1. FIJIAN PRESIDENT PRESENTS HONORS AT INVESTITURE CEREMONY – Fiji’s President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today presented honors to twenty nine outstanding Fijians , at a ceremony held this afternoon at Government House.
2. FIRST FIJI ENVOY TO BANGLADESH PRESENTS CREDENTIALS TO PRESIDENT – Fiji and Bangladesh have strengthened its bilateral relations following the recent presentation of credentials by Fiji’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Yogesh J. Karan, to the President of Bangladesh.
3. HOUSING AUTHORITY LAUNCHES NEW “TOSO MAI PACKAGE” – A historic new housing loan product was launched today as part of reforms designed to increase housing accessibility to Fijians.
4. FIJIAN FOREIGN MINISTER HOLDS TALKS WITH KOREA ENVOY – The new Ambassador for Korea, H.E. Kim Seong-in paid a courtesy call visit to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Fiji, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola at his office today.
5. NEW APPROACH TO FIRM UP REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES IN FIJI – The government in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)-Pacific Sub Regional Office has embarked on a targeted approach to deliver sexual and reproductive health information and services around the country.
6. G77 CHAIR ADDRESSES THE UN’S CAPITAL MASTER PLAN – Speaking in Fiji’s capacity as 2013 Chair of the Group of 77 and China, Fijian Ambassador Peter Thomson, today delivered the Group’s response to the proposed programme budget for the UN’s Capital Master Plan (CMP).
7. FIJAN ENVOY HOLDS TALKS WITH BANGLADESH PRIME MINISTER – Fiji’s High Commissioner to India, HE Yogesh Karan recently met with the Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Honorable Mrs Sheikh Hasina and told her about the current developments unfolding in the country.
8. STATE OF THE ART IT SERVERS DONATED TO THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION – The Ministry of Education received a boost to its Information Technology unit today when the Australian Government donated four new servers.
1 FIJIAN PRESIDENT PRESENTS HONORS AT INVESTITURE CEREMONY
Fiji’s President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today presented honors to twenty nine outstanding Fijians , at a ceremony held this afternoon at Government House.
The investiture ceremony, an anticipated event on the Office of the President calendar, recognises the contribution and achievements from Fijians to the nation.
The following recipients were awarded in the various categories’ under the Charter of the Order of Fiji, the Charter for the Civilian Bravery Awards and the Charter for the Fiji Civil Service Medal.
Companion of the Order of Fiji [Mil] (CF)
Colonel Paul Fanifau Manueli
Officer of the Order of Fiji (OF)
Ioane Naivalurua [Mil]
Apakuki Kurusiga [Mil]
Member of the Order of Fiji (MF)
Peter Joseph Leake
Ratu Ponijese Lou
Josua Seduadua (Mil)
Waisale Rakusa (Mil)
Maciu Rasekaseka (Mil)
Malakai Bilitaki (Mil)
Medal of the Order of Fiji (MOF)
Abhay Abhiya Nand
The President’s Cross (PC)
The President’s Medal (PM)
Semi Bale Mara
Civil Service Medal (CSM)
Also present at the investiture ceremony was the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, members of the diplomatic corps and senior government officials.
2 FIRST FIJI ENVOY TO BANGLADESH PRESENTS CREDENTIALS TO PRESIDENT
Fiji and Bangladesh have strengthened its bilateral relations following the recent presentation of credentials by Fiji’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Yogesh J. Karan, to the President of Bangladesh.
High Commissioner Karan who is the resident High Commissioner to India, is now Fiji’s first High Commissioner to Bangladesh since the two countries established formal diplomatic relations in 2003.
The Fijian High Commissioner was escorted to the Bangladeshi capital, Dharka and presented his credentials to His Excellency the President, Md. Abdul Hamid, at his office.
While conveying Fiji’s message on behalf of the Fijian President, H.E Karan said that the similarities between the two countries was conducive to strengthening the relations in the areas of trade and economic activities.
The credentials presentation was an opportunity for the Fijian envoy to brief the President on Fiji’s electoral developments including the recent promulgation of a constitution that meets the standards of some of the world’s great democracies. He also extended an invitation to His Excellency to visit Fiji in the near future.
The President, His Excellency, Md. Abdul Hamid in accepting Commissioner Karan as Fiji’s first Non-Resident High Commissioner to Bangladesh, said that both countries could work together to further strengthen its diplomatic relations.
3 HOUSING AUTHORITY LAUNCHES NEW “TOSO MAI PACKAGE”
A historic new housing loan product was launched today as part of reforms designed to increase housing accessibility to Fijians.
In an effort to assist every Fijian with more opportunities for home ownership, Housing Authority launched its new “Toso Mai” home loan package.
While launching this new product, the Chairman of the Board Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga reiterated government’s commitment to their vision for the provision of affordable, decent and quality housing for all Fijians”
Housing Authority has remained committed to this vision and has tailored this new package to suit customers with different income categories.
The “Toso Mai Dua” package is specifically designed for customers earning $25,000 and below with an interest rate of 3.95 percent for the first 12 months, 4.95 percent for the next 48 months and thereafter will have a 7.50 percent variable interest rate. This package is the only home loan package available with a fixed interest rate for 5 years.
Housing Authority acting chief executive officer Isikeli Navuda says, “Since 75 percent of the national household population earn below $23,000 the Authority anticipates an increase in home loan applications following the launch of this new product.
The “Toso Mai Rua”; the second package is designed for customers earning above the $25,000 income bracket. This package will have an interest rate of 3.95 percent for the first 12 months and thereafter will have a 7.50 percent variable interest rate.
“Land only customers are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity and come in and talk to us about building their dream family home”, Navuda added.
The “Toso Mai Tolu”; our third package has been designed for our existing home loan customers earning $10,000 and below. The Authority will now reduce their variable interest rate from 7.50 percent to 5.0 percent. This review will allow these customers to save more from their current repayments or pay-off their home loans quicker.
Customers falling within this category are advised to visit any of our branches with their current pay details so that they can take advantage of this review and save more money for their families.
Housing Authority today acknowledged the assistance of the Reserve Bank of Fiji on the reviewed loan conditions and the “Fijian Government’s unwavering commitment to their vision for the future”.
4 FIJIAN FOREIGN MINISTER HOLDS TALKS WITH KOREA ENVOY
The new Ambassador for Korea, H.E. Kim Seong-in paid a courtesy call visit to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Fiji, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola at his office today.
Their discussions centered on further enhancing bilateral cooperation between Fiji and Korea. Minister Kubuabola, on behalf of the Fijian Government, reaffirmed his commitment to working closely with H.E. Seong-in in areas of mutual interest.
Fiji and Korea have a long standing diplomatic relationship. Korea has assisted Fiji through technical and aid assistance.
H.E. Seong-in reassured Minister Kubuabola that under his leadership he will continue to engage with Fiji on potential sectors of interest.
5 NEW APPROACH TO FIRM UP REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES IN FIJI
The government in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)-Pacific Sub Regional Office has embarked on a targeted approach to deliver sexual and reproductive health information and services around the country.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni during the official launching of UNFPA Pacific Youth Supplement called, “I am not a lost cause: Young Women’s Empowerment and Teenage Pregnancy in the Pacific,” this morning at Holiday Inn in Suva.
Dr Luveni said the Ministry is committed to provide an enabling environment for women and young girls through improving their political, social, economic and health status in the country.
“The Ministry will be capitalising on established networks with 1339 women’s group, including the 41 women resource centres around the country as a platform to advocate and raise awareness on sexual and reproductive health. We will be reliant on the support from Ministry of Health and we will strengthen the peer education and training programmes.
“We want to address gender dynamics so women become partners in sexual and reproductive health decision making; we will intensely promote condom-use and our centres will be alternative outlets for contraceptives like condoms; and we want the women themselves to be equipped with necessary knowledge to boost their confidence in reaching out to the boys and young men in their respective communities,” Dr Luveni said.
She said the Fijian government recognises the need for a collaborative platform between Non-Government Organisations, Faith Based Organisations and communities to accelerate efforts in addressing issues pertaining sexual and reproductive health.
“Education and communication efforts can transform social norms and eliminate stigma that have otherwise consistently worked against our efforts to ensure quality and universal sexual and reproductive health and rights information and services, for our people.”
“We must engage young people in the formulation, design and advocacy for improved policies to address gender and economic inequalities. If we can make quality and universal sexual and reproductive health and rights a reality for our adolescents, we improve the next generation’s social and economic well-being,” Minister Luveni reiterated.
6 G77 CHAIR ADDRESSES THE UN’S CAPITAL MASTER PLAN
Speaking in Fiji’s capacity as 2013 Chair of the Group of 77 and China, Fijian Ambassador Peter Thomson, today delivered the Group’s response to the proposed programme budget for the UN’s Capital Master Plan (CMP).
The CMP’s budget for the biennium 2014-2015 was presented to the 5th Committee of the General Assembly by the UN Secretariat earlier this morning.
Ambassador Thomson said that the Group of 77 welcomed the progress made on implementation of the CMP, in particular the reoccupancy of the UN’s Secretariat Building and the waterfront Conference Building housing the chambers of the Security Council, ECOSOC and other conference halls.
Ambassador Thomson told the 5th Committee the Group firmly rejects any proposal to defer the demolishing of the UN’s temporary North Lawn Building. Asserting that, “the architectural integrity of the United Nations complex must be preserved,” he reminded the 5th Committee, “the CMP was conceived as a project to refurbish, modernise and preserve the architecture of the landmark headquarters of the United Nations.”
Noting that the overall CMP budget totals US$2,114 million of approved expenditure, 11.9% higher than the budget approved by the UN General Assembly in 2006, Fiji’s Ambassador accepted that with the renovation of the UN General Assembly Building now underway, the central concern was of completing renovations in time for the General Debate in September 2014. In so saying, he warned that managing related cost pressures was the critical risk faced by the project, and called for vigilance by all concerned in controlling costs.
Ambassador Thomson said the Group was also concerned that the renovation of the UN’s South Annex and Library buildings was on hold. He said it was “unacceptable that a proposal sent by the United Nations to the host Government in December 2011 is left unanswered for almost two years.” He reported that the Group of 77 will not consider the work of the CMP completed until an agreeable solution to this situation is reached with the host Government.
7 FIJAN ENVOY HOLDS TALKS WITH BANGLADESH PRIME MINISTER
Fiji’s High Commissioner to India, HE Yogesh Karan recently met with the Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Honorable Mrs Sheikh Hasina and told her about the current developments unfolding in the country.
During the meeting, Mr Karan thanked the Prime Minister and briefed her on the Fijian Government’s Look North Policy’ and highlighted Fiji’s engagement with the international community.
“Fiji has significantly enhanced both its bilateral and multilateral relations internationally in the recent years,” H.E Karan said.
They also discussed exchanging trade missions and deployment of expertise in prioritized areas of development since Bangladesh was a growing economy. H.E Karan said that since Fiji has an Honorary Consulate in Bangladesh, with Mr Sameeb Rasheed as Fiji’s Honorary Consul General, much of the inquiries for trade and investment could be promptly managed in Bangladesh for Fiji.
High Commissioner Karan also paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Dipu Moni, where discussions were focused on bilateral relations.
Dr Moni extended invitations, through Diplomatic Note, to her counterpart – Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and also to the Minister for Agriculture, Mr Inia Seruiratu to visit Bangladesh.
Both the countries are considering a Memorandum of Understanding in Agricultural Cooperation where the Government of Bangladesh is willing to provide assistance in deployment of expertise to Fiji.
Mr Karan also had meetings with top leaders of the private sector and discussed about the investment opportunities available here.
“Economic power is shifting to Asia and Fiji needs to capitalise on such opportunities competitively,” Mr Karan said.
He also invited entrepreneurs from Bangladesh to invest in Fiji as the government has provided attractive incentives for investments, which included the efficient systems in place for business registrations.
8 STATE OF THE ART IT SERVERS DONATED TO THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
The Ministry of Education received a boost to its Information Technology unit today when the Australian Government donated four new servers.
This assistance was provided from the Australian Government’s Access to Quality Education Program or AQEP.
Officially handing over the 4 state of the art IT servers to the ministry’s Fiji Education Management Information System (or FEMIS) was the Acting Head of Mission at the Australian High Commission, Mr Glenn Miles.
At the event, Miles reiterated the continuous support of the AQEP to the ministry and the significance of this assistance to Fiji’s education system.
“Over August and September this year, the AQEP assisted the Ministry of Education’s Information Technology Unit to train around 350 schools in the use of FEMIS”.
“What is even more impressive is the kind of information available through FEMIS, which includes up-to-date information on more than 10,000 Ministry of Education staff, 100,000 Literacy and Numeracy Assessment results per year, and infrastructure and financial information on 900 schools.
Accepting the servers was the Ministry of Education deputy permanent secretary Mrs Kelera Taloga who extended deep appreciation to the Australian government for the donation.
“This indeed is a significant development for the Ministry and the FEMIS, (Fiji Education Management Information System), a web application which integrates Ministry of Education information on schools, students and staff into one stop shop.
“AQEP has supported the Ministry of Education’s priority of developing an Education Management Information System since 2012. This year, AQEP has greatly assisted our Information Technology Unit in training 350 schools in the use of FEMIS”.
“Your donation of four servers will support this large data and web activity,” Mrs Taloga said.
Of the four servers, two servers will function as web and database servers with the other two serving a backup function for the primary machines.
With these new servers supporting FEMIS, schools will now have immediate on-line access to information on staff, students, infrastructure, finances and examination results.