- FIJI CONTINGENT HONORED AT COMMEMORATIVE SERVICE-Fijian War heroes were today honored for their service to the country during the First World War at the National War Memorial Site in Veiuto.
- PACIFIC LEADERS MEET IN SUVA TO DISCUSS CEPA-Fiji has maintained the need for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union that takes into account the Pacific region’s concerns and interests.
- 3. SPECIALISED TRAINING FOR OUR MEDICAL OFFICERS –Minister for Health and Medical Services Hon Jone Usamate had the opportunity today to witness first hand training of local medical officers in the field of Gastroenterology and endoscopy that is currently underway at Colonial War Memorial Hospital.
- UN WOMEN REPRESENTATIVE PRESENTS CREDENTIALS –United Nations Women Representative, Ms Aleta Miller, presented her credentials to Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon Jioji Konrote on 10th July, 2015, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office.
- COMMITTEE UPDATED ON CURRENT DRY SPELL- Appropriate early intervention in anticipation of a severe dry weather conditions is a priority.
- HEALTH OF FIJIAN PEOPLE DEPEND ON THE STRENGTH OF PUBLIC HEALTH-The health of the Fijian people will depend on the strength of the public health.
- GOVERNMENT TO STREAMLINE PROCESSES HIGHLIGHTED AT CONSULTATION-Nineteen year old Shaneel Ajay Prakash of Waila Nausori took time out to make his submission during the NDP consultations that was held at Lelean Memorial School last night.
- FIJI CONTINGENT HONORED AT COMMEMORATIVE SERVICE
Fijian War heroes were today honored for their service to the country during the First World War at the National War Memorial Site in Veiuto.
The Acting Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration, Hon Jone Usamate said today’s commemorative service is for the Second Fiji Contingent, the Second and Third Fiji Reinforcements, the Third Fiji Contingent and for the women of Fiji who served in the First World War.
“The Second Fiji Contingent of 61 men left Fiji on 16th July, 1915 and arrived in Liverpool, England on 19th August. Most of the men like their predecessors enlisted at Stratford for the First Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC). The battalion fought in the battle of the Somme in 1916 and in the battle of the Scarpe and the battle of Cambrai in 1917,” Mr Usamate said.
The acting Minister for Defence said that the Second Fiji Reinforcement of twenty men left Fiji on 13th July, 1917 arriving in England on 10th August where they enlisted in the 1st Battalion KRRC and the Third Fiji Reinforcement of 28 men left Fiji on 4th July, 1918 and were listed in the KRRC in August.
“The Third Fiji Contingent left Fiji on 5th August and arrived in Auckland on 14thAugust where they underwent training. They had completed their training and were ready for embarkation to Egypt when the Armistice was declared. The Third Reinforcement and the Third Contingent did not see active service but are included in this Commemorative Service.”
Family representative of the 1st Fiji Contingent, Sallyarn Harness felt honored to be included in the commemorative service.
“I am here representing my Dad’s uncle; George Harness who went to the First World War. When he returned and as part of Government’s initiative, he was given farming land in Tailevu, Wainibuka which we still own. We are the fifth generation and the last surviving family of the First Battalion,” Harness said.
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- PACIFIC LEADERS MEET IN SUVA TO DISCUSS CEPA
Fiji has maintained the need for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union that takes into account the Pacific region’s concerns and interests.
Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, permanent secretary Shaheen Ali said the recent development on the negotiation front has not been in the best interest of the Pacific and it was time for the region to take control.
Speaking at the Special Pacific-African, Caribbean and Pacific Trade and Fisheries officials meeting in Suva today, he said Fiji wanted one EPA for the region that was development oriented and addressed some of the core demands in fisheries and development cooperation.
“There is no doubt that Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is important for the Pacific’s relations with the EU, beyond 2020,” Mr Ali said.
“However, the CEPA should not come at the expense of our regional integration, our policy space, our right of self-determination and our sovereignty.”
He called for flexibility and consideration from the EU as it is needed to take into account the Pacific nations’ size and vulnerabilities because this was not the case at the moment.
“This was very clearly demonstrated by the EC Trade Commissioner’s letter to the Pacific ACP, on 24 March 2015, which effectively called for a deferment in the negotiations, unless the Pacific side made specific commitments, with regards to the issues relating to conservation and management measures in fisheries,” Mr Ali said.
Fiji has provisionally an interim EPA (IEPA) to allow for trade with European nations to continue but has continued to advocate and is committed to the regional process.
Trade Ministers from the region will be meeting tomorrow to discuss further the issue of CEPA.
- SPECIALISED TRAINING FOR OUR MEDICAL OFFICERS
Minister for Health and Medical Services Hon Jone Usamate had the opportunity today to witness first hand training of local medical officers in the field of Gastroenterology and endoscopy that is currently underway at Colonial War Memorial Hospital.
Minister Usamate while encouraging the medical officers to share their experiences in this field said that the participants should take advantage of this training and put it to good use.
Professor of Fiji School of Medicine, Dr Joji Malani said the exercise has been created to address the need for local specialist training in Gastroenterology in the South Pacific, which had previously been absent in the region.
“With this training, local and regional medical officers are able to share knowledge and skills in the area of Gastroenterology and endoscopy treatment,” Dr Malani said.
“Another advantage of this training is that local doctors are able to perform it locally and people do not have to go overseas for treatment.”
Dr Malani highlighted one of the major setbacks in the past is the lack of local specialist training has been conducive to the “brain drain” being witnessed in the region.
“However with the introduction of local postgraduate programmes, there has been a decrease in doctors going overseas as most of them are now able to diagnose and treat diseases without leaving the country.”
“A total of 100 doctors and nurses have been trained in this area and acquired recognition.”
The one month training is conducted by Australian and New Zealand Gastroenterology International Training Association.
- UN WOMEN REPRESENTATIVE PRESENTS CREDENTIALS
United Nations Women Representative, Ms Aleta Miller, presented her credentials to Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon Jioji Konrote on 10th July, 2015, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office.
Ms. Miller is an Australian Registered Psychologist graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Psychology and a Master of International Health from Australia. She is married with two children.
Ms. Miller has extensive experience in gender and human rights gained through a variety of positions around the world including: as a gender and human rights adviser with UNFPA in New York; working on HIV in Myanmar; managing harm reduction programmes for drug users in Australia; working with young Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong; leading a community development project in a remote region of Papua New Guinea and advising the Chinese Government on national initiatives with sex workers and drug users.
Ms. Miller joined UN Women in June 2015 as the representative at the Fiji Multi-Country Office in Suva, Fiji. She will oversee women’s issues all over the Pacific islands including Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Ms. Miller looks forward to working with the women of the Pacific islands to improve their issues.”
- COMMITTEE UPDATED ON CURRENT DRY SPELL
Appropriate early intervention in anticipation of a severe dry weather conditions is a priority.
These were the comments by the Director National Disaster Management, Mr Akapusi Tuifagalele, following the drought committee meeting that was held today at the National Disaster Management Office.
Mr Tuifagalele said that the meeting is to update the different agencies of government and partners on the current dry spell.
“Rainfall prediction models have calculated as below average in the near future so coordination efforts is important especially in the rural and maritime areas,” Mr Tuifagalele emphasized.
He further stated that the current dry spell has been affecting the Yasawa Group, part of the Western Viti Levu and parts of the Northern Division have dried up water sources particularly for settlements, villages and nursing stations that are reliant on rural water supply, roof catchment and boreholes.
“The Divisional Commissioners have continued to respond to the request for emergency water from rural communities,” Mr Tuifagalele said.
Commissioner Northern Division, Mr Jovesa Vocea informed the committee that the emergency taskforce has been activated in the Division with emergency water carted to about 65 settlements in the Macuata area.
“We are advising the public to conserve water and use water wisely as below average rainfall has been predicted in the near future.
“We are also calling on the public not to avoid lighting fires unnecessarily because of its harmful effects,” Mr Tuifagalele said.
- HEALTH OF FIJIAN PEOPLE DEPEND ON THE STRENGTH OF PUBLIC HEALTH
The health of the Fijian people will depend on the strength of the public health.
These were the comments by the Acting Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr Meciusela Tuicakau whilst officially opening the mid-year Public Health Manager’s Meeting this morning.
The theme for the mid-year Public Health Meeting 2015 is raising the bar and building seamless connections. Public health must continue to take the first step to promoting wellness and well-being. It is critical that public health works together with clinical health and other key stakeholders to raise the bar in both health care settings.
In order to build seamless connections, the Health Ministry cannot do everything on its own and will need to expand partnership to collaborate with clinicians, city planners, education official, public, private, communities, and profit organizations, who all have an impact towards health.
“I encourage you all to be vigilant in your areas of responsibilities, be more energised to execute and raise the bar for efficient and quality delivery of health care services,” Dr Tuicakau said.
The Ministry also continues to receive interest from different parts of the globe.
“With all the programs and activities we must not lose focus on the disease burden, prevention, control, management and health promotion as well as the need for universal health coverage, health in all policies and SDGs”, Dr Tukana added.
“I emphasize that you are all important players in the public health team, thus you all must be on the same level of understanding the Ministry’s vision and mission and how you can contribute towards achieving this,” Dr Tuicakau said.
The two day meeting will also reflect on the performance on the Ministry in the last 6 months and will foster collective efforts towards the achievement of the Ministry’s strategic direction.
The mid-year public health meeting is currently held at the Shangri-la Fijian Resort & Spa Sigatoka.
- GOVERNMENT TO STREAMLINE PROCESSES HIGHLIGHTED AT CONSULTATION
Nineteen year old Shaneel Ajay Prakash of Waila Nausori took time out to make his submission during the NDP consultations that was held at Lelean Memorial School last night.
Mr Prakash said that Government should consider streamlining processes with relation to the setup of businesses in the country.
“The process of setting up a business in Fiji usually takes 60 days unlike for other Pacific island countries, it takes 3 days and for Australia with New Zealand it only takes two-days,” Mr Prakash said.
“To attract more investors we need to streamline this processes and this should be included in the NDP plan for the next to 5 to 20 years.”
Mr Prakash also suggested to Government to look into zoning farm land in the agricultural sector.
He says this zoning will allow farmers to better plan what crop to plant on their farms and meet the demand in the market.
Sharing similar sentiments, Epeli Dranikamate highlighted that Government should look into funding for the upgrading of roads that lead to religious buildings and facilities.
He was referring to the roads within Lelean Memorial School premises and the ageing Davuilevu Theological College in Nausori.
“We pay town rates and when we request the town council to look into this they refer us to Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) however our request is for Government to include the funding of these projects in the NDP ,” Mr Dranikamate said.
Strategic Planning officer Marika Nayaga said 80 percent of the work has been completed with regards to consultations and the response from the public has been overwhelming.
“One of the main issues highlighted during the consultations is improving water supply, employment, improving roads and transport amongst other things” Mr Nayaga said.
“We need to encourage Fijians to participate in these consultations especially when our teams are visiting the grassroots level.”
Mr Nayaga adds that in future the team is looking at conducting a door-to-door exercise to encourage all Fijians to make their submissions.