MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 4:30PM 21/06/13

CAPTION: Prime Minister Bainimarama.?

1.?MSG CREATES OPPORTUNITIES FOR MELANESIA: PM BAINIMARAMA-?Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) has opened possibilities and created opportunities which were not presented by other regional organisations.

2.?MSG LEADERS SIGN THREE TREATIES-?Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders today signed three Treaties which further strengthened the sub ? regional committee.

3.?RISING FAITH OF ZANANA TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE-?Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni met the Bulileka Zanana Women?s League in Labasa yesterday and discussed strategic ?plans to economically develop women in Muslim communities there.

4.?HELPING RURAL WOMEN IS GOVERNMENT?S PLAN-?Providing income generating opportunities for rural women?s group is one of the core priorities of the Fijian Government?s Women?s Plan of Action 2010 to 2019 says Minister for Women Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Jiko Luveni.

5.?FIRST VILLAGE IN BUA TO COMMISSION SOLAR ELECTRIFICATION-?Nakorovou village, in the tikina of Kubulau will be the first in the province of Bua to be commissioned for solar electrification by one of the Barefoot Solar engineers.

6.?SOCIAL WELFARE, WOMEN AND POVERTY ALLEVIATION PREPARES FOR PUBLIC SERVICE DAY-?Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation has planned informative activities for Public Service Day to convey the ministry?s mission and vision.

7.?OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT URGES CIVIL SERVANTS TO MAKE NOMINATIONS-?All civil servants are encouraged to nominate members of the public who deserve official recognition for their contribution towards building a better Fiji.

8.?PSC OPENS FOR PUBLIC ON PUBLIC SERVICE DAY-?The Public Service Commission (PSC) is inviting members of the public to visit its offices around Suva to mark Public Service Day?on Tuesday next week.

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1.?MSG CREATES OPPORTUNITIES FOR MELANESIA: PM BAINIMARAMA

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) has opened possibilities and created opportunities which were not presented by other regional organisations.

PM Bainimarama made the comments while addressing the plenary session of the 19th MSG Leaders Summit in Noumea, New Caledonia this morning.

PM Bainimarama said the MSG countries have together passed a number of significant milestones in the last two years under Fiji?s leadership.

?For the last two years, the focus was on a number of result oriented programmes and initiatives, and we are able to achieve concrete results,? PM Bainimarama said.

?We should be proud as we come to the close of a very successful chapter of the MSG history.?

PM Bainimarama added that the future of the biggest sub ? regional committee in the Pacific looks brighter and has urged other members to work towards the best interests of Melanesia.

?As we now stand at the beginning of a new period, we must share a trust that we have the tool to face each new challenge as it arises,? PM Bainimarama said.

?We are embarking with a clear vision, a respectful understanding of the issues that lie before us, and a strong conviction and desire to forge ever closer political, economic and social ties.?

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2.?MSG LEADERS SIGN THREE TREATIES

Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders today signed three Treaties which further strengthened the sub ? regional committee.

The treaties were signed following the conclusion of the 19th Leaders Summit in Noumea, New Caledonia.

The Treaties are as follows:

1. ????Treaty on the Custody and Maintenance of Children;

2. ????Treaty on Reciprocal Enforcement on Foreign Judgements and;

3. ????Memorandum of Agreement on Police Cooperation

The leaders also launched the Revised Draft Trade Agreement negotiations, the MSG Humanitarian, Emergency and Response Coordination Centre, the MSG Department of Peacekeeping and the MSG Silver Jubilee Scholarship in memory of one of its founding fathers Father Walter Lini.

The Treaties and the launching of new initiatives were signed after the Leaders signed the Communiqu?.

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3.?RISING FAITH OF ZANANA TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni met the Bulileka Zanana Women?s League in Labasa yesterday and discussed strategic ?plans to economically develop women in Muslim communities there.

Dr Luveni who is the first minister to have established networks with Zanana Women?s League met with 50 group members and gave them first hand information on the Ministry?s programmes.

The minister commended the group for its efforts and reiterated that every woman deserves to be respected and she has the power to make a positive difference to the lives of their families and contribute effectively towards nation building.

Bulileka Zanana Women?s League president Ms Nazma Bano said the women of the group are determined to work hard towards generating income and assisting unemployed and disadvantaged women such as single mothers and widows in their communities.

?The women are grateful to the Ministry for donating two sewing machines which will complement our vision on assisting the underprivileged women and we are positive on developing our sewing skills and get orders from schools and hospitals for tailoring activities,? Ms Bano said.

Ms Bano highlighted that Muslim women usually face challenges when speaking out for themselves and are not recognized in the decision making processes.

?We are raised in a strict religious environment but we are fortunate to meet the Minister who has given us the confidence to be determined in life and has challenged us to learn to speak for ourselves, not be shy and stand up for ourselves as women who have the power and potential to make a big difference in nation building,? Ms Bano added.

?This is the first time for us to meet a minister and have direct meeting with her has enabled us to strengthen our networking with the ministry and it will enable expansion of the economic opportunities for Zanana women?s group.?

Dr Luveni added that Zanana women?s group has proven that there is no barrier to achieving success with collective efforts and confidence to make a difference.

?I am adamant that your women?s group will be instrumental in moulding the lives of the women who face social and economic challenges. Building strong, determined women who are capable to effectively contribute towards improving their society are great assets to the nation,? Dr Luveni said.

?The ministry congratulates the Zanana women?s group and would like to see more women groups in Fiji to take up similar challenge on realizing their potential as women?s group to make every effort in developing their families and communities.?

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4.?HELPING RURAL WOMEN IS GOVERNMENT?S PLAN

Providing income generating opportunities for rural women?s group is one of the core priorities of the Fijian Government?s Women?s Plan of Action 2010 to 2019 says Minister for Women Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Jiko Luveni.

It is with commitment that the ministry has assisted the Namara Vuniwai Mother?s Club in Labasa with income generation tools earlier this year.

Dr Luveni handed the group with new sewing machines as she visited the group yesterday. She also acknowledged the group for their determination in improving livelihoods for their families adding that empowering women contributes positively to nation building.

?I would also like to take this opportunity to spread the word on the need to eliminate violence against women and children. When women live in violence free environment they are able to contribute effectively as opposed to women who face violence, they are locked in their homes and are not given the freedom to actively participate into economic activities,? Dr Luveni said.

Dr Luveni added that organising women?s groups through establishing networks has enabled the Ministry to work towards the millennium development goal 3 ?Women Empowerment and Gender Equality? which is the basis of all Government assistance to the women.

?We have so far the Ministry has established networks with 2000 women?s organisations,? she said.

?When women are organized it provides the opportunity to share their skills.?

Namara mother?s club founder, Ashok Kumar Ram thanked the Minister for providing them with $2045 worth of iron sheets and steel pipes as a means for income generation.

?We are indeed grateful to t Dr Luveni for donating these sewing machines today and earlier this year the Ministry has also provided roofing irons and pipes. It is given for hire at a cost of around $90 to $100 to the villagers for putting up sheds for social events like weddings, birthdays and prayer ceremonies,? Mr Ram said.

The Namara Vuniwai Mothers Club was formed last year with the vision to elevate their financial status and now comprises of 50 women,.

?The club was formed last year to provide income generating opportunities for some of these women who didn?t complete their education but through the club they will get a second chance to empower themselves and show that educational qualification is not a barrier in terms of women?s abilities to contribute towards the economic well-being of their families,? Mr Ram said.

President of the club Sushila Devi, thanked Dr Luveni for motivating the women and giving them hope to reach their full potential.

?We are grateful to have Dr Luveni take out her time to come and visit us at our homes. Her visit has greatly encouraged us women to be confident and work hard in improving the lives of our families,? Ms Devi said.

?The donations from the Ministry has created a new pathway to develop the women?s entrepreneurial skills and lifted the morale of the women. These resources will be instrumental in generating income and strengthening the operational capacity of our women?s group.?

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5.?FIRST VILLAGE IN BUA TO COMMISSION SOLAR ELECTRIFICATION

Nakorovou village, in the tikina of Kubulau will be the first in the province of Bua to be commissioned for solar electrification by one of the Barefoot Solar engineers.

The official commissioning will be done?tomorrow,?June 22, by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni.

A preliminary visit to the Nakorovou village by Ministry officials confirmed that the village is ready for solar electrification and will be the first out of the 10 solar villages to be commissioned.

Solar engineer for Nakorovou village, Maria Seremana said the solar panels have been installed for the 42 households and is ready for solar electrification.

?I am so delighted to inform that our village is ready for solar electrification and the youths and men have helped me to put the solar panels on the roof tops of all the houses and we have also put the solar controllers and managed to achieve all these in a week?s time,? Ms Seremana said.

?Everyone in the village is excited and looking forward for the commissioning of the solar electrification and it would be the first time in 50 years for us to receive electricity into the village that has only known darkness.?

Ms Seremana said the solar electrification project would assist more than 200 people in the Nakorovou village.

?We are grateful to the Government for choosing Nakarovou for the solar electrification project because it has given us new hope, the children can have access to light and this will improve their education. The women, men and youth are all part of the solar committee that is in charge the project, we are proud to be the first out the 10 villages to be solar electrified,? Ms Seremana said.

Nakorovou solar committee member Iosepo Nabete said the solar electrification has also provided a source of income generation for the solar engineer and there are plans to organize training for village youths to acquire skills of solar electrification.

Nakarovou village is one of the 10 solar villages from the province of Bua along with villages in Macuata, Kadavu, Ra and Ba to have access to solar electricity

Solar electrification is a joint project between the Ministry of Women, UN Women and the Barefoot College in India. There are also plans to build a Regional Barefoot College in Fiji.

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6.?SOCIAL WELFARE, WOMEN AND POVERTY ALLEVIATION PREPARES FOR PUBLIC SERVICE DAY

Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation has planned informative activities for Public Service Day to convey the ministry?s mission and vision.

Permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta highlighted the activities would be educational through exhibition of posters, banners and pamphlets on the day.

?The display of pamphlets and laminated posters will highlight the key programs and activities implemented by our two departments along with airing of ministerial documentaries on video,? Dr Koroivueta said.

Dr Koroivueta highlighted that the ministry work areas including elevators will have posters pinned up to raise awareness on key community programmes and projects

?Display of ministry banners would point out those addressing ?key programs in communities for example the Elimination of Violence against Women programme, Solar Projects & Child Protection programmes,? she added.

He added that the ministry will also raise awareness through its social internet networks.

?An appealing avenue is through social network with the creation of a Facebook page to create awareness of the ministry?s mission and the various programs in communities,? Dr Koroivueta said.

People are invited to take advantage of the informative displays and ?seek out any queries at the Ministry headquarters on 5th Floor, Civic Towers, Victoria Parade on?Tuesday June 25.

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7.?OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT URGES CIVIL SERVANTS TO MAKE NOMINATIONS

All civil servants are encouraged to nominate members of the public who deserve official recognition for their contribution towards building a better Fiji.

The Office of the President made these revelation in support of the Public Service Day, planned for?June 25th.

Acting official secretary, Pene Balenibuli said the College of Honour is now calling for nominations for the 2013 awards which will be held in conjunction with the Civil Service Medals Awards.

?The College of Honour is under the Chancellor of the Order, His Excellency, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, the President of the Republic of Fiji,? Mr Baleinabuli said.

?Before the end of the first quarter this year, the office achieved its target of reactivating the College of Honour and developing a Calendar of events for approval by the members of the College.

?In May, the Office facilitated the organisation of an investiture ceremony to award deserving recipients of awards owed to them since 2010.?

Mr Balenibuli said members of the public are invited to get nomination forms and guidelines for the 2013 awards from Government House during Public Service Day.

The Secretariat for the College of Honour will also be available to answer queries by the members of the general public.

The theme for the Public Service Day is ?Building a Better Fiji for all Through Excellence in Service Delivery? and will be commemorated by all government departments and ministries on?June 25?next week.

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8.?PSC OPENS FOR PUBLIC ON PUBLIC SERVICE DAY

The Public Service Commission (PSC) is inviting members of the public to visit its offices around Suva to mark Public Service Day?on Tuesday next week.

Permanent secretary,?Parmesh Chand said members of the public are invited to visit the offices of the PSC at Berkeley Crescent, Carnarvon Street, Nasese and the Government Service Centre (GSC), all located within the capital city.

He said the public are being encouraged to visit the five Divisions within PSC including Corporate Services, Training & Scholarships, Office Accommodation, Policy and Service Delivery.

?The directors for all the Divisions have been scheduled to serve at the Government Service Centre counter in Suva at allotted times onTuesday June 25. In addition to this, they will also be serving customers at their respective offices,? Mr Chand said.

?Members of the public who may want to know the location of PSC offices or other offices of respective ministries and departments are requested to visit the Government Service Centre in Suva.?

He said PSC?s Information, Management and Communication (IMC) unit will also be on standby at the GSC to inform people about the PSC website?www.psc.gov.fj?<http://www.psc.gov.fj>??<http://www.psc.gov.fj>??and how to fill scholarship forms online.

?In addition, there will be banners, brochures and posters on display in all the Divisions to showcase its various activities and programmes,? ?Mr Chand added.

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