- FIJI- CHINA RELATIONS REMAIN STRONG- PRESIDENT NAILATIKAU – Strong working relations brought about by Fiji’s Look North Policy between Fiji and the People’s Republic of China remains the cornerstone of development and cooperation between the two countries.
- SIGN LANGUAGE GRADUATES TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY – More than 60 students graduated last night with a certificate in sign language following a course organised by the Fiji Association for the Deaf.
- NORTHERN PUBLIC TO BENEFIT FROM NEW IMMIGRATION OFFICE – The opening of an Immigration Department Office in Labasa today will allow Fijians in the northern division to access their services without travelling to Suva.
- COLLECTIVE APPROACH TOWARDS DISASTER MANAGEMENT – FIJI needs to harness its climate change mitigation and disaster risk management efforts to avoid duplication of resources and manpower.
1 FIJI- CHINA RELATIONS REMAIN STRONG- PRESIDENT NAILATIKAU
Strong working relations brought about by Fiji’s Look North Policy between Fiji and the People’s Republic of China remains the cornerstone of development and cooperation between the two countries.
This was pointed out during discussions between Fiji’s Head of State H.E Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and the Zhenjiang Provincial People’s Congress Secretary Dr Xia Baolong. The Fijian President is in China and in particular to Nanjing for the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics.
Dr Baolong said the visit by His Excellency to the province of Zhenjiang was a sign of strengthened commitment. Over the years, Zhenjiang Province had donated 500 sewing machines to the Ministry of Women and Social Welfare as part of its empowerment programme targeted at empowering rural women by providing them alternative sources of income. .
“I am confident that there are more opportunities as such that we can undertake together and your assistance in this regard is fully acknowledged and appreciated,”Ratu Epeli Nailatikau said.
While in China the Fijian President is expected to officiate at the opening of Fiji’s newest Consulate General in Shanghai next week.
2 SIGN LANGUAGE GRADUATES TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY
More than 60 students graduated last night with a certificate in sign language following a course organised by the Fiji Association for the Deaf.
This latest development was applauded by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta who pointed out that the course recognises the important work carried out by the institution in Fiji. In officiating at the event, the permanent secretary paid tribute to the work carried out by them in raising awareness for the hearing impaired.
“It is 30 years now from the beginning and it (Fiji Association for the Deaf) is growing into maturity and today marks just one of those seasons in its plan where we now have qualified sign language professionals who are ready to take on this task,” Dr Koroivueta said.
He highlighted to guests at last night’s event that this development is in line with the Ministry’s objective to empower not only disabled persons but those Fijians who can assist in raising awareness for the disabled.
“Fiji is fortunate to be one of the pioneer countries of this part of the world that has launched the braille version of the constitution which is a milestone for the Bainimarama government,” Dr Koroivueta added.
Joeli Susu is one of the students who graduated with an advanced certificate in sign language and an award for being the most involved student in the deaf community.
“I first started sign language in 2012 through motivation from a friend who is a sign language translator. After tonight, I feel a major accomplishment in life today through this graduation,” Mr Susu said.
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3 NORTHERN PUBLIC TO BENEFIT FROM NEW IMMIGRATION OFFICE
The opening of an Immigration Department Office in Labasa today will allow Fijians in the northern division to access their services without travelling to Suva.
Officiating at today’s event was the Minister for Defense, National Security and Immigration Joketani Cokanasiga who said that the new office would also monitor immigration related activities in the North given the developments taking place there.
The Minister said that the new office will carry out the work carried out at the Immigration outlet in Savusavu.
Meanwhile the Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere saw today’s event as an opportunity for the Macuata people to make use of the services being provided.
“It will be a break-through not only for the people of Macuata but the whole Northern Division”.
“People will no longer have to travel to Suva for the renewal of their visa, passports or for making a passport; we have an office right here.”
4 COLLECTIVE APPROACH TOWARDS DISASTER MANAGEMENT
FIJI needs to harness its climate change mitigation and disaster risk management efforts to avoid duplication of resources and manpower.
The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) director Mr Manasa Tagicakibau said this will be the main thrust behind building a National Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change.
In addition, he said through the four day workshop next week, more awareness and understanding for recently launched Government initiative called the Green Growth Framework will be sought.
“This national platform has been absent in Fiji so we have the global and regional initiative but the national platform is not in existence. The regional initiatives usually go to the institutions and trickles down to the communities but it is not coordinated well,” Mr Tagicakibau said.
On the workshop, he said it will provide a platform for sharing of ideas, concepts and practices that are relevant and beneficial to Fiji in terms of disaster risk and climate change programmes.
Mr Tagicakibau said if addressed appropriately the programmes could help “reduce damage and loss and promote sustainable development and resilience to the country”.
The National Platform will gather all relevant stakeholders to a forum and help identify gaps.
It will also assist in proposing a way forward to harmonise disaster risk management and climate change in areas of commonality that will benefit the country.
Mr Tagicakibau assured that the meeting outcome statement will receive the necessary attention from the Fijian Government as it will be the basis for the formulation of a Cabinet submission on the revision of disaster risk management in Fiji to one that includes climate change and relevant sectors.
The workshop will see experts in academia, government, outside government, development partners, private sector, local government and community will come together at Novotel, Lami on August 19.