In the context of the official visit of the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Patricia Scotland, to Mauritius from 2 to 3 July 2018, a working session was held yesterday at La Clef des Champs in Floréal with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo.
In a press statement after the working session, Baroness Patricia Scotland stated that Mauritius is a dynamic and innovative country leading the way. She underlined the numerous innovations brought about by Mauritius which have made a real difference to the Commonwealth.
She recalled that the Commonwealth, which represents one third of the world's population and one fourth of the world's landmass, is an invincible force to reckon with when they all join forces. Several issues were discussed namely the Blue Charter, connectivity, and raising opportunities for women, men, boys and girls.
Baroness Scotland rejoiced that Mauritius has stepped forward together with Australia and Belize to co-lead a Blue Charter Action Group on coral reef regeneration. The Blue Charter is a Commonwealth commitment to work together to protect and manage our oceans, she said.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and International Trade pointed out that small islands are often submerged by big countries. However, he said, Indian Ocean islands together with Caribbean and Pacific countries can come together and become a lobbying group.
He pointed out that Mauritius and the Commonwealth are working together on a number of issues such as the ocean economy, maritime security, and the Blue Charter adding that emphasis will be laid on enhanced cooperation with Africa, India and China.
Programme of visit
During her visit Baroness Patricia Scotland had a meeting on 1st July 2018 with the Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Premdut Koonjoo, and the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint. She met the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, yesterday at the IVTB House in Phoenix. She also called on the Acting President of the Republic, Mr Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory, at the State House in Réduit.
Baroness Patricia Scotland proceeded to the National Women Development Centre in Phoenix where she met the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus. After the working session at La Clef des Champs, she paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Jugnauth, at the Treasury Building in Port Louis.
During the last day of her official visit, Baroness Patricia Scotland will meet the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Yogida Sawminaden in Ebène as well as the Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Dr Anwar Husnoo, in Port Louis and the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou at Labourdonnais Hotel in Port Louis.
An interactive session with Commonwealth Heads of Mission and Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub at Labourdonnais Hotel is also on the agenda. On the same day, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth will pay a courtesy call on the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Xavier-Luc Duval, at the Government Centre in Port Louis.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General is responsible for promoting and protecting the Commonwealth's values; representing the Commonwealth publicly; and managing the Commonwealth Secretariat.
The Secretary-General is nominated by Commonwealth leaders and can serve a maximum of two four-year terms. On 27 November 2015, in Malta, the Commonwealth Heads of Government appointed Ms Patricia Scotland of Dominica as the first woman and the sixth Commonwealth Secretary-General. She took office on 1 April 2016.