MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 04/10/13 4:30PM

-Don?t forget to wind your clocks FORWARD by 1 hr when daylight saving begins on SUNDAY, 27th of October-

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1. FIRST CITIZEN WELCOMES TEAMS TO INTERNATIONAL SEVENS – His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau welcomed teams participating at the Fiji Water International Centennial Sevens competition in Suva this week.

2. FIJI ADDRESSES MINISTERIAL MEETING ON CLIMATE CHANGE – The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola today attended the Ministerial Consultations on Climate Change in Warsaw, Poland.

3. HIGH LEVEL DIALOGUE ON MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT – The Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration, Joketani Cokanasiga delivered the lead statement at the inaugural meeting of the High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development in New York yesterday (October 3, 2013).

4. EDUCATION MINISTRY SIGNS MOU WITH SATHYA SAI PRIMARY SCHOOL – The Ministry of Education signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Sathya Sai Primary School of Drasa in Lautoka this week to support education initiatives in the school.

5. EDUCATIONAL REFORMS CONTINUE – Reforms initiated by Government will continue in the educational system in ensuring that Fijians have equal access to quality education which is a fundamental key in life, said the Minister for Education Filipe Bole.

6. VILLAGE CHIEF PRAISES CONSTITUTION BOOKLET AVAILABILITY – Villagers of Muani in the district of Ravitaki in Kadavu will now be able to understand their rights under the new Constitution, thanks to the outreach program that began at the village yesterday.

7. CRICKET PITCH AGREEMENT SIGNED – The Ministry of Youth and Sports has signed an agreement yesterday with Cricket Fiji for the construction of two cricket pitches in the Lau group.

1. FIRST CITIZEN WELCOMES TEAMS TO INTERNATIONAL SEVENS

His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau welcomed teams participating at the Fiji Water International Centennial Sevens competition in Suva this week.

Ratu Epeli said the ongoing sevens, which ends tomorrow, is part of the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) centennial celebrations.

?We have already celebrated the first part of our centennial year with a match against the classic all blacks on Wednesday, 12th June and we want to fully acknowledge the instrumental part, and the influence that two great all blacks – Andy Haden and Justin Marshall ? exerted that enabled the match to take place,? Ratu Epeli said.

?So much has happened in the 100 years of Fiji rugby. Many tours have taken place to many rugby playing countries and many of those countries have toured Fiji,? he added.

His Excellency highlighted that as a small developing country, Fiji has notched test match victories over some great rugby nations such as Argentina, Australia, Scotland, Wales, and the equally formidable teams of the New Zealand Maoris, the British and Irish Lions.

?Fiji has continuously punched well above its weight in rugby which is why it is the national sport, loved by all communities, races, ages and gender. Rugby brings this nation together like nothing else,? Ratu Epeli said.

He acknowledged the FRU for their efforts in promoting rugby in the country and thanked overseas teams for showing interest to participate in the competition.

Newly appointed national rugby sevens coach, Mr Ben Ryan, who was part of the reception, acknowledged FRU for their efforts in improving rugby standards in the country.

The two day rugby event will feature teams from the region, France, Argentina, United States and local teams that will display their rugby sevens skills.

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2. FIJI ADDRESSES MINISTERIAL MEETING ON CLIMATE CHANGE

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola today attended the Ministerial Consultations on Climate Change in Warsaw, Poland.

The ministerial meeting was held to enable major players in the international climate change negotiations to consult and strategise on the way forward ?towards the formulation of a new legally binding agreement on climate change, which is planned to be adopted in 2015.

Fiji also attended the meeting as Chair of the Group of 77 and China.

The meeting has been held about 40 days away from the 19th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP), which Poland will also host in Warsaw.

The outcome of this week’s ministerial meeting will also guide Poland in chairing the COP over the next year.

In his address, Ratu Inoke conveyed the Fijian Government’s views on the scope, core functions and possible elements of the new 2015 Agreement.

“Fiji envisages a clear, predictable, flexible and legally binding agreement based on common rules-based system,” Ratu Inoke said.

“Such an agreement should enable full participation of all members of the climate change Convention and encompass fair differentiations, a spectrum of commitments, common accounting and measurement, reporting and verification, and the provision of resources from those capable to do so.

“The agreement should include a structure that maximises participation, ambition and implementation over time. It should comprise ‘top-down’ commitments and ‘bottom-up’ actions, strong adaptation provisions and a compliance system. It should create a reliable long term investment framework and support ?the global diffusion of technology, while preventing unequal competitive advantages,? Ratu Inoke added.

Ratu Inoke concluded that any approach to define commitments for the post 2020 must be anchored in equity and the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities which would essentially generate ambition and enhance action.

Next month, during the COP in Warsaw, it is expected that all countries will further negotiate and agree on concrete steps that have to be taken to ensure that the agreement will be adopted in 2015 during the 21st Session of COP in Paris, France.

As the 2013 chair of the G77 plus China, Fiji would be playing a pivotal role at the COP meeting this year in ensuring that the interests of all developing countries are effectively advanced at the meeting.

Other members of the Fiji delegation included Mr Sainivalati Navoti and Mr Esala Nayasi.

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3. HIGH LEVEL DIALOGUE ON MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT

The Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration, Joketani Cokanasiga delivered the lead statement at the inaugural meeting of the High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development in New York yesterday (October 3, 2013).

Mr Cokanasiga spoke in Fiji?s capacity as the 2013 Chair of the Group of 77 and China, delivering a statement prepared following consultations with the 133 countries that are members of the Group.

The High-Level Dialogue meeting follows last year?s Rio+20 Conference, where UN Member States agreed to include population and migration factors in their development strategies.

In the Rio+20 Conference, they had also resolved to promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants and to avoid practices that might increase the vulnerability of international migrants.

In his statement, Mr Cokanasiga emphasized that migrants and migration are relevant to all countries of origin, transit and destinations.

He said these are global issues, with economic and structural imperatives.

?The economic causes of migration, concentrations of wealth and dual labour markets, benefit powerful interests and reinforce power structures that often blame, penalize and criminalize migrant workers who are caught in this web. The organizational and political challenge is to overcome these biased approaches and work towards facilitating orderly and safe mobility, recognizing that greater mobility is inevitable in the twenty-first century,? Mr Cokanasiga said.

?Migrants are responsible persons who are trying to earn a living and provide for their families.?

On the same note, Mr Cokanasiga urged migrants to know their rights and be protected by States?but at the same time, encouraged States to exercise their sovereign right to determine who enters, leaves or remains in their territory.

While speaking on the impact of migration, the minister said the Group of 77 acknowledged that international migration often entails the loss of human resources in countries of origin and contributes to the political, social and economic tensions in countries of destination.

?To resolve this, international migration policies need to take into account the economic constraints of the receiving country, the impact of migration on host countries and its effects on the countries of origin,? Mr Cokanasiga said.

He also noted that the reintegration process of returning migrants to countries of origin has the potential of facilitating the transfer of skills, knowledge, new ideas, products, information and of contributing to cultural enrichment to countries of origin.

The minister?s statement concluded by stating that the increasing economic disparities, climate change, environmental challenges and demographic changes are factors that will continue to influence migration flows into the future, and that it is imperative to address these challenges and to maximize the benefits of migration, and minimise the negative impacts to migrants and their families, through constructive dialogue, cooperation and genuine bilateral partnerships.

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4. EDUCATION MINISTRY SIGNS MOU WITH SATHYA SAI PRIMARY SCHOOL

The Ministry of Education signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Sathya Sai Primary School of Drasa in Lautoka this week to support education initiatives in the school.

The signing will see the school, which is privately run by the Sathya Sai Organisation, receive grants and other benefits from government to train and teach children to become better citizens of Fiji.

Minister for Education, Filipe Bole initiated the signing with chairman of the school board Narendra Reddy.

?Today marks a beginning of a new chapter for the ministry and the organisation and we will continue to support initiatives that will encourage education for all and building a knowledge based Society,? Mr Bole said.

The school, established in 2001, has a roll of 161 students from nearby areas including the village of Matawalu- a few kilometres along the Kings Highway on the outskirts of Lautoka.

?The MOU will formalize the terms and conditions concerning the responsibilities and contributions of the parties with respect to the delivery of education services and staffing needs of the school and the Kindergarten,? Mr Bole said.

?The aim of the MOU between the Education Ministry and the school is to establish a partnership to facilitate the operations of the school and will also enable organization to formally train primary and secondary school teachers in Education in Human Values.?

The EHV programme will assist in solving issues such as bullying, cyber crime, anti ? social behaviour, and provide a foundation for global relationship.

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5. EDUCATIONAL REFORMS CONTINUE

Reforms initiated by Government will continue in the educational system in ensuring that Fijians have equal access to quality education which is a fundamental key in life, said the Minister for Education Filipe Bole.

He made the comments while opening the Head Teachers Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting at Ratu Iloilovatu House at Viseisei Village in Vuda just outside Lautoka.

Mr Bole highlighted the need for best educational practices to ensure that Fiji?s children have the best education before they enter the workforce.

?In broad headings, more than 70 initiatives were taken by the ministry during the period of 2008 ? 2013 in the various sections from early childhood to tertiary education,? Mr Bole said.

?These have involved basic changes in our education system such as increasing the number of Early Childhood Education institutions, restructuring of the school system, the abolition of examinations, free supply of text-books, assistance in transport of students, students? vouchers for meals and introduction of new subjects in schools among others.?

The Minister also highlighted that the most important basic change is the inclusion in the 2013 Constitution of provisions for education.

?This makes education a constitutional right of all Fijians and makes education a legal responsibility of the State,? he added.

?And because education is basically a preparation for life, and life is a continually changing target, change and reform in education must be a continuous process reflecting life?s changing needs.?

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6. VILLAGE CHIEF PRAISES CONSTITUTION BOOKLET AVAILABILITY

Villagers of Muani in the district of Ravitaki in Kadavu will now be able to understand their rights under the new Constitution, thanks to the outreach program that began at the village yesterday.

Apart from the display done by the Ministry of Information, National Archives and Library Services at the village, hundreds of villagers were also given the 2013 Constitution booklets.

The Tui ?or chief of Muani village, 78-year-old Alivereti Taito, while receiving the iTaukei translated copy of the booklet, said it was an honour for the villagers to receive copies of the Constitution especially considering the remoteness of villages in the outer island.

?Never in my life time have I been given a copy of Fiji?s Constitution and to be given one today in the iTaukei language is like a dream come true,? Mr Taito said.

The Muani village chief said that in the past, the Constitution was available only in legal circles and was never available to ordinary grassroots people.

?For Government officers to travel all the way from Suva to give me this Constitution booklet I can call my own is indeed a privilege and an honoor,? Mr Taito said.

Mr Taito highlighted the fact that the Government took the initiative to translate the Constitution in the iTaukei vernacular language means they care about all the people, especially those living in the villages.

?Now even if ?the elderly people find it hard to read in English, they still can understand the Constitution better because it is in the iTaukei language,? he said.

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7. CRICKET PITCH AGREEMENT SIGNED

The Ministry of Youth and Sports has signed an agreement yesterday with Cricket Fiji for the construction of two cricket pitches in the Lau group.

The Ministry has identified Moce Cricket Club and Ono- I- Lau Cricket club to receive this sports ground development assistance.

While the Ministry of Youth and Sports will be responsible for the purchase of materials for the pitches, the two clubs have to provide labour for the construction.

Permanent Secretary Mr Joseva Sania said the assistance rendered is part of the Ministry?s Sports Ground Development Assistance with the hope of promoting the game of Cricket throughout Fiji.

Mr Sania further commented that the Ministry is committed towards the development of minor sports in Fiji and providing facilities for Cricket in Lau is vital as the sports is more popular in Lau.

?We want proper facilities in remote areas of the country so that we could nurture talents at the grassroots level,? Mr Sania added.

The total estimated cost of the cricket pitches is about $10,000.

Cricket Fiji chief executive officer, Inoke Lesuma commended the government?s assistance especially with cricket holding the historical significance of being the oldest game in Fiji.

Cricket Fiji would be monitoring the project on the two islands.

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