SUVA / GENEVA (13 December 2016) – United Nations human rights expert Mutuma Ruteere today called on the Fijian Government to intensify their efforts to end racism and xenophobia.
Mr. Ruteere urged the authorities to adopt a National Action Plan and comprehensive legislation recognising racial or ethnic motives as aggravating circumstances for hate crimes in the criminal legislation.
“The elimination of racial and ethnic divisions in Fiji depends on the unequivocal commitment of the country’s political leadership and willingness to denounce and reject those keen on organising politics along ethnic or racial lines,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism at the end of his first fact-finding visit to the country*.
Parliamentarians from the Pacific countries, including Papua New Guinea are meeting in Fiji to discuss Sustainable Development Goals and human rights issues. Over three days, members of parliament, human rights experts and development leaders will discuss Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how parliaments can contribute to their implementation. The meeting focuses on SDGs that are of particular relevance to the region, such as those related to climate change and its effects, gender equality and social equity. Participants will also look at international human rights norms and mechanisms to help ensure that the implementation of the SDGs is fully respectful of human rights. Continue reading →
Eight months since Tropical Cyclone Winston devastated the South Pacific Island nation of Fiji, the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) recovery efforts in partnership with the Fiji Government have been progressively underway to rebuild people’s livelihoods.
A team from the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji and visiting representatives from the Russian Government paid a site visit to Koro Island yesterday, which bore the brunt of the Category Five Cyclone – to witness how the Tropical Cyclone (TC) Winston Response and Recovery Project is benefiting the people, as they strive to recover from one of the most powerful cyclones to ever hit the country.
The Food Bank initiative which is designed to assist communities prepare for and recover from disasters, was handed over to the Naviti communities in the Yasawa group of islands in a handover ceremony that was held yesterday in Kese village.
As the name suggests, the Food Bank is the combination of two approaches; food as a basic need for communities to survive on and the bank concept of pooling savings as deposits to prepare for a rainy day.
The initiative was introduced and trialed in Soso and Kese villages by Vinaka Fiji Trust, the charity arm of South Sea Cruises in 2014.
“In the context of the Food Bank initiative in Kese and Soso villages, the approach allows the community members to save or store food crops in preparation for any impending disaster whether it be cyclones or prolonged dry spells”, said Ms. Elenoa Nimacere, Manager Vinaka Fiji Trust.
“Should a disaster pass over without affecting them, the food saved or grown as a result of the food bank is then sold to nearby hotels or markets and the money is deposited in a savings account to then be used for disaster preparedness or recovery.”
Following the interest from the communities and their desire to further develop the food bank, the initiative was then supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through its Pacific Risk Resilience Programme, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Live and Learn Environmental Education (LLEE).
Lautoka, Fiji – Twenty legal, trade and health department representatives from across the Pacific are in Fiji this week to examine the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) burden in the region and the role of the law in preventing and controlling NCDs, particularly in the context of developing coherence between health, trade and investment laws, policies and sectors.
The Law, NCD, Trade and Sustainable Development workshop, a first for the region, is jointly organized by the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Pacific Community (SPC) with support from the Government of Australia.
Heart disease, cancers, lung disease and diabetes are the leading causes of death in the Pacific region with most Pacific Islands countries losing their productive citizens to NCDs.
Remarks by the UNDP Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Haoliang Xu
Bula vinaka and a very good afternoon to you all. I am delighted to be here to join you all in this momentous occasion and celebration of the opening of the newly established UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji. We are especially pleased to open this new office this year, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of UNDP.
The office started operations in Fiji in April 2016 and is a consolidation of the former UNDP Fiji Multi-Country Office and Pacific Center into one office. The establishment of the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji is aimed at ensuring that UNDP in the Pacific is ‘fit for purpose’ and ready to take on a new level of collaboration and partnership with the people and Governments of the Pacific to deliver on the Small Island States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other Pacific related development agendas.
The United Nations launches today a humanitarian appeal requesting an unprecedented US$21.6 billion to meet the needs of 95.4 million people across 40 countries. This represents an increase of $1.5 billion since the launch of the Global Humanitarian Overview in December, reflecting new funding requirements including in Burundi, Fiji, Ecuador and Zimbabwe.
So far, the UN’s global appeal has received $5.5 billion, leaving a staggering 75% funding gap. This shortfall, which is occurring one month after the World Humanitarian Summit concluded in Istanbul, is jeopardizing critical humanitarian operations in crises such as Syria, Iraq, Central African Republic, Myanmar and the Lake Chad Basin.
Without additional donor support, millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance risk being left behind without adequate access to shelter, medical care and protection. Latest updates on funding requirements at unocha.org/stateofaid.
The United Nations General Assembly today elected Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji, as President of its upcoming 71st session. Mr. Thomson, who will replace current General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft, will begin his tenure in September at the commencement of the 71st General Assembly session. Continue reading →
What seemed like a routine visit to the maternal and child clinic for some 25 pregnant women quickly turned into an informative session on Zika virus. As soon as leaflets arrived at the Sigatoka hospital on Friday morning, nurses wasted no time in picking up copies and explaining the importance of prevention of the Zika virus to the group. Continue reading →