1. FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT – Fiji has called for a strengthening of mechanisms for the financing of the Post-2015 development agenda at the United Nations today. The call came on behalf of the 133 Member States of the Group of 77 and China, in Fiji’s capacity of Chair of the Group, at the General Assembly’s 6th High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development.
2. H.E RECEIVES CREDENTIALS FROM UN AGENCY – His Excellency, the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today received the United Nations Development Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative, Ms Osnat Lubrani.
3. FIJI DAY CELEBRATIONS DOWN UNDER – The first of the Fiji Day Celebrations in Australia kicked off in Adelaide, South Australia this week (5th October 2013), with others planned for the coming weeks in Fijian Communities around Australia.
4. SEAWEED FARMING TO BENEFIT NORTH – Seaweed farming is an easy and cost effective way of generating revenue for villagers in the Northern Division.
5. JICA VOLUNTEERS FOR EDUCATION AND HEALTH – Mr Parmesh Chand, permanent secretary for the Public Service this week received a delegation of six Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) Volunteers led by the Resident Representative of JICA, Mr Shumon Yoshiara.
6. NEW PERMANENT SECRETARY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT, URBAN DEVELOPMENT, HOUSING & ENVIRONMENT – The chairman of the Public Service Commission, Mr Josefa Serulagilagi today announced the appointment of Mr Samuela Namosimalua as the new Permanent Secretary for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment.
7. NURTURE YOUR TALENTS, WOMEN TOLD – “Do something today for which you will be remembered tomorrow”, was the message delivered by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni to the women in Koronubu and Tauvegavega settlements.
8. UNITY OF CHILDREN THROUGH SPORTS – Children with special needs and disabilities from around the country including Samoa, today, flocked to the ANZ National Stadium to participate at the 2013 National Games for Special and Inclusive Athletes.
9. SAI ORGANIZATION LAUDS GOVERNMENT – The Satya Sai Organisation of Fiji has welcomed the decision by government for the teaching of Hindi and iTaukei languages at schools.
10. KORONUBU JOINS THE BATTLE AGAINST VIOLENCE – A multicultural community in Ba has partnered with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation to fight the battle against violence.
1. FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT
Fiji has called for a strengthening of mechanisms for the financing of the Post-2015 development agenda at the United Nations today. The call came on behalf of the 133 Member States of the Group of 77 and China, in Fiji’s capacity of Chair of the Group, at the General Assembly’s 6th High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development.
Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson, told the High-level meeting that, “the Group of 77 reiterates its view that the global and financial economic crisis cannot be a convenient justification for developed partners to avoid fulfilling existing international financial and technical cooperation for development.”
He said it was ironic that Overseas Development Assistance had continued to decline globally, at the same time that the world’s Heads of Government had so recently reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the global development agenda. He said this commitment had been given last month at the UN’s Special Event on MDGs in order to accelerate progress towards a bold post-2015 development agenda, with poverty eradication and sustainability as its core.
Ambassador Thomson affirmed that the Group of 77 recognized that innovative mechanisms of financing can make a positive contribution to assisting developing countries. He said such innovations can, “mobilize additional resources for development on a stable, predictable and voluntary basis.”
Fiji’s representative told the General Assembly that a more inclusive framework of global economic governance is required in order to improve the functioning and stability of international monetary, financial and economic institutions.
“Serious reforms are required to address systematic short-comings,” Ambassador Thomson told the meeting. This requires a strengthened role and increased effectiveness from the United Nations, including high-level engagements with all relevant international and regional financial institutions.”
2. H.E RECEIVES CREDENTIALS FROM UN AGENCY
His Excellency, the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today received the United Nations Development Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative, Ms Osnat Lubrani.
The UNDC and UNDP RR presented her credentials to the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau in a formal ceremony at Government House.
Since 2009 Ms Lubrani has held the position of UN Development Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative in Kosovo till to date.
Previously she established and was the first Director of UNIFEM Brussels office, responsible for relationship building with European Union institutions.
Between 2001 and 2007 Ms. Lubrani served as UNIFEM Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe, overseeing programmes to advance women’s empowerment and rights in context of transition and post-conflict recovery.
The head of state also welcomed Ms Lubrani to the country.
3. FIJI DAY CELEBRATIONS DOWN UNDER
The first of the Fiji Day Celebrations in Australia kicked off in Adelaide, South Australia this week (5th October 2013), with others planned for the coming weeks in Fijian Communities around Australia.
Staff at Fiji’s High Commission to Australia attended the Adelaide celebration, which saw around 350 former Fiji residents and friends of Fiji gather to commemorate Fiji’s 43rd anniversary of independence.
In thanking the Adelaide Fiji Community for their diligence in honouring Fiji Day, Fiji’s Acting Head of Mission Cheryl Brown-Irava paid tribute to the efforts of the Fiji Association of South Australia (FASA) in preserving the iTaukei language and culture in the running of the Fiji Radio Broadcasting Association of SA and the Fijian School of Language & Culture, which remains the only iTaukei language school in continuous operation in Australia to this day.
Although small in population relative to the other diaspora communities, the Fijian Community in South Australia has continued to contribute towards disaster relief in Fiji as well as donations of wheelchairs, hospital beds and medical equipment towards physically disabled persons in Fiji, with the 25th container load expected to be shipped next month.
With some 65,000 Fijian residents in Australia, the High Commission will be further represented at the upcoming Fiji Day celebrations in Perth, Canberra, Gold Coast and Sydney over the next few weekends and will take the opportunity to brief Fiji communities on the upcoming overseas voter registrations in Australia as well as provide consular assistance.
4. SEAWEED FARMING TO BENEFIT NORTH
Seaweed farming is an easy and cost effective way of generating revenue for villagers in the Northern Division.
The acting principal Fisheries officer Northern, Joji Vakaca Vakawaletabua reiterated that unlike other conventional animal rearing or farming practises, seaweed farming did not require a lot of experience for those interested in dwelling into the scheme.
“Seaweed farming is easy in that you do not have to worry about feed or other things that come along with farming or keeping livestock such as poultry or sheep. With seaweed farming, all you have to do is wait for low tide and head out to the seaweed lines and clean them,” Mr Vakawaletabua said.
He also stated that the Department of Fisheries was committed to creating awareness on seaweed farming in Northern communities in order to fulfil the target set out for the whole of the year.
“Our fisheries officer who is responsible for seaweed farming in Macuata has just recently returned from Bali to learn about a few methodologies like the long line method and bamboo method which has greatly helped the planting of seaweed in the province,” he said.
Mr Vakawaletabua added that the onus was on the people to give their full attention to seaweed farming as they would be the ones reaping the benefits.
“It is up to the people to commit to seaweed farming as it will only guarantee more income being generated into their households.”
Mr Vakawaletabua highlighted that for each line of seaweed; there would be at least a 3kg weight value to it with 80 cents per kilo dried seaweed produced.
“The price of seaweed now is $800 for one tonne and we have brought the market to them.”
He also added that the Fisheries Department in the North would always be at hand to assist the targeted communities reach the intended seaweed production target for each village.
For Kavewa village headman Emosi Time, who has already laid more than 100 lines of seaweed in the two weeks since the start of the project, the target is clearly mapped out in his mind.
“As of last week, I have laid 112 lines and I am targeting to lay more lines of seaweed because I am targeting to lay 400 lines,” he said.
The village of Kavewa has altogether laid 970 lines of seaweed with their targeted number of seaweed to be laid standing at 3000.
5. JICA VOLUNTEERS FOR EDUCATION AND HEALTH
Mr Parmesh Chand, permanent secretary for the Public Service this week received a delegation of six Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) Volunteers led by the Resident Representative of JICA, Mr Shumon Yoshiara.
In welcoming the Japanese volunteers to Fiji, Mr Chand said Fiji’s Public Service is “deeply grateful to the Government of Japan and its long term association with JICA for providing Volunteers in various areas of Human Resource Development”.
The JICA volunteers have contributed enormously to the economy of Fiji, working mostly in rural and outer most parts of Fiji and have as such made a huge difference in the lives of our people.”
Mr Chand said these volunteers were identified and selected in response to requests made by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies based on their respective work plans and priorities.
The six volunteers will work under the Ministry of Education in particular in areas of Primary School Education and the Ministry of Health with a special focus on Public Health Nursing and Caring for the Elderly.
Before taking on their various assignments, the volunteers will undergo a three week in-country service training organized by JICA.
Mr Chand thanked the volunteers for accepting the invitation and wished them well in the two years that they will be serving in Fiji.
6. NEW PERMANENT SECRETARY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT, URBAN DEVELOPMENT, HOUSING & ENVIRONMENT
The chairman of the Public Service Commission, Mr Josefa Serulagilagi today announced the appointment of Mr Samuela Namosimalua as the new Permanent Secretary for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment.
Mr Namosimalua began his career as a civil servant in 1989 as an assistant teacher. In 1995 he was appointed Technical Officer, Field Operation with the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations & Employment where he gradually rose through the ranks to become Deputy Secretary in March 2010. During his stint with the Ministry, he acted Permanent Secretary on several occasions.
Mr Namosimalua acquired his BSc in 1987 and Master of Business Administration in 2007 from the University of the South Pacific.
Mr Serulagilagi said the appointment of Mr Namosimalua, will benefit the Ministry, given his qualifications and wealth of experience.
7. NURTURE YOUR TALENTS, WOMEN TOLD
“Do something today for which you will be remembered tomorrow”, was the message delivered by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni to the women in Koronubu and Tauvegavega settlements.
During her official visit to these two communities in Ba last week to launch the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign, Dr Luveni encouraged the women to use their talents and engage into sustainable income generating projects.
“Women have an important role to play in the economic development of this nation. The men are there to support us but however women need to develop their own abilities to be able to contribute towards their household income.
“Women have been bestowed with god given talents and if you are not earning an income then you are not fully using your talents. In villages, women are encouraged to form their women’s group and do activities like weaving, handicrafts, tailoring, baking and catering to earn extra money for themselves. We are also blessed with marine and agricultural resources which should be utilized fully,” Dr Luveni said.
The Ministry, she said, is also providing funding for the women’s group to build women resource centres as a platform to enhance their skills and resources to provide economic opportunities for unemployed women.
“In the last two years the Ministry has constructed 45 women centres around Fiji and there are more to come. The objective of these centres is to develop the economic potential of women through adoption of One Centre One Core Product, concept. The centre also provides information and training opportunities for women to build their leadership skills and make informed decisions. It’s a great incentive for women to work together, develop their income generating skills and alleviate poverty in their communities,” Dr Luveni reiterated.
The Minister has encouraged the women’s groups to visit their nearest divisional women offices to access advice on assistance for women centres or any assistance and information they may need on government’s empowerment programs for women.
8. UNITY OF CHILDREN THROUGH SPORTS
Children with special needs and disabilities from around the country including Samoa, today, flocked to the ANZ National Stadium to participate at the 2013 National Games for Special and Inclusive Athletes.
Addressing the participants was the Ministry of Youth and Sports permanent secretary Mr Joseva Sania who emphasized that sports fostered greater inclusion and well-being for persons with disabilities.
“Sports work to improve the inclusion and well-being of persons with disabilities in two ways, by changing what communities think and feel about persons with disabilities think and by changing what persons with disabilities think and feel about themselves.
He said that this reduces stigma and discrimination associated with disability and empowers persons with disabilities to recognize their own potential and advocate changes in society.
“The community impact and individual impact of sport help reduce the isolation of persons with disabilities and integrate them more fully into community life,” Mr Sania said.
Fijian government has taken major strides to provide equal opportunities and empowerment of people living with disability in Fiji supporting the International Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons.
“Your government of today has a great commitment through the Ministry of Youth and Sports to assist our youth population to realize and develop their potential and participate meaningfully in our nation building effort.
“We have a challenge to equip disabled persons with skills necessary to put them on par with the rest of the society.
“To the participants, you are special in every way as a young person. Prove to the other young people that you are as good as them by utilizing your talent to the best of your ability,” Mr Sania said.
The Fiji Special Education Teachers Association president Mr Bishwa Sidal commended government’s intervention for the facilitation of the games as they could not find sponsors for the event.
“We would like to thank the government for coming in as we had difficulties in finding sponsors, the Fiji Sports Commission who sponsored the facility.
“This would also be an opportunity for the athletes to show their abilities and count on the sports ministry and government to include these athletes for viable spots in international games,” Mr Sidal said.
The two day event was organised by the Fiji Special Education Teachers Association, Special Olympics, and managements of special schools with the Fiji National Sports Commission.
The theme of the games “Increasing Unity of Children through Sports” was an opportune occasion for children from Suva, Nadi, Levuka, Ra, Nausori and Samoa to show their abilities and make new friends.
9. SAI ORGANIZATION LAUDS GOVERNMENT
The Satya Sai Organisation of Fiji has welcomed the decision by government for the teaching of Hindi and iTaukei languages at schools.
Satya Sai organization chairman, Professor Narendra Reddy says teaching the two subjects at school would bring the country together in unity.
He said the decision which is now a constitutional right of every child to be educated in both languages would bring unity to Fijians who will be able to converse free to everyone in any language.
“I must acknowledge the foresight of the Government in making this bold step and having it embedded in the nation’s constitution is something that is worth praise,” he said.
“Language should never had been a barrier in a country such as our where the iTaukei and Fijians of Indian descent have lived together for over a century – if our forefathers would have shared languages in cross culture, Fiji would have been one of the most unique places to live in on earth.”
Minister for education Filipe Bole while addressing teachers at the 2013 Head Teacher Conference said teachers will now have to teach the two languages.
“There will be no more excuses now that we do not have the people or the resources as Government has made the decision in the nation’s interest,” Minister Bole said.
10. KORONUBU JOINS THE BATTLE AGAINST VIOLENCE
A multicultural community in Ba has partnered with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation to fight the battle against violence.
In pursuit of this new commitment the people in Koronubu settlement had invited Minister Dr Jiko Luveni as the chief guest to officially launch the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign in Ba on last week Friday.
While presenting a certificate of recognition, Dr Luveni congratulated the leaders in Koronubu for their commitment to safeguard the women and children from violence.
“Protecting women and children from violence and abuse is fundamental in the development of a society. When women are treated with respect and dignity, they have confidence in their abilities as agents of change and they are very resourceful. Unlike women who are victimized and abused in their homes, they have low self-esteem, it also affects their concentration and productivity level at work. The underlying message of this campaign is that violence be it physical, emotional or verbal is a serious crime.
“The government has put in laws like Domestic Violence Decree that protects the women and children from violence and abuse. Through the NO DROP POLICY the cases have to be reported to police, there is no room for reconciliation and violence against women and children should NEVER be tolerated in any circumstances,” Dr Luveni said.
A gatekeeping committee has been formed in Koronubu and it will oversee the implementation of the awareness and training programs that will be facilitated by the Ministry and Police. The Committee is headed by the male and female leaders of the community and there will be 6 to 8 months of continued awareness to empower the communities in taking ownership of this campaign.
The Koronubu Advisory Councillor Mr Deo Sharan said the campaign is much needed and will enable the families to face these issues rather than hiding it.
“We are grateful to Dr Luveni for speaking about an issue that has existed in this community for years and yet it has not been properly addressed. Koronubu is a big settlement, we have 1923 people living here and we know that there are families who face the issue of violence in their everyday lives and yet some of the cases are swept under the carpet. This campaign has provided an opportunity for the Fijians and itaukei’s to work together to tackle this issue and bring it out to the open.
Mrs Shanti Chand president of Koronubu multicultural women’s group said the campaign will recognise the women’s everyday contribution to the development of their society.
“The Koronubu women are grateful to this government as it is very considerate about women’s right to live empowered life. Women are the backbone of their communities and without them a society cannot progress. The women in Koronubu are greatly encouraged to hear this message announced loud and clear by the Minister, we hope this will challenge the men to change their attitude towards women.
“Through our discussions with Dr Luveni, our women’s group has also managed to secure funding for the opening of a multicultural women’s centre in Koronubu. The centre will be a platform to generate income for our group and also share information for informed decision making,” Mrs Chand added.
There are over 60 communities that have joined the campaign this year and their progress is continuously monitored by the Police.