MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 4:00PM 13/08/13

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1.?PACIFIC LOOKS AT MORE INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT -?Pacific island countries are moving towards more inclusive growth to address development of individuals in their respective nations, says His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

2.?PM BAINIMARAMA CONGRATULATES TUVALUAN COUNTERPART -?Fijian Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has sent a congratulatory message to his newly elected Tuvaluan counterpart, Enele Sosene Sopoaga.

3.?ROLE OF YOUTH IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT?- Commissioner Central, Lieutenant-Colonel Laisenia Tuitubou has called on youths of Fiji to play a lead role in efforts to ensure the well being of our nation.

4.?VILLAGERS MUST HEED TO THE CALL OF CLIMATE CHANGE -?Coastal village communities in rural areas and outer islands in the maritime zone must carefully consider the changes brought about by climate change.

5.?THREE MAJOR LIGHTHOUSES TO BE COMPLETED SOON?- The completion of three major lighthouses in the Central and Eastern Division will be in line with government?s commitment to improve safety measures for all seafarers.

6.?INDIA TO PROVIDE NEW SET OF SEWING MACHINES?- A new set of sewing machines scheduled to arrive from India will ensure the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation meets its target on empowering women through distribution of sewing machines.

7.?CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY TO BE TRANSLATED -?The National Climate Change Policy will be translated into the iTaukei and Hindi languages to assist people at the grassroots level ?better understand the situation says Ministry for Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Amena Yauvoli.

 

1.?PACIFIC LOOKS AT MORE INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT

Pacific island countries are moving towards more inclusive growth to address development of individuals in their respective nations, says His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

This is one of the outcomes and rationales behind the recent Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF).

?The hope and aspirations that the PIDF will bring renewed vigor and in fact ? winds of change for the Pacific island countries in the sense that there will be more inclusivity in decision-making for the proper governance of our island states,? Ratu Epeli said.

The parliamentarians from the Pacific Island Countries (PIC), non-governmental organizations and other United Nations agencies are in Suva to discuss through the three-day Pacific Conference of Parliamentarians for Advocacy on ICPD beyond 2014.

The meeting will chart the way forward for the 20 years development plan, encapsulated in a Programme of Action (PoA), which expires next year, in the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) organised gathering.

Drawing parallels between the PIDF and the conference, the President said at the conclusion of the forum, leaders agreed they would be better listeners to the people through more inclusive by engagement of businesses, NGO?s, Youth Groups and many disadvantaged groups.

Ratu Epeli highlighted issues facing the Pacific such as teenage pregnancy, sexual and reproductive health, empowerment of women and access to education.

?The recent review of progress on the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) programme of action in the Pacific shows other notable signs of progress,? Ratu Epeli said.

?The number of countries with national population policies is steadily increasing and sexual and reproductive health has received considerable attention, with improvements on integrating them into primary health care.?

More needs to be done as significant challenges remain and the President urged leaders to bring their experiences to the table to ensure their rights and cater for the need of their people.

In attendance at the meeting were cabinet ministers from Pacific island countries such as Cook Islands Minister for Health, Nandi Glassie, Marshall Islands Minister for Education, Hilda Heine, Niue?s Minister for Health, Community Affairs and Broadcasting, Joan Viliamu.

Distinguished members of parliament from other countries included Samoa?s Deputy Opposition leader Aeau Leavaiseeta, Nauru?s Speaker, Ludwig Scotty, Federated States of Micronesia Senator Magdelena Walter, Kiribati MP Matrtin Tofinga, Solomon Islands MP Douglas Ete and Tongan MP Aisake Eke.

Fiji?s Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma and Minister for Social Welfare and Women, Dr Jiko Luveni are also attending the meeting.

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2.?PM BAINIMARAMA CONGRATULATES TUVALUAN COUNTERPART

Fijian Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has sent a congratulatory message to his newly elected Tuvaluan counterpart, Enele Sosene Sopoaga.

Mr Sopoaga was sworn in as Prime Minister last Monday, August 5, 2013.

Prime Minister Bainimarama assured Mr Sopoaga of the Fijian Government?s continued commitment and co-operation with Tuvalu.

?With your leadership and support, I sincerely believe we can build on existing partnerships and forge together the new and innovative directions visualized for our Pacific region,? Commodore Bainimarama said.

?You are assured of the continued commitment of my Government to the strengthening of warm and friendly relations that exist between our two Governments and people during your tenure and the years to
come.?

Fiji, which is by far Tuvalu’s largest source of imports, established diplomatic relations with the island nation in 1979.

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3.?ROLE OF YOUTH IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Commissioner Central, Lieutenant-Colonel Laisenia Tuitubou has called on youths of Fiji to play a lead role in efforts to ensure the well being of our nation.

At the National Youth Day celebrations held at Syria Park in Nausori today, Lieutenant-Colonel Laisenia Tuitubou said youths were significant stakeholders in government?s plans or efforts for economic development.

They make up 35 per cent of the overall population.

?Fiji?s future wellbeing is dependent on how well we deal with this bulk or bulge of population now and according to UNICEF report this is most at risk population group particularly when one considers factors like poor nutrition and poor guidance,? Lt-Col Tuitubou said.

?Youths also represent a large portion of prison population, crime, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS statistics to name a few of the social problems Fiji faces.?

Lt-Col Tuitubou challenged youths and community members to reverse this trend and try to make a difference in society.

?We must present youths as solutions for the social, economic and political challenges we currently face or argue their relevance in plans for Fiji?s future,? he said.

Government through the Commissioners Central?s office envisages the empowerment of rural people through development processes to change their situations and to be able to better meet their needs.

The Lt-Col encouraged all youths to embrace the changes within their communities and effectively contribute to Fijis? development.

Senior youth officer, Shamim Ban Ali said this year?s theme ?Youth-Energy of the Nation? reflected on youth?s potential in the areas of agriculture, entrepreneurship and community work.

?We need to encourage our youths to invest in these areas for their development and to secure their livelihoods in order to eradicate poverty in their communities,? Mrs Ali said.

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4.?VILLAGERS MUST HEED TO THE CALL OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Coastal village communities in rural areas and outer islands in the maritime zone must carefully consider the changes brought about by climate change.

Narikoso Village relocation committee chairman, Kelepi Saukitoga made the comment at the 2nd National Climate Change in response to their situation that has affected them.

Climate change has meant the relocation of Narikoso Village to another new setting to ensure villagers survival.

With a 100-plus population the village is in the?tikina?of Ono in Kadavu and is one of the two national projects identified for relocation because of the constant rising sea level brought about by climate change. This quickly eroded their village boundaries and sea water moved into the village area.

?Rising sea levels and constant changes to our village setting has threatened our daily livelihood and existence of our village and people,? Mr Saukitoga said during a presentation at the 2nd National Climate Change Summit in Nadi.

?Previously when the tide rises, or when it high tide, it reached the water mark and was protected by the sea wall, but now waves have risen above that mark and over the sea wall and have reached the entrance of our houses. We can even stand on the doorway and fish from there.

?People around Fiji must know this fact and must consider carefully their development so that all environment factors are considered carefully.?

A government taskforce team comprising of relevant ministries and department visited the villages and have documented the need to relocate the village. This is why it is very important to inform other village communities about this real and present danger.

?Narikoso has had to move at least 100 meters inland and which means we have had to move away from our sources of living like fishing and etc. But we have no choice.

Mr Saukitoga said while their generation was not to be blamed for what has happened to them.

They just want people of Fiji, especially coastal village communities in the rural and outer-lying islands to know the real effect of climate change.

Ministry of Agriculture permanent secretary Ropate Ligairi acknowledged the decision by Narikoso Village Relocation Committee to relocate the village as the only option.

He said that village communities need to properly document their development and ensure that long term survival means are considered well.

?Certain factors are associated with this issue of climate change and while I commend the decision made by villagers of Narikoso to relocate, I must remind villager communities to plan well their development and consider these implications to their livelihood,? Mr Ligairi said.

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5.?THREE MAJOR LIGHTHOUSES TO BE COMPLETED SOON

The completion of three major lighthouses in the Central and Eastern Division will be in line with government?s commitment to improve safety measures for all seafarers.

Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji chief executive officer Neale Slack said the North Ovalau, Wakaya and the Cakaumomo lighthouses were under construction and near to their completion stage.

?The construction of the North Ovalau, Wakaya and the Cakaumomo lighthouses were estimated to cost around $150,000 each,? Mr Slack said.

?Since 2010, Government has given a grant of $2million for lighthouses annually.?

This year, six lighthouses will be constructed between the Mali passage and Malau Port.

?The construction for these lighthouses will cost $1.4million and there have also been work carried out on the changing of old bulb type lights to Light Emitting Diode (LED) which have in-built solar system batteries,? Mr Slack said.

Highlighting areas of focus for the authority this year, Mr Slack said the MSAF will concentrate on the implementation and enforcement of the new Maritime Transport Decree 2013 and the Ship Registration Decree 2013 that would replace the Marine Act of 1986.

?The commencement date of the MTD and SRD subsidiary legislation will be notified to the public and stakeholders,? Mr Slack said.

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6.?INDIA TO PROVIDE NEW SET OF SEWING MACHINES

A new set of sewing machines scheduled to arrive from India will ensure the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation meets its target on empowering women through distribution of sewing machines.

The ministry has already distributed 2601 sewing machines to 1058 women?s groups in Fiji.

?The initial goal for the ministry has been to provide all villages in Fiji with two sewing machines each and right now we have distributed 2601 sewing machines to the women?s group in villages including groups in settlements and maritime areas, ? said Dr Jiko Luveni, the Minister Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation.

?Give us till September when another lot of sewing machines are sent from India, we will then be able to reach out to all villages and complete our target.?

The ministry has also partnered with the Courts Fiji Limited to provided sewing machine maintenance and tailoring skills training to women?s groups in iTaukei, indo-fijian and other communities as well.

?So far Courts has provided 33 workshops covering women?s group in the four divisions that has benefited 942 women,? the minister said.

?The distribution of sewing machines goes along with sewing machine maintenance and training on different patterns of tailoring. The sewing programs have actually revived women?s groups in rural areas and have enabled women to diversify their income generating opportunities.

?Women are able to sew school uniforms and also save money by sewing clothes for their families and some of them have acquired sewing skills and ventured into own tailoring business by taking advantage of discounted prices on sewing machines provided by Courts.?

Dr Luveni said through the sewing machines programme the ministry had expanded networks with various women?s groups in Fiji, which ?further generated social and economic opportunities for women development.

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7.?CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY TO BE TRANSLATED

The National Climate Change Policy will be translated into the iTaukei and Hindi languages to assist people at the grassroots level ?better understand the situation says Ministry for Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Amena Yauvoli.

It will also allow villages to work towards mitigation and adaptation practices.

The recommendation was made during the 2013 National Climate Change Summit at Narewa Village in Nadi today.

?We need to start thinking on how we can filter the messages to the people on the ground so the first step will be to translate the national document in the two major languages,? Mr Yauvoli said.

?We started with the translation of the glossary last year and the task is now to ensure messages are sift down to those who matter the most ? the people.?

There is also a need to establish a green climate fund which the United National Development Programme (UNDP) has secured.

?At regional level there are various bodies that have been put in place to specifically address and advocate for climate change,? Mr Yauvoli said.

And as the summit entered sessions into its second day, he highlighted some of the achievements of government towards adaptation and mitigation.

?Government is committed to meeting at least 90 per cent of our total energy requirements through renewable sources,? the permanent secretary said.

Already 60 per cent of Fiji?s energy needs are being met from renewable energy sources now that the Nadarivatu Hydro-electric Scheme is running.

?There is also a seven-year tax holidays for renewable energy companies willing to establish themselves in Fiji and have reduced to zero, the duty on renewable energy equipment,? Mr Yauvoli said.

He has urged non ? governmental organizations (NGO) and development partners on the need for better co-ordination.

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