Estonia’s UN Security Council campaign task force is visiting the Indian Ocean island nations of Mauritius, the Seychelles, the Comoros and Madagascar from 12-24 July. Ambassador Daniel Schaer and taskforce member Kaisa Mitt-Alvarez visited Mauritius on 12 and 13 July.
The Estonian delegation met with the Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth; acting President Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory; Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation Yogida Sawmynaden; and Minister of Health and Quality of Life Mohammad Anwar Husnoo acting as Foreign Minister.
In addition, meetings were held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Indian Ocean Commission, the Mauritius Open University, the European Union Delegation and with the Mauritian business community. The main topics of discussion were bilateral relations, cooperation in international organisations and in e-government. Estonia also presented it’s candidature for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council.
Mauritius is one of the leading African nations in IT and e-solutions, which creates significant opportunities for cooperation between the two countries. Estonia is sharing its experiences with Mauritius and looks forward to learning as well. Considering the distance between the two countries, Estonia and Mauritius have much in common: similar size in population, shared values of democracy and rule of law; and both being seafaring states.
The Prime Minister and the acting President both remarked that cooperation between Mauritius and Estonia has been very good and that there is good potential to strengthen relations. Tourism, education, forestry and sports are areas where contacts and cooperation could be expanded. The Mauritian side reacted positively to Estonia’s UN Security Council candidature noting that the representation of the interests of small nations in the UN Security council is of great importance.
Cooperation between Estonia and Mauritius accelerated in 2015 after the signing of a cooperation agreement. Last year, Estonian and Mauritius signed a digital and e-government cooperation agreement at the EU-AU Summit in Abidjan. Many Estonian companies operate in Mauritius and the State Information Agency (RIA) leads an EU Cyber Security project (Cyber4D) with the UK and the Netherlands with Mauritius being one of the pilot countries. The exchange of visits between the two countries has expanded with several Mauritian e-government delegations visiting Estonia.