Good News Agency – Year X, n° 162



Weekly – Year X, number 162 – 23rd October 2009

Managing Editor: Sergio Tripi, Ph. D.

Rome Law-court registration no. 265 dated 20 June 2000.           

 “…In conveying the appreciation of the Head of State for the passion and the professionalism with which you spread, above all among the young, the culture of "good news", I would like to take this opportunity of adding my personal greeting”. (From the letter of the Adviser for the Press and Information of the President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, to the Editor of Good News Agency, 12 October 2007.)



Good News Agency carries positive and constructive news from all over the world relating to voluntary work, the work of the United Nations, non governmental organizations and institutions engaged in improving the quality of life – news that doesn’t “burn out” in the space of a day. It is distributed free of charge through Internet to 10,000 media and editorial journalists in 54 countries and to 2,800 NGOs and 1,700 high schools, colleges and universities. It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, an educational charity associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information. The Association has been recognized by UNESCO as “an actor of the global movement for a culture of peace” and it is a member of the World Association of Non Governmental Organizations.




International legislationHuman rightsEconomy and developmentSolidarity

Peace and securityHealthEnergy and SafetyEnvironment and wildlife

Religion and spiritualityCulture and education



International legislation



Disarmament Week, October 24 - 30

Disarmament Week has been observed by the United Nations since 1978. Member States are invited to highlight the dangers of the arms race, promote recognition of the need to stop the arms race, and increase public understanding of the urgent tasks of disarmament.

Right now nuclear disarmament is a major focus at the UN, following on from the special session of the Security Council in September. The circumstances of events in international relations (new national administrations, crises etc) often lead to points of energetic focus when breakthroughs can occur. Now is such a time in disarmament.


International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 17 October

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed every year since 1993, when the General Assembly, by resolution 47/196, designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries, particularly in developing countries - a need that has become a development priority.

At the Millennium Summit, world leaders committed themselves to cutting by half by the year 2015 the number of people living in extreme poverty - people whose income is less than one dollar a day. The theme for this year’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty - “Working together out of poverty” - highlights the need for a truly global anti-poverty alliance, one in which both developed and developing countries participate actively.



Human rights



“Toolbox” to aid in promoting right to food

Six-volume set provides governments and civil society with "how-to" guidelines

Rome, 23 October - FAO has published a "methodological toolbox" on the right to food, designed to provide countries, institutions, civil society and other stakeholders with a series of effective instruments they can use to assert the right to adequate food as a basic human right. The publication comes at a time when scores of countries are seeking a way to incorporate the right to food into their legislations, strategies, policies and programs. The toolbox can provide useful guidance to policymakers and stakeholders interested in moving in the above direction. (…)

The toolbox — prepared by the agency's right to food team — is a book binder including six different volumes that provide practical information and detailed guidance on ways to integrate the right to food into different levels of national legislation, policies and programmes. It provides operational assistance to those seeking to monitor the right to adequate food and to identify and classify vulnerable groups suffering from hunger and food insecurity. There are also a large number of recommendations on planning, implementing and monitoring public allocations and expenditures in this field. (…) Contact: Erwin Northoff, Media Relations:


Belgian rights defender, Pakistani philanthropist win UN prize for non-violence

20 October - A Belgian human rights defender and a Pakistani philanthropist were today awarded a prestigious United Nations prize that draws its inspiration from the life of Mahatma Gandhi for their work in promoting tolerance and non-violence. François Houtart of Belgium and Abdul Sattar Edhi of Pakistan were awarded the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-Madanjeet Singh Prize on the unanimous recommendation of an international jury to UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura. They will share the $100,000 prizemoney and receive the award on 16 November, the International Day for Tolerance.

Dedicated to advancing tolerance in the arts, education, culture, science and communications, the prize was created in 1995 on the 125th anniversary of the birth of the great Indian apostle of non-violence thanks to the generosity of Indian writer and diplomat Madanjeet Singh, who is also a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. It is awarded every two years to individuals or institutions for outstanding contributions towards its goals.


Landmark pact indicates global support for indigenous peoples, says UN expert

19 October - The international community showed its support for the world’s nearly 400 million indigenous people by adopting the landmark 2007 declaration outlining their rights, a United Nations independent human rights said today. The adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People came after more than two decades of debate. “The adoption of the Declaration signals the strong commitment of the international community to remedy the historical and ongoing denial of the rights of indigenous peoples,” James Anaya, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedom of indigenous people, told reporters in New York. The text is based on the principles of equality, self-determination and respect for diversity, which form the “basic tenets of the modern human rights system,” he said. (...)

The Declaration emphasizes the rights of indigenous peoples to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions and to pursue their development in keeping with their own needs and aspirations. (…)


Engaging men and boys in promoting gender equality and preventing HIV

Dakar, Senegal, 15 October - Nearly 35 participants from UNFPA country offices in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Arab States, Asia and Europe, along with partners from governments and the civil society, met here this week to reflect on the most appropriate and efficient strategies to fully engage men and boys in the promotion of gender equality and in the prevention of HIV. This consultation will inform UNFPA strategy for engaging men and boys in gender equality and HIV. (…) At the meeting, participants shared experiences and lessons learned in the implementation of the policies and programmes integrating the engagement of men and boys in sexual and reproductive health, including family planning and female genital mutilation, gender equality, women’s empowerment, fatherhood and HIV.


Adventists launch global campaign to end violence against women and girls

Silver Spring, Md., USA, 13 October - On Tuesday, October 13, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and the Women’s Ministries Department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church launched enditnow™, a global campaign that raises awareness and advocates to end violence against women and girls around the world. (...) This campaign is the most significant stand the Seventh-day Adventist Church has ever taken regarding the issue of violence against women and girls. More than 15 million Adventist church members are expected to create a global movement that will be mobilized within their own communities, where each person will actively work to create awareness and share solutions on ways to end this global problem.

During enditnow’s initial phase, 1 million signatures will be collected from individuals in more than 200 countries in support of ending violence against women and girls. The signatures will be presented to the United Nations to draw attention to the issue, advocate for the creation of new policies that protect women and girls, and make public the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s efforts to end violent practices against the female gender. (...)


‘‘Historic Step Forward’’ in fight to end rape in conflict

CARE applauds unanimous adoption of Resolution 1888 to stop conflict-related sexual violence globally

United Nations, New York, 30 September - CARE today applauded the unanimous adoption of a new U.S.-sponsored U.N. Security Council resolution to fight sexual violence in armed conflict, and welcomed the presence of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the chair of the Council presidency for September. (...) Resolution 1888 calls for the immediate appointment of a new high-level Special Representative for conflict-related sexual violence, which will strengthen U.N. leadership and global efforts to put an end to this weapon of war. It also recognizes the importance of a comprehensive approach to addressing sexual violence -- including increasing access to health care, psychosocial support and legal assistance for survivors of such violence, and working to help communities overcome the social stigma of rape. (...)



Economy and development



The European Development Days - Stockholm, 22-24 October

The European Development Days (EDDs) are an annual event hosted jointly by the European Commission and the EU Presidency. This year, they will be held in Stockholm, from 22-24 October.

The European Development Days bring together approximately 4,000 people and 1,500 organisations from the international development community, with delegates from 125 countries represented, among them heads of state and Nobel prizewinners. The aim of the event is to make development aid more effective, and to achieve the Millenium Development Goals through building a strong global coalition against poverty. During the EDDs, pressing issues are debated, such as governance, poverty and environmental sustainability; ideas are shared and innovative partnerships are launched! For further information, visit the European Development Days website,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=34&cntnt01returnid=141


Sri Lanka: facilitating economic growth program

13 October - ACDI/VOCA has received a $233,000 subaward under the USAID Facilitating Economic Growth in Sri Lanka Program through the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) Leader With Associates mechanism. The prime implementer is the International Executive Services Corps. The Facilitating Economic Growth Program will contribute to the economic revitalization of the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka by providing technical services to support workforce development, connecting regional economies, and other initiatives. ACDI/VOCA’s role will be to provide technical assistance to enterprises involved in agriculture.


MEPs back microcredits to help European entrepreneurs

Fine modulo

12 October - Microcredit loans to help small businesses and people who want to be self employed have been backed by Members of the Employment Committee. Although pioneered in the developing world, Members are convinced that microcredits can create jobs and boost enterprise in Europe. In particular they could help people who are unable to access conventional credit, especially at a time of economic crisis.

Discussions on 29 September centred on plans by the European Commission to unveil loans worth €25,000 through a European Microfinance Facility. Their proposal came in reply to a request from the Parliament for some kind of action. The meeting took place as part of a report that Hungarian Socialist MEP Kinga Göncz is drawing up for the Employment Committee. Early drafts of the report call on the Commission to earmark more money for the project - notably €150 million from January next year until the end of 2013. (...)


Restoring Economic Agricultural Livelihoods in Zimbabwe Program

7 October - ACDI/VOCA has won the new $2 million, USAID-funded Restoring Economic Agricultural Livelihoods in Zimbabwe (REALIZ) program. Working in the Mashonaland East and Manicaland provinces, ACDI/VOCA will strengthen the ability of 10,000 vulnerable but viable farms to increase their food security and incomes. Specific objectives of the program are: to improve food security by boosting the availability of staple crops at the household level and increasing access through improved purchasing power; to strengthen the capacity of farmers to meet market requirements by increasing quality and volume of production through improved agronomic practices and marketing strategies; to increase incomes of rural households through strengthened commercial links between smallholder farmers and buyers.


IFAD President at Istanbul World Bank-IMF meeting to move smallholder farmers higher up the development agenda

Kanayo F. Nwanze also to receive MDG3 torch towards meeting gender equality

Rome and Istanbul, 1 October - Ahead of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual meeting in Istanbul on 6-7 October, Kanayo F. Nwanze, the President of IFAD, underlined the pivotal role of agriculture in tackling the most pressing challenges facing today’s globalized world. (...) The annual meeting brings together governors of central banks, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives and civil society representatives to discuss issues of global concern. The Istanbul meeting will focus on the needs of developing countries in light of the economic and financial crisis. The impact of climate change is an additional, ongoing challenge for developing countries. “Agriculture is where climate change, food security and poverty intersect,” said Nwanze. Over 2 billion rural women and men in Africa, Asia and Latin America depend on smallholder farms. They have a key role to play in bringing sustainable solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow, such as how to achieve food security for all and cope with climate change. (...) In Istanbul, Nwanze will also receive the MDG3 torch from the Danish Cooperation Minister Ulla Tørnæs and will commit IFAD toDoing Something Extra” to support gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.


IFAD provides US$40.1 million to help Indian farmers in Maharashtra overcome agrarian distress

Rome, 30 September - More than a million and a half poor rural people in the east of India’s State of Maharashtra are set to benefit from a new US$40.1 million loan and US$1.0 million grant from IFAD to the Republic of India. The loan and grant agreement for the Convergence of Agricultural Interventions in Maharashtra’s Distressed Districts Programme was signed today in Rome by Mr Shri Arif Shahid Khan, Ambassador of the Republic of India, and Kanayo Nwanze, President of IFAD. (...) Immediate benefits from the IFAD-funded programme will be increased productivity through the introduction of in situ water conservation and organic farming practices and low external input sustainable agriculture. Diversification into fruit, vegetable and livestock products will have a positive impact on nutrition. Increased carbon content will enhance soil fertility and increase moisture retention, allowing for higher cropping intensity.

To date, IFAD has funded 23 projects in India for a total investment of about US$ 534 million.


As the EU grows - who’s next?

Croatia could wrap up entry talks with the EU next year

The commission’s annual report on countries aspiring to EU membership says Croatia has entered the final stage of accession negotiations. It urges the country to pursue efforts to meet the EU’s conditions for joining, particularly its fight against corruption and organised crime.

The Balkan nation of 4.4 million was on track to become the 28th EU country in 2011. But a border dispute with EU member Slovenia stalled talks for more than a year. The negotiations resumed recently after the two countries agreed on a procedure for resolving the dispute.

Since last year’s report, three countries - Albania, Montenegro and Iceland - have applied to join the 27-nation EU. (...)






Rotarians respond to Asia-Pacific disasters

by Ryan Hyland

Rotary International News, 16 October - Rotarians are ramping up aid to victims left homeless by a series of disasters that struck areas in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. A devastating tsunami that hit American Samoa, Samoa, and Tonga; earthquakes in Indonesia; two typhoons in the Philippines; and flooding in India have left thousands dead and millions displaced. Rotarians are focusing on distributing relief goods, including food, water, medicine, clothing, and shelter.

Rotary clubs from districts in Australia and New Zealand are leading efforts to bring emergency response kits to victims of the 29 September tsunami that wiped out several villages in American Samoa and Samoa.

Rotarians and Rotaractors in Samoa have distributed more than 200 kits, costing roughly US$55,000 total. Full of blankets, food, clothing, cooking utensils, tools, and medicine, they were donated by Rotary clubs in New Zealand in collaboration with Air New Zealand. (...)


Stand up against poverty!

13 October - Education International is once again joining with the Global Call to Action against Poverty and the United Nations Millennium Campaign in supporting the annual Stand Up and Take Action against Poverty campaign. Last year, another world record was set in response to organising by the GCAP and the UNMC, nearly 2% of the world’s population joined in – an amazing 116.9 million people in 131 countries! (…) This year the Stand Up events can take place on 16, 17 and/or 18 October, and they can be registered again with the UNMC to be verified by the Guinness Book of Records. EI is encouraging teachers to join in this year with their schools and trade unions to help increase the pressure on world leaders who have reacted to the financial crisis by spending trillions of dollars bailing out the banks and corporations: far more than they made available for the food crisis, and several times more than was spent on development aid over the last 50 years!(…)


MSF mobiles teams providing emergency assistance in newly flooded area in the northern Philippines

13 October - In Manila and its surroundings, more MSF teams are still working to provide medical care to the most vulnerable people affected by tropical storm Ketsana, which struck the Philippines two weeks ago affecting 3.9 million people and forcing 500,000 to flee their houses. (...) Two MSF mobile teams have been providing assistance in the far north of Luzon Island. Another team is currently in the Pangasigan province providing medical care and relief materials to the most vulnerable people around the town of Rosales where people have yet to receive any help.(...) The first priority is to provide medical care to people living in flooded areas of Metro Manila, Laguna, Rizal and Pagasinan where the healthcare system is currently disrupted. MSF teams are regularly assessing hygiene conditions in the overcrowded evacuation centres in order to detect and respond to potential outbreaks of disease. (...)


ACDI/VOCA provides emergency response for Filipino victims of typhoon Ondoy

9 October - ACDI/VOCA staff members in the Philippines again demonstrated their flexibility and adaptability by assisting victims of Typhoon Ondoy. In early October, ACDI/VOCA was tapped by USAID to join other implementers to provide health education to typhoon victims temporarily sheltered in the Ultra Stadium and the Rosario Sports Complex in Pasig City in the Philippines. ACDI/VOCA conducted health education activities that complemented emergency assistance provided by U.S. military health personnel under MEDCAPS (Medical Civic Action Program).

Nearly 3,000 temporarily sheltered victims were assisted, including squatters and people whose homes had been damaged or destroyed by flood waters. In sweltering heat and humidity, ACDI/VOCA employees assisted mostly pregnant women (…) and mothers with children below five years of age. (…)


India: ADRA responds to worst flooding in 100 years

Silver Spring, Md., 9 October - Responding to the worst flooding to affect southern India in a century, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has launched an emergency relief response, assisting survivors after heavy rains triggered severe flooding, killing an estimated 300 people and affecting approximately two to three million others. On Thursday, October 8, ADRA began an emergency response to aid more than 700 families in flood-ravaged districts in the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh through the distribution of emergency supplies, such as blankets, cooking pots and utensils. (...) Funding this initial emergency response is ADRA International, the Southern Asia Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the South Central and East Central Unions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in India. (...) As part of the response, ADRA is coordinating with the local government in each affected state, as well as other organizations, such as ActionAid, CARE India, Sphere India, the Southern Asia Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the East Central India Union of Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hyderabad, and the South Central Union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Bangalore. (...)


Burundi: ICRC upgrades water supply system serving 20,000

Bujumbura, 8 October (ICRC) - Some 20,000 inhabitants of Kamuna, Bukemba, Kabanga and Gihofi, in the province of Rutana in south-eastern Burundi, now have access to ample quantities of drinking water thanks to work carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in cooperation with the country’s rural-area water and energy board.

After 18 months of rebuilding and developing existing infrastructure, the revamped water supply system was inaugurated today in the presence of the local authorities and handed over to the people who will be using it. “For many years, no clean drinking water was available in these towns and people had to go long distances on foot to obtain it,” said Luc Soenen, an ICRC engineer based in Burundi. “The work just completed means that they’ll have adequate supplies near their homes.” (...) At the inauguration ceremony the ICRC donated a large stockpile of pipes and other hydraulic equipment, various devices, and plumbing kits containing spare parts and tools to the community water boards to facilitate maintenance.


Rotary International UN Day, 7 November

Rotary’s relationship with the United Nations dates back to 1945 when some 49 Rotary members acted as delegates, advisors and consultants at the United Nations Charter Conference. Today, Rotary holds the highest consultative status possible with the United Nations as a non-governmental organization. (...) Each year at Rotary UN Day, more than 1300 Rotarians including many Rotary International Directors, Foundation Trustees, past Senior Leaders, and guests come together at UN Headquarters in New York. The program is designed to inspire and educate all participants as well as provide insight into the relationship between Rotary and the United Nations. In the past, the day has been very successful and has sold out.

Rotary Day at the United Nations also includes a special program for youth interested in humanitarian service. Youth will have the opportunity to hear about a model UN program, the Shelter Box project, some projects that Interact Clubs are working on, and an overview of the UN and much more. (…)


Save the Children assisting thousands of vulnerable children affected by six disasters across Asia-Pacific region

Westport, Conn., USA, 7 October - Save the Children continues to respond to a series of natural disasters and extreme weather that started just over a week ago and has jeopardized the lives, health and well-being of more than 3 million children from India to American Samoa.  

The international humanitarian organization has emergency teams providing lifesaving relief to children and their families and has launched child protection programs in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Nepal and American Samoa. (...) To date, Save the Children has provided emergency assistance - in the form of food, clean water, household kits, hygiene supplies, shelter materials and child-friendly spaces - to more than 26,000 people across the six disaster zones. The organization is mobilizing staff and resources and scaling up efforts to meet the massive medium- and long-term needs of children and their families in this region. (...)


Caritas delivers aid to forgotten villages after Sumatra quake

6 October - Tarpaulins have been delivered by Caritas to villages yet to receive any direct aid six days after the earthquake that rocked Sumatra. Three hours from the earthquake ravaged Padang, Caritas delivered temporary shelter to 1600 families who were unaware there were international efforts underway to assist them. “Villagers didn’t know that people were searching for them, trying to help them” said Fabian Tritschler, a member of the Caritas Sumatran Earthquake Emergency Response Team. “The distribution brought urgently required shelter to villagers in Lurah Ampalo where more than 70 percent of homes were destroyed” said Mr Tritschler. This initial allocation will ultimately assist 5,500 families (approximately 27,500 people) when the distribution is complete. “Further relief will be distributed on Friday following a plane load of relief supplies which will arrive in Padang at 11pm on Thursday night. (...)


Indonesia: families reunited after severe earthquakes

Jakarta, 3 October (ICRC) The Indonesian Red Cross Society (Palang Merah Indonesia - PMI) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are working hand-in-hand to trace people separated from their families by earthquakes that killed more than 1,000 people, destroyed tens of thousands of houses and left hundreds unaccounted for. Immediately after two disastrous earthquakes struck the southern coastline of West Sumatra, Indonesia, on 30 September and 1 October, the PMI chapter in Padang carried out essential rescue and relief activities for survivors and was soon joined by personnel from PMI headquarters in Jakarta. An ICRC delegate cooperated with the first response team in order to assist the PMI in its efforts to trace people who went missing in the affected areas following the earthquakes and reduce the suffering of families anxious for news of their relatives. (...) The PMI tracing team also assessed needs in the most remote areas of the region affected. The volunteers distributed small posters in village emergency centres indicating a helpline telephone number, and provided satellite phone service for the population. (...)


Democratic Republic of the Congo: ICRC enhances access to water in Saké, North Kivu

Kinshasa/Goma, 2 October (ICRC) - People in Saké, 27 kilometres north of Goma in the Masisi territory of North Kivu province, are witnessing the successful completion of a two-year effort by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to improve their access to water, which had been a serious problem for over 10 years. (...) The local population and those displaced in Saké - some 43,000 people altogether - will benefit from the repair work carried out on four springs, two tanks and 13 tapstands, and from the construction of 23 new tapstands and an 8.3-kilometre distribution system.

The ICRC is handing over this expanded and renovated supply system today, after two years of work, not only to the Saké authorities but above all to the thousands of men, women and children for whom finding drinkable water had become a daily challenge.



Peace and security



Disarmament Week, October 24 - 30

Disarmament Week has been observed by the United Nations since 1978. Member States are invited to highlight the dangers of the arms race, promote recognition of the need to stop the arms race, and increase public understanding of the urgent tasks of disarmament.

Right now nuclear disarmament is a major focus at the UN, following on from the special session of the Security Council in September. The circumstances of events in international relations (new national administrations, crises etc) often lead to points of energetic focus when breakthroughs can occur. Now is such a time in disarmament.


African Union Special Summit on Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, Kampala, Uganda, 19-23 October

Theme: “African Union addressing the challenge of forced displacement in Africa

The African Union, in collaboration with its key partners, is holding a Special Summit of Heads of State and Government on Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa.

The Government of Uganda will host the Special Summit, the first ever of its kind, timely and groundbreaking as the African Heads of State and Government are expected to also adopt the African Convention on the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, the first ever such Convention in the world. More ...


SIGNIS World Congress 2009 - Chiang Mai, Thailand, 17-21 October

Global Congress Challenges Media Practitioners - Children’s Voices Must Be Heard

Chiang Mai, October 18 - About 660 participants from 70 countries have gathered in Chiang Mai, Thailand from October 17-21 to attend the World Congress of SIGNIS (the World Catholic Association for Communication) on the theme “Media for a Culture of Peace: Children’s Rights, Tomorrow’s Promise”. The Congress also includes 100 students between the ages of 13 to 15 from schools in Chiang Mai who are participating in a workshop on Children’s Voices on the Rise – children’s rights in a digital world. (…)

The President of SIGNIS, Augustine Loorthusamy, in his opening address, stressed that media practitioners must both respect the rights of children and ensure that their voices are heard.  “By the children, for the children and providing a voice for the voiceless - key mantras that have been heard time and again, but children are still too often invisible in the media. More needs to be done. (…) As Pope Benedict XVI, has emphasized in his special greeting to the Congress, ‘the formation of children by the media and the formation of children to respond appropriately to the media’ should be central concerns for professional communicators.” (…)


Real prospect of ending fighting in eastern DR Congo, says top UN envoy

16 October - The top United Nations envoy to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today voiced optimism that calm could soon return to the country’s volatile eastern region, while noting that a number of challenges still remain. “There is now a real prospect that the conflicts that have long blighted the eastern Congo can be ended,” Alan Doss, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for DRC and head of the UN peacekeeping force there, told the Security Council.

Highlighting progress on a number of fronts, he stated that operations by the Congolese Army, known as FARDC, in North Kivu, South Kivu and Orientale provinces have significantly eroded the capacities of the Hutu rebel Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR) and Ugandan rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The nearly 19,000-strong UN force (MONUC), set up in 2000 to help restore peace after years of multiple civil wars, has been supporting the FARDC in efforts to flush out the rebels. (...)


African governments on the improve, but corruption on the rise – UN report

16 October - (...) The second edition of the African Governance Report, an overview of the state of governance in 35 African countries, highlighted a 3 per cent decline in the corruption control index. (...) Despite a negative performance on issues involving corruption, there has been a two per cent increase on governance indices overall, including in areas of human rights, the rule of law, the effectiveness of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary, as well as independence of civil society organizations and the media. Positive trends in the continent’s economies and the role of women in public life were also spotlighted in the report, with indices indicating a six per cent rise in pro-investment policies, up to 3 per cent increase in efficient economic management and tax systems, and more women represented in national parliaments than anywhere else in the world.


Cypriot leaders plant olive trees for peace and pledge to continue UN-backed talks

15 October - The Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders planted olive trees today in a gesture of peace, pledging to continue participating in United Nations-backed talks to unify the Mediterranean island. The two trees were planted at a ceremony by Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat at the entrance of the site where they are holding their discussions in Cyprus’ capital, Nicosia. They also received a petition from civil society representatives from both communities in support of the negotiations. (...) The leaders expressed their dedication to enhancing their efforts towards peace but maintaining channels of communication and promoting reconciliation between the communities, as well as building mutual trust at today’s ceremony, after which they resumed their talks. (...)


Sudan: MAG destroys two 500kg aircraft bombs

13 October - The two bombs found by Paul Brown of MAG Sudan’s Small Arms and Light Weapons team midway along the Yei-Juba road in Lainya County, Central Equatoria, were far from ordinary. Dropped from an aircraft in 1996, each weighed 500kg and measured approximately one metre across and three metres long. One was located in the middle of an area containing tukuls - the small huts made from mud and grass in which villagers live - housing a community of around 200, the other lay 120 metres away in the bush. Destroying the bombs not only would have meant evacuating 2,000 people in a three kilometre radius, but also the destruction of all tukuls in close vicinity to the bombs. (...) Using an excavator donated by UNMAO (the United Nations Mine Action Office in Sudan), MAG cleared an access path to the bombs without disturbing the local community, then dug them out, lifted them and transported them to the site. On 1 October, the bombs were safely destroyed in a demolition witnessed by representatives from the US Department of State’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement and the Southern Sudan Demining Commission, as well as MAG Sudan.


Secretary-General welcomes Armenian-Turkish accord

10 October - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed today’s signing of two protocols paving the way towards normalizing ties between Armenia and Turkey, voicing hope that the move will contribute to peace, security and stability in the South Caucasus region. “This historic decision constitutes a milestone toward the establishment of good neighbourly relations and the development of bilateral cooperation between both countries,” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson. He also expressed hope that both protocols will be ratified quickly by the parliaments of Armenia and Turkey to “ensure full normalization of their bilateral relations.


1,000,000 Danish kroner for clearing cluster bombs in Lebanon

8 October - Money from Ole Kirk’s Foundation assures land to be freed from cluster bombs in South Lebanon and blazes the trail for the locals to be able to re-establish society and create further development in the area after the Israeli bombings. DanChurchAid has received 1,000,000 Danish kroner from Ole Kirk’s Foundation (The Lego Foundation) to complete the clearing of unexploded cluster bombs in three local areas in the Southern part of Lebanon. Two specialised bomb clearing teams from DanChurchAid have worked on the bomb clearing for three years - at first under UN coordination and since then coordinated by the Lebanese authorities. According to plan the work was supposed to be terminated by now. But the schedules laid out by the UN three years ago were too optimistic as it turned out that the clearing necessary after the Israeli bombings proved to be far more extensive than at first sight. (...)


Albania announces that it is free of anti-personnel mines

Tirana, Albania, 8 October - “Today we can say that the vision of an Albania free from anti-personnel mines has come true.” According to Petrit Karabina, Chairman of the Albanian Mine Action Committee, his country has become the second state in South Eastern Europe to have cleared all its known mined areas in accordance with its obligations under the Anti-Personnel (AP) Mine Ban Convention. “After almost a decade of work, Albania is proud that it has fulfilled its Convention obligations well before its deadline,” said Karabina. “Over 14 million square metres of land that had been mined have been released for normal human activity. People in Northeast Albania, can return to normality, and once again move freely, use their farm lands and feel safe.” According to Karabina, by demining contaminated areas, Albania demonstrates “it is willing to promote peace in the South Eastern Region.”

The announcement comes while Albania is hosting the Tirana Workshop on Achieving a Mine-Free South Eastern Europe. The workshop is one of the events leading up to The Cartagena Summit for a Mine-Free World which will take place in Colombia from 30 November to 4 December. (...)






Global events planned to speed up progress on population and development goals, increase action on maternal health

United Nations, New York, 15 October - More than 160 ministers, parliamentarians, and representatives of regional intergovernmental organizations and other world leaders will gather in Addis Ababa for a High-Level Meeting on Maternal Health - Millennium Development Goal 5. The 26 October event, organized by the Netherlands and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is intended to push maternal health higher on the political agenda and increase political and financial commitment for improving maternal health at the country level. The High-Level Meeting will be followed with the 2009 International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI/ICPD). The conference will feature more than 300 legislators and ministers from about 100 nations, who will discuss strategies to speed up the achievement of the Programme of Action that countries adopted at the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). (…)


After a five year absence, MSF returns to Afghanistan

12 October - (...) Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is now working in Ahmed Shah Baba hospital on the eastern side of Kabul, which will be developed into a district hospital that will provide a wide range of medical services, including emergency care. (...) The support to Ahmed Shah Baba marks the return of MSF to Afghanistan after five years of absence, following the murder of five colleagues in 2004. Within weeks, MSF will also start boosting the hospital in Lashkargah, the capital of Helmand province which is at the heart of the fighting between ISAF forces and the Afghan army on the one hand and the armed opposition on the other. (...)

MSF is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural or man-made disasters.


Rotary members in Pakistan and Coca-Cola Pakistan pair up to kick-off national polio immunization drive

Evanston, Ill., USA, 7 October - Rotary club members in Pakistan and Coca-Cola Pakistan are doing their part to fight polio, by placing billboards to build awareness of the 12-15 October polio immunization campaigns throughout Pakistan. Coca-Cola has donated 22 of its billboards in 11 cities across the country for a period of four days, so that Rotary can display placards notifying residents of the national immunization effort. The billboards, located in high-visibility areas, encourage children to receive the oral polio vaccine during the October national immunization campaigns. Nearly 35 million children under five are expected to be immunized in the three-day campaign. (…)

A highly infectious disease that can cause paralysis and sometimes death, polio still strikes children in parts of Africa and South Asia. As there is no cure, the best protection is prevention. For as little as 60 cents worth of vaccine, a child can be protected against this crippling disease.  To date, the number of polio cases has been reduced from 350,000 children annually in the mid-1980s to less than 2,000 reported cases all last year. 

 Rotary made polio eradication its top philanthropic goal in 1985. As the lead private sector contributor and volunteer arm of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative -- a public/private partnership spearheaded by World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and UNICEF -- Rotary has contributed more than US$ 800 million to ending polio. Currently the organization is working to raise an additional US$200 million toward a $355 million challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.!B71A619F97F176BD!213621.entry


Nigeria: Media power to take out polio

Nigerian journalists join forces

5 October - In 2007, a group of journalist from Kaduna state, an important regional media hub in northern Nigeria, joined forces and launched the Journalists Initiative on Immunization Against Polio (JAP). The aim: to create public awareness on polio eradication, through the provision of accurate and balanced information, while mobilizing fellow journalists to report positively about the benefits of immunization. Since then, JAP has grown into a network across the north, operating chapters in an additional six high-risk states: Bauchi, Jigawa, Kano, Niger, Sokoto and Zamfara. This year, a national chapter has been inaugurated in Abuja.

Holding town hall style meetings with elected officials, traditional and religious leaders, as well as concerned parents these journalists have been providing an enormous and as yet unheralded service to their communities. (…) Those who most effectively advocated for an end to polio in their communities or wrote or broadcast the best polio news stories were rewarded earlier this year at the inaugural JAP Health Performance Awards. (...)


Scaling up priority HIV/AIDS interventions in the health sector

Progress report, September 2009

Geneva / Paris - More than 4 million people in low- and middle-income countries were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) at the close of 2008, representing a 36% increase in one year and a ten-fold increase over five years, according to a new report released today by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Towards universal access: scaling up priority HIV/AIDS interventions in the health sector highlights other gains, including expanded HIV testing and counselling and improved access to services to prevent HIV transmission from mother to child. (...)



Energy and safety



Solar Summit Freiburg 2009 with subject of “Solar buildings”

Freiburg, Germany, 14-16 October

The subject of “Solar Buildings” is the focus of the international Solar Summit congress, already taking place for the second time in the Konzerthaus Freiburg (Freiburg Concert Hall) from 14 to 16 October 2009. Leading representatives from the fields of science, research and industry will be presenting the latest technological developments in solar energy research as well as innovative building concepts and project ideas from the areas of solar and energy-efficient construction.

Under the chairmanship of Professor Eicke R. Weber, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and Dr. Hans-Martin Henning, Head of Department Thermal Systems and Buildings at the Fraunhofer ISE, this year again sees high-profile speakers from all over the world speaking to the following topics: Multi-functional building façades; Solar building concepts; Net zero energy buildings; Building integrated PV; Building integrated solar thermal energy systems; Realized examples and lessons learned; Design tools, modelling and simulation; Total energy supply concepts. (...)


National geothermal data system for the U.S. to be lead by Boise State University

by lxrichter

12 October - Introduced in Reno last week and posted locally in Idaho, “new efforts to compile information on nationwide geothermal resources will be led by Boise State University, school officials reported on Oct. 5. The lead designation comes with a U.S. Department of Energy grant of $4.9 million to be used over the next five years to establish the National Geothermal Data System - a Web-based network to support the discovery, development and sustainability of geothermal hot spots. Others taking part in the project include the University of Utah; University of Nevada, Reno; Oregon Institute of Technology; Stanford University; and the Geoscience Information Network, a partnership between the Association of American State Geologists, the U.S. Geological Survey data system and Arizona Geological Survey. Proposed in response to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress early this year, the NGDS supports a call by President Barack Obama to diversify the country’s energy portfolio. (...)


$2 billion solar farm for US Army

by Energy Matters 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has selected Acciona Solar Power and the Clark Energy Group to develop a 500MW solar farm project at Fort Irwin military complex, located in the Mojave Desert, California.

The installations are being designed in a way to allow for the capacity to be increased to 1,000 MW at a later date. The project will involve concentrating solar power (CSP) and solar panels.

The Fort Irwin installations will be the U.S. Department of Defense’s biggest solar project. Currently, the 14 MW solar farm at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and the 2 MW installation at Fort Carson, Colorado are the Department of Defense’s largest solar power generating plants.

The solar farm is expected to produce approximately 1,000 gigawatt hours of electricity annually, far exceeding Fort Irwin’s 35 MW peak load. Fort Irwin is more than just a military base, but a town of 23,000 inhabitants made up of military personnel and civilians and their respective families. The project will sell electricity that is not used by the Fort Irwin complex to regional public utilities. (...)


Solar Cooking International

Solar Cookers International (SCI) spreads solar cooking awareness and skills worldwide, particularly in areas with plentiful sunshine and diminishing sources of cooking fuel. Since its founding in 1987, SCI has enabled over 30,000 families in Africa to cook with the sun's energy, freeing women and children from the burdens of gathering firewood and carrying it for miles. Tens of thousands of individuals and organizations - from all over the world - have learned about solar cooking through SCI’s excellent publications and education resources, and have benefited from SCI’s information exchange networks, research, technical support, and the SCI-sponsored, internationally recognized Internet resource for solar cooking information: the Solar Cooking Archive. Additionally, SCI helps all solar cooker promoters through advocacy efforts with governments and nongovernmental organizations, and through its consultative status with the United Nations. (...)



Environment and wildlife

(top) international day of climate action, 24 October

October 24 is the 350 global day of climate action

This Saturday is the next global day of action on climate change - a worldwide wave of extraordinary events that will show leaders the accelerating breadth, power, and clarity of the global climate movement.

On Saturday, thanks to more than a year of organizing by our friends at and others, citizens have assembled more than 4000 extraordinary climate actions across nearly every country, from the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef to the summit of Mount Everest. Now, by joining actions in our own communities, we can supercharge the day and make the climate movement impossible to ignore. (...) In less than 50 days, our governments will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark, to negotiate a new global treaty to prevent a climate catastrophe. At the moment, the negotiations are stalling, and a fair ambitious and binding treaty looks a long way off. But it is precisely at times like these when people power, with hundreds of thousands of us working together, can make the difference. Click below to see the events map and find an event nearby:


Green Cross International Gorbachev to lead a synergy task force on climate

6 October - Mikhail Gorbachev, the Founding President of Green Cross International, will lead a cross-sectoral panel of international public figures and representatives of expert community to strengthen the global response to climate change. The inaugural meeting of the panel was held in Geneva last night in the presence of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Among the Task Force members are Ricardo Lagos (President of the Club of Madrid and UN Special Envoy on Climate Change), Sir David King (former UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser), Prof. Mohan Munasinghe, (Vice Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), Shyam Saran (Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of India on climate change issues) and others.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) are among the organisations providing support to this initiative.

 (...) The Task Force has three clear goals: to urge governments to maximise the opportunities Copenhagen offers for a strong and coherent climate deal; to “recalibrate” the international response to climate change in line with the danger posed to human security and development; and to engage civil society in the search for appropriate and adequate solutions to the challenges of climate change, building the critical mass for a deep-rooted societal change necessary to contain and then to reverse the effects of climate change. (...)


Environment and Innovation – pilot retailers project

2 October - A new cycle in the Environment and Innovation programme was launched on 15 September 2009 with the theme Climate Change: Let’s Save Energy! Environment and Innovation is a partnership between Toyota Motor Europe and Eco-Schools International. The two earlier cycles saw the involvement of more than 40,000 students. Over 50 school projects were implemented in local communities. (...)

The pilot project will be run in Slovenia and Denmark. At the end of the school year, the best projects at the national and international level will be recognised with grants. Environment and Innovation is a project that encourages Eco-Schools to develop innovative and creative solutions to environmental problems. Winning entries receive a grant to help them put their ideas into action and to work with the local community to tackle environment-related issues. The project was established in 2005 by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and the international Eco-Schools Programme. Environment and Innovation is supported by Toyota Motor Europe through the Toyota Fund for Europe (TFfE). This will be the third cycle of the Environment and Innovation project. (...)


Information and communication workshop on water and climate change for journalists from Latin America and the Caribbean  - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, 29-31 October

Journalists from Latin America and the Caribbean are invited to take part in a two-day workshop on water and climate change. The workshop is organized by the United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015 (UNO-IDfA) and the network of the United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) for Latin America and the Caribbean. This activity is held in cooperation with the Dominican Association of the United Nations (UNA-DR) and the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD).

The workshop aims to serve as a forum for debate between experts and journalists from the region. Themes covered will include: the nature of the water-related impacts of climate change, how to improve climate change adaptation, the importance of water in the upcoming COP 15, tools for improving communication on water and climate change, and lessons drawn from stories of good practices on information and communication.



Religion and spirituality



“Challenges and Solutions for Inter-religious Coexistence in the Euro-Mediterranean Region, 26-29 October 2009, Albania

The Anna Lindh Foundation is organizing a symposium on “Challenges and Solutions for Inter-religious Coexistence in the Euro-Mediterranean Region” from 26-29 October 2009 in Albania. For a selected number of people the costs for travel and stay will be covered by Anna Lindh. If you are interested in participating, please find the application form, call for application and draft programme attached. In the framework of the “Anna Lindh Forum 2010”, the Foundation will organize a Preparatory Meeting entitled “Challenges and Solutions for Inter-religious Coexistence in the Euro-Mediterranean Region”. The Meeting is organized in cooperation with the Foundation’s Head of National Network in Albania, the Albanian Forum for the Alliance of Civilization, and will take place in Tirana, Albania, from 26 to 29 October 2009. (...)


Uganda 3rd World Scout Inter-religious Symposium, 21-25 October

The World Scout Inter-religious Symposium (WSIS) is the third biggest world scout event organized after every 3 years that brings together scouts from 8 religious affiliations to discuss pertinent issues affecting the scouts, their religions and the world they live in. The first WSIS was held in Spain in 2003 while the second was held in 2006 in China and the third will be held in Uganda from the 21st – 25th October 2009.

The 3rd World Scout Inter-religious Symposium will bring together over 200 delegates from 160 countries to experience, share and dialogue. The theme of the symposium is: “Solidarity, Reflection and Celebration for Peace”



Culture and education



Cultural diversity should become a key lever in policy-making, says UNESCO World Report to be launched on 20 October

As globalization spurs an unprecedented cross-fertilization of cultures worldwide, investing in cultural diversity can renew our approaches to sustainable development, ensure the effective exercise of universally recognized human rights and freedoms, and strengthen social cohesion and democratic governance, according to a new UNESCO intersectoral World Report to be launched on 20 October. (...) This report analyzes all aspects of cultural diversity, which has emerged as a key concern of the international community in recent decades, and maps out new approaches to monitoring and shaping the changes that are taking place. It highlights, in particular, the interrelated challenges of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue and the way in which strong homogenizing forces are matched by persistent diversifying trends. The report proposes a series of ten policy-oriented recommendations, to the attention of States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, international and regional bodies, national institutions and the private sector on how to invest in cultural diversity. (...)


European Commission puts challenges of books digitisation for authors, libraries and consumers on EU’s agenda

Brussels, 19 October - The European Commission today adopted a Communication on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy aiming to tackle the important cultural and legal challenges of mass-scale digitisation and dissemination of books, in particular of European library collections. The Communication was jointly drawn up by Commissioners Charlie McCreevy and Viviane Reding. Digital libraries such as Europeana (http// will provide researchers and consumers across Europe with new ways to gain access to knowledge. For this, however, the EU will need to find a solution for orphan works, whose uncertain copyright status means they often cannot be digitised. Improving the distribution and availability of works for persons with disabilities, particularly the visually impaired, is another cornerstone of the Communication. (...)


EP Journalism Prize goes to German, Hungarian and Polish journalists

15 October - The European Parliament’s annual journalism prize, for work that promotes better understanding of EU institutions or policies, was awarded by EP President Jerzy Buzek on Thursday. The prize (€5,000 in each category), went to Ines Possemeyer (written press, Germany), Szlankó Bálint (internet, Hungary), Zbigniew Plesner (radio, Poland) and Elke Sasser and Kristian Kähler (TV, Germany).

The jury, of three MEPs and six journalists, picked the winners from among over 65 national award winners, who were themselves selected from 266 entries.

“Without you, the journalists, we cannot improve the functioning of the EU, we cannot inform our citizens or keep them closer to the EU”, said EP President Jerzy Buzek presenting the prizes. (...)


New UNESCO chief pledges to promote ‘knowledge, tolerance and equal opportunity’

15 October - The new head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Agency (UNESCO) pledged today to work closely with Member States to promote societies “based on knowledge, tolerance and equal opportunity for all” after she was formally approved as Director-General. The 193-member General Conference of UNESCO, meeting in Paris, elected Irina Bokova as head of the agency, nearly a month after she was chosen in the fifth round of voting by the Executive Board.

A former foreign minister of Bulgaria, Ms. Bokova will start work in her new role on 15 November, succeeding Koïchiro Matsuura, who is ending his second term as Director-General and is not eligible for another stint. “I shall be guided in my work by my concept of a new humanism for the 21st century,” Ms. Bokova said today after she was elected. “It is my dream to nurture relations of perfect synergy between the Director-General and Member States, so as to move together towards the creation of societies that are more just and prosperous, based on knowledge, tolerance and equal opportunity for all, thanks to education, science, culture and access to information.”


UNESCO’s new policy guidelines on inclusion in education

9 October - The policy guidelines are designed to reinforce the message from UN Special Rapporteur Dr Bengt Lindqvist, “all children and young people of the world, with their individual strengths and weaknesses, with their hopes and expectations, have the right to education. It is not our education systems that have a right to a certain type of child. Therefore, it is the school system of a country that must be adjusted to meet the needs of all its children”.

They act as a resource for policy makers, teachers and learners, community leaders and members of civil society to improve and develop the inclusive aspect of schools and education systems.

The guidelines also form the basis of the project “Inclusion in Action” that will, throughout 2010, collect and disseminate good practices from all over the world in order to support efforts towards schools for all.


EDC awarded $10.8 million to support Early Childhood Education Programs

Funds to create Head Start training and assistance centers in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island

Newton, MA, USA, 7 October - Preschool teachers in four New England states have a significant new resource, with the opening of service centers staffed by early childhood education experts and managed by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC). EDC, which has led early childhood education innovations and staff professional development initiatives for more than 20 years, has been awarded $10.8 million by the National Office of Head Start to establish the centers and offer training, support, and assistance for Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. (...) The award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Head Start includes funding for five years: $2,833,970 in Connecticut; $3,619,087 in Massachusetts; $2,236,687 in Maine; and $2,214,527 in Rhode Island. (...)


United World Colleges: Shaping Society

“You gave 60 young people the chance to experience UWC in a nutshell, but most importantly, gave them the impulse to change the world.”

28 September - 58 young people, 15 facilitators, 28 nationalities, a couple of dozen languages - all united by the values of UWC, by the urge to make this world a better place. This was the first German UWC Short Course - ‘Shaping Society’ held in the Taunus Mountains, near Frankfurt, Germany. As well as bringing students together from around the world, the course had an important local dimension, with 15 of the participants coming from local schools around Frankfurt. Brought together through the efforts of the National Committee of Germany, the participants experienced two weeks full of workshops, discussions, films and other activities through which they debated how their societies should be shaped - and starting to put this into practice. During the two weeks, the group also produced two films, two magazines, a radio broadcast, built a raised flowerbed, a herb spiral, a ‘green classroom’, supported Art therapy sessions and organised a flashmob to raise awareness about the plight of homeless people. (...) This course is one of many programmes, organised by UWC National Committees and Colleges which take place every year.


EU bookshop offers free online access to archives

The EU used the book fair in Frankfurt to launch its online digital library of official documents issued in the last 50 years. The EU bookshop puts more than 12 million scanned pages online, to be downloaded for free. The oldest document is a 1952 speech by Jean Monnet which inaugurated the High Authority of the Coal and Steel Community, later to become the EU. The EU Bookshop is a valuable information source for citizens, journalists, education professionals, students, librarians, publishers, and anybody interested in Europe, in 50 languages, including the possibility of ordering printed copies.


“A World Without Walls: An International Congress on Soft Power, Cultural Diplomacy, and Interdependence”, Berlin, 6th - 9th November

2009: The 20 Year Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

“A World Without Walls: An International Congress on Soft Power, Cultural Diplomacy, and Interdependence” (Berlin, 6th - 9th November 200) represents a unique opportunity to reflect on the development of international relations since 1989, the challenges faced by the leaders of the future, and the growing influence of cultural diplomacy and “soft power” in the contemporary political international environment. The participants will include scholars and academics, political and diplomatic representatives, civil society practitioners, and individuals from the private sector and the media. The speakers during the program will consist of renowned figures from international politics and distinguished professors in the field, including former Heads of State, former Foreign Ministers, and other European Ministers. In addition to the academic components, participants will have the opportunity to experience the city’s vibrant cultural landscape at a historic moment in the city’s history.


11th  European conference on Creativity and Innovation, Brussels, 28-30 October

CCI XI focuses on ‘implementation’. Most of the conferences on Creativity and innovation focus on diverging, exploring new methods and ways of working to be more creative, find ideas ... whereas we will take the challenge to reflect and debate the implementation part of the process. When we think about innovating innovation, we believe we can add value in the implementation phase. Work theme for the conference will be: “When imagination, knowledge and know-how have an effective meeting, we are ready for landing!”. Or short: “Make it happen!

‘Imagine. Create. Innovate.’ With this slogan the European Commision announces 2009 as the year of creativity and innovation what makes this edition of the conference extra special.



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Next issue: 13th November 2009.


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Good News Agency is published in English on one Friday and in Italian the next. Past issues are available at . Rome Law-court registration no. 265 dated 20 June 2000.

Managing Editor: Sergio Tripi, Ph.D. Editorial research by Fabio Gatti, Maria Grazia Da Damos, Arianna Cavallo, Azzurra Cianchetta. Editorial Secretary: Maria Grazia Da Damos. Webmaster: Fabio Gatti.


Good News Agency is distributed free of charge through Internet to 10,000 media and editorial journalists of the daily newspapers and periodical magazines and of the radio and television stations in 54 countries: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bermuda, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Caribbean Islands, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Oceania, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, USA. It is also distributed free of charge to 2,800 NGOs and 1,700 high schools, colleges and universities.


It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, a registered educational charity chartered in Italy in 1979 The Association operates for the development of consciousness and promotes a culture of peace in the ‘global village’ perspective based on unity in diversity and on sharing. It is based in Via Antagora 10, 00124 Rome, Italy.


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