1. FIJIAN ARCHIVAL RESTORATION WORKS GET UNDERWAY IN AUSTRALIA – Historic works carried out to digitise archived audio visual materials is well underway.
2. FIJIAN CHAIR CONVENES G77 AMBASSADORS MEETING ON FINANCE – Ambassadors of the Group of 77 and China met today at the United Nations to deliberate on the role of finance in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
3. FIJI ON TRACK TO MEET WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION TARGETS – Fiji’s effort to prevent and control non-communicable diseases is on track says the Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma.
4. 167 NEW LOTS FROM TACIRUA EAST STAGE 2 – More than 167 lots are ready to be released from the Housing Authority’s Tacirua East stage 2 subdivision along Khalsa Road.
5. SPORTING COMMISSION FOCUSES ON DISABILITY-INCLUSIVE SPORTS – The Fiji National Sports Commission (FNSC) is now looking at ways of including people with disabilities in major sports tournaments around the country.
1 FIJIAN ARCHIVAL RESTORATION WORKS GETS UNDERWAY IN AUSTRALIA
Historic works carried out to digitise archived audio visual materials is well underway.
In 2010, the Fijian Government began the process of restoring and digitising archived materials, which are housed at the National Archives of Fiji. These include historical films that pre-date Fiji’s Independence period. To carry out this task, Government advertised for renowned companies and chose to work with DAMsmart of Canberra, Australia.
The Ministry of Information permanent secretary Sharon Smith Johns said that 95 percent of materials submitted have been cleaned and converted to a digital format.
“All cleaning and restoration works has been completed with a success rate of over 95% this is excellent news as it is much better than we first anticipated. This is due to the painstaking work the team have done at DAMsmart”, she said.
“DAMsmart are extremely happy with the work so far. Whilst it has been challenging, it has also been very rewarding to see Fiji’s history come to life.”
Smith Johns pointed out that the next phase of this project will involve digitising the materials to include storage capacity.
“The next step is to import the files into the management system; they have completed 80% of this work so once it’s completed it will be delivered to Fiji in late November, a team of archival specialists will come to Suva for the handover and specialised training.”
DAMsmart’s General Manager, Joe Kelly who is overseeing the digitising project said that he was excited about working with the Fijian Government.
“The Fijian Government is one of the first in the Asia Pacific region to undertake such a significant and comprehensive digitisation process, and we would like to acknowledge the foresight and commitment of the Government in ensuring this important project was delivered for the benefit of all Fijians.
“This project is not just about digitisation, we have the responsibility of preserving a nation’s moving image history.”
However he added that one of the challenges faced included the conditions of the materials provided to the company for restoration works.
“A number of significant challenges the collection presented were mostly associated with the degradation of the original media.”
2 FIJIAN CHAIR CONVENES G77 AMBASSADORS MEETING ON FINANCE
Ambassadors of the Group of 77 and China met today at the United Nations to deliberate on the role of finance in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
The meeting’s Chair, Fijian Ambassador Peter Thomson, convened the meeting as one of the series of G77 Ambassadorial meetings aimed at best informing the Group in its preparations for the world’s Post-2015 Development Agenda. He said the theme of today’s meeting was finance for development.
The meeting was addressed by Dr Mansur Muhtar, Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing. Dr Muhtar elaborated on the progress of the Intergovernmental Committee. He said that the Intergovernmental Committee is tasked by the United Nations with assessing financing needs of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, as well as considering the effectiveness of existing mechanisms, and with evaluating additional initiatives that could form an effective sustainable development financing strategy for the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Dr Muhtar is a former Finance Minister of Nigeria and is currently an alternate Executive Director of the World Bank in Washington. Following his address, Dr Muhtar engaged with G77 Ambassadors in a question-and-answer session eliciting problems and solutions for the forthcoming sustainable development financing strategy.
The meeting was also addressed by Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, who is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance. Queen Maxima highlighted the plight of the 2.5 billion adults in the world who are excluded from the formal financial system. The Dutch Queen told the meeting, “Financial exclusion is greatest among poor people and in emerging and developing countries, including the rural households that account for more than 70% of extreme poverty.”
Queen Maxima said that without formal financial services, “families juggle informal, risky and expensive tools in order to manage cash and meet daily needs.” She said that, “lack of savings accounts and health insurance contributes to the fact that 100 million people fall into poverty due to medical costs each year”.
Queen Maxima called upon G77 Ambassadors to find an appropriate place for Inclusive Finance in the goals of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. She said this was a cross-cutting issue, and that Inclusive Finance was a critical enabler and an accelerator of equitable economic growth, job creation, along with social and human development.
3 FIJI ON TRACK TO MEET WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION TARGETS
Fiji’s effort to prevent and control non-communicable diseases is on track, says the Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma.
At the 64th World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Western Pacific Meeting held recently in Manila, Philippines, Dr Sharma presented key achievements of the ministry in line with WHO’s target in addressing health issues.
WHO and member states have set voluntary targets as part of the global framework to monitor progress to curb the NCD epidemic.
Some of the resolutions adopted at the meeting were on Blindness Prevention Action Plan for the Western Pacific Region, NCD Prevention and Control Action Plan (2014-220) for the WP Region and Hepatitis B Prevention Target .
“Fiji is currently carrying out surveys to determine the magnitude of the causes of blindness and visual impairment and we also have the Optometrist Decree 2012 that has provision for spectacles/glasses down to the rural and maritime areas. As for Diabetes Retinopathy establishment of Diabetic Hubs and Outreach Program has paved a way for early detection of Visual complications and timely referrals,” Dr Sharma said.
In terms of ageing and health, the Minister told the meeting that Fiji has developed the National Policy on Ageing (2012-2015) through the Ministry of Social Welfare.
“Currently, there are three senior citizens home under the umbrella of the ministry and preliminary discussions are underway to define strategies to improve and lift standards of care in these homes.”
He added that the the Health ministry is also on track with the control of Hepatitis B through its immunization program.
“Screening for Hepatitis B has also been part of the Maternal and Child Health program whereby mothers attending anti-natal clinics are tested for Hep B and treated accordingly.”
167 NEW LOTS FROM TACIRUA EAST STAGE 2
More than 167 lots are ready to be released from the Housing Authority’s Tacirua East stage 2 subdivision along Khalsa Road.
Housing Authority acting chief executive officer, Isikeli Navuda says, “once the approval is granted our sales team will be able to commence sales and more families will have a chance to own a piece of land and also build their dream home.”
The first 81 lots were delivered in May of 2012, and the next batch is awaited with much anticipation by the Authority and its customers.
Navuda added, “We understand the high demand for housing that is out there from our target market and we are doing everything in our power to ensure that we are able to assist them.”
More discussions are being carried out with government to assist customers as high development costs continue to affect customer affordability issues. As well, the management team is currently working on more attractive home loan packages to suit our target market and these packages will be announced in the next few days.
Phase 3A at Tacirua will have a mixture of lot classes B, C & D and these will range from 300sq metres to 900sq metres.
Sales from our phase 1B continues with the Authority registering 75 percent sales of the lots.
At the completion of this development, this subdivision will be home to 1,084 Fijian families.
SPORTING COMMISSION FOCUSES ON DISABILITY-INCLUSIVE SPORTS
The Fiji National Sports Commission is now looking at ways of including people with disabilities in major sports tournaments around the country.
This has compelled the commission to organise a workshop in collaboration with the Australia Sports Commission to discuss ways in which the disabled can be included in sporting activities.
The workshop saw two international consultants share their experiences of working under the Australian-based sporting organisations such as the Sporting Wheelies & Disabled Sport and Sport & Recreation Association.
While opening the workshop in Suva this week, FNSC executive chairman, Mr Peter Mazey said they were grateful to the timely intervention by the consultants and the introduction of the “Sport Connect Framework” concept.
“This is an introduction of what we can all do for people with disabilities. How we can identify the benefits through frankly including them in our sporting organisations and the kind of impact the culture of our sports can have on the successful inclusion of people with disability,” Mr Mazey said.
Mr Mazey also highlighted the need for a partnership between the sporting federations and the organisations working in the interest of people with disability.
One of the consultants, Ms Jenny Frowd elaborated about their role at the Sporting Wheelies & Disabled Sport and Sport & Recreation Association of Queensland through the Sports connect.
“We actually act as a broker; a broker of partnership between sports and disability organisations. So we hope to share with you some of those success stories that are starting to come through back home and we also want to hear the many stories that you have happening here in your sports,” Ms Frowd said.
“Our major focus is on getting more disabled people involved in community, as well as sporting activities.”
Ms Frowd added that the turnout of participants for the workshop was encouraging as it depicted their drive and enthusiasm to learn more about including disability in sports.
Sporting organisations such as Fiji Boxing Federation, Fiji Athletics, Fiji Swimming Federation, Fiji Golf Association, Netball Fiji and the Fiji Special Schools representatives took part in the one-day workshop.