Caption: Director Corporate Services Mr Mavono conveys appreciation from the Ministry of Education to PNG Team Leader Mr Peter Kant. Photo: SUPPLIED.
1. WORKSHOP TO HELP FORM BASELINE FOR CYBER POLICY
Various forms of cyber-intrusions occur in Fiji on a daily basis, which can be likened to the exposure of confidential information and online behaviour by complete strangers.
These were the sentiments echoed by the Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration, Joketani Cokanasiga while opening a two-day National Cyber Security public consultations workshop today.
“Aside from these security breaches, there are economic and social considerations such as the impact of cyber security related acts on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Fiji,” Minister Cokanasiga said.
“Issues of child online pornography, intellectual property infringements have an impact on communities.”
The minister also pointed out that since the first Ministry of Defence workshop in 2011, keen interest had been shown by stakeholders expressing their commitment and enthusiasm in ensuring that as a nation, there was a collaboration to ensure efforts to strengthen security were heightened.
“The Government of Fiji through its Cabinet had mandated in 2011 that work be done in strengthening Fiji’s Cyber Environment through commissioning the Fiji Cyber Security Working Group to undertake the role of awareness, outreach, and training with the task of working towards a National Strategy, Policy and legislation,” Minister Cokanasiga said.
“Government is pleased to collaborate with the University of the South Pacific as the leading academic institution in the Pacific region to host consultations with stakeholders and the general public in the open forum that will held tomorrow.”
The workshop is expected to help form the baseline for the continuing efforts to develop the Cyber Security Strategy, Policy and Legislation.
2. WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS LEARN DIPLOMACY SKILLS
More than 25 civil servants, who completed the seven-day induction course for diplomatic services today, were urged to know their countries’ Foreign Policy priority such as strengthening international relations at multi-lateral and bilateral levels.
The course, which included civil servants from a wide cross section of ministries locally, was also extended to other Pacific island countries such as Kiribati, Tuvalu, Nauru and Solomon Islands.
While closing the 5th induction workshop, Fiji’s former ambassador to China, Sir James Ah Koy reminded participants to use their academic qualification with the new set of skills acquired from the induction course to advance their works and understand the countries they deal with.
“For Fiji, the shift of focus has been the Look North Policy, South-South Cooperation and change of diplomatic partners from traditional allies to new ones. Diplomatic allies change over period of time whilst the only thing that is constant that is constant is permanent interests,” Sir James said.
The former minister also called on the participants to explore roles and management of diplomatic missions known as diplomatic machineries.
He said the chances for more diplomats to be posted to other countries in the near future were real because countries, including Fiji, planned to open up more diplomatic missions.
“Your focus in this course is to learn some of the right methods of diplomacy that may be employed at the missions whilst focusing on efforts to build and strengthen political relations with host countries,” Sir James added.
New approaches of diplomacy have evolved over time and the focus today was more on greater good for humanity through multilateral diplomacy.
The course was organized and facilitated by Fiji’s Ambassador to Tokyo, Isikeli Mataitoga.
3. RBF GOVERNOR MEETS with ADB President
The Fijian delegation, led by the Reserve Bank of Fiji governor, Barry Whiteside met with the newly appointed Asian Development Bank (ADB) president, Takehiko Nakao at the 46th annual meeting held in Delhi, India from May 2 to 5.
He was accompanied by the Ministry of Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics, permanent secretary Pita Wise, and officials from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics, and the RBF.
During the bilateral meeting the Fijian delegation congratulated Mr Nakao on his recent appointment and expressed Fiji’s gratitude to the bank for the technical assistance for state owned enterprise reforms. He also thanked the ADB for its timely assistance towards relief and rehabilitation following the floods of 2012.
Mr Nakao was updated on the country’s socio-economic development, in particular the challenges faced over the last year in dealing with the rehabilitation and relief work associated with three natural disasters.
He was assured of government’s commitment towards holding democratic elections by September 2014 and an update was provided on the progress made on various related processes, such as the registration of voters and the finalisation of the new Constitution.
The Fijian delegation raised the ADB’s position on Fiji’s re-engagement. While the president acknowledged the progress Fiji has made and expressed the bank’s support for re-engagement, further discussions both within the bank and with Fiji were necessary to agree on the processes and timelines to facilitate full access to the various forms of assistance available to member countries once re-engagement is formalised.
In his concluding remarks, Mr Whiteside underscored Fiji’s commitment to the work of the ADB in fighting poverty in the Asia Pacific region and wished Mr Nakao every success in his term at the helm of the bank.
4. HEALTH WORKERS LEARN ABOUT DISASTER COMMUNICATION TRAINING
Officials from the Ministry of Health were reminded to play a proactive role in addressing disaster preparedness mechanisms.
During a Disaster Communication Training workshop for Health workers today, the Natural Disaster Management director Manasa Tagicakibau said Government was taking a holistic approach towards training officials to learn more about disaster preparedness and communicating to the public.
“We need to continue to build capacity and work to enhance institutional strengthening and conducting training sessions is true reflection of such efforts,” Mr Tagicakibau said.
“Government is also taking a holistic approach in building resilient communities and through this we are able to address and alleviate the distress of the public whenever they are faced with a calamity of nature.”
Mr Tagicakibau encouraged ministries to train their workers on critical areas of disaster preparedness in order for them to know what to do during emergency periods.
5. MINISTRY OF EDUCATION SHARES VIEWS
Ministry of Education permanent secretary, Dr Brij Lal warmly welcomed Ministry of Education officials from Papua New Guinea this week.
In his opening remarks, Dr Lal said “this is a worthy opportunity to exchange ideas, views and challenges to make education accessible and affordable for everyone”.
The team from PNG included Ministry of Education executives Wini Leka, Wesley Lakain, Peter Kants and Dr Cameron Nobbs. The focus of this visit was to gather information on how the PNG National Education Plan could be implemented successfully for the next 10 years.
Directors from respective sections of the Ministry of Education Fiji presented their paper on primary and secondary education, Curriculum Advisory Services and Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Examinations and Assessment Unit, Asset Monitoring Unit, Fiji Higher Education, Fiji Teacher Registration Board (TRB) and Fiji Education Staffing Appointments [FESA].
The PNG team leader, Mr Kants expressed interest in mainstreaming of TVET education in schools and exchanging or recruiting TVET teachers from Fiji to help facilitate the program. Other interests were on process of teacher registration and challenges in maintaining a FESA.
Mr Kant is positive that future agreements between the two countries will be confirmed once reports are presented to the PNG Minister for Education.
Advisor Dr Nobbs congratulated the ministry for its achievements and gave his well wishes for the progress of the ministry in future.
The team will also tour Nabua Sanatan and Draiba Primary School, Suva Sangam College, Nasinu and Nabua Secondary School and Monfort Boys Town.