The importance of the partnership for oceans between the European Union (EU) and Mauritius was highlighted, yesterday, by the EU Ambassador to the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Vincent Degert, at the Odysseo, Les Salines, on Europe Day, annually held on 9 May.
A photo exhibition, including artworks by students displaying EU projects undertaken in Mauritius, was also on the programme.
The event was marked by the presence of the Acting President of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Marie Cyril Eddy Boissézon; the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth; the Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change, Mr Kavydass Ramano; the Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Sudheer Maudhoo; the spouse of the Prime Minister, Mrs Kobita Jugnauth; and other dignitaries.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Degert pointed out that Europe Day was about celebrating peace and solidarity, the values of cooperation and the principles of peaceful relations and multilateralism, enshrined in the United Nations Charter. Against the backdrop of numerous challenges such as the Russia-Ukraine war, he spoke on the importance of peace in a globalised and interdependent world.
The EU Ambassador also dwelt on the far-reaching partnership between EU and Mauritius which had mutually been beneficial to the countries and the citizens. “My four years in Mauritius have shown me that our 52 years’ old partnership has constantly been developing to cover a growing number of areas,” he said. “These areas,” he indicated, “include the sugar and textile reforms, infrastructure development, trade and investment, climate change and environment, the circular economy and smart agriculture, good governance and the preservation of democracy, and new challenges such as cybersecurity and disinformation.”
Underlining the importance of the oceans for human beings, Ambassador Degert mentioned that the EU and Mauritius had been working together for the sustainable and transparent management of the oceans through fisheries agreement and participation in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission.
The promotion of maritime and port security, the preservation of the ecosystems and the sensitisation of youngsters on the importance of ocean life through various projects and programmes were highlighted by the Ambassador. “Looking into the future, we are actively working in the field of blue economy, a sector, that holds immense potential,” he said.
Europe Day, celebrating peace and unity in Europe, marks the anniversary of the historic ‘Schuman declaration’ that sets out, 73 years back, the idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable.