GIS – 22 November, 2017: “We have reached a point where we have to challenge how we perceive growth as well as how we look at the future and our priorities”, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo, this morning at the Auditorium Paul Octave Wiéhé, University of Mauritius (UoM), Réduit.
The Minister was speaking at the launching ceremony of a model African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) Summit. The French Ambassador, and the British High Commissioner to Mauritius, as well as the Vice-Chancellor of the UoM and other personalities were in attendance. The AU/EU model summit is organised for the first time in Mauritius as a joint initiative of the UoM and the EU Delegation to Mauritius. Students from Faculties of Social Sciences and Humanities, and Law and Management of OuM, who are acting as Heads of States and Governments of the 26 Member States from the EU and the AU.
In his opening address, Mr Lutchmeenaraidoo underscored the need for one and all to question whether we want to live in a world where there is growth and inflation or live in a world which is sustainable. Time has come for us as a Nation and small island State to know what we want in terms of sustainable investment, not only for us, but also for the region and the world, as the youth of today is here to prepare the future, he pointed out.
Moreover the Minister recalled the importance of partnership which is about sharing what one knows best and ensuring sustainable investment. Everything is changing and when it comes to sustainable investment we have to guarantee the conservation of the ecosystem and the survival of the planet. On that score, he urged participants of the EU-AU model Summit to simulate the future and challenge it.
For her part the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, said that the youth have to be in a position to hold their best in the world as persons who are being called upon to operate in a global context with its challenges and opportunities. Young people have to be in a position to better respond to the call to think global and acting local, she said.
With reference to the model summit, Minister Dookun-Luchoomun observed that there is a universal agreement that education is a vital means to make the whole personal development process a reality even though learning in the classroom is as important as the acquisition of technical and academic knowledge. It is also true that learners should have the opportunity to put into practice whatever they have learned in the classrooms and chance should also be given to sharpen their skills and this is part of the survival kit, she added.
In her speech the Ambassador of the EU to the Republic of Mauritius and to the Republic of Seychelles, Ms Marjaana Sall, stated that the focus of the forthcoming EU-AU summit, scheduled later this month in Ivory Coast, is investing in youth. This is because we believe that it is essential to ensure meaningful participation and inclusion of young people in the preparation of the Summit given that we have the responsibility to not only work for young people but also work with them, she said.
As regards EU-AU partnership, Ambassador Sall recalled that, over the past ten years, EU and Africa have built a strong political partnership based on shared values and interests. This partnership is accompanied by a joint strategy and action plans implemented through mutually defined priorities, she added. Some of those priorities comprise: business security, regional and economic integration, trade and infrastructure, climate change, energy, migration, mobility and employment, science, and information society.
The aim is to enable students to learn about the EU-Africa partnership and to reflect together on a significant and common framework for the youth of both continents.
The model Summit is focusing on a meeting of the Heads of States and Governments during which delegates will be invited to debate on the theme ‘Attracting sustainable and responsible investments’. The topic is in fact one of the main themes of the actual Summit, the fifth education, scheduled on 29-30 November 2017 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Delegates will have an important challenge to formulate solutions and common actions on ways and means to improve business climate, develop sustainable projects and attract sustainable and responsible investments that create quality jobs particularly for the youth and with the overarching objective of implementing Sustainable Development Goals for Africa and Europe.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website:http://gis.govmu.org