 to 27 July 2011. The objective of the workshop is to sensitize stakeholders on the provisions of the Convention, which was adopted in 2006 to promote occupational safety and health as part of ILO’s agenda of decent work for all. The Convention stresses on the importance of continuous promotion of a national preventive safety and health culture.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade to Zambia where he participated in the First Joint Meeting of COMESA Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors. The objective of the Meeting was to develop better coordination and closer collaboration between Central Banks and Ministries of Finance to deal with the development challenges and issues confronting the COMESA region and accelerate regional integration. The issues discussed at the Meeting were, inter alia, –
(a) COMESA Multilateral Fiscal Surveillance Framework;
(b) Operationalization of the Regional Payments and Settlement System;
(c) Operationalization of the COMESA Infrastructure Fund;
(d) Economic Transformation in Africa; and
(e) Capacity Building in the Region.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Tourism and Leisure to the People’s Republic of China in the context of the official launching ceremony of the direct flight of Air Mauritius to Shanghai. He seized the opportunity to launch a second phase of visibility campaigns, and participated in promotional events organized by Air Mauritius and the MTPA. He also had meetings with the Mayor of Yiwu City and the Mayor of Sanya with whom he discussed avenues of cooperation in the field of tourism development.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the publication of the Health Statistics Report 2010 for the Island of Mauritius and the Island of Rodrigues. The salient features of the Report are –
Island of Mauritius
(a) Crude Birth Rate was 11.5 per 1,000 mid-year resident population as compared to 11.8 in 2009;
(b) total fertility rate decreased from 1.5 births per woman in 2009 to 1.4 in 2010;
(c) Crude Death Rate was 7.2 per 1,000 mid-year population as compared to 7.3 in 2009;
(d) Infant Mortality Rate was 12.4 per 1,000 live births as compared to 13.3 in 2009; and
(e) during the period 2000 to 2010, life expectancy at birth increased by 2 years for male (from 67 to 69 years) and by 2 years for female (from 75 to 77 years);
Island of Rodrigues
(a) Crude Birth Rate was 18.9 per 1,000 mid-year resident population as compared to 19.1 in 2009;
(b) total fertility rate, which was 2.4 births per woman in 2009 decreased to 2.3 in 2010;
(c) Crude Death Rate was 6.3 per 1,000 mid-year population similar to that in 2009;
(d) Infant Mortality Rate was 14.0 per 1,000 live births as compared to 13.9 in 2009; and
(e) during the period 2000 to 2010, life expectancy at birth increased by 2 years for male (from 69 to 71 years) and by one year for female (from 76 to 77 years).
11. Cabinet has agreed to Government supporting the Republic of South Sudan, which became an independent State on 9 July 2011, being admitted as Member of the African Union.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Deregistration of Safety and Health Officers Board with Mr Naushad Joomeer as Chairperson.