- PACIFIC ISLANDS DEVELOPMENT FORUM BRIEFS PSIDS – NEW YORK – The Deputy Secretary at Fiji’s Foreign Ministry Mr Penijamini Lomaloma this week briefed Pacific ambassadors to the United Nations on the Pacific Islands Development Forum.
- FIJI’S TRANSPORT SECTOR UNDER REVIEW – FIJI’S transport sector is undergoing major reviews including possible changes in the fares and freight charges for sea transportation to bring it up to par with the developments in this area.
- Fiji YOUTH Participates at Indonesia CULTURAL PROGRAM -Four students from Fiji have successfully completed a three-month training program on Indonesian Arts and Culture.
- FIJI SPORTING LEGEND IMMORTALISED IN NEW COIN – Fiji’s golden boy Iliesa Delana and his historic win at the London 2012 Paralympics Games has been immortalised in a set of newly minted 50 cents coin that was released by the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) today.
- Somosomo mini hydro power given green light – Using generators and benzene lamps will soon be a thing of the past for villagers in Somosomo, Taveuni following the signing of a contractual agreement for a mini hydro power station on the island.
1 PACIFIC ISLANDS DEVELOPMENT FORUM BRIEFS PSIDS – NEW YORK
The Deputy Secretary at Fiji’s Foreign Ministry Mr Penijamini Lomaloma this week briefed Pacific ambassadors to the United Nations on the Pacific Islands Development Forum.
As the Deputy Secretary responsible for the forum, Mr Lomaloma pointed out that it provided a critical role in advancing the affairs of “Pacific Small Islands Developments States”.
Held at the Permanent Mission of Papua New Guinea to the United Nations in New York, Mr Lomaloma highlighted that the successful inaugural meet held recently in Fiji demonstrated the commitment by Pacific leaders towards the objectives of the forum.
Pacific Islands Ambassadors present at the meeting welcomed the initiative as an opportunity to strengthen their voice as Pacific Islanders in international forums. In particular, they commended the focus of the PIDF on sustainable development and the green/blue economy which complements the current discussions at the United Nations on sustainable development and the post-2015 Agenda.
The convening of the PIDF was endorsed at the third consecutive “Engaging with the Pacific” meeting that was held in 2012. The PIDF brings together leaders from the public, private sectors and civil society to address regional sustainable development challenges, through mutually beneficial innovative partnerships.
The PIDF is in New York, upon the special invitation from Timor Leste to attend the g7+ meeting. While in New York, PIDF will continue to dialogue with PSIDS Ambassadors in New York and also be engaged in other side events during the High Level week of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Deputy Secretary Lomaloma was welcomed to the meeting by the Chair of PSIDS (Pacific Small Islands Developing States), HE Mr Robert Aisi, Permanent Representative of Papua New Guinea to the United Nations.
2 FIJI’S TRANSPORT SECTOR UNDER REVIEW
FIJI’S transport sector is undergoing major reviews including possible changes in the fares and freight charges for sea transportation to bring it up to par with the developments in this area.
The Ministry of Transport director Mr Lui Naisara, said the review of the freight and fare charges was to reflect current economic changes affecting the shipping operations.
“Some major changes are the cost of fuel, vessel sizes and type of cargo that are currently being sea freighted to our domestic ports,” he said.
“The intention is for all to pay the right amount of money for the right services that are being delivered.”
The Ministry will this year undertake the formulation of the Land and Sea Transport Policies which will be a review of the 20 year old Fiji National Transport Sector Plan.
The 1998 Land Transport Act review and the 1986 Marine Act review were also being carried out.
Mr Naisara said the transport sector was going through reforms both internally and externally as well as transitions such as the metamorphosis Department of National Roads to Fiji Roads Authority.
The transfer of the Fiji Shipping Franchise Scheme from the Navy back to the Ministry came into effect earlier this month.
Mr Naisara said the land and sea transport policies will separately look at the effects of technological changes, the current emphasis of social inclusion to the physically challenged and the need for wise utilisation of our limited resources in terms of transport’s contribution to development programmes.
“The review of the FNTSP will look at the efficient connectivity and accessibility of land, sea and air transport modes as a vehicle to economic growth,” he said.
The Ministry recently called for expression of interest for the formulation of these policies and the EOI has been forwarded to reputable offshore organisations for engagement of overseas consultants if the need arises.
3 Fiji YOUTH Participates at Indonesia CULTURAL PROGRAM
Four students from Fiji have successfully completed a three-month training program on Indonesian Arts and Culture.
Organized by Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the program involves learning Indonesian language and culture as well as traditional dances and music.
The participants from Fiji, John Peckham, Samuela Taukave, Jiuta Tigarea, and Josephine Monica Gade, joined more than 60 other participants from 42 countries on the 3-month program and visited various cultural and arts learning centres in the country. At the close of the program, a ceremony took place which saw the students from Fiji perform classical Indonesian dance performance.
The students return to Fiji this week.
4 FIJI SPORTING LEGEND IMMORTALISED IN NEW COIN
Fiji’s golden boy Iliesa Delana and his historic win at the London 2012 Paralympics Games has been immortalised in a set of newly minted 50 cents coin that was released by the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) today.
The first ever Paralympics champion from the region now features on 50 cent coins, as a tribute to his successive win.
At the launching ceremony for this event, Mr Delana said his win should not be his alone, but for every Fijian.
“It is not every day or in one’s lifetime that we get to see one’s achievement recognised on a national scale and that too, on a nation’s currency. I consider myself to be one of those few lucky ones and I will forever be grateful for the RBF’s consideration,” Mr Delana said.
He called on every youth in the country to work hard towards their goals; even those with disabilities.
Meanwhile the RBF Governor, Barry Whiteside said this is the first time for the bank to feature a sportsperson on the coins.
“We are delighted to further recognise and share his achievements and we thought to take this to the next level by striking a special coin, a coin that will be used by all Fijians, a coin that will be symbolic of something great, something to inspire us all to strive for the best,” Mr Whiteside said.
“Fifty cent is the largest coin in our existing family and given its size, we strongly felt the designs could be prominently featured without losing any of the details of this historic win. The 50 cent coin is also a widely used coin denomination.”
The obverse (front) design features Fiji’s Coat of Arms while the reverse (back) design features Delana in action winning the gold medal during the F42 High Jump event in London last year.
“The obverse and reverse designs complement each other and are reminiscent of the moment the Fijian flag was flown high with pride at the Paralympic games soon after Iliesa’s jump with millions of viewers watching the win across the globe,” Mr Whiteside said.
Only 500,000 coins have been struck and will be issued into circulation from today.
5 Somosomo mini hydro power given green light
Using generators and benzene lamps will soon be a thing of the past for villagers in Somosomo, Taveuni following the signing of a contractual agreement for a mini hydro power station on the island.
The contractual agreement was signed today between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Fijian Government through senior representatives.
Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Pio Tikoduadua said that the contractual agreement now allows the government of the People’s Republic of China to fund the Somosomo mini hydro power station.
“The contractual agreement will allow the Chinese government to fund the construction of a hydro that will produce 700KW of power which will generate electricity through two 350KW generators,” PS Tikoduadua said.
“This project is co-shared between the two governments, the primary funding of $50 million RMB is provided by the People’s Republic of China.
The permanent secretary also commended the government of the People’s Republic of China for their position on improving the lives of ordinary Fijians.
“Today’s signing is another demonstration of the close friendship and mutual cooperation that exists between China and Fiji,” PS Tikoduadua said.
“I would like to thank the government of the People’s Republic of China for funding this project which is very critical to the development of the Fijian people.
“This is indeed good news for the people in Taveuni as they will now have a sustainable and reliable source of power and energy for the future .”
Hunan Construction Engineering Group Corporation, General Manager, Yu Guohui said that the company was pleased to be part of the mutual cooperation between the Chinese and Fijian government.
“We are grateful that we have been awarded the contract to construct the Somosomo mini hydro power station by the Chinese government,” Mr Yu said.
“We are determined to complete the project within the timeframe of 16 months and are pleased to be able to contribute to a project that will benefit the people of Taveuni.”
The project will provide electricity to several large villages and settlements in the Somosomo area, the main commercial centre at Taveuni, a number of hotels, boarding schools and the Waiyevo Government Station.