MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 4:00PM 21/02/13

 

1. CURBNG CRIME A JOINT RESPONSIBILITY – Addressing criminal activities around the country cannot be achieved by the police force alone but rather through a combined effort with all communities including stakeholders.

 

2. MINISTRY AND FIJI CORRECTIONS INK $100,000 AGREEMENT – A MEMORANDUM of Agreement (MOA) was been signed between the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women & Poverty Alleviation and Fiji Corrections Services for the rehabilitation of ex-offenders under government?s Yellow Ribbon Program.

 

3. SUCCESS OF WOMENS? GROUP IMPRESSES MINISTER – Government continues to strengthen its commitment to assist rural communities in income generating initiatives to support poverty alleviation.

 

4. EASTERN DIVISION FOCUS ON MAJOR DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS – Major Infrastructure projects in the Eastern Division have been announced by the Commissioner Eastern Colonel Netani Rika.

 

5. PERMANENT SECRETARIES SIGN PERFORMANCE AGREEMENTS – Thirteen out of the twenty two Permanent Secretaries in Government today signed their Performance Agreement at the Office of the Chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC).

 

6. FIJI CALLS FOR INCLUSION OF PACIFIC STATES AT ENVIRONMENT MEET – The needs of small island states including Pacific island states must always be included in decision making processes dealing with climate change and sustainable development.

 

 

1 CURBNG CRIME A JOINT RESPONSIBILITY

 

Addressing criminal activities around the country cannot be achieved by the police force alone but rather through a combined effort with all communities including stakeholders.

 

This was highlighted by the Minister for Defence Joketani Cokanasiga at the opening of the 2nd Community Policing Symposium at the Fiji Police Force Academy in Suva this morning.

 

?We all know that the Fiji Police Force cannot do it alone, it needs all our (communities?) support.?

 

At the symposium, Minister Cokanasiga urged representatives from the country?s different communities and sectors to work closely with each other to reduce crime statistics in the country.

 

With the theme ?Advancing Community Policing for Economic Growth? the symposium aims to highlight the fact that all stakeholders have a role to play in the nation?s security.

 

?To maintain an environment that is safe and secure, as well as promote an enabling and supportive environment for economic growth, needs everyone?s cooperation,? Mr Cokanasiga said.

 

?A safer Fiji will certainly be a haven for business entrepreneurs, visitors to our shores as well as for citizens of this country?.

 

Minister Cokanasiga said a collective approach would keep Fiji safe and ensure that the rate of criminal activities decrease significantly.

 

?These events only emphasise the need for better community networking to eliminate these evolving criminal trends,? he added.

 

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2 MINISTRY AND FIJI CORRECTIONS INK $100,000 AGREEMENT

 

A MEMORANDUM of Agreement (MOA) was signed between the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women & Poverty Alleviation and Fiji Corrections Services for the rehabilitation of ex-offenders under government?s Yellow Ribbon Program.

 

At the official signing of the agreement this week, the Ministry?s acting permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta said the agreement is line with cabinet?s decision in 2009 which endorsed the deployment of $100,000 annually from the Ministry?s Poverty Alleviation Program budget provision to the Fiji Corrections Services.

 

?The release of funds to the Fiji Corrections Services will be governed by a Memorandum of Agreement which will clearly specify key accountabilities of the two parties involved. The funds is dedicated for sole purpose of ?In Care? and ?After Care? Rehabilitation of prisoners and ex-offenders. It will provide an incentive for them to rebuild their lives and be reintegrated into societies.? Dr Koroivueta said.

 

He said the agreement has been signed annually for the last 3 years and the Ministry works with the Corrections Services to monitor the success of these projects.

 

?The Ministry will work together with Correction Services to do an impact evaluation to see how it has empowered beneficiaries to improve their livelihood,? he said.

 

The Commissioner of Correctional Services Lieutenant Colonel Ifereimi Vasu acknowledged the ministry for its continued partnership and highlighted the advantages of the yellow ribbon project.

 

?On behalf of Fiji Corrections Services, I thank the Ministry for the support it has provided over the years. We have carried out the rehabilitation program so that inmates can be released back to their communities and can be counted as citizens who contribute towards to national development.?

 

?With the $75,000 that was given last year the program has benefited 385 inmates. I have visited some of the inmates who are the beneficiaries from this program and I am really proud to mention here this morning that we have seen the positive change. They have reintegrated back into their communities and are doing well in terms of supporting their livelihood through small businesses and agricultural projects,? the Commissioner Corrections reiterated.

 

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3 SUCCESS OF WOMENS? GROUP IMPRESSES MINISTER

Government continues to strengthen its commitment to assist rural communities in income generating initiatives to support poverty alleviation.

This assurance was highlighted by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Jiko Luveni while commending the tremendous efforts of the women of Nadakuni village in the province of Naitasiri.

?Thank you very much for the initiative and the efforts put into the villages developments for the past years and decades.

?You portray a good image in the village and also your capabilities to achieve so much,? Minister Luveni said.

The Minister was impressed with the Medrausucu Women?s Club which consists of 63 members and have made significant achievements which is now raising the standards of living for those in the entire Waimaro district.

?All the achievements from the projects, is a great example and an inspiration to many women around Fiji.

?I believe that women from other villages should witness all the projects that you women have achieved and should learn from it,? Dr. Luveni said.

Minister Dr Luveni pointed out that the ministry?s programs to develop women is derived from the role that women play in families and communities across the country.

Medrausucu Women?s Club president Mrs Talica Rakoro said that the club has assisted villagers in various ways which has brought their community closer.

?Despite the difficulties faced to meet the family needs, these projects have been achievable through the cooperation and commitment of the women and sometimes from the men in the village as well,? Mrs Rakoro said.

These projects include cemented walkways, community hall, one flush toilet per household and the reservoir for the village and school water system.

During her visit Minister Luveni presented two sewing machines and a brush cutter to contribute to income generating avenues for the women.

The ministerial visitation was also an opportunity to inform the community of the Social Welfare schemes and to encourage the men to fully utilise the land.

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4 EASTERN DIVISION FOCUS ON MAJOR DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

Major Infrastructure projects in the Eastern Division have been announced by the Commissioner Eastern Colonel Netani Rika.

 

This week the Commissioner outlined three major projects that his office have been working on for the first quarter of the year.

 

?We will first complete three pending projects from last year which was delayed due to the pooling of resources in the West after cyclone Thomas,? Mr Rika said.

 

The three projects announced by the Commissioner include the completion of the jetty construction in Lomaiviti. The second is to complete the 30 percent remaining road construction linking Vunisea, Yawe and Daviqele. The third project is to complete grid extension projects around the island of Ovalau.

 

He said other on-going projects include emergency water supplies, capital constructions in schools, boarding facilities for primary and secondary school, non government junior secondary and secondary school funding and rural Housing assistance for those in the eastern division.

 

Commissioner Rika also commended the success of the Integrated Human Resources Development Program (IHRDP) including the recent assistance towards seaweed farming projects in the Lomaiviti group. The program has seen assistance provided to seaweed farmers in Gau and Nairai with seven fiber glass boats plus engines to boost their production.

 

Government is committed in raising the standard of living of rural dwellers in Fiji and boosting their economic capabilities through making very good use of their resources.

 

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5 PERMANENT SECRETARIES SIGN PERFORMANCE AGREEMENTS

 

Thirteen out of the twenty two Permanent Secretaries in Government today signed their Performance Agreement at the Office of the Chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC).

 

PSC chairman, Josefa Seruilagilagi said that the Annual Corporate Plan (ACP) for Ministries and Departments becomes the Performance Agreement of the Permanent Secretaries and for which they are assessed annually.

 

Mr Serulagilai said the Agreements set out a framework for the activities in their ACP, which they are to carry out within a given timeframe.

 

?Permanent Secretaries are being reminded to focus on the Key Result Areas and perform their duties and responsibilities within the timelines and targets set out in their respective Annual Corporate Plans,? he said.

 

Mr Serulagilagi said that Permanent Secretaries are also required to deliver on the outputs required by PSC and the Ministry of Finance.

 

?These include the continuous improvement in human resources management and development, proper planning and managing of budgets, reorganizing of their respective Ministries and Departments and a prompt delivery of quality services to ordinary members of the public.?

 

In addition, the Permanent Secretaries are also required to providing quarterly reports of their Ministry/Department deliverables to the Strategic Framework for Change and Coordinating Office (SFCCO), under the Prime Minister?s office.

 

The remaining Permanent Secretaries will sign their agreements next week.

 

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6 FIJI CALLS FOR INCLUSION OF PACIFIC STATES AT ENVIRONMENT MEET

The needs of small island states including Pacific island states must always be included in decision making processes dealing with climate change and sustainable development.

This was presented to world leaders at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council/Global Ministerial Forum in Kenya by Fiji?s Minister for Environment Samuela Saumatua.

?The vulnerability of small island states and the relevance of science-based decision-making to support efforts for sustainable development particularly in addressing climate change,? he said.

Minister Saumatua said that capacity building at all levels was imperative to improve evidence-based decision-making for small islands developing states in view of the competing priorities and the limited resources available to them.

?Fiji support?s the need to strengthen UNEP?s co-ordination mandate within the UN system and also with member countries to improve collaboration, interaction and encourage meaningful participation through dialogue in the implementation of UNEP resolutions.?

The Minister highlighted that Fiji will continue to be an advocate of an inclusive development in as far as climate change is concerned. To add to this, he said that the South-South Co-operation is considered as a catalyst for developing countries to successfully achieve their respective national development agendas.

Fiji has adopted national initiatives such as the National Energy Policy, National Climate Change Policy, the Reduction of Emission from Deforestation & Degradation (REDD+) Policy, the National Biodiversity Strategic Action-Plan, the Solid-Waste Management Strategy and our National Housing Policy, Environment Management Policy and Bio-security policy.?
The Minister stressed that some challenges include human resource constraints, the access to the much-needed technology and financial instruments to effectively implement Fiji?s developmental agenda.

Minister Saumatua reassured participants that as a small island developing state, Fiji has high hopes of achieving sustainable development in line with the outcome of Rio+ 20 conference.
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