1. ACP STANDS BY FIJI: CHAIR – The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, stands by Fiji as it charts its future under a new Constitution and elections next year says the ACP Sugar Ministerial Group chairman Hon Satya Faugoo.
2. FIJIAN GOVERNMENT PREVIEWS MEETING WITH EU – A preparatory meeting organised by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation was held last week to coordinate all inputs from various Government sectors and highlight the potential sectors in which the European Union (EU) can provide assistance on.
3. AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS IN THE PROVINCE OF LOMAIVITI – Under the Ministry of Agriculture’s Rural and Outer Island (ROI) program a total of fourteen (14) projects have been approved for the farmers in the province of Lomaiviti with a total funding of about $93,973.43 from the year 2007 to 2013.
4. ACP CALLS FOR ENGAGEMENT WITH FIJI TOWARDS ELECTIONS PHASE – The International Community has been urged to assist Fiji in its transition to return to parliamentary democracy.
5. YASAWA WELCOMES NEW CONSTITUTION – Nabalebale villagers of Viwa Island in Yasawa have welcomed the new Constitution adding that its translation into the iTaukei language will now allow them to find out about their individual rights.
6. HEALTH MINISTRY SPEARHEADS REGIONAL VACCINATION TRAINING – A regional training, aimed at providing capacity building for health professionals in administrating vaccinations, opened in Suva today.
1 ACP STANDS BY FIJI: CHAIR
The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, stands by Fiji as it charts its future under a new Constitution and elections next year says the ACP Sugar Ministerial Group chairman Hon Satya Faugoo.
He made the comments during a traditional ceremony accorded to members of the ACP region who have gathered at Shangri – La’s Fijian Resort in Sigatoka for the 13th ACP Sugar Ministerial Meeting.
“We (ACP) wish to take this opportunity to commend the bold and sustained efforts made by the Fijian Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to chart an ambitious and an all inclusive economic and political agenda for Fiji,” he said.
“Let me assure you Hon. Prime Minister of the unifying support and solidarity of the ACP sugar family in Fiji’s course towards a better future.”
Hon. Faugoo who is a lawyer by profession and the Attorney General of Mauritius welcomed the principles that have been incorporated in the 2013 Constitution.
“The adoption of a new Constitution on 6 September 2013 which enshrines fundamental principles such as an independent judiciary, a secular state and a range of civil, social and socio – economic rights and paves the way for the holding of free and fair elections before the end of September 2014 and the strengthening of democracy is a significant step in the right direction,” Hon. Faugoo said.
2 FIJIAN GOVERNMENT PREVIEWS MEETING WITH EU
A preparatory meeting organised by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation was held last week to coordinate all inputs from various Government sectors and highlight the potential sectors in which the European Union (EU) can provide assistance on.
The meeting was also intended to prepare Fiji’s position in regards to the programming meeting with the Deputy Director General of EuropeAid, the European Commission Directorate General for Development and Cooperation Mr. Marcus Cornaro which will be held tomorrow. That meeting will see the participation of an EU delegation and representatives from the Fijian Government.
The European Union is now looking to re-engage with government in terms of development cooperation and tomorrow’s meeting is expected to cover the 11th EDF Programming Discussions and the areas of assistance for Fiji’s National Indicative Programme which is to cover a seven year period from 2014 to 2020.
The Preparatory Meeting included representatives from the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Strategic Planning, Ministry of Sugar, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Department of Agriculture, Office of the Prime Minister, Department of Energy and Department of Environment. The meeting was chaired by the Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Amena Yauvoli.
The forum included discussions highlighting Fiji’s development strategy, Fiji’s economic update, sectoral challenges to development, development assistance and cooperation and also highlighted Fiji’s trade, sugar, agriculture, energy and waste management needs.
3 AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS IN THE PROVINCE OF LOMAIVITI
Under the Ministry of Agriculture’s Rural and Outer Island (ROI) program a total of fourteen (14) projects have been approved for the farmers in the province of Lomaiviti with a total funding of about $93,973.43 from the year 2007 to 2013.
The Ministry’s Senior Agricultural Officer in Lomaiviti Nimilote Waqabaca said major crops funded under this program and cultivated by the farmers in the province are dalo, yaqona, banana, cassava, coconut and other assorted vegetables.
“Production of dalo and cassava has increased from 2012 to 2013 with farmers earning an estimated $3.07 million for dalo and $12,350,000.00 for cassava.”
Mr Waqabaca included this in a recent brief to the Minister for Agriculture, Inia Seruiratu during his visit to Ovalau last week and added that this would impact a province consisting of eight (8) islands with the total population of a close to 21,000 distributed among the 76 villages within these islands.
“Since many people’s livelihoods are fully dependent on farming, yet majority farmers are still cultivating on a subsistence level.”
Mr Waqabaca said that the Government continues to assist some of these farmers under the Rural and Outer Island (ROI) Program.
Farmers were also assisted under the Coconut Revitalisation Program where a total of sixteen (16) copra driers were given to people of Koro, Gau, Nairai and Batiki which brought an increase of income of about $663,790.00 within a year.
Coconut replanting program is currently continuing on some of the islands as the demand for the high value products such as Virgin Coconut Oil continues to grow.
The Minister had also visited some of the successful agricultural projects on the island which included the visit to Ligavata Yaqona Project and Green Valley Yaqona Project.
Mr Waqabaca said that the inconsistent shipping services to the different islands in the province often hindered developments and the transportation of produce to the market.
Meanwhile Minister Seruiratu assured the Heads of Department serving in the province that the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development is looking into the matter and would soon address the issues faced by the people in the province.
He said that there are opportunities for more developments in the Eastern Division and he instructed government officials serving in the Province to work closely with people and assist them in attaining success in whatever they do.
“Microenterprise is another area where resources can be put in as with time these enterprises can grow hence improving the livelihoods of the people in the rural areas.”
He urged everyone to work together for betterment of all in fulfilling the Pillar number 7 which is establishing an integrated development structure at the divisional level of the Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress.
4 ACP CALLS FOR ENGAGEMENT WITH FIJI TOWARDS ELECTIONS PHASE
The International Community has been urged to assist Fiji in its transition to return to parliamentary democracy.
The call was made by an important player in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) region during the 13th ACP Sugar Ministerial Meeting in Sigatoka.
Hon. Satya Faugoo, the Attorney General of the Republic of Mauritius and the Minister for Food and Agriculture said it was important that international partners do not shy away from assisting Fiji in the transition.
“With Fiji’s Roadmap and the new Constitution, We (ACP) see every reason for the international community to accompany, engage and assist the Fijian Government and the Fijian people as they prepare to undertake important changes such as the elections in 2014,” he said.
Hon Faugoo also paid tribute to Fiji’s contribution to international forums in recent years such as the Group of 77 (G77, the International Sugar Organisation (ISO), the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and other international gatherings.
“Therefore we feel that the international community must join hands with Fiji in its desire in creating a better future for all Fijians,” Hon Faugoo added.
5 YASAWA WELCOMES NEW CONSTITUTION
Nabalebale villagers of Viwa Island in Yasawa have welcomed the new Constitution adding that its translation into the iTaukei language will now allow them to find out about their individual rights.
Sakaraia Batiuvi, Nabalebale, the village’s headman commended Government’s effort in translating the new constitution into three different languages and distributing it.
“This is the first time for us to be given copies of constitution and given the opportunity to read it and understand it,” Mr Batiuvi said.
“The iTaukei version will really assist the elderly in the village since most prefer the translated one. He said this will enable people in rural areas to know their rights.
More than 150 people from the village were presented sized copies by the Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities, Colonel Timoci Natuva.
Minister Natuva said this was part of Government’s initiative to ensure that the public are well informed about the new Constitution.
“Copies of the Constitution in English, Hindi and iTaukei languages are distributed to ensure that all the Fijians are well informed about their rights and responsibilities under the 2013 Constitution,” Colonel Natuva said.
Meanwhile, Colonel Natuva was in Viwa Island to commission Fiji’s first of the four desalination plant to be installed in remote island communities.
6 HEALTH MINISTRY SPEARHEADS REGIONAL VACCINATION TRAINING
A regional training, aimed at providing capacity building for health professionals in administrating vaccinations, opened in Suva today.
With the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the World Health Organisation, the UN Children’s (UNICEF) and AusAID, the training includes methods of storage, distribution and maintenance of vaccines.
A total of 20 regional participations will undergo training on the management of vaccine stock, monitoring of storage procedures, cold-chain maintenance and equipment requirements till the end of this week.
Fiji’s Health Minister, Dr Neil Sharma said that the training would address common challenges faced by health professionals in the region.
“Our challenges in the maritime transportation, ambient temperature maintenance and reducing our vaccine wastage by expiry needs attention,” Dr Sharma said.
With over 90 percent success rate, he said that Fijian children are protected from more than 13 disease entities through vaccination.
“The Pacific region has benefited from the support of the Japanese people and their government and JICA in this wide area of expanded program on immunization and vaccine management”, Dr Sharma said.
He also highlighted the need to have better access to vaccination and protection against communicable diseases in the Pacific.
The Minister said another aim of the training is to strengthen leadership in the region and provide easier access to vaccine.