- PM CONGRATULATES NEWLY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA – Prime Minister Hon. Voreqe Bainimarama has sent a congratulatory letter to the newly elected President of the Federated States of Micronesia, H.E. Peter. M. Christian.
- FIJIAN ENVOY TO UN OFFICE IN GENEVA PAYS COURTESY CALL TO UNCTAD SG – Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Ambassador Nazhat S. Khan paid a courtesy call on Mr Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD in Geneva today to discuss Fiji’s participation in UNCTAD activities and to advance UNCTAD projects in Fiji and the region.
- FIJI TO HAVE A NATIONAL HELPLINE TO ADDRESS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – Following the launch of Fiji’s first National Child Helpline in April this year, the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has begun plans to establish a dedicated helpline to assist women particularly in addressing domestic violence cases.
- FIJI TO HAVE SAFE HOUSES: AKBAR – There are plans by the Fijian Government to build safe houses for women who are victims of domestic violence and abuse.
- SMART FARMING CONCEPT IMPORTANT: SERUIRATU – The Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime and National Disaster Management Hon. Inia Seruiratu has called on farmers to pursue smart farming using the organic concept.
- PHASE II OF IMPAIRMENT ASSESSMENT TRAINING FOR MEDICAL DOCTORS – The Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations today facilitated the second phase of the training on Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, for medical doctors.
- FEED BILL AND AGRICULTURE POLICY 2020 DISCUSSED AT LIVESTOCK FORUM – The draft Fiji Livestock Bill and the 2020 Agriculture Policy documents were highlighted to stakeholders attending the Fiji Livestock Sector Forum Meeting at the Tanoa International Hotel which continues this week in Nadi.
1 PM CONGRATULATES NEWLY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
Prime Minister Hon. Voreqe Bainimarama has sent a congratulatory letter to the newly elected President of the Federated States of Micronesia, H.E. Peter. M. Christian.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Fiji, I extend my warmest congratulations on your election as the eighth President of the Federated States of Micronesia,” PM Bainimarama said.
“A great honour has been bestowed on you by your people and we wish you the very best as you begin your mandate to serve them.”
In his message, the head of government said that Fiji greatly values its friendship with the FSM and pledges to work with her to strengthen bilateral relations and pursue areas of mutual interest between the two countries.
“I look forward, in particular, to jointly advancing the cause of all Pacific Islanders as we face the threat of rising sea levels caused by climate change,” PM Bainimarama said.
“Fiji will be joining those nations pressing for deep and binding cuts in carbon emissions when we gather in Paris for the World Climate Summit at the end of November.”
In this regard, the Prime Minister urged President Christian in joining Fiji in a concerted campaign by Pacific Island nations to “make our voices heard” at the global summit.
2 FIJIAN ENVOY TO UN OFFICE IN GENEVA PAYS COURTESY CALL TO UNCTAD SG
Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations office in Geneva, Ambassador Nazhat S. Khan, paid a courtesy call on Mr Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD in Geneva today to discuss Fiji’s participation in UNCTAD activities and to advance UNCTAD projects in Fiji and the region.
The Ambassador and Mr Kituyi discussed preparations for UNCTAD’s XIVth conference to be held in Peru in 2016, and the possibility of holding activities targeted for the Pacific within the Pacific region. They also shared experiences with projects and programmes designed to stimulate economies in a development-friendly manner, such as mobile banking and mobile market updates enabling greater participation by small-scale farmers in direct trade.
The UNCTAD Secretary-General briefed the Ambassador on the upcoming review of Fiji’s Competition Policy at an UNCTAD conference in July, and the Ambassador indicated that she would work with the delegation to that conference to ensure maximum benefit of the sharing of experiences inherent to such reviews. This will be the first concrete engagement with UNCTAD since the establishment of Fiji’s Mission in Geneva, and both expressed their desire to step up engagement going forward.
3 FIJI TO HAVE A NATIONAL HELPLINE TO ADDRESS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Following the launch of Fiji’s first National Child Helpline in April this year, the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has begun plans to establish a dedicated helpline to assist women particularly in addressing domestic violence cases.
This was presented in Parliament this morning by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar.
“Our Ministry is collaborating with the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre on a communication plan towards the elimination of domestic violence in Fiji. More to that is to explore, for the first time, the establishment of the Domestic Violence National Helpline to that parallel with the National Child Help Line.
“The Fijian Government views violence against women as every Fijians’ responsibility. There is a need for a concerted effort in educating our communities, providing them with appropriate information, guiding them on all aspects of life, to increase their sense of responsibility and to help them build the strength and content of their character,” Minister Akbar said.
She also provided an update and way forward in the implementation of the Ministry’s Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign.
“The Ministry in partnership with the Fiji Police Force has successfully declared 39 communities as violence free while 50 communities are working with the Ministry towards declaration for violence-free. There will be an external evaluation undertaken to review the violence free campaign and recommend on the strategic directions to meet best practice standards in program delivery, content and uptake.
“An important component of the violence free campaign is the establishment of the Gatekeepers. It’s made up of (Community Leaders, Faith based Organizations, village headman, Women Representative and Youth Representative and Advisory Councils) who are trained and mentored to provide counseling for victims of domestic violence, establish a functional communication with the Police, and these are the front line responders to domestic violence in the community and monitor occurrences of domestic violence in their community,” Minister Akbar said.
The Minister reiterated that communities also need to understand the existing legislations to access legal services.
“Our Constitution provides for protection of all and for all rights. The laws that are relevant for Domestic Violence are: Domestic Violence Decree, Crimes Decree, Employment Relations Promulgation, Family Law Act, Child Welfare Decree, Sentencing and Penalties Decree and Criminal Procedure Decree. The Ministry is furthering the MOU with the police in domestic violence to ensure that there is greater urgency during immediate response to victims of domestic violence and to see that the No Drop Policy is upheld at all times,” Minister Akbar said.
It was also highlighted that 64% of women in Fiji have experienced physical and or sexual violence by a husband or intimate partner.
4 FIJI TO HAVE SAFE HOUSES: AKBAR
There are plans by the Fijian Government to build safe houses for women who are victims of domestic violence and abuse.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar while responding to a supplementary questions posed by the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Ro Teimumu Kepa in Parliament today.
The Leader of the Opposition raised a question on the provision of safe houses for women in villages and squatter settlements.
Minister Akbar in response said that safeguarding the rights of women is a key priority for the Ministry and plans are in place to build a safe house in Fiji.
“Currently, we don’t have a permanent safe house and plans are underway to build a safe house for women. The Ministry is working together with Non-Government Organisations and hopefully we will see two safe houses in Fiji, one that will be run by the NGO while other one from the government side,” Minister Akbar explained.
The Minister for Women also explained about a response team that acts promptly to deal with domestic violence cases that are referred directly to the Ministry.
“There is increased awareness and thus more women are coming out and reporting cases. The Ministry is also going to mainstream gender issues across government services. We take these issues very seriously and we have our officers who are available 24/7 to ensure that when a report is made to us we provide them with instant service and we have a response team that acts swiftly to assist the victims of domestic violence and abuse,” Minister Akbar said.
5 SMART FARMING CONCEPT IMPORTANT: SERUIRATU
The Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime and National Disaster Management Hon. Inia Seruiratu has called on farmers to pursue smart farming using the organic concept.
The Minister made the comment when he recently visited the Taiwan Technical Mission [TTM] based at the Sigatoka Research Station.
The main aim of the visit was to get an update on the organic technologies used by TTM and how it is transferred to the farmers in the Sigatoka Valley.
“Fiji needs to replicate such technology in other areas around the country,” Mr Seruiratu said.
He said the Ministry of Agriculture will need to adopt the concept of smart and organic farming to minimize costs and maximize the farmer’s gross margin benefits.
“The smart farming approach is environmental friendly and does not involve lots of other foreign chemicals or technology and farmers through this concept can produce off season crops to provide extra income for farmers.”
Minister Seruiratu said using chemical fertilisers was expensive and is not environmental-friendly.
“Organic farming is suitable for our farmers because it’s environmental friendly, cheap and also helps the farmers in earning more income.”
Meanwhile, two farmers Mant Kumar of Bilalevu and Pushkar Charan from Malaqereqere practicing TTM technologies were also visited by the Minister.
6 PHASE II OF IMPAIRMENT ASSESSMENT TRAINING FOR MEDICAL DOCTORS
The Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations today facilitated the second phase of the training on Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, for medical doctors.
This program is held at the Holiday Inn, Suva and will end tomorrow 15th May 2015.
This training is part of the Ministry’s commitment to complete the Workmen’s Compensation Reform, aimed at providing Fijian workers, a robust social security system that will facilitate social justice for injured workers and dependants of deceased workers.
Dr Dwight Dowda, a renowned international consultant and specialist on Occupational Medicine has been re-engaged for Phase II of this program. Dowda, having conducted 8 training programs for our local medical assessors since 2007 and again from 2010 – 2014, is well versed with Fiji’s assessment system.
Phase II is a continuation of the workshop conducted last year and will have a total of 33 doctors from public and private practices, participating.
The workshop aims to streamline work-related permanent impairment assessments provided by medical assessors. The consistency in reports by these medical assessors will reduce the disparity in assessments by 5% or less.
It will also reduce the number of disputes between the employer and the worker; and decrease the waiting time for processing compensation claims by workers.
So far the Ministry has trained a total of 129 medical doctors, who now use international standards such as the American Medical Association Guides (AMA5) and, the Fiji Workcare Guide for the evaluation of impairment assessment.
Through the training programs provided, the Ministry aims to train at least 50% of the 746 registered medical practitioners, to carry out the work-related impairment assessments.
7 FEED BILL AND AGRICULTURE POLICY 2020 DISCUSSED AT LIVESTOCK FORUM
The draft Fiji Livestock Bill and the 2020 Agriculture Policy documents were highlighted to stakeholders attending the Fiji Livestock Sector Forum Meeting at the Tanoa International Hotel which continues this week in Nadi.
This was part of efforts to get stakeholder feedback on the draft Bill and to see a way forward in terms of implementing the 2020 Agriculture Policy from the viewpoint of the livestock industry.
The Ministry of Agriculture’s acting deputy secretary for agriculture development, Miliakere Nawaikula, presented the draft Feed Bill which she said, is currently undergoing consultations before it is presented to Cabinet and Parliament for endorsement.
“The Bill has come about as a means of addressing the constraints on livestock food which has been a long time limiting factor to the sector.”
Ms Nawaikula said the Bill is to control and regulate the production and sale of the Livestock Feed.
“The initiative has been around since 2008 when the document was drafted and the proposed Bill is being divided into at least four (4) main parts.”
“Part 1 is on the appointment of an Analyst and Registration, Part 11 deals with Vendors Responsibilities for Sale of Livestock Feeds, Part 111 deals with Offences and there is also a Provision of the Interpretation at the beginning of the Bill to standardize definitions as it applies to the Bill,” she said.
The Bill is also proposing for the formation of a Council to be appointed by the Minister and feed experts to be included in the Council.
Ms Nawaikula said that newer additions to the Bill include aspects on Disaster emergency response where Government feels that there is a need to protect animals from hunger and thirst, price control on livestock feed and inspecting Manufacturers for every new batch of feeds put out.
She added that the Bill is expected to be presented in Cabinet later this year.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture’s acting Chief Economist, Pauliasi Tuilau presented to the Forum the 2020 Agriculture Policy that was launched in August last year by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
Mr Tuilau said the 2020 Policy agenda was created after wide public consultation with stakeholders and with the intent of having a diversified economic and environmental sustainable agriculture economy in Fiji.
He said the purpose was to build a modern and organised agriculture in Fiji, develop an integrated infrastructure support system for agriculture, improve delivery of agriculture support services, enhance capabilities to generate fund and secure investment through foreign investment, public private partnership and other innovative business arrangements and improve project implementation and policy formulation.