23 March 2010
The Minister for Information and Communications, Hon. ‘Eseta Fusitu'a asked the media to help promote the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs as well as the Education Goals, in the various countries of the Pacific.
Speaking at the UNESCO workshop, whilst giving the keynote address on the theme of "Supporting the Achievement of MDGs and Education Goals through Media Coverage", Hon. ‘Eseta Fusitu'a said that the media has the loudest voice in the region, and they should use that to promote the MDGs and the Education Goals.
The four days sub regional workshop is being attended by delegates from the 8 EFA Target Countries in the Pacific (countries which have agreed to work closely with UNESCO Apia Office on the monitoring of EFA progress), that is:- Cook Islands (1), Fiji (1), PNG (2), Samoa (1), Solomon Islands (1), Tonga and Vanuatu (1). A participant from Kiribati was not able to attend.
UNESCO is being represented by Mr. Paul Hector, UNESCO Apia
Office for the Pacific States and Mr. Mikko Cantell, Associate Expert, UNESCO
Bangkok Office and Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education.
Hon. Minister ‘Eseta Fusitu'a was a former Deputy Director in the Ministry of Education, and was responsible for the UNESCO desk during her time at the Ministry, and is familiar with the UNESCO agenda, and offices in Apia, Bangkok and the Paris headquarters.
The Hon. ‘Eseta Fusitu'a said that she therefore has a special affinity , and respect for UNESCO and the work that UNESCO is doing. She highlighted the programs that UNESCO is carrying out in the areas of culture, and local languages as being utterly important, as these are "the very values that make a nation".
Promoting the MDGs and Education Goals is going to be a daunting task, because they are massive subjects and filled with challenges and complexities.
Hon. ‘Eseta Fusitu'a said that the eradication of extreme poverty forces us to look straight into the eyes of the most disadvantaged in the world. And since education is the agent for freeing humanity from all sorts of ties, achieving universal primary education has a central role in improving the life of people across the globe.
The Minister went on to say that gender equality is an issue since Adam and Eve, and it continues to be an issue in 2010. Our task is to find the community friendly method of addressing equality amongst our peoples.
The issues of reducing child mortality and improving maternal health speaks to the "very fountain of the human race", and it is our role to get to know these issues and to assist the Pacific countries to understand them.
Hon. ‘Eseta Fusitu'a went on to speak of the goals of reducing HIV/AIDS and malaria, and the need to ensure environmental sustainability. She said that planet earth is now at risk, and we need to take action to reverse that trend, and "allow planet earth to recover from the ravages that we have imposed upon it".
The final goal of the MDG is the empowering one, where the international community pledges to seek the funding to implement all the MDGs.
The Hon. Minister appealed to delegates and participants to take the goals into their hearts, for " without the compassion, without the love of your hearts, we cannot touch these subjects".
"So let your Pacific heart come forward, and take you, your network, your department, and your Ministry towards success.", the Hon. ‘Eseta Fusitu'a concluded.
The vote of thanks was delivered by the Minister for Education, Women Affairs, and Culture, also the President of the Tonga National Commission for UNESCO, Rev. Dr. Tevita Hala Palefau.
Issued by the: Ministry of Education, Women Affairs and Culture,Nuku'alofa.