- NEW QUARTERS TO BENEFIT PRESIDENTIAL STAFF – His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau commissioned a duplex staff quarters at the Government House compound today.
- FIJI- BRAZIL RELATIONS TOPS TALKS IN BRASILIA – Amena Yauvoli, Fiji’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary met with his counterpart from the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations in the capital city of Brasilia today.
- FIJI AND NEW ZEALAND MINISTERS HOLD DEFENCE TALKS – Fiji’s Defence Minister Hon. Timoci Lesi Natuva held talks this week in Nadi with his New Zealand counterpart Hon. Gerry Brownlee.
- PUBLIC SERVICE WELCOMES RETURN OF NAURU VOLUNTEERS – The Public Service permanent secretary Mr Parmesh Chand today welcomed the second batch of six (6) retired volunteer teachers who were engaged under the Fiji Volunteer Scheme (FVS) in Nauru for the last two years.
NEW QUARTERS TO BENEFIT PRESIDENTIAL STAFF
His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau commissioned a duplex staff quarters at the Government House compound today.
The new quarters including renovations to existing ones will benefit staff that work at Government House.
“It is the responsibility of Government to maintain staff quarters and look after those who serve Government House. Staffs at Government House serve the top people visiting Fiji and are expected to give the best service. Part of this is to make sure they live in good quarters,” the Fijian President said.
His Excellency added that the original quarters were built at a time when a Governor from Hong Kong came to serve in Fiji. Since then, the quarters have not been renovated and were used over the years by various staff and families.
“When I became President, it was a priority for me to build new quarters for the staff. I’m glad that these duplex quarters will be used by two senior staff and their family.”
The staff duplex quarters took four months to build by a local firm and cost $315,000.
FIJI- BRAZIL RELATIONS TOPS TALKS IN BRASILIA
Brasilia, Dec 17- Amena Yauvoli, Fiji’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary met with his counterpart from the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations in the capital city of Brasilia today.
In his first visit to the Headquarters of Brazilian foreign affairs office, Yauvoli held consultations with the Ministry’s Secretary General, H.E. Mr Eduardo Dos Santos. In their discussions, Mr Yauvoli expressed the appreciation of the Fijian Government for the support provided to the Embassy of Fiji in Brasilia since it opened doors in 2011, as well as the existing bilateral arrangements that have been established between the two countries.
Bilateral arrangements between the two have seen Fijian officials undertaking training and educational visits to Brazil as well as scoping visits to Fiji by Brazilian officials. With its specialisation and expertise in the agriculture sector, several Fijian officials have had the opportunity to learn from Brazilian production capabilities in cassava, tilapia and tropical foods.
In response to the invitation to visit Fiji, Secretary General Dos Santos indicated that it would be appropriate that he undertakes such a visit. Exchange visits at the senior officials level will ensure that policy dialogue on important bilateral issues are held and implemented. In addition, Do Santos informed the Permanent Secretary that Brazil remains open to establishing a Mission in Fiji and will need to complete its internal processes in that regard.
Among other issues of bilateral concern that were discussed, Mr Yauvoli expressed the hope that visa arrangements between the two countries would be finalized soon to allow Fijians to travel more easily to Brazil. With the Olympic Games to be hosted by Brazil in 2016, such visa arrangement would greatly facilitate the attendance by Fijians at that global event. Discussions between the two Ministry heads underscored their willingness to finalise the Spousal employment arrangement, which will facilitate the gainful employment of spouses of diplomats during their posting.
Mr Do Santos assured the Fijian permanent secretary Yauvoli that Brazil is keen to strengthen their partnership with Fiji, with South-South Cooperation as a core tenet, as well as closer relations in the multilateral settings.
Yauvoli was accompanied to the meeting by Fiji’s Ambassador to Brazil, H.E. Cama Tuiloma, and Deputy Secretary Foreign Affairs, Luke Daunivalu.
FIJI AND NEW ZEALAND MINISTERS HOLD DEFENCE TALKS
Fiji’s Defence Minister Hon. Timoci Lesi Natuva held talks this week in Nadi with his New Zealand counterpart Hon. Gerry Brownlee.
The meeting between the heads of defence forces for both countries saw proposals presented on ways to develop relations between Fiji and New Zealand. This includes training opportunities for personnel from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF).
“Hon. Minister, if it interests Fiji, We (New Zealand) wish to inform you that we have places for two officers from RFMF to study in New Zealand from as early and February next year,” Hon. Brownlee told his Fijian counterpart.
“I believe this visit to Fiji and meeting various senior officers from the defence forces would be a start for our two countries,” Minister Brownlee added.
Minister Natuva said Fiji welcomed the visit by Hon. stating that Fiji would continue to enhance its defence relations with its allies and would explore its cooperation with New Zealand.
PUBLIC SERVICE WELCOMES RETURN OF NAURU VOLUNTEERS
The Public Service permanent secretary Mr Parmesh Chand today welcomed the second batch of six (6) retired volunteer teachers who were engaged under the Fiji Volunteer Scheme (FVS) in Nauru for the last two years.
At informal talks with the volunteers, the Permanent Secretary thanked the Government of Nauru for allowing Fijian teachers to serve Nauru and the region in education and humanity sector. He highlighted that the role played by the volunteers in Nauru was commended by the Nauruan Government who had requested for an extension of the engagement of Fijian teachers.
The Fiji Volunteer Service, as a flagship program, has drawn a lot of attention in the Region now having 40 volunteers engaged. Mr Chand said that the Fiji Volunteer Scheme has received representatives from the Government of Papua New Guinea paying a visit with the interest in engaging more than 50 Volunteers.
Mr Keni Vakamino, a retired volunteer on the program, thanked the Government for the initiative, he added that it was an interesting assignment and with their experience as teachers they were able to meet the challenges faced in Nauru. The extension of their contract was a blessing as it will enable them to re-affirm what they have established in the last two years.
Mr Vosataki Volavola in sharing his experience identified absenteeism as one of the major challenges and when he returns would like to continue to institute discipline to students.
The teachers are happy to be back with their families and will return in January 2015.