Mauritius and UNESCO strengthen cooperationOn 30 March 2006, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura discussed the strengthening of cooperation between UNESCO and Mauritius during his meeting with the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam.
In his remarks, the Director-General expressed his satisfaction that the cooperation between UNESCO and Mauritius had progressed in particular since his third official visit in 2004. He also congratulated Mauritius for becoming the first (and only country so far) that has ratified the three Cultural Conventions for the preservation of the cultural diversity (i.e. the 1972 Cultural Heritage Convention, the 2003 Convention on the preservation of intangible heritage and the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions).
Noting that Mauritius was non-represented on the World Heritage List, he welcomed the progress made to present the candidature of “Aapravasi Ghat” and expressed the hope that it would be considered positively by the World Heritage Committee in July 2006. He also pledged the Secretariat’s support for the preparation of a second candidature of “Mount Le Morne”, which is linked to the history of the black Mauritius community.
The Prime Minister of Mauritius thanked the Director-General for the particular interest he has shown to his country, illustrated notably by the two official visits he paid to Mauritius in 2004 and 2005. He stressed the priority to be given to the two candidatures to the World Heritage List. He also called on the Organization to provide its technical assistance towards the establishment in Mauritius of a multidisciplinary regional centre of excellence covering a number of fields including science and technology. He also requested UNESCO’s assistance in the organization of the commemoration of the bicentenary of the Grand Port Battle to be held in Mauritius in 2010.
Mr Rama Sithanen, Vice-Prime-Minister, Minister of Finance; Mr Madan Murlidhar Dulloo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Cooperation; Mr S. Seebaluck, Secretary to Cabinet and Head of Civil Service; Ms K. Bhanjee, Prime Minister’s Office and Mr R. Bissondoyal, Chargé d’affaires to Mauritius Embassy, also attended the meeting.