From Fiji Times Online (10 September 2013)
Emily at SIDS meet
by Solomoni Biumaiono
Fiji youth representative to the meeting and also the general secretary of the National Youth Council of Fiji, Emily Erasito, said this was a major step taken by the government.
"I am very happy that government has included in their statement, the statement by the Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, he presented and he noted in the third principle is inclusion, inclusiveness.
"It sounds good to me and I am happy that they have acknowledged and included us but I think we really need to look hard at where youths and government can be partners in sustainable development for small island developing states because we say it but the action is another question."
"Because whatever representation will be done, they will be representing the nation and having majority of the population as young people, it is very important that they are being represented well," Emily said.
Sponsored by UNESCO, Emily went to take the Pacific region Youth Outcome Statement which was drafted by youths from 11 Pacific Island countries earlier in July.
Four main issues were raised by Pacific youths at the SIDS meeting; unemployment, climate change, health and education.
"For unemployment, it's just not any kind of employment, we're looking for decent employment.
"For health, we are concerned in three areas, physical, mental and sexual and reproductive health.
"For education we looked at areas which are accessible and affordable, for young people and children and also disability wise, special needs and for rural and outer island communities as well.
"For climate change that is something that we do not have to convince others, because during the meeting everyone else had that on their agenda, especially Tuvalu and very low-lying islands. But the young people in the Pacific felt it is a very pertinent issue in the sense that whatever is being done today, the effects would be our inheritance so we want to inherit something sustainable and even for now as we speak we live in the impacts of climate change," Emily said.
There were 15 youth representatives from small island and developing states in the Caribbean, Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and the South China Sea at the meeting. There are SIDS 52 member countries.
Emily said many of the countries without youth representatives approached the youth delegates for networking purposes during and after the meeting.
"There are a few countries that were a little bit reluctant in raising all the issues that youths brought to the table. You know, when we usually think of youths, we think of negative things and maybe it might take some time for them to digest and see that youths are capable.
But the government from Mauritius, there and then guaranteed they would have a youth representative come the third international conference," Emily said.
This young woman is confident the future will be more promising for Pacific youths as many of their governments are now recognising their efforts towards and capacity for nation building.
"And that is something that we also, not just pushing our issues but we're also looking for inclusivity so come the third international conference, which is next year, where they will finalise the way forward for the future that we want, that's when we feel that there is also a need to have youth representation to be part of the country delegation," Emily said.
© Fiji Times Ltd.
From Sanimeli Maraf in Rotuma (20 August 2013; posted 7 September))
Last week was a busy week for the parents of Rotuman primary school children. Games were held at Sumi and the Sumi Primary School children took top honours. The games were enjoyed by all. The Chow Games for primary grade students will be held in Suva in November and our top competitors will attend. Marylu Inoke, from Paptea Primary, will attend; she is a good sprinter.
Our Wilson Inia Day celebration at Rotuma High School was held on 15 August (see photos). Chief guests were Shaneand Rejieli Flexman from Sydney. Rejieli gave a good speech to the children. She also represents the Sydney Methodist Church, which came and built the school library a few years back. They also donated a van for the school. Mrs. Flexman helped the school with sports uniforms.
During the celebration the Okeanos arrived [a prototype ocean-going cargo canoe, see news stories in the Fiji Times: 11 April, 13 May, 12 August]. What a lovely surprise to meet the crew, especially our very own Master Mausio Sokra‘a of Kalvaka, Noa‘tau. He is an ex-teacher. The Council held a mamasa for them the next day at Ahau with the present seven district chiefs and their matas in attendence, along with the D.O. and the police station officers and their staffs. Gagaj Maraf invited them for church at Saione, Noa‘tau and they lunched together with the people at Fletcher Bible School. I served them coffee afterwards at home. Among the crew were: Ralania Tipoki from Napier, N.Z.; Kapara Marr from Kawerau, N.Z.; Johnny Enis from Vanuatu; Steven Tawake from Fiji; Eva Vunikura from Gau, Fiji; and Master Mausio Sokra‘a from Kalvaka. There was an open day to the public on Monday during which Master Mausio told us of all the places this ocean vaka has been, including Costa Rica, South America, California, Mexico, French Polynesia, Hawai‘i, Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji. After Rotuma they will visit Tuvalu. The main purpose of their journeys is to collect data regarding the effectiveness of using vessels like it to deliver goods and services to people in maritime areas.