- ST KITTS & NEVIS AND FIJI FORMALISE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS- Fiji has this week, formalized diplomatic relations with the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis at the Fiji Mission to the United Nations in New York.
- HEALTH MINISTER AT THE 67TH WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY –Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma will participate at the 67th World Health Assembly (WHA) held in Geneva next week between May 19 to 24.
- LABOUR MEDIATION AVERTS POTENTIAL USP STRIKE –The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment has revealed that a potential strike threat between the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the USP Staff Union has been resolved after successful mediation.
- SETTLEMENT VOWS TO PROTECT WOMEN AND CHILDREN – A multiracial community in Ba province has faced up to the challenge of protecting its women and children from violence and injustice.
- ST KITTS & NEVIS AND FIJI FORMALISE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS
Fiji has this week, formalized diplomatic relations with the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis at the Fiji Mission to the United Nations in New York.
At the ceremony, the Permanent Representative of St Kitts & Nevis to the United Nations, Ambassador Delano Frank Bart, and his Fijian counterpart, Ambassador Peter Thomson, signed a joint communiqué establishing diplomatic relations between the two nations.
The communiqué expresses the desire of the Governments of Fiji and Saint Kitts & Nevis to promote and strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between their two countries in political, economic, cultural, humanitarian and other fields.
It also states that diplomatic relations between Saint Kitts & Nevis and Fiji will be guided by the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and international law, and that they are established in accordance with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Following the formalisation ceremony, Ambassadors Bart and Thomson held talks on areas of common interest between their two countries at the United Nations.
Both countries are members of such developing country groups as G77 (the Group of 77 and China), the Non-Aligned Movement, and AOSIS (Alliance of Small Island States).
Ambassador Thomson used the occasion to brief Ambassador Bart on the steady progress being made towards Fiji’s 2014 general elections.
- HEALTH MINISTER AT THE 67TH WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY
Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma will participate at the 67th World Health Assembly (WHA) held in Geneva next week between May 19 to24.
Dr Sharma will participate in the meetings and discussions in relation to communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases and other health related issues.
The WHA is the supreme decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO).
It is attended by delegations from all WHO member states and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board of the organisation.
The main functions of the WHA are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed program budget.
The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.
- LABOUR MEDIATION AVERTS POTENTIAL USP STRIKE
The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment has revealed that a potential strike threat between the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the USP Staff Union has been resolved after successful mediation.
Minister for Labour Jone Usamate confirmed that the Permanent Secretary for Labour Taito Waqa had received a 21 days strike notice earlier this week from the University’s Staff Union.
To speedily defuse the potential strike threat, the Ministry activated informal mediation to facilitate discussions and try to resolve the disputes between the parties.
Mr Usamate said the Ministry’s mediator, Mr Harbans Narayan, provided mediation between the parties which started yesterday.
After intensive mediation sessions over a period of two days, the parties reached an amicable resolution yesterday resulting in an agreement which settles the union’s claims for medical benefits.
In good faith, the USP Staff Union withdrew its notice to seek strike mandate for its members.
Mr Usamate applauds the University and its representative Ms Heather Stadel and her management team, and Ms Litiana Waqalevu, the General Secretary of the Union for acting in good faith in finding amicable resolutions to the dispute which augurs well for coexistence of both sides.
- SETTLEMENT VOWS TO PROTECT WOMEN AND CHILDREN
A multiracial community in Ba province has faced up to the challenge of protecting its women and children from violence and injustice.
The Koronubu settlement in Ba has successfully completed seven months of awareness programs which was facilitated by the Fiji Police, Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and government ministries who are stakeholders of the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign.
In an official event this week, the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni unveiled a billboard declaring this community violence free upon completion of 10 preparatory phases of this campaign.
Dr Luveni said the campaign has grown from strength to strength and the key to it is support from the male leaders.
“The campaign has been recognized internationally as well and it’s the approach taken that makes it unique, it’s actually getting the men to become champions of violence free communities and it also motivates communities to take ownership of the initiative,” Dr Luveni said.
“The male leaders pair up with the women and youth leaders to form a gatekeepers committee and work closely with police and relevant stakeholders to create awareness and spread the message that violence be it of any form is a serious crime and should not be tolerated.”
Dr Luveni added that economic empowerment was a key pillar of the campaign.
“Poverty is also one of the determinants of violence apart from awareness programs, the women are also assisted to start their income generating projects, trained on financial literacy and also encouraged to have personal savings account,” Dr Luveni said.
The Koronubu settlement is also confirmed to have a women’s centre that will open up various economic opportunities and create a platform for continued awareness on women’s empowerment. The centre will be funded by the Department of Women.
Koronubu women’s club president, Reena Prasad said the campaign had many positive impacts on the women in her community.
“This campaign has been eye opener for Koronubu women, we have learnt that there are laws like Domestic Violence Decree that protects us and we don’t need to live in fear,” Mrs Prasad said.
“We are grateful to the minister Dr Luveni for showing us the way forward to break free from silence and to have confidence in ourselves, to exercise our right to live empowered and violence free lives. For the first time, we have realized that there is so much we can do as a group of women-her message has inspired us to work together and to plan and spend our time wisely to support our families,” she added.
Koronubu Sanatan Primary School president, Thakur Rajesh Singh, who is also a member of the gatekeepers committee said the campaign has reminded the men of their roles towards their families.
“One of the issues we had spoken about is the need for fathers to spend quality time with their family. And the need for parents to become good role models for their children. One of the strong messages received by the programs is that women are important partners into development, their rights to equally participate into income generating and decision must not be suppressed,” Mr Singh said.
“A community that works to actively empower women will progress much faster than a community that fails to recognize women.”
A presentation by the Koronubu police revealed that for the months of January to May 2014, a total of seven restraining orders were served.
The community awareness programs reiterates that Domestic Violence Decree was enforced to protect women and children of this country-once domestic violence cases are reported for example if a wife was assaulted by husband then the police officers are duty bound to charge the husband-they don’t have the authority to reconcile the matter at police station- in other words there is no drop policy towards domestic violence.