1. FIJI WILL CONTINUE AIDS FIGHT – His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has once again reiterated that Fiji will continue its advocacy on HIV and AIDS.
2. TWO NOBEL LAURETS TO ATTEND SECOND PIDF SUMMIT – Two Nobel Laureates will grace the forthcoming Second Summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) to be held at the Sheraton Fiji Resort, Denarau Island, Nadi from June 18 to 20, 2014.
3. PACIFIC ISLANDS DEVELOPMENT FORUM GETS FINANCIAL BOOST – The second summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) today got a financial boost of $30,000 from ANZ.
4. CLOPCOTT SUBSCRIBES TO VIOLENCE FREE INITIATIVE – The Clopcott squatter settlement established in 1969 at Yalelevu in Ba this week received a timely visit by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Jiko Luveni.
5. MINISTRY RAISES AWARENESS ON ENVIRONMENT – The Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment stressed the importance of protecting our island biodiversity at the National Environment Day celebrations in Suva today.
1. FIJI WILL CONTINUE AIDS FIGHT
His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has once again reiterated that Fiji will continue its advocacy on HIV and AIDS.
He made the comments during his meeting with his Brazilian AIDS ambassador counterpart and Health secretary Jarbas Babosa in Brasilia, Brazil this week.
The Fijian Head of State said Government continued to support the efforts of those currently living with HIV and AIDS and its advocacy on the zero policy remained which is zero new infections, zero deaths and zero discrimination.
“The Fijian Government has been very supportive of our efforts in our advocacy against the zero policy,” Ratu Epeli said.
“I am happy to note that Brazil also continues to urge people in using condoms in its efforts to reduce AIDS numbers in Brazil.”
Secretary Babosa noted that HE Ratu Epeli has been visiting secondary schools to discuss the epidemic.
“I have made a few checks on Your Excellency’s visitations to the schools around Fiji in highlighting HIV/AIDS and I am impressed to note that you have completed visiting more than 150 schools,” Secretary Babosa said.
“I hope that we can continue to work closely towards getting people in our two countries more aware of this epidemic.”
Ratu Epeli has visited close to 160 schools around the country in his capacity as the Fijian Head of State and the United Nations AIDS Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific.
2. TWO NOBEL LAURETS TO ATTEND SECOND PIDF SUMMIT
Two Nobel Laureates will grace the forthcoming Second Summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) to be held at the Sheraton Fiji Resort, Denarau Island, Nadi from June 18 to 20, 2014.
Both of them were winners of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
An international policy expert, researcher and speaker on environment, climate and island issues His Excellency Dr Rolph Payet, Minister for Environment and Energy of the Republic of Seychelles, will be speaking on “The Blue Economy Transforming Island Economies”.
Dr Payet was appointed President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Seychelles in October 2009. He is also the Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr James Michel, since 2007. In that role, he independently advises the President on numerous environmental matters including sustainable development, biodiversity, climate change, energy, and international environment policy.
Dr Payet is the founding member/trustee of the Global Island Partnership, the Sea Level Rise Foundation, the Seychelles University Foundation, the Seychelles Centre for Marine Research and Technology, the Island Conservation Society and the Silhouette Foundation. He has also been instrumental in increasing the A United, Distinctive and Sustainable Pacific Society visibility and impact of numerous regional and international organisations such as the International Coral Reef Initiative (co-chair from 2003–2005), the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands, and the Interim Coordinator of the Nairobi Convention UNEP Regional Seas Programme.
Recently, Dr Payet has been invited to sit on numerous international conference committees and panels as moderator/speaker on climate change, biodiversity and island issues. Rolph is periodically invited by the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon, to speak at various UN forums, including the UN General Assembly. In 2006, he was recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum for his work in advancing environment, ocean and climate issues at the global level.
Another winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, Professor Elisabeth Holland – the Director of the Pacific Center for Environment and Sustainable Development (PaCE-SD) would also be part of the PIDF Summit. She has long been a leader in studies of the global nitrogen cycle and its interactions with the carbon cycle and the Earth System.
In 2007, she was a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). She is an author of four of the five IPCC reports and also served as a US, German and now a Fiji representative. With a career spanning more than three decades, Professor Holland is a Leopold scholar and served as a Senior Scientist and Leader of the Biogeosciences Program at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, USA.
At the PIDF Second Summit, Professor Holland will co-chair the Parallel Sessions on Green Growth Enables.
President of the Republic of Indonesia His Excellency Mr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will open the Summit on Thursday June 19 2014.
The interim secretary general of the PIDF, Feleti Teo would be welcoming the participation of such distinguished international leaders in sustainable development.
“For the Pacific, green growth will make sense only if it addresses urgent needs and contributes to the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in particular poverty reduction. In keeping with the PIDF vision of smart growth our search for solutions during the Summit requires that we focus on “getting smart,” Mr Teo said.
“Smart about learning the lessons of complex reforms to tackle difficult political economy questions; Smart about changing the behavior of consumers and firms and the view of societies about what constitutes social success and acceptable behavior; Smart about developing the appropriate financing tools for the private sector, especially small firms, and for the public sector and civil society. The participation of such distinguished experts will contribute vgreatly to the successful outcome of this Second Summit,” he added.
3. PACIFIC ISLANDS DEVELOPMENT FORUM GETS FINANCIAL BOOST
The second summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) today got a financial boost of $30,000 from ANZ.
The forum, which will be held at Denarau in Nadi next week, was established to discuss critical issues in sustainable development for the people of the Pacific.
PIDF acting Secretary General, Feleti Teo said ANZ’s support demonstrated a firm commitment to the region and the country’s aspirations to drive green growth in the Pacific.
“Green growth has been the strategic and pinning approach for PIDF and in that concept, we respect the private sector’s endeavor to pursue their commercial interest but at the same time, they should also respect the need for sustaining the environment and the implications it has on the needs of the society,” Mr Teo said.
The theme for the regional PIDF Second Leaders’ Summit is “Green Growth in the Pacific: Building Resilient Sustainable Futures and Genuine Partnerships.”
“What we trying to achieve in this summit is to promote and share the experiences of countries and regions in terms of how they have approached greening their economy,” Mr Teo said.
ANZ CEO Pacific & Fiji Vishnu Mohan said the PIDF is the ideal event to role model collaboration between the public and private sectors to help build resilient, sustainable and economically strong Pacific nations.
“We are delighted to be a part of this forum. This is a great forum which will bring the private and public sectors together to look at sustainability and grow the economies of the Pacific countries in a responsible, progressive and economically viable way,” Mr Mohan said.
Countries such as Russia, Venezuela, Argentina, Israel, Morocco, Georgia, Singapore, Kazakhstan and Kuwait are amongst more than 25 countries from outside the region who have confirmed participation for the meet.
Scheduled to take place from June 18-20, the Forum will also see the participation of the President of Indonesia, His Excellency Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
4. CLOPCOTT SUBSCRIBES TO VIOLENCE FREE INITIATIVE
The Clopcott squatter settlement established in 1969 at Yalelevu in Ba this week received a timely visit by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Jiko Luveni.
The Clopcott community has a population of more than 300 people, who for the first time met any Cabinet Minister.
Dr Luveni presented a certificate of commitment to the new committee formed in Clopcott which is dedicated to promoting women’s empowerment.
Clopcott is the 86th community to join the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign, and the official launch marked the beginning of eight months of awareness programs that would be facilitated by the Ministry of Women and Fiji Police.
In her opening address, Dr Luveni reiterated the campaign opened a gateway for communities to work closely with the Ministry to promote women empowerment and gender equality.
“The Bainimarama Government continues to push for programs which aims to empower women as the basis for developing this nation. Gender equality can truly be achieved when men and women learn to work together, to share the work load and equally participate into decision making. The Bainimarama government has also strengthened legislative laws to protect women and children-through the Domestic Violence Decree and Child Welfare Decree,” Dr Luveni said.
“The campaign spreads the message that violence be it physical or verbal is a serious crime and it should be reported to the police. The campaign is powerful in the way it captures male support to champion the violence free homes and communities.”
Spokesman for Clopcott Settlement, Mukesh Chand further highlighted the crucial role of gatekeepers committee in determining the success rate of the new venture.
“Women play an important role in this community, they face problems like domestic violence and some of the women are afraid to report the case. That is why a gatekeepers committee has been formed to help the victims to seek help and the team will also work with the police, to keep a close eye on all the members of the community, to ensure that they all comply with the law and order,” Mr Chand said.
“And anyone found breaking the law will be handed over to the police, there is zero tolerance on all forms of violence. This campaign is a worthwhile investment into the lives of women and children in Clopcott settlement.”
Expressing similar sentiments, Clopcott Women’s Club representative, Nirmala Kumar said the awareness workshops will unite the men and women to gather collective ideas to steer positive development in their settlement.
“In this settlement, there are women who have been victims of domestic violence and some even tried to commit suicide. The campaign will empower women to be brave and not to shy away or run from their problems,” Mrs Kumar said.
“We are deeply touched by Madam Minister’s message, encouraging men and women to work together, to appreciate each other’s role. Her message for the women to be confident has motivated Clopcott women to aspire for their dreams. It has also been first time for us to meet the Minister who speaks so highly about women. In fact we liked her speech so much that we have recorded it and we will be glad to share the ideas given by her with other women. The information shared here today will help improve the lives of our dear sisters,” she added.
Dr Luveni officiated at similar programs at Bangladesh Settlement in Tavua and Vatukaceveceva Village in Ra along with Nasomo Village in Vatukoula, Tavua this week.
5. MINISTRY RAISES AWARENESS ON ENVIRONMENT
The Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment stressed the importance of protecting our island biodiversity at the National Environment Day celebrations in Suva today.
The celebration, held at the Fiji Museum, was attended by school students and environmental organisations to collaborate efforts in increasing awareness on Fiji’s biodiversity through a photo and eco-school competition launch.
Schools will be judged on creativity and best practice for the eco-school competition while the photo competition is open to members of the public.
The Department of Environment also showcased its work done in relation to environmental protection.
Public lectures to educate students on environmental protection polices and laws were also a major highlight of the annual celebration today.
Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment permanent secretary, Samuela Namosimalua said Government is committed towards sustainable growth.
“The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) strengthens our conversation and sustainable use of natural resources. We now require an environmental impact assessment to be undertaken for all major developments,” Mr Namosimalua said.
He added that Government is deeply committed to prioritize the importance of our island biodiversity as foundation for food and livelihood security for all Fijians.
The department has an Environmental Management Act that offers a legal mandate to ensure the safe guarding and management of natural resources within Fiji.