2015 has been quite a year for Fiji for several reasons. As the year draws close, take a look at the key news and events that have created headlines.
UN hails Fijian Government
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) commended the Fijian Government for its continued commitment to child welfare and development, which was highlighted through the strengthened partnership between UNICEF and the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation to raise awareness on the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Campaign (PCAN).
In major news this year was the grand farewell of the outgoing President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau. He was appointed in 2009, replacing the late Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu.
Fijian to receive award from Her Majesty The Queen
A young Fijian Luisa Tuilau is one of 60 people from across the Commonwealth who are being recognised as exceptional leaders in their community. She will receive a prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award in 2016. Luisa works to raise awareness of the needs of young people. She studies psychology and law at the University of the South Pacific and is the President of its Law Association.
Talk on climate change
Fiji welcomed the climate change agreement adopted in Paris during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21). Fiji played an important role in making the voices of Pacific nations heard.
Fiji, Germany celebrated years of relations
Fiji-German co-operation in the forestry sector celebrated their 30-year anniversary this year. Fiji established diplomatic relations with Germany in 1973. They embarked on a bilateral partnership in the forestry sector in 1985.
Entertainment and arts
Fiji hosted one of the magnificent first ever bike and car shows
Miss Fiji Zaira Begg was the third runner-up at the 2015 Miss Pacific Islands Pageant, held at Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Famous Bollywood music director, singer, actor and producer Himesh Reshammiya toured Fiji with successful music concert.
Fiji Airways has had a good year with strong profits, the appointment of a new CEO and good growth across the network. Adding to its achievements was the announcement of a new Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The 300 version will bring a number of benefits to the airline in operational efficiencies and to the customers in terms of comfort, in-flight experience and service. The airways has also announced that it will be making adjustments to its Auckland-Suva direct service including adding a third flight to be scheduled next year.
Bank of Baroda announced that parents sending money to their children in India do not have to pay any extra fees. Students studying under the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) scholarship scheme will benefit from this arrangement.
Fiji began defending its World Rugby Sevens Series (WRSS) title by winning the opening leg in Dubai by defeating England. Fiji and South Africa currently lead the WRSS ranking table. Fiji is pooled with Argentina, Japan and Wales in Wellington on January 30.
Vijay Singh to represent Fiji in Rio
World Champion Fijian golfer Vijay Singh will represent Fiji at 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Golf will be played at the Olympics in Rio for the first time since 1904.
Wedding of the year
A hearing and speech impaired couple—Vinay Chand and Sanjana Mudaliar tied knot recently. It was a joyous and historic moment for the couple, relatives and those who were at the function.