Hon Pravind Kumar JUGNAUTH, Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development
Hon Ivan Leslie COLLENDAVELLOO, GCSK, SC, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Energy and Public Utilities
Hon Marc France Eddy BALANCY, Chief Justice
Hon Mrs Santi Bai HANOOMANJEE, Speaker of the National Assembly
Rt Hon Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH, GCSK, KCMG, QC, Minister Mentor, Minister of Defence, Minister for Rodrigues
Former Presidents of the Republic of Mauritius
Hon Mrs Fazila JEEWA-DAUREEAWOO, GCSK, Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands, Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Ladies and gentlemen
I wish to thank you all for being here this evening for my farewell reception.
It has been a real honour to represent the European Union here in Mauritius during four years and to have been the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.
Four years already! Four years is a long time, but it went by so quickly!
Looking back, I am really proud of what we have achieved.
Allow me to mention a few highlights which are particular important for me:
I believe that our partnership can become a more political one where we build closer cooperation on the world stage in particular at the United Nations General Assembly level. This is the spirit of the negotiations of the post Cotonou agreement that are ongoing between the EU and the ACP group of states. And I think that we have already started to lay the foundations to such a political partnership.
The EU will continue to support Mauritius' modernisation agenda. This is what we are doing with a new programme that we have just signed. It will help to improve higher education and promote research and education as key factors for economic growth.
Dear Friends, Dear Colleagues,
The time I have spent here in Mauritius has confirmed my first impression of a dynamic country with friendly people. Everywhere I have been in Mauritius and in Rodrigues, I have always been warmly welcomed, and I am really grateful for this. The country has great assets: its people and cultural diversity in particular the food, its beautiful nature.
As I conclude my mandate, I depart with a sense of satisfaction that our shared efforts over the past four years will contribute to building a stronger partnership. At a time when the world faces so many challenges, I believe that our partnership matters more than ever!
With the end of my mandate in Mauritius, I close a 12-year chapter of my career in Africa and will now go back to my home country, Finland.
Before concluding, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to each and everyone of you for your valuable support and your fruitful collaboration.
I would also like to extend my thanks to all of my colleagues, the British High Commission, Mr Keith Allan and the French Ambassador, Mr Emmanuel Cohet. We have worked closely together during those four years and I believe that this has contributed to showing a united and strong European Union.
I wish also to thank my team at the Delegation who have worked with me during those four years. I will certainly miss our team spirit and enthusiasm that made each project seem easy to achieve.
I will certainly miss Mauritius!
Thank you for your friendship.
Enjoy your evening.