Good News Agency – Year XI, n° 176
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 1,600 high schools, colleges and universities. It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontŕ 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.
Convention on cluster munitions became binding international law on 1 August 2010
Forty-one African states are
among the 108 countries that have signed the Convention, and
The CMC urges as many states
as possible to join the Convention and attend the First Meeting of States
Parties on 9-12 November
mission opens first base ahead of referendum in southern
3 September 2010 – The United Nations peacekeeping mission set up after the end of the north-south civil war has opened its first field office for the referendum to be held next January on whether the south should secede from the rest of the country.
West county referendum base, which was inaugurated on Wednesday in Western Equatoria state, will be one of 79 across southern
Voters are expected to go to
the polls on 9 January next year to decide to secede or stay part of
The referenda are being held under the January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the civil war, and the UN mission – known as UNMIS – is tasked with providing both training and technical and logistical support for the vote.
Jubilant Kenyans usher in new constitution
30 August - Cheered by
hundreds of thousands of jubilant Kenyans waving national flags, President Mwai Kibaki signed a new
constitution on Friday that curbs his sweeping powers and strengthens civic
"No one could have thought that out of the bitter harvest of the disputed election and the violence that pitted our people against each other just two years ago, we would be witnessing today the birth of a national unity that has eluded us for more than 40 years", Prime Minister Raila Odinga said to constant cheering.
Nearly 70 percent of Kenyans
that voted in the August 4 referendum endorsed the new supreme law, hoping for
a fresh start from
The new legal framework
address issues such as corruption, political patronage, land grabbing and
tribalism, which have plagued the country for decades. Kenyans started
demanding a new constitution about two decades ago, saying the basic law penned
at the time of independence from
Ban commends Solomon Islanders for peaceful legislative elections
27 August - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today commended Solomon Islanders for taking part in peaceful and orderly parliamentary polls that led to the selection this week of Danny Philip as the new Prime Minister of the Pacific archipelago.
The conduct of the elections “demonstrates the commitment of Solomon Islanders to peace and democracy,” according to a statement issued by Mr. Ban's spokesperson.
A United Nations team trained, briefed and helped deploy international observers who monitored the elections as they took place earlier this month.
23 August 2010: 12th International Remembrance Day : a global commemoration
The night of 22 to 23 August
UN launches global action plan to combat scourge of human trafficking
August 1 - The United Nations
today launched a global action plan to combat human trafficking, with senior UN
officials urging that governments worldwide take coordinated and consistent
measures to try to defeat the scourge. The plan, launched at a high-level
meeting of the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told today’s meeting that the action plan should serve as “a clarion call” to UN Member States, international organizations and civil society groups of the need to take immediate steps “to stop this terrible crime against human dignity, which shames us all.”
The UN has estimated that more than 2.4 million people are currently being exploited as victims of human trafficking.
“It is slavery in the modern age,” Mr. Ban said. “Every year thousands of people, mainly women and children, are exploited by criminals who use them for forced labour or the sex trade. No country is immune. Almost all play a part, either as a source of trafficked people, transit point or destination.” The Secretary-General urged countries, philanthropists and others to contribute generously to the new trust fund for trafficking victims.
For more than two decades, ANERA has provided relief and development assistance to Lebanese and Palestinians in refugee communities. Working with local partners, ANERA also organizes vocational training and access to higher education to build marketable job skills – from catering and hotel management to IT and agriculture-related expertise.
“This new legislation reinforces ANERA’s commitment to build more training programs that better prepare underprivileged Palestinian and Lebanese youth who seek a productive future for themselves and their families,” said John Viste, ANERA’s Lebanon Country Director.
ANERA is working with a number
of Palestinian and Lebanese non-profits to improve vocational education in the
country. Most recently, ANERA rehabilitated vocational training centers for
Palestinian youth in and around the Nahr El Bared
camp in northern
Summit on Millennium Development Goals -
With only five years left
until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on world
leaders to attend a summit in
Coming amid mixed progress and new crises that threaten the global effort to halve extreme poverty, “the summit will be a crucially important opportunity to redouble our efforts to meet the Goals,” he said, referring to the targets adopted at the UN Millennium Summit of 2000, aimed at slashing poverty, hunger, disease, maternal and child deaths and other ills by a 2015 deadline.
“Our world possesses the knowledge and the resources to achieve the MDGs” the Secretary-General stated in his report in preparation for the September summit. “Our challenge today is to agree on an action agenda to achieve the MDGs.”
UN Summit on MDG: big issues make the big screen in Times Square, New York
New York, NY, September 8 - As world leaders convene in New York this September for a high-level summit to advance the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations Foundation unveiled a high-impact public service announcement about the most critical issues facing the world today on the Toshiba Vision screen in Times Square. During a launch event at the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Assistant Administrator and Assistant Secretary-General Sigrid Kaag, and the UN Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer Rick Parnell unveiled a special Public Service Announcement inviting people to get involved to solve global problems — marking the first time that the work of the UN is featured prominently in this iconic space.
The 30-second PSA debuting today was produced by GOOD in partnership with the UN Foundation and Millennium Promise. It focuses on the eight MDGs: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development. The PSA will continue airing on the Toshiba Vision screen throughout the month of September as world leaders meet at the UN General Assembly, UN MDG Summit, the Clinton Global Initiative and other high-level meetings.
Three additional PSAs will air on the Toshiba Vision screen, focusing on how individuals can help the UN advance the MDGs by empowering and educating girls, ending preventable childhood diseases, and protecting the environment. They will be broadcasted along with the new MDG PSA throughout the month of September. The videos are available for viewing and downloading at www.unfoundation.org/mdgs
InterAction responds to the Obama Administration’s action plan to achieve the Millennium Development Goals
September 3 - InterAction’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Task Force
recently finalized its response to Celebrate, Innovate and Sustain: Toward 2015
and Beyond, the Obama administration’s action plan
for addressing the MDGs. The response from the group,
comprised of InterAction member and partner
organizations, recognizes the action plan’s emphasis on transparency and
predictability for country partnership and tackling infant mortality, among
other items. However, it also expresses concern about dearth of details on
strategic partnerships and
InterAction recommends that
the Obama administration consider the following items
in the weeks leading up to the UN Review Summit in
1. Integrate its individual programs related to achieving the MDGs into one cohesive strategy.
2. Issue a Global Development Strategy prior to the MDG Summit.
3. Engage the NGO sector more actively in the development and implementation of a Global Development Strategy.
4. Explicitly recognize the U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID) as the
5. Work with Congress to reform key laws, including those pertaining to development aid, USAID, trade and subsidies.
UN Member States will call for a Currency Transaction Tax at MDG
In the lead up to the MDG Summit, and following a meeting in Paris (on 1 September), 60 countries have agreed a common position on, and are actively supporting the introduction of, an international multi-currency transaction tax to raise funds for development aid.
The joint position follows a report of the Committee of Experts to the Taskforce on International Financial Transactions for Development, which was released in June 2010 and which concluded that a tax on financial transactions at the international level – a Currency Transaction Tax – would be the best and most feasible option to deal with the financial deficit in global public assets and in international development. (...)
The report “Globalizing Solidarity: The case for financial levies” analyzes the different tax options that could be imposed on the financial sector in order to overcome the financial shortages that are obstructing the implementation of international development agreements, especially the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) or those related to climate change.
The report estimates that the financial deficit will reach between 324 and 336 billion US dollars in the period 2012-2017. This would include a shortage of 156 billion in the fight against climate change and a shortage of about 168-180 billion in official development assistance (ODA).
Although the introduction of an international Currency Transaction Tax – a tax of 0.005% on international financial transactions to be introduced on the British sterling, the euro, the dollar, and the yen – will not solve this financial deficit, the report does find that it could raise around 35 billion US dollars annually.
Manila, September 1 - As part of its assistance to people suffering the effects of the armed conflict in Central Mindanao, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has started to release 13 million fingerlings into marsh areas to help people earn a living again.
More than 2.3 million tilapia
fingerlings were released in recent weeks in Datu Salibo and Mamasapano in Maguindanao. Another 220,000 fingerlings were released in Barangays Libungan Torreta and Matilac in
Aside from the fingerlings, the ICRC will soon distribute rice seed and tools to over 10,000 needy people to enable them to restart their farming. In addition, beginning in September, 3,000 vulnerable families will be given vegetable seed that they will be able to use in their own backyards. After Ramadan, the ICRC will provide training in farming and fishing techniques.
In the past few months, the
ICRC has completed several projects resulting in improved access to water and
to sanitary and health-care facilities for some 35,000 displaced people and
Focus on lowland farming yields multiple benefits in Liberia
EU and FAO back plan to revive areas with high agricultural potential
Monrovia/Rome, 26 August - The
fertile lowlands that cover one-fifth of
"In using more of our lowlands, not only will we get higher yields, we will also minimize deforestation and soil erosion," said J. Qwelibo Subah, Director-General of Liberia's Central Agricultural Research Institute, underlining the environmental benefit of his government's plan.
Liberian rice production has
increased significantly since the end of a 14-year civil war in 2003. It jumped
from from 85 000 metric tonnes
(mt) in 2005 to 144 000 mt
in 2007, for example. Still,
Through the European Union
Food Facility (EUFF), the European Union (EU) has committed to respond rapidly
and on a large scale to rising hunger around the world as a consequence of high
food prices, compounded by the global economic crisis. Over €228 million are
being channelled through FAO for operations in 28
countries in Africa, Asia and
Brazilian President blows whistle on hunger: Lula da Silva joins "1billionhungry" campaign
The whistle-blowing took place
at a ceremony held in
FAO' goal is to obtain one million signatures by the end of November and present them to the 192 Member States due to attend FAO's Governing Council then. Currently, about one billion people in the world suffer chronic hunger.
The "1billionhungry" project is a major communication campaign intended to rally global support for an end to hunger in the world. Other celebrities who have signed the petition include actor Jeremy Irons, musician Chucho Valdés and and athlete Carl Lewis.
Civil society finds new resolve in working together at CIVICUS World Assembly to solve global crises
The event included a series of plenaries and workshops that brought together viewpoints from a unique spectrum of organisations, big and small, south and north, government and non-government. In a plenary session, a range of panelists including the World Bank’s Vice President,
Otaviano Canuto, discussed the challenge of seeking out solutions to the economic injustices facing the poor and marginalised.
First Regional Conference finds practical ways grow industry: train staff, listen to clients
August 16 – Microfinance
A historical first, international, regional and Southern Sudanese government officials, donor representatives, technical experts and microfinance practitioners gathered July 20-21 to discuss the state of microfinance services and institutions (MFIs) in their communities as well as share best practices and determine ways to expand outreach and increase sustainability.
The microfinance industry in
Conference attendees identified several key obstacles to expanded loan services, notably the industry’s poor physical and legal infrastructure and the low financial literacy of both customers and staff. And while changing the state of large-scale infrastructure may be beyond the MFI practitioners’ control, they agreed that they could expand and improve consumer services by investing in more basic changes like increased legislative advocacy efforts, staff training and improved financial literacy for staff and clients.
Ghanaian Agriculture Association attracts significant bank loan
Volunteer training helps local group build skills to better compete
August 12 – The National
Association of Mechanization Service Centre Operators (NAAMSECO), through the
support of ACDI/VOCA, has earned the approval of a $4.5 million bank loan from
a leading Pan-African bank. The award is one of the largest loans ever approved
by Stanbic Bank
NAAMSECO is a Ghanaian
association of private mechanized agricultural service providers. Like many
private ventures in
Armed with a new business plan and fresh knowledge and skills, NAAMSECO staff made an impression on Stanbic Bank. Within a short time, the bank approved the $4.5 million loan for NAAMSECO to expand its business.
The 2010 WANGO Africa
Conference was the second edition of a WANGO regional conference/retreat held in
Kenya 2010 served as a leading
meeting for representatives of local, regional, and international NGOs,
government, business and support agencies in the region and beyond. It
addressed issues crucial to the growth and development of the humanitarian
sector in sub-Saharan
The World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO) is an international organization uniting NGOs worldwide in the cause of advancing peace and global well being.
Geneva/Quetta, September 3 - A string of natural disasters that caused widespread suffering and devastation in Balochistan in 2010 seems largely to have gone unnoticed outside this arid south-western province. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), acting through the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, responded quickly to the first bout of monsoon flooding in July by distributing food for 21,000 people in the flood-affected Sibi district towns of Talli and Sultan Kot. More relief assistance is set to be distributed in the coming days in this severely affected region.
Floods in the Bolan district in March were followed in quick succession
by destructive winds and coastal flooding from cyclone Phet
in early June. Before the current catastrophic floods focused the world
Despite restrictions on the movement of expatriate staff within Balochistan, the ICRC remains committed to bringing aid to people in need.
People’s Republic of
Francis Markus, IFRC,
September 1 - It’s normally a
busy city on the border between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
The DPRK Red Cross Society
immediately mobilized its disaster management team to
August 30 - With Education International's help, three Pakistani teachers' organisations will support thousands of educators who lost their homes and personal belongings. They will provide up to 30,000 victims with aid supplies including clean water, clothing and tents.
The number of teachers in need of humanitarian aid is estimated to be almost 100,000. The Pakistan Teachers' Organisations’ Council (PTOC), the All Pakistan Government School Teachers’ Associations (APGSTA) and the Central Organisation of Teachers (COT) will use their extensive national networks to distribute aid, concentrating on the provinces of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtoonkhoa and Azad Kashmir which were worst affected by the region’s deadliest floods in 80 years. The humanitarian aid program, for which EI has opened its solidarity fund, will be coordinated by the All Pakistan Trade Union Congress (APTUC), an affiliate of the ITUC.
The relief program will also
include health care services and trauma counselling
for more than 1,000 victims. EI’s General Secretary,
Fred van Leeuwen and Chief Regional Coordinator,
Aloysius Mathews, flew into
Save the Children Valentine’s Day Card contest encourages kids to advocate fairness for all kids
Open to students in pre-K
through 12th grade, the contest encourages children to design Valentine's Day
cards and submit them to Save the Children by October 31, 2010. Designs selected by Save the Children and AFT
judges will be posted online on November 3 where kids will vote for their
favorites. The five most popular designs will be printed on Valentine's Day
cards available in time for Valentine's Day and offered as part of a gift with
a donation to benefit Save the Children's programs to fight childhood poverty
Themed "Uniting a
Generation," the contest is live now at http://www.k2kUSA.org — Save the
Children U.S. Program's new campaign designed to engage kids in the fight to
ensure a fair chance for all kids in the
million DKK to disaster-struck
August 9 - There is an increasing need for assistance as deadly flooding spreads and blocked roadways and communications continue to hamper aid workers from reaching cut-off survivors with vital food and supplies. DanChurchAid’s local partner Church World Service work around the clock to help the surviving by providing food packages, shelter materials and non-food supplies. In addition, one mobile health unit has been dispatched so far, delivering emergency health services. Last Friday DanChurchAid was able to send an additional three million DKK to the areas affected by the disaster as a result of additional Danida funds. Last Monday the first 750.000 DKK was given to support the relief work.
DanChurchAid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.
activates clinics, emergency stockpiles in
Humanitarian group works with local partners to respond to deadly floods
Working through a local
partner, CARE has conducted eight mobile health clinics in the
CARE also is transporting emergency stockpiles of tents, shawls, mosquito nets, plastic floor mats, family hygiene kits and kitchen sets in the Swat, Charsaddah and Nowshera districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). Initial distributions are expected to reach 5,200 people.
Rotary Club Portorož donation to the ITF
On September 1, Rotary Club Portorož successfully completed the project named »Cleared
surface for a new life« which has been initiated in 2006 by their members. The
initiative aimed to raise funds to demine areas contaminated
with mines, to provide socio-economic assistance and rehabilitation to mine/UXO
victims in former
In an effort to make this campaign as efficiently as possible and to achieve its purpose, the Rotary Club Portorož joined forces with a humanitarian non-profit organization ITF (International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance).
Rotary Club Portorož has together with its fellow Rotary Clubs in
FoEME wins Euro-Med Dialogue award
'Ambassadors of Intercultural Dialogue for Ecological Sustainability'
Tel Aviv / Bethlehem / Amman, September 1 - ‘ECOPEACE Friends of the Earth Middle East’ (FoEME), a civil society advocacy organization jointly established by environmentalists from Palestine, Jordan and Israel, has been officially announced as the 2010 winner of the Anna Lindh Foundation’s Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue Award.
Taking place this year on the theme of ‘Intercultural Dialogue for Ecological Sustainability, the Dialogue Award is unique in the fact that it is bestowed and voted upon by members of the Anna Lindh Foundation’s region-wide Network of 3000 civil society organizations working across the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean.
Launched for the first time in 2006 by the Anna Lindh Foundation and its partner Fondazione Mediterraneo, the Euro-Med Dialogue Award is now in its fifth edition, with previous years recognizing the achievements of individuals and organizations across fields including interreligious dialogue, art and mutual understanding, and the promotion of a culture of peace.
For more information, please contact Mira Edelstein, Foreign Media Officer, Friends of the Earth Middle East, firstname.lastname@example.org
has helped the children of
September 1 - More than seven
thousand children set their sights on a place in the Guinness Book of Records
after an unexploded ordnance (UXO) risk assessment by
After five minutes of
bouncing, the record had been unofficially broken with a total of 7,203 balls –
beating the previous best of just over 3,000 set in the
63rd United Nations Annual DPI/NGO Conference
Huambo, August 13 - Over four hundred thousand euros is being invested by the Spanish Co-operation in a project for training technicians of the National Demining Institute (INAD). The information was given to ANGOP, by the assistant of projects from the Spanish Co-operation, Javier Cabrera Cornide, at the end of the second phase of a five-day course of Planning and Logistical Support to Operation of Humanitarian Demining, in the locality of Essaque, Tchikala-Tcholoanga District.
According to Javier Cabrera Cornide, 16 heads of demining
teams from equal number of provinces participated in the course. "The
Spanish Co-operation released 425,000 euros for this project, divided in three
phases. The idea is to train trainers that can multiply information and
knowledge for demining technicians of the country,
thus helping to keep
promoter of Gandhian values receives Indian award in
11 August - The Palas Athena Association Executive Team announced that
co-founder, Lia Diskin, was
offered the Jamnalal Bajaj
Foundation 2010 International Award for her contribution to promotion of Gandhian values outside
The Palas Athena Association team sees this prize as yet another acknowledgement of her contagious enthusiasm and creativity, which "we have the privilege of sharing while supporting her work of strengthening social networks and educational programs. This recognition makes us feel part of the vital process of re-creating and improving coexistence between persons, religions and cultures".
Founded in 1972 as a non-profit organisation, Palas Athena is a Brazilian NGO dedicated to fostering and managing community-oriented programs and projects in the fields of Education, Healthcare, Human Rights, Environmental Preservation, Social Welfare, and Culture of Peace. PALAS ATHENA's main purpose is to enhance human relationships, while bringing together diverse cultures and drawing on multiple sources of knowledge.
International Positive Week - September 20-26
This year, the Culture of Peace Initiative's (CPI) special 2010 project is "International Positive Week" (September 20 - 26), a celebration and global initiative in conjunction with Celebrate Positive, the Culture of Peace Initiative (CPI) and the United Nation's International Day of Peace.
This special program focuses on the 2010 UN NGO Positive Peace Awards (The Voting Academy includes Pathways To Peace, Rotary International and Sister Cities International). The goal of this week is to celebrate and shine the light on the world's most positive Communities, Athletes, Entertainers, Schools, and Businesses, while promoting the message of World Peace.
Please take a minute to share your nomination for most Positive Community or Business. We invite you to nominate your own! During International Positive Week, different categories of "Positive Peace" will be highlighted each day during the week-long celebration.
September 20: Positive Business Day; Sept. 21: Positive Entertainer Day (International Day of Peace); 22: Positive Community Day; 23: Positive School Day; 24 - 26: Positive Sports Weekend.
21 September, International Day of Peace - Youth for Peace and Development
The International Day of
Peace, observed each year on 21 September, is a global call for ceasefire and
non-violence. This year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
is calling on young people around the world to take a stand for peace under the
theme, Youth for Peace and Development. The United Nations is looking for
stories from young people around the world who are working for peace. The
campaign slogan this year is "Peace=Future, The math is easy.” This year,
the International Day of Peace (IDP) falls within the same time period as a
major summit on the Millennium Development Goals, the world’s largest
anti-poverty campaign. The
In addition, the UN General Assembly has proclaimed 2010 as International Year of Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding. A campaign launched by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) on 12 August promotes the ideals of respect for human rights and solidarity across generations, cultures, religions, and civilizations. Those are key elements that reinforce the foundations of a sustainable peace.
Youth, peace and development are closely interlinked: peace enables development, which is critical in providing opportunities for young people, particularly those in countries emerging from conflict. Healthy, educated youth are in turn crucial to sustainable development and peace. Peace, stability and security are essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, aimed at slashing poverty, hunger, disease, and maternal and child death by 2015.
Each year, the Secretary-General, his Messengers of Peace, the entire UN system and many individuals, groups and organizations around the world use the Day of Peace to engage in activities that contribute to ceasefires, end conflict, bridge cultural divides and create tolerance.
Eliminating nuclear weapons and safeguarding nuclear technologies
course, 9-16 January 2011
ISODARCO (International School
On Disarmament And Research On Conflicts) has organized residential courses on global
security since 1966 primarily in
No special application form is required. We suggest that you apply on-line at www.isodarco.it or download an application form from the same location. Applications should arrive not later than November 15th, 2010 and should be addressed to the Director of the School: Prof. Carlo Schaerf,
Department of Physics, University
September 2 - Silver Spring, Md., USA - As floodwaters move further south down the Indus River, larger numbers of people are being forced from their homes and communities, prompting the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) to refocus the implementation of its emergency medical response to Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province, report agency officials.
ADRA is working closely with
World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health for the Punjab
province to establish operations of Mobile Health Units in unreached
areas of the district of Muzaffaragarh, some
ADRA’s Mobile Health Units are comprised of doctors, surgeons, pediatricians, and nursing staff that provide medical care around the clock, treating more than 220 patients a day for malaria, diarrhea, and other diseases and ailments resulting from the contaminated floodwaters. http://www.adra.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=11085&news_iv_ctrl=1141
MSF helps thousands of displaced people in isolated Shabunda region, South Kivu, DRC
September 2 – Thousands of
people have been forced to flee their villages in the Shabunda
MSF teams were already at work
in the south Shabunda area, where they had been
providing medical care since late June to 20,000 displaced people. When this
second wave of displaced people reached the Katshungu
and Shabunda regions in early August, MSF was quick
to respond, setting up two health centres in Mbangayo and Lupinbi, in the town
Cholera has also broken out in
the town of
eradication staff mobilized to support
Health system could take years to recover following flood damage "beyond imagination"
August 26 - Polio eradication
staff and resources have been mobilized en masse to support the response to the
devastating floods directly affecting one in 10 people in
Currently, the Ministry of Health's strategy is to vaccinate all displaced children under 5 years with measles vaccine and oral polio vaccine (OPV), and to distribute Vitamin A. Other routine antigens have been distributed, but not in all camps. In the areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (previously known as North West Frontier Province) where flood waters have receded - Peshawar, Charsada, Dir Lower and Swat - mass campaigns administering measles vaccine, OPV and Vitamin A have been conducted in all affected Union Council administrative areas.
The UN has launched a flash appeal for the flood relief effort, and as part of this, funds would go to support emergency measles/polio campaigns.
August 16 - On 8 August 2010, the President of Chad, Idriss Deby Itno, received the prestigious Rotary 'Polio Eradication Champion' award. (...)
The 'Polio Eradication Champion' award was established in 1995, and is the highest honour Rotary presents to heads of state, health agency leaders and others who have made significant contributions toward polio eradication.
In receiving Rotary’s 'Polio Eradication Champion' award, President Deby Itno joins a group of other distinguished leaders whom Rotary has honored including India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, current UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former Secretary General Kofi Annan, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan, and former Chairperson of the African Union Commission Alpha Oumar Konare.
Project HOPE and Merck partner with the Nicaragua Ministry of Health to vaccinate Nicaraguans against pneumococcal disease
Program will reach more than 1 million Nicaraguans and strengthen health care capacity
Millwood, Va., USA, August 12 - Project HOPE, a global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, in partnership with Merck, a leader in global health care, (known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada), is collaborating with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health (MINSA) to further advance efforts to vaccinate vulnerable populations against pneumococcal infections, a major cause of pneumonia. The program will vaccinate more than 1 million people living with HIV/AIDS, adults ages 50 and older and individuals between the ages of 4 and 49 with indicated chronic diseases.
Through this public-private partnership, Merck will donate to Project HOPE more than 1 million doses of its vaccine PNEUMOVAX® 23 (Pneumococcal Vaccine Polyvalent) and make a charitable contribution of approximately $700,000 to help strengthen health care capacity in Nicaragua over the course of a three-year phased program.
As part of the program,
Project HOPE staff in
International Day Against Nuclear Tests - observed 9 September 2010
At UN Headquarters, as an exception this year, the Day will be observed on 9 September. On that day, the President of the General Assembly will convene a special commemoration meeting, which will be addressed by the Secretary-General. Plans are under way elsewhere to observe the Day by various activities, such as symposia, conferences, exhibits, competitions, publications, instruction in academic institutions, media broadcasts and other activities.
Las week, UNODA and DPI launched a new website commemorating the Day. Currently, the site http://www.un.org/en/no-nucleartests/http://www.un.org/en/events/againstnucleartestsday/ is available in English only, with all language versions to follow shortly.
FAO launches NASA developed fire monitoring system
Will help countries to detect fire hotspots in real time
Rome, 11 August - FAO today has launched a new online portal on fire information and real time monitoring to help countries to control fire effectively and protect property and natural resources. The new Global Fire Information Management System (GFIMS) detects fire hotspots from satellites operated by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Developed in collaboration with the University of Maryland, GFIMS has an online mapping interface for displaying fire hotspots in "near real" time meaning that there is a lag of approximately 2.5 hours between satellite overpass and the data being available. The new system also allows users to receive email alerts on specific areas of interest, enabling subscribers to react quickly.
"The GFIMS has been
launched at a time when the incidence of megafires
tends to increase," said Pieter van Lierop, FAO
Forestry Officer, who is responsible for the agency's activities in fire
By Amanda Wheat
August 23 (Media Global) -
This particular plot of Amazon
forest is worth $7.2 billion because of the 846 million barrels of natural oil
reserves resting quietly beneath its surface. But
August 29 - Hunchun, China: Jilin province of China and neighbouring Primorsky province in Russia agreed today to collaborate formally in working towards the first transboundary Amur tiger protected area amidst celebrations for the second annual Amur Tiger Cultural Festival in the northeastern Chinese city of Hunchun.
The signed agreement, facilitated by WWF, the global conservation organization, will help wildlife authorities eventually establish a transboundary protected area – a cooperative conservation network that crosses country borders - in the provinces that are home to the world’s largest big cat. The population of the highly endangered Amur tiger is currently estimated at 500.
In the agreement signed by Jilin Provincial Forestry Department of China and two Russia agencies – the Wildlife and Hunting Department of Primorsky Province and Special Inspection “TIGER” of Russia, the two sides will work together in establishing a tiger conservation protected area in both provinces, as well as partner to restore the endangered species.
Western Province of Kenya, a few years ago was properly afforested area with various species of indigenous tress. The weather was favourable to farmers and we had food security. At the moment because of deforestation, we have serious floods and scarcity of food. Our organization has taken steps to help in controlling the deforestation that is causing and increasing the spread of deserts in this area. Most of the trees we plant are fruits and indigenous herbal treatment plants.
We use youth and women organized self help groups, schools and religious groups to visit the communities and initiate desertification control activities. We organize, information, education and communication activities in partnership with these groups. Apart from that we invite youth from various universities and countries who visit our communities to participate in planting of trees and facilitating in various seminars and workshops.
We have plans to set up properly equipped Training and Demonstration center for farmers, youth, women and all stakeholders to ensure that the message and activities to control the spread of deserts is deeply rooted and available to the grassroot people. One of our major obstacle is funding. We have not established proper source of funding therefore we have shelved some of our plans. For more details and/or support, or to plan an eco-friendly stay please contact Silvanus A. B. Malaho, Executive Director of Kenya Volunteers Development Services, and President of Rotary Club of Bungoma South: email@example.com
August 29 - The Circle of
Light and Hope Interfaith Encounter group met on the 18h of July; the main
topic of the discussion was:
The Interfaith Encounter
Association is dedicated to promoting peace in the
Pan-African Bishops Conference (SECAM) MDG Tour, 7-18 September
Brussels, 25 August - Ahead of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Review Summit in New York (20-22 September), a delegation of African bishops and development experts meets European political leaders to discuss efforts to improve the well-being of African communities, the obstacles they encounter and priorities to achieve change.
The Church in
The delegation is organised by the Pan-African Bishops Conference SECAM with
the support of CIDSE, an international alliance of Catholic development
agencies. The group travels to
‘Undermining Africa’s future?’ – debate in the
European Parliament (
The Feather Project: a new effort promoting intergenerational collaboration
At the Earth Charter + 10 Conference in the Peace Palace in The Hague last June 29, Rabbi Soetendorp, co-chair of the Earth Charter Task Force on Religion, Ethics, and Spirituality launched the Feather Project, which is a collaborative effort inspired by the Earth Charter to build intergenerational dialogue and collaboration between elders and youth, and to draw upon the wisdom of the world’s spiritual traditions to address the major global challenges humanity is facing. The Feather Project involves capturing on video the core messages of moral and spiritual leaders of our time, based on the following question: “Based on your life experience, what lesson would you like to share with the next generation?”
On the Feather website, these inspiring messages are being combined with the visions, dreams, and aspirations of young people and suggested steps to put this inspiration into practice. The rationale here is that in this combination of visions, wisdom and best practiced action projects lies a key to unlocking the immense resources of human imagination, creativity and compassion that are so much needed in our troubled times.
More information can be found on the Feather Project website at http://featherproject.org that portrays the video messages of several Earth Charter youth representatives recorded at EC+10.
education support programme for
September 2 - A European
Union-funded programme to support Somali
administrations in developing a well-structured education and training system
has been launched in north east and
Dr. Manfred Winnefeld, Technical Advisor for the EU's
support for the education sector in
The EU which is supporting the
programme has also been supporting the development of
secondary education during the past 10 years. In this time, the number of
secondary school students in north east and north west
the Children and Ministry of Education launch new television campaign to help
children feel safe returning to school in
Uzbek and Kyrgyz parents and adults urged to line the streets in a corridor of peace and welcome children to school
Osh, Kyrgyzstan, August 30 – Save the Children and the Ministry of Education in Kyrgyzstan today launched a major television campaign to help mend ethnic tensions and help children feel safe and protected when they return to school on September 1. The campaign is encouraging Kyrgyz and Uzbek parents and adults to line the streets in a corridor of peace and welcome children as they walk to and from school.
“After the ethnic unrest, many
children are afraid to return to school. They fear violent attacks from the
opposing ethnic group,” said Will Lynch, country director of Save the
Ethnic violence broke out
between minority Uzbeks and ethnic Kyrgyz in southern
The new television spot called “Welcome to School” shows similarities between Uzbeks and Kyrgyzs as their children prepare for their first day of school, and encourages them to reconcile their differences and come together to help allay children’s fears of returning to school.
By Reeni Aminchua, IFRC
30 August - The International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), with support from
the Singapore Red Cross, has been developing young athletes’ understanding of
global humanitarian issues at the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games in
The games were held for two weeks from 14 to 26 August with some 5,000 athletes and officials from the 205 National Olympic Committees. Helping the event run smoothly were an estimated 20,000 local and international volunteers, and there was also a strong media presence with 1,200 representatives from the media.
IFRC was one of six international organizations to participate in the culture and education programme designed for the athletes at the Olympic village. The programme encourages greater learning, sharing and interaction among the athletes, while inspiring them to embrace and live the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. The programme forms an integral component of the games and is built around the five themes of olympism, skills development, well-being and healthy lifestyle, social responsibility and expression.
The Relay Initiative in the frame of the European Year of Volunteering
Be a Reporter - apply before September 27
The European Commission invites you to be one of 27 Relay Reporters who will highlight volunteer stories all along The European Year of Volunteering 2011. For it, we will select a volunteer filmmaker, reporter or journalist in each EU Member State. You are welcome to apply online before September 27, 2010, by midnight: http://eyvolunteering.eu
This unique experience will include:
- 12 days reporting in another EU country with our professional HDV camera
- 10 months web-reporting from your country with the pocket video camera we will offer you.
As Relay Reporter, all the
video, audio and web reports you will produce during the Relay will be promoted
All costs are covered by our organisation.
For contacts: Georges Drouet, European Coordinator of the EYV Relay European Year of Volunteering 2011: firstname.lastname@example.org
New team for ANERA early childhood education initiative
The multi-year program
includes curriculum and national standards development and capacity building
for preschool educators; mentoring programs for teachers in coordination with
West Bank universities and upgrading infrastructure at selected preschools as
quality preschools for practice training of teacher trainees in the
As Education Program Manager, Mleahat will supervise all of ANERA's
education program work in the
The Early Childhood Education project has been endorsed by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and will be developed in cooperation with the ministry and local NGOs to encourage community involvement in childhood education.
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Advance Global Health: Achieve the Millennium Development Goals
30 August – 1 September 2010 •
Lesley Vann, Good News Agency’s Publisher Representative to the UNDPI
The 63rd Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference was held in Melbourne, Australia, 30 August to 1 September 2010, titled “Advance Global Health: Achieve the Millennium Development Goals” (MDGs).The Conference highlighted the achievements and on-going efforts of diverse international NGOs, grassroots civil society representatives, and healthcare advocates, in partnership with the UN, Member States and other actors. This annual Conference went further to encourage greater awareness among the wider public about the interconnectivity of global health with human rights, disarmament, human security and climate change. The event highlighted effective ways in which civil society, in partnership with other actors, can contribute to fostering global health -- not just managing disease. It also underscored the need for more integration of health programs, methods to generate outcome health data that informs research and programs, cost effective healthcare delivery and sustainability, disease prevention, and the need to achieve multidimensional equity within global health.
The objective of this UN DPI/NGO Conference positioned “on the road” in Australia, and away from New York, was to diversify and increase the geographical representation of NGOs associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information, as well as focusing on the work of NGOs in the region.
This year’s Conference had an Opening session, Roundtables, Workshops, special Events, Exhibits, Youth activities, and a Closing session. There was a commitment to transparency and to making the proceedings available to the entire world. Video footage was available for viewing by all, on the UN’s DPI/NGO Conference website: www.un.org/dpi/ngosection/index.asp
The outreach of the Conference and its sessions were designed to foster increasing commitment by NGOs and the world community to the vital global health and MDG needs discussed. In addition the Conference generated greater mobilisation and cohesion within the NGO community – fostering dialogue and partnerships within and between vast numbers of NGOs and their participants. Solutions to pressing global health conundrums were considered and generated. Breakthroughs for Millennium Development Goal implementation were further envisioned and mobilised – thus renewing global dialogue and strategic planning.
In order to facilitate these exchanges, NGOs and participants were requested to participate in the Conference in the spirit of constructive dialogue and fraternity. These clear parameters sparked a dynamic and vibrant gathering, alive with the spirit of inquiry. The Opening and Closing sessions rallied participants with both vision and calls to action, which the four Roundtable panels and many Workshops underscored.
Roundtable I explored “The
Role of the NGOs and Civil Society in Helping Achieve the MDGs.”
This Roundtable recognised that MDG achievement by
2015 is firstly the responsibility of member states toward their citizens.
Simultaneously, NGOs and civil society actors have the capacity to influence
these member states to make progress, and they have the capacity to leverage
progress through their own spheres of influence. Affirming the fact that
international, national and local NGOs and civil society are change agents
spurring MDG progress, Roundtable I considered the most effective ways in which NGOs can articulate
their positions with governments to influence policy and address the need for services
to improve health and well being; ways in
which different segments of civil society can work in partnership to achieve
the MDGs; and how programs can be designed so that progress can be
objectively tracked and evaluated over time. This Roundtable’s Moderator, Dr. Padmini Murthy, encouraged input from Panelists and the
audience. Panelist Ruth Bamela Engo-Tjega of
Roundtable II explored
“Equity, Rights and Progress towards the MDGs.” This
session addressed the recognition that as momentum builds towards accelerating
progress to meet the goals of the MDGs there is a
danger of creating greater inequity. Experience has shown it is easier to
improve the health of those who are already better off than it is to address
the needs of the poorest and those who have no access to health care. Discussion in this Roundtable responded to
many concerns, including ways in
which NGOs can advocate for more attention to be paid to the health needs of
the poorest and least well served; the use of equity sensitive indicators to measure
progress towards achieving the MDG’s; and what should be done to raise
awareness of the significance of MDG 8 (which calls for the establishment of
global partnerships for development), and its importance for achieving all of
the MDGs. How we address the responsibilities of
developed countries to work towards greater global equity was examined,
alongside what actions are needed to re-invigorate dialogue on the synergy
between human rights and public health. The panel also addressed how NGOs can ensure the focus
on mortality targets does not divert attention from conditions affecting
quality of life, for example, access to basic necessities as food and shelter,
individual security, disability and mental health problems. Discussion also ensued
in which we can accurately document progress in attaining gender equality.
Panelists represented regional diversity spanning
Roundtable III explored the
theme, “Strengthening an Integrated and Systems Approach to Achieving the
Health MDGs.” While all the MDGs
contribute to health, MDG 4 (reduce child mortality), MDG 5 (improve maternal
health) and MDG 6 (combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases) each have
specific health targets. This fact raises a number of questions which this
Roundtable addressed, such as how
collective efforts of NGOs, civil society, the medical community, the private
sector and governments can be maximised, with systems
strengthened rather than undermined, as we work towards achieving the MDGs in integrated ways; in what ways we can ensure that in
attending to closely related causes of specific health problems, underlying
social determinants of poor health, (especially gender equity and poverty), are
also addressed and not neglected; and how the
physical, financial, cultural, linguistic and other barriers to achieving the MDGs can be addressed. Panelists were gathered from the
Roundtable IV took up the
theme, “Achieving the MDGs in Our Changing World”. This panel noted that developing countries, in
particular, are experiencing swift demographic transitions with sharp rises in
the populations of young people and older persons, increased urbanisation and globalisation.
Closely associated with these issues are migration and other influences, as
well as environmental deterioration and climate change. This fourth Roundtable
examined such issues as how to ensure flexibility within the MDG agenda so that
governments and the international community are not diverted from responding in
a timely way to these changes; to what
extent more attention can be focused on the “other diseases” of MDG
In addition to these Roundtables, there were offerings highlighting the roles of Youth and Media in global health, and there were Exhibits and Events highlighting key Conference themes. Sub-committees worked collaboratively to plan all of this, including the logistical complexities of the many Workshops.
The Conference Workshops provided valuable opportunities for NGOs to interact and discuss in greater depth, in an informal setting, key global health themes, with an emphasis on effective practices that participating NGOs can take home and implement. Therefore this annual Conference had, once again, a global impact for the common good.
The Workshops examined critical Conference themes, such as bridging global health gaps that still exist, and encouraging equity of treatment and access, addressing failed maternal and child health strategies, promoting civic activism around health and wellness, and strengthening an integrated approach to achieving health for all.
Dr. Mary E. Norton Conference Chair stated, “we need to harness the energy of those passionate about these topics and, through collaboration, help them understand their role and responsibility to utilise this knowledge, to mitigate the underlying causes of illness, and create a healthy world.”
progress toward achieving global health has been steady much more can be
achieved and many more lives saved. A high-level UN meeting is planned in
September to measure MDG progress. NGOs are indispensable partners to the UN in
the twin goal of advancing global health and achieving the MDGs.
It is hoped that this three-day exchange of ideas and best practices in
“Health is the tie that binds all of the Millennium Development Goals together. If we fail to meet our target on health, we will never overcome poverty, illiteracy, achieve universal education and meet the other MDG challenges,” reminded UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon and WHO Director General, Margaret Chen. It was in this spirit that the Conference participants came together generating renewed global commitment among civil society to the redemptive work of the United Nations and its Millennium Development Goals.
Conference Website http://www.un.org/dpi/ngosection/index.asp
This Conference website is designed to serve as a resource for the press, photo journalists, the broadcast media, news agencies and bloggers. You will find information on the Conference including press releases, information on accreditation, and press coverage of the Conference. This site posts photographs and other media-related information materials, including speeches. During the three-day Conference, live and archived Webcast of the Opening and Closing sessions and the Roundtable discussions were available.
This site also offers other valuable social media tools for the public, civil society and the media.
Contact e-mail addresses:
• Conference e-mail: email@example.com
• Committee of Experts: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Youth Sub-Committee: email@example.com
• Workshops Sub-Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Events and Exhibits Sub-Committee: email@example.com
* * * * * * *
Next issue: 1st October 2010.
Good News Agency is published in English on
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