1. FIJIAN PRIME MINISTER SENDS CONDOLENCE MESSAGE TO KOREA PRESIDENT – Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama has sent a condolence message to the President of the Republic of Korea Her Excellency Park Geun-Hye on the recent ferry sinking.
2. FIJI’S FIRST ENVOY TO THE REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES PRESENTS CREDENTIALS – Fiji’s first non-resident envoy to the Republic of Maldives presented his credentials to the Maldivian President this week.
3. SUCCESSFUL DIPLOMATIC SERVICE INDUCTION COURSE TO CONTINUE – The Public Service in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will again conduct the Induction Course on Diplomatic Service.
4. UNDP, UNFPA AND UNOPS EXECUTIVE BOARD TO VISIT THE PACIFIC – A delegation of the Executive Board and governing body of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) will begin a one-week tour of Fiji and Samoa starting on Tuesday 22 April.
5. STAKEHOLDERS OUTLINE CLIMATE CHANGE IN FIJI’S EDUCATION CURRICULUM – More than 20 representatives from the Ministry of Education and various organisations dealing with climate change met in Suva today to hold a national curriculum consultation on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Education.
6. NEW RESOURCE CENTRE TO EMPOWER WOMEN OF THE NORTH – The establishment of a Women’s Resource Centre in Bua will strengthen the Northern Division’s position as an emerging player in Fiji’s economic sector.
1 FIJIAN PRIME MINISTER SENDS CONDOLENCE MESSAGE TO KOREA PRESIDENT
Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama has sent a condolence message to the President of the Republic of Korea Her Excellency Park Geun-Hye on the recent ferry sinking.
This week a passenger ferry capsized and sank off the Southern Coast of South Korea with hundreds still unaccounted for. Official reports indicate that authorities continue to carry out rescue and search efforts. However reports indicate that 7 people so far have died.
In his message to the Korea President Her Excellency Park Geun-Hye, Prime Minister Bainimarama conveyed sympathy on behalf of the people and Government of Fiji.
“I extend to you and the people of the Republic of Korea my sincerest condolences and that of the people of Fiji on the tragic accident involving the passenger ferry that sank in the Southern coast of your nation.”
“Comforting thoughts are difficult at a time like this especially where young people and children are also involved. Our thoughts are with the people of your nation and we pray that God’s peace be upon the victims of their families.”
2 FIJI’S FIRST ENVOY TO THE REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES PRESENTS CREDENTIALS
Fiji’s first non-resident envoy to the Republic of Maldives presented his credentials to the Maldivian President this week.
Fiji’s High Commissioner to India, H.E Yogesh Karan presented his credentials as the non-resident High Commissioner to the President of the Maldives, His Excellency Abdulla Y. A. Gayoom at his office in Malé. This new development is designed to strengthen bilateral relations shared between the two countries since formal diplomatic relations were established in 1988.
His Excellency, President Gayoom congratulated High Commissioner Karan on his appointment and expressed his confidence that this recent development would boost existing positive relations.
High Commissioner Karan assured President Gayoom of his commitment to strengthening bilateral relations between the Maldives and Fiji. The new envoy highlighted that Fiji has significantly enhanced both its bilateral and multilateral relations internationally in recent years.
He also conveyed Fiji’s message on behalf of the President of Fiji, H. E. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and said that Fiji was keen to work closely with the Government of Maldives since the two countries had many similarities to enhance tourism, trade and other economic activities. High Commissioner Karan also briefed the President on Fiji’s electoral developments including election to take place in September 2014.
In thanking the President for accepting him as Fiji’s High Commissioner to Maldives, High Commissioner Karan also extended an invitation to his Excellency to visit Fiji in the near future.
Whilst in the Maldives, High Commissioner Karan met the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Ahmed Gafoor to discuss matters relating to Tourism and Climate Change. He also had meetings with top leaders of the private sector, including the State Trading Organisation to discuss investment and trade opportunities available in Fiji. He mentioned that economic power was shifting to Asia and Fiji needed to capitalise on such opportunities competitively. He invited entrepreneurs from Maldives to invest in Fiji as the Government has provided attractive incentives for investments. Karan further explained that Fiji is open for foreign investments and has efficient systems in place to support businesses.
The Minister at the President’s Office, Hon. Mohamed Hussain Shareef, and Ambassador-at-Large H.E. Abdulla Hameed also attended the meeting.
3 SUCCESSFUL DIPLOMATIC SERVICE INDUCTION COURSE TO CONTINUE
The Public Service in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will again conduct the Induction Course on Diplomatic Service.
Facilitated by Fiji’s Ambassador to Japan His Excellency Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga in the first week of June, this course has been developed for qualified people who will facilitate the country’s participation and engagement in the multi-lateral and international affairs of the community.
Applicant requirements include an undergraduate qualification in any field of academic study with a preference for qualifications in law, economics, Political Science and History, International Relations, Development Studies, Resource Management, Project Management, ICT, Business Management and Marketing with relevant work. The course is also open to a limited number of private and community sector applicants as well as representatives from regional countries. Applicants from the Civil service and Disciplinary Forces applicants must be at Administrative Level or from the senior ranks of the Officer corps respectively.
Permanent Secretary for the Public Service, Mr Parmesh Chand, said that the need for training such as this is important in the globalized world of today.
“Diplomats need to be more versatile and to keep abreast of the changing socioeconomic climate. The Diplomatic Induction Course looks to enhance the capabilities of those who are passionate about serving Fiji on an international platform. As our representatives to the world stage, the up-scaling of the skills of these Officers will push to integrate our country into the international community.”
The Diplomatic Induction Course will be conducted from the 4th-12th of June, 2014 and all interested applicants are to apply to the Public Service Commission no later than April 30th, 2014.
4 UNDP, UNFPA AND UNOPS EXECUTIVE BOARD TO VISIT THE PACIFIC
A delegation of the Executive Board and governing body of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) will begin a one-week tour of Fiji and Samoa starting on Tuesday 22 April.
The purpose of the Executive Board visit is to enhance the Board members understanding of the extent and ways in which the United Nations organizations, and in particular UNDP and UNFPA, position their engagement with Pacific Island Countries and Territories. The visit is timely given the upcoming Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) scheduled to be held in Apia, Samoa from 1-4 September 2014.
Fiji was appointed to the one-year chairmanship of the Executive Board in January (2014). The Executive Board members will meet government officials and development partners during the tour; the tour will include site visits of various UNDP and UNFPA projects in Fiji and Samoa.
The Executive Board of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS, comprised of 36 members, was created by General Assembly resolution 48/162 of 20 December 1993. The Executive Board superseded the 48-member Governing Council on 1 January 1994. The Executive Board is responsible for providing inter-governmental support to and supervision of the activities of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS in accordance with the overall policy guidance of the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council, and the responsibilities set out in the United Nations Charter. It must also be responsive to the needs of programme countries. The Board is under the authority of the Economic and Social Council.
The Economic and Social Council elects members of the Executive Board in May each year. Members are elected for three-year terms, with the exception of the Western European and other States group, which has determined its own internal rotation policy. The following geographic breakdown of membership was legislated by General Assembly resolution 48/162: eight from African States, seven from Asian and Pacific States, four from Eastern European States; five from Latin America and the Caribbean States; and 12 from Western European and other States.
(SOURCE: UNDP & UNFPA Offices, Suva)
5 STAKEHOLDERS OUTLINE CLIMATE CHANGE IN FIJI’S EDUCATION CURRICULUM
More than 20 representatives from the Ministry of Education and various organisations dealing with climate change met in Suva today to hold a national curriculum consultation on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Education.
The meet is designed to strengthen the inclusion of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management into Fiji’s education curriculum.
The Ministry of Education’s director Technology and Employment Skills Training (TEST), Alumeci Tuisawau said the importance and impacts of climate change and disaster risk management is a global issue that needs to be exposed to young students.
“Climate change is integrated in all subject areas now. When we started off, we were only looking at the science subjects but now with the Fiji National Curriculum Framework implemented this year, it has to go across all the subject areas. It has to be included in all the vernaculars and other subject areas,” Ms Tuisawau said.
She pointed out that this consultation, the revised curriculum integrating climate change and disaster risk management from Year 1 and 2 Basic Science and Social Science syllabus to Year 3 to 13 syllabuses for all subject areas in Fiji, will be finalized.
“From next year, we will trial this in Year 10, 11, 12 and 13, including Year 7 and 8. After the trial, the curriculum will be implemented in all schools in 2016. Curriculum development officers have revised relevant content and learning outcomes on climate change and disaster risk management across different subjects and levels.
“They also agreed on the appropriate level to introduce the key concepts. This goes in line with the curriculum framework and also with the National Climate Change Policy. We are looking at Objective 4 of the National Climate Change Policy of 2012,” Ms Tuisawau said.
The national consultations are a final step to ensure the appropriateness of the content and learning outcomes.
Ms Tuisawau said education is a mechanism that can be utilised to bridge the gap between children’s knowledge on climate change.
“There is a need to filter down knowledge on climate change to our children in a language that they can understand and that enables them to act. We need our children to be aware and to look after our environment well.
“We, at the Education Ministry, have told schools not to have incinerators to try and minimize burrning. We want our children to practice recycling and reuse methods. Children must be taught to use grass and other green waste into compost rather than burning it. We have also included green economy into the climate change perspective,” Ms Tuisawau added.
6 NEW RESOURCE CENTRE TO EMPOWER WOMEN OF THE NORTH
The establishment of a Women’s Resource Centre in Bua will strengthen the Northern Division’s position as an emerging player in Fiji’s economic sector.
The Bua Women’s Resource Centre will be opened next week and is expected to benefit 58 women groups from nine districts within the Province. Once opened, it is expected to financially empower the women there to generate income from selling items including clothing and handicraft.
Bua Women’s Group secretary Ana Ratuilaga says this new development, which was initiated by Government through the Ministry of Women, is an encouraging sign of Government’s commitment to women empowerment in the North.
“This $31,000 Women’s Resource Centre is a positive change for Women in the Bua Province”.
“Too often, the women of Bua have been looked down on, but now this will not only be an income generating project but a way to show the rest of the world the talents and skills we still have.”
Ms Ratuilagi highlighted that this development will also encourage women from the province to create various handicrafts that are culturally unique to their own villages. She said the centre will also allow them to sew school uniforms as a form of income.
The centre will also help in the supply of school uniforms to 11 primary schools and four secondary schools in the Province.
“The project of sewing school uniforms will help parents save money from travelling to Labasa and also bring in some income for the Women’s Group”.
The women’s group is expected to also receive sewing machines and a generator for the resource centre.
The centre which is located at Nabouwalu will officially be opened next week.