Our strength is our national unity, and where we stand today is the testimony of the great maturity showed by our ancestors in 1968 by not falling into the trap of violence and division. Since independence, Mauritius has laid the foundation of an inclusive and equitable nation where people of different religions and cultural beliefs live in unity. We must all work towards an environmentally sustainable society, which nurtures respect for elders, valorises the role of women, and promotes security among the citizens.

This was the gist of the message to the Nation of the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, on 12 March 2019 on the occasion of the 51st anniversary of the Independence and 27th anniversary of the Republic of Mauritius.

The Prime Minister highlighted that the 12th of March allows each and every one to celebrate 51 years of living in peace, harmony and diversity and also to reflect on the path we started, where we stand and the way forward. We have moved ahead in unity and today we are cited as a model by different international institutions, such as the World Bank, said Prime Minister Jugnauth.

The theme 'Dan linite nou avanse', which has been chosen this year, reflects a desire to join forces for a better country for us and for future generations. For instance, on 25 February 2019, the International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion that will remain etched in the history of our country. The court, he stated, has ruled that the United Kingdom has the obligation to bring an end to its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible and this is a great victory for the people of Mauritius. This, added the Prime Minister, demonstrates to the world that when a country is united, it will always succeed regardless of the adversity in front of it.

The theme also reflects the country's commitment to consolidate its relations with other countries from which our ancestors came to work in difficult conditions. He underscored the huge contribution of India and its commitment to the advancement of Mauritius, with several flagship projects that are being implemented in Mauritius and Agalega.

Prime Minister Jugnauth also dwelt on the various Government initiatives aiming to improve social justice such as the introduction of the National Minimum Wage last year. He underlined that no country can make such progress if its citizens do not have access to education and it was in this context that free tertiary education in public institutions for Mauritian citizens was announced in January 2019. Furthermore, he pointed out that Government's policy has begun to bear fruits and expressed his satisfaction with regards the unemployment rate which has dropped to its lowest point in the last 10 years.

Regarding the environment and climatic change, he underpinned that many families still face difficulties such as water problems and floods. One of Government's priorities, he added, is to preserve the environment. Mr Jugnauth further observed that, climate change means that the country receives a lot of rain in a short time. Government, he said, has already invested billions in the construction of drains and will continue to do so until the problem is solved.

Speaking about security and the Safe City project in particular, he recalled that more than 4 000 surveillance cameras will be installed in different locations across the country. This, he said, will enable every Mauritian to live in security.

The Prime Minister also spoke of the forthcoming Indian Ocean Island Games in Mauritius where the whole country will support Mauritian athletes and experience strong moments of patriotism.

Source: Republic of Mauritius