CAPTION: China’s Economic and Commercial Counselor to Fiji Mr Cai Shuizeng signing the Banking Agreements for Aid with Permanent Secretary for Finance Filimoni Waqabaca.
1. ECUADOR AND FIJI ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS – The Republic of Ecuador and the Republic of Fiji formalized diplomatic relations at a ceremony at the Ecuador Mission to the United Nations in New York this week.
2. FIJI AND JICA SIGN CO-OPERATION FRAMEWORK FOR REGION – Fiji today signed a Co-operation Framework with the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), paving the way for provision of capacity building assistances to neighboring Pacific Island Countries (PICs) under a South-South Co-Operation Programme.
3. FIJI TO PARTICIPATE AT GLOBAL EXHIBITION – Members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Band have arrived in Abu Dhabi the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attend the International Defense Exhibition 2013 (IDEX 2013) and Gulf Defense Conference which opens this weekend.
4. CHINA ASSISTANCE TO BENEFIT ORDINARY FIJIANS – THE Government of the People’s Republic of China continues to provide assistance for ordinary Fijians by contributing major aid funding to projects that will significantly improve their livelihood, said the Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Mr Filimoni Waqabaca.
5. RAKIRAKI COMMUNITY URGED TO CHANGE MINDSET TOWARDS HEALTH ISSUES – The Minister for Health Doctor Neil Sharma has challenged the communities in Rakiraki to change their mindset towards the increase in Non-communicable diseases which he highlighted is now becoming a serious concern for all Fijians.
6. SPORTS COUNCIL JOINS FIGHT AGAINST NCDS – The Fiji Sports Council is strengthening its response to the growing threat of Non Communicable diseases in the country by introducing the “Sports’ Health and Fitness Program”.
7. GOVERNMENT ASSISTS WOMEN CAFETERIA IN NASINU – The Imanueli Women’s Fellowship of Nawanawa Road in Nadera today thanked Government for looking after the plight of micro organisations and enterprises.
1 ECUADOR AND FIJI ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS
The Republic of Ecuador and the Republic of Fiji formalized diplomatic relations at a ceremony at the Ecuador Mission to the United Nations in New York this week.
The Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations, Ambassador Xavier Mendoza and his Fiji counterpart, Ambassador Peter Thomson, signed a joint communiqué establishing diplomatic relations between the two developing nations.
The communiqué expresses the desire of the Republic of Fiji and Ecuador Republic to establish their diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level in accordance with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and in conformity with the United Nations Charter and international law. The communiqué calls for the promotion of mutual understanding and the strengthening of friendship and cooperation among the peoples of the two republics.
Following the formalization ceremony, Ambassadors Mendoza and Thomson held talks on areas of common interest between their two countries. Included in these talks were the forthcoming deliberations of the UN’s Special Committee on Decolonization, of which Ecuador is the Chair and Fiji is a long-standing member. Discussions also covered the upcoming negotiations, under Fiji’s Chairmanship, of the Group of 77’s position on the follow-up agenda for Post-Rio+20 Conference.
2 FIJI AND JICA SIGN CO-OPERATION FRAMEWORK FOR REGION
Fiji today signed a Co-operation Framework with the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), paving the way for provision of capacity building assistances to neighboring Pacific Island Countries (PICs) under a South-South Co-Operation Programme.
Through this programme, the Government of Japan through JICA would provide funding and technical assistance initially to run a pilot project entailing technical and vocational education and training for Kiribati and Tuvalu. The Public Service Commission (PSC) is the executing Agency for the project.
Public Service Commission permanent secretary Mr Parmesh Chand said that the signing of the Agreement is in line with the commitment for offer of assistance which Fiji has made, as part of “Engaging with the Pacific Meetings”.
“PSC worked closely with JICA and other stakeholders in undertaking surveys of technical and vocational education and training needs in Tuvalu and Kiribati,” Mr Chand said.
“JICA also funded and facilitated an exposure visit to Singapore and Malaysia of relevant Senior Officials from Fiji to observe the implementation of the South-South Co-operation Programme in these two countries.”
Mr Chand added that under the Program, the PSC will mobilise training providers such as the Fiji National University and others who would be able to design and deliver training programmes for participants from Tuvalu and Kiribati.
JICA together with the PSC would cost share to deliver such programmes. He said that the benefits to Fiji in this programme are substantial. Fiji will be able to earn income, enhance her human resource and trade capabilities and also contribute to the development prospects of her neighboring countries.
JICA’s Deputy Resident, Mr Fukase Yutaka, said that they are pleased to work with PSC on this initiative.
“The Government of Japan is committed to assisting PICs in achieving the Millennium Development Goals,” said Mr Yutaka.
“This project is expected to contribute to that commitment, with particular emphasis on maintenance of basic infrastructure for the benefit of the people of the Pacific Region.”
The signing ceremony paves the way for more detailed planning to be undertaken by both PSC and JICA to implement the South-South Co-operation Programme. After the initial piloting of the project for the benefit of Tuvalu and Kiribati, consideration will be given to extending the project to cover other selected PICs.
3 FIJI TO PARTICIPATE AT GLOBAL EXHIBITION
Members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Band have arrived in Abu Dhabi the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attend the International Defense Exhibition 2013 (IDEX 2013) and Gulf Defense Conference which opens this weekend.
Led by the Chief of Staff, Colonel Sitiveni Qiliho, Fiji’s participation at the Exhibition was made possible through an invitation by the UAE Armed Forces, organizers of the IDEX 2013 and the 2013 Gulf Defence Conference.
Fiji’s Ambassador to the UAE, Mr Robin Nair received the delegation from Fiji and expressed his gratitude to the RFMF for their participation adding that “it was a great day for the new Embassy’s public diplomacy and outreach agenda to receive Fiji’s premier military and cultural band and performers”.
“The embassy will be taking advantage of this opportunity to showcase Fiji in the IDEX 2013,” Ambassador Nair said.
Ambassador Nair said apart from performing at the IDEX 2013, the Embassy in conjunction with ADBox, a high profile Abu Dhabi based Events company have also organised other locations for the group to perform. This includes main shopping malls and the Global Village in Dubai.
He said other parts of UAE have also shown interest in inviting the group to perform.
“I have received requests from throughout the seven Emirates, for the group to perform at their venues also”, Ambassador Nair said.
It is expected that the RFMF Band’s performance will reach many TV audiences in the region and the world over.
The 50 man party from RFMF, which includes two female members are all looking forward to their first performance on Sunday.
IDEX is the only International defense exhibition and conference in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region demonstrating the latest technology across land, sea and air sectors of defense. It is a unique platform to establish and strengthen relationships with government departments, businesses and armed forces throughout the region.
4 CHINA ASSISTANCE TO BENEFIT ORDINARY FIJIANS
THE Government of the People’s Republic of China continues to provide assistance for ordinary Fijians by contributing major aid funding to projects that will significantly improve their livelihood, said the Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Mr Filimoni Waqabaca.
The comments follow the formalisation of economic and technical cooperation between the Fijian Government and the People’s Republic of China’s through its Economic and Commercial counsellor to Fiji, Mr Cai Shuizeng and Mr Waqabaca.
In signing over the funding, Mr Shuizeng asked Mr Waqabaca to monitor the China-funded projects to ensure that it is rendered smoothly and without any delay.
The permanent secretary reassured him that the projects will be given the attention it needs as per the agreements between the two countries.
“The 30M RMB (FJD$8.55m) and 40MRMB (FJD$11.4m) will go a long way for the people of Fiji and these funds are normally directed at projects particularly in rural areas and schemes that will address the needs of the people”.
“The economic and technical agreement between the two nations, in particular the Chinese assistance, has contributed to our economic growth.”
Mr Waqabaca said the assistance has also helped the Fijian Government to meet some of the demands put on the Government by the people especially by those in the rural and maritime areas.
Mr Shuizeng said as Fiji and China enjoys a long-time friendship, the Chinese Government is happy to provide assistance to its “beloved friend Fiji” within its capabilities.
“All these projects have been monitored by the Ministry of Finance and we hope that the Ministry continues to do so in the future.”
Some of the projects that have received a boost from China include road and housing projects.
5 RAKIRAKI COMMUNITY URGED TO CHANGE MINDSET TOWARDS HEALTH ISSUES
The Minister for Health Doctor Neil Sharma has challenged the communities in Rakiraki to change their mindset towards the increase in Non-communicable diseases which he highlighted is now becoming a serious concern for all Fijians.
The Minister made the comments while officially opening the General Out Patient’s department and Accidents and Emergency at the Rakiraki hospital today.
“Substantial amount of people are suffering from hypertension, heart diseases and diabetes as well as other related diseases like mental health,” the Minister said.
“Every family and community member need to take ownership of what they eat, drink because health officials and government cannot fight this deadly disease alone.”
Minister Sharma highlighted that the ‘Best Buys’ approach was adopted in Fiji from a UN meeting that was held in 2011 that underlines four key areas that need addressing including; reducing alcohol intake, reducing salt intake in f foods and to actively participate in physical activities.
Meanwhile, Dr Sharma reaffirmed governments’ commitment towards the upgrading of the health sector.
“Funds have been allocated by the Bainimarama government to upgrade our health facilities in the western division because we need better facilities to be able to provide better health care for our people,” Dr Sharma said.
“More doctors and nurses will undergo training to improve in the delivery of health services because every now and then we receive complaints of laxity so this is one area to focus and drive people to be customer focused.”
The new extension to the Rakiraki hospital is a joint partnership between the Ministry of Health and Cosmopolitan, non-governmental organization that provided furniture’s and two air conditioning systems.
Cosmopolitan chairman Manikami Gounder said the group is made up of businesses partners that decided to give back something to the community.
Acting Rakiraki special administrator Seini Raiko welcomed the initiative saying that this will greatly benefit the residents and villagers in the Ra province.
The total costs of renovations and building works amounted to $179,000.
6 SPORTS COUNCIL JOINS FIGHT AGAINST NCDS
The Fiji Sports Council is strengthening its response to the growing threat of Non Communicable diseases in the country by introducing the “Sports’ Health and Fitness Program”.
Opened to the general public without any costs, the program is designed to provide the public access to healthy activities, recreational activities and sporting activities.
“We urge all organisations to make use of this opportunity and come join other business house in this initiative. Employers are encouraged to take the leading role through Health Policy in Work Place and be part of this program”, says FSC Events officer, Eroni Tawayaga.
“FSC is committed to building a healthier and fitter nation through initiatives such as this. It’s all about fun, sports, keeping fit and staying healthy’.
“FSC believes that through active programs like this, it helps increase productivity and efficiency in workplaces and eliminate unwarranted sickness or diseases and reduce the NCD rate”.
The FSC is now urging corporate, government, NGO and business agencies to make use of this opportunity for their staff.
“The program is from 1pm – 2pm every Wednesday. It starts with a warm up aerobics exercise and is followed by social sports such as netball, volleyball, football and touch rugby. The activity will change every Wednesday and we are requesting all to wear proper sporting footwear”, Mr Tawayaga said.
FSC is also hosting Corporate Social Competitions in Netball, Volleyball and Futsal throughout the year. Business houses are encouraged to participate in these tournaments. The theme for this year’s FSC’s Health and Fitness program is “Stay healthy, Keep Fit and Stay Safe”
7 GOVERNMENT ASSISTS WOMEN CAFETERIA IN NASINU
The Imanueli Women’s Fellowship of Nawanawa Road in Nadera today thanked Government for looking after the plight of micro organisations and enterprises.
This was relayed after the Department of Women presented the group with a new electric food warmer $4,023 to assist them with their catering business which is located at the Valelevu Market in Nasinu Town.
The Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni presented the women this gift and signed Memorandum of Understanding on future assistance.
“I know that customers will be happy because now you will be serving them with warm delicious food everyday with the help of this Food Warmer,” Dr Luveni said.
Dr Luveni said the objectives of such assistance is to provide support to the less fortunate by generating funds and expertise available through Ngo’s to enable them to improve their standard of living.
“Government has the responsibility to serve the public. Government service is public services,” she reminded the women.
“A good example is the initiative you women’s group took to voice your needs with me which have resulted in the assistance that Government has made to your cafeteria,” Dr Luveni said.
She told the Imanueli Women’s Fellowship that without this Government assistance they will indulge themselves with the tiring work of fundraising.
“Now because of the availability of Government assistance, it has made your business efforts easier,” she said.
“I am glad to know that your decision to venture into this cafeteria business have been carefully chosen and you’ve conducted yourselves professionally in running the business,” Dr Luveni said.
Dr Luveni was impressed by the way the women themselves are benefiting from their cafeteria business.
“I know that apart from the profit that your business gets in a day you also pay for the women who come and serve in the cafeteria so the benefit goes direct to their families. The way you conduct your business should be encouraged to other women’s group in Fiji,” Minister Luveni said.
“Today is a special God given day to the Imanueli Women’s Fellowship of Nawanawa in Nadera. It is the day that we witnessed this huge assistance by Government. On behalf of the women’ fellowship I thankful to the Minister of Women for this wonderful Food Warmer which is an excellent asset to our cafeteria business,” said the President of the Imanueli Women’s Fellowship Rai Rabuka.