- ISRAEL AMBASSADOR TO FIJI PRESENTS CREDENTIALS – His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau this morning received the credentials of the new non-resident Ambassador of Israel to Fiji, His Excellency Mr Shmuel Ben-Shmuel.
- TUVALU ENVOY TO FIJI PRESENTS CREDENTIALS – His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, this morning received the credentials of the new Tuvaluan High Commissioner to Fiji, His Excellency Mr Paulson Panapa.
- FIJIAN PRIME MINISTER TO HOST NATIONAL GREEN GROWTH FRAMEWORK SUMMIT – Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama will host the first ever National Green Growth Framework Summit at the Novotel Convention Centre, Lami on the 12th and 13th June, 2014.
- YEMEN AND FIJI FORMALISE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS – The Republic of Yemen and the Republic of Fiji formalised diplomatic relations in a ceremony at the Permanent Mission of Yemen to the United Nations in New York today.
- NEW BOATS TO BENEFIT MARITIME STUDENTS – More than one thousand Kioa islanders and school children will now have a safer means of transportation through government’s assistance of a 23 feet fibre glass boat.
- TEMPORARY RELOCATION OF DEPARTMENTS AT LAUTOKA HOSPITAL – The Health Ministry advises the public that some services have been temporarily relocated due to extension and renovation of the Accidents and Emergency department at the Lautoka Hospital.
- COMMISSIONERS REMINDED OF THEIR DUTIES TO THE PUBLIC – Sixteen Commissioner of Oaths were sworn today and were reminded of their civic duty to which is to serve the people of Fiji.
- SENIYAYA DECLARED VIOLENCE-FREE COMMUNITY – Seniyaya settlement in Lovu, Lautoka was this week declared a violence free community, becoming the 84th community in Fiji to be declared around the country.
1 ISRAEL AMBASSADOR TO FIJI PRESENTS CREDENTIALS
His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau this morning received the credentials of the new non-resident Ambassador of Israel to Fiji, His Excellency Mr Shmuel Ben-Shmuel.
The ambassador graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Tel-Aviv University before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1981.
He previously served as a paratrooper in the IDF, including during the War of Attrition and teh 1973 yom Kippur War prior to serving in Foreign Service.
Mr Ben-Shmuel has also served as Political Counsellor in South Africa, Deputy Consul-General in New York, Director of the World Jewish Affairs Department and Consul-General in Atlanta.
He currently serves as ambassador to Australia and will be based in Canberra during his term as non-resident representative to Fiji.
2 TUVALU ENVOY TO FIJI PRESENTS CREDENTIALS
His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, this morning received the credentials of the new Tuvaluan High Commissioner to Fiji, His Excellency Mr Paulson Panapa.
High Commissioner Panapa was welcomed by the Fijian Head of State at Government House as he presented his Letters of Credence.
The new envoy, who graduated from the University of the South Pacific under the Faculty of Arts, has worked for the Government of Tuvalu for the past 27 years.
High Commissioner Panapa has worked as Permanent Secretary for the Tuvaluan Ministry of Education, Youth & Sports, the Ministry of Works, Water & Energy and also as Private Secretary to the Prime Minister.
In his extensive career as a civil servant for the Tuvaluan Government he began as a distinguished Police Officer before becoming Assistant Clerk of Parliament in 1991 and was appointed as Clerk of Parliament in 1995 until 2004.
3 FIJIAN PRIME MINISTER TO HOST NATIONAL GREEN GROWTH FRAMEWORK SUMMIT
Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama will host the first ever National Green Growth Framework Summit at the Novotel Convention Centre, Lami on the 12th and 13th June, 2014.
This is part of the Prime Minister’s firm commitment to international and regional obligations and in cognizant of the 2012 Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, where he alongside 130 other world leaders endorsed outcomes for ‘The Future We Want.
The Rio+20 conference had emphasised green growth as a key tool to support development that is sustainable and whereby commitments were made to freeing humanity from poverty and hunger as a matter of urgency by promoting “sustained, inclusive economic growth” and “integrated and sustainable management of natural resources”.
“This urgency is out of necessity to ensure that the people of Fiji are at the centre of our development agenda that is sustainable for current and future generations,” the Prime Minister said.
A National Green Growth Framework will provide tremendous benefits to the Fijian people by ensuring sustainable economic growth through the production of green goods and services and the protection of our natural resources for future generations. It can also increase livelihood opportunities, incomes, quality of life and make significant contributions to poverty reduction. All of these opportunities are of particular importance to our younger generation.
The summit will see Fiji becoming the first Pacific Island country to develop a homegrown framework to chart a new course in the country’s approach to development. The framework will also lay the platform for regional and international engagement at the MSG, PIDF and Third International Meeting on Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States in Samoa later this year. It is also timely given the timeframe for the end of the Millennium Development Goals and adoption of new post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals by the international community.
At the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) in 2013 it was agreed that the Pacific needs to assert a distinctive Pacific model of “green growth in blue economies” that is aligned to sustainable development principles recognising that the current economic growth model is flawed. The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) has convened consultations among member countries on green growth aimed at preparing a sub-regional framework.
The Summit theme for the adoption of the Green Growth Framework is ‘Restoring the Balance in Development that is Sustainable for Our Future’ which is now a matter of urgency given the emergence of key development challenges since Independence.
These challenges have emerged across the development agenda inclusive of social, economic and in particular environmental concerns. The root causes of these challenges have been driven from both national and external actions. Examples of these challenges include increasing waste generation in urban and rural areas, unsustainable land use practices adversely affecting ecosystems and biodiversity and a growing carbon footprint from increased fossil fuel consumption. Our vulnerability to climate change has seen an increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, particularly flooding of low lying areas, and overfishing of our exclusive economic zone with minimal return into the Fiji economy.
Over the last 5-6 months, in the spirit of ‘inclusiveness’, the Ministry of Strategic Planning, National Development & Statistics has carried out consultations and dialogue across the country to produce the draft Green Growth Framework Consultation Document. Thematic Working Groups, for national stakeholders from Government, the private sector and civil society were convened to consider both contemporary and emerging sustainable development challenges that can be addressed by the framework. This was followed by a series of roundtable consultations at provincial level.
Prime Minister Bainimarama expressed his appreciation for the commitment and contributions made by all stakeholders in the formulation of the draft Green Growth Framework and is looking forward to the Summit as another milestone in our approach to development to complement and realise the vision of the Peoples Charter of a ‘Better Fiji for All’ and to upholding the economic, social and environmental rights set out in the Bill of Rights under the 2013 Constitution.
Over 360 participants, comprising all national stakeholders, including the private sector and civil society organisations as well as regional and international development partners, will be invited to attend and deliberate on the draft Framework and seek consensus on what will become a first National Green Growth Framework for Fiji.
4 YEMEN AND FIJI FORMALISE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS
The Republic of Yemen and the Republic of Fiji formalised diplomatic relations in a ceremony at the Permanent Mission of Yemen to the United Nations in New York today.
At the ceremony, the Permanent Representative of Yemen to the United Nations, Ambassador Jamal Abdullah Al-Sallal, and his Fijian counterpart, Ambassador Peter Thomson, signed a joint communiqué establishing diplomatic relations between the two nations.
The communiqué expresses the desire of the Governments of Fiji and Yemen to promote friendship and cooperation between their two countries in political, economic and cultural fields. It also states that diplomatic relations between Yemen and Fiji will be driven by the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and international law, particularly in mutual respect for independence, sovereign equality, territorial integrity, non-interference in each other’s domestic affairs and the free exercise of the right to self-determination.
Following the formalisation ceremony, Ambassadors Al-Sallal and Thomson held talks on areas of common interest between their two countries at the United Nations, and discussed the progress being made in their countries towards general elections.
5 NEW BOATS TO BENEFIT MARITIME STUDENTS
More than one thousand Kioa islanders and school children will now have a safer means of transportation through government’s assistance of a 23 feet fibre glass boat.
The $43,000 fibre glass boat which has a proper steering wheel, a cabin and an 85 horse power Yamaha outboard engine was funded by the Prime Minister’s Office following a request from islanders in Kioa.
Commending the assistance by government, Kioa island chief, Avatele Fakamua said that they were grateful to the Prime Minister and his government for its commitment to rural islanders.
“I would like to thank the government of the day for easing our transportation woes and for assisting us with a boat that will transport our children to Taveuni to attend school,” Mr Fakamua said.
“We now have a safer mode of transportation and we will no longer have to worry about our passage at sea.”
Kioa Island Council Chairman, Samalu Taitai said that previously islanders in Kioa sometimes used outrigger canoes to travel to Taveuni.
“Before we still resorted to canoes when we wanted to go to Taveuni but now the Council is pleased that this new fibreglass boat we will be able to transport our children safely to school,” Mr Taitai said.
“Currently the Council’s boat is an old one and not safe for transporting islanders and children to Taveuni.”
Acting Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Naipote Katonitabua said that government was pleased to assist the island of Kioa.
“We are pleased to be of assistance to the island of Kioa especially the school children who will be travelling to Taveuni on this boat,” Mr Katonitabua said as he presented the new vessel this week.
“The welfare of the people of Kioa is very important to us since it is looked after by the Office of the Prime Minister and we hope that this boat will contribute to the improvement of standard of living for islanders there.”
The boat will be looked after by the Kioa Island Council and will used in the provision of ferry service to Taveuni on a user pay system.
5 TEMPORARY RELOCATION OF DEPARTMENTS AT LAUTOKA HOSPITAL
The Health Ministry advises the public that some services have been temporarily relocated due to extension and renovation of the Accidents and Emergency department at the Lautoka Hospital.
This relocation will avoid service disruptions and ensure that patients receive timely and efficient health services.
As of the 6th of June 2013, the physiotherapy department will be providing temporary services from the Women’s trauma ward. The physiotherapy department will attend to emergency outpatient cases and will continue with inpatient cases.
The physiotherapy division is looking at being fully operational from the 1st floor of the Lautoka hospital from the 9th of June 2014.
Meanwhile the inpatients at TB ward have been relocated to Tamavua.
The public is advised that this arrangement will be in place till further notice. The Health Ministry or Lautoka Hospital can be contacted for further information.
6 COMMISSIONERS REMINDED OF THEIR DUTIES TO THE PUBLIC
Sixteen Commissioner of Oaths were sworn today and were reminded of their civic duty to which is to serve the people of Fiji.
This was relayed by the Chief Justice Mr Anthony Gates at the swearing ceremony held in Suva today.
Among the group was Pelasio Penijamini Velitokaduadua who is the Roko Tui Lomaiviti and was sworn in as a Commissioner of Oaths today.
Mr Velitokaduadua said as commissioners “we have an important role to provide the services to the people especially in the rural communities.”
“I have served as Justice of Peace for the past five years and taking up this role as Commissioner of Oath we need to provide the required services to the people,” Mr Velitokaduadua said.
“Lomaiviti consists of eight islands, most people living on the island are not able to afford these services so by bringing this services to the people will save costs for islanders,” he said.
Sharing similar sentiments Mr Eric Narayan of Taveuni said as Commissioners of Oaths we have civic duty which is too provide services to the people.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Mr Anthony Gates reminded the new commissioners to be punctual in order to perform their duties to the best of their abilities.
“The public needs to find it easy to gain access to you at reasonable hours, and they ought to be able to expect a friendly welcome,” Justice Gates said.
“This principle is set out in section 1(c) and (d) of the Constitution as well as in later sections dealing with equality, the secular state and other freedoms in the Bill of Rights,” he said.
7 SENIYAYA DECLARED VIOLENCE-FREE COMMUNITY
Seniyaya settlement in Lovu, Lautoka was this week declared a violence free community, becoming the 84th community in Fiji to be declared around the country.
The Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni unveiled the plaque commemorating the milestone step taken by the community of 28 homes in the outskirts of the Sugar city.
“Your declaration today is a very bold statement not only by the women of this community but more so by the men of the community who have vowed to protect, love and look after their families,” she said.
“In declaring this community violence free, I leave you with the challenge to rise above the discrimination of our mothers, wives, daughters and even our children so they are nurtured in a loving family”, the Minister said.
The women of Seniyaya said since the commitment by the elders of the families, they have seen vast changes in the attitude of men towards women and children.
“They have become more supportive of our plans and ideas and we hope that this continues in the years to come,” Shaleshni Devi said.
Meanwhile, another community, Vanuakula, was presented the certificate of commitment to a violence free community.
The awarding of the certificate means the settlement of Vanuakula will undergo extensive training before they are declared violence free community.