MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 4:00PM 01/03/13

1.?????FIJI ROADS PUSHES FOR BETTER MAINTENANCE?- The newly established Fiji Roads Authority is confident of meeting its timelines as it works around the clock to restore roads around the country including maintenance works.

 

2.?????FIJI MINISTER TO PRESENT WOMENS? ISSUES AT GLOBAL MEET?- Fiji?s Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni will present the nation?s challenges and achievements related to women development at the United Nations next week.

 

3.?????PS EDUCATION URGES STAFF TO REMAIN COMMITTED?- The Ministry of Education is urging all teachers and staff within its Ministry to continue its commitment to providing efficient services around the country.

 

4.?????OFFICIALS CONVERGE TO IMPROVE DISASTER MANAGEMENT?-?Government remains committed to meeting continuously with various stakeholders to look at ways of improving disaster management operations.

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1?FIJI ROADS PUSHES FOR BETTER MAINTENANCE

 

The newly established Fiji Roads Authority is confident of meeting its timelines as it works around the clock to restore roads around the country including maintenance works.

 

While acknowledging the various loopholes that existed in managing Fiji?s roads, the authority?s chief executive officer Mr Neil Cook pointed out that the authority is committed to improving the current road conditions and has already implemented various processes to carry out operations. At the same time, he reiterated that a change to Fiji?s road network has a timeline which will see all roads? conditions in the country addressed.

 

?The big difference FRA will do is there will be the quality standards which will be applied. Potholes that are repaired now will not appear immediately after the next rain and contractors who fail to carry out repairs effectively will have to re-do the work at their own costs,? he said.

 

?Our professional services provider and physical works contractors are now in place. We have qualified people with the right skills and experience to deliver on Government?s promise to the people of Fiji.

 

On a recent tour with the authority?s officials and media outlets at road works sites in Suva, Mr Cook highlighted that sustainability of the country?s roads has been the main priority for the authority.

 

?By implementing proper asset management planning and best practise maintenance management standards, we can expect to have a road network that is sustainable into the future and meets appropriate international standards with the next five years.,? Mr Cook said.

 

Reiterating government?s own position on improving roads in Fiji, Mr Cook said that these developments is expected to boost Fiji?s socio economic sectors.

 

?Government has signaled its commitment to reform. They have backed up the political commitment with unprecedented levels of investment to deliver significant improvements.?

 

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2?FIJI MINISTER TO PRESENT WOMENS? ISSUES AT GLOBAL MEET

 

Fiji?s Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni will present the nation?s challenges and achievements related to women development at the United Nations next week.

 

Minister Luveni will address other nations at the 57th?session for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

 

The priority theme for the 57th??session is ?Elimination and Prevention of All forms of Violence Against Women and Girls,? with particular focus given on primary prevention (stopping violence before it starts) and responses to victims and survivors of violence.

 

The two-week meet will see the participation of Member States presenting country reports and finalising agreed conclusions. These will reflect on the progress, gaps, challenges and provide concrete recommendations for actions by governments, civil societies and key stakeholders.

 

Dr Luveni says that ?Given the theme of the forum, Fiji?s initiatives in the past few years to eliminate violence against women and girls continue to gather momentum. Fiji will be proud to share its experiences and findings, particularly in strengthening the community support to sustain the program at community level,? she said.

 

The Minister said that Fiji is already ahead in its commitment to the EVAW (elimination of violence against women) program, being one of the 27 countries to have signed the global COMMIT campaign earlier this week.

 

?Fiji has the political will and commitment to address the root causes of violence in our homes and communities through the enactment of progressive legislation that guarantee and protect women?s human rights,? Dr Luveni reiterated.

 

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was established in 1946 and is a functional commission at the United Nations? Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). CSW meets annually at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality and women?s empowerment, identify challenges, set standards and concrete policies to empower women worldwide.

 

Minister Luveni is accompanied by the Director Women, Mrs Arieta Moceica to this global meet.

 

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3?PS EDUCATION URGES STAFF TO REMAIN COMMITTED

 

The Ministry of Education is urging all teachers and staff within its Ministry to continue its commitment to providing efficient services around the country.

 

The Ministry?s permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal highlighted the need for staff to be physically and mentally prepared at all times and to always be health conscious.

 

?Being with students, we will need to be mobile and be thinking on our feet at all times. I therefore urge teachers and all our education staff to eat healthy and live healthy as we are role models to our students,? Dr Lal said.

 

Responding to this call, Ministry staff have now formed various support groups to organise various activities including health checks, health walks and promoting healthy eating at the work place.

 

?I would also encourage heads of schools and teachers to take interest in the well ? being of their students as this will also affect the academic performances of students. A random check on students? lunches and medical cards can tell us a lot about the students under our care,? Dr Lal said.

 

The Ministry of Youth and Sports is also leading their staff in the same direction after staff participated at a health screening at their office in Suva today.

 

The Ministry?s permanent secretary Mr Joseva Sania said they needed to mirror a workforce that was health conscious and one that would support Government?s fight against non communicable diseases.

 

?It is important that each individual staff know their health status so that they take action especially on lifestyle,? Mr Sania said.

 

?We want to reassure a healthy workforce in order to provide better services?.

 

?We are working towards supporting the Ministry of Health in their fight against Non Communicable Diseases and we will encourage youth throughout the country to fight against NCDs,? stressed the Permanent Secretary.

 

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4?OFFICIALS CONVERGE TO IMPROVE DISASTER MANAGEMENT

 

Government remains committed to meeting continuously with various stakeholders to look at ways of improving disaster management operations.

 

This was highlighted by the Minister for Local Government Samuela Saumatua today while officially opening the ?Shelter Cluster Activities for Tropical Cyclone Evan and Post Disaster Awareness? workshop.

 

Minister Saumatua reminded participants on the socio economic impacts of natural disasters and its impact to major infrastructure in the country.

 

He highlighted the nation?s resilience during Cyclone Evan despite the enormity of the damage sustained and said that new lessons should always be incorporated in disaster management.

 

?Government has decided to form clusters to meet the various areas that needed addressing and in all there were eight clusters formed under the Humanitarian Action Policy which was endorsed by cabinet in December 2012.?

 

While the workshop looked at challenges and lessons learnt from the last cyclone, it was an opportunity for all stakeholders to collectively look at solutions and future recommendations. At the same time, today?s event provided an opportunity for the Ministry of Local Government to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the 6 cluster groups to further empower Non-governmental Organisations to facilitate places where support is needed.

 

Stakeholders commended the intentions behind the meetings in light of the impacts that disasters have on the entire nation.

 

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