MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 5:00PM 06/05/13

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1.?????FIJIAN ENVOY BRIEFS MEDIA ON G77 MEET IN FIJI -??FIJI not only wants to carry the ball of the chairmanship of Group of 77 safely but wants to progress the ball down the field to show progress?, says Fiji permanent representative to the United Nations His Excellency Peter Thomson.

2.????ENERGY ESSENTIAL FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH -?Energy in recent times has been elevated as a basic human need and it is often said that it makes the world go round.

3.?????ROAD RESEALING PROCESS COMMENCES AROUND THE COUNTRY: SAYS FIJI ROADS AUTHORITY (FRA) -?In response to many queries on road resealing and construction, the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) is now pleased to advise that resealing is finally underway in Suva, and will begin to be done in full swing throughout the country from now onwards on many existing sealed roads.

1.?FIJIAN ENVOY BRIEFS MEDIA ON G77 MEET IN FIJI

?FIJI not only wants to carry the ball of the chairmanship of Group of 77 safely but wants to progress the ball down the field to show progress?, says Fiji permanent representative to the United Nations His Excellency Peter Thomson.

Addressing local and international media on the eve of the G77?s High Level Panel of Eminent Personalities of the South- ?The Future Cooperation of South-South Cooperation? in Natadola, Nadi, Mr Thomson pointed out the significance of this meet.

?It was decided by the secretariat at the beginning of Fiji?s tenure that it was something the G77 needed to progress,? he said.

?The Fiji chairmanship is one where we want to demonstrate a show of safe hands as chair but also progress the organization in its one year tenure.?

Ambassador Thomson said the outcome of this meeting will be taken to the secretariat and the General Assembly but will also presented to the G77?s 132 Foreign Affairs Ministers who will meet in New York iat the margins of the General Assembly in September 2013.

?So the deliberation will be important in that the advice given to the 132 nations on the future of the South-South Cooperation,? Ambassador Thomson said.

Meanwhile leaders have started arriving into the country as the nation prepares to host its first G77 meet in the country.

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2.?ENERGY ESSENTIAL FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH

Energy in recent times has been elevated as a basic human need and it is often said that it makes the world go round.

This sentiment was raised by the Minister for Works and Transport Captain Timoci Natuva while opening the Small Island Developing States Pacific Regional on Energy at Nadi today.

?Without energy, everything virtually will come to a standstill and it is a vital ingredient for economic growth and social human development,? Mr Natuva said.

?The provision of energy supplies not only affect the economy at large but the very foundation of our existence.?

Fiji, like any other country in the region has a common characteristic of high dependency on carbon-based fuels.

?Fiji?s petroleum imports had moved from around $400million in 2004 to a little over $1.2billion in 2008 and that equates to a quarter of our total imports. ?The alarming fact is that the cost of our energy consumption has tripled in that period of 4 years,? the minister said.

In light of the levels of energy demand and the uncertainty in future global oil prices he added that Fiji had shifted towards sustainable energy supply.

Mr Natuva emphasised to participants present that there is need to establish or create the environment that will attract the private sector.

?We need to embark on Public Private Partnership to assist us in reaching our goals,? Mr Natuva said.

Recent publication on the IRENA Policy Brief, it mentions that Pacific Island countries share similar sustainable development challenges which include remoteness, susceptibility to natural disaster, small population, small market and an excessive dependence on international trade.

Colonel Natuva told participants that sustainable energy provided new opportunities for growth during the economic downturn.

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3.?ROAD RESEALING PROCESS COMMENCES AROUND THE COUNTRY: SAYS FIJI ROADS AUTHORITY (FRA)

In response to many queries on road resealing and construction, the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) is now pleased to advise that resealing is finally underway in Suva, and will begin to be done in full swing throughout the country from now onwards on many existing sealed roads.

As it is a relatively new exercise on Fiji roads, the FRA feels that our users should be informed of the process and what to look out for in terms of driving safely over the new seal.

This is done to waterproof the existing sealed roads by adding another layer of bitumen and stone. Reducing the amount of water that gets into a road extends the life of the road for between 5-12 years depending on the traffic volumes and type of reseal applied.

Many of these roads will have some repair works done on the worst sections prior to resealing and the finished reseal is likely to be rougher than a brand new road but will last a lot longer than if no work is done at all.

The Authority says that the sealing of your streets is like painting your house thus protecting and extending the life of the road, while making it safe to use.

FRA is addressing the large backlog of resealing that is required on Fiji?s sealed roads and has an ambitious target of delivering over 100km of resealing each year.? This means that over the next few months travelers will frequently come upon worksites with a lot of activity.

Chief of FRA, Neil Cook has asked the travelling public to take care when driving through a reseal site as loose sealing chip will be present for a few days after it has been applied which can be slippery when driving too fast, and can cause broken windscreens when vehicles don?t abide by the speed restrictions that the contractors put in place during the reseal operation.

He has expressed his concern that all drivers need to abide by the instructions given at the worksites, as driving through bitumen spray or driving on uncovered bitumen can cause irreparable damage to vehicles. Road marking will also not be present for a few days after resealing so drivers should take care especially when driving at night.

The Fiji Roads Authority appreciates the co-operation of the public in building better Fiji roads.

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