1. SPC MUST REMAIN APOLITICAL – FOREIGN MINISTER – The Secretariat of the Pacific Community must stay the course in remaining the apolitical regional organisation that is people-centred in its vision and mission and fair and equitable in the delivery of its service to its members.
2. FIJIAN ENVOY PRESENTS CREDENTIALS IN TURKEY – Ambassador Robin Nair presented his credentials to His Excellency Abdullah Gül, the President of the Republic of Turkey, earlier this month as Fiji’s first (Non-Resident) Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey.
3. FIJI REVIEWS TUBERCULOSIS PLAN – The National Tuberculosis (TB) Strategic Plan 2015-2019 is under review by the Ministry of Health as part of plans to strengthen prevention and control.
4. SOS TO UNLEASH $100K WORTH OF EQUIPMENT – The Ministry of Youth and Sports, in partnership with Spirit Of Sharing (SOS) Unleashed of Australia, will be distributing sports equipment worth $100,000 (AUD) to Fijian schools later this month and early December.
1 SPC MUST REMAIN APOLITICAL – FOREIGN MINISTER
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community must stay the course in remaining the apolitical regional organisation that is people-centred in its vision and mission and fair and equitable in the delivery of its service to its members.
Those were the sentiments of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola at the opening session of the 8th meeting of the conference of the Pacific community.
“The Secretariat of the Pacific Community, as the region’s leading technical and scientific organisation, has over the years been instrumental in guiding the Pacific people towards the achievement of their development goals,” Ratu Inoke said.
“It must stay the course in remaining the apolitical regional organisation that is people-centred in its vision and mission, and fair and equitable in the delivery of its service to its members.”
Minister Kubuabola in highlighting the 2012 Independent External Review (IER) of SPC said that the commissioning of the IER by the Director General with the approval of the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) together with the resulting report and subsequent implementation of its recommendations had lifted the profile of SPC.
“I am happy to report that our Secretariat has implemented 37 out of 42 recommendations, it is progressing implementation on a further 3 and have deferred implementation of 2 recommendations to 2014,” Ratu Inoke said.
“They should be commended for embracing this whole heartedly.”
Minister Kubuabola also highlighted five critical areas (Sustainable financing of SPC’s work, Governance arrangements, SPC’s involvement in the post-2015 development agenda, Membership issues, HR challenges and DG’s proposed solutions for the new Director General and the leadership team to continue the good work, given that the process to address them has already been initiated and momentum must be sustained.
SPC’s new director general will be appointed tomorrow.
2 FIJIAN ENVOY PRESENTS CREDENTIALS IN TURKEY
Ambassador Robin Nair presented his credentials to His Excellency Abdullah Gül, the President of the Republic of Turkey, earlier this month as Fiji’s first (Non-Resident) Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey.
In presenting his credentials, Ambassador Nair informed the President that the Bainimarama Government wished to acknowledge the dramatic transformation of Turkey as a major economy with political stability and strengthening democracy, over the last 10 years. It acknowledged the strong leadership of Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the transformation of Turkey’s domestic affairs, and most importantly, in his continued high profile leadership in working to find solutions to the problems and conflicts in the Middle East, an area in which Fiji has been involved for many years in contributing to peace and stability in the region, through United Nations Peace-Keeping efforts.
President Gül recalled meeting President Nailatikau in Istanbul in 2008 when he hosted a meeting between Turkey and the Foreign Ministers of the Pacific Island Countries. He congratulated Fiji in recently adopting, what he termed, a “Just Constitution to take Fiji forward to a genuine democracy”. He informed the Ambassador that Turkey was considering how it could support the logistics for the forthcoming elections as Turkey supports the emergence of genuine democracies throughout the world. An announcement on this is expected soon.
The President went on to acknowledge Fiji’s continued support for regional peace and security through its large contributions to the UN Peacekeeping Forces, particularly in the Golan Heights.
Ambassador Nair met senior Foreign Ministry officials and the Vice President of The Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) and discussed further technical assistance to Fiji. In 2011, TIKA co-funded with the Government and completed the Buca Village mini-hydro plant, which now provides electricity to about 85 households in the village. TIKA is about to freight ECG Machines to Fiji’s Health Ministry. TIKA is now liaising with the Embassy on providing full scholarships for Fijian Students and providing further medical equipment.
The Ambassador briefed both organisations on the Pacific Small Islands Developing States Group (PSIDS) and the recent launch of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, consisting only of island countries of the region. Turkey expressed its renewed interest in the Pacific Islands region and said that it looks forward to working with Fiji in its efforts to develop its relationships with the Pacific Island Countries.
Ambassador Nair also called on the Director General of the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) and he was briefed on the recently negotiated Cooperation Protocol between TRT and the Fiji Broadcasting Commission. TRT agreed to assist the Embassy with its efforts in promoting tourism, investment and trade, through promotional video clips supplied by the Embassy.
The Ambassador held preliminary talks on the appointment of a Fiji Honorary Consul in Ankara or Istanbul.
3 FIJI REVIEWS TUBERCULOSIS PLAN
The National Tuberculosis (TB) Strategic Plan 2015-2019 is under review by the Ministry of Health as part of plans to strengthen prevention and control.
The review which will be taken in partnership with World Health Organisation representatives aims on new policy directions and carrying out major activities of TB within the given fund.
The Ministry of Social Welfare permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta highlighted at a forum today that TB has become one of the most seriously neglected and underestimated health, human rights and poverty related challenges.
“Under the Global Fund, we hope to significantly reduce the burden of TB to 20 per 100,000 case by 2014. This can be done through improved high quality doctors right across Fiji with increased case detection, increase case ratification rate, high treatment excess and to empower people and community with the capacity to control TB,” Dr Koroivueta said.
The Global Fund in 2010, provided $20 million funding to Fiji Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) in combating TB for the next five years.
Global Fund is the world’s largest financier of anti-AIDS, TB and malaria programs. It is a financing mechanism with implementation done by CCM.
Dr Koroivueta spoke at the Workshop on the Fiji National TB Strategic Plan 2015-2019 and highlighted that as of last year, TB’s case detection rate continues to grow.
“No one can deny that TB is re-emerging in many regions of the world and the next millennium gives us strength to go for health and wellbeing in particular to the relationship in synergy with HIV AIDs and closer to regional NCD crisis.”
The National TB Control Officer, Dr Sakiusa Mainawalala said there is a slight increase in TB cases with 220 cases for 2013, 218 in 2011 and 213 in 2010.
The Global Fund will be ending its funding next year and a new funding model of the global fund will be implemented. This will form the basis of the next step of TB strategic plan 2015-2019 for the Pacific and taking control of TB at country level for Fiji.
4 SOS TO UNLEASH $100K WORTH OF EQUIPMENT
The Ministry of Youth and Sports, in partnership with Spirit Of Sharing (SOS) Unleashed of Australia, will be distributing sports equipment worth $100,000 (AUD) to Fijian schools later this month and early December.
SOS Unleashed is a recently formed Australian-based not-for-profit organisation with a focus on connecting communities through the love of sport and will be organising these major events in Fiji’s remote west. Co-founder and Chairman of SOS Unleashed, Peter Cole OAM says this is a most exciting not-for-profit initiative.
“With sport being a central passion of our team members we are deeply committed to impact the lives of millions across the Asia Pacific and especially in Fiji,” says Mr Cole. “Our primary focus is to ‘Empower Youth through Sport’. SOS Unleashed has over 50 years of experience in the sporting industry and is committed to initiating change and provides opportunity through sports.”
Schools, sports clubs and youth clubs will receive a brand new sports kit, worth $1000 FJD expected to raise the standard of sports in rural Fiji. A total of 120 schools and clubs are set to benefit from the donation.
A small team will head out to rural on 22nd November to visit three strategic locations and touch over 40 schools. Cultural exchange events are to be held on 28th November, 5th and 10th December at Natabua High School in Lautoka due to its suitable location. Participants on these days will be asked to share culture through song, dance and sport. There will also be feasting in the traditional Fijian way.
More than 400 Fijian and Australian school leavers will be participating in this project, after demonstrating a strong interest in being involved.
Minister for Youth and Sports Mr Viliame Naupoto met with officials from SOS Unleashed on Friday and the Western Division Youth office and has told them that “the ministry will provide full support towards the exchange events later this month and next month”.
“I have instructed the ministry staff to assist in everything possible and I will attempt to join you in one of these events,” Minister Naupoto said.