1.?????NEW OFFICE SITE IDENTIFIED FOR SECRETARIAT OF THE PACIFIC COMMUNITY?-?A new site outside of Suva has been identified to house the Secretariat of the Pacific Community that will centralise all its operations under one roof.
2.?????33 NEW WOMEN PROJECTS TO BE IMPLEMENTED IN 2014?-?The Fijian government?s focus on alleviating poverty through the economic empowerment of women will see the establishment of 33 new income generating projects in Fiji this year.
3.?????FIJI ENVOY VISITS RULER OF THE EMIRATE OF FUJAIRAH?-?Fiji?s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Robin Nair, paid a courtesy visit to the Ruler of the Emirate of Fujairah and a Member of the UAE Supreme Council, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi at the Royal Palace, this month.
4.?????FIJIAN DELEGATION TO PARTICIPATE IN SINGAPORE COOPERATION PROGRAMME?-?A delegation consisting of 9 officials from the Fijian Government have left for Singapore as a part of a study visit/exchange programme with the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP) organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore.
5.?????NEW CENTRE TO SYMBOLISE ARMED FORCES DEDICATION?-?The presentation of a Government quarters for the British Army Welfare Association will remind the public on the sacrifices made by Fijian men and women who have served in the British Armed Forces.
6.??????FIJI A REAL EXPERIENCE?: JAPANESE YOUTH OFFICIAL?-?Leaders of the Japanese youth delegation for Global Leaders Development (GLD) program currently in Fiji have been inspired by the Fijian hospitality and the experiences shared by the young people.
1?NEW OFFICE SITE IDENTIFIED FOR SECRETARIAT OF THE PACIFIC COMMUNITY
A new site outside of Suva has been identified to house the Secretariat of the Pacific Community that will centralise all its operations under one roof.
Fiji?s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola accompanied by the SPC Director General Collin Tukuitonga and senior Government officials toured the proposed site today.
The Ministry?s permanent secretary Amena Yauvoli said the purpose behind today?s site visit was to assess a suitable long term accommodation office space for the SPC in Fiji.
?There are seven locations spread over Suva and it is costing the Fijian government quite substantial amount of money,? Mr Yauvoli said.
?The concept is to consolidate all locations in Suva under one roof; this will provide meaningful benefits and a reduction in costs,? he said.
Meanwhile the SPC?s director general has welcomed the move by the Fijian government and highlighted that this latest development would boost efficiency within the SPC and strengthen its key goals and commitments.
?This will allow the SPC to consider other developments so with having the main hub under one roof will save costs, logistics, travel and increase support staff,? Mr Tukuitonga said.
2?33 NEW WOMEN PROJECTS TO BE IMPLEMENTED IN 2014
The Fijian government?s focus on alleviating poverty through the economic empowerment of women will see the establishment of 33 new income generating projects in Fiji this year.
This will now be possible through the Bainimarama government?s ?Women?s Plan of Action (WPA 2010 to 2019)? that is administered by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation.
The Ministry?s permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta said the funding is provided under the core thematic area of Women?s Plan of Action,?Formal Sector Employment and Livelihood.
?The Ministry is proud to announce that the funding for 33 Income Generating Projects for this year has been approved and these projects will be implemented by the women groups in the central, northern, western and eastern divisions. The total monetary value of these projects is $104,079.95?, Mr Koroivueta said.
?These projects are expected to generate financial returns for over 650 women all over Fiji and?it will also accompany skills development training on components of financial literacy, savings and self-reliance. The women will be engaging in poultry, bee-keeping, canteen, bakery, virgin coconut oil production and handicraft. These projects will be consistently monitored by the Department of Women,? he explained.
He said the 33 women?s groups had applied for the financial assistance through their divisional Women?s Interest Officers late last year.
?These groups had to submit their project proposal and in doing so were guided by the women officers. They would be receiving their project materials by next week and all the project coordinators will also be undergoing business skills training facilitated by Westpac Banking Corporation to ensure proper management of the finances.
?The Department have used more than 86 percent of the allocated budget through this program and will assist more women groups on a ?first come first serve? basis in order to utilize the remaining budget allocated for this program.
3?FIJI ENVOY VISITS RULER OF THE EMIRATE OF FUJAIRAH
Fiji?s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Robin Nair, paid a courtesy visit to the Ruler of the Emirate of Fujairah and a Member of the UAE Supreme Council, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi at the Royal Palace, this month.
The Emirate of Fujairah is the only Emirate that has a coast line on both the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. It has no oil wealth but it has used its strategic location with a deep water port on the Indian Ocean to be the world?s second largest oil trading centre after Singapore and above Rotterdam.? It has large oil bunkering facilities.
Ambassador Nair conveyed the best wishes from the President and the people of Fiji to His Highness and to the people of Fujairah, and congratulated the Emirate of Fujairah for its achievement in economic growth.
His Highness responded that he dedicated the achievements to his people and thanked Ambassador Nair for his visit to his Emirate. His Highness pointed out that Fujairah has a lot to offer in terms of its experiences in developing a successful economy through using its strategic location for trade, through attracting foreign investments into its Free Zones for manufacturing and value adding and through developing tourism.
Ambassador Nair also met Mr Sharief Habib Al Awadhi, the Director General and CEO of Fujairah Free Zone Authority. Mr Al Awadhi briefed Ambassador Nair on their Free Zone development and occupancy with tenants from around the world. These countries invest in manufacturing industries. The Free Zone also provides licensing for warehousing and general trading in gold, silver and value adding to second hand clothing. Ambassador Nair was also invited to be the keynote speaker at the Tax Free Zone Assembly in Fujairah from?4th to 5th March, 2014.
Fujairah is also the largest producer of fresh water through desalination plants in the greater Middle Eastern Region. They supply fresh water to other Emirates due to their access to the Indian Ocean.
4?FIJIAN DELEGATION TO PARTICIPATE IN SINGAPORE COOPERATION PROGRAMME
A delegation consisting of 9 officials from the Fijian Government have left for Singapore as a part of a study visit/exchange programme with the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP) organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore.
The objectives of the Fiji Civil Service Study Visit to Singapore are:
???To understand the relationship between the political establishment and the civil service in the areas of policy formulation and implementation;
???To understand the place of research and analysis in planning and policy formulation;
???To familiarise the basis for policy coherence and delivery and the coordination mechanism with the Singapore Service;
???To learn about the best practices in Singapore in promotion of efficiencies and productivity in the public sector;
???To learn how public servants get incentivized for going the extra mile in service delivery and for retention of scarce skills; and
???To help establish contacts and acquaintance for the necessary networking for further information sharing and idea for improved service delivery.
???Singapore, as a country, has been providing technical assistance to other developing countries since the 1960?s and believes strongly that human resource development is vital for economic and social progress of a country. Through the Singapore Cooperation program, which was established in 1992, Singapore has thus been able to contribute to the development of other countries through sponsored training courses and study visits for over 75,000 officials from 170 countries.
The Fiji Civil Service Study Visit/Exchange Programme will be held from the 19th?to the 21st?of February, 2014 and will involve visits to Ministries with overview briefings as well as more detailed one-on-one discussions with Senior Officials.
These discussions will be held on focus areas such a public sector reforms, policy developments, effective public administrations and various management tools used in policy implementations.
The list of participants who will attend is as follows:
???Permanent Secretary, PSC
???Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance
???Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics
???Deputy Secretary, Prime Minister?s Office
???Director of Policy, Prime Minister?s Office
???Acting Chief Economic Planning Officer, Ministry of Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics
???Chief Economic Planning Officer, Ministry of Finance
???Principal Administrative Officer, PSC
???Ambassador to Singapore
5?NEW CENTRE TO SYMBOLISE ARMED FORCES DEDICATION
The presentation of a Government quarters for the British Army Welfare Association will remind the public on the sacrifices made by Fijian men and women who have served in the British Armed Forces.
The presentation by Fiji?s Minister for Defence Mr Joketani Cokanasiga to the British High Commissioner to Fiji, H.E Roderick Drummond took place at Domain today.
The facility is designed to provide an office space for the Royal British Legion (Fiji Branch) and the British Forces Parents Fiji (BRISFAF) for Fijian armed forces personnel who have or continue to serve in the British Armed Forces.
Minister Cokanasiga said the Center will rekindle the close relationship between the Fiji and the British government.
?The hand-over is important as it will enable Fiji Citizens having served in the British Army with those still on active service and their families a place to meet and discuss similar experiences,? Mr Cokanasiga added.
?More importantly, this facility will also guide the young members of the association to start an income generation project such as bee keeping, poultry farms and horticulture.?
High Commissioner Drummond thanked the Fijian Government for identifying the quarters to accommodate the Welfare centre.
His Excellency added that the Center will symbolise the shared experience of those who have served the Crown and their families for the many years of shared service, sacrifice.
?When we open the Centre in a few months time, I hope we will see that this is a place of happiness and joy, for families to enjoy, with their children and grandchildren?, High Commissioner Drummond said.
The building will be extended and refurbished to accommodate the welfare centre and should be completed by the end of June.
The British Government funded the renovation works that will be carried out at the government quarters.
6??FIJI A REAL EXPERIENCE?: JAPANESE YOUTH OFFICIAL
Leaders of the Japanese youth delegation for Global Leaders Development (GLD) program currently in Fiji have been inspired by the Fijian hospitality and the experiences shared by the young people.
The facilitator for the Japanese GLD delegation Hazuki Dwyer said: ?The experience is just overwhelming and it has had a positive impact on these young people.?
?Japanese youths are very reserved and humble and form what we?ve noticed, the traditional welcoming ceremony and reception and the way they have been treated at their various families during homestays has really impacted them personally,? said Dwyer.
?The Fijian warmth and the whole Fijian experience has inspired, motivated and has boosted their self-confidence,? she added.
Dwyer said it was indeed an opportunity for them as foreigners to learn and share experiences with the locals.
The Japanese youths arrived on Thursday last week, travelled to Suva o?Friday?and were accorded a full traditional ceremony of welcome at the Youth Training Centre in Valelevu by the Minister for Youth and Sports Mr Viliame Naupoto.
Permanent Secretary for Youth and Sports Mr Josefa Sania, senior government officials, dignitaries and invited guests later hosted the delegation to a welcoming reception?on Friday?evening at the Tanoa Plaza.
The delegation visited the University of the South Pacific early?Saturday?morning before they were introduced to their Fijian families for homestays in the afternoon.
?My weekend was great and now I am a?kai Naitasiri,? said 21-year-old delegation members Isamu Moronaga.
?I have been entertained and welcomed to my homestay family as one of the own and was hosted to a great kava session,? he said with a broad smile.
?Now I want to come back and work in Fiji if there is an opening for me,? Moronaga said with a smile.
?We have really learnt a lot from our visits today and yesterday and what both countries need is a sense of pride within the community to help sustain good initiative and our environment,? Dwyer added.
?We have to take pride in our natural resources and nature or we will lose our identity,? she added.
The delegation will leave this evening for Naviti Hotel and will be hosted by Nakabuta and Vatuolalai villages for a day of cultural exchangestomorrow?before they flight back to Japan?on Wednesday?via Sydney.