CAPTION: PS MINFO, Sharon Smith-Johns, PS PSC, Parmesh Chand and PS iTaukei, Savenaca Kaunisela at today’s press conference for Public Service Day.
1. IMPART TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE: PRIME MINISTER – Fijian Prime Minister and outgoing chair for the Melanesian Spearhead Group has today emphasized on the need to keep Melanesian cultures and traditions alive.
2. NEW CALEDONIAN GOVERNMENT WELCOMES MSG LEADERS – The President of New Caledonia, Mr Harold Martin has referred to the 25 years of existence of the Melanesian Spearhead Group as a success story.
4. PROVINCIAL COUNCILS TO EXPAND SERVICES – Provincial councils will soon be providing assistance to all ethnic groups in the 14 provinces. Ministry of Itaukei Affairs permanent secretary, Savenaca Kaunisela said previously all provinces that were governed by provincial councils were merely for the iTaukei community.
5. FIJIAN EXPORTERS TO BRAND FIJI IN NEW MARKETS – Fijian exporters are being challenged to brand Fiji beyond the horizons to new markets as the Government extends its diplomatic ties to more nations abroad.
6. POTENTIAL DAIRY PRODUCTION FOR WEST FARMERS – Small dairy farmers in the Western Division have the potential to produce more than two thousand litres of milk, says Ministry of Agriculture deputy secretary Uraia Waibuta.
7. YOUTH AND SPORTS GEARS UP FOR PUBLIC SERVICE DAY – The Ministry of Youth and Sports is anticipating Public Service Day celebrations on June 25 to showcase its services to the general public.
1. IMPART TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE: PRIME MINISTER
Fijian Prime Minister and outgoing chair for the Melanesian Spearhead Group has today emphasized on the need to keep Melanesian cultures and traditions alive.
The MSG leaders were today given a traditional welcome by the FLNKS ahead of the 19th MSG leaders summit.
FLNKS traditional leaders presented gifts and clothes including traditional wood carvings to MSG leaders at the Customary Senate in Noumea to show appreciation for hosting the leaders summit.
PM Bainimarama who was chief guest at the event thanked the traditional leaders of New Caledonia for keeping their traditions alive.
“This indicates to me that our rich Melanesian cultures and tradition has been sustained through generations and provides the cohesiveness that holds our people together,” PM Bainimarama said.
“It is both a privilege and an honour for me personally and I speak on behalf of all the delegates here today, that you have allowed us to share in your distinct and special kanaky cultural heritage by according us this customary welcome.”
PM Bainimarama highlighted that the culture and tradition of Melanesians is what sets it apart from the rest of the world.
He added that work is currently being undertaken by the MSG to protect and preserve traditional knowledge of Melanesia.
“The MSG has developed initiatives under the treaty for the protection of traditional knowledge and expressions of culture to put in place measures that will protect and conserve our cultures and traditions whether it be expressions through folklore, song and dance, knowledge, art or flora and fauna,” PM Bainimarama said.
The head of government stressed the need to impart traditional knowledge to the younger generations in order for Melanesian cultures and traditions to thrive.
“The onus is on us to ensure its sustainability and the future generations will be able to proclaim that they still have a distinct culture and tradition,” PM Bainimarama said.
“Elders must impart traditional knowledge to your people and younger people should hear and keep it deep in your hearts.”
“I emphasis here that traditional knowledge is intellectual property and one that cannot be learnt at an institution,” he added.
PM Bainimarama said the Melanesian Arts Festivals and other national initiatives has been designed with culture and tradition in mind.
“The Melanesian Arts Festivals and other initiatives are to capture cultural information. It is where traditional knowledge is acknowledged and encouraged,” PM Bainimarama said.
“We now have technology to do this and must full utilize this to our benefit so that our rich culture and tradition remains alive for many generations to come.”
2. NEW CALEDONIAN GOVERNMENT WELCOMES MSG LEADERS
The President of New Caledonia, Mr Harold Martin has referred to the 25 years of existence of the Melanesian Spearhead Group as a success story.
Mr Martin made the comments while hosting Pacific leaders to a dinner at the government head quarters of New Caledonia in Noumea last night.
Mr Martin reminisced on the days when the MSG was first established and the changes that took place since then.
“Initially, not all New Caledonians agreed to joining the MSG because of the historical context of the Pacific rivalry,” Mr Martin said.
“But we are working to become full members soon and we hope we can count on your support.”
Mr Martin welcomed the leaders, saying it was good to see everyone come together in harmony without any tension or restrain in an effort to build their relationship for the prosperity of the Melanesian people.
He assured leaders that all New Caledonians had a positive view of their actions.
Mr Martin said the handing over of the MSG chairmanship from Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to FLNKS was a milestone achievement that was being eagerly anticipated.
The President of New Caledonia said if it was agreed, FLNKS would soon become a fully fledged member of the MSG.
4. PROVINCIAL COUNCILS TO EXPAND SERVICES
Provincial councils will soon be providing assistance to all ethnic groups in the 14 provinces.
Ministry of Itaukei Affairs permanent secretary, Savenaca Kaunisela said previously all provinces that were governed by provincial councils were merely for the iTaukei community.
“All provincial councils will soon be servicing all ethnic groups and assistance would be provided to them through the Roko Tui’s,” Mr Kaunisela said.
“We intend to deal with all ethnic groups from one office within the provincial council vicinity.”
Mr Kaunisela added that all ethnic groups will be able to raise their concerns at the provincial council offices.
“The provincial councils will then redirect their queries to the government ministry responsible to deal with issues that the community may have,” Mr Kaunisela said.
He said the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, in emphasizing service delivery, is working on creating a closer working relationship with all members of the community.
“Regardless of whether you are iTaukei or belong to any other ethnic group, the need to be provided with the correct information is important,” Mr Kaunisela said.
The permanent secretary for iTaukei Affairs was speaking at the launch of the Public Service Day which is part of government’s efforts to improve service delivery.
5. FIJIAN EXPORTERS TO BRAND FIJI IN NEW MARKETS
Fijian exporters are being challenged to brand Fiji beyond the horizons to new markets as the Government extends its diplomatic ties to more nations abroad.
The 2013 Vodafone and Westpac Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Awards is thus aptly themed as “Expanding Beyond the Horizons of Fiji.”
The Government has recently undertaken several strategies to ensure it reaches out to wider markets.
Investment Fiji chief executive officer, Ravuni Uluilakeba said with Fiji opening missions in Brazil, United Arab Emirates and South Korea, Fijian export based companies will be challenged to “brand Fiji across the globe”.
The awards will be launched by Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Industry and Trade, Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum tomorrow.
The event, which is the longest running awards ceremony in Fiji would be celebrating its 21st anniversary this year.
The anniversary celebrations is organized by Investment Fiji to acknowledge and reward the contribution exporter’s make towards enhancing the Fijian economy.
“The awards are an avenue to reward and provide accolades to Fijian exporters,” Mr Uluilakeba said.
There are 10 awards up for grabs plus one overall reward that will motivate participants in the following categories:
1. Bank of Baroda Small Exporter of the Year Award;
2. LICI Medium Exporter of the Year Award;
3. Home Finance Company Ltd Large Exporter of the Year Award;
4. Technix Bitumen Pacific Ltd Emerging Exporter of the Year Award;
5. Bank South Pacific Import Substitution Award;
6. Reserve Bank of Fiji Agriculture Exporter of the Year Award;
7. Hangton Pacific Company Ltd Fisheries Exporter of the Year Award;
8. Golden Manufacturers Ltd Manufacturing Exporter of the Year Award;
9. Tropik Wood Industries Ltd Forestry Exporter of the Year Award;
10. Telecom Fiji Ltd ICT Services Award; and
11. Vodafone and Westpac Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Award
The awards main sponsors are Vodafone and Westpac and is likely to be in November.
6. POTENTIAL DAIRY PRODUCTION FOR WEST FARMERS
Small dairy farmers in the Western Division have the potential to produce more than two thousand litres of milk, says Ministry of Agriculture deputy secretary Uraia Waibuta.
Mr Waibuta, who appeared on a radio talkback show on Radio Fiji One this week, highlighted that the planned realignment of the dairy industry will result in the registration of all small scale dairy farmers.
“After formalization, these small dairy farmers will be given license to operate their dairy businesses,” Mr Waibuta said.
“ In line with this new move by the Agriculture Ministry, we are currently training these small dairy farmers on basic dairy management.”
He said almost all sugarcane farmers in the western division have between two to five cows which are milked daily.
“They usually collect five to twenty litres of milk daily which is for domestic use and also sold to neighbours,” Mr Waibuta said.
He added that issuing licenses to these small dairy farmers will legalise their dairy production.
“After registering these small farmers we will then set up milk collection centres for them which will surely boost the industry,” Mr Waibuta said.
7. YOUTH AND SPORTS GEARS UP FOR PUBLIC SERVICE DAY
The Ministry of Youth and Sports is anticipating Public Service Day celebrations on June 25 to showcase its services to the general public.
Director Youth and Sports, William Naisara said activities have been organised for Suva, Lautoka and Labasa offices as part of the Public Service Day celebrations.
“Public Service Day is important to us in many respects because it provides an opportunity for young people to become more aware of the services provided by our ministry. It also helps to increase our visibility to those that we serve in the Youth and Sports sector,” Mr Naisara said.
Mr Naisara highlighted that a major feature of the day would be the senior managers of the ministry rendering customer service to the people.
“Our senior managers, including the permanent secretary and other senior officers would be based at the front office or reception making instant decisions on the enquiries made by customers.
“We would also hold an open day in our offices around the country where people can come and meet our officers and learn firsthand the kind of services we provide,” Mr Naisara added.
The ministry has also invited youth groups and schools to participate in the day’s activities.
“Youth groups and sporting organisations would get a chance to meet officials from the ministry to help them enhance development so that they could take their services to another level,” Mr Naisara said.
He also stressed that all civil servants are reminded of their duties towards the country as a whole on this day.
“Members of the staff at Youth and Sports Ministry are urged to provide full support to facilitate the day’s celebration, which is part of service excellence,” Mr Naisara said.
Mr Naisara said civil service also provides a career path to youths who should make use of the opportunity to learn more about job opportunities available to them in the sector.