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Monday, 24 November 2008

Mauritius and the Seychelles, November 2008

United Nations Office of the Resident Coordinator Mauritius and Seychelles: UN Country Team Retreat in Mauritius, 17 & 18 November 2008

Mauritius, 18 November 2008 - The UN agencies operating in Mauritius and Seychelles held on 17 and 18 November a UN Country Team (UNCT) Retreat in Balaclava, Mauritius. The aims were:

  • To take stock of current and forthcoming activities in Mauritius and Seychelles
  • To harmonise the work of UN agencies for a more coordinated response to country needs
  • To align UN projects with national priorities so as to better serve Mauritius and Seychelles
  • To hold piscussions with the Indian Ocean Commission (lOC) in order to further strengthen regional UN-IOC partnerships in synergy with UN activities at national level and with national priorities

This event was attended by the representatives of the following agencies for Mauritius & Seychelles: United Nations Oevelopment Programme (UNOP), World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Oevelopment Fund for Women (UNIFEM), UNAIOS, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), United Nations Industrial Oevelopment Organisation (UNIOO), International Labour Organisation (ILO), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The UNCT retreat is particularly important as except for UNDP and WHO, ail the agencies operating in Mauritius are based outside of the country.

The UNCT Retreat focused on two main themes: HIV and AIDS and "Maurice, Ile Durable" (MID). Regarding MID, UN agencies believe that the emphasis on renewable energies (RE) within the MID is a very good strategie choice which can be supported by the UN Systenf'.!ccording to the different mandates of the UN agencies. Agencies also took note of the establishment of the MID Fund and of the importance of going beyond the RE component and to add other pillars such as Education, as stressed in the speech of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius at UNESCOon the 14th October 2008 as weil as the Aide Memoire signed by the Director General of UNESCOand the Prime Minister. ln this context, UN agencies during the retreat benefitted from a videoconference with Professor Joel de Rosnay in Paris.

On the subject of HIV and AlOS, UN agencies identified a number of priorities. Even if the prevalence of HIV and AlOS is low in Mauritius & Seychelles, there is high concentration in specifie sub-groups. The retreat therefore looked at ways of supporting Government to implement and scale up evidence based and target specifie interventions to address HIV and AIDS prevention and care comprehensively. The UN System will support the review of the National Strategie Framework in 2009.