1. FIJIAN GOVERNMENT COMMENDS TEAM SUCCESS – The Fijian Minister for Youth and Sports Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou commended Fiji’s 7s rugby team for their recent victory in Brisbane.
2. FIJI DAY CELEBRATED AT THE UNITED NATIONS – Fiji Day was celebrated in New York today when Fijian diplomats hosted a Fiji Day luncheon at the United Nations.
3. CLIMATE CHANGE STAKEHOLDERS CHALLENGED TO WORK TOWARDS A BETTER AGREEMENT – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary, Amena Yauvoli has challenged climate change stakeholders to effectively participate in the development of the 2015 Climate Change Agreement that will be a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.
4. FIJIAN GOVERNMENT PAYS TRIBUTE TO RYAN – The Fijian Government today indicated that the national 7s side are in good hands as the nation rallies behind the Ben Ryan coached – side for its second IRB Sevens Series title and first ever Olympic Gold in Rio, Brasil in 2016.
5. POTATO RED PONTIAC SEED HARVESTED – The Ministry of Agriculture has harvested the Red Pontiac potato variety from the seed plot that was planted at the Sigatoka Research Station.
6. MINISTRY EMBARKS ON PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS – In its pursuit to increase its reach to the general public, the Ministry of Women,Children and Poverty Alleviation has embarked on a new initiative.
7. MINISTRY FACILITATES CONSULTATION FORUM – The Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts facilitated an Industry Stakeholder –Training Provider Consultation Forum in Suva this week.
1 FIJIAN GOVERNMENT COMMENDS TEAM SUCCESS
The Fijian Minister for Youth and Sports Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou commended Fiji’s 7s rugby team for their recent victory in Brisbane.
“This past week has been one of Fiji’ best ever,” he told the national 7s side on their return from Brisbane.
“On Friday our country celebrated its 44th year of Independence and your victory on this 1st leg of the 2014-2015 IRB Sevens Series at Gold Coast on Sunday is certainly, the extra icing on the cake.”
He added that the whole country was united in the win and would continue to support the 7s side.
“Your country shares with you the joy of your victory. Congratulations on your achievement! We are so pleased at your well-earned success! The news of your victory has come as a great delight to all of us at home. All of your hard work, commitment and sacrifice have paid off,” Hon. Tuitubou said.
“I extend to you Fiji’s heartiest congratulations on behalf of the Fijian Government and members of parliament on your thrilling victory, and congratulatory remarks were conveyed to Parliament by the Hon. Prime Minister during his maiden speech yesterday.”
“Your grit, and determination to win, exemplified by the leadership of Captain Osea Kolinisau and coach Ben Ryan, saw you through to a deserving victories overevery worthy opponents you faced. Your nation stands proud with you.”
The win in Australia where Fiji beat Samoa in the final means Fiji has taken an early lead into the series going into the second leg in Dubai and South Africa inDecember and ultimately the dream of winning gold in the Rio Olympics in 2016.
“We cannot rest on our laurels and it is too early now to be complacent. The road to RIO seems tough ahead and we must stay focus and that is to finish at the top four at the end of this series for an automatic qualification to Rio.
“If we continue in this form, we will certainly go to RIO and maybe accomplish theunthinkable and win the first ever gold medal at the Olympics in 2016,” he added.
2 FIJI DAY CELEBRATED AT THE UNITED NATIONS
Fiji Day was celebrated in New York today when Fijian diplomats hosted a Fiji Day luncheon at the United Nations.
In attendance were seventy Ambassadors from all regions of the world, including members of the Security Council, the President of the Group of 77 and China, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand.
In his address to the gathering, Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson, expressed Fiji’s thanks for the solidarity the international community had given Fiji at the United Nations during theyears in which Fiji’s 2013 Constitution was being formulated. He said the solidarity and the faith shown in Fiji had now been consummated by the holding of free and fair Parliamentary elections in Fiji last month. Diplomats applauded the news of the declaration of Fiji’s newly elected Prime Minister, that regardless of political affiliations, the Fijian Government was an inclusive one that would govern for all Fijians.
Ambassador Thomson gave particular thanks to the Pacific Small Island Developing States at the United Nations. He said they had stood together and taken a coordinated approach leading to the changing of the name of the Asian Group at the United Nations to the Asia-Pacific Group. He said from that pointthey had populated the important executive boards of the United Nations such as UNICEF, UN Women and UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS, and had taken on such challenging roles as the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China.
In his Fiji Day address, Fiji’s Ambassador paid particular homage to the peacekeepers of the United Nations serving in such trouble-spots as the Middle East and the ebola-afflicted countries of West Africa. Giving special thanks for the safe return of Fiji’s 46 UNDOF hostages, Ambassador Thomson reminded the diplomats present that the world’s tribute due to men and women serving in blue helmets at fraught front-lines of the world, must be ever-present in the halls of the United Nations.
3 CLIMATE CHANGE STAKEHOLDERS CHALLENGED TO WORK TOWARDS A BETTER AGREEMENT
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary, Amena Yauvoli has challenged climate change stakeholders to effectively participate in the development of the 2015 Climate Change Agreement that will be a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.
Mr Yauvoli when opening a national workshop on Climate Change negotiations this week reminded participants to be at the forefront of negotiations for this new agreement.
The workshop on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Negotiations which includes structure, issues and expectations is facilitated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Development Program’s Pacific Centre.
In this two day workshop, participants from different sectors would gain a thoroughunderstanding of the UNFCCC negotiations, the issues that are critical to their sectors and the national position that Fiji as a country will take to the negotiations.
Mr Yauvoli said the successor agreement must have all the elements of climate change, bring out the science behind climate change, the impacts of climatechange, finance to the least developed countries and the need for developedcountries to take responsibility.
He said it was important that the new agreement would take into account all issues that emerged as a result of climate change.
He extended an invitation to civil societies which were effectively involved in climate change adaptation to join the Fijian Government delegation to the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to be held in Lima, Peru from December 1-12.
Mr Yauvoli told the workshop participants that their role was steer the negotiation process and as like-minded negotiator with vast experiences on the issues on the ground, they should be able to negotiate well to ensure whatever they wish to see in the agreement was covered.
He said that given that Pacific was suffering from the impacts of climate change, it was important that the agreement that replace the Kyoto Protocol would address issues that were real to the Pacific region.
The Ministry’s Climate Change director Dr Mahendra Kumar said the main aim of the workshop was to build and sustain Fiji’s own capacity to participate in andinfluence the UNFCCC process. He explained that it aimed to strengthen the understanding of substantive and legal issues on the UNFCCC agenda and to coordinate and development negotiation positions.
It also aims to create a network among delegates to achieve better communication between negotiating sessions and to prepare coordinated submissions on behalf of groups.
The workshop also aims to strengthen links between the negotiations and how their outcomes are implemented, by feeding experiences of implementation into thenegotiations, and also by better disseminating the negotiations’ outcomes.
4 FIJIAN GOVERNMENT PAYS TRIBUTE TO RYAN
The Fijian Government today indicated that the national 7s side are in good hands as the nation rallies behind the Ben Ryan coached – side for its second IRB Sevens Series title and first ever Olympic Gold in Rio, Brasil in 2016.
The Minister for Youth and Sports Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou made the comments at a welcome reception of the national 7s side at the Raffles Gateway Resort in Nadi this morning.
“The Fijian Government through the Fiji National Sports Commission has ensured that we secure the services of Ben Ryan by providing the necessary funding to FRU and I am happy to say that its money well spent,” he said.
“And I must say that after watching Coach Ryan speaking a few Fijian words – he is certainly one of us now.”
He also said Government remained committed towards developing sports among youths as a vehicle for change.
“Our ministry will also consider requests and the plight of other sports in the future for the recruitment of experienced and qualified coaches for the development of sports in Fiji.”
5 POTATO RED PONTIAC SEED HARVESTED
The Ministry of Agriculture has harvested the Red Pontiac potato variety from the seed plot that was planted at the Sigatoka Research Station.
The Ministry’s Senior Research officer Amena Banuve said that the seed plot was planted in June this year adding that the Red Pontiac takes three months tomature.
“As we are on the harvesting stage, our next step is to take all these Red Pontiacseeds to be stored in a diffuse house and cooler before the next planting season.”
He said that these potatoes will be ready for planting in January during the offseason and are to be harvested in April next year for the main season of planting.
“This is not a new variety since it was grown by our local farmer’s way back in the 1970s-80s and currently we managed to buy some seeds from Australia for farmers to grow.
“This is a high yielding variety and adapts well to the local climatic conditions,” he said.
Mr Banuve said that the Ministry is trying to produce their own Red Pontiac seeds instead of importing it from New Zealand and Australia.
This is an on-going research activity with the primary objective of producing our own potato seeds in Fiji.
Red Pontiac is for seed production while other three new varieties from Australia are Sebago, Atlantic and Golden delight are still on the ground for furthertrials. The tissue cultured material is provided by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and is also included in this varietal evaluation.
Currently, the Research Division introduced another 42 tissue cultured varieties from Peru which are still under propagation at the tissue culture laboratory in Koronivia. Once more planting materials from this tissue cultured varieties are available, they will undergo a hardening process before field trials will be conducted.
6 MINISTRY EMBARKS ON PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS
In its pursuit to increase its reach to the general public, the Ministry of Women,Children and Poverty Alleviation has embarked on a new initiative.
The Ministry has organised its first Public Consultations in the northern division on Wednesday 15th October 2014. The consultation is open to everyone in the northern division.
The idea of holding public consultations has been mooted by the Hon. Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mrs Rosy Sofia Akbar.
The consultations organised at Civic Auditorium in Labasa will be held from 12pm to 2pm and it will be chaired by Minister-Mrs Rosy Sofia Akbar. The Permanent Secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta and Director Social Welfare Mr Rupeni Fatiaki will also be present at the consultations to offer advice and assistance.
The consultation aims to provide first-hand information to the general public on the Ministry’s programs, in particular the social welfare programs. It will provide an opportunity for the general public to meet personally with the Hon. Minister and access information or assistance regarding the government’s programs focused on empowerment of women and children.
The Ministry is encouraging those in Labasa to come out in large numbers and participate in the consultations and they will also have the opportunity toseek clarification on any of the social welfare programs as well.
The Minister will also officially open the International Rural Women’s Day celebrations that will be commemorated tomorrow morning (Wednesday 15th Oct 2014) at Civic Centre in Labasa. The celebrations has been organised by the UN Women and Ministry of Women to recognize the contributions of rural women.
7 MINISTRY FACILITATES CONSULTATION FORUM
The Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts facilitated an Industry Stakeholder–Training Provider Consultation Forum in Suva this week.
This was one of the first forum consultations that has been organised by the Ministry to receive frank and open feedback towards strengthening Fiji’s education sector.
“The Ministry of Education has a dream which is to deliver quality education for the betterment of this country and people thus the vision, ‘Quality Education for Change, Peace and Progress’. To have such an empowering education system your contribution today will add to peaceful and sustainable national development” said the Ministry’s Acting permanent secretary Basundra Kumar in her opening remarks at the forum.
“Through this consultation process we will review and implement a progressive and responsive curriculum which will align competent students into demanding career paths”, added Mrs. Kumar.
The University of the South Pacific vice-chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra, said that such forums provided a platform to validate the nature of Education System in Fiji, to be relevant, responsive and of high quality.
The key topics that have so far garnered the most response and attention during theconsultation forum were the attitude, punctuality and productivity of workers towards their job.
While the need for recognition of blue collar jobs is essential, the development of technical expertise at certificate level courses and availability of scholarship for renewable energy courses is critical.
Other recommendations that had dominated the discussion at the forum was the need to set up a Productivity Commission, Industrial Association, and Advisory bodywith the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts.
The feedback provided by the forty-seven present training providers and stakeholders was the immediate need to set up a National Research Council for reliable data that will enable the respective sections undergoing consultation to formulate innovative ideas that would impinge and impact the Education Sector.