- TAVUA STUDENTS WELCOMES HEAD OF STATE – The move to create awareness on HIV/AIDS in schools by His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has been welcomed by students in Tavua.
- FIJI FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS IOM DIRECTOR GENERAL – The Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) H.E Mr William Lacy Swing met this week with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola to discuss ways Fiji could benefit from the organization.
- Fiji Chairs Annual G77 Senior Officials Meeting – Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson chaired the annual G77 Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) at the UN Headquarters in New York this week.
1 TAVUA STUDENTS WELCOME HEAD OF STATE
The move to create awareness on HIV/AIDS in schools by His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has been welcomed by students in Tavua.
Fiji’s Head of State spent this week visiting schools in the western division advocating for more awareness on HIV/AIDS.
President Nailatikau told the students of Tavua District High School and Tavua College that despite the efforts of all relevant stakeholders to address increasing statistics, there is a general lack of understanding by the public on this global disease.
While he highlighted the value of contraception in reducing statistics in the country, he also urged students to concentrate on their studies and their future.
Some of the challenges highlighted by the Head of State, who is also the United Nations AIDS Ambassador to the Pacific, include the low number of people testing voluntarily, data collection, stigma and discrimination and low condom usage.
His Excellency said that “There are quite a few challenges that our health ministry is facing regarding HIV/AIDS and one is data collection”. “Data is a very important document that will assist our health professionals. We also have people who shy away from having their blood tests.”
With current testing facilities only available in Suva, Lautoka and Labasa, Ratu Epeli who is also the United Nations (UN) AIDS Ambassador to the Pacific said Government will open more in especially in rural and out islands.
2 FIJI FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS IOM DIRECTOR GENERAL
The Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) H.E Mr William Lacy Swing met this week with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola to discuss ways Fiji could benefit from the organization.
The IOM is the leading international agency that works closely with governments and civil society to advance the understanding of migration issues, encourage social and economic development through migration, and uphold the human dignity and well-being.
At the meeting, Minister Kubuabola expressed Fiji’s enthusiasm at becoming a member of the IOM and that relevant processes are well on its way for Fiji to become a member.
Ambassador Swing expressed his gratitude over this and looked forward to Fiji’s membership. He also discussed the core functions of the IOM, which include amongst others, humanitarian emergencies, migration health, counter-trafficking, migrant training, migration and climate change, resettlement assistance, immigration and boarder management, labour migration, assisted voluntary return and reintegration, and migration policy and research.
Moreover Ambassador Swing said that the IOM conducts a number of capacity-building exercises which include country profiling on its diaspora communities and this would be a good venture for Fiji and the Pacific.
In response, Minister Kubuabola highlighted the plight of our Pacific low-lying islands challenged by the effects of climate change, and that IOM would be a platform to explore avenues to assist. With the many capacity building ventures organized by the IOM, Fiji and its Pacific neighbours would greatly benefit from.
The Minister also briefed Ambassador Swing on the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) and suggested that this is something that the IOM could closely network with since migration and climate change are related issues which affect most Pacific Small Islands Developing States (PSIDS).
3 Fiji Chairs Annual G77 Senior Officials Meeting
Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson chaired the annual G77 Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) at the UN Headquarters in New York this week.
The SOM was a preparatory meeting for the annual G77 Foreign Ministerial Meeting, scheduled to be held on 26 September at the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.
The meeting adopted the Report of the Twenty-eighth Meeting of the Committee of Experts of the Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund for South-South Cooperation. It also took note of the outcomes of the G77 High-level Eminent Personalities of the South, which was held in Fiji in May this year.
The meeting further discussed the draft G77 Ministerial Declaration and recommended for its adoption by the Foreign Ministers when they meet later in the week.
One of the highlights of the SOM was the accession application of Kiribati as the 133th member of the Group of 77. The representative of China, as the current Chair of the Asia-Pacific Group in the UN informed the meeting that Kiribati has the full support of the Group. With the support of other regional groups, the meeting recommended the acceptance of Kiribati’s accession application as its newest member for formal endorsement by the Group’s Foreign Ministers at their meeting.