DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 17/10/14 4:30PM

1.?FIJI AND TUVALU PRIME MINISTERS SIGN LANDMARK AGREEMENT -?Today marked a historic occasion for Fiji and Tuvalu as their Heads of Governments, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, signed the Fiji-Tuvalu Maritime Boundary Treaty after years of negotiation.

 

2.?2015 NATIONAL NUTRITION SURVEY BEGINS NEXT WEEK -?The 2015 National Nutrition Survey that begins next week will provide policy makers the data required to address non-communicable diseases in the coming years.

 

3.?TUVALU PM VISITS PIDF SECRETARIAT -?The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) welcomed its first Pacific Island leader to its office, Prime Minister of Tuvalu H.E Enele Sopoaga.

 

4.?LANDS MINISTER OUTLINES MOVES TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY -?The Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources will continue to work on improving the functions and roles of the ministry to be more efficient, professional and transparent.

 

5.??RACE FOR SURVIVAL’ OFFICIATED BY ASSISTANT HEALTH MINISTER -?The Assistant Minister for Health Hon. Veena Bhatnagar officially launched the ?Race for Survival Event? at the Gurunank Primary School ground in Labasa today.

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1.?FIJI AND TUVALU PRIME MINISTERS SIGN LANDMARK AGREEMENT

Today marked a historic occasion for Fiji and Tuvalu as their Heads of Governments, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, signed the Fiji-Tuvalu Maritime Boundary Treaty after years of negotiation.

The signing took place in Suva and symbolised a significant milestone achievement for both countries as they concluded negotiations on the Fiji-Tuvalu MOU on Maritime Boundary Delimitation Agreement.

The treaty formally establishes the extent of the national areas of jurisdiction between Fiji and Tuvalu as recognised in international law under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

It has put to rest all the grey areas in maritime boundaries the two countries used to face in the past.

As neighbouring countries which not only share maritime boundaries but also close economic, political and cultural ties, we have set the pace for the negotiations on the other outstanding maritime boundary treaties that we have yet to conclude,? Prime Minister Bainimarama said.

?As Pacific Small Island Developing States, we have proven to the international community that we are no strangers to concluding highly technical and complex negotiations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).?

Fiji?s Prime Minister Bainimarama expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister Sopoaga of Tuvalu for his leadership, political will and commitment to the process.

He also paid tribute to the members of Fiji?s Maritime Affairs Coordination Committee who worked in close collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, particularly the Applied Geoscience & Technology Division (SOPAC), the Forum Fisheries Agency, Commonwealth Secretariat and the Government of Australia.

Fiji?s Maritime Affairs Coordination Committee consists of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, Attorney General?s Office, Fiji Navy and the Fiji Islands Maritime Safety Administration.

The last time Fiji signed a maritime boundary treaty was with France in 1983.

 

2.?2015 NATIONAL NUTRITION SURVEY BEGINS NEXT WEEK

The 2015 National Nutrition Survey that begins next week will provide policy makers the data required to address non-communicable diseases in the coming years.

The personnel who will be on the ground in the 45 survey sites were given one week training on how to go about obtaining the data needed.

Government Statistician, Mr Epeli Waqavonovono and participants with the survey kit

Government Statistician, Mr Epeli Waqavonovono, while closing the training today, told the 70 participants that a lot of important decisions will be made based on the information that they gather in the course of the survey.

?We all know that we have a serious problem with NCDs and the survey findings will give us further insights into why the problem persists,? he said.

?With a lot of important decisions reliant on the findings of the 2015 National Nutritional Survey, it is important that you put in your best effort to gather the right information.?

National Food and Nutrition Centre research officer, Ms Penina Vatucawaqa said data from 43 household in each of the 45 survey sites will include height, weight, blood sample and a questionnaire.

?We will also be looking at micro-nutrients such as Vitamin A, Iron, Folate and Zinc which will all contribute towards the data,? she said.

These surveys are done every decade with the last one in 2004 hence the data obtained in this round will be used to update or revise the policies on food and nutrition as well as the Fiji Plan of Action on Nutrition.

The participants were mostly dieticians and nurses as the survey is a project under the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

 

3.?TUVALU PM VISITS PIDF SECRETARIAT

?The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) welcomed its first Pacific Island leader to its office, Prime Minister of Tuvalu H.E Enele Sopoaga.

From Left-H.E Paulson Panapa, PIDF Deputy Secretary General Mr Penijamini Lomaloma, Madam Sopoaga, H.E Enele Sopoaga and PIDF Secretary General Mr Feleti Teo

From Left-H.E Paulson Panapa, PIDF Deputy Secretary General Mr Penijamini Lomaloma, Madam Sopoaga, H.E Enele Sopoaga and PIDF Secretary General Mr Feleti Teo

PM Sopoaga said the visit to the new secretariat, which opened doors in April this year, was extremely important to meet fellow members at the regional office.

?I?m proud that we have our own son serving as the first Secretary General?, the Hon. Prime Minister said as he referred to the Secretary General of the PIDF Mr Feleti Teo who is also a Tuvalu national.

In September this year, the Tuvaluan Prime Minister co-chaired the United Nation Climate Change summit in New York and called members for a strong collective leadership on the serious threats from global warming.

?It?s all about sustainable development and the security of environment in the Pacific.?

The Tuvaluan Prime Minister also met with Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to sign an agreement on Maritime Boundary Delimitation Agreement.

 

4.?LANDS MINISTER OUTLINES MOVES TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY

?The Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources will continue to work on improving the functions and roles of the ministry to be more efficient, professional and transparent.

This was highlighted by the Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Mere Vuniwaqa whilst delivering her Maiden Speech at today?s parliament seating.

?My goal is to transform this ministry into one of the most efficient, compassionate, professional and transparent in government.

?To do this we must first acknowledge that there is much work to be done on certain issues to need immediate attention including rectifying past mistakes cost by corrupt practices and lack of respect for human dignity, equality, basic fairness and good governance,? Mrs Vuniwaqa said.

Minister Vuniwaqa highlighted a major task include the review of the legislative frameworks that govern the management of state land, foreshores and land in the land bank.

?The overall focus of this review will be to ensure that Fiji has modern laws that promote business and investment on the one hand which looks after the best interests and rights of all Fijians including landowners on the other.

?For example, we begin work on the Evaluation Act that will for the first time set International Standards for the Land Evaluations done in Fiji to ensure consistency and fairness for landowners and leaseholders alike,? Mrs. Vuniwaqa said.

She also outlined the plans for the mining and mineral resource development in Fiji that ensures that this sector is poised for long term growth and sustainability.

?Of course, this work will be guarded by Fijian Constitution, which provides a fair share of royalties for landowners, as well as calling on government to responsibly protect and preserve our natural surrounding for the present and future generations.

The Lands Department will also adopt a Mangrove Management plan, so that foreshore development in Fiji is carried out in such a fashion that respects the value of this natural resource to our people and to our nation.

 

5.??RACE FOR SURVIVAL’ OFFICIATED BY ASSISTANT HEALTH MINISTER

Assistant Minister for Health Honorable Veena Bhatnagar in Labasa

Assistant Minister for Health Honorable Veena Bhatnagar in Labasa

The Assistant Minister for Health Hon. Veena Bhatnagar officially launched the ?Race for Survival Event? at the Gurunank Primary School ground in Labasa today.

The event initiated by Save the Children Fiji saw more than 400 children from different schools involved.

Ms Bhatnagar congratulated the non-government organisation for organising an event that recognises the important role of children in every society.

?As the country focuses on striving towards the Millennium Development Goal 4 of reducing child mortality in Fiji, emphasis is now placed on addressing this MDG in a collaborative manner where very person, family and agencies and the public t large has a significant role to play.?

Save the Children Fiji Chief Executive Officer Reijeli Nicole said the event is focused on communities and children can create cost effective ways to both conserve water and protect their health.