- GUYANA AND FIJI ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS – The Republic of Guyana and the Republic of Fiji formalized diplomatic relations at a ceremony at the Permanent Mission of Guyana to the United Nations in New York on 8 December, 2014.
- INDONESIAN DIRECTOR GENERAL FOR INFORMATION CALLS ON MINISTRY OF YOUTH AND SPORTS – The Director General of Information and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Her Excellency Esti Andayani paid a courtesy visit to the Fijian Ministry of Youth and Sports in Suva this morning.
- HEALTH MINISTRY RECEIVES WHEELCHAIRS – The Ministry of Health and Medical Services received a total of 110 wheelchairs from the Wheelchair Foundation (US) to assist every child, teen and adult in need of a wheelchair in Fiji.
- NEW PORTFOLIO TO STRENGTHEN CHILDCARE SERVICES IN FIJI – The Hon. Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Sofia Akbar has explained that the inclusion of a ‘Children’ portfolio emphasizes the Government’s commitment to childcare services in the country.
1 GUYANA AND FIJI ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS
The Republic of Guyana and the Republic of Fiji formalized diplomatic relations at a ceremony at the Permanent Mission of Guyana to the United Nations in New York on 8 December, 2014.
The Permanent Representative of Guyana to the United Nations, Ambassador George Talbot and his Fiji counterpart, Ambassador Peter Thomson, signed a joint communiqué establishing diplomatic relations between the two States.
The communiqué conveys the agreement of both States for their diplomatic relations to be guided by the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and international law, particularly on equality among States, respect for national sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs of other States, and respect for international treaties.
The communiqué expresses the desire of both States to strengthen bonds of friendship and cooperation between their two countries in political, economic, cultural, humanitarian and other fields.
Following the formalization ceremony, Ambassadors Talbot and Thomson held talks on areas of common interest between their two countries and potential areas of cooperation at the United Nations, including the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Financing for Development Conference to be held in Addis Ababa in July 2015.
2 INDONESIAN DIRECTOR GENERAL FOR INFORMATION CALLS ON MINISTRY OF YOUTH AND SPORTS
The Director General of Information and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Her Excellency Esti Andayani paid a courtesy visit to the Fijian Ministry of Youth and Sports in Suva this morning.
Director General Her Excellency Esti Andayani was accompanied by the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Fiji His Excellency Dr Gary Jusuf.
In receiving the Indonesian envoy on behalf of the Minister for Youth and Sports, the Permanent Secretary Josefa Sania said that the visit would strengthen cooperation between the Fijian and Indonesian Government.
Their discussions centred on ways of strengthening relations between Fiji and Indonesia on the areas of youth and sports development.
Mr Sania also stated that there were facilities available for the training of youths situated around the country which could be utilised for training by Indonesian trainers.
The Director General of Information and Public Diplomacy was also present at the opening of the Training of Trainers workshop at Nasau Training Centre in Sigatoka yesterday and expressed her appreciation to the Ministry for its commitment to the development of youth in the country.
Mr Sania also reaffirmed his commitment to working closely with the Indonesian embassy in areas of youth and sports development and other areas of mutual interest.
3 HEALTH MINISTRY RECEIVES WHEELCHAIRS
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services received a total of 110 wheelchairs from the Wheelchair Foundation (US) to assist every child, teen and adult in need of a wheelchair in Fiji.
The Wheelchair Foundation is a charitable organisation with the goal to provide free wheelchair to every child, teen and adult worldwide in need of one but has no means to acquire one.
The Hon. Minister for Health and Medical Services, Mr Jone Usamate said the ministry has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Foundation, which had donated over 300 wheelchairs since 2011.
“These wheelchairs will go to hospitals, non-governmental organisation groups such as Rotary, Lions for distribution Fiji wide. The ministry has contributed $9000 towards the transportation of wheelchairs from the manufacturers and the Foundation had matched the balance of over $30, 000,” Mr Usamate said.
The Minister added that 90 wheelchairs would be given to the ministry to be distributed to selected health facilities in the Western, Northern, Eastern and Central divisions while 20 will be given to NGOs who have a list of people in need of wheelchairs.
Minister Usamate stressed the need for proper care of wheelchairs given to each organisation and thanked the Wheelchair Foundation and Former Fiji citizen, Mr Chetan Singh Heyer based in San Francisco who had been the lead person heading the donation and efforts for fundraising in the USA.
4 NEW PORTFOLIO TO STRENGTHEN CHILDCARE SERVICES IN FIJI
The Hon. Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Sofia Akbar has explained that the inclusion of a ‘Children’ portfolio emphasizes the Government’s commitment to childcare services in the country.
“In the history of Fijian politics, this is the only democratically elected government to place children’s affairs at the top of the national agenda, with a budgetary allocation of $2.5 million,” Minister Akbar said.
“I am pleased to say, that it is through the government’s collaborative approach to development that has transpired Fiji’s First National Child Helpline. This much-awaited platform will actualize through the Ministry’s partnership with Medical Services Pacific, Vodafone, Digicel and Telecom Fiji Limited.
“This event alone signifies the importance of the name change, its marks the beginning of many great initiatives that has been planned by the Ministry.
“Furthermore, it is only this government that cares to have a Ministry for Children, a deed aligned to our own Constitution. Article 41 of our Constitution specifically makes provision for the protection of children from abuse, neglect, harmful cultural practices, any form of violence, inhumane treatment and punishment, and hazardous or exploitative labour or detention,” Minister Akbar explained.
In September this year, Fiji presented its 2nd, 3rd and 4th Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) report to UNCRC Committee in Geneva.
“Government is signatory to the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child and as a nation we are duty bound to fulfil our obligations under this Convention. Delightful acclamations from local institution and international organisations in particular UN agencies have been received with the name change.”
Fiji ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1993. This Convention sought to protect the interests as well as the rights of children.