Good News Agency – Year X, n° 168
“…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 3,000 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.
17 February - Enrolling every
country on earth in the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and
raising global awareness about it have been presented as part of an action plan
to gain the Treaty’s entry into force. The ambassadors of
The CTBT bans all nuclear
explosions. It has been ratified by 151 States and signed by 182.
Working together in
Cluster bomb ban treaty reaches 30th ratification milestone
Cluster bomb ban treaty reaches 30th ratification milestone
Will become binding international law on 1 August 2010
“The rapid pace of reaching 30 ratifications - only 15 months - reflects the strong global commitment to get rid of these weapons urgently,” said Steve Goose, CMC co-chair and director of the Arms Division at Human Rights Watch. “Cluster munitions are already stigmatised to the point that no nation should ever use them again, even those who have not yet joined the Convention.” The Oslo Process and the treaty negotiations were characterised by a close partnership between pro-ban governments, civil society led by the CMC, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and UN agencies, as well as by the leadership of affected states such as Lao PDR and of individual survivors themselves. (...)
UNESCO and CTBTO sign agreement to benefit disaster mitigation and capacity-building in developing countries
8 February - Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, signed an agreement on 3 February with Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), to enhance cooperation between the two organizations, notably for the benefit of tsunami early warning systems and capacity-building in developing countries. (...) At the signing ceremony, Ms Bokova noted that “The agreement will lead to greater synergy between UNESCO and the CTBTO, especially for training and capacity-building in developing countries. Besides their importance in disaster mitigation, the data received by the CTBTO from its global network of monitoring stations can advance research on ocean processes and marine life and contribute to sustainable development.” (...) The CTBT’s verification regime will comprise 337 facilities worldwide when complete. Monitoring data have a number of other possible uses including research on the Earth’s core, monitoring of earthquakes and volcanoes, climate change research, atmospheric monitoring and biological research.
Alexandria, 3 February - On
3rd February 2010, a two days workshop hosted by the Arab Academy for Science,
Technology and Maritime Transport in Alexandria/Egypt for more than two hundred
government and industry delegates and experts from 15 Arab League countries
(Djibouti, Egypt, lraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya,
Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen)
ended with a joint declaration - the Alexandria Declaration 2010 - recommending
to the Arab League transport and trade ministers to jointly sign the United
Nations Convention on Contracts for the lnternational
Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea - the Rotterdam Rules 2008. The
workshop was supported by an expert team sent by UNCITRAL (United Nations
Commission on International Trade Law) and led by DLA Piper partner Mr. Carsten Grau (
Until now, the Rotterdam Rules
have been signed by 21 countries:
In order to become binding international law, the Rotterdam Rules need to be signed and ratified by at least 20 UN member states.
African officials at UN-backed meeting seek to protect migrating children
Pretoria, 23 February - With cross-border movement of unaccompanied minors reaching into the thousands, senior officials from 15 Eastern and Southern African countries are thrashing out ways to strengthen cooperation for the protection of children at risk, at a three-day United Nations-backed meeting beginning today in Pretoria, South Africa.
“UNICEF is committed to accompany all countries in this region in their efforts to comply with the Hague Conventions on children,” he added, referring to four inter-governmental pacts adopted since 1980 on international child abduction, inter-country adoption, protection, and international recovery of child support.
Although Governments have ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, many countries have yet to ratify the Hague Conventions, which seek to standardize international law and provide a comprehensive legal framework for the cross-border movement of children between countries.
This meeting, hosted by the South African Government and the Hague Conference on Private International Law with support from UNICEF, brings together high officials from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the African Union (AU) Committee on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. (mgdd)
Engaging philanthropy to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality
United Nations, New York, 22 February - The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is hosting a special event, co-sponsored by UNIFEM and other partners, showcasing expanding and new partnerships between the UN, private sector and philanthropies. Representatives of foundations, private companies and civil society organizations will participate in discussions, exploring collaborative opportunities to boost gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide.
The event on 22 February coincides with International Corporate Philanthropy Day. Chaired by the President of ECOSOC, Hamidon Ali, the opening session will be addressed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. Parallel dialogues will follow on the themes of ending violence against women and girls, and promoting women’s economic empowerment. (...)
Social justice more important than ever in global economic crisis, Ban says
World Day of Social Justice – 20 February
20 February - “On the World Day of Social Justice, we recognize the importance of tackling poverty, exclusion and unemployment, in order to promote solidarity, harmony and equality of opportunity within and between societies,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today. (...) He called for a major push this year to put countries back on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seek to slash a host of social ills, from extreme poverty and hunger to maternal and infant mortality, to lack of access to education and health care, all by 2015, calling them one of the United Nation’s key means of bringing social justice and development together to benefit the poorest and most vulnerable.
“Social justice is based on the values of fairness, equality, respect for diversity, access to social protection, and the application of human rights in all spheres of life, including in the workplace,” he said. “Let us take this opportunity on the World Day of Social Justice to renew our commitment to this important cause and to recognize that while progress has been made, much more needs to be done. Lack of social justice anywhere is an affront to us all.”
UNHCR welcomes first ratification of AU Convention for displaced
19 February - UNHCR warmly
UNHCR also notes with
satisfaction that twenty-five nations - or nearly half of the African Union
Member States - have now signed the Convention, which was adopted during the
first African Union Special Summit on Refugees, Returnees and Internally
Displaced Persons convened in
UNHCR encourages other AU
Member States to follow
European Gender Equality Law Review
16 February - In this fourth issue of the European Gender Equality Law Review several experts via their individual contributions, the independent experts of the European Network of Legal Experts in the field of Gender Equality highlight interesting developments at national level.
They discuss legislative
initiatives, recent case law and current policies in the 27 Member States of
the European Union and three EEA countries (
Indigenous women leaders in
10 February - In January of
2010, close to 100 Indigenous women leaders from across Latin America and the
Caribbean met in
The conference resonated
deeply with the Indigenous women parliamentarians who were in attendance. It
provided a rare opportunity for women from across Latin America and the
International Women’s Day will be observed at the United Nations on 8 March
This year’s theme is “Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All”
(...) In 1977 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution inviting Member States to proclaim a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace - International Women’s Day - to be observed on any day of the year in accordance with their historical and national traditions. Since then, the United Nations Organization has observed March 8th as International Women’s Day. The purpose of this day is to recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.
For the women of the world, the symbolism of International Women’s Day has a wider meaning: It is an occasion to review how far women have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development. It is also an opportunity to unite, network and mobilize for meaningful change.
See also: http://www.un.org/events/women/iwd/2009/
Havel and Lech Walesa, the former presidents of the Czech Republic and
Poland, will co-chair the
The 2nd annual session of the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy, organized by an international coalition of human rights NGOs, aims to place some of the world’s most compelling human rights situations on the United Nations and international agenda.
More than 25 human rights NGOs
from around the world have joined hands to organize the
UNIFEM at the 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women
UNIFEM is sponsoring a number of side events at the 54th Session of the CSW, which will be held 1-12 March. The Commission will review implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly, emphasizing the sharing of experiences and good practices, with a view to overcoming remaining obstacles and new challenges, including those related to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The review will also focus on how the implementation of the Platform for Action contributes to the full achievement of the MDGs.
For more information, please see the official documentation.
million loan from IFAD to support agribusiness development in
Rome, 23 February - A US$25 million loan to the Republic of Sri Lanka from IFAD will directly benefit small producers, women, landless households and young people in rural areas.
A loan agreement for the
National Agribusiness Development Programme was
signed today in
The overall goal of the programme is rural poverty reduction and improvement of livelihoods. Approximately, 57 900 poor households in the rural areas will benefit from the programme which aims to increase the incomes of smallholder farmers by 20-30%. Farmers will be involved in processing and marketing of their products like fruits, vegetables, spices, cereal, milk and dry fish, earning from the sales of such products. (...)
Strong farmers’ organizations key to achieving food security
Invest in rural youth today who are farmers of tomorrow
Rome, 18 February - Millions
of smallholders and rural producers from all over the world were represented by
70 farmers’ leaders who gathered this week for the Third Global Meeting of the
Farmers’ Forum. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
hosted the Forum at its headquarters in
“Stronger organizations of smallholder farmers, fishers and pastoralists are essential if we are to seize the opportunities that arise from today’s challenges,” stressed IFAD’s President, Kanayo F. Nwanze, who opened the biennial meeting of the farmers’ organizations.
Rural producers have stronger bargaining power when they unite and work together to achieve a common goal to influence policies and development programmes. At the Forum, in discussions on rural development policies, the farmers emphasized their right to be part of the entire process, from programme design to evaluation.
New FAO database eyes gender gap in land rights
Information on how men and women differ in access to land
reduction key to improving livelihoods in rural
Silver Spring, Md., USA, 16
February - In Bolivia where desertification affects more than 40 percent of the
territory, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is helping
farmers better manage available natural resources in an effort to slow soil
erosion and preserve the environment. (...) ADRA expects that a project
launched in June 2009 will benefit more than 2,600 residents in nine
communities in the mountainous
Scheduled for completion in
2011, this project, worth more than $696,000, is being funded by the City of Badalona, Spain; the Generalitat Valenciana of
2 February - ACDI/VOCA has won
an 18-month, $4,985,000 Consultative Service Delivery Program (CSDP) funded by
the World Bank. CSDP will build on our pilot program in Sulaymaniya
Governorate, titled the Consultative Service Delivery Initiative (CSDI), which
ended in February 2009. In this second phase, the program will expand within
the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and two other
This year, ACDI/VOCA will work closely with the World Bank and the KRG to explore opportunities for transitioning the program to government management. Given the different ethnic, religious, security and linguistic challenges in this region, the focus will continue to be on strengthening consultative decision making within the community. CSDP will incorporate best practices and lessons learned under the CSDI pilot.
meeting of development ministers in
18 February - The EU, the
Rotary Day, 23 February – Celebrations for the 105 years of Rotary International
of the events took place in
At the Circo Massimo in
and Peace raises $13.5 million for
for Peace donates over $53,000 towards rebuilding
by Walking Free
12 February - Shortly after
the earthquake ripped open the heart of
UN agency pledges $25 million to reinforce good governance in developing nations
19 February - The United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has pledged $25
million to strengthen credible national institutions like parliaments, human
rights organizations and anti-corruption commissions in developing countries
during 2010, with more than half going for elections in Sub-Saharan Africa. The
funds will also go toward promoting inclusive governance programmes
such as access to information and channels that allow stakeholder voices to be
heard in governance processes. The decision comes at the end of a week-long
UN-African Union mission,
21 February - The joint United
Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in the war-ravaged
Germain Baricako, Director of UNAMID’s Rule of Law division, voiced hope that the implementation of the new agreement will “help to provide prison support in a more systematic, coordinated and concentrated manner.” (...)
Indo Yacouba, director of the Prison and Rehabilitation Service, welcomed the ICRC’s contribution to improving living conditions in places of detention. She also thanked the ICRC once again for its exemplary cooperation with her ministry, which had since 2004 resulted in an overhaul of sanitary facilities in several prisons. (...)
Neutral, impartial and independent,
the ICRC is a trusted organization regarding detention-related issues in
8 February - MAG, Handicap
International and the Burundian Civilian Disarmament and Small Arms Commission
have teamed up to put on a month-long festival celebrating disarmament efforts
The festival aims to celebrate the Burundian authorities’ ongoing efforts to reduce armed violence, in which organisations like MAG and Handicap International play a vital role. (...)
5 February -
ITF cooperates with the
Croatian national authorities in the field of mine action since 1999, and until
now with the support of the donor community for the
Rotary clubs light up the world to end polio
the Egyptian Pyramids to the
Evanston, Ill. U.S.A., 19
February - (…) “By lighting these historic landmarks with Rotary’s pledge to
end polio, Rotary is saying to the world that we will fight this disease to the
end,” says Glenn E. Estess, Sr., chair of The Rotary
Foundation, which oversees Rotary’s polio eradication program. (…) The End
Polio Now illumination of the pyramid is particularly symbolic because
In addition to the Egyptian Pyramid of Khafre, other sites scheduled for illumination the week of Feb. 23 include the Taipei Arena, Taiwan; the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain; the Old Port Captain’s Office on the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa, with world-famous Table Mountain as the backdrop; the Obelisk of Buenos Aires, Argentina; the Lake Marathon Dam overlooking the historic Marathon Memorial Battlefield in Greece; the Royal Palace of Caserta in Italy; and in the city where Rotary was founded 105 years ago, Chicago’s famous Wrigley Building. (…)
Polio eradication has been Rotary’s top priority for more than two decades. The international humanitarian service organization is a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, along with the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF.
WHO Executive Board shows strong support for polio eradication – 18-23 January
Delegates at EB express support for new 3-year plan to eradicate polio, as funding concerns grow
At the 126th Session of the Executive Board (EB) of the World Health Assembly (WHA), delegates expressed strong support for finishing the job of polio eradication and for the finalization of a new three-year Programme of Work to do so, despite a particularly challenging year epidemiologically in 2009. After hearing a report from the Chair of the Independent Evaluation of Major Barriers to Interrupting Poliovirus Transmission and frankly acknowledging the remaining hurdles, delegates noted other, positive outcomes of the 2009 Programme of Work, in particular the impact of tactical and scientific innovations in each endemic area and the development and introduction of a new, bivalent, oral polio vaccine. These outcomes, they noted, advocate for new international commitment to complete the job of securing a polio-free world. (...)
To secure ownership at all levels and across all sectors for polio eradication, the spearheading partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) - the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF - are consulting widely with both polio-affected countries and members of the international development community in the development and finalization of the Programme of Work 2010-2012. (...) http://www.polioeradication.org/meeting_detail.asp?day=23&month=1&year=2010
Of the three million Haitians affected by the quake, more than one million are children, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Due to the severity of the traumatic events they have experienced, many of these children are currently suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), an illness that can cripple a person’s emotional and mental health, causing a wide range of problems, including depression, an inability to sleep, emotional numbing, violent behavior, and delayed development. (...). Nearly 100 volunteers are staffing the center, many of which are teachers from the local university and primary schools. (…)
Save the Children provides songs with lifesaving health and nutrition advice to Haitian radio stations
Creole songs with tips on breastfeeding and basic hygiene to help save babies’ lives during upcoming rainy season
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 16 February - In anticipation of the dangers threatened by the upcoming rainy season in Haiti, after the devastating earthquake in January, Save the Children is providing broadcast-quality songs in Creole, along with public service messages, to radio stations to spread lifesaving health and nutrition advice. The songs provide Haitian mothers with simple tips and hints about breastfeeding, feeding and hand washing to enable them to better protect their newborn babies and children against preventable diseases and malnutrition. (...)
The project, a collaboration with the Ministry of Health and with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development, produced Creole songs and public service announcements before the earthquake, working with local communities and children. The songs will be aired on local radio stations and Creole services provided by international broadcasters. (...)
EDC and World Health Organization develop online course on violence and injury prevention
Dhaka, 13 February -
for Energy Efficiency Conference –
On the path towards a sustainable society
The second edition of the High Level event on ICT (Information and Communication Technology) for Energy Efficiency is organised by the European Commission’s Information Society and Media Directorate-General, in cooperation with the Spanish Presidency of the European Union. (...)
Through the Recommendation, the Commission calls on the ICT sector to agree on common methodologies for measuring energy consumption and carbon emissions by 2010.
Furthermore, addressing EU Member States and the ICT sector, it aims to unlock energy efficiency potential through more public-private partnership initiatives and also through partnerships between the ICT industry and defined strategic sectors.
In addition to the two-day conference, there will be an exhibition showcasing the 30 best EU-funded projects in the field of ICT for Energy Efficiency. The exhibition will mainly show projects’ results as well as the European Commission and European Institutions key initiatives.
For the first time in 2010, several projects will be competing for an “ICT4EE European awards”. The awards ceremony will be organised at the event.
provides EUR 20.8 million for construction of a biofuel
European Investment Bank (EIB) will lend 20.8 million euros ($28 million) to
support the construction and operation of a bio-ethanol plant in southwestern
17 February - This is one of
the first projects of its kind financed by the EIB in
The new plant will produce annually 139 million litres of bioethanol and 100 000 tons of animal feed as a bi-product using locally grown and imported maize. The projected CO 2 emission savings of the project are in line with EU legislation relating to the use of renewable energy for transport.
The mission of the EIB, the European Union’s bank, is to contribute to the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Member States by financing sound investment. (mgdd)
EU nations expect to meet the EU’s renewable energy target
16 February - The EU will meet
its 2020 20% renewable energy target - slightly exceeding it - according to an
analysis by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) of all 27 Member
States’ national forecast documents. The EWEA analysis shows that EU member
states are on course to achieve over 20% renewable energy by 2020, with 21
Member States meeting or exceeding their national targets. The top 21 are made
up of 13
Top achievers are
Christine Lins, Secretary General of the European Renewable Energy Council stated, “The clear majority of European Member States recognise the economic, environmental and social benefits of promoting a broad range of renewable energy technologies nationally, as reflected in their forecast documents”. For further details see EWEA’s table by clicking here.
On 4 February 2010,
In 2010, IRENA will set out to establish itself as the global base for renewable energy knowledge. Collecting, generating and sharing knowledge about renewable energy will be a central activity of the Agency. IRENA will act as a clearing house, informing about existing renewable energy technologies that have worked well in the past and could be deployed globally, as well as about promising innovative technologies. IRENA will, in 2010, start advising its Members regarding successful policies and financial schemes to promote renewables, as well as related capacity building and training programmes. (...)
President Obama announces three steps to boost biofuels
3 February - President Barack Obama announced on
February 3 three actions that the federal government is taking to boost
United Nations launches global campaign to strengthen synergies in chemicals and wastes management
extraordinary meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the
Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, 21 February - On 22 February 2010,
more than one hundred forty governments will meet in Bali to strengthen ties
between the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the world’s three
leading treaties promoting the sound management of hazardous chemicals and wastes.
In an effort to further synergies between the three treaties and better target
resources for chemicals and waste management on regional and national level,
the parties to the
dream comes true for
Gland, Switzerland, 2 February
- World Wetlands Day is being celebrated with the full recognition of Africa’s
Lake Chad as a wetland of international significance, fulfilling an agreement
made a decade ago by the four nations that share it. The declaration by the
Cameroon Republic that its portion of Africa’s fourth largest lake is being
declared a wetland of international importance under the 1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands follows similar declarations
by Niger and Chad (both in 2001) and Nigeria (2008).
2 February - In January Promotora Ambiental
(Environmental Promoter) - PASA inaugurated a Biogas Plant in León, Guanajuato in one of the lanfields it owns. For some time PASA has been using the
Earth Charter as an ethical framework for its work. It owns and manages 23 landfields in the country and is active in 44 cities of
Ecumenical Patriarchate: Bartholomew I, “Truth is not afraid of dialogue”
19 February - Orthodoxy “must be in constant dialogue with the world” and, above all, it does not have to “fear dialogue” with other Christian Churches because “truth is not afraid of dialogue”. In his long message released yesterday for the celebration of the “Sunday of Orthodoxy” on the first Sunday of Lent, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, called for cultural and ecumenical openness. (...) As the great Fathers of the Church have done in the past, Orthodoxy is now “called to continue this dialogue with the outside world in order to provide a witness and the life-giving breath of its faith. However, - continued Bartholomew - this dialogue cannot reach the outside world unless it first passes through all those that bear the Christian name. Thus, we must first converse as Christians among ourselves in order to resolve our differences, in order that our witness to the outside world may be credible. Our endeavors for the union of all Christians is the will and command of our Lord” and therefore we cannot “remain indifferent about the unity of all Christians.
US Lutherans discuss need for unity with ecumenical leaders
17 February - “The prayer of Jesus that his disciples may be one so that the world may believe (John 17:21) takes on new urgency in view of the challenges peoples and churches are facing today”, said the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary, the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, in welcoming a delegation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
Tveit was one of three
general secretaries of world ecumenical organizations who met with the ELCA
group of clergy and lay leaders in
Tveit told the ELCA delegation that Jesus’ prayer for unity “is not only a word of information, but it is a word of transformation. That is what we do here – you’re not only here to be informed, but you’re here to make a difference.” Among the current challenges that need to be taken on by the ecumenical movement, Tveit mentioned the consequences of the financial crisis, full participation of the younger generation, relationships with Evangelicals and Pentecostal and charismatic churches, inter-religious dialogue and co-operation, and the environmental crisis. (...)
Palestine-Israel Ecumenical Forum launches website and newsletter
4 February - http://pief.oikoumene.org is a new website
launched by the Palestine-Israel Ecumenical Forum geared to providing a springboard
for advocacy, public education, and mobilization. The forum’s role consists in
convening networks for common action in order to generate church-based
awareness raising and advocacy for peace in the
A regular newsletter will provide up-to-date information on Christian campaigns for a just peace and an overview of the latest news from an ecumenical perspective.
What’s the future for EU’s online library Europeana?
MEP wants public funding
22 February - You can now
access books, journals, films, maps etc from across
The report drafted by German
Green MEP Helga Trüpel asks for more and better
content on Europeana while respecting intellectual
property rights. It also wants better promotion of the library among the
broadest possible public and “urges the Commission and member states to take
all necessary steps to avoid a knowledge gap between Europe and the
It was launched on 20 November, 2008. Europeana is a multi-lingual online collection of millions of digitised books, journals, films, maps, photographs and music from European museums, libraries, archives and multi-media collections. It is accessible to every citizen with an internet connection. It also preserves the items for future generations. Europeana’s collection has doubled since its launch and there are now more than 6 million items. The aim is to have 10 million digitised objects by the end of 2010. See http://www.europeana.eu/portal/aboutus.html
High Level Group meeting on Education for All to focus on impact of economic crisis
17 February - The impact of
the global economic crisis on education and challenges related to
marginalization will be the focus of the High Level Group Meeting on Education For All (EFA) in
UNESCO lays foundation for International Coordination Committee (ICC) for Haitian culture
17 February - UNESCO laid the
foundation for an International Coordination Committee (ICC) for Haitian
culture at a meeting on 16 February in
Knowledge at the heart of economic recovery
16 February - The key role of
education and training in the recovery of
Partnerships with the business world must be encouraged at all levels of education to fit new skills for new jobs. Vocational training must be modernised to address mismatches between competences and job requirements. The quality of teaching depends on the quality of teachers’ education. Targeted action must be proposed to all trainers to allow them to acquire new competences, for instance in special learning needs and skills in information and communication technologies.
A Strategy for the Global Movement for a Culture of Peace, by David Adams
Part of a trilogy along with The History of the Culture of War and I Have Seen the Promised Land, this is the most comprehensive and feasible plan ever put forward to achieve world peace. It is based on the author’s responsibility for the United Nations International Year for the Culture of Peace (2000), the Manifesto 2000 signed by 75 million people, and the United Nations Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace.
It foresees the coming collapse of the global economy and nation states as an opportunity to refound the United Nations on the basis of those who understand the need for a culture of peace: individuals, civil society organizations and local governments. It provides descriptions of initiatives already underway, as well as approaches that can be used by those who wish to take up the task.
The book can be read on-line; also, a link allows to order a printed copy.
Symposium on translation and cultural mediation at UNESCO to mark International Mother Language Day
16 February - International Mother Language Day (IMLD) on 21 February will be celebrated at UNESCO this year with a two-day symposium (22-23 February) on translation and cultural mediation. Following the symposium, presentations on UNESCO’s languages activities will focus on the New Atlas of Endangered Languages and on new approaches to multilingualism. Highlighting the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity and multilingual education, International Mother Language Day has been observed annually since 2000.
The 11th IMLD will be celebrated as part of 2010 International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures, noted Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, in her message for the Day. “Languages are the best vehicles of mutual understanding and tolerance. Respect for all languages is a key factor for ensuring peaceful coexistence, without exclusion, of societies and all of their members,” she said. (...)
Global Action Week 2010: Ten years after the promise
10 February - This Saturday 20 April will be the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Dakar Goals for Education For All. Despite the progress made, much remains to be done to realise the objectives laid down to give all children their right to education. 2010 is the crucial year to turn the situation around and accelerate our efforts towards EFA. The past ten years were crippled by the refusal of governments to honour their promises and more recently the economic crisis last year led certain donors to reduce the sum or level of their aid. For this reason, Global Action Week, which will take place from 19-25 April, will unite all unionists, teachers, children and parents under the slogan of “Financing quality public education: a right for all.” (…)
Workshop focuses on improving web accessibility for persons with disabilities
Geneva, 5 February - A workshop hosted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) from February 2 to 5, 2010, brought together over 180 persons from some 32 organizations to promote awareness about accessibility for people with disabilities and to encourage webmasters within the United Nations system and other organizations to implement principles of accessibility in their daily work. The workshop, co-organized with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), was opened by WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, who underlined the importance of accessibility in general and reaffirmed WIPO’s commitment to establishing an accessible web environment that promotes easy access to intellectual property information. This, Mr. Gurry said, is in line with WIPO’s visually impaired persons (VIP) initiative launched in 2008 to explore ways to facilitate and enhance access to literary, artistic and scientific works for the VIP community. (...) http://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/articles/2010/article_0001.html
Over 1,000 schools in
More than 60% of schools in
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Good News Agency is
published in English on one Friday and in Italian the next. Past issues
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