Posts tagged Nadi

Fijian PM Voreqe Bainimarama Opens 2nd National Climate Change Summit (Itaukei Language)

PM Opens 2013 Climate Change Summit

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, at the opening of the 2013 National Climate Change Summit at Narewa village in Nadi today, challenged those present that as a small nation, Fiji plainly cannot influence climate change on its own.

Attended by the vanua, including the Turaga na Tui Nadi Ratu Sailosi Dawai, the church, non – governmental organizations (NGOs), educational institutions, government ministries and departments and villages, the Summit aims to bring in all stakeholders to charter a way forward in the face of climate change.

“We are not an industrialised country with high carbon emissions and can only try to persuade those that are to take decisive action to reduce those emissions,” PM Bainimarama said.

“It is clearly a global problem that requires global solutions but rather than merely wringing our hands and telling the international community that ‘something must be done’, we need to take charge of those areas we can influence.

“And we are. We are playing our part in the global quest for a more sustainable energy future. While at the same time doing a lot more to improve our response to the effects of climate change, and especially the extreme weather conditions.”

With the first Summit being held in Labasa on Vanua Levu, the Prime Minister said the venue of the second summit was fitting.

“Of all the possible venues in Fiji to hold these discussions, Nadi is undoubtedly the most appropriate,” PM Bainimarama said.

“Because Nadi, in recent times, has been one of the area’s most affected by the extreme weather events that the scientists say are becoming more frequent and severe because of climate change.”

He thanked the vanua for accepting to host the event.

“To the Tui Nadi and the people of Narewa, thank you for hosting this event – the second National Climate Change Summit, that brings together stakeholders from around the country.”

Fijian PM Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama hosts PIDF delegates to reception

Fijian Prime Minister Bainimarama Keynote Address on 3rd Pacific SIDS Regional Preparatory Meeting.

“STOP DRAGGING YOUR FEET ON CLIMATE CHANGE”: PM’S MESSAGE TO GLOBAL COMMUNITY

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, has opened a meeting of the Pacific Small Island Developing States in Nadi with a call for urgent international action to address climate change.

He said the world was dragging its feet on the need to tackle global warming, which he said was having a “dire effect” on Pacific nations through rising sea levels and extreme weather events.

In unusually strong language, the Prime Minister said the Pacific nations expected the industrialised world to finally face up to its responsibilities.

“Let me say this to the big polluters – the big carbon emitters:  Whatever the science of climate change, it is you who must respond to global warming, which threatens the very existence of some of our Small Island Developing States.

“You need – for our sakes – to set targets to curb your carbon emissions. Because the majority scientific opinion has it that you are causing global warming”, he said.

The Prime Minister said it was unacceptable that the industrialised nations were still unwilling to set binding targets on their emissions of carbon dioxide, which most climate scientists are blaming for rising temperatures.

“It is not good enough to say “ it is all too hard”, to put the protection of your own carbon- emitting industries first. It’s time for you to place yourself in the position of a citizen of

Kiribati, one of the Small Island Developing States whose very existence is under threat.”

The Prime Minister said the people of Kiribati were slowly watching their islands sink and had been forced to buy 6000 acres of higher ground in Vanua Levu – Fiji’s second biggest island

“We welcome them as neighbours and friends. But for the industrialised countries to put themselves first, to let a whole nation sink slowly beneath the waves, is bound to be regarded by future generations as the height of selfishness”, he said.

The PM said that the Pacific nations also expected the industrialised countries to bear the cost of the adverse effects they were having on the lives of Pacific peoples.

“We are not the carbon emitters, they are. So when we suffer adverse consequences, such as more frequent destructive hurricanes, we believe they should shoulder more of the cost”, he said.

FIJI HOSTS MEETING OF SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, will open a meeting of Pacific countries in Nadi tomorrow as they prepare for a global gathering of Small Island Developing States in Samoa next year.

The three-day Pacific Preparatory Meeting is one of four across the world leading up the Third International Small Islands Developing States conference in September 2014.

One has already been held in Jamaica and two more will be held in Seychelles and Barbados later this year.

Delegates to the Nadi conference – to be held at the Raddison Resort on Denarau – will have an agenda that includes climate change, natural disasters, poverty alleviation and the proper management of resources.

Other topics include human trafficking, the need for better governance, better social protection and the preservation of traditional cultures and practices.

The Prime Minister will give the opening address tomorrow morning after he returns to Fiji from his visit to the 35th Independence anniverary  celebrations in Solomon Islands.

PIDF – A Positive Road for the Pacific

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the launch of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) will provide the impetus for inclusive and sustainable development architecture which can become a key pillar for the South-South cooperation in the region and beyond.

PIDF was borne out of the collective input of Pacific leaders that attended the Engaging with the Pacific meeting in Fiji last year to bring together governments, businesses and civil society organizations in the Pacific to secure the future of the region through Green Economy.

PM Bainimarama during his recent participation at the 19th Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders Summit in New Caledonia, had issued an invite to all Pacific government leaders, private sectors, civil society organizations and development partners to this meeting.

“PIDF will champion the vision of a “united, distinctive and sustainable Pacific society” that has spread throughout the Pacific conveyed by a team from Fiji’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” PM Bainimarama said.

PM Bainimarama said work towards hosting of the inaugural PIDF meeting in Nadi in August has already begun.

“The team has visited around the Pacific, meeting public sector, private sector and civil society leaders and we are pleased with their report and are confident that the groundwork has been laid for a successful inaugural meeting of the PIDF ” PM Bainimarama added.

PM Bainimarama highlighted the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, at the Rio+20 Earth Summit issued a declaration, “The Future We Want” which encouraged countries to introduce green economy policies to tackle poverty without adding extra strain to food, water and energy supplies.

The theme of the inaugural PIDF meeting will be “Leadership, innovation and partnership for Green/Blue Pacific economies” and an experienced team of experts in Green Economy from the region and beyond have been approached to address the conference.

“We are excited by the interest that is being generated by this event which is creating its own challenges in terms of space and representation. We are confident however, that the mixture of programmes that is being prepared which includes ten plenary and parallel sessions, and a Green Economy Expo will surpass everyone’s expectations,” PM Bainimarama said.

PM Bainimarama added that through the support of all countries in the region, a new space for dialogue on sustainable development will be created.

“I’m confident that with all our support, we will be able to birth this new space for dialogue on sustainable development and bequeath to our future generations a new way of engagement that is truly participatory and representative,” PM Bainimarama said.

“I am also confident the Pacific Islands Development Forum can surely animate its vision of a ‘united, distinctive, and sustainable Pacific society’.”

The PIDF inaugural meeting is scheduled for August 5-7 in Nadi.

PM BAINIMARAMA – SPEECH AT THE OPENING OF THE NEW HIGGINS WESTERN DEPOT

Bula vinaka and a very good morning to you all.

As you all know, fixing Fiji’s roads is among my Government’s top priorities. So I’m delighted to be here this morning to open the Nadi depot for one of the overseas contractors undertaking this task – the Higgins company of New Zealand.

Fixing Fiji’s roads is in the hands of – Higgins in the West, Fulton Hogan and Highway Stabilisers in the Central Division and Blacktop in the North. All are New Zealand companies with strong reputations.

For their part, Higgins has hit the ground running. To fulfill its contract for the next four years, they have brought a large number of road maintenance vehicles into Fiji and established depots in Rakiraki, Tavua, Ba, Lautoka and Sigatoka, as well as here in Nadi.

I’m especially pleased to note the work that has been done so far has included re-opening or rebuilding roads into a string of isolated areas.

Vunatovau Village had its access restored after being closed for more than three years. And the roads to Yaloku Village, Rara Village and Navidili have also been opened again after extended closures.

Yes it’s taking time to attend to every job. The neglect, the inefficiency and corruption of previous years cannot be fixed overnight. But the work that was so badly needed has begun in earnest and we’re all starting to see the results. However we expect to see even greater results in the next few months.

My Government is committed to this massive project – in the West as well as in the rest of Fiji – because the state of our roads impacts the health of our entire economy and the life of every Fijian.

That’s why my Government announced the single largest spending initiative in Fiji’s history – $420-million dollars – to maintain, repair, upgrade and build roads and bridges. It’s one of the flagship policies of a comprehensive set of reforms to create jobs, grow the economy, and attract investment.

But it’s not just about the size of the price tag. It’s about being smart with the way we spend that money, making sure that the Fijian taxpayer is getting the absolute best return on their investment.

In the past, there were too many Goverement departments and statutory bodies that simply weren’t delivering good enough results. They lacked the necessary skills, technology and know-how to get the job done right.

Add to that the corruption, mismanagment and lack of tranparency that was all too common and it’s no wonder some of our key infrastructure and industries were in such a sorry state.

So my Government has pursued a consistent policy of outsourcing to or working with the private sector.

Working with the private sector brings in the specialized training, skills and knowledge that increases efficiency and improves results. It allows us to right size government, leading to a more streamlined and cost effective civil service. And it creates sustained employment.

Soon, my Government will also announce a new constitution, which will for the first time include a whole range of socio-economic rights. These include the right to reasonable access to transporation and the right to economic participation.

If we want to ensure that Fijians can fully enjoy these rights, we need good roads – so that people can transport their produce, their goods and their services, so that children can easily travel to school, and the sick can easily travel to the hospital.

These rights must be upheld no matter what, irrespective of which Government comes into power after the 2014 parliamentary elections and every election after that.

With those few words, it’s now my great pleasure to formally open the Nadi depot this morning to accommodate the Higgins staff and operations team and which will ensure that they deliver the best of what is expected of them. I congratulate the company on behalf of all Fijians.

Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you.

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama opens Mate Road Bridge – Korovuto, Nadi

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s Speech at the Opening of the Nadi Legal Aid Office

Bula Vinaka and good morning to all of you present here today to mark this important occasion. It is my pleasure to be here this morning to open the new Nadi Office of the Legal Aid Commission.

Today marks another solid step in my Government’s efforts to ensure that all Fijians have equal access to justice system.

Nadi is one of the largest town centres in Fiji and the fastest growing. It also has a substantial surrounding rural population. With the opening of this Office, the residents of Nadi and its greater area will no longer have to travel far to seek legal aid assistance. We are removing the obstacles of time, distance, and expense.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my Government remains firmly committed to providing equal access to the justice system for every Fijian, in particular for those Fijians who are unable to afford the services of a lawyer.

Without proper legal counsel, a person may not get the justice he or she deserves. Equal access to justice should mean just that—justice that is readily available to all. It must be a reality, not just a hope.

Some talk about the rule of law without necessarily understanding that a key component of this principle must include equal access to the justice system. Conversely how can we talk about substantive justice when there is no access to the justice system for the poor, the weak, the vulnerable?

Without legal counsel, Court matters get delayed, and this is at the cost of tax payers.

But beyond the cost, we know that justice delayed is justice denied. Legal Aid services and Court matters need to be expedited so that justice is sure, deliberate, and as prompt as possible.

At the end of the day, providing equal access to justice to all Fijians is the responsibility of the Government. In order for Legal Aid to work for the people, to do its job, it has to be adequately funded.

It is for this reason, my Government has ensured that the Legal Aid Commission has the staff, facilities, and funds it needs to assist people who cannot afford the services of a lawyer.

As the need for legal services in the community has increased, my Government has steadily increased its funding to the Legal Aid Commission, which now employs 25 lawyers, and 28 corporate and support staff. The total number of staff, I am told, will soon increase to more than 64.

This new Nadi Office of the Legal Aid Commission is a part of that expansion. It is modern and well resourced. It has facilities to accommodate clients wishing to make legal aid applications as well as separate interview rooms for clients to protect their privacy and ensure confidentiality.

The Legal Aid Commission has permanent offices in Suva, Ba, Lautoka, and Labasa. The Nausori Office has opened doors and shall be officially opened by me within the next month. This morning, the Legal Aid Commission opens its doors in Nadi. This afternoon, a new Legal Aid Commission office will also open in Rakiraki. And we have plans to open an office in Sigatoka in the new year.

I am pleased to tell you that the Legal Aid Commission is also reviewing its current systems and procedures to improve service delivery. With the review of the eligibility criteria, more Fijians will become entitled to Legal Aid assistance, and applications for legal aid will be processed more expeditiously.

During my tour of the country in early 2010, many people had complained that there was little provision in Fiji for civil legal aid services.  I took immediate steps to satisfy their concerns, and as a result, the Legal Aid Commission began providing legal assistance in areas of civil law–such as drafting of Wills, taking out letters of administration, probate matters, and assisting with FNPF withdrawals in absence of nomination.  The people of Fiji now receive these services free of charge from Legal Aid.

My Government is committed to assisting the poor and disadvantaged of Fiji, and one of the most important ways we do this is through Legal Aid.

The Legal Aid Commission has established its place in the law and justice sector and is here to stay. I can assure all Fijians that my Government will remain committed to the cause of this noble organisation, which gives access to justice system to the most vulnerable in our society.

I would like to express my appreciation to the Attorney-General and the Solicitor General’s Chambers for their commitment to seeing justice expanded in Fiji, and to the Legal Aid Commission Board and the staff for their passion and dedication in serving Fijians.

As I have stated when I leave here today, I will travel to the province of Ra, where I will open the Legal Aid Commission’s Rakiraki Office in the afternoon. Opening two new Legal Aid Offices makes this a wonderful day for me personally and for the people of Nadi and Rakiraki.

And now I have much pleasure in officially declaring open the Nadi Legal Aid Commission Office.