Africa-Press – Mauritius. In these challenging times, Mauritius values the contribution of Members of the Diplomatic Corps in further cementing the bilateral relations with their respective countries. We therefore look forward to again fully engage with all of you in the course of the coming year.
The Prime Minister (PM), Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this statement, today, at the annual diplomatic gathering organised by the Prime Minister’s Office at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Housing and Land Use Planning, Minister of Tourism, Mr Louis Steven Obeegadoo, the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Disaster Risk Management, Dr Mohammad Anwar Husnoo, and other personalities were present on this occasion.
In his address, Prime Minister Jugnauth highlighted that the traditional end of year diplomatic gathering is a unique occasion to reflect on past events and to share the vision for the coming year.
He recalled that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring havoc over the world and enunciated the several measures implemented by the Mauritian Government so as to save lives and livelihoods.
The Prime Minister stressed that Government is committed to ensuring that COVID-19 vaccines reach the population, before reiterating Mauritius’ gratitude to the various countries and organisations which have assisted the country in securing and procuring COVID-19 vaccines despite their scarcity.
He expressed hope that the country’s strong vaccination campaign will boost the tourism sector and contribute towards economic recovery. He nonetheless underlined that it is most unfortunate that many developing countries, especially in Africa, are far behind the target of 40% vaccination rate as 2021 comes to an end.
Mauritius, he indicated, remains committed to the strengthening of healthcare resilience and innovation in Africa. “Our vision is to contribute towards reducing the dependency on global supply chains and improve access to vaccines and other therapeutics for all African countries”, he stated.
Furthermore, he underscored that favourable conditions for the development of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector in Mauritius have been created and that the country looks forward to the assistance and cooperation of its partners for the setting-up of this new pillar of the local economy.
As a Small Island Developing State, outlined the Prime Minister, Mauritius will continue to advocate for the strengthening of multilateralism and international cooperation to fight global challenges such as pandemics and to strategise for sustained recovery.
In addition, Mr Jugnauth underpinned that fostering regional cooperation has been and will remain a key priority of Government. According to him, the country’s membership to the AU, SADC, COMESA, IOC and the IORA has played a vital role in expanding its economic space. The development of the ocean economy, which is high on Government’s agenda, also features prominently on the regional strategy, he added.
The Prime Minister also dwelt on several subjects including: the third edition of the Ministerial Conference on Maritime Security in 2022 to be organised by Mauritius; climate change and its effects on Small Island Developing States; the submission of Mauritius’ candidature to various international organisations; the coming into force of four Trade Agreements this year; the successful holding of the Trade Policy Review of Mauritius by the World Trade Organisation; the unflinching commitment of Mauritius to the FATF process; the growing friendship with Arab countries during the past decade; the developments at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea with regards to the Chagos Archipelago; and the complete decolonisation of Mauritius.
Prime Minister Jugnauth seized this opportunity to pay homage to the memory of world figures who passed away during year 2021, namely, the former President of Madagascar, Didier Ratsiraka, the former Prime Minister of Egypt, Kamal El Ganzouri, His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the former President of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, the former President of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, the former President of Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
He further stated that, in Mauritius, we mourn the death of former Prime Minister and President of the Republic of Mauritius, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, who will be remembered as the father of the Mauritian economic miracle.
For her part, the High Commissioner of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Mrs Rezina Ahmed, commended Government for the way it is handling the COVID-19 situation in the country.
She indicated that the Diplomatic Missions and the United Nations agencies in Mauritius have played a vital role in coordinating with their home countries for timely interventions for the procurement of vaccines.
Moreover, she informed that the Diplomatic Corps have been planning to hold a first ever Diplomatic Bazar in Mauritius next year so as to showcase their cultures and heritage to the people of Mauritius.