1. Following the wish expressed by the British Prime Minister during his meeting with Dr the Hon N. Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, Prime Minister, in the margins of the Conference on Somalia in February last, and in line with the commitment taken by Government to fight piracy, Cabinet has agreed to negotiations being carried out with the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the finalization of a Memorandum of Understanding on the conditions of transfer of suspected pirates for investigation, prosecution, trial and detention in Mauritius. Government has initiated a series of measures to fight piracy, including increased surveillance operations by the National Coast Guard and joint operations with friendly countries.
2. Cabinet has agreed to the implementation of additional measures within the premises of hotels to reinforce the safety and security of tourists. The new measures encompass all aspects of security, including installation of security equipment, access control and watchmanship. The Tourism Authority would also reinforce its monitoring and enforcement mechanisms to ensure that all hotels initiate appropriate action for the implementation of the measures.
3. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Criminal Code (Amendment) Bill which amends the Criminal Code to authorize the termination of pregnancy in specified circumstances, namely, in cases where –
(a) the continued pregnancy will endanger the pregnant person’s life;
(b) the termination is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant person;
(c) there is a substantial risk that the continued pregnancy will result in a severe malformation, or severe physical or mental abnormality, of the foetus, as assessed by the appropriate specialists; and
(d) the pregnancy has not exceeded its fourteenth week and results from a case of rape, sexual intercourse with a female under the age of 16 or sexual intercourse with a specified person which has been reported to the police or a medical practitioner.
4. Cabinet has taken note that a Committee, chaired jointly by the Hon Reza Issack, Parliamentary Private Secretary and Dr Farhad Aumeer, Chairperson of the Islamic Cultural Centre, has been set up to review all procedures for the organization of Hadj and all activities organized under the auspices of the Islamic Cultural Centre.
5. Cabinet has taken note that the Prime Minister has recommended Mr Rashad Daureeawoo, Bar-at-Law, for appointment as High Commissioner of Pakistan.
6. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius contributing an amount of US$50,000 to Madagascar for its reconstruction following damage caused by severe tropical cyclones “Giovanna” and “Irina”.
7. Cabinet has taken note that Mauritius has been elected to form part of the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council for a term of three years. The Intergovernmental Working Group is a body of experts set up to promote corporate transparency and accounting issues with a view to improving the global comparability and reliability of corporate reporting.
Cabinet has further taken note that Mr Ariranga Govindasamy Pillay, former Chief Justice, has been re-elected to serve on the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for a term of four years. The Committee monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
8. Cabinet has taken note that a Ministerial Committee, under the chairmanship of the Minister of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping, has been set up to look into arrangements to be made so that Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated in the best conditions. The Committee would comprise the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Minister of Arts and Culture and the Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands.
9. Cabinet has taken note of arrangements being made for the development of the Single Window System as provided in the Development Policy Loan of the World Bank. The Single Window, based on international standards, would provide online facility to submit applications for import and export licences and permits, and receive clearances from Government agencies. The System would enable traders to track the status of their applications in real time, facilitate data harmonization and standardization among Ministries and agencies, and increase trade efficiency through the reduction of processing time and related transaction costs. It would also assist in improving our Ease-of-Doing Business, Logistics Performance and Competitiveness Indicators. The Single Window would be linked to the Trade Portal and complement the TradeNet System and the Customs Management System which already provide for electronic submission of bills of entry and the electronic payment of duty and taxes.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the National Synthesis Report, prepared in the context of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as RIO+20, to be held from 13 to 22 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Report, which would be submitted to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, highlights the achievements of Mauritius, i.e., economic success, institutional and economic reforms, improved trade competitiveness, environmental management and the framework put in place for social integration and empowerment of vulnerable groups.
11. Cabinet has taken note of measures taken by the Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives to consolidate and redynamize the Cooperative Sector. Moreover, a series of activities would be held during the year as 2012 has been declared the International Year of Cooperatives: -
(a) vulgarization of the Fairtrade concept;
(b) organization of Cooperative and SME Fairs around the country;
(c) collaboration with regional and international organizations to facilitate export of goods and services, transfer of technology and know-how;
(d) setting up of a sales outlet in Port Louis; and
(e) renovation of the “Maison des Pêcheurs” at Tamarin and Mahébourg.
To mark both the International Cooperative Day and the International Year of Cooperatives on 7 July 2012, a gathering of cooperators and a three-day Cooperative/SME Fair would be held at Octave Wiehe Auditorium, Reduit. The theme for this year is Cooperative Enterprises build a better world.
12. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives is implementing various schemes for the development of Small and Medium Enterprises as enunciated in Government Programme 2012-2015. A Start-up Entrepreneurship Scheme has been introduced whereby entrepreneurs with innovative ideas would be given incentives to help them cope with the financial challenges; the SME Portal has been reengineered to provide business information and counselling, e-commerce facilities have been made accessible to a range of business operations and business solutions using a cloud environment; and a Technology Centre has been set up at SMEDA to act as a knowledge repository for SMEs to secure new technology through proper information channels.
13. Cabinet has taken note that the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention of Atlanta, USA, which is mandated by the World Health Organisation to monitor influenza surveillance worldwide, would visit Mauritius from 27 to 31 May 2012 to meet parties conducting influenza work, perform a laboratory and epidemiology review of influenza surveillance and assist Mauritius in the designation as a World Health Organisation National Influenza Centre.
14. Cabinet has taken note of arrangements made by the Residential Care Homes Board, which operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, to ensure that operators of Residential Care Home comply with the conditions laid down by the Ministry. Regular visits are effected in Homes and appropriate measures are taken against the Homes which do not comply with the legal requirements.
15. Cabinet has taken note that, on the occasion of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day commemorated on 17 May, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology would, inter alia, hold a Workshop on “Women’s experience in ICT and Work from Home”, organize sensitization campaigns, and conduct a survey on “Girls’ Attitudes to a Career in ICT”. The theme chosen is Women and Girls in ICT.
16. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare is organising a series of activities during the month of May 2012 to strengthen values for family life. In the context of the International Day of Families, the Ministry would organize a Family Week-End on 12 and 13 May 2012 and has made arrangements for the public to visit the following places: the Tea Route (Domaine des Aubineaux, Bois Chéri, Domaine St Aubin), La Vanille, Reserve des Mascareignes, L’Aventure du Sucre, La Vallée de Ferney Forest and Wildlife Reserve and Casela Nature and Leisure Park. Moreover, nautical activities, including sub-marine, sub-scooter, glass bottom boats, catamarans and ‘banane’ would be organized at Mon Choisy. The theme for the International Day of Families chosen by the United Nations for this year is Ensuring Work - Family Balance.
17. Cabinet has taken note of the holding of the Second Regional East African Judicial Officers Training Workshop on International Criminal Justice and Counter-Terrorism in Mauritius from 15 to 18 May 2012. The Workshop would canvass issues relating to investigation, prosecution and adjudication of core international and transnational crimes, including terrorism and money laundering and maritime piracy. Participants from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Southern Sudan and the Seychelles would attend the Workshop.
18. Cabinet has taken note that the University of Mauritius and the Institut de la Francophonie pour L’Entrepreneuriat would jointly hold an International Bilingual Conference on Sustainable Entrepreneurship from 22 to 24 November 2012 in Mauritius. The main objectives of the Conference are to promote high-quality research and development among stakeholders in the field of sustainable development pertaining to entrepreneurship, establish business or research relations, and exchange ideas and experiences. Participants from Australia, Canada, Dubai, France, India, Madagascar, Malaysia, Netherlands, Reunion Island, the Seychelles, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States would attend the Conference.