CAPAM Mauritius Regional Seminar held at Le Méridien,

Pointe aux Piments from 15-18 March 2004
Welcome Address by:

Mr K. Ponnusamy, Senior Chief Executive, Ministry of Civil Service Affairs & A. R.

at the Opening Ceremony

The Rt Hon. Sir Anerood Jugnauth, President of the Republic

The Hon. Ahmad Sulliman Jeewah, Minister of Civil Service Affairs &

Administrative Reforms of Mauritius

Hon. Ministers

Hon. Jocelyne Bourgon, President of CAPAM
Mr Harry Ganoo, Secretary to Cabinet & Head of the Civil Affairs
Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps
Mr Loganaden Ramsamy, Chairman, Public Service Commission
Members of the CAPAM Board

Mr Art Stevenson, Executive Director, CAPAM

Distinguished Participants
Representatives of the Private Sector
Colleagues
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased to welcome you to the opening ceremony of the CAPAM Regional Seminar on the theme "Implementing a Public Sector Performance Management System". A very warm and special welcome to all our friends from the great Commonwealth family.
We are grateful to CAPAM for having accepted Mauritius as the venue for this important gathering which is graced by the distinguished presence of the President of the Republic. We are indeed extremely thankful to the President of the Republic for having agreed to open the seminar.
Since its foundation, CAPAM has organised in various Commonwealth countries an impressive number of seminars and workshops on a variety of issues and themes related to the Public Service. The discussions and deliberations have no doubt enriched our practices in the Public Service. Through our participation in such seminars and the sharing of experiences, I must acknowledge that our Public Administrators have gained a lot.
The month of March is pregnant with momentous events. I am not referring to the Ides of March. Together with the International community, we celebrated the Women's Day on the 8th March by organising a series of gatherings, exhibitions, television and radio programmes. This year the Commonwealth was privileged to stand firmly by the side of women as Commonwealth Day coincidentally fell on the 8th March.
The main thrust of the Commonwealth message 2004 is the key role the Commonwealth can play in strengthening our democracies and defending individual rights and freedom. The Commonwealth Secretary-General reminds us "that modern Commonwealth was born out of the quest for freedom, that its purpose, goals and identity were shaped by the struggles for autonomy and political emancipation" and praises the Commonwealth for being a unique forum for global decision-making. On the 12th March, we in Mauritius celebrated our 36th Independence Day Anniversary and 12th Republic Day Anniversary. And here we are today gathered with our Commonwealth colleagues for the opening of the regional seminar which is itself preceded by the CAPAM Board Meeting. We are glad that the deliberations of the CAPAM Board are taking place in our country. Mauritius is truly honoured by the presence of eminent stalwarts of Public Administration for both the Board Meeting and the Seminar.
Considering the high level of overseas and local participation at the seminar and the enthusiasm the seminar has generated within our own Public Service, I am sure that we shall bring together the valuable experiences from Commonwealth countries in the field of Performance Management and further reinforce our cooperation, bearing in mind that Performance Management is one of the keys to the success of the modernisation of the Public Service.
It is no secret that the Public Service in each country is legitimately regarded as the main plank to spearhead the implementation of Government policies in all disciplines. It is equally no secret that our Public Service is constantly under public scrutiny as the public demands no less than value for money. The only way that we can satisfy the growing aspirations of the public is to continuously measure and improve our performance. This is indeed the strong message that has come from our leaders in the African Continent.
The timely implementation of NEPAD will bring new hopes to Africa and speed up its development. One of the fundamentals of NEPAD is good governance. To show their determination in this respect, African leaders have established an African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). Mauritius which is a party to APRM has willingly agreed to be among the first members to submit itself to the Peer Review Mechanism. When I look at the seminar programme and the time allocated for discussions and views on country presentations, I can safely infer that CAPAM is in a way implementing a Peer Review Mechanism in the Public Service of Commonwealth countries. CAPAM deserves our full support in this endeavour.
I am confident that our down to earth discussions on Performance Management during the next three days will be most beneficial to us in the manner that we all strive to make of our Public Service a vibrant engine for the uplift of the living standard of our people.
Thank you for your attention.