Sir Aneerood and Lady Jugnauth,
Members of DC,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me extend to you a very warm welcome. Your presence this evening underscores the strong friendship you have for us. Let us remember how we are a bridge. We are a counter-example to the Clash of Civilizations, a cradle of tolerance and a multitude of cultures. We are a rainbow nation. We are here to welcome the new HC of Pakistan, congratulate Dr. Milan Meetarbhan, a new member in the league of GOSKs, Mr. Thierry Merven, the new President of the Mauritius Chamber of Agriculture and 3 Alif students. We are here to celebrate, in a way, the future of Mauritius.
Dr. Meetarbhan was appointed Chief Executive of the Financial Services Commission in December 2005. He was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple and added two Diplomas in his CV, one from the Sorbonne and one from Université Paris XI and finally, the jewel in the Crown, a Doctorate in International Law from the Sorbonne.
As Head of the Law School of the University of Mauritius, Mr. Meetarbhan was conferred the title of Honorary Fellow in Law by the University of Mauritius in October 2007.
Dr. Meetarbhan has a very rich work experience: for four years he has been an Executive in the Legal Department of an inter-governmental organization based in Paris. Earlier, his legal practice focused mainly on corporate law as he served as a director on the boards of several companies and funds.
Dr Meetarbhan was Senior Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister and Head of the Government’s Policy Unit from 1995 to 1998. He served as Chairperson of Mauritius Telecom from 1998 to 2000. He was involved in the setting up of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius of which he was appointed a member. He served as the Chairperson of the Financial Services Consultative Committee, set up by Government in 1997 to review a comprehensive set of legislation relating to the financial services sector.
Our next Honoree, Thierry Merven, holds equally an impeccable CV. He became GM of Beau Vallon Ltée, and was subsequently appointed CEO. Holder of a DESS d’Aix en Provence, specializing in urban planning, he started his career in France in Urban development. On his return to Mauritius, he was appointed Manager of STAM and then Manager of IBL Environment Ltd. before joining the Agriculture sector. He plays an important role in the cane Industry as his company is part of the state of the art OMNICANE and they are all contributing to make of Mauritius an Ile Durable. Thierry is married and has 3 sons. His hobby is to care for endemic plants. In a word, he is an environmentalist.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Oddly, for such demanding jobs in which our two honorees are involved, part of the qualifications are vague. The lack of formal criteria does not mean they do not exist. They do and they are daunting. Indeed one of the qualifications is to be recognized for the past records of the candidates. And you have heard, our honorees combine a formidable array of qualities.
The elevation of Dr. Meetarbhan must have been celebrated as the appointment of Mr. Merven, but we would like to add our own tribute. Their rewards will not be measured in money. Nor can they be reckoned by the GDP per capita. They will and must be measured by the happiness they bring for a career in the service of the motherland.
Gentlemen, your time has come to make headlines in the news and we wish you blaze the trail and win a good place in our history books.
The interests of the Financial Services, the Cane Industry and the nation are similar: all three are geared to what the French term as providing Bonheur National Brut. It will part of your job Gentleman, to regain or maintain the leadership role of your institutions in the Mauritian economy and contribute to what some have called the ‘magic of our success’. Yours are the most difficult jobs in this land, especially in the glare of a media that will allow no room for public error. With Agents of change like you, Dr. Meetarbhan and Thierry Merven, foremost among the architects for the transformation of Mauritius, we want to benefit from your brilliant and strategic thinking to write a different story for Mauritius. You will be bringing to your assignments qualities forged in that long, unusual and diverse experience, experience needed by our country at this tumultuous juncture. We would like to go along with Thomas Carlyle who has said “The history of the world is but the biography of great men, “his theory hinging on the notion that it was individuals, with their quirks and idiosyncrasies, who shaped history, rather than the complex interaction of people, time, place and power. So, “Fix what’s wrong with our economy and you fix everything else. Good luck on this race to prove the prophets of doom and the doubters of a brilliant future wrong. And we can. Congratulations and best wishes.