- CHINA READY TO ASSIST FIJI IN DEVELOPMENT – “China is ready and willing to assist Fiji and Pacific Island countries with development for the betterment of their peoples”. These were the words of the President of the Peoples Republic of China, His Excellency, Xi Jinping while meeting with Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama this week.
- G77 CHAIR CALLS FOR GREEN ENERGY ON GLOBAL FRONT – Fiji’s Ambassador to the UN Peter Thomson told the Vienna Energy Forum in the Austrian capital this week that the world has a historic opportunity to secure a future of sustainable energy in the global Post-2015 Development Agenda currently being formulated at the United Nations.
- LITERACY PROJECT TO BENEFIT 32 SCHOOLS – Government has commended the efforts of the Ramakrishna Mission Fiji and the Swami Vivekananda College for encouraging literacy development after they distributed library books and toys to 32 primary schools, kindergartens at the Nadi Council Library this month.
- HEALTH MINISTRY PROVIDES TRAINING TO UPSKILL WORKERS – Fiji’s Ministry of Health is offering local training to develop the skill of medical staff in the areas of paediatrics, emergency medicine, internal medicine, surgery, anaesthesia, pathology and mental health.
- NEW HONORARY CONSUL TO POSITION FIJI’S INTEREST IN JAPAN – The commissioning of the first Honorary Consul General for Fiji in Tohoku in the Miyagi prefecture is expected to boost Fiji’s presence in Japan.
- Repair works complete at Labasa Road – Road upgrade works at the James Madhavan Street in Labasa is now complete.
- ROAD CONSTRUCTION WORK BEGINS AT WAILOA SLIPS – Construction has commenced on the Wailoa Road in the interior of Viti Levu to repair two major land slips that narrowed the existing carriageway to a single lane only.
1 CHINA READY TO ASSIST FIJI IN DEVELOPMENT
“China is ready and willing to assist Fiji and Pacific Island countries with development for the betterment of their peoples”. These were the words of the President of the Peoples Republic of China, His Excellency, Xi Jinping while meeting with Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama this week.
Prime Minister Bainimarama is in Beijing at the invite of President Xi Jinping to attend the Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services.
President Xi acknowledged the current reforms of the Fijian Government and reiterated their stance to treat all countries in the world community with respect regardless of their size and wealth. President Xi also stated the commitment of his Government to support Fiji in Peacekeeping Missions and towards the protection of our Maritime Resources and they have more scholarships ready for our students to study in China.
Prime Minister Bainimarama also met with China’s Premier H.E Li Keqiang who reiterated the support stated by the President of China towards developing current relations with Fiji.
He assured PM Bainimarama of China’s continued support to Fiji within the capabilities of the Chinese Government. He also thanked PM Bainimarama for being instrumental in forging stronger ties with China and stated that his Government will continue to encourage Chinese investment in Fiji to grow the economy and improve the lives of Fijians.
Premier Li stated that China was looking at mutually beneficial agreements between the two countries in areas of personnel extradition, visa free status for certain groups, and agriculture and cultural development.
In return, PM Bainimarama thanked Premier Li for China’s assistance in infrastructure development and assistance in technical knowledge in areas of agriculture and engineering.
He briefly updated the two(2) leaders on Fiji’s progression towards Constitutional rule and ongoing preparation towards the 2014 General Election.
PM Bainimarama also thanked the Chinese Government for their support for Fiji and most importantly for being a true friend and recognizing Fiji’s sovereignty when dealing with internal issues and challenges.
2 G77 CHAIR CALLS FOR GREEN ENERGY ON GLOBAL FRONT
Fiji’s Ambassador to the UN Peter Thomson told the Vienna Energy Forum in the Austrian capital this week that the world has a historic opportunity to secure a future of sustainable energy in the global Post-2015 Development Agenda currently being formulated at the United Nations.
Speaking in the capacity of Fiji’s 2013 Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China (G77), Ambassador Thomson said, “Investing in clean, efficient, affordable and reliable energy systems is indispensable to an environmentally sustainable future.”
Addressing the gathering of over a thousand representatives of the international energy sector, he reaffirmed that access to clean, affordable energy has become a cornerstone of green economy and sustainable development. The Vienna Energy Forum comes one year after the Rio+20 conference, where the international community agreed that energy plays a critical central role in sustainable development.
Ambassador Thomson used his address to advocate in favour of the UN Secretary-General’s initiative of Sustainable Energy For All. He said the G77 regarded the initiative as laudable, for if the goal of sustainable energy for all is achieved by 2030, this will be a catalyst for lasting sustainable economic growth, with real opportunities for the poor, while protecting the planet.
The Sustainable Energy For All initiative aspires to three goals to be achieved by 2030: ensuring universal access to modern energy services, doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
Emphasizing the G77’s call for equity for developing countries, Ambassador Thomson told the forum, “Stark inequalities persist in the worldwide distribution of access to modern energy services. 1.4 billion people currently have no access to electricity.” To address these inequalities he called for technology transfer, stable funding for development and honoring of international commitments to developing countries.
The Vienna Energy Forum has established itself as an international gathering for leading policy makers and energy practitioners. The Forum is committed to advancing sustainable energy by engaging governments, international organizations, business and industry, and civil society leaders to shape global, regional and industry agendas on sustainable energy for all.
3 LITERACY PROJECT TO BENEFIT 32 SCHOOLS
Government has commended the efforts of the Ramakrishna Mission Fiji and the Swami Vivekananda College for encouraging literacy development after they distributed library books and toys to 32 primary schools, kindergartens at the Nadi Council Library this month.
The function for this event was held at the Swami Vivekananda College where the Ministry of Education’s Western Officer Mr Albert Wise officiated on behalf of government.
“I sincerely thank the Ramakrishna Mission for the kind donation to the Ministry of Education. For schools who will be beneficiaries of the donation, the books that you are receiving today must be fully utilized and not left to collect dust on the shelves,” said Mr Wise.
This development was possible through the ‘Literacy Project’ which was founded by the Ramakrishna Mission Fiji and designed to promote literacy in the country. The Project which was launched in 2011 will see library books and encyclopedias distributed to 26 primary and secondary schools, 5 kindergartens and a vocational center
4 HEALTH MINISTRY PROVIDES TRAINING TO UPSKILL WORKERS
Fiji’s Ministry of Health is offering local training to develop the skill of medical staff in the areas of paediatrics, emergency medicine, internal medicine, surgery, anaesthesia, pathology and mental health.
The Ministry’s permanent secretary Doctor Eloni Tora said this will benefit 186 officers for post-graduate in-service training in local institutions around the country including the Fiji National University.
“Officers include doctors, nurses, dental and allied health staff that are currently enrolled in Diploma and Masters Programs in the areas of internal medicine, surgery, anaesthesia, pathology, mental health,” Dr Tora said.
In 2012, Government announced an allocation of $900,000 for Health Ministry in the 2013 National Budget; an increase from past years budget allocation.
Dr Tora highlighted that this allocation also caters for overseas attachments which now sees five officers on attachments in hospitals in India.
Development partners including AUSAID’s Fiji Health Sector Support Program and the World Health Organisation also provide training facilities for Fiji’s health personnel and officials.
5 NEW HONORARY CONSUL TO POSITION FIJI’S INTEREST IN JAPAN
The commissioning of the first Honorary Consul General for Fiji in Tohoku in the Miyagi prefecture is expected to boost Fiji’s presence in Japan.
Mr Takayuki Moriya was commissioned this month as Fiji’s Honorary Consul General at a ceremony witnessed by more than 400 guests including Fiji’s resident envoy to Japan Isikeli Mataitoga, at the Koyo Grand Hotel in Sendai.
Ambassador Mataitoga pointed out Fiji’s long standing policy in establishing and maintaining friendly relations with countries that have demonstrated genuine goodwill towards Fiji, as the underpinning attribute to the establishment of the new Honorary Consulate General Office in Sendai.
“It is also a reflection of the goodwill enjoyed between Japan and Fiji since 1970 in the promotion of economic, commercial and people-to-people relations between the two countries. To that end, the humanitarian assistance offered by the Fiji Government in 2012 to the people of Japan was also highlighted”.
The Ambassador said that Fiji’s prospects in the Miyagi prefecture is significant given their commonalities in the area of agriculture and marine, as well as Miyagi being the hub of the Tohoku region with easy access to other parts of the region and to Tokyo. He pointed out that Fiji stands to gain much more from deepening its tourism, trade, and investment promotion not only in Miyagi but throughout the Tohoku region.
Guests that attended the event included the Honorable Mr. Kenya Akiba, Senior Vice Minister for Health, Labour and Welfare & Senior Vice Minister for Post Disaster Reconstruction, HE Ambassador Gabriel J.K Dusava of Papua New Guinea, HE Ambassador Tom D. Kijiner of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Honourable Members of the House of Representative and Councilors, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Governor , several Mayors and Councilors from Prefectures and cities in Japan. Senior government officials, business affiliates and NGO representatives were also present.
The program included the official handing over of the Consular Commission signed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Fiji, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.
Newly commissioned Honorary Consul-General, Mr Takayuki Moriya noted on the purpose of the Honorary Consulate General and its establishment, adding his desire to see this bridge ties in economic, cultural and educational relations between Fiji and Miyagi, and throughout the Tohoku region.
Following the successful commissioning, Senior Vice Minister for Health, Labour and Welfare & Senior Vice Minister for Post Disaster Reconstruction, Mr. Kenya Akiba, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Member of the House of Councillors, Mr Seiichi Etou, Governor of Miyagi Prefecture, Mr Yoshihiro Murai and Mayor of Sendai City, Mrs Emiko Okuyama also congratulated Mr. Takayuki Moriya and further wished him all the best in his new role.
Sendai is the third Honorary Consul that has been established in Japan, following Osaka and Yokohama.
A mix of Fijian and Japanese music, as well as Fijian cultural shows was performed at the evening reception, which was enjoyed by everyone who attended.
The Embassy also took the opportunity to show case Fijian Made products, which were donated from several Fijian firms and these were on display during the evening.
6 Repair works complete at Labasa Road
Road upgrade works at the James Madhavan Street in Labasa is now complete.
Design work started two months ago after this street was identified as a high priority indicating that it needed urgent repairs and maintenance.
The Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) said that works at the street demonstrate a lack of programmed maintenance works being carried out in the past. FRA maintenance contractors are working through a programme of work that will produce a significant improvement to roads throughout Fiji over the next few years.
7 ROAD CONSTRUCTION WORK BEGINS AT WAILOA SLIPS
Construction has commenced on the Wailoa Road in the interior of Viti Levu to repair two major land slips that narrowed the existing carriageway to a single lane only.
The land slips occurred during Hurricane Evan and current repair works will now allow appropriate machinery to reach the area. The slips are between Matanisau Village and Laselevu Village on Wailoa Road at km 34 and km 37.
Fiji Roads Authority’s contractor Fulton Hogan Highways are undertaking works to enable the road to open to all traffic and reinstate the bus service to these areas including Naqelewai Village. Temporary works were undertaken to make the area safe for light traffic only while the investigation and design was in progress.
This slip repair will also assist the Fiji Electricity Authority to complete their transformer replacement programme that is due to start this August.
The FRA will control the traffic movement whilst works are underway.