1. FIJI STRESSES EDUCATIONAL VALUE IN ADDRESSING GLOBAL CHALLENGES AT UN MEET – Fiji’s Minister for Women has stressed to the international community on the importance and value of education in addressing global challenges such as poverty, violence and climate change.
2. LABOUR MINISTER TO HOLD PUBLIC CONSULTATION IN THE OLD CAPITAL – Residents of Levuka will soon have the opportunity to meet directly with Fiji’s Labour Minister to address labour related issues as he prepares for a roadshow.
3. FIJI HIGHLIGHTS LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT – Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson this week acknowledged the Chair of the Commission on Sustainable Development for convening its 20th and final session.
4. YOUTH MINISTRY CALLS FOR GREATER PARTNERSHIP WITH WELFARE MINISTRY – The Ministry of Youth and Sports permanent secretary Josefa Sania has called for greater partnership with other government agencies to achieve Government’s vision of developing Fiji’s youth potential.
5. PERMIT COMMITTEE VISIT NORTH – Government’s Work Permit Committee is completing its tour of the northern division and outer islands but at the same time distributing copies of the constitution to communities in these areas.
1 FIJI STRESSES EDUCATIONAL VALUE IN ADDRESSING GLOBAL CHALLENGES AT UN MEET
Fiji’s Minister for Women has stressed to the international community on the importance and value of education in addressing global challenges such as poverty, violence and climate change.
Minister Dr Jiko Luveni represented Fiji amongst 46 other nations at the Sixth Asian and Pacific Population Conference (APPC) that concluded this week in Bangkok, Thailand.
The conference which saw the participation of Senior Government and Non Government Officials as well as members of civil society organisations and UN members discussed population issues; looking at successes, challenges and priorities in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality, youth, ageing, migration, and urbanization.
In her statement to the global forum, Minister Luveni presented Fiji’s statement on the way forward to population and development relative to the ICPD (International Conference on Population and Development) Programme of Action.
“As we continue to face the challenges of population demographics such as increased rural to urban drift and changes brought through globalization, we need to ensure that we have an education system that is flexible and responsive to better mitigate the impacts of such challenges,” Dr Luveni said.
Dr Luveni pointed out that effects of climate change and natural disasters has negative impact not only on the economy but also on the population.
“Affected families are reduced to poverty living, there is increase in domestic violence and sexual violence that leads to unintended pregnancies in displaced persons. The availability and accessibility of reproductive health services particularly contraceptives becomes a major issue. The special needs of the vulnerable population groups such as women, persons with disabilities, children and senior citizens is a major challenge and it should be embedded in the national development plans,” Minister Luveni said.
Dr Luveni told the conference that the Fijian Government will ensure the integration of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action at community level through strengthened partnership through women’s and young people’s institutions.
“Fiji will also strengthen and mobilize community participation to promote reproductive health, through improving the accessibility of contraceptives. Communities will also be encouraged to take ownership of the campaigns to eliminate violence against women and girls. More focus will be directed towards the implementation and enforcement of existing legal frameworks to protect the vulnerable population groups in Fiji,” Dr Luveni reiterated.
The Conference was organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in cooperation with the UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund). It has adopted a Ministerial Declaration that will also serve as the Asia-Pacific regional input to the global 20 year review of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The United Nations General Assembly will convene a special session next year to recommit and advance the ICPD Programme of Action. This would be the first United Nations Framework to recognize reproductive rights and gender equality as essential to sustainable development and poverty eradication.
2 LABOUR MINISTER TO HOLD PUBLIC CONSULTATION IN THE OLD CAPITAL
Residents of Levuka will soon have the opportunity to meet directly with Fiji’s Labour Minister to address labour related issues as he prepares for a roadshow.
Minister Jone Usamate has been visiting various divisions and centres in the country with officials from his Ministry to meet directly with the public; a move aimed at not only addressing labour grievances issues but strengthening awareness on new labour laws and regulations.
The third phase of this Central Eastern Division tour begins next week and will see the Minister meet with the public on the Island of Ovalau from the 25th to the 27th of September.
“This is an opportune time for employers, workers and all stakeholders to come and discuss all their employment concerns with us. We are keen to address and resolve issues they might be facing,” said Mr Usamate.
The Minister said that as part of efforts to remind employers on compliance with labour laws, this tour will be an opportunity for them to meet with him and to discuss any surrounding issues.
“We want workers and employers alike to be well versed with the labour laws and the vision that this Ministry is envisioned for them – it’s ensuring ‘decent and productive work for all’,” Mr Usamate said.
He said that the roadshow and consultations are both aimed at allowing the Ministry to receive feedback on the various services they provide to achieve excellence in service delivery.
As part of this awareness program the Minister will also be visiting schools in Levuka, addressing the students, teachers and parents.
The Minister and his team have been conducting similar Road Shows since the beginning of the year, beginning with the Western Division. Further consultations and tours will also be carried out in other parts of the country.
3 FIJI HIGHLIGHTS LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson this week acknowledged the Chair of the Commission on Sustainable Development for convening its 20th and final session.
Established by the United Nations in 1992, the Commission on Sustainable Development is mandated to oversee sustainable development issues; a role which also includes advancing the sustainable development agenda within the international community.
In his acknowledgement statement on behalf of the Group of 77 which Fiji currently chairs, Ambassador Thomson welcomed the first High Level Political Forum and emphasized the need to reflect on some of the major lessons learned from the CSD.
Ambassador Thomson highlighted the tendency for intergovernmental bodies to operate in a silo fashion.
“Coherence among relevant bodies should be improved”, Ambassador Thomson said. In addition, he highlighted the little interaction between the CSD and the Commission for Social Development, the Commission on the Status of Women, the Statistical Commission or the Commission on Population and Development.
“The HLPF (High Level Political Forum ) could engage in a more in-depth manner with these functional commissions on common sustainable development concerns, promoting more coherent treatment, and even working on mutually beneficial projects that would involve more than one commission,” Ambassador Thomson said.
He also added that it was important that the HLPF should continue the functions carried out by the CSD, supplemented by high-level political leadership.
The establishment of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) originated from the need to elevate the profile, influence, and authority of CSD, replacing it with a higher-level body. The basic rationale was that given the recognition of the priority of sustainable development concerns and their increasing significance over the last 20 years, along with significant gaps and shortcomings in coordination, cohesion, and implementation, a stronger institution with increased political visibility was needed.
The first High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development will be convened on Tuesday 24th September, 2013 at the United Nations in New York.
4 YOUTH MINISTRY CALLS FOR GREATER PARTNERSHIP WITH WELFARE MINISTRY
The Ministry of Youth and Sports permanent secretary Josefa Sania has called for greater partnership with other government agencies to achieve Government’s vision of developing Fiji’s youth potential.
The permanent secretary shared this with senior officials and staff of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation at the close of their strategic Annual Corporate Plan meeting. The meeting looked at ways of improving service delivery for Government through their respective departments.
He said that while the two Ministries have common goal and objectives relative to government’s deliverable on poverty alleviation and social justice, a common element in these goals include the need to strengthen youth empowerment in the country.
“A key strategy is to inculcate the positive change in the mindsets of the youths today, to empower them to become self-reliant and gender sensitive. The Ministry of Youth and Sports, further anticipates on addressing reproductive health services at the community level through maximum utilization of the existing women’s networks and mechanisms of the Ministry of Women as well as the established youth network at divisional and district levels”.
Officiating at the close of their meeting, Mr Sania also commended the Ministry of Social Welfare for the new approach taken to elevate service delivery through ensuring excellence at all levels.
“The mainstreaming of excellence within the Ministry irrespective of levels of operations will ensure that we truly embrace and practice what we preach. The Ministry of Youth and Sports, together with the Ministry of Social Welfare and Women are both classified under Government’s social sector and connect in many defined and informal ways, these include gender equality and empowerment, poverty alleviation and social justice,” Mr Sania said.
In a similar message, the Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni this week stressed the need for the Ministry to look at ways of boosting income generating projects for those on welfare assistance or for those without employment.
The Ministry’s ACP meeting has also provided an opportunity for the stakeholders, namely UN Women, UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund), Courts Fiji Limited and South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) Fiji, Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons (FNCDP) and Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) to make presentations on way forward for strengthened partnership with the government.
5 PERMIT COMMITTEE VISIT NORTH
Government’s Work Permit Committee is completing its tour of the northern division and outer islands but at the same time distributing copies of the constitution to communities in these areas.
The Committee which is led by the Director of the Department of Immigration Mr Nemani Vuniwaqa comprises of various senior officials from other government agencies including the Prime Minister’s Office. The committee looks at the work undertaken by various agencies in country to ensure compliance with work permit conditions.
Whilst on this tour, the committee has been meeting with communities and distributing copies of the 2013 constitution which has been printed in all the three official languages. At the recent roadshow in Nadarivatu, Ministries distributed copies to the public.
While copies of the constitution are available online at www.fiji.gov.fj, printed copies are available at the Solicitor General’s Office at Suvavou House. The Ministry of Information’s office in Nadi also have printed copies for the public.