DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATIONFIJI NEWS SUMMARY08/11/15

1. Ambassador DEO Saran presents his credentials to Grand Duke of Luxembourg – Fiji?s Ambassador to the European Union and non-resident Ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Deo Saran has presented his credentials to HRH Henri Albert Gabriel F?lix Marie Guillaume, Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

2. VANUATU MISSION TO STUDY FIJI?S EMPLOYMENT SERVICES SECTOR – The Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations will host officials from the Government of Vanuatu?s Department of Labour from the 9th to the 12th of November.

1. Ambassador DEO Saran presents his credentials to Grand Duke of Luxembourg

Fiji?s Ambassador to the European Union and non-resident Ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Deo Saran has presented his credentials to HRH Henri Albert Gabriel F?lix Marie Guillaume, Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

At the Letters of Credence ceremony held at the Grand Ducal Palace in Luxembourg City, Ambassador Saran conveyed the warm greetings of His Excellency the President and people of Fiji. He pointed out that Fiji valued the long-standing friendship and cordial relations shared with the Government and the People of Grand Duchy of Luxembourg even before formal diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in January 1971.

Ambassador Saran noted that this was an important phase for the Grand Duchy in the context of the European Union as Luxembourg was holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the twelfth time. He also noted Luxembourg?s strong commitment to the Overseas Development Assistance and consistent contribution of around 1% to ODA funds.

Fiji, as a small island developing State, and a member of the ACP Group, welcomed the promotion of sustainable development and the strengthening of the European Union’s presence on the global stage, which were among the key pillars of the Luxembourg Presidency. He added that 2015 is a very important year for the entire world and especially Small Island Developing States. With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the recent UNGA 70th Session, the focus now is the Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris this year.

Ambassador Saran informed the Grand Duke on the Pacific Islands Development Forum held recently in Fiji and the adoption of the Suva Declaration on Climate Change. This landmark declaration clearly sets out the agreed demands of the Pacific Island Developing States for an acceptable outcome at the UN Climate Conference in Paris later this year.

Ambassador Saran also briefed the Grand Duke on the Fijian economy, highlighting that it provisionally grew by 5.3 percent in 2014 and is expected to grow for the 6th consecutive year in 2015.

The Grand Duke was briefed on a series of bilateral meetings including with European Investment Bank, SES (one of the world?s prime satellite operators), Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Fiji is keen to look at all areas in deepening bilateral cooperation with the Grand Duchy and will work closely with the relevant Government agencies to achieve this.

The Fijian envoy also extended an invitation to the Grand Duke to visit Fiji.

Ambassador Saran was accompanied by Fiji?s Counsellor at the Fiji Mission in Brussels Nidhendra Singh and Fiji?s Honorary Consul in Luxembourg Mr Philipp Thomas.

2. VANUATU MISSION TO STUDY FIJI?S EMPLOYMENT SERVICES SECTOR

The Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations will host officials from the Government of Vanuatu?s Department of Labour from the 9th to the 12th of November.

The purpose of the visit is to gain technical knowledge of Fiji?s employment creation service through the National Employment Centre (NEC) to assist Vanuatu?s disenfranchised workers affected by Cyclone Pam and unemployed youth.

The Vanuatu Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report launched by the Vanuatu Government, estimated that Cyclone Pam has affected directly and indirectly the livelihoods of about 40,800 households or 195,000 people and a total of 504,050 work days or VT1.6 billion of personal income has been lost. As a result, Vanuatu is researching models that exist in the Asia Pacific region to take on lessons learned and best practices.

In doing so, Vanuatu recognises the value in undertaking a study of Fiji?s National Employment Centre.

Hon. Semi Koroilavesau, Minister for Employment welcomes the Vanuatu team and is pleased Fiji is able to assist our neighbouring family and friends in a time of great need. He adds Fiji?s labour reform, through the establishment of the National Employment Centre continues to benefit our Pacific family.