The Council of Ministers met on Thursday in Algiers, under the presidency of the President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and issued a statement which reads:
“His Excellency Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of the Republic, chaired this Thursday, December 27, 2018, corresponding to 19 Rabie Ethani 1440, a meeting of the Council of Ministers.”
The Council of Ministers began its work by reviewing and approving the draft law on space activities. The area of space is of strategic importance and Algeria is signatory to three international treaties imposing obligations on states in relation to the exploration of this area.
In addition, our country is now an actor in space, with the creation of the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) and the launch of three observation and communications satellites.
It is for this reason that our country intends to adopt legislation on space activities. The draft law adopted by the Council of Ministers states that space activities are an exclusive monopoly of the State. It also establishes the obligation to register space objects launched by our country.
The text also lays down the responsibility of the State for damage resulting from space activities, as well as the measures to be taken in case of fallout of space objects on national soil. The Council of Ministers continued its work by examining and adopting a draft law supplementing the 2006 Law on Preventing and Combating Corruption.
This text was drafted to bring the legislation in line with the revised Constitution in 2016, which codified and enriched the tasks of the National Body for Preventing and Combating Corruption. In this context, the draft law makes explicit and reinforces the tasks and powers of this body.
The bill also supports the recommendations made by the UN specialized body following the evaluation of the Algerian policy for the prevention and fight against corruption, a positive one (evaluation).
In this regard, the bill states in particular: -i- The creation of a financial criminal division with national jurisdiction, responsible for complex financial matters including that relating to corruption. This cluster is attached to the Algiers Sidi-M’hamed court, -ii- The legal protection of whistleblowers corruption including their professional environment.
This additional means of fighting against corruption will be implemented at the same time as the managers will remain protected by the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure which makes the opening of any judicial information subject to the lodging of a complaint by the social organs of the country, company or the administration having suffered the damage, -iii- The creation of a National Agency of management of the assets resulting from corruption offenses.
This mechanism will allow the retention of assets related to corruption cases that are placed in receivership pending judgment or are seized by court order.
Speaking after the adoption of this bill, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika hailed this strengthening of legislation to prevent and fight against corruption, a universal scourge that affects our country.
In this regard, the Head of State noted with satisfaction that the review by the competent United Nations bodies of the Algerian anti-corruption policy has resulted in admitting that our country is one of the most committed states in this domain.
The President of the Republic concluded his remarks on this file “by inviting all the actors of the society to contribute to the policy of prevention of the corruption so as to allow the justice to intervene with the effective means at its disposal to apply the law which severely represses this scourge “.
The Council of Ministers also considered and adopted a draft law on civil nuclear activities.
Algeria is, for a long time, one of the states that has ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. It has also gradually adhered to all United Nations nuclear conventions.
The draft law on nuclear activities will, thus, crown this initiative and pave the way for better development of nuclear energy in various fields of scientific research, particularly, medical research.
To this end, the text provides a legal basis for several aspects related to peaceful nuclear activities, including (i) the regulation of the various activities related to the use of nuclear materials and ionizing radiation sources, as well as the management of radioactive waste, (ii) the definition of nuclear safety and radiation protection rules and requirements, (iii) the implementation of nuclear non-proliferation safeguards in fulfillment of the obligations arising from our international obligations in this area, (iv) the transposition of the national law as well as the provisions of the relevant treaties and conventions ratified by our country, (v) and the definition of penal sanctions applicable to infringements of the law on peaceful nuclear activities.
The implementation of the draft law will be ensured by a set of bodies and councils, with, first and foremost, a National Authority for Nuclear Safety and Security.
The Council of Ministers, subsequently, examined and adopted a draft law amending the existing legislation on the activity of veterinary medicine and animal welfare. This amendment is intended to provide a better basis for the supervision of the profession of veterinary surgeons, which already totals 20,000 participants, of whom 3,000 are civil servants exercising under public control bodies.
As such, the bill lays down the legal anchoring for the creation of a National Veterinary Order, at the same time that it defines its missions, its organization has been referred to the regulatory field.
At the same time the text subordinates, in the future, the issue of the administrative authorization for the exercise of veterinary medicine and animal surgery, to a prior registration on the roll of the National Order of this profession. In addition, the Council of Ministers considered and adopted a draft law amending the Law establishing the general rules on civil aviation.
This amendment will establish a National Agency for Civil Aviation. This is a recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organization which invites Member States to establish an autonomous body for managing the safety and security of civil aviation.
The advent of a National Agency for Civil Aviation will also enable our country to strengthen the human capacity and financial resources that will be devolved to the management of the safety and security of civil aviation, a mission currently being undertaken by a Directorate of the Ministry of Transport.
Finally, the draft text introduces the medical evacuation profession into the nomenclature of civil aviation activities authorized in our country. Continuing its work, the Council of Ministers reviewed and adopted a series of presidential decrees validating contracts or amendments to contracts relating to the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons.
These texts concern a series of exploration or exploitation deposits by SONATRACH with its foreign partners TOTAL, ENI, EQUINOR (formerly STATOIL) and PERTAMINA respectively.
In addition, the Council of Ministers has also validated, in accordance with the law, two agricultural land decommissioning operations, linked to the achievement of a major phosphate mining and processing investment in the East of the country, as part of an Algerian-Chinese partnership.
The first decommissioning concerns 496 hectares of low-yielding agricultural land, scattered through the provinces of El Tarf, Guelma, Souk Ahras and Tebessa, for the duplication and modernization over 394 kilometers of the mining railway, from the phosphate deposit in the wilaya of Tebessa at the port of Annaba.
The second decommissioning concerns 4.5 hectares of undeveloped farmland and maquis in the commune of FILFILA (province of Skikda). This land base will host a seawater desalination plant, with a capacity of 70,000 cubic meters per day, intended, in particular, for two fertilizer production units in the area of HADJR SOUD (province of Skikda).
The Council of Ministers has completed the review of its agenda by adopting individual decisions relating to civilian senior positions. Finally, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika seized this opportunity to address to the Algerian people his best wishes for health, happiness, progress and serenity for the year 2019 “.
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