MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 08/05/14 5:00PM

 

  1. Fijian Ambassador Presents Credentials In Kuwait – Fiji?s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Robin Nair recently presented his credentials as Fiji?s first non-resident Ambassador to the State of Kuwait.

 

  1. More than $100m spent for Cakaudrove for the last 3 yrs – The Minister for Rural and Maritime Development, Mr Inia Seruiratu, has urged the members of the Cakaudrove Provincial Council to be committed and serve their communities ?with truth and vigilance?.

 

  1. Fijian Ambassador Presents Credentials in Oman – Ambassador Robin Nair recently presented his credentials to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Sultan of Oman, as Fiji?s first ambassador (non-resident) to the Sultanate.

 

  1. GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE TO DEVELOP EDUCATION FOR YOUNG WOMEN – Financial assistance has been allocated for the Fiji Girl Guides Association and selected young girls in the Pan Pacific & South East Asia Women’s Association’s (PPSEAWA) ?projects focus area? (an informal settlement) to be equipped for the next school term.

 

  1. MINISTRY SPEARHEADS PROGRAM TO DEVELOP DISABILITY AWARENESS – The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation in partnership with the Fiji National Council for Persons Living with Disability (FNCDP), are pursuing programs to empower the persons living with disabilities.

 

  1. Mainstreaming Youth in the Post-2015 Agenda: Inclusive Youth Development – ?Colombo, Sri Lanka is buzzing with excitement as more than 1500 people gather from the 6th?to the 10th?of May for the?World Conference on Youth 2014.

 

  1. GLOBAL BANK COMMENDS FIJI?S ?EFFECTIVE CASH MANAGEMENT PRACTICE? – The 4th Asian Development Bank Debt Forum held in Tbilisi, Georgia last week brought together Debt managers from ADB member countries and multilateral agencies.

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1 Fijian Ambassador Presents Credentials In Kuwait

Fiji?s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Robin Nair recently presented his credentials as Fiji?s first non-resident Ambassador to the State of Kuwait.

Ambassador Nair presented the greetings of the President, His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to to the Amir of the State of Kuwait, His Highness the Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah at the ceremony of credence.

He told the Amir that Fiji was keen to develop further bilateral relations with Kuwait and he hoped his presence in the region would achieve that.

The Amir responded that Fiji was ?very dear to their hearts, in particular for its peace keeping efforts in the region and especially in Iraq.?

?Kuwait is most interested in the development goals of Fiji and indeed those of all the other Pacific Small Islands Developing States. It recognized the leadership of Fiji in its region. Kuwait will continue to offer development assistance to Fiji and the region through the Kuwait Fund?, the Amir told Ambassador Nair.

Ambassador Nair thanked the Amir for Kuwait?s interest and support for the newly established Pacific Islands Development Forum.

At earlier meetings with the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Nair was informed that Kuwait will be sending a Special Envoy of the First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the State of Kuwait to this year?s PIDF Meeting in June in Nadi and it will continue to support the development of the PIDF.

Ambassador Nair was traditionally welcomed with an isevusevu ceremony by the significantly large Fijian community working and living in Kuwait. He informed them that the Fijian Government valued them and he acknowledged that their regular financial remittances were not only important for their families and communities back home but it also contributed to the growth of the Fijian economy.

He assured them that the Embassy will always provide help and support to them and keep an eye on their welfare, living so far from home.

 

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2 More than $100m spent for Cakaudrove for the last 3 yrs

The Minister for Rural and Maritime Development, Mr Inia Seruiratu, has urged the members of the Cakaudrove Provincial Council to be committed and serve their communities ?with truth and vigilance?.

The Minister officiated at the opening of the one day Cakaudrove Provincial Council Meeting held this morning at the Tutu Training Centre. The meeting was also an opportunity for Minister Seruiratu to highlight government?s development projects in the province.

Minister Seruiratu said that Government has spent more than $100m for the funding of development projects in the province.

Funds were spent on improving infrastructure developments including the Buca Bay road, the Sevaci-Korotasere road, the Korosi-Balaga road and the Navonu ? Natewa road.

He highlighted that government will continue to develop and assist the province of Cakaudrove in terms of infrastructure, education and welfare.
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3 Fijian Ambassador Presents Credentials in Oman

Ambassador Robin Nair recently presented his credentials to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Sultan of Oman, as Fiji?s first ambassador (non-resident) to the Sultanate.

His Majesty Sultan Qaboos welcomed Ambassador Nair and said that he looked forward to closer bilateral relations with the Republic of Fiji.

Ambassador Nair conveyed the greetings of His Excellency President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and the Government and People of Fiji to the Sultan. He conveyed the Fijian Government?s appreciation to His Majesty for granting special exemption to Fiji in accepting concurrent accreditation of the Fijian Ambassador from the United Arab Emirates. Oman normally accepts non-resident ambassadors who are resident in Cairo (Egypt) and accredited to the Arab League or in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the seat of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Earlier Ambassador Nair met with the H.E. Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate, and H.E. Sayyid Badr Secretary General of the Oman Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Secretary General Badr acknowledged Fiji?s Leadership roles at the United Nations and among the Pacific Small Islands Developing States (PSIDS).

He expressed interest in the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) and explained to Ambassador Nair the role of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) for Regional Cooperation. IORA has a membership of 20 Indian Ocean Rim Countries, including the island nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Singapore. It is headquartered in Mauritius.

He said that Oman will consult the UAE, another member, to jointly invite PIDF to take up observer status in IORA.

The Omani Foreign Ministry welcomed Fiji?s intention of appointing an Honorary Consul in Oman?s capital, Muscat.

Ambassador Nair also met prospective candidates from the business community in Muscat who have expressed an interest.

 

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4 GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE TO DEVELOP EDUCATION FOR YOUNG WOMEN

Financial assistance has been allocated for the Fiji Girl Guides Association and selected young girls in the Pan Pacific & South East Asia Women’s Association’s (PPSEAWA) ?projects focus area? (an informal settlement) to be equipped for the next school term.

This development follows a recent donation of $5211.32 from PPSEAWA members in New York, USA.

The Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni presented the cheque on behalf of the PPSEAWA New York to the Fiji Girl Guides Association and PPSEAWA Fiji this week at the Ministry headquarters in Suva. The donation was in appreciation of the presentations made by the five girl guides at PPSEAWA’s 25th International Triennial?Conference which was held here in Suva, in August last year.

The girls presented on the topic ‘Are we doing enough for girls’.?Delegates from 12 countries representing the Pacific & South East Asia region were impressed with the clarity and sincerity with which the girls spoke on the topic. According to the group, the donation represents their appreciation towards the girls for their presentation.

PPSEAWA International first vice-president Mrs Ravesi Johnston said the money allocated to PPSEAWA Fiji will assist underprivileged girls to acquire essential items to help them with their studies.

?We are indeed grateful for this thoughtful donation provided by PPSEAWA members in New York. We know that the parents of the recipients of this donation will be really grateful as it will take care of a lot of the burden they shoulder at beginning of the school terms?, Mrs Johnston said.

?The objective is to support the educational needs of the young girls and because the Fijian government is providing free education, free text books and free bus fares, the decision was made by Madam Minister Dr Jiko Luveni, with our concurrence, that these funds will be utilized to purchase the school uniforms, stationaries, bags and shoes for the girls.

?The 5 Girl Guides will receive $500 each while the rest of the funds will be distributed among the needy families in Lovoni Street settlement in Suva which is one of PPSEAWA Fiji?s project areas. This generous donation will ensure that those families who normally face financial difficulties in sending their girls to school will be able to do so.? Assisting girls to stay in school is indeed a worthwhile investment,” Mrs Johnston explained.

She said this donation complements the PPSEAWA?s work in the areas of women empowerment, poverty alleviation and gender equality.

While speaking on behalf of the Fiji Girl Guides Association, Mrs Mere Tuikoro said the girl guides are appreciative of the assistance provided to empower them.

 

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5 MINISTRY SPEARHEADS PROGRAM TO DEVELOP DISABILITY AWARENESS

The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation in partnership with the Fiji National Council for Persons Living with Disability (FNCDP), are pursuing programs to empower the persons living with disabilities.

The Minister Dr Jiko Luveni said this development commits the Bainimarama Government to Fiji?s Constitution by incorporating the rights and interests of persons living with disabilities in Fiji.

?The supreme law of the nation promotes inclusivity and equality for persons living with disabilities in Fiji. The Ministry in collaboration with FNCDP and Non-Government Organisations has developed a work plan (2010 to 2018) that articulates all the key pillars of development that government will put in place to cultivate enabling and inclusive society for persons living with disabilities.

?One is the major plans is to expand the training facilities and centres for persons living with disability. Currently, there is a training centre in Suva and one in Labasa and there are plans to build a similar facility in western division.

The Ministry has also provided financial assistance of $200,000 to 17 Non-Government Organisations (NGO?s) that coordinates programs for persons living with disabilities in Fiji,? Dr Luveni explained.

The Minister said that those families who have persons living with disabilities are also given special consideration while applying for social welfare assistance.

Through the government?s Bus Fare Concession, persons living with disabilities also have the privilege to travel in buses for free and also get 20 percent discount on taxi fare for 20 kilometers travelled. To date total of 37,643 senior citizens along with 1307 persons living with disability are beneficiaries of the Bus Fare Concession.

She said that community awareness programs also focuses on eliminating discriminatory practices against persons living with disabilities.

?The Ministry has embarked on a program that enables the able bodied women to work alongside the women living with disabilities. This can be seen at the National Sewing Centre in Toorak, Suva, where the single mothers on social welfare programs along with members from women?s groups and women with disability are undergoing 3 months sewing training. The previous graduates of this program have successfully transferred from welfare to workfare.

?Creating such platform will enable persons living with disability to get an exposure of a working environment and seek employment. It also aims to remove discriminatory practices and enables the persons living with disabilities to develop fully their potentials to live independent lives,? Dr Luveni said.

 

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6 Mainstreaming Youth in the Post-2015 Agenda: Inclusive Youth Development

Colombo, Sri Lanka is buzzing with excitement as more than 1500 people gather from the 6th?to the 10th?of May for the?World Conference on Youth 2014.

With the theme ?Mainstreaming Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda?, delegates of the Conference aim to work together to finalize an outcome document known as the?Colombo Declaration on Youth?that should hopefully feed into the post- 2015 international framework for development, which will succeed the Millennium Development Goals of 2000.

The Minister for Youth and Sports, Commander Viliame Naupoto, was present at the first day of the Conference and in his address to the delegates and World Leaders present, spoke of steps taken in Fiji to include youth in development,?stating that we were at a cross road in our history as we lay the foundation of the post 2015 global development agenda.

?What we agree on at the end of this week will demonstrate our collective resolve as a planet to elevate youth as an integral component of the post 2015 agenda. We therefore acknowledge the decisive role of national strategic policies in promoting youth access to services.?

?Fiji?s National Youth Policy aims to provide an enabling environment where youth development is mainstreamed into the various focal areas of national development.?

Minister Naupoto went on to add his support for the inclusion of youth-focused goals in the post 2015 development framework.

?Youth should not be recognized or seen as a stand-alone issue in the post 2015 development agenda, it should be integrated as a cross cutting issue. I therefore support and call for youth focused targets and indicators in the post 2015 development process and inclusion of youth focused goals in the post 2015 development framework.?

Commander Naupoto further acknowledged the work of the Conference and stated his commitment to working with the agencies and colleagues in a constructive manner to achieve an outcome to this Conference.

The World Conference on Youth is also attended by Director for Youth and Sports, Mr William Naisara, Fiji National Delegate Mr Jone Nawaikula, World Conference on Youth International Facilitator Mr Sevuloni Ratu, Invited Guest Speaker Mr. Krishniel Narayan and Social Media Fellow Mr Fenton Lutunatabua.

 

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7 GLOBAL BANK COMMENDS FIJI?S ?EFFECTIVE CASH MANAGEMENT PRACTICE?

The 4th Asian Development Bank Debt Forum held in Tbilisi, Georgia last week brought together Debt managers from ADB member countries and multilateral agencies.

The Forum provides venue where government debt managers can meet and present public debt management practices from across the region, share experiences and develop a regional network.

The Forum agenda focused on the financing needs of governments, including accessing international capital markets, developing the domestic market for government securities, recent innovation in financing instruments such as foreign denominated domestic bonds, and investors’ perspectives on Asian sovereign credits. The agenda also covers many of the existing analytical frameworks available for managers.

Fiji?s representatives to the Forum include the Permanent Secretary for Finance Mr Filimone Waqabaca and Director Debt Management Mr Isikeli Voceduadua.

Fiji?s presentation on ?Governance in Debt Management and Cash Management? reforms was well received by members. The ADB commended the effective cash management practice adopted by the Fijian Ministry of Finance which has resulted in the reduction in short term debt and increase investment in money market.

The linking of Permanent Secretaries performance to budget execution has also strengthened compliance and budget management for all ministries.

The Fijian permanent secretary said some member countries expressed interest in adopting some of our sound debt and cashflow practices and for this the Ministry will work closely with relevant counterpart abroad.

The delegation also had an opportunity to meet six Fijian students studying medicine in Georgia.?Apart from updating students of what is happening at home, it allowed the students to share their experiences and some of the challengers they are facing.

MINFO