CAPTION: Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma with the officials of the new mortuary.
1. JUSTICE MINISTRY TAKES SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC – Members of the public have been encouraged to visit the Government Service Centre (GSC) in downtown Suva for more information regarding services provided by the Ministry of Justice.
2. STUDENTS REMINDED OF THE IMPORTANCE OF SPORTS – Athletes competing at the 2013 Coca Cola games were reminded that sports is an important aspect of building character for every individual.
3. RENEWAL OF MANGROVE MANAGEMENT PLAN TO ADDRESS MANGROVE DEPLETION – The cutting of mangroves around the country has brought about the need to renew Fiji’s Mangrove Management Plan.
4. IMPROVED SERVICES AT SUVA MORTUARY – The opening of a refurbished mortuary this week reflects government’s commitment to improve medical services and resources around the country.
5. SENIOR OFFICIALS MEETING ON KEY MSG ISSUES OPENS – The Chairman of the Senior Officials Meeting and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr Amena Yauvoli has officially opened the Special Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) at the MSG Secretariat in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
1 JUSTICE MINISTRY TAKES SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC
Members of the public have been encouraged to visit the Government Service Centre (GSC) in downtown Suva for more information regarding services provided by the Ministry of Justice.
The Ministry, which includes the Judicial Department, Births, Deaths, Marriages (BDM), Corrections Services, Legal Aid and FICAC, is currently on display at the GSC this week.
An official from the Judicial Department, Francis Prasad, said they have been receiving positive responses from members of the public who visit their booths for more information and the various assistances that are available.
“We receive an average of 50-60 people a day. They mostly come for the brochures and pamphlets and some of them ask about the Family Court procedures, the High Court and Magistrates Court procedures including the Small Claims Tribunal,” Mr Prasad said.
He added that there is a need for people to be referred to respective registries.
“So far we have not received any complaints but if people do come with complaints, we note it down and we check with the respective registries. We also advise them to go to the senior court officers or officers-in-charge of the respective registries.”
The public have also been encouraged to access services from the Commissioner of Oath at the GSC.
“We are also here to provide the service that is being provided by the Commissioner of Oaths. If people need a witness for a document, we are doing that as well. “We don’t ask people to come with documents when coming to raise their concerns or queries with us because this is like an awareness display. If they come with the documents, we would not be able to do much from here. We refer members of the public to the right people,” Mr Prasad added.
The DPP’s office who are also displaying services have also received a substantial amount of queries from people visiting their booth.
The display will finish at midday this Saturday. The referral centre is located at what used to be the old Fiji Visitors Bureau office in Suva.
2 STUDENTS REMINDED OF THE IMPORTANCE OF SPORTS
Athletes competing at the 2013 Coca Cola games were reminded that sports is an important aspect of building character for every individual.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Labour Jone Usamate while delivering his address at the opening ceremony challenged the 2,400 students from around the country to strive for the best during the two-day competition.
“Sports and athletics are important for building character and they are important for teaching each individual lifelong lessons,” Minister Usamate said.
“We learn to work with others, our school mates, our teachers and our parents who have been supportive and for an athlete, success requires teamwork,” he said.
The Minister also reminded students to be dedicated in whatever they strive for and in whatever field of sports or academic studies.
“We will have some winners and losers but if we do lose we teach ourselves to remain positive to move to the next challenge.”
Mr Usamate reminded competitors to have healthy life style, eat the right food and exercise regularly to prevent the Non-Communicable diseases.
(Photos for this can be accessed at the Ministry’s facebook page)
3 RENEWAL OF MANGROVE MANAGEMENT PLAN TO ADDRESS MANGROVE DEPLETION
The cutting of mangroves around the country has brought about the need to renew Fiji’s Mangrove Management Plan.
This was highlighted by the Director of Lands and Surveyor General Mosese Tagicakibau at the Environment Impact Consultation Training Workshop at Holiday Inn who also highlighted that Fiji’s current Mangrove Management Plan is out of date.
“The Ministry has a current mangrove management plan that already exists which was published in 2005, and it is out of date now, and so we are putting together a new one due to the increase in new issues that are arising from the cutting of mangroves,” Mr Tagicakibau said.
He added that approaches to the issues of mangrove cutting that were overlooked in 2005 will be added to the new plan.
“The new or renewed mangrove management plan will allow people to know the size of the mangroves that can be cut and the types, as it is mainly for the preservation of the mangroves, it will also include new approaches, and some of the approaches that were overlooked in 2005, so in the new edition there will be other new approaches that will help in the better management of our mangroves and cater to the increasing number of mangrove cutting issues,” Mr Tagicakibau added.
The Ministry of Lands is working together with Principal and founder of Environmental Consultants Fiji Limited Doctor Dick Watling to put together the 2013 edition, which will be released in June as a draft. This will allow various divisions and relevant stakeholders to give in their submissions.
4 IMPROVED SERVICES AT SUVA MORTUARY
The opening of a refurbished mortuary this week reflects government’s commitment to improve medical services and resources around the country.
Minister for Health Doctor Neil Sharma relayed this while opening the new refurbished mortuary at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital this week.
“We are now focusing on delivering better services that will be provided to families that have lost their loved ones and this new developments include mortuary services, generators and other services boilers, laundry services and ultrasound laboratories,” Dr Sharma said.
The refurbished mortuary has been privatised and is currently operated by the Suva Funeral Directors.
“The outsourcing of these services will save the ministry substantial amount of money which will be reutilised in other important areas and also the similar developments will be undertaken in the two major hospitals,” he said.
The total costs of the refurbishment were $100,000 and Chief Executive Officer for Suva Funeral Directors Darven Prasad said they are adamant of providing better services which will be convenient.
Renovations of the mortuary included the dressing room and new freezers.
Meanwhile, Dr Sharma highlighted some of the major developments that are currently undertaken at various health centres and sub divisional hospitals.
Dr Sharma said through the outsourcing of these facilities, the Ministry has received no complaints from members of the public.
5 SENIOR OFFICIALS MEETING ON KEY MSG ISSUES OPENS
The Chairman of the Senior Officials Meeting and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr Amena Yauvoli has officially opened the Special Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) at the MSG Secretariat in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
Mr Yauvoli today officially welcomed senior officials from the FLNKS, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji to the two-day meeting from 16 to 17 May 2013.
In his opening remarks Mr Yauvoli acknowledged the presence of the representative of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, H.E Peter Eaefere, the Director General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of the Republic of Vanuatu, Mr Johnny Koanapo, the Solomon Islands Government, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Mrs Joy Kere Kiriau, the representatives of the FLNKS, Mr Michael Forrest and Mr Charles Wea to the Special SOM meeting.
The SOM Chair said this special SOM is very important in that it is held on the eve of the Pre-Summit Senior Officials meeting that is being scheduled to be held in New Caledonia from 13 to 14 June 2013.
“This Special SOM is to initiate discussion on a number of key issues for formal consideration in June,” said Mr Yauvoli. He added that this includes the Agreement Establishing the MSG as contained in the Subcomittee on Legal and Institutional Issues (SCLII) Report, the Chairing Arrangements for Trade-related meetings, the application by West Papua for Membership, the participation of observers, and MoUs with non-state organizations are among other issues included in the agenda. Mr Yauvoli emphasized that having a prior discussion ahead of the Summit will allow members to have sufficient time to consult on clear positions with Ministers and Leaders before the Noumea Leaders’ Summit.
The Senior Officials Meeting Chair also in his remarks pointed out to senior officials that recently the MSG Chair appointed an MSG EPG led by Mr Kaliopate Tavola from Fiji to consult and develop a vision for the MSG. Mr Yauvoli reported that the EPG had commenced their work and had completed consultations in Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji. He confirmed that the EPG will be travelling to Honiara and Port Moresby for consultations from 20 May 2013. He further reported that the consultations have been successful and the Special Senior Officials Meeting will receive a progressive report on the main issues that have emanated from their consultations so far. He confirmed that the EPG will present a complete report the SOM in June in Noumea.
Mr Yauvoli during the official opening also took the opportunity to thank his predecessor, Ms Saipora Mataikabara for her leadership in ensuring engaged discussions and good outcomes in her capacity as SOM Chair since 2011.
The Special Senior Officials Meeting held this week will be presented to the Senior Officials Meeting in New Caledonia in June.
(Source: MSG Secretariat / Vanuatu)