MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 4:00PM 04/06/13

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1.?????FIJI JOINS GLOBAL COMMUNITY IN CELEBRATING ENVIRONMENT DAY?- As billions around the globe prepare to celebrate World Environment Day this week, Fiji will look at ways of minimising the impacts to environments that Fijians source food from.

 

2.?????MINISTRY ADVISES ON FIJI CHILD ADOPTION PROCESS?- The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation has reiterated that there are procedures in place for the adoption of infants as outlined in the Adoption of Infants Act.

 

3.?????FIJIAN PRIME MINISTER STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF ACP & EU RELATIONS?-?The African Caribbean and Pacific countries? relationship with the European Union remains one of the highest priorities for this week?s?43rd?Session of the International Sugar Council.

 

4.?????NEW GIRLS HOSTEL FOR LEVUKA PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOL?- More than 20 students are benefitting from the newly constructed girls hostel at the Levuka Public Secondary School, which will be officially opened by the Minister for Education, Filipe Bole?this Friday.

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1?FIJI JOINS GLOBAL COMMUNITY IN CELEBRATING ENVIRONMENT DAY

 

As billions around the globe prepare to celebrate World Environment Day this week, Fiji will look at ways of minimising the impacts to environments that Fijians source food from.

 

Director for Environment Jope Davetanivalu highlighted that this was a theme that Fiji will use to enable Fijians to become ?responsible environment stewards?.

 

?We as a population of this world, we are utilizing natural resources where we source our food and at times, a large amount of this goes to waste,? Mr Davetanivalu said.

 

?We need to think and act responsibly so that future generations are able to benefit from sustainable environment in the future,? Mr Davetanivalu said.

 

The weeklong celebrations will include eco-challenge activities for schools and clean up campaigns that will be carried out during the week.

 

Meanwhile, the department of environment is closing monitoring the enforcement of the litter decree that prosecutes any person that is found littering.

 

?Enforcement at the various councils are ongoing however one of the major challenge is prosecuting individuals with the assistance from the various stakeholders people have been prosecuted for not abiding to the law,? he said.

 

With the theme ?THINK.EAT.SAVE?, reduce your Food print?,?the department is optimistic of encouraging everyone to become good environment stewards and save our environment.

 

Research from the United Nation?s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reveal that 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year. This gives an enormous imbalance to lifestyles and the result includes devastating effects on the environment.

 

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2?MINISTRY ADVISES ON FIJI CHILD ADOPTION PROCESS

 

The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation has reiterated that there are procedures in place for the adoption of infants as outlined in the Adoption of Infants Act.

 

The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta made this comment while responding to media reports of?three babies who were given up by mothers after giving birth at the CWM hospital.

 

Dr Koroivueta said that the Ministry?s responsibilities and services are governed by the Juveniles Act, Section 40 for the placement of abandoned babies.

 

?The placement is facilitated depending on the availability of space in residential homes and foster parents. The Ministry works in alignment to the existing Juveniles Act under the state, there are nine (9) registered Homes. These are Boys Centre, Dilkusha Home, St Christophers, Mahaffy Girls, Treasure Home, Veilomani Boys, Lomani Au Children?s Home, St Meena?s Home, and Homes of Hope,? he confirmed.

 

Dr Koroivueta emphasised that the Adoption Procedures are carefully structured to ensure that children that are adopted are placed in a new and enabling family environment.

 

?There are well defined procedures for adoption as captured in the Adoption of Infants Act. The utilization of marketing deploys through social networks and informal networks for child adoption is a clear breach of the child rights. The well-being of the child is of paramount and leaking of information or taking pictures of abandoned children without proper consent of the Ministry of Social Welfare is a serious breach of?confidentiality and violation of children?s rights,? he said.

 

?This is undertaken to ensure child welfare is upheld at all levels. The government monitors the child?s welfare in the new home in the first three months to confirm that the child has bonded with attachment to the new family.

 

?The Ministry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Homes of Hope in facilitating the adequate care and support to teenage mothers. The Ministry also administers the Care and Protection (C&P) from the allocated budget of $5.9 million to families/guardians supporting children other than their own, or for parents facing financial difficulties in maintaining the basic care for their children and to residential homes that provide care for children who are placed under the care of the Director of Social Welfare as provided in the Juvenile Act,? Dr Koroivueta added.

 

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3?FIJIAN PRIME MINISTER STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF ACP & EU RELATIONS

 

The African Caribbean and Pacific countries? relationship with the European Union remains one of the highest priorities for this week?s?43rd?Session of the International Sugar Council.

 

Chair of the ISO and Prime Minister,?Voreqe Bainimarama while welcoming sugar experts, industry leaders and various international government leaders said that as almost all of the ACP?s sugar exports are to the EU, the ACP ? EU relationship is an issue of extreme urgency.

 

?Of great importance for all ACP sugar-exporting countries is the EU?s review of its Common Agricultural Policy, which includes the Common Market Organisation for Sugar,? PM Bainimarama said.

 

?The ACP sugar-exporting countries, including Fiji, are seeking a five-year extension of the EU-ACP quota system from 2015 to 2020.?

 

PM Bainimarama also pointed out that these additional five years will give ACP countries added security as they continue to restructure, modernise and diversify their sugar cane industries to meet today?s challenges and demands.

 

?For the Pacific ACP region, the issue of highest priority is the negotiation of a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU, which in terms of sugar, would allow for continued duty-free access to their marketplace,? PM Bainimarama said.

 

?The alternative is the EU?s interim EPA, which we regard as highly problematic. The EU has announced that Pacific countries that do not ratify this interim EPA by 2014 will lose duty-free access, including for sugar.?

 

?A comprehensive EPA is the goal, and the EU should not move the goalpost at this late a stage,? PM Bainimarama said.

 

“An EPA that addresses the contentious issues and aspires to the region?s development goals is the only answer.?

 

The Fijian Prime Minster has called on the EU to enter these negotiations with the Pacific with a sense of urgency that matches our own.

 

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4?NEW GIRLS HOSTEL FOR LEVUKA PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOL

 

More than 20 students are benefitting from the newly constructed girls hostel at Levuka Public Secondary School, which will be officially opened by the Minister for Education, Filipe Bole?this Friday.

 

The hostel was destroyed in a fire on 17th?February last year, which was caused due to an electrical fault. This affected students who stayed at the hostel.

 

The girls? hostel currently accommodates 24 girls while work on a boys hostel is expected to begin later this year.

 

The Ministry of Education said the provision of a new hostel has encouraged students to be punctual to school and reduced absenteeism for students.

 

Levuka Public Secondary School is attended by students travelling from islands, particularly Lomaiviti group, Motoriki, Batiki and Nairai.

 

The construction of the hostel is also a relief for students travelling from within the Ovalau Island such as Viro, Lovoni and Rukuruku where students faced the problem of irregular transportation to go to school.

 

The roll of the school is 369.

 

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