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On 22 June , by a margin of 94 to 15 countries, the UN General Assembly asked the International Court of Justice to give an advisory opinion on the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius before the country's independence in the s. In September , the International Court of Justice began hearings on the case.
On 25 February , the judges of the International Court of Justice by thirteen votes to one stated that the United Kingdom is under an obligation to bring to an end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible. The president of the court, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf , said the detachment of the Chagos Archipelago in from Mauritius had not been based on a "free and genuine expression of the people concerned.
He stated that the ruling was merely an advisory opinion and not a legally binding judgment. He expressed his concern that the UK government appears ready to disregard international law and ignore a ruling of the international court and the right of the Chagossians to return to their homes.
On 22 May , the United Nations General Assembly debated and adopted a resolution that affirmed that the Chagos Archipelago, which has been occupied by the UK for more than 50 years, "forms an integral part of the territory of Mauritius". The resolution gives effect to an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice ICJ , demanded that the UK "withdraw its colonial administration During the debate, the Mauritian Prime Minister described the expulsion of Chagossians as "a crime against humanity ".
The country is home to some of the world's rarest plants and animals, but human habitation and the introduction of non-native species have threatened its indigenous flora and fauna. Before the Portuguese arrival in , there were no terrestrial mammals on the island. This allowed the evolution of a number of flightless birds and large reptile species.
The arrival of humans saw the introduction of invasive alien species, the rapid destruction of habitat and the loss of much of the endemic flora and fauna. There are some isolated mountains, Corps de Garde , Le Morne Brabant , and several offshore islands , with remnants of coastal and mainland diversity.
Over species of plants and animals have become extinct and many more are threatened. Conservation activities began in the s with the implementation of programmes for the reproduction of threatened bird and plant species as well as habitat restoration in the national parks and nature reserves. The Mauritian Flying Fox is the only remaining mammal endemic to the island, and has been severely threatened in recent years due to the government sanctioned culling introduced in November due to the belief that they were a threat to fruit plantations.
Prior to the lack of severe cyclone had seen the fruit bat population increase and the status of the species was then changed by the IUCN from Endangered to Vulnerable in When it was discovered, Mauritius was the home of a previously unknown species of bird, the dodo , descendants of a type of pigeon which settled in Mauritius over four million years ago. The Portuguese discovered the island around and the island quickly became a stopover for ships engaged in the spice trade.
Large numbers of dodos were killed for food. Later, when the Dutch used the island as a penal colony, new species were introduced to the island. Rats , pigs, and monkeys ate dodo eggs in the ground nests. The combination of human exploitation and introduced species significantly reduced the dodo population.
Within years of the arrival of humans on Mauritius, the once abundant dodo became a rare bird. The last one was killed in The environment in Mauritius is typically tropical in the coastal regions with forests in the mountainous areas. Seasonal cyclones are destructive to its flora and fauna, although they recover quickly. Mauritius ranked second in an air quality index released by the World Health Organization in Situated near the Tropic of Capricorn , Mauritius has a tropical climate.
There are 2 seasons: a warm humid summer from November to April, with a mean temperature of The temperature difference between the seasons is only 4. The warmest months are January and February with average day maximum temperature reaching Although there is no marked rainy season, most of the rainfall occurs in summer months. The central plateau is much cooler than the surrounding coastal areas and can experience as much as double the rainfall.
The prevailing trade winds keep the east side of the island cooler and bring more rain. Occasional tropical cyclones generally occur between January and March and tend to disrupt the weather for about three days, bringing heavy rain. The politics of Mauritius take place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, in which the President is the head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of government , assisted by a Council of Ministers. Mauritius has a multi-party system.
Executive power is exercised by the Government. Legislative power is vested in both the Government and the National Assembly. The National Assembly is Mauritius's unicameral legislature, which was called the Legislative Assembly until , when the country became a republic. It consists of 70 members, 62 elected for four-year terms in multi-member constituencies and eight additional members, known as "best losers", appointed by the Electoral Service Commission to ensure that ethnic and religious minorities are equitably represented.
The island of Mauritius is divided into 20 constituencies that return three members each. The island of Rodrigues is a single district that returns two members. After a general election, the Electoral Supervisory Commission may nominate up to eight additional members with a view to correct any imbalance in the representation of ethnic minorities in Parliament.
This system of nominating members is commonly called the best loser system. The political party or party alliance that wins the majority of seats in Parliament forms the government. Its leader becomes the Prime Minister, who selects the Cabinet from elected members of the Assembly, except for the Attorney General, who may not be an elected member of the Assembly.
The political party or alliance which has the second largest group of representatives forms the Official Opposition and its leader is normally nominated by the President of the Republic as the Leader of the Opposition. Mauritius is a democracy with a government elected every five years. The most recent National Assembly Election was held on 10 December in all the 20 mainland constituencies, and in the constituency covering the island of Rodrigues.
Elections have tended to be a contest between two major coalitions of parties. All military, police, and security functions in Mauritius are carried out by 10, active-duty personnel under the Commissioner of Police. The 8,member National Police Force is responsible for domestic law enforcement. Both units are composed of police officers on lengthy rotations to those services. Mauritius has strong and friendly relations with various African, American, Asian, European and Oceania countries.
Considered part of Africa geographically, Mauritius has friendly relations with African states in the region, particularly South Africa, by far its largest continental trading partner. Mauritian investors are gradually entering African markets, notably Madagascar, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The country's political heritage and dependence on Western markets have led to close ties with the European Union and its member states, particularly France.
Relations with India is very strong for both historical and commercial reasons. Mauritius established diplomatic relations with China in April and was forced to defend this decision, along with naval contracts with the USSR in the same year. It has also been extending it's Middle East outreach with the setting up of an embassy in Saudi Arabia  whose Ambassador also doubles as the country's ambassador to Bahrain.
Mauritius has a hybrid legal system derived from British common law and the French civil law. The Constitution of Mauritius established the separation of powers between the legislature , the executive and the judiciary and guaranteed the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual. Mauritius has a single-structured judicial system consisting of two tiers, the Supreme Court and subordinate courts.
After the independence of Mauritius in , Mauritius maintained the Privy Council as its highest court of appeal. Appeals to the Judicial Committee from decisions of the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court may be as of right or with the leave of the Court, as set out in section 81 of the Constitution and section 70A of the Courts Act. The Judicial Committee may also grant special leave to appeal from the decision of any court in any civil or criminal matter as per section 81 5 of the Constitution.
The estimated population of the Republic of Mauritius was at 1,,, of whom , were males and , females as at 1 July The population on the island of Mauritius was 1,,, and that of Rodrigues island was 43,; Agalega and Saint Brandon had an estimated total population of Subsequent to a Constitutional amendment in , there is no need for Mauritians to reveal their ethnic identities for the purpose of population census.
Official statistics on ethnicity are not available. The census was the last one to measure ethnicity. Religion in Mauritius census . According to the census conducted by Statistics Mauritius , The Mauritian constitution makes no mention of an official language.
The Constitution only mentions that the official language of the National Assembly is English ; however, any member can also address the chair in French. The Mauritian currency features the Latin , Tamil and Devanagari scripts. The Mauritian population is multilingual ; while Mauritian Creole is the mother tongue of most Mauritians, most people are also fluent in English and French; they tend to switch languages according to the situation.
The media and literature are primarily in French. The Creole language, which is French-based with some additional influences, is spoken by the majority of the population as a native language. Some ancestral languages that are also spoken in Mauritius include Bhojpuri ,  Chinese ,  Hindi ,  Marathi ,  Tamil ,  Telugu  , Urdu  and Odia.
School students must learn English and French; they may also opt for an Asian language or Mauritian Creole. The medium of instruction varies from school to school but is usually Creole, French and English. The education system in Mauritius consists of pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary sectors.
The education structure consists of two to three years of pre-primary school, six years of primary schooling leading to the Primary School Achievement Certificate, five years of secondary education leading to the School Certificate, and two years of higher secondary ending with the Higher School Certificate. Secondary schools have "college" as part of their title. The government of Mauritius provides free education to its citizens from pre-primary to tertiary level.
The tertiary education sector includes universities and other technical institutions in Mauritius. These four public universities and several other technical institutes and higher education colleges are tuition-free for students as of The adult literacy rate was estimated at Since independence from Britain in , Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculture-based economy to a high-income diversified economy, based on tourism , textiles, sugar, and financial services.
The economic history of Mauritius since independence has been called "the Mauritian Miracle" and the "success of Africa" Romer, ; Frankel, ; Stiglitz, In recent years, information and communication technology, seafood, hospitality and property development, healthcare, renewable energy, and education and training have emerged as important sectors, attracting substantial investment from both local and foreign investors.
Mauritius has no exploitable fossil fuel reserves and so relies on petroleum products to meet most of its energy requirements. Local and renewable energy sources are biomass, hydro, solar and wind energy. Mauritius has one of the largest exclusive economic zones in the world, and in the government announced its intention to develop the marine economy. Mauritius is ranked high in terms of economic competitiveness, a friendly investment climate, good governance and a free economy.
Mauritius has a high-income economy , according to the World Bank in According to the Mauritian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the country's challenges are heavy reliance on a few industry sectors, high brain drain, scarcity of skilled labour, ageing population and inefficient public companies and para-statal bodies. Mauritius has built its success on a free market economy.
According to the Economic Freedom of the World report, Mauritius is ranked as having the 9th most free economy in the world. According to the Financial Services Commission , financial and insurance activities contributed to It is home to a number of international banks, legal firms, corporate services, investment funds and private equity funds. Financial products and services, includes private banking, global business, insurance and reinsurance, limited companies, protected cell companies, trust and foundation, investment banking, global headquarter administration.
Despite being tagged as a tax haven by the press due to its low tax regime,   the country has built up a solid reputation by making use of best practices and adopting a strong legal and regulatory framework to demonstrate its compliance with international demands for greater transparency. In June , Mauritius adhered to the multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters , and currently has an exchange information mechanism with jurisdictions.
Mauritius is a founding member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti Money Laundering Group and has been at the forefront in the fight against money laundering and other forms of financial crime. Mauritius is a major tourist destination, the tourism sector is the fourth contributor to the Mauritian economy. The island nation enjoys a tropical climate with clear warm sea waters, beaches, tropical fauna and flora complemented by a multi-ethnic and cultural population.
Since public buses in Mauritius have been free of charge for students, people with disabilities and senior citizens. The harbour of Port Louis handles international trade as well as a cruise terminal. The sole international airport for civil aviation is Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport , which also serves as the home operating base for the national airline Air Mauritius ; the airport authority inaugurated a new passenger terminal in September Mauritius has a serious traffic problem due to the high number of road users, particularly car drivers.
To solve the traffic congestion issue, the government has embarked on the Metro Express project. The line starts from Port Louis and will go to Curepipe when completed. The first phase of the project was completed in January while the second phase will be completed in The information and communications technology ICT sector has contributed to 5. It is the largest event for developers in Mauritius organised in conjunction with local usergroups.
Gabrielle Wiehe is a prominent illustrator and graphic designer. The distinctive architecture of Mauritius reflects the island nation's history as a colonial trade base connecting Europe with the East. Styles and forms introduced by Dutch, French, and British settlers from the seventeenth century onward, mixed with influences from India and East Africa, resulted in a unique hybrid architecture of international historic, social, and artistic significance.
Mauritian structures present a variety of designs, materials, and decorative elements that are unique to the country and inform the historical context of the Indian Ocean and European colonialism. Decades of political, social, and economic change have resulted in the routine destruction of Mauritian architectural heritage. Between and , the historic homes of the island's high grounds, known locally as campagnes, disappeared at alarming rates.
More recent years have witnessed the demolition of plantations, residences, and civic buildings as they have been cleared or drastically renovated for new developments to serve an expanding tourism industry. The capital city of Port Louis remained relatively unchanged until the mids, yet now reflects the irreversible damage that has been inflicted on its built heritage. Rising land values are pitted against the cultural value of historic structures in Mauritius, while the prohibitive costs of maintenance and the steady decline in traditional building skills make it harder to invest in preservation.
The general populace historically lived in what are termed creole houses. The island plays host to the Le Prince Maurice Prize. In keeping with the island's literary culture the prize alternates on a yearly basis between English-speaking and French-speaking writers. The major musical genres of Mauritius are Sega and its fusion genre , Seggae , Bhojpuri folk songs , Indian movie music especially Bollywood , and Classical music mainly Western classical music and Indian classical music.
The cuisine of Mauritius is a combination of Indian, Creole, French and Chinese, with many dishes unique to the island. Spices are also a major component of Mauritian cuisine. One famous drink originating from Mauritius is Alouda, a cold beverage made with milk, basil seeds, and agar-agar jelly. The public holidays of Mauritius involve the blending of several cultures from Mauritius's history.
There are Hindu festivals , Chinese festivals , Muslim festivals , as well as Christian festivals. All the public holidays related to religious festivals have dates that vary from year to year except for Christmas. The most popular sport in Mauritius is football  and the national team is known as The Dodos or Club M. Other popular sports in Mauritius include cycling, table tennis, horse racing, badminton, volleyball, basketball, handball, boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo, weightlifting, bodybuilding and athletics.
Water sports include swimming, sailing, scuba diving, windsurfing and kitesurfing. Horseracing , which dates from when the Champ de Mars Racecourse was inaugurated, remains popular. The country hosted the second , fifth and tenth editions of the Indian Ocean Island Games. Mauritius won its first Olympic medal at the Summer Olympics in Beijing when boxer Bruno Julie won the bronze medal. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the African island nation in the Indian Ocean.
For the country on the African continent, see Mauritania. For other uses, see Mauritius disambiguation. Island country in the Indian Ocean. Main article: History of Mauritius. Main article: Dutch Mauritius. Main article: Isle de France Mauritius. Main article: British Mauritius. Main article: Mauritius — Main article: Geography of Mauritius. Main article: Rodrigues.
Main article: Chagos Archipelago. Main article: St. Main article: Tromelin Island. Main article: Districts of Mauritius. Port Louis. Plaines Wilhems. Grand Port. Main articles: Chagos Archipelago sovereignty dispute and Expulsion of the Chagossians. Main article: Wildlife of Mauritius. Main article: Dodo. Main article: Politics of Mauritius.
Main article: Military of Mauritius. Main article: Foreign relations of Mauritius. Main article: Demographics of Mauritius. Main article: Religion in Mauritius. Roman Catholic Other Christian 6. Islam Buddhism 0. Main article: Languages of Mauritius.
Main article: Education in Mauritius. Main articles: Economy of Mauritius and International rankings of Mauritius. Main article: Tourism in Mauritius. Main article: Transport in Mauritius. Main article: Culture of Mauritius. Main article: Mauritian literature. Main articles: Music of Mauritius and Sega genre. Further information: Cuisine of Mauritius. See also: Football in Mauritius. Africa portal Islands portal. The Constitution only mentions that the official language of the National Assembly is English; however, any member can also address the chair in French.
Retrieved 29 July Official language". National Assembly , Government Portal of Mauritius. Retrieved 11 November Government Portal of Mauritius. Archived from the original PDF on 14 May Retrieved 26 April Statistics Mauritius. March Retrieved 6 May International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 8 June World Bank. Retrieved 1 July United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 10 December International Court of Justice.
Permanent Court of Arbitration. Retrieved 12 October National Assembly France. Retrieved 16 December Retrieved 28 April Retrieved 24 December The Guardian. Institute for Economics and Peace. Retrieved 13 October The medieval Waqwaq islands and the Mascarenes.
Retrieved 25 June Retrieved 22 January Rough Guides. Retrieved 13 September Retrieved 5 February Retrieved 25 February State Library of NSW. Retrieved 14 September Retrieved 24 October Retrieved 20 September Retrieved 29 May Agricultural History. Labor History. Retrieved 18 August Government of Mauritius. Retrieved 25 October Retrieved 27 September Retrieved 3 September Mauritius Times. Retrieved 29 April Retrieved 9 September Retrieved 2 April Retrieved 22 December Le Defi.
Retrieved 9 March Vintage Mauritius. Retrieved 15 August Retrieved 27 November Le Mauricien. Retrieved 18 July Cassimally 17—23 March Weekly Magazine. The Hindu. Retrieved 22 March The Diplomat. Battersby 28 December The New York Times. Retrieved 29 December Great Britain; Mauritius.
Retrieved 6 September BBC News. Retrieved 23 January Retrieved 22 February France Intercontinental Trust. United Nations. Mauritius Meteorological Services. May Retrieved 4 January L'Express Mauritius. France Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
Retrieved 25 April Real clear world. Geoffrey Robertson. Archived from the original PDF on 2 May Retrieved 5 April Archived from the original on 27 April Bristol Post. BBC World. Archived from the original on 1 April National Assembly Mauritius.
Retrieved 21 January Retrieved 26 February Le Defi Media Group in French. The Independent. Retrieved 29 August Retrieved 27 March Le Matinal. Archived from the original on 10 October Associated Press. Retrieved 8 August Mo Ibrahim Foundation. The Economist. Retrieved 7 April Retrieved 16 February Retrieved 18 January Retrieved 19 October Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
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