Fiji Government, NGOs and UNDP Working in Partnership to fulfil the underlying SDG pledge to ‘Leave No One Behind’

Jun 23, 2016

The Police Officers at the training in Labasa conducted by FWCC in partnership with UNDP on 13th June 2016 (Photo: FWCC)

Seventeen (17) Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals, were launched on 1 January 2016 following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by more than 150 world leaders including Fiji Government at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015. The Global Goals aim to end poverty, hunger and inequality, take action on climate change and the environment, improve access to health and education, build strong institutions and partnerships, and more. In Fiji, action has already begun, putting the policy into practice.

Osnat Lubrani, UNDP Resident Representative said “Fiji has made significant progress in the past 15 years to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but there is much left to do. The SDGs are a powerful framework to guide further work to close the gaps but also tackle important emerging issues, including rise in inequalities, marine resource management and climate change, as well as building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions. We all have a role to play to ensure that the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs truly leave no one behind.” 

The very key issues to sustainable development, such as achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, risk informed policy making and implementation towards resilient and sustainable society, as well as promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies through strong institutions have been advocated and put into practice by the government officials and communities through various initiatives supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Fiji. Some of those initiatives were recently undertaken in the Northern Division.

Strengthening gender responsive practice by the Police 

Gender, violence against women, human rights and related laws were discussed by the senior police officers in the Northern Division during the five-day training conducted in Labasa by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Center (FWCC) in partnership with UNDP. The training aimed at helping the officers understand how to appropriately and sensitively respond to female victims reporting gender-based violence.

The Deputy Police Commissioner Isikeli Ligairi emphasized the importance of the training in his opening remarks. He encouraged the participating officers reassuring, “through our work and quick response, we can instill confidence to members of the public that the Fiji Police Force is serious against violence against women and children.”   

The similar training targeting the senior police officers has also been conducted in the Central and Western Divisions and is being conducted in the Eastern Division in July by FWCC in partnership with Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission and UNDP as part of the Pacific Security Sector Governance Project. 

Formulating risk-informed development plan

Gender social inclusion and risk governance were highlighted to be integrated in the Northern Division Business Plan for 2016-2017 during the workshop coordinated as part of the Pacific Risk Resilience Programme. Divisional officers learned the concept and good practice of risk management from other sectors and reviewed the draft Divisional Business Plan to be risk informed. 

The Divisional Commissioner Northern, Jovesa Vocea mentioned as part of his opening remarks that development should be ‘controlled’ so that it can be more sensitive to the risks of climate change and disasters and the risks from change in social behaviour due to uncoordinated and uncontrolled economic development. These risks need to be ‘inculcated’ into existing development planning processes, without creating new ones.

The risk informed Divisional Business Plans are expected to build on to the Ministry of Rural and Maritime & Disaster Management Annual Corporate Plan for the new financial year.  The workshops have been coordinated in all other Divisions in Fiji by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Rural and Maritime & Disaster Management and LIVE & LEARN supported by the Australian Government. 

Raising awareness of rights and delivery of services

More than 133 people from seven communities in Macuata Province welcomed the team comprising of officers from the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Legal Aid Commission and UNDP. The team visited the communities to raise awareness of services available and to also provide service delivery during the visit. Previously between September to December 2015 the ‘mobile service delivery’ reached 1,127 people from 48 villages and settlements in the Northern Division including 464 women, 507 men and 156 children. These mobile teams also delivered 729 services such as advice on eligibility for poverty alleviation schemes, information on women and child rights, and legal advisory services. The mobile teams will continue to deliver the service also in all other Divisions this year. 

“The information of various services both from the Ministry and the Legal Aid Commission helped us understand our roles and responsibility. People often felt left out without useful information and meaningful participation but today, the communities were satisfied and happy with what they learned and how they participated”, said Solomoni Turagavou, Turaga-ni-Koro of Nubu village.

The Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion (REACH) for Rural and Urban Fijians Project is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation and the Legal Aid Commission and supported by the Government of Japan and UNDP. 

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