MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 5:00PM 08/03/13

CAPTION: Ministers and Government representatives at the 2nd Environment and Climate Change Ministers Meeting in Nadi today.

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1.???????STAFF MANAGEMENT INCREASES EFFICIENCY: DR SHARMA-?In an effort to bring back efficiency and accountability, the Minister for Health Doctor Neil Sharma has today issued a directive that all the clinical services should run continuously from 8am to 4.30pm.

 

2.???????FNU?S APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING SCHEME COMMENDED-?Apprentice graduates from the Fiji National University?s National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC) were today reminded to continue working hard to contribute to Fiji?s economic growth.

 

3.???????STRENGTHENING MELANESIA TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE-The Fiji delegation is looking forward to the appointment of a Climate Change Advisor to strengthen the MSG secretariat?s role in addressing this issue.

 

4.???????HOLISTIC APPROACH NEEDED TO ADVANCE CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES-?Fiji?s efforts in implementing climate change strategies at the national level have been commended at a regional leaders meeting currently underway in Nadi.

 

5.?????PNG SUPPORTS CLIMATE CHANGE INITIATIVES-?The government of Papua New Guinea has pledged its support for the initiatives proposed by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) in tackling climate change in the region.

1.?STAFF MANAGEMENT INCREASES EFFICIENCY: DR SHARMA

In an effort to bring back efficiency and accountability, the Minister for Health Doctor Neil Sharma has today issued a directive that all the clinical services should run continuously from 8am to 4.30pm.

Dr Sharma issued a directive with immediate effect to all public hospital managers and head of departments to split up lunch breaks.
?It is done to ensure that services are not affected during lunch hour or tea breaks. Managers and HOD?s should plan their staffing timetable well so that those who walk through the hospital doors are seen by medical staffs in a timely manner,? Dr Sharma said.

Minister Sharma added that morning tea breaks by staff are to be taken at work desk and should not involve major staff movements.

?If movement is necessary at base institutions then the break should not exceed 15 minutes,? Dr. Sharma said.

?This must be supervised by senior staffs in each section, unit and department. This will be closely monitored and anyone found breaching the directive will be dealt with?, Minister Sharma said.

He said Health Ministry is committed in providing efficient and timely services to all Fijians.

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2.?FNU?S APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING SCHEME COMMENDED

Apprentice graduates from the Fiji National University?s National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC) were today reminded to continue working hard to contribute to Fiji?s economic growth.

Speaking to the 104 graduates, Minister for Education Filipe Bole said a skilled workforce is the hallmark of any developed economy.

?As such, skills? training is extremely important for the socio-economic growth of a country,? Mr Bole said.

He added that apprenticeship training has been one of the most significant skills development programmes in Fiji, and its contribution to national growth has been invaluable.

?I firmly believe that the availability of a labour force that has the appropriate skills is a powerful incentive for attracting prospective investors to our shores,? Mr Bole said.

Mr Bole said there are positive indications that significant volumes of investment will take place in the near future in Fiji, especially in the hospitality, mining and manufacturing industries.

?It has therefore become imperative that skills development be addressed as a priority,? Mr Bole said.

The minister said that the NTPC is responding to the skilled workforce needs with a number of short and intensive skills development training programmes geared to make semi-skilled workers immediately available.

?The construction industry has indicated that it requires a substantial number of skilled workers to assist in new infrastructure development projects,? Mr Bole added.

?Discussions on this issue are on-going with various stakeholders in both the industry and the government.?

Efforts are also being made to develop competency-based skills training, which will cater to industry-defined standards.

Mr Bole said the Ministry of Education will be working closely with NTPC in exploring the possibility of extending the National Apprenticeship Scheme to other non-traditional sectors.

Meanwhile, Elijah Kinmun Fong was awarded the overall ?Best Apprentice? of the year.

Mr Fong, who now works for the Southern Cross Foods Limited in Ba, graduated with a Trade Certificate in Electrical Fitter Mechanic.

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3.?STRENGTHENING MELANESIA TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE


The Fiji delegation is looking forward to the appointment of a Climate Change Advisor to strengthen the MSG secretariat?s role in addressing this issue.

Fiji?s Minister for Foreign Affairs and head of delegation to the 2nd MSG Environment and Climate Change Ministers Meeting, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola ??said the recruitment of an advisor would support initiatives that were endorsed in the MSG Environment and Climate Change Declaration last year.

?The recruitment will specifically support the initiatives that are in the MSG Environment and Climate Change Declaration, including the Blue Carbon and Green Growth Initiatives,? he said.

The officer would be based at the MSG secretariat in Vanuatu.

Meanwhile, the meeting which is currently underway in Nadi, will provide the framework and principles the key commitments in the Declaration, namely, the MSG Green Growth Framework, the Melanesia Blue Carbon Initiative, the Melanesia Terrestrial Commitment and the MSG Green Climate Fund.

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4.?HOLISTIC APPROACH NEEDED TO ADVANCE CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES

Fiji?s efforts in implementing climate change strategies at the national level have been commended at a regional leaders meeting currently underway in Nadi.

Speaking at the 2nd Melanesian Spearhead Group Environment and Climate Change Ministers Meeting, acting deputy director general of the MSG Secretariat Peni Sikivou says a holistic approach is needed to advance the environmental and climate change issues and Fiji must be commended for its efforts at the national level.

?A holistic approach is encouraged, to ensure coherence in the future planning, formulation and implementation of environment and climate change policies and programmes not only at the MSG level but more importantly at the national and community level,? Mr. Sikivou said.

?It is necessary that national issues are reflected in the MSG framework that is being formulated.?

Mr. Sikivou said this is an opportune time for MSG members to tackle the challenges of environment and climate change and formulate a consistent and co-coordinated approach to addressing these issues, which will yield long-term results.

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5.?PNG SUPPORTS CLIMATE CHANGE INITIATIVES

The government of Papua New Guinea has pledged its support for the initiatives proposed by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) in tackling climate change in the region.

PNG?s head of delegation to the 2nd Environment and Climate Change Ministers Meeting, Mr Peter Eafeare says PNG is a country that has been experiencing impacts of Climate Change.

?My government will continue to support the MSG in tackling climate change and we will continue with our national priorities to provide linkages to regional initiatives and harmonise rather than re-inventing the wheel,? he said.

Mr. Eafeare said climate change is an important global issue for governments to consider and effective measures must be taken to address it.

?We hope that the outcomes reflect upon our leaders Declaration on Environment and Climate Change signed last year as an over ? arching framework that provides the platform or basis to guide effective implementation of our regional commitments which will be later tabled to the MSG Leaders Summit in June,? he added.

The Ministerial meeting, which started this morning in Nadi, will conclude this afternoon.

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