9:15AM

FIJI AND KAZAKHSTAN TO WORK ON DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION

The Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of Indonesia and Special Envoy, H.E. Mr Askhat T Orazbay paid a courtesy visit to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola in Suva this morning.

Fiji and Kazakhstan have been collaborating on a wide range of bilateral and multilateral matters through their Missions in New York. Minister Kubuabola invited Kazakhstan to consider the establishment of an Embassy of Kazakhstan in Suva that could be accredited to all the Pacific Islands countries.

Ambassador Orazbay informed the Minister that Kazakhstan is vying for a seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2017-2018 and is one of two Asia-Pacific nations to bid for the seat. They discussed contemporary threats to security including food, water and energy security for possible articulation in the Security Council, if elected. Kazakhstan has been at the forefront of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and voluntarily gave up the world’s fourth largest nuclear arsenal. Minister Kubuabola proposed Kazakhstan consider supporting Fiji in its peacekeeping efforts through logistical and equipment assistance. The Ambassador suggested this can be a successful and practical example of cooperation with tangible outcomes.

Minister Kubuabola also proposed that Kazakhstan consider providing scholarships for mine engineering and in other areas of strategic strengths. A more elaborate Development Cooperation Agreement was also suggested by the Minister and the ideas were welcomed by the Ambassador. Further cooperation in sustainable energy, education, cultural exchange, tourism and security issues will continue to be part of ongoing dialogue. The Minister also brought the Ambassador’s attention to the Pacific Island Development Forum as an ideal mechanism to engage in development aspects with the whole of Pacific Island countries.

Minister Kubuabola visited Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, for the World Anti-Crisis Conference and the Astana Economic Forum in May 2013. Fiji established bilateral relations with Kazakhstan in June 2012. Fiji’s cooperation with Kazakhstan is a good example of constructive partnership in the spirit of mutual understanding and friendly cooperation which was proven when the Fijian Government supported the candidature of Astana to host the EXPO-2017. Kazakhstan has expressed interest to develop strong cooperation with Fiji through various interactions and joint undertakings on various multilateral forums.

Kazakhstan is a modern, stable and rapidly developing Central Asian nation with a robust economy, high ranking on the Human development Index and a consistent foreign policy in support of a rule based international system with friendly relations with all countries. It shares borders with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea. It is well endowed with substantial natural resource deposits including oil, gas and is also a leading exporter of uranium. Kazakhstan is a member of several high level international organisations including Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Individual Partnership Action Plan, with NATO, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. Turkic Council and the TÜRKSOY community and UNESCO.

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9:06AM

FIJI AND VANUATU ESTABLISH SPORTING DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION

In a move aimed at strengthening relations with its Melanesian neighbors, the Fijian Government today signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Vanuatu to develop the sporting sectors in both countries.

At this historic signing held in Nadi, Fiji’s Minister for Youth and Sports Viliame Naupoto highlighted the importance of sports towards reducing Non Communicable Diseases. He added that the Bainimarama Government’s commitment to developing Fiji’s sporting sector took into consideration its impact on Fiji’s youth.

“The Fijian government has invested a lot in sport development in Fiji and also we recognize sports as tool for nation building as agent for social and economic change,” Minister Naupoto said.

“Sports have contributed immensely to the development of our younger generation and towards character building,” Minister Naupoto said.

He highlighted that through this mutual agreement is indicative of how the two countries can share resources, experiences and expertise in the field of sports.

Sharing similar sentiments Vanuatu’s Minister for Youth and Sports Anthony Wright said this MOU we are able to foster promote and strengthen technical assistance in the development of sports programs and physical education curriculum and activities.

“This agreement will benefit the sportsmen and women of both countries and we thank the Fijian government for this opportunity to share their experiences and expertise in the field of sports,” Mr. Wright said.

Minister Wright they are now looking at fostering bilateral relations with other Melanesian Spearhead Group countries.

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9:02AM

PERMANENT SECRETARY ADDRESS PRINCIPALS’ CONFERENCE

The Permanent Secretary for the Public Service, Mr. Parmesh Chand, whilst addressing the 113th Conference of the Fiji Principal Association, reminded those present of their roles as educators and leaders in the education sector and for them to refrain from taking part in any political campaign or activity.

“As School Principals, you occupy important positions of Leadership. I say important because you are looked up to not only by your immediate stakeholders but the community as a whole,” Mr Chand said.

He went on to commend the Fiji Principal’s Association for continuing this regular conference which enabled the sharing of ideas and knowledge.

In emphasizing the importance of their role as principals, Mr Chand stressed the need to fully observe and abide by the provisions of PSC General Orders as well as Political Parties Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosure Decree. These provisions all highlight the need for all public servants to remain apolitical and to follow the Code of Conduct which ensures fairness, due diligence, transparency and accountability for Government policy.

“Essentially, as Public Servants, we are to refrain from getting involved in political campaigns or activity. We are to remain neutral, although as citizens registered to vote, you are free to exercise your democratic right to cast your votes in line with provisions of the Supreme Law of Fiji, which is the 2013 Constitution. It is important that the aspect of neutrality is emphasized as that is also very much part and parcel of your Leadership role as School Principals.”

Mr Chand further emphasized that as principals, their positions demand that they set high examples of leadership in all areas of conduct, as they care for the welfare and interest of the staff and students that are in their realm of responsibility.

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9:00AM

CABINET APPROVES PAID HOLIDAY ON SEPTEMBER FOR ELECTIONS

Cabinet has approved the 17th of September 2014 as a declared paid public holiday and the day set aside for Fiji’s election.

The decision was made this week following the recommendation of the Minister for Labour Mr Jone Usamate in a paper tabled to Cabinet to facilitate a successful outcome to a first ever one-day General Election.

He encouraged employers and workers to secure their copies of the Minister’s Gazette Declaration of Wednesday 17th September 2014 as a Special Paid Public Holiday at the end of next month from the Government Printer or from the Ministry’s website – www.labour.gov.fj

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11:34AM

TRAINING TO DEVELOP LEADERSHIP ROLE FOR FIJIAN WOMEN

As part of its commitment to empower women in Fiji, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation will conduct a three-day workshop to develop women’s leadership role.

The Ministry of Women director Arieta Moceica said the training which will include basic communication and leadership skills is aimed at engaging women especially those in rural communities. She added that the training is intended to encourage more women in these communities to take on a more proactive and influential role.

“We have 100 women that hold chiefly titles, in many cases women that hold such roles are not seriously considered so this training will empower them as well to lead their people to be vocal in village meetings.”

“The exercise will also coincide with the Women Expo held from the 6-8 of August,” Mrs Moceica said.

She explained the Women Expo is also aimed for women to exchange ideas on how well they can work together to address women issues and improve the lives of women in living in our rural areas.

Meanwhile, the Department of Women is in the process of reviewing Fiji’s international obligations to international conventions and how these commitments include the needs and challenges of women in rural and isolated communities across the country.

The training is scheduled to take place in August this year.

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