European Union External Action


Mauritius , 18/07/2019 - 08:35, UNIQUE ID: 190719_3
Speeches of the Ambassador

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

Honourable Ministers

Members of the Diplomatic Corps

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and gentlemen

Dear Colleagues

Dear Friends


Good evening.

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:

  • First, Mauritius and the EU have a solid political partnership based on our annual Political Dialogue. This is an important moment when we discuss and agree priorities in a number of areas where we have mutual interest be it maritime security, ocean governance or climate change. The core aspect of our political partnership is that we both agree on the need for a rules-based global order with multilateralism as its key principle and the United Nations at its core. Another important aspect is that we do share a number of fundamental values such as democracy, the rule of law and the need to protect and promote human rights.
  • Second, we have solid trade ties. The EU is the main trading partner of Mauritius. We are discussing the deepening of our trade relations under the Economic Partnership Agreement and I hope that the negotiations will be launched in the next few months. Here, I would like to mention the launching of the National Electronic Licensing System – a system which is unique in the region! The system, once fully operational, will certainly contribute to the ease of doing business in Mauritius. This is key to provide sustained long-term opportunities for economic growth and job creation.
  • Third, we have established a Policy Dialogue on Climate change. This is a strong signal of our joint commitment to work on one of the most pressing challenges of our time. We support small planters adapt to climate change; we accompany Small and Medium Enterprises' in their transition to a green economy, we promote sustainable energy and sustainable tourism. My wish is that the country becomes a "green" island and a model for the others.
  • Four, we have established the EU-Mauritius Policy Dialogue on Gender which shows that we are committed to promote gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. We have also launched the gender campaign 'Rise and Shine', a one-year campaign with ten ambassadors which aims to further sensitise citizens on the need to fight against all forms of discrimination. Here allow me to say that I do hope that the Children's Bill will be passed as it is focussed on the promotion and the protection of the rights of children. I believe that this piece of legislation when approved and implemented, will have a bearing upon all the future generations in the Republic of Mauritius.

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.

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