Suva, Fiji – A three-year project dedicated to ensuring the active participation of citizens in Fiji’s national development and policy making process, tonight launched a short documentary on its activities.
The European Union funded Strengthening Citizen Engagement in Fiji Initiative (SCEFI) project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji has been able to support the proactive engagement of citizens in the national development process during its three-year lifespan. The project spans over 14 provinces of Fiji, including those most remote such as Rotuma.
The documentary was launched by His Excellency President of the Republic of Fiji, Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konousi Konrote. It showcases the work undertaken by SCEFI and sheds light on the different experiences of citizens and communities impacted by the project.
The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific, H.E Andrew Jacobs said: ''The European Union is proud to have supported the Strengthening Citizen Engagement in Fiji Initiative (SCEFI), developed with, and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme. SCEFI is all about giving community groups a voice. It's helped people around Fiji, including in the remotest of regions, to recognise that they have an important role to play in a democratic society. SCEFI has facilitated dialogue with the authorities and helped to ensure that public sector policy development takes full account of the interests of those it seeks to benefit. SCEFI has empowered communities, and it's helped community members to realise their potential."
"An empowered civil society is a crucial component of any democratic system and is an asset in itself. Civil society is a key partner in the European Union's development work around the world," added Ambassador Jacobs.
SCEFI offered a platform for dialogue and engagement on development issues at both central and local levels including, more recently, around the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and on a variety of issues important to Fijians, ranging from multi-culturalism, inclusion of vulnerable groups, mental health, gender-based violence and youth priorities.
The UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Osnat Lubrani said, “The initiative consistently took note of the ever evolving challenges that communities face in a society straddling traditionalism and modernity with a view to lessening inevitable frictions, bringing to the fore the beauty, strengths and opportunities that are embedded in both.
“SCEFI modelled what ‘leave no one behind’ is all about even before the term was coined in the context of global endorsement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, capitalizing on the strong partnership with Government and the wide spectrum of stakeholders.”
The short documentary including lessons learned and experiences from the implementation of SCEFI can be accessed by the public on the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji website .
The event was hosted by the Head of Delegation of the EU for the Pacific, H.E Andrew Jacobs at his official residence.
Ms. Setaita Tavanabola, Communications Associate, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji on +679 3312 2500 / 9320510, email email@example.com or
Mohammed Nazeem Kasim, EU Press and Information Officer on +679 3313633, email mohammed-Nazeem.KASIM@eeas.europa.eu