1. REPUBLIC OF KOREA AMBASSADOR PRESENTS CREDENTIALS – Republic of Korea’s incoming ambassador to Fiji, H.E Seong-in Kim, presented his credentials to His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau at Government House today.
2. NEW WOMEN CENTRE TO GENERATE INCOME FOR NAMATA WOMEN – The opening of the new Namata Women’s Centre in Tailevu this week will position the women there to generate income for their families and their community.
3. FIJI PARTICIPATES IN UN PEACEKEEPING REVIEW MEETING – Fiji’s Ambassador Peter Thomson addressed the United Nations 4th Committee today on the subject of the comprehensive review of UN peacekeeping operations. He said that given its long-standing commitment to UN Peacekeeping, Fiji has a keen interest in all peacekeeping review issues.
4. MORE SCHOOLS TO BENEFIT FROM COMPUTING PROGRAMME IN 2014 – More schools around the country will benefit from the One Laptop per Child Program next year, said the Minister for Education, Filipe Bole.
5. WOMEN PROJECT BOOSTS MORALE FOR REWA WOMEN – A government funded project in the village of Nakuriwai in the Province of Rewa is boosting the morale of the women living there.
1 REPUBLIC OF KOREA AMBASSADOR PRESENTS CREDENTIALS
Republic of Korea’s incoming Ambassador to Fiji, H.E Seong-in Kim, presented his credentials to His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau at Government House today.
The Ambassador, who replaces the outgoing Korean representative, Mr Hae-Wook Cheong, will be assuming his role as the head of the embassy that renders many programmes in Fiji including scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
Mr Kim comes from a civil service background with the largest part of his career spent in the government ministries such as the Ministry of Industry and Trade as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Prior to taking up his current appointment, the Ambassador was the Director-General for Multilateral Economic Affairs Bureau in Korea’s Foreign Ministry.
Mr Kim holds a Masters in International Economics from Vanderbilt University in the United States of America after having completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Public Administration from universities in Seoul.
He is married with two sons and one daughter.
Fiji and Korea established diplomatic ties in January, 1971 and in 2012 this tie was further strengthened when Fiji opened its embassy in Seoul.
2 NEW WOMEN CENTRE TO GENERATE INCOME FOR NAMATA WOMEN
The opening of the new Namata Women’s Centre in Tailevu this week will position the women there to generate income for their families and their community.
This was the highlight of a statement delivered by the Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni when she officiated on behalf of Government at the Centre’s official opening ceremony.
“The Centre provides a platform for women to coordinate and market their income generating products. It will also assist women to access information and training programs related to women empowerment and further strengthen network with the Ministry to broaden their skills and knowledge to improve their livelihood,” Minister Luveni said.
She pointed out to guests at the event that Government’s commitment to socioeconomic development includes developing the potential and skillS of every Fijian; including women in rural and isolated communities across the country.
Last year, the Prime Minister announced an additional $150,000 to be allocated from the 2013 national budget to the Ministry of Women to construct Women’s Resource Centers.
Namata’s Soqosoqo Vakamarama or Women’s Group president Mrs Unaisi Kaloutagitagi pointed to the benefit of this project for the entire community. She said that the centre will allow the women to carry out handicraft and tailoring sales, bake sales, catering businesses and other income generating projects.
She said that the centre will now provide an avenue for the women to generate income; something she highlights will also alleviate some of the women’s burdens.
“There are over 200 people in this village and women are the breadwinners of their families. They search the farms and go fishing even in bad weather, ensuring that there is food for their families.
“The opening of this Centre marks a new beginning for us women, we now have a permanent place where we will meet regularly to organise our group’s activities like tailoring, baking and make products like jams, chutney which we will sell within the village and also take it to Nausori market. This would mean more income for us to educate our children and also save money for rainy days,” she said.
While the centre is designed to empower and create income opportunities for the women of Namata, its establishment was supported by the men in the village.
“The men have put collective effort to build this centre and through this project there is greater recognition and respect of women and their role. This is the first government project in Namata and the women had requested for this centre in 2011”, said Peni Sokia, Namata village spokesman.
“We are indeed grateful to the Minister Dr Luveni, this is her second visit to Namata and we are truly encouraged by her message that women are key agents for sustainable development. This Centre will be a place for continued learning and economic empowerment, it will enable the men and women In Namata village to work side by side for economic progress,” Mr Sokia added.
To date, Government through the Ministry of Women has already built 45 women resource centres across the country.
3 FIJI PARTICIPATES IN UN PEACEKEEPING REVIEW MEETING
Fiji’s Ambassador Peter Thomson addressed the United Nations 4th Committee today on the subject of the comprehensive review of UN peacekeeping operations. He said that given its long-standing commitment to UN Peacekeeping, Fiji has a keen interest in all peacekeeping review issues.
Ambassador Thomson said that Fiji believes each Member State of the UN has its rights in, and responsibilities to, the international community. As such he said, “We must each contribute according to our capabilities to the important work that UN peacekeeping represents for international peace and security”.
Fiji’s Ambassador noted that the UN Secretariat’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations had highlighted the gaps in the deployment of peacekeeping troops, particularly those with enabling capabilities such as engineering companies, with such gaps making it much more difficult for troops to implement mission mandates.
He said that the Secretariat should place greater emphasis on facilitating and creating triangular cooperation in peacekeeping, whereunder the necessary “enablers” such as armoured personnel carriers and helicopters are provided by countries that are not contributing troops. Fiji’s Ambassador told the 4th Committee that work by the UN Secretariat to create such new partnerships would be “the most productive mechanism to alleviate the shortfalls in enabling capabilities.”
Fiji’s Ambassador also addressed the UN General Assembly’s Resolution 67/261, at the core of which was the issue of ensuring troop contributing countries are provided a fair rate of reimbursement for the services of their troops. In this regard he strongly urged the Secretariat to keep in mind the centrality of the needs of the troop contributing countries, and that current costs should be fully taken into account, compared to costs when reimbursement rates were established over twenty years ago.
Ambassador Thomson said it was regretful that UN Member States had been unable to agree on a negotiated report on UN Peacekeeping policy matters in 2013. He said Member States needed to transcend unnecessary roadblocks in negotiations, and focus on the greater interest of providing the guidance and leadership on which the UN Secretariat and peacekeeping missions depended. He called on emerging issues to be dealt with by Member States united as a Peacekeeping Community, thereby honouring the memory of the 79 UN Peacekeepers who had lost their lives in 2013.
4 MORE SCHOOLS TO BENEFIT FROM COMPUTING PROGRAMME IN 2014
More schools around the country will benefit from the One Laptop per Child Program next year, said the Minister for Education, Filipe Bole.
He visited students of Veiuto Primary School and made this announcement while encouraging them to gain exposure from the program as part of their learning process.
The minister, who has been touring OLPC schools in Suva this week, also visited Lami Primary and Kalabu Primary School today.
While speaking to students at Veiuto, Mr Bole urged them to make the best use of the opportunities provided to them so that they could reach university level in future.
Mr Bole reiterated that Government is strictly committed to making education accessible to all Fijians for the betterment of the country.
The minister also officially opened the school’s newly established $20,000 computer lab, which is being used by students from classes 1-8.
“It is very encouraging to see that all the students have adapted to learning through the use of the XOs laptops under the OLPC programme. It is a new programme for the schools in Fiji but the response from the students has been overwhelming,” Mr Bole said.
Fifteen schools in the country are already benefiting from the OLPC programme, under which each school is provided 40 laptops.
“Next year, we will get 2000 additional computers and introduce the OLPC programme in another 50 schools. We want to introduce this programme in as many primary schools as we can so we would need about 200,000 computers for that,” Mr Bole said.
Mr Bole also advised the students to ask for assistance from their teachers when they come across any difficulties rather than pressing wrong buttons on the laptops.
The head teacher, Mr Mohammed Hanif said the programme was introduced at their school about a month ago and the students are excited about it.
“We have 26 classes at Veiuto and each class uses the lab once a week according to the designed timetable. The Ministry of Education will help us in upgrading the programmes on the laptops. We are really grateful to the ministry for the assistance provided,” Mr Hanif said.
The school roll at Veiuto Primary is 962.
5 WOMEN PROJECT BOOSTS MORALE FOR REWA WOMEN
A government funded project in the village of Nakuriwai in the Province of Rewa is boosting the morale of the women living there.
In 2012, Government announced a significant budgetary allocation to construct women centres across the country; the village of Nakuriwai is the latest beneficiary of this scheme.
The Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni officially opened the new centre and reminded the women of the village that Government’s commitment to empower women requires consistency and their support.
“I congratulate Nakuriwai Women’s Group for putting up a great display of their handicraft, tailoring and catering products in the new Centre. It is a demonstration of their potential to use these skills and coordinate these activities at the new Centre to generate income to support their day today living.
“The Centre will also promote information sharing and training opportunities for women. It is a pathway for strengthened networking between Nakuriwai Women’s Group and the Ministry to create economic opportunities for improved livelihood,” Minister Luveni explained.
Speaking on behalf of the Nakuriwai women, their group president, Mrs Ro Salote Buinimasi, acknowledged the Ministry for this much needed development adding that this will boost their morale.
“We are grateful to the government for providing us with a new Centre, it will be of great assistance in expanding our baking project. The women here have very good baking skills and our group has been taking orders for baking variety of cakes, pie and pastries, however since we didn’t have a specific place to bake, we only took small orders.
“Now since we have a permanent place to bake, we can take more orders, already we have taken orders from few companies through which we expect to earn around $500 for baking and catering. We will also take orders for social gathering like weddings and market our products in Nausori town as well,” Mrs Buinimasi said.
Mr Meli Vulaisakalo, turaga-ni-koro for Nukuriwai village said the project will generate positive impacts in the lives of his people.
“Though Nakuriwai is a small community, there are about 40 people in this village, the women’s group here are serious about their role and are adamant to lead the economic development in this village.
“We thank Dr Luveni for supporting this project and her visit here today has motivated the ladies to work hard and this project would reflect on how rural women can make a difference in their communities through working together as a group. The centre has been built by the men and we support the women in this new endeavor,” he said.