3:09PM

PROTOCOL TRAINING TO BOOST CAPACITY FOR CIVIL SERVANTS

A course training aimed at strengthening the Fijian Government’s diplomatic services and relations began for the first time in Suva this morning.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation deputy secretary Mr Luke Daunivalu, today opened three day Protocol Training at the Centre for Training and Development in Nasese. The training is organised by both the Foreign Ministry and the Public Service Commission (PSC) and is seeing the participation of civil servants from Government Ministries and Agencies.

Officials that participated in this training were specifically chosen because of their role in representing Government at various local, regional and international meetings including the Pacific Islands Development Forum and the Melanesian Spearhead Group. The induction course underpins the principles of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to which Fiji is a signatory

In his opening address, Mr Daunivalu highlighted the importance of protocol and etiquette as a vital aspect of diplomacy for the Fijian Government.

“Apart from protocol and etiquette, after this training you will also be able to understand the diplomatic relations between independent States, the formalisation of such an arrangement, presentation of credentials and order of precedence, protocol and etiquette”, Mr Daunivalu said.

It is envisaged that at the end of the 3-days training, the participants will all have gained a working knowledge and appropriate levels of skills allowing each of these officers to make informed statements on;

§ The correlation between the international instruments namely the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations as against the Fiji Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act and its sister legislation, the Fiji Consular Privileges and Immunities Act;

§ The processes involved in the establishment of diplomatic relations with other independent sovereign States’

§ The formalization of these relationships;

§ The conferment, monitoring and withdrawal of diplomatic/consular privileges and immunities on resident/non-resident Missions and staff;

§ Reciprocal arrangements with bilateral partners;

§ The status of International and Regional Organisations/staff.

§ Protocol and Etiquette in its many forms and its application.

Mr Parmesh Chand, the Public Service’s permanent secretary said that the PSC is pleased to facilitate this training as it allows us to build human resource capacity in the relevant Ministries and Departments.

“It will also complement the efforts of the relevant Ministries and Departments in adopting a “whole of Government” approach in organising international and regional meetings and the courtesies and hospitalities we accord to our official visitors.”

-ENDS-

3:01PM

BA HOSPITAL WORKS TO COMMENCE NEXT MONTH

The Ministry of Health says that the construction of the new Ba Hospital is going through its planning process and will commence ground works next month.

The various project consultants such as Project Manager, EIA Consultant, Geotechnical Surveyor, Architect, Quantity Surveyor, Services Engineer and Structural Engineer were appointed in June this year by the Project Steering Committee which also includes the Ba Chamber of Commerce.

There has also been various preparatory works done on-site which includes a Topographical Survey, Geotechnical Survey and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which are prerequisites before any construction works can commence.

The Early Civil Works Tender is expected to be closed on 30/7/14 and Ground Breaking to be held on 9th August, 2014. The Building contract is to be signed by November 2014 and construction for the Hospital to commence from thereon.

These prerequisites and documentations are quite important to ensure the efficient and effective functionality and longevity of the new Ba Hospital and also accountability of tax payers’ funds. The Health Ministry advises that this will be a modern hospital which requires proper planning, consultation and environmental impact assessments.

The construction of this new hospital is a major development for Fijians living in Ba and is a cornerstone of the Bainimarama Government’s reforms in making health resources available to every Fijian.

-ENDS-

2:38PM

FIJI LEADERSHIP IN HIV/AIDS CAMPAIGN COMMENDED BY UN BODY

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) this week conveyed its gratitude and appreciation on Fiji's leadership role in working towards reducing HIV/AIDS statistics in the Pacific.

The UNFPA deputy executive director Kate Gilmore made the comments during a meeting with Fijian President His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau in Melbourne, Australia where the two are attending the 20th World AIDS conference.

Ms Gilmore told his Excellency that the election of Fiji as the President of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS) and Fiji's chairmanship of the Group of 77 plus China and other forums is indicative of Fiji's leadership.

Fiji's permanent representative to the UN Ambassador Peter Thomson is the chair of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS.

"Fiji leadership role speaks volumes of the leadership abilities of Fiji and this has been recently seen at the G77 and other regional and international forums," she said.

"UNFPA is also grateful for your continuous support and drive is issues of sensitivity such as AIDS."

HE Ratu Epeli said Fiji was also grateful that member states of the UN support is leadership role and the Fijian government was committed towards issues such as climate change, AIDS, sustainable development, health and many others.

2:32PM

FIRE AUTHORITY REVIEWS LEGISLATION TO BROADEN SERVICES

The National Fire Authority of Fiji (NFA) is reviewing its National Fire Services Act 1994 to cater for the broadened emergency services in the country.

This includes road accident rescue, ambulance services, flood and swift water rescue, hazardous materials response and much more.

The NFA held consultations with its stakeholders today on formulating a draft legislation which will encompass NFA’s expanded roles.

The Ministry of Local Government permanent secretary, Mr Samuela Namosimalua said Government’s focus is to provide fire and emergency services beyond town and city boundaries.

“The review of the legislation will enable NFA to carry out improvements in the delivery of effective and efficient fire and emergency service to all Fijians. This is the first time such an attempt is being made in the region to consolidate the different types of emergency responses into a single legislation,” Namosimalua said.

NFA chief executive officer, Mr John O'Connor said the current Act has no authority to license or register fire agents and business operators selling fire extinguishers.

The Act has no provisions for the NFA to respond to forest, bush, rubbish and cane fires as well as respond to National Emergency and Disaster.

“Our current system has road blocks and there is delay in respond to emergency calls. The standard time for fire respond is less than nine minutes which is something we need to work on. There are areas which are outside the fire boundary but we still respond to those emergencies,” O’Connor said.

The CEO added that plans are underway to extend fire services in heavily populated areas to ease responding time frame to emergencies.

“We have plans to extend fire stations in major cities and towns. The new legislation must include provision of services to areas outside fire boundary.”

The NFA will conduct public consultations in Suva, Lautoka and Labasa before a draft legislation is finalised.

-ENDS-

2:26PM

SPORTING BODY TO CARRY OUT INSPECTION OF WESTERN FACILITIES

The Fiji Sports Council board members and management team will conduct their annual tour of all the Fiji Sports Council Western facilities this week.

The current board consists of Mr Dan Lobendahn, Mr Vijendra Sundar, Mr Rupeni Silimaibau, Mr Malakai Veisamasama, Major Samisoni Kafoa, Mrs Losalini Waqausa (secretary), Mr Peter Mazey (Chairman), Mrs Litiana Loabuka (FSC Chief Executive Officer), Lt. Col. Ifereimi Vasu, Ms Elesi Ketedromo and Mr Colin Philp.

Visiting and reviewing the FSC facilities around Fiji annually will provide the board and stakeholders with the opportunity to check the standard of the facilities and plan for maintenance and upgrade systems and to review how the Council is faring with regards to the Fiji Sports Council’s 5-year Strategic Plan for the period 2011-2016.

FSC chairman Mr Mazey says it’s a beneficial practice for all stakeholders which has seen major changes occur, one of which is, the refurbished ANZ Stadium in Laucala Bay, Suva.

“The Board is ultimately responsible for the Council assets and as chairman I must ensure that the board is kept fully informed on all current or planned developments. Viewing all of our facilities not just those in the West is of extreme importance to us, so as we can plan for the future.”

FSC CEO Mrs Loabuka adds the value in such tours is to move a step closer to achieving the Council’s vision which is to be Fiji’s leading provider of premier Sports and Events facilities.

“This week’s trip to the west not only gives us the chance to meet with our staff and stakeholders but it allows us to address any issues regarding the facilities and operations that they may have. We are always seeking feedback from our patrons as this will only allow us to grow as an organisation.”

In June, the board reviewed all of the Suva-based facilities and in the process, was able to finalize on required improvements ie. To see and to have answered queries that had been raised with the board from stakeholders.

Findings from the tour will be worked on and more importantly, it will be an opportunity for the media to get updates from the board or FSC team management.

For further information on the tour, feel free to contact Eleina McDonald (FSC Sales & Marketing Manager) M: 998 1110 L: 331 2177 extn: 168 or email: eleina@fijisportscouncil.com.fj

(Photo Attached)