1. PRESIDENT OPENS GLOBAL COMMONWEALTH MEET – More than 100 participants from around the world have gathered at the 15thCommonwealth Veterinary AssociationRegional Conference in Nadi to discuss ways of sustaining animal health production and care.
2. LAWAQA PARK TO FACE TEMPORARY CLOSURE – The Fiji Sports Council today announced that critical construction work is required at Lawaqa Park.
3. FIJI EMBASSY CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY – The Embassy of the Republic of Fiji in the United Arab Emirates, celebrates its first year of its resident diplomatic presence in the Emirates.
4. “WELCOME TO TERM 3” – EDUCATION MINISTER – The Education Minister, Filipe Bole welcomes all students, teachers, parents and school committees back to the final Term of 2013.
1 PRESIDENT OPENS GLOBAL COMMONWEALTH MEET
More than 100 participants from around the world have gathered at the 15thCommonwealth Veterinary Association Regional Conference in Nadi to discuss ways of sustaining animal health production and care.
While speaking at the opening of the conference this morning, His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau said producing and sustaining Fiji’s production is a challenge due to the growing requirements for stringent food safety standards, disease control, animal welfare and the need for veterinarians.
The head of state pointed out that the low presence animal specialists against the increased consumption of livestock products have led to gaps that need to be filled.
“The consumption and imports of livestock products from dairy products like powdered milk, ice cream, cheese and yoghurt, to meats, leather and fibre are increasing steadily right across the region,” Ratu Epeli said.
“Fiji imported $68million worth of dairy products in 2012 while animal and meat products imports reached $57m. The major challenge is to produce more of these requirements locally while providing economic opportunities, greater self-reliance and an enhanced food security in the process.”
The President highlighted that the Fijian government is ensuring greater cohesion and effective implementation of the import substitution program to increase self-reliance and reduce imports.
“Government has been injecting around $4m-$5m annually to the livestock sector, in terms of improving livestock research and breeding, upgrading of veterinary pathology laboratory, dairy industry support through the demand driven approach program, livestock rehabilitation program and agriculture development programs.
“Government has also allocated $1m this year for the dairy development program to assist farmers through subsidizing agro-input costs.”
Ratu Epeli added that livestock are an integral part of the Pacific islands’ socio and cultural systems and feature prominently in many traditional ceremonies.
He also highlighted that livestock face major risk due to climate change and steps are being taken to ensure sustainability.
He stressed to participants that more effective disease surveillance systems need to be in place to be able to detect and respond to any new disease incursions from changing environment conditions.
The theme for the week-long conference is “Sustainable Animal Health Production- the role of veterinary education, disease control, food safety, food security and animal welfare.”
(For more photos, please visit the Ministry’s facebook page)
2 LAWAQA PARK TO FACE TEMPORARY CLOSURE
The Fiji Sports Council today announced that critical construction work is required at Lawaqa Park.
This follows a recent report highlighting a degrading state of structurally inadequate main trusses on the grandstand roof.
The Council Chairman, Peter Mazey and Board, today met at Lawaqa Park with senior sporting officials and Sigatoka community leaders to discuss the issue and to look at alternative solutions. Council Chairman, Peter Mazey said that while the park will be closed, members of the public can still utilise the adjacent grounds. In discussing available options, it has been decided that the roof and supporting structures will be removed at the earliest possible time.
Fiji Sports Council CEO, Mrs Litiana Loabuka stressed that “these works need to be completed to avoid any future mishaps and whilst it is unfortunate that the Ground 1 will not have a covered grandstand, this needs to happen to safeguard all patrons to the facility. The operations team will ensure that scheduled events on Ground 2 will continue without disruptions. FSC apologises for the inconvenience and invites sporting groups to contact the Fiji Sports Council office for bookings.”
It is intended that all the roof sheeting and structural steelwork above the tiered seating level would be removed over a period which is when Ground 1 may be inaccessible. Once this first phase of the contracted work is completed, the Ground 1 will be accessible again and the grandstand may be used but will be without a roof.
It is proposed that, funding permitted, the roof will be replaced over time with new materials, including hot dip galvanised steel to achieve a lifespan of minimum 25 years.
Removal works are expected to last for five weeks.
3 FIJI EMBASSY CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY
The Embassy of the Republic of Fiji in the United Arab Emirates, celebrates its first year of its resident diplomatic presence in the Emirates.
Opened in September last year, the Abu Dhabi-based embassy is accredited to 18 countries and regional organizations. Coinciding with this anniversary is the presentation of credentials by Fiji’s resident ambassador to the UAE Robin Nair to the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, His Highness, King Abdullah II ibn Al-Hussein.
Since its opening, Ambassador Robin Nair has presented his credentials to the UAE, Qatar and Egypt and now, the fourth, to King Abdullah of Jordan.
On the eve of the first anniversary, Ambassador Nair commended the Fijian Government’s position on strengthening its presence on the global stage.
“I commend our Prime Minister and his Cabinet on this day for their wisdom in opening a presence in this vibrant part of the world, in furtherance of its progressive foreign and domestic policies. We are already seeing dividends for the people of Fiji in our presence in the region. We are now on the radar of many of the economic tigers of this commercial and political hub of a most progressive part of the world. These countries recognise our strong and stable leadership in the development of our own country, the leadership role we play in the development of Pacific Small Islands Developing States and the leadership we have shown in international affairs and institutions. Our voice is being heard.”
Over the past twelve months, the Embassy has pursued various avenues to enable Fiji to learn and benefit from its ties to the region. Fiji’s first Ambassador to the UAE, His Excellency Robin Nair added that the establishment of the Fiji Mission is just the first step towards building greater cooperation, particularly in trade, investment, tourism, economic and political cooperation and development assistance from the region, pointing out opportunities in the Fijian industries of tourism, manufacturing, agribusiness, timber, mining and fisheries.
Fijian nationals who are part of the Embassy’s staff include Counselor Aliki Salusalu, First Secretary Emosi Rakai, and the locally engaged Fijian staff of Executive Assistant Ms Sylvia Sagara and Public Relations Officer Kelepi Abariga, while Khaled Hussein (Bangladesh) and Luma Saeed (Jordan) compliment the locally engaged staff.
4 “WELCOME TO TERM 3” – EDUCATION MINISTER
The Education Minister, Filipe Bole welcomes all students, teachers, parents and school committees back to the final Term of 2013.
In a statement, the head of the education ministry said that “the Ministry hopes that you have all enjoyed the two weeks break and are raring to get into the classroom, especially with examinations beginning in October and time is very short. It is during this time of the year that students greatly need our support and encouragement. Parents need to lessen the workload given at home and allocate more time for their children towards their studies,” remarked Minister Filipe Bole.
“For teachers, your time is what students will require most from you as examinations draw nearer. The Ministry hopes t you will avail yourselves when students come around seeking assistance. Lessons need to be prepared well in advance, notes simplified, charts and other visual aids should be displayed appropriately. To be an excellent teacher, one has to be thorough with one’s content. When a teacher fully understands a concept, then he/she will be in a better position to explain it in very simple terms to students, “continued Minister Bole.
“Students may be impressed with a teacher’s usage of highfaluting expressions, however if those terms are not clearly explained, then time is wasted and students will become passive listeners. It is therefore important that teachers make use of their spare time researching, collecting information, sharing with fellow teachers or seeking assistance from more senior teachers. Collaboration amongst staff is highly encouraged for the improvement of students’ academic performance,” concluded the Minister.
The Education Minister extends the Ministry’s best wishes to all students and teachers for this final academic Term.