- NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE FOR THE RELEASE OF FIJIAN TROOPS IN GOLAN – The situation with the 45 Fijian peacekeeping soldiers, who were seized last week by armed forces in the Golan region, remains the same.
- VESSEL OWNERS REMINDED ON SHIP REGISTRATION -The Ministry of Works and Transport and the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji are reminding boat and ship owners and operators to register their vessels.
- NEW DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES FOR VEISARI WOMEN – New development projects are being pursued to economically empower the women of Vesari in Lami.
- GOVERNMENT APPROVES FIRST YOUTH DEVELOPMENT INDEX – Cabinet has approved Fiji’s Youth Development Index 2014 that was submitted by the Minister for Youth and Sports Mr Viliame Naupoto.
- BOXING CLUB RECEIVES NEW EQUIPMENT – The Orepi boxing club in Cunningham, Suva this week received new training equipment from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
1 NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE FOR THE RELEASE OF FIJIAN TROOPS IN GOLAN
The situation with the 45 Fijian peacekeeping soldiers, who were seized last week by armed forces in the Golan region, remains the same.
The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) Commander Brigadier General Mosese Tikoitoga is in close contact with the United Nations Headquarters that have assured full support and the use of all available resources for the safe release of the Fijian soldiers.
Brigadier General Tikoitoga said negotiations by professional negotiators from the United Nations in New York are continuing.
The Al-Nusra group seized Fijian soldiers last Thursday in the Golan region where a 1,200-strong UN force monitors the buffer zone between Syria and Israel.
The Commander will call a media briefing tomorrow.
2 VESSEL OWNERS REMINDED ON SHIP REGISTRATION
The Ministry of Works and Transport and the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji are reminding boat and ship owners and operators to register their vessels.
This follows an endorsement by Cabinet on the amendment of the Marine registration, Coasting Trade and Marine survey feeslast year.
At press briefing this afternoon, the Ministry’s permanent secretary Francis Kean said that government had revised this regulation to allow vessel owners to register their ships.
“We are urging all vessel owners because at the end of the day, it’s about the safety of maritime travellers,” Mr Kean said.
“This regulations encourages owners to have their vessels less than 100 gross tonnage, survey fees for vessels less than 10 tonnes and costing trade license for vessels less than 10 metres inlength registered and surveyed,” Mr Kean said.
He adds the grace period with its reduction of fees was put in place to encourage ship operators, particularly small boat operators, to register their vessels and be compliant under the relevant decrees.
3 NEW DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES FOR VEISARI WOMEN
New development projects are being pursued to economically empower the women of Vesari in Lami.
This follows a meeting this week between the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty AlleviationMinister Dr Jiko Luveni and the women living in Veisari.
“True development can only be achieved through equal participation of women into economic growth. Through the Ministry’s increased budget allocation of $1.3 million, we have been able to assist more than 1702 women’s groups in Fiji. I am glad to see that this multicultural women’s group is determined to work together with the Ministry to elevate their standard of living”, the Minister told the women.
“The Ministry will assist by providing the women with skills-training to venture into income generating projects like baking, selling handicrafts and also tailoring. These women are very talented and all they need is a facility like women’s centre to bring them together to earn income for their families.
“They will also be provided with workshops to build their leadership skills including awareness programs relative to elimination of violence, gender equality and women’s reproductive health. The government is ready to assist any individual woman or women’s group who are looking for opportunities to reach their full potential,” Dr Luveni said.
The Veisari Multicultural Women’s Group spokeswoman Mrs Iaeli Kelesoma said the assistance from the government improve their livelihood.
“The Veisari Women’s Group has 60 members from Kiribati, Tuvaluan, Banaban, Tongans and Samoan’s. Most of these women earn income through selling handicrafts and we are grateful that the Ministry has today given us two sewing machines that will help us to sew and sell school uniforms and pillowcases, bed mattress. We are grateful to the present government for reaching out to us and we are looking forward toparticipate in the new development projects for women. This would unite ourcommunity, women with different backgrounds with a common identity, all recognized as Fijians to share their skills and map the way forward to improve their lives.
“We are really grateful that government has thought of us and Dr Luveni’s visit here today is a demonstration of the commitment they have to develop the communities through empowering women. Projects like women centre and bakery will help us to become financially independent and support our families,” Mrs Kelesoma said.
4 GOVERNMENT APPROVES FIRST YOUTH DEVELOPMENT INDEX
Cabinet has approved Fiji’s Youth Development Index 2014 that was submitted by the Minister for Youth and Sports Mr Viliame Naupoto.
“I believe this is the first of such document to be produced in Fiji and a first that exclusively covers our young people,” the Minister said.
“We hope as a ministry that the document will influence all stakeholders involved in youth work in Fiji and especially policy and decision makers,” said Mr Naupoto.
The Ministry’s permanent secretary Mr Josefa Sania said that the “The Youth Development Index (YDI)” measures the status of young people in five key domains: education, health, employment, civic education and political participation.”
He said that this will greatly assist the ministry and policy-makers in identifying areas for investment that will ensure the young people in Fiji fulfil their potential.
“This essentially will help inform Fiji about their strengths in relation to youth development, and which areas should be prioritized for investment,” said Mr Sania.
Director for Youth and Sports Mr William Naisara reiterates that “the YDI should be used as an advocacy tool, aimed ataddressing youth challenges and describes the requirements for an enabling environment.”
“It is envisaged to assist Youth Ministers and other policy-makers in determining how to allocate scarce resources among competing priorities of youth and other objectives and also provide policy-makers a useful instrument for shaping the direction of youth development work and policies affecting young people,” said Mr Naisara.
Mr Naisara said the ministry engaged a consultant earlier this year to compile data and produce the YDI. He said that it took the consultant a little over three months and the ministry is grateful for the comprehensive information provided in the document.
“The index will definitely impact policy and practice and inform youth development practitioners about how young people are doing, which is important for long-term economic growth, health and population development,” added Mr Naisara.
5 BOXING CLUB RECEIVES NEW EQUIPMENT
The Orepi boxing club in Cunningham, Suva this week received new training equipment from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The boxing club began in 2008 and has three professional and five amateur boxers according to club manager and trainer Sitiveni Yabakidrau.
“This is indeed timely and it will be a great boost to the boys training. We don’t have a stable gymnasium here at Cunningham and we are grateful for YMCA for giving us a space to use at the Suva gymnasium.”
“The last assistance we received from the ministry was way back in 2008 when we started and we glad our request sent to the ministry for further assistance was well received,” said Yabakidrau.
He added that the club has begun building houses for some boxers with young families with the little payments received from their boxing matches.
The Minister for Youth and Sports Mr Viliame Naupoto said; “Too often smaller youth and sporting clubs are neglected even though they are always consistent in their work towards youth and sports development and they deserve their share of assistance as well.”
“Earlier this year, we assisted the shoeshine boys that formed the Qauia volleyball club and we are interested in assisting such clubs because their backgrounds are similar,” said Naupoto.
“Such assistance is recognition of their clubs commitment, abilities and dedication towards the development of young through sports.”
“I have no doubt that the assistance will boost their performances and profile in the future as they continue to do more positiveactivities that will distract the youths from the illicit ones they are prone to,” Mr Naupoto added.