1.?THREE-DAY CONFERENCE AIMS TO EMPOWER YOUTHS -?More than 500 young people from the four divisions in Fiji including Rotuma would be converging in Suva for a three day National Youth and Sports Conference as part of Youth Day celebrations.
2.?MINISTER VISITS INFOFISH INTERNATIONAL -?Minister for Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, and Primary Industries, Inia Seruiratu has this week joined a 10 member delegation from his Ministries who are on tour of Malaysia.
3.?ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES NOW REGULATED -?The Health Ministry has achieved another milestone as for the first time electronic cigarette (e-cigarettes) retailers will now have to be registered and licensed.
1.?THREE-DAY CONFERENCE AIMS TO EMPOWER YOUTHS
More than 500 young people from the four divisions in Fiji including Rotuma would be converging in Suva for a three day National Youth and Sports Conference as part of Youth Day celebrations.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports would be hosting the conference at the Vodafone Arena from?June 24 to 26?with the theme ?Strengthening Youth in Decision-Making Processes?.
Ministry permanent secretary Josefa Sania said the decision to organise a conference as part of the Youth Day celebrations was made with the sole purpose of empowering young people.
?The ministry has decided that instead of the usual youth day celebrations, a conference would be organised with the sole purpose of empowering young people,? Mr Sania said.
?The three-day conference will be packed with powerful sessions from selected speakers on issues aimed at influencing youth to make informed choices ?in life, including issues relating to ?health, environment, sports, human rights, leadership and ethics.?
?There will also be sessions where youths will share their views on these thematic areas and where they can contribute to the policy process,? he added.
Mr Sania highlighted that youths converging at the conference would also be taking part in a cultural show and competition where they would be awarded for their artistry and originality to recognize their talents and abilities.
?The first two days will have cultural items in the evenings and the youth groups or representatives from each division are encouraged to showcase their talents and artistic skills,? ?Mr Sania said.
?This will culminate in an awards night on June 26 ? the last day of the conference.?
He said the awards night will also recognise youth and clubs from each division for their contribution towards youth and sports development. The third day of the conference is for sports awareness and will bring over 500 youths to show how sports can contribute to social cohesion, unity, discipline and comradeship.
Mr Sania said the youth from Rotuma were already in Suva while some would arrive later this week and early next week.
He also acknowledged the support from other stakeholders that have made this event possible including the Fiji National Sports Commission, UNFPA, UNDP, Think Pacific, UNICEF and Fiji Sports Council to name a few.
The Minister for Youth and Sports Viliame Naupoto will officially open the National Youth and Sports Conference?on Tuesday next week.
2.?MINISTER VISITS INFOFISH INTERNATIONAL
Minister for Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, and Primary Industries, Inia Seruiratu has this week joined a 10 member delegation from his Ministries who are on tour of Malaysia.
Mr Seruiratu and his delegation paid a courtesy visit to INFOFISH International in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
During his meeting with the INFOFISH director general, Dr Abdul Basir Kunhimohammed, Mr Seruiratu conveyed Cabinet?s recent approval for Fiji to join INFOFISH International.
?Fiji has been an observer for the last 25 years, although it was one of the countries that agreed to its set up. By becoming a member, Fiji recognizes the importance of INFOFISH and how it can assist in developing our fisheries sector ?, Mr Seruiratu said.
?The decision is all part of Government?s policy to broaden Fiji?s engagement with international agencies
?While Fiji has a lot to contribute, it will also benefit from INFOFISH?s various technical assistance?, he added.
Dr Basir said INFOFISH was pleased with the Fijian Government?s decision.
?INFOFISH welcomes the Fijian Government?s decision. We have been trying in the past to get Fiji on board and this decision will increase our scope of activities and assistance in the Pacific since Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands are already members?, Dr Basir said.
Dr Basir also took the opportunity to request Fiji to host the Pacific Tuna Conference in 2015 which was acknowledged by the Minister.
Mr Seruiratu presented Fiji?s flag to Dr Basir which was hoisted last night at the INFOFISH Office, followed by the singing of Fiji?s national anthem.
Mr Seruiratu will also call on his counterpart, the Minister of Rural and Regional Development during his visit to Malaysia.
Yesterday, the delegation met with a number of business people interested in engaging with Fiji, and the MARA Institute. The delegation also visited Malaysia?s agency responsible for trade, MATRADE.
3.?ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES NOW REGULATED
The Ministry of Health has achieved another milestone, as for the first time, electronic cigarette (e-cigarettes) retailers will now have to be registered and licensed.
This call comes after Cabinet endorsed the Health Ministry?s Amendments to the Tobacco Control Decree 2010 to regulate e-cigarettes?on Tuesday?(June 17, 2014).
A Cabinet meeting on?October 14?last year reflected its full support and agreed that e-cigarette should be regulated with special emphasis on the following areas; manufacturers, importers and retailers to be registered and licensed annually, ban on advertising and promotion of the product, ban on the sales to persons under the age of 18years, and ban the use of these products in certain public places.
The need to regulate e-cigarettes came about as it was aggressively entering into global, regional and domestic markets with unproven claims of safety and efficacy as smoking cessation aids.
This had also prompted all states that are Party to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to regulate e-cigarettes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently reviewing the existing evidence around e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) to determine their safety and efficacy.
WHO is also working with national regulatory bodies to look at regularity options as well as toxicology experts to understand more about the impact e-cigarettes may have on health.
?E-cigarettes? are defined as any electronic device consisting of a battery-powered heating element, cartridge and atomiser that is shaped like a cigarette, cigar or pipe designed to deliver nicotine or other substances to a user in the form of a vapour.
The Ministry of Health therefore aims to support the government in making and enforcing policies that protect the health of present and future generations of Fiji from the devastating health consequences, as well as the economic and social burden of tobacco use.