- SOUTH KOREA TO SUPPORT FIJI AND PACIFIC SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES IN CLIMATE CHANGE PROGRAMMES
The Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) is committed to assisting Fiji and Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) address climate change challenges through constructive adaptation and mitigation programmes.
This was expressed by ROK Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se at a recent meeting with Fiji?s Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, ROK.
Minister Byung-se emphasized that the plights of the PSIDS are well recognized and understood by the Government of ROK and ?we will do all we can to provide some constructive and tangible support including representation at the next round of climate change negotiations in Paris?.
?Our President has made it very clear in recent meetings that vulnerable countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific are to be at the top most priority? he said.
The Honorable Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola thanked the ROK Government for their support saying that the ROK is recognized as a leader in climate change negotiation and this support will be appreciated.
?We welcome the support and look forward to some positives outcomes in the coming negotiations and also constructive outputs in terms of adaptation and mitigation projects and programmes? he said.
The two Ministers also discussed possible high level exchanges, ROK-PIC cooperation and Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) and cooperation at the international level including the United Nations.
Meanwhile the Director General of the Green Climate Policy Division of the ROK?s Ministry of Strategy and Finance, Mr. Kim Hoe Jeong in a meeting with Hon. Ratu Inoke, expressed the ROK?s Ministry of Strategy and Finances? willingness to engage with Fiji to pursue support of the Readiness Programme from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to be able to identify and develop climate change related projects for funding.
He said the GCF has set aside US$15million to be made available immediately to fund readiness programs.
?We are ready to assist Fiji to secure up to US$1million for its readiness programs which would include an assessment of the current climate change and green growth policies of Fiji, analysis on the energy demand of Fiji and the development of a national renewable energy plan.?
?This would assist in project pipeline development which will include potential project locations, feasibility studies, development of a project pipeline and preparing of a GCF funding proposal,? he added.
The Hon. Minister Ratu Inoke thanked Mr. Jeong for his expert advise and acknowledged the ROK?s hands on experiences with developing energy independent islands and key technologies, in particular, solar photovoltaics and energy storage systems.
Furthermore, he pledged Government?s support to the work to be undertaken by the Green Climate Policy Division in Fiji particularly in advancing Fiji?s readiness projects.
- MINISTER URGES PARENTS TO ENSURE CHIDLREN GIVEN BEST EDUCATION
Minister for Education Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy has reiterated the need for parents to ensure that their children are given the best education through the various initiatives and policies that have been introduced by Government.
Minister Reddy made the comments while opening a new Kindergarten block at the Nawai Primary School in Nadroga today.
He said never before has Fiji?s youths been given so much opportunity in the field of education which has seen free education in primary, secondary, tertiary and even early childhood education (ECE).
?There is so much opportunity that is available to our children, your children to ensure that their future is bright,? he said.
?But as parents encourage and empower them with love and support to see their education come to fruition when they become successful in life.?
Hon. Reddy said with the introduction of grants and fees for ECE, it gives another reason for parents to ensure that their children are in schools including kindergartens.
?Government has recognised the need for strengthening and improving early childhood education thus the reason to make it free as well and as for Nawai kindergarten, I hope that our mothers would not have to go to Nadi town to get ECE for their children,? Hon. Reddy added.
- MORE THAN 200 CENTRAL WOMEN IDENTIFIED FOR EXPO
Of the 608 women who participated in the two days central division craft show held in Suva this week, a total of 248 women have been selected to participate in the National Women?s Expo this year. These women will be fully sponsored by the Ministry of Women to showcase their talents at the Expo in October.
The craft held at the Suva Foreshore Carpark from Wednesday 22nd to Thursday 23rd July was organised by the Ministry of Women in partnership with Fiji Arts Council, Ministry of Health and Westpac. Craft shows are staged as built up events to the National Women?s Expo 2015 that will be held from the 14th to 16th October in Suva.
The central division craft show was officially closed on Thursday evening by the Permanent Secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Josefa Koroivueta.
Dr Koroivueta said these crafts shows have instilled a competitive environment to generate excellence in the quality and marketability of the products.
?When we had the first National Women?s Expo in 2014, it provided a learning stage for 2000 women who participated in the event. But this year, we are on a different game, which is to inculcate competition for excellence to meet the market demand. There are many marketing opportunities out there but we have to rise to those challenges. I thank all our sponsors and partners who have stood by us to see the success of this craft show.
?Women artisans are able to come forward and showcase their talents in terms of design, innovation and creativeness. Fijian women can no longer wait to be economically empowered, to find the niche market and we are making it happen for them. The theme this year?s Expo is, ?connecting women to the market, making it happen,? whether it is a domestic market or overseas market, it?s crucial that there is continuity, and sustainable livelihood gains to you and your family,? Dr Koroivueta said.
The Ministry had so far registered 1854 women?s groups through divisional craft shows, the one organised in Suva has been the ninth show.? A total of 409 women have also been identified from the western, northern and eastern divisions to participate in the National Women?s Expo 2015.
?This forum provides an avenue for empowerment of our women, to increase your morale, build your confidence, enabling you to become financially independent. Through these events we have motivated you towards the pathway of excellence and perseverance to produce quality and unique products. Identify the resources, which has been given to you and use your talents and skills to give it a brand,? Dr Koroivueta said.
Uthra Mati from the Gyan Women?s Club in Navua has thanked the Ministry for providing them with this marketing opportunity.
?We have earned more than $400 just by selling the home made products and Indian sweets. We are grateful that the Ministry has organised this craft show, it also enabled us to network and share ideas with other women groups,? Mrs Mati said.
Speaking on behalf of women from Serua province, their representative, Mrs Veniana Anthony describes the craft show as a great platform to promote the talents of rural women.
?We are so excited for the National Women?s Expo. The women from Serua province have been selected for the National Women?s Expo in October and we will be selling products like handicrafts, soyer sauce, jams, seaweed products, pickles and food.
Through the Suva craft show, the women from Serua province has been able to earn more than $3000 in just two days. This has been a great experience for the Serua women and we thank this government for prioritising and promoting the economic empowerment of rural women. Through the government?s assistance, the Serua women will soon have a women?s resource centre of their own,? Mrs Anthony said.
- YOUTH PUT THEIR VIEWS TO THE FORE
The National Youth Council of Fiji has lent the voice of the young people to the National Development Plan consultations underway.
Council president, Wiliame Nayacatabu said members gave their views yesterday on issues affecting them as they feel that they will be the beneficiaries of whatever decisions Government makes.
?We want to thank Government for providing the platform for young people to give their input on what they want in terms developments in the next five and 20 years because the last time a consultation was undertaken was before 1987 coup,? he said.
Mr Nayacatabu said the youth were the largest group in Fiji as it consisted of around 37 per cent of the total population so it was important to get their input.
He said some of the issues that the youth wanted to be incorporated into the plan included providing space and platform for youth to participate in national events.
The youth leader said it was equally important for young people to be empowered.
?We not only want the views of the youth to be taken on board but for them to be involved in all spheres of decision making,? Mr Nayacatabu said.
Over 20 people, mostly members of the council which is apolitical, turned up for the consultation and were assured by the officials that their views will be taken on board when the plans are being drafted.
The consultation was held at the Suva Government Service Centre.
- DECENTRALISATION OF YOUTH SERVICES HIGHLIGHTED AT NDP CONSULTATIONS
Decentralising of youth services to ease accessibility were one of the many issues raised at the NDP consultations that was held at the University of the South Pacific yesterday.
Suli Sarosaro said there is need to increase budgetary allocation for this sort of development.
?I believe that the decentralisation of the Ministry of Youth and Sports services should be given prominence as our youths are the future leaders of Fiji ?and we need to maximise their participation at all levels,? Mr Sarosaro said.
?One other area that should be looked into is the recruitment of ?more technical staff at the Ministry and this is one area which we need to improve on.?
Mr Sarosaro added that there was a need to have more recreational centres for youths at formal and informal settlements.
Melvin Rohitesh Chand an economist student made his submissions on the establishment of a minimum core standards to bind government to enforce the NDP policies.
Kaajal Kumar student and Executive Director of Aspire Network suggested for an improvement in national security.
?There needs to be more officers recruited in the force which means we accept good services from them,? Ms Kumar said.
Part of her submission was the need for Government to improve the roads in the country.
- WOMEN SHOWCASE THEIR FASHION TALENTS AT THE CRAFT SHOW
Apart from showcasing their handicraft and home-made products, the participants of the central division craft show in Suva had the opportunity to display their fashion designs.
The women from Naitasiri, Serua, Namosi, Rewa and Tailevu province didn?t shy away from participating from modelling women?s wear at the craft show held at the Suva Foreshore on Thursday this week. The show enabled 6 new designers from rural communities to showcase their fashion designing skills for the very first time.
Participating in the fashion designs was 43 year old Mrs Repeka Tuilawa from Rewa. Designing with creativity has always been the passion for Ms Tuilawa.
?The wedding attire is made out of masi print material with cream color decorated with magimagi. I usually sell these designs at prices ranging from $100 to $250. I am also assisted by my husband in my designs and we receive orders from Suva and the Western division as well.
?I have always been passionate about designing from my schools days. It is now my major source of income to support the education of my children. I have also done some studies in fashion designing and tailoring. I also design butterfly dresses and sulu jaba. This is the first time I have showcased my designs and I look forward to showcase some new designs in the upcoming National Women?s Expo in October,? Mrs Tuilawa said.
Permanent Secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Josefa Koroivueta?commended the talents of the rural women.
?The Ministry will work together to help you reach your maximum potential and we will never disappoint you, I can assure you that. You have what it takes to contribute positively to the development of this nation. When we empower women, we empower families, communities and the nation.
The Expo will be a platform to promote and recognize your creativity, skills and talents,? Dr Koroivueta said.