A representative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Mr George Abungu, and a member of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), Mr N. John Clarke, met the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, yesterday, at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis.
In a statement, Mr Abungu underlined that the meeting with the Prime Minister was cordial and discussions focused on several ongoing projects including the Metro Express, the bus station project, the waterfront, the Slavery museum and the art gallery in relation to the Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage site.
Mr Abungu underscored that their mission in Mauritius is to provide advice and discuss with relevant stakeholders to assess the impacts that these projects will have on the heritage site and to ensure that they can be mitigated before the process continues. He emphasised that Mauritius can call upon UNESCO and ICOMOS at any time for advice so that development projects can be carried out in according to established norms while respecting the outstanding as well as universal value of the Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage site including the area falling under the heritage precinct.
He further underlined that a report will be sent to UNESCO and its recommendations will be examined by the organisation's technical committee before being passed on to the Government of Mauritius. The idea is to work together so as to get the best out of the heritage that the country has in order to balance development and heritage protection, he stated.