Mauritius: The instrumental role of the diplomatic corps to foster bilateral relations with Mauritius and further enhance cooperation in fields of mutual interest was highlighted by the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, at the end-of-year diplomatic reception held last evening at Le Meridien Hotel in Pointe aux Piments.
The Vice-President of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Marie Cyril Eddy Boissézon, several Ministers, Members of Parliament and Diplomats were present.
In his address, Prime Minister Jugnauth underscored the importance of bringing together the diplomatic community as it provides a unique opportunity to review past events and share views on how to work together towards a better tomorrow.
“You all have been instrumental in fostering closer ties between Mauritius and your organisations,” he said. “We are grateful to your readiness to support and consider you as an important part of the Mauritian family,” he emphasised.
The two difficult years of the Covid-19 pandemic, he said, gave us the opportunity to re-energise our collaboration, and our partners have continued to lend us their precious support and technical assistance in dealing with the pandemic and other unprecedented challenges.
This year, he indicated, Mauritius had the opportunity to attend a number of events at the international level to further reinforce bilateral relations with countries such as India, China and Pakistan; enhance the visibility of Mauritius; valorise cooperation and improve regional economic integration.
He expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the Government of India in its capacity as the chair of the G20 Summit for extending an invitation to Mauritius to participate as a guest country, adding that it is a high mark of friendship.
The Prime Minister observed that in these challenging times facing the world and getting the global economy back on track requires the strongest political will. Mauritius, he stressed, joins the call in the multilateral system to address these challenges, and this will require a reform of the global financial architecture in order to unleash development financing for countries in need.
“We are thankful to our partners, including the United Nations (UN) and its agencies based in Mauritius, for all the support extended this year”, he said.
“We are working closely with the UN for a new cooperation framework with Mauritius for the period 2024- 2029 and for other important projects, including the development and adoption of the multi-dimensional vulnerability index, which fully recognises and responds to the needs of Mauritius as a Small Island Developing State”, he pointed out.
Speaking on cooperation with other countries, Prime Minister Jugnauth underlined that relations between Mauritius and Reunion Island continue to improve with the holding of Commission mixte and the conclusion of two conventions on the Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters treaties with France.
“In October this year, Mauritius, with your support, was elected for the first time ever on the Council of the International Telecommunication Union for the African region for the period 2022-2026, and likewise, I count on your support for the candidature of Mauritius for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the term 2025-2026”, he reiterated.
He spoke on the need to consolidate resilience-building strategies adding that Mauritius will continue to engage with regional organisations such as COMESA, SADC, Indian Ocean Rim Association and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).
Mauritius, he underlined, will assume the chair of the IOC next year, and the top priorities will comprise enhancing maritime connectivity and security. The country also remains committed to the successful realisation of the seven aspirations contained in the African Union’s Agenda 2063, he added.
With regard to the ninth EU-Mauritius Political Dialogue, which took place last month, he indicated that it allowed constructive exchanges on a number of common issues such as the deepening of economic partnership agreement; illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; and regulations of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC).
“We look forward to hosting the 37th session of the IOTC in May next year and the 10th meeting of parties of the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement in July”, he stated.
Referring to his participation at the US Africa leader Summit, the Prime Minister indicated that it was an important forum for new joint initiatives between the US and African countries to improve trade, boost our continent’s recovery, bolster food security and promote investment in infrastructure, health and renewable projects.
“We look forward to engaging together with other Sub-Saharan African countries on the African Growth and Opportunity Act to find appropriate solutions”, he added.
Mauritius, he underlined, continues to open markets so as to better create an environment for trade and investment and the implementation of the recently concluded trade agreements with India, China, the UK and the African Free Trade area.
“Political and economic discussions with the Middle East are yielding good results, and we will continue to remain engaged in strengthening our relations with them”, he shared.
Mauritius, he indicated, also had the privilege of holding a series of conferences and meetings this year, namely the Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting and the African-Economic Conference. Mauritius’s participation in the Dubai Expo 2020, he stressed, has been a unique opportunity to showcase our development agenda and establish new contacts. Mauritius, he announced, will participate in the Expo 2025 to be held in Osaka.
With regard to the Chagos issue, Prime Minister Jugnauth highlighted that Mauritius and UK have decided to start negotiations on the issue of sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago in view to securing, by early next year, an agreement on the basis of international law.
Any agreement between Mauritius and UK, he said, will ensure the continued and effective operations of the military base in Diego Garcia, which plays a vital role in promoting regional and global security. As regards security matters, Mauritius will continue to work closely with partner countries to make our waters safer. “As for the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub, we continue to rely on your support and assistance to make a difference,” stated the Prime Minister.
As for the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of the EU to Mauritius, Mr Vincent Degert, he commended all diplomats and ambassadors for their engagement towards ensuring effective dialogue and working towards common goals for the welfare of the Nation.
Mauritius, he stated, has demonstrated strong resilience and confidence in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and other challenges. Mauritius possesses an impressive and fully capable diplomatic force to thrive in the future with the support and guidance of each and everyone, he affirmed.