- FIJIAN CONSTITUTION NOW AVAILABLE IN BRAILLE FORMAT – FOR the first time in Fiji’s history and three Constitutions later, visually impaired persons will get to know about the supreme law of the country firsthand.
- NATURAL DISASTERS MAJOR THREAT TO PACIFIC ECONOMIES – The relationship between natural disasters and economies was highlighted at the Second Pacific Regional Meeting of Ministers of Energy and Maritime Transport in Nadi today.
- FIJIAN AMBASSADORS COMPLETE VISIT TO GOLAN – Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson, and Ambassador-at-Large Major General Ioane Naivalurua completed a two-day visit to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Golan today.
- PS EDUCATION VISIT BHAWANI DAYAL ARYA COLLEGE – The Permanent Secretary for Education, National Heritage, Culture, Arts and Library Services, Dr. Brij Lal visited Bhawani Dayal Arya College yesterday with some senior officials of the Ministry of Education.
- GOVERNMENT ROADSHOW OPENS IN NORTHERN DIVISION – The Minister for Rural and Maritime Development, Inia Seruiratu today opened the first Government roadshow in Wainikoro, Nadogo in Vanua Levu.
1 FIJIAN CONSTITUTION NOW AVAILABLE IN BRAILLE FORMAT
FOR the first time in Fiji’s history and three Constitutions later, visually impaired persons will get to know about the supreme law of the country firsthand.
This new development comes as the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama launched the first ever Braille version of the 2013 Fiji Constitution.
For Anaseini Vakaidia, who works at the United Blind Persons of Fiji and has vision in only one eye, this initiative will ensure that persons with vision impairment will not be left out.
“We won’t be left out anymore, we can now access the supreme law like any other person so it is a good initiative,” she said after the launching at the Fiji School for the Blind.
On the issue of accessibility, Ms Vakaidia said they had made submissions when the consultations were carried out and were happy to see most of them had been taken on board.
“On the whole, we can say with initiatives like this, Fiji is becoming an inclusive society but it will take time and we can’t expect things to happen overnight,” she said.
Ms Vakaidia said people with visual impairment can now read the Constitution by themselves rather than depending on second hand information.
The Head of Enforcement for the Fiji Intellectual Property Office, Mr Terrence O’Neill-Joyce said the Braille work was carried out in New Zealand with the electronic version available if more copies were required.
He said there was a set, which includes the English and i-Taukei version, for each division.
“This (the Braille Constitution) shows that it can be done and I am sure it would prompt a lot of people into converting important documents into Braille.”
There are around 8000 visually impaired persons in Fiji which constitutes to one per cent of the population.
The Hindi Braille version is currently being prepared in India.
(For More Photos from this event, please visit the Ministry’s Facebook page)
2 NATURAL DISASTERS MAJOR THREAT TO PACIFIC ECONOMIES
The relationship between natural disasters and economies was highlighted at the Second Pacific Regional Meeting of Ministers of Energy and Maritime Transport in Nadi today.
Fiji’s Minister for Labour Jone Usamate said the cost of these disasters to Pacific economies especially infrastructure is large and often unsustainable.
“Unexpected events and natural disasters bring destruction to our communities and negatively impact our economic growth and sustainable development as Pacific people,” Mr Usamate said.
“Pacific people share many development problems that are common to all of us problems in the areas of energy and transport services however we are still confident that we can seek and find solutions to our development problems,” Mr. Usamate said.
Mr Usamate pointed out that regional integration, partnership and dialogue will be the avenue to address these challenges.
Meanwhile Tokelau’s Minister for Transport and Energy Foua Toloa told participants that his country is the first country in the world to be producing one hundred percent of its electricity from a renewable source—the sun.
“Commitments of this nature define the approach of developing “Pacific solutions to Pacific problems” as we strive to address the impacts of climate change on our island nations,” Mr Toloa said.
“I urge leaders to adopt similar actions and be a beacon to the rest of the world in how to reduce a country’s carbon footprint,” Mr. Toloa said.
Mr Toloa said the government of Tokelau has plans to maintain the strong momentum and ensuring that initiatives are maintained.
The meeting will end tomorrow with regional countries signing the communiqué on discussions and way forward.
3 FIJIAN AMBASSADORS COMPLETE VISIT TO GOLAN
Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson, and Ambassador-at-Large Major General Ioane Naivalurua completed a two-day visit to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Golan today.
The visit included meetings with UNDOF officials and the Fiji contingent serving with the UNDOF.
UNDOF has existed since 31 May 1974 when Israel and Syria signed a Disengagement Agreement following the ceasefire between Syria and Israel after the 1973 war. UNDOF was established by the UN Security Council, providing for an Area of Separation and two equal zones of limited forces and armaments on both sides of the ceasefire line.
At a strength of 514 military personnel of the First Battalion of RFMF, the Fiji contingent is now the largest serving in UNDOF. It was deployed from Fiji in June-July 2013. Other contingents serving in the 1257-strength force of UNDOF are from the Philippines, India, Nepal and Ireland. Fiji replaced the Austrian, Croatian and Japanese contingents who withdrew from UNDOF in 2013.
The Fijian Ambassadors were welcomed and farewelled by Fiji’s UNDOF contingent under the command of Lt Col Sitiveni Qiliho. They met with the officers and personnel to hear of their experience and register any points of concern. These were noted for further action in Suva and New York. The Ambassadors were pleased to observe that the contingent’s esprit de corps and morale were high, that the personnel were in good health, and that all concerned were proud of the solid contribution provided by Fiji to UNDOF.
Lt Col Qiliho and UNDOF officers escorted the Fijian Ambassadors to observation posts along the Alpha line of the Area of Separation to overview the northern zone of the area of responsibility covered by Fiji. They were able to inspect facilities in the observation posts and assess the operating conditions of the Fiji contingent.
At UNDOF’s Camp Ziouani, the Ambassadors received a mission operational brief, including details of the current security situation in Golan. The brief was delivered by Major Maika Baleinaloto in his capacity as UNDOF’s Senior Staff Officer Operations. The UNDOF Force Commander, Lieutenant General Iqbal Singha, attended the briefing and held separate talks with the Ambassadors in which he expressed his satisfaction with the high caliber of the Fiji contingent’s contribution to UNDOF.
(For More Photos from this event, please visit the Ministry’s Facebook page)
4 PS EDUCATION VISIT BHAWANI DAYAL ARYA COLLEGE
The Permanent Secretary for Education, National Heritage, Culture, Arts and Library Services, Dr. Brij Lal visited Bhawani Dayal Arya College yesterday with some senior officials of the Ministry of Education.
The purpose of the visit was to conduct a professional development with the teachers to empower them in their service delivery.
The session was attended by all teachers of the school and was an interactive session giving teachers the opportunity to have dialogue with the Permanent Secretary and other senior officials of the Ministry of Education.
In his delivery, Dr. Lal accentuated on good leadership and strong character.
“As teachers, you need to have integrity, good character, and good values to be an effective ambassador to your children. The children, parents and the community expect the best from you and you are expected to deliver accordingly,” remarked the Permanent Secretary.
“Teaching today has become a challenging profession and we need people who are optimistic and dynamic to face and tackle challenges like solving problems, fostering positive relationships, managing conflicts, having the patience to listen and having good understanding. This will ensure that we groom sound individuals in our schools that will steer our nation towards prosperity in the future,” added Dr. Lal.
The Permanent Secretary visited the school with the Deputy Secretary for Primary Secondary, Mrs. Basundra Kumar and the Director for Secondary Education, Mr. Jai Narayan.
The principal of the school, Mr. Sunil Dutt Arya expressed his appreciation to the visiting delegation for their commitment towards the professional development of the teachers at Bhawani Dayal Arya College.
5 GOVERNMENT ROADSHOW OPENS IN NORTHERN DIVISION
The Minister for Rural and Maritime Development, Inia Seruiratu, today opened the first Government roadshow in Wainikoro, Nadogo in Vanua Levu.
In his opening address, the Minister reminded the public on Government’s commitment to bring services closer to every Fijian.
“Development, to be meaningful must be adopted through a partnership approach, ensuring that all parties involved in the development take ownership and be appreciative of these projects”, he said.
“We all have a responsibility in development; communities therefore are partners in all of government’s development programmes”.
He said the objective of the two day road show was to bring services closer to the people and to allow them to make use of the services offered by government and the business stakeholders present.
“Government has always been concerned with the challenges faced by some of our rural communities in accessing government services and the amount of time and money spent to access these services.”
He said government officials were present, specifically to offer services and provide advice to people’s needs.
“The presence of government agencies and partners is intended to bring a holistic approach to address issues that have been affecting your daily lives”.
Meanwhile the Wainikoro Government Road show has been applauded by the people of the five districts, communities and settlements of Wainikoro, in Macuata.
Jagdish Prasad of Navoalevu of Nadogo viewed the event as a chance for farmers to gain more knowledge and information about the different government departments.
“I am very happy that the government has brought something different to the farmers in this area, we are accessing information that we did not understand.”
Turaga ni Koro of Vunivutu, Mosese Vosanalala said the road show is an ideal opportunity to seek advice and assistance in the development needs of their village community.
“We really appreciate the opportunity and thank government for making it happen for us community in rural Northern division.
“ I am particularly interested in talking to the Fiji Roads to seek out ways they can assist in upgrading the feeder road to our village considering that we mostly sugarcane farmers and also fishermen.
Viliame Sawailau, a form 3 student of Nadogo Central College said the road show was an educational experience for him especially in the knowledge of government services to the people.
“I am very happy i am able to be here today to experience the road show which has opened my eyes to the work that government is doing especially the different services.”