MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 27/09/13 11.00am

  1. Ratu Inoke conveys Group of G77 solidarity – Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Fiji?s Minister for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Chaired the day-long G77 and China Foreign Ministers meeting in New York today.

 

  1. LEVUKA COMMENDS LABOUR ROADSHOW – Workers, employers and the communities in Levuka have commended the Ministry of Labour roadshow which has been ongoing since Wednesday this week.

 

  1. VATUKARASA EMBARKS ON A NEW CHALLENGE TO PROMOTE ANTI-VIOLENCE – Vatukarasa village in the Nadroga/Navosa province has become the latest village to commit to

Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign which was launched this week by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni.

 

  1. FSC crushes 1.1million tones of cane – Fiji?s four sugar mills have crushed a little more than 1.1 million tonnes of sugarcane producing more than 121, 000 tonnes of sugar for Fiji?s market.

 

  1. Somosomo welcomes new mini-hydro project – The Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, on behalf of the people of Somosomo, Taveuni has welcomed the new proposed mini-hydro that will soon be constructed in a few weeks time.

 

  1. PSC PROVIDES NEW PREMISES FOR BOYS CENTRE – The Centre that caters for the rehabilitation of Fiji?s young male offenders will now have a new place of its own, through the partnership between the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation.

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1 Ratu Inoke conveys Group of G77 solidarity?

 

Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Fiji?s Minister for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Chaired the day-long G77 and China Foreign Ministers meeting in New York today.

 

In attendance, along with Foreign Ministers and Senior Officials of the 132 Member States, were the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon and the President of the 68th session of the UNGA, Ambassador John Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda.

 

Minister Kubuabola conveyed to his counterparts that Fiji took on the G77 Chairmanship in January fully aware of not only the privilege but the responsibility that came with pursuing the interests of the largest group of countries in the United Nations. ?We have set ourselves a firm discipline of carrying this in a scrupulous and professional manner in the best collective interests of the Group,? said the Fijian Minister. ?Our strength is our unity, and it is our strength that allows us to advance the interests of the developing world with credibility and equity.?

 

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President Ashe both complimented Fiji for its performance in Chairing the G77 in 2013 and stressed the utmost importance of the Group?s work in the forging of the post-2015 Development Agenda.

 

In delivering the Chair?s statement to the Foreign Ministers meeting Minister Kubuabola highlighted that 2013 for the Group has been a year of consolidation, follow-up, and preparation for major events to come. This has included the establishment and holding of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, the negotiations to establish a High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the establishment of the Experts Working Group on Financing for Sustainable Development.

 

Minister Kubuabola also emphasised the collective efforts of the Group of 77 under Fiji?s leadership to secure an inter-governmentally negotiated outcome document which calls for the renewal of political commitment towards achieving the MDGs by 2015.? ?The outcome document provides a clear roadmap for the launching of an inter-governmental process in the crafting of the post-2015 Development Agenda,? he said.

 

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2 LEVUKA COMMENDS LABOUR ROADSHOW

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Workers, employers and the community in Levuka have commended the Ministry of Labour roadshow which has been ongoing since Wednesday this week.

 

Led by the Minister for Labour, Jone Usamate, the Labour roadshow which was held at the Levuka Town Hall last night gave an opportunity to workers, employers and stakeholders to address labour related concerns and issues with the ministry.

 

Forty six year old Vilisi Wailevu, a senior nurse at the Levuka hospital said that the Labour roadshow was an eye opener for her.

 

?I have really learnt a lot from this roadshow and as a supervisor at the hospital there are a lot of issues that I have been able to clarify with regards to leave for my staff and OHS matters,? Ms Wailevu said.

 

Similarly, 25 year old Shimon Shubhaytass said that he found the Labour roadshow informative and has commended the initiative taken by government.

 

?I am more aware of my rights now as an employee here in Levuka,? Mr Shubhaytass said.

80 year old former Levuka mayor, George Gibson said that he also found the consultations with staff of the ministry of Labour useful.

 

?I only wish there were more workers here to hear the presentations from the Labour staff,? Mr Gibson said.

 

PAFCO human resource manager, Etueni Caucau said that through the roadshow, employees and employers have been able to solve some of the issues that had been of concern to both parties.

 

?It has come at the right time as PAFCO has a lot of casual workers and issues such as sick leave and entitlements have been some of the issues that we have looked at,? Mr Caucau said.

 

?PAFCO is always trying to encourage workers to be more productive and a lot of issues such as OHS and workmen?s compensation have highlighted to us by the Labour Ministry.?

 

The Minister for Labour continues his roadshow tomorrow.

 

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3 VATUKARASA EMBARKS ON A NEW CHALLENGE TO PROMOTE ANTI-VIOLENCE

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Vatukarasa village in the Nadroga/Navosa province has become the latest village to commit to

Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign which was launched this week by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni.

 

In her opening address, Dr Luveni acknowledged the commitment made by this community to work together with the Ministry and Police to stop violence.

 

?The Ministry is thankful to leaders of Vatukarasa for providing their support to eliminate violence in their village. Today we have observed the endorsement of the first phase of the 10 preparatory phases under the zero tolerance violence free community campaign.

 

?A gatekeeping committee has been formed and it will work closely with the Police and the Ministry to monitor the progress of this campaign. The presentation of a certificate is to acknowledge the long term commitment to take action against violence. They will have to go through 6 to 8 months of preparatory awareness programs and also comply with certain guidelines to reach to the final stage of the campaign, which will see Vatukarasa being declared as violence free community in Fiji,? Dr Luveni explained.

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Vatukarasa Women?s Group president Mrs Adisau Tabaiwalu said that the campaign will be a boost for women to gain more knowledge on the various assistance provided especially during times when conflict or violence occurs.

 

?We hope that through this campaign, women who are normally bound to their domestic duties will look at ways to address issues like violence that affects them. The Volivoli women?s group is proud of this initiative and we are hopeful that by the time we complete this campaign, women will be more confident of their roles and reclaim their right to live a violence free and dignified life.

 

Mr Joveci Tomeru, turaga-ni-koro for Vatukarasa said that Dr Luveni?s message has inspired the men to relook at their role.

 

?The biggest message to take home is that we cannot turn a blind eye to violence, we have to take action now, so that as responsible fathers and husbands we can become good role model for our children.

 

?This is a new beginning for Vatukarasa people and we are thankful to the government for giving us this opportunity to address a problem which has been hidden for years and continues to plague our society. The campaign will challenge us to break free from old habits and embrace positive changes to fulfill the long awaited dream of a peaceful and just society? Mr Tomeru.

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4 FSC crushes 1.1million tones of cane

 

Fiji?s four sugar mills have crushed a little more than 1.1 million tonnes of sugarcane producing more than 121, 000 tonnes of sugar for Fiji?s market.

 

FSC executive chairman Abdul Khan said the figure will increase further as the crushing season continues before ceasing by November.

 

?The crushing of 1.1 million tonnes of cane is an increase than what we had achieved last year where we did well,? he said.

 

?However we are still facing problems with supply of cane to the four mills and I would urge farmers to ensure that their cane is sent to the mills so that crushing is not hampered.?

 

The Lautoka sugar mills have been stopped almost twice a week because of the low supply of cane however, the rest of the mills, Khan says, are all doing well.

 

?Labasa, Ba and Penang have not broken down and this is a sign of the hard work put in by Government in ensuring that the mills are efficient and that there are no break downs,? Mr Khan said.

 

Meanwhile, the FSC has also highlighted that they want all standing cane to be crushed before the crushing season comes to a halt.

 

?We do not want a repeat of last year where farmers were complaining on standing cane and that is why we are requesting for all cane to be sent to the mills faster.?

 

Mr Khan has also indicated that the Penang and Labasa mills are likely to cease crushing towards the end of next month while Lautoka and Ba will conclude in November.

 

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5 Somosomo welcomes new mini-hydro project

 

The Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, on behalf of the people of Somosomo, Taveuni has welcomed the new proposed mini-hydro that will soon be constructed in a few weeks time.

 

This was conveyed to a delegation made up of members from the Fijian government and the construction company contracted to carry out works, Hunan Construction Engineering Group. The team that visited Somosomo this week carried out various inspections at the project site.

 

The Tui Cakau said the people in Taveuni would now have a sustainable and reliable source of power and energy for the future. He said that this will benefit villagers and communities who rely on diesel or other forms of energy that cost a lot of money.

 

?We are looking forward to the works that will commence on behalf of the mataqali and the chiefly clan. We acknowledge the work that will be carried out as it is critical to the development of the people,? said Ratu Naiqama.

 

He added that this project will boost commercial and investment activities on the island while at the same time positively impacting several large villages and settlements in the Somosomo area, the main commercial centre in Taveuni, a number of hotels, boarding school and the Waiyevo Government Station.

 

The mini-hydro is co-shared between the Government of Fiji and the Peoples Republic of China with primary funding of $50 million (RMB) provided by the Government of the People?s Republic of China.

 

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6 PSC PROVIDES NEW PREMISES FOR BOYS CENTRE

 

The Centre that caters for the rehabilitation of Fiji?s young male offenders will now have a new place of its own, through the partnership between the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation.

 

PSC Permanent Secretary, Parmesh Chand said through the Office Accommodation Division at PSC, three quarters previously occupied by the Department of Roads and now the Fiji Roads Authority has been identified.

 

?We identified three quarters at Lakeba Street in Suva to which the Boys Centre will be relocated. Fencing work will begin soon followed by the renovation of these three quarters,? he said.

 

Permanent Secretary for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Joe Koroivueta said the Ministry was grateful for this opportunity as the new institution will provide a spacious area for the boys to reside while under rehabilitation care and to expand skills in farming, carpentry, tertiary education and other vocational work programmes.

 

?This is what was previously done when the Boys Centre was located at Walu Bay in Suva before being re-located to Domain Road to make way for the building of the Suva Remand Centre.

 

?The boys will have spaces to learn and practice their vocational skills as well as use the extra available land for planting,? Dr Koroivueta said.

 

?Skills to empower them for self-reliance will be the key driver in this institution. Attention will be for their holistic development whilst keeping a good insight on the root determinants that led to the crimes committed by the juveniles,? he added.

 

The centre was first legislated under the Juvenile Ordinance 1932 and Makuluva was the first location.

 

The centre then relocated to Nasinu in 1935 and was named Nasinu Approved School under the Ministry of Education. In 1968, the administration of the school shifted to the Department of Social Welfare and the centre moved to Walu Bay in 1987 where it was renamed as the Suva Boys Centre. In 2010, the Centre was relocated to Domain Road.

 

Rehabilitation for the young offenders who are kept in State custody is the key to mentoring young boys through programmes which include formal education for those qualified, juveniles attending classes in Suva schools and those who are more technically inclined attend vocational training.

 

There is also life skills training and survival training with the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces followed by sports, weights training, bee and vegetable farming, counselling, family participation and spiritual guidance.

 

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