Poverty forum barred to the media

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty, Mereseini Vuniwaqa, guests and participants at the National Poverty Forum. Picture: SUPPLIED

JOURNALISTS have been barred from covering a two day forum on national poverty at the Novotel Hotel in Lami.

However, they were only allowed to cover the opening and the closing speech of the significant meeting that was officiated by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty, Mereseini Vuniwaqa.

Journalists only managed get a hang of the issues discussed in the forum during breaks to interview those key speakers at the forum outside the hotel.

Upon arrival at the meeting, an official from the ministry prohibited journalists from sitting in the forum where Government stakeholders and its development partners such as United Nations would converge to deliberate on poverty issues in Fiji.

While delivering her speech, Mrs Vuniwaqa said she was honored to officiate the national poverty forum.
The event , was organised by the ministry’s poverty monitoring unit in collaboration with the United Nations DevelopmentĀ Programme and Ministry of Economy.

“Let me begin by thanking you all for your presence here this morning and I am very impressed to see such a large turn out from all sectors including government ministries and envelopment partner, NGOs, CSOs and faith based organisations as well.”

“Your present this morning is an indication of your willingness to learn more and improve our collective knowledge on the various initiatives and programmes implemented across government and non-government sectors that contribute to poverty alleviation.”

The two day forum would feature 19 presentations from various Government Ministries, Development Partners, Non- Governmental Organizations and Faith Based Organizations.

It would include penal of discussions where the Permanent Secretary for Education, Alison Burchell and other key Government figures.

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