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Mauritius at the United Nations

A brief outline

Mauritius at the United Nations

Permanent Representatives of Mauritius to the UN (1968 to date)

A brief outline

Following its independence on 12 March 1968, Mauritius joined the United Nations on 24 April 1968 as the 124th Member. Since the very outset, Mauritius adopted a policy of active involvement in international relations without aligning itself with any particular bloc in the East-West divide prevailing at that time.

The principles of territorial integrity, national sovereignty, peaceful co-existence, equality among States, respect for human rights have been the guiding principles of the foreign policy of Mauritius.

Mauritius recognises the utmost importance of the United Nations in the furtherance of peace, international security and global development.

Mauritius served as a Non-Permanent Member of the Security Council for the first time in 1977 and 1978. In October 200O, Mauritius was elected for a two-year term (2001-2002) at the Security Council.

Mauritius at the United Nations
Economic Development

• The United Nations played a creative and critical leadership role in the 70's and 80's in shaping the international economic agenda. Mauritius, as a newly independent developing country provided active support to the shaping of the UN's development agenda.

• Mauritius is committed to the eight anti-poverty goals of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and will continue to play a proactive role for an early conclusion of a fair, balanced and equitable Doha Development Agenda.

• Mauritius welcomed the High Level meeting of the "World Financial and Economic Crisis and its impact on Development" in 2009. Mauritius values such UN initiatives and will continue to work actively within the UN for transparent global governance on economic and financial issues.

• Mauritius supports the call for a reform of the International Financial Institutions as well as a more prominent role of the United Nations in international policy making.

• As a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Mauritius will continue to contribute to the work of the Council.

Sustainable Development

• Mauritius has always played a pro-active role in promoting the United Nations agenda on Sustainable Development and participated in the following conferences:

(i) 1992 The UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, Earth Summit) (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) ( December 1992
(ii) 1994 The Global Conference on Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) (Bridgetown, Barbados).
(iii) 1997 The special session of the General Assembly Earth Summit + 5 (New York).
(iv) 2002 The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) (Johannesburg, South Africa).
(v) 2005 The 10-year review of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (Port Louis, Mauritius),which adopted the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the BPOA.
(vi) 2010 The five year review of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the SIDS

• In 1992, the UN General Assembly created the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) to ensure effective follow-up to UNCED. Mauritius has since regularly participated and contributed to the meetings of the Commission.

• Mauritius is fully conscious of the inter-linkages between climate change and sustainable development

• In Mauritius, meteorological records clearly indicate the increase of average temperatures, rising sea levels, intermittent heavy rainfall causing flash floods and climate variability that deviate from past patterns. The associated impacts on our agriculture, water availability, food security, energy balance, infrastructure and overall economy has not yet been assessed.

• Mauritius integrates climate change issues into new development strategies and is on a journey to be a Sustainable Island. The "Maurice Ile Durable" vision outlines Government's commitment to making Mauritius less dependent on fossil fuels.

• Mauritius was the first country to sign the United Nations framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 10 June 1992 and acceded to the Kyoto protocol on 9 May 2001. Like all SIDS, adaptation to climate change remains a significant challenge, requiring massive investments as well as the adequate capacities to deal with emerging challenges and impacts on climate change.

Small Islands Developing States

• The United Nations has recognized that there is a special case for SIDS's sustainable development and that they require special attention.

• The Barbados Program of Action (BPOA) provided the basic blueprint for Sustainable Development for SIDS.

• The 2005 Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Barbados Program of Action (MSI) adopted by the United Nations Conference on SIDS held in Mauritius, proposed measures to be taken by individual Small Islands Developing States, the UN System and Development Partners in order to address the development concerns of SIDS, build their resilience, facilitate their integration into the world economy, reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of their citizens whilst giving due regard to the carrying capacity of their island ecosystems.

• Mauritius is committed to implementing the MSI at the domestic level and advocating the cause of SIDS at the wider multilateral level.

• Mauritius will continue to work within the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS) to address the concerns of SIDS with respect to climate change.

• In a statement to the UN General Assembly in 2008, Mauritius pointed out that the "arbitrary GDP Criteria applied to determine the eligibility for securing concessional finance disqualifies most SIDS from accessing much needed funds for important infrastructure development" and that "it is absolutely necessary in this regard that SIDS are treated as a distinct category".

• Mauritius strongly believes that for the sustainable development and resilience building of SIDS, there is a need for special vehicles for aid and support to be channeled in a timely and effective manner to SIDS.

• Mauritius will continue to advocate the need for access to affordable and SIDS-adapted technology and financing to catalyze the greening of its economies.


Law of the Sea

• As a coastal State with a limited land mass, Mauritius has always given great importance to the sea around it and the potential benefits to economic development of an Ocean-State.

• Mauritius supported and participated actively in the discussions which led to the adoption of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the sea (UNCLOS) to which it subsequently became a party.

• Mauritius submitted two reports and one Preliminary Information to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) on the continental Shelf appurtenant to its territory as follows:
(i) Joint submission by the Republic of Mauritius and the Republic of Seychelles in the region of the Mascarene Plateau;
(ii) Submission made by the Republic of Mauritius in the region of Rodrigues Island; and
(iii) Preliminary information in view of a full submission by the Republic of Mauritius in the Chagos Archipelago

• The Joint Submission made by Mauritius and Seychelles to the CLCS represents the first such successful collaborative venture by two developing Island States in line with the provisions UNLCOS.

• After a process of intense negotiations spanning two years, the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf has agreed to the submission made jointly by Mauritius and Seychelles thus granting the two States control over an extended continental shelf of 392 000 nautical miles in the Indian Ocean region.

• Mauritius chaired the 19th Meeting of the States Parties to UNLCOS from June 2009 to June 2010.

• The Permanent Mission actively participates in the Working Group of the Bureau tasked with improving the work of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental shelf.

• The President of the General Assembly has appointed Ambassador Meetarbhan as the co-chair the 12th Meeting of the Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and Law of the Sea (ICP). [Pursuant to the recommendation of the Commission on Sustainable Development and Agenda 21 the General Assembly decided in November 1999 to establish the open-ended informal consultative process in order to facilitate the annual review, in an effective and constructive manner, of developments in ocean affairs and the law of the sea].

United Nations Reforms

• Mauritius supports the view that reforms of the United Nations must be kept under constant review with a view to making the organisation more responsive to changing global realities so that it can meet new demands and deliver its vital services in the most effective and efficient manner.

• The World Summit of 2005 adopted an Outcome Document which called for a wide array of reform of the United Nations at the organisational and structural levels namely in the areas of:
 Management Reform
 Security Council Reform
 Environmental Governance
 System-Wide Coherence
 Revitalisation of the General Assembly
 ECOSOC Reform
 Human Rights Council
 Peacebuilding Commission

• Mauritius supports these objectives.

United Nations Security Council Reform

• Mauritius supports reform of the Security Council which should, as one of the main organs of the UN, reflect 21st century world reality which is substantially different from that on which the 1945 Charter is based.

• Mauritius has consistently supported the African Group position enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration which calls for the expansion of the Security Council Membership in both the Permanent and Non-Permanent categories.

Human Rights

• Mauritius attaches utmost importance to the promotion and protection of human rights and supports international and regional efforts aimed at the advancement of human rights and fundamental freedoms, democracy, good governance and rule of law.

• Mauritius pursues a policy of active cooperation with international organisations in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

• Mauritius is a party to the following core international human rights instruments:
(i) The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
(ii) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(iii) International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(iv) Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or degrading Treatment or Punishment;
(v) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
(vi) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

• Mauritius has ratified the Optional protocol of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or degrading Treatment or Punishment.

• Mauritius is also party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

• Mauritius was a member of the Commission on Human Rights in 1971-1973, 1993-1995 and 1999-2001. Mauritius is a member of the Human Rights Council since 2006. Mauritius will continue to play a constructive role in the advancement of human rights and fundamental freedoms and further contribute to the enhancement of United Nations human rights activities.

• Mauritius underwent the Human Right Council's Universal Periodic Review in February 2009.

Sovereignty Issues

• The Constitution of Mauritius defines the Mauritian territory as comprising Mauritius, Rodrigues, Agalega, Tromelin, Cargados Carajos and the Chagos Archipelago including Diego Garcia.

• However the United Kingdom purported to excise the Chagos Archipelago from the territory of Mauritius prior to independence in breach of United Nations Resolution 1514(1960) and Resolution 2066(1965).

• Mauritius has consistently raised the matter of its sovereignty over Chagos Archipelago including Diego Garcia at the United Nations.

• With regard to Tromelin which is presently co-managed by Mauritius and France, Mauritius ensures that the interests of the country over that part of its territory are safeguarded within the UN system.


Permanent Representatives of Mauritius to the UN

H.E. Ambassador Milan Jaya Nyamrajsingh Meetarbhan

January 2011 to January 2015

H.E. Mr Somduth Soborun

2006 to 2010

H.E Mr Jagdish Koonjul


H.E Mr Anund Priyay Neewoor


H.E Mr Michel Taye Wan Chat Kwong


H.E Mr Sateeanand Peerthum


H.E Mr Ramesh Sreekissoon


H.E Mr Armand Maudave


H.E Mr Radha Ramphul


H.E Mr Guy Balancy


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