In the final report of the Decade for a Culture of Peace project presented to the UN General Assembly, Good News Agency is included among the three NGOs that have been playing a major role in the field of Information via the Internet.*


Good News Agency – Year XII, n° 193



Weekly – Year XII, number 193 – 21st October 2011

Managing Editor: Sergio Tripi, Ph. D.

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

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 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 is a member of the World Association of Non Governmental Organizations.




International legislationHuman rightsEconomy and developmentSolidarity

Peace and securityHealthEnergy and SafetyEnvironment and wildlife

Religion and spiritualityCulture and education



International legislation



Cape Verde ratifies treaty setting up International Criminal Court

13 October - Cape Verde is the latest Member State to accede to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) that prosecutes individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Statute will enter into force for Cape Verde on 1 January 2012, bringing the total number of States parties to 119.

Established in 1998, the ICC can try cases involving individuals charged with war crimes committed since July 2002. The United Nations Security Council, the ICC Prosecutor or a State Party to the Court can initiate any proceedings, and the ICC only acts when countries themselves are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute.


UN expert welcomes Mexico’s move to recognize food as constitutional right

13 October - A United Nations expert today welcomed Mexico’s promulgation of a constitutional reform that recognizes the right to food in the country, and urged authorities to implement measures to give all Mexicans access to this human right.

“This is a great step forward for Mexico,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter, who carried out an official visit to the country in June. “With this reform, Mexico joins a select group of countries around the world that have enshrined the right to food in their constitutions”. “Now is the time to implement this reform for the benefit of all Mexicans by approving corresponding legislation,” he added.


South Sudan becomes newest member of UN health agency

27 September - The world’s newest country, South Sudan, today became a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) after accepting the constitution of the United Nations agency as the annual UN event to promote support for global pacts and conventions drew to a close.

South Sudan, which became independent in July and a UN Member State later the same month, becomes the 194th member of WHO, the world’s pre-eminent health agency. UN Member States automatically become WHO members if they accept its constitution.

The step from South Sudan was one of eight treaty actions taken today at UN Headquarters in New York, bringing the total for the five-day treaty promotion event to 88. Laos also signed the multilateral agreement for establishing a think tank for landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), which is set to be built in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Togo and Slovenia signed the Nagoya Protocol, a text aimed at encouraging the more equitable sharing of genetic resources and their benefits, while Togo also signed a protocol on biosafety. Mauritania signed the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance as well as the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which Turkey ratified.

The treaty event is the UN’s annual attempt to encourage States to ratify, accede or sign up to global conventions and therefore promote the application of international law.


Another three countries sign up to key UN protocol on biodiversity

26 September - Three African countries have signed a key protocol to a United Nations treaty aimed at encouraging more equitable sharing of the world’s genetic resources and their benefits, as the annual UN event to promote support for global pacts and conventions resumed today.

Niger, Cape Verde each added their signatures to the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The protocol now has 61 signatories, but will only enter into force some 90 days after 50 countries have consented to be bound by it, which means they must ratify the text. So far no countries have done that.

The protocol envisages the setting up of an international regime on access and benefit sharing of genetic resources, which will lay down the basic ground rules on how nations cooperate in obtaining genetic resources, according to the administrative offices of the 193-member Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which drafted the protocol.



Human rights



UN completes first review of human rights records of all Member States

13 October - The Human Rights Council completed its first review of the records of every Member State on Thursday, with Haiti being the last country to be considered in the process, which examined records of each State for the past four years. The process, called the universal periodic review (UPR), gives countries the opportunity to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights conditions in their countries and fulfill their obligations, and it is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their situations are assessed.

“The UPR has proved to be an innovative, transparent, collaborative instrument for change and has made it possible – for the first time ever – for all UN Member States to be reviewed on an equal basis,” said Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.  “It has been truly universal, with government officials representing every single one of the 193 Member States, and very active participation by local, regional and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well. Some 80 per cent of government delegations were led by ministers who travelled to Geneva for the review, which clearly demonstrates the importance States attached to the UPR process,” she said.


New Project Won: Iraq—Consultative Service Delivery Program II

October 7 – ACDI/VOCA has won a 22-month, $5 million grant from the World Bank to implement the Consultative Service Delivery Program II.

Development Program Aims to Strengthen Local Capacity - CDSP II aims to strengthen the capacity of the local government and communities in Iraq’s northern provinces to create improved social services. This includes creating institutional norms of responsive and accountable development processes driven by the community. In addition, ACDI/VOCA will work to expand the outreach of government and community collaborations into more areas.

CDSP II builds on the successful Consultative Service Delivery Program, which strengthened the capacities of local community action groups and built sustainable linkages to local government using a community-driven grants process within Kurdistan and the northern provinces.

The area is rife with ethnic, religious, security and linguistic challenges. Strong civil and public sector institutions that are driven by the community are key to Iraq’s future.


EWL delighted at award of Nobel Peace Prize to 3 women’s rights and peace activists

October 7 - The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is delighted at the announcement that this year’s Nobel Peace Prize will, for the first time ever, be awarded to three women for ‘their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work’. The winners are Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakul Karman of Yemen. ‘This award is a welcome recognition of the importance of the work of women’s associations worldwide, and also a rare tribute to the contributions of women to peace processes worldwide,’ said Brigitte Triems, President of the EWL, in reaction to the announcement from Oslo this morning.

So far, only 15 women have ever won the Nobel Prize for Peace since its establishment in 1901, as compared to 85 men and 23 institutions. Ms Sirleaf is Africa’s first female elected head of state, Ms Gbowee a Liberian peace activist and Ms Karman is a leading figure in Yemen’s pro-democracy movement. Announcing the prize, Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland said: ‘We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women achieve the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society.’

Part of the work of the EWL is dedicated to the promotion of women in peace processes and the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. [More information is available on the EWL website under International Action for Women’s Rights.]

For more information, interviews, background or visual materials, please contact Leanda Barrington-Leach, EWL Communications and Media Officer,



Economy and development



World Food Day ceremony at FAO to kick off meeting of Committee on World Food Security, mark 60th anniversary of FAO in Italy

World Food Day, 16 October 2011

Rome, October 14 - The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Program (WFP) will celebrate World Food Day 2011 on Monday October 17 at FAO's Rome headquarters with a series of speeches by visiting guests and performances by celebrity goodwill ambassadors.

The theme for World Food Day 2011 is Food prices – from crisis to stability.

Committee on World Food Security (CFS) -  October 17 also is the first day of the 37th session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) at FAO headquarters. The CFS is an intergovernmental body that acts as the lead UN forum for review and follow-up of policies concerning world food security. In addition to UN agencies, it includes civil society organizations and NGOs, international research institutions and financial and trade institutions, as well as private sector and philanthropic foundations engaged in rural development and food security work. For more information, contact: FAO: Liliane - IFAD: Katie Taft  - WFP: Molly Slotznick


New East Africa crop conditioning and staple crops handbooks available for download

Manuals promote food security

October 13 – Two new handbooks developed by ACDI/VOCA under the USAID-funded Market Linkages Initiative are available for download and dissemination. The handbooks represent the intent of the project, implemented by Carana and partners including ACDI/VOCA, to share lessons and best practices from its extensive market linkage endeavors throughout the region. MLI is designed to promote growth in staple crops and strengthen food security in East Africa.

Post-harvest losses happen in East Africa at every food production stage, from field production and harvesting, through threshing, drying, grading, packaging, preparation for storage and storage itself. These losses remain salient challenges in East Africa which is currently suffering from years of drought and, in some areas, political upheaval. To the extent these challenges are overcome, they alleviate food insecurity and boost incomes. This handbook identifies improved smallholder conditioning practices for maize, beans, groundnuts and rice.


FAO project helps Kenyan farmers withstand drought

Farm investments today can prevent food security crises tomorrow

13 October, Mwingi, Kenya - With the October rainy season starting, FAO is helping more than 5 000 vulnerable farming households in eastern Kenya terrace their fields to conserve rain water for crop use and prevent the soils from being washed away. They are also building simple dams for better harvesting of rain water. In return for their labour, the farmers receive vouchers that can be redeemed for food as well as building materials for the community-owned dams.

When the rains do come to this hilly area they often come in intense bursts, stripping away fertile topsoil. Rainwater is lost through run-off, leaving seasonal river beds bone dry the rest of the year. Terracing and dam construction can break this cycle.

With nearly $3.6 million in support from Sweden, FAO is working with the local government and development partners to reach out to the most vulnerable — especially the elderly, single mothers and people affected by HIV.  They are helping farmers terrace at least one acre of their fields to reduce soil erosion and run-off.

Likewise, FAO and its partners are helping farmers construct simple sand dams in nearby riverbeds to capture and retain water for crop and household use. This will slash the hours they usually spend collecting water.






Pan American Games teams up with Children International, a U.S. charity, to help poor children in Mexico

Kansas City, Mo., USA, October 14 (CSRwire/PRNewswire) - Children International, a U.S.-based humanitarian organization working in Mexico, has been named the Pan American Games' sole charity partner.

Children International was selected as the charity partner since both organizations share similar missions. Children International helps impoverished children become healthy, confident, self-reliant adults through access to health care, education, and skills formation through programs like sports. The mission of the Organizing Committee of the Pan American Games Guadalajara 2011 is to strengthen sports infrastructure in Mexico through the construction of new sports facilities which will serve as training centers for the next generation of athletes.

Children International provides support to over 14,000 poor children in Mexico and over 212,000 throughout Latin America. The Pan American Games XVI are taking place in Guadalajara, Mexico, from October 14 through October 31. The games will host 10,000 athletes from across Latin America who are participating in 35 sports.


Oxfam America and Link TV partner for World Food Day

October 12 – InterAction member Oxfam America has partnered with Link TV to produce a documentary called ViewChange: Africa’s Last Famine. The documentary will premiere Friday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. Eastern Time, 4 p.m. Pacific, two days before World Food Day on Oct. 16. It will show again on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

ViewChange: Africa’s Last Famine explores solutions to chronic hunger and challenges the idea that the world does not have enough food to feed its people. “With the ongoing crisis in the Horn of Africa, on this World Food Day we wanted to spotlight innovative solutions that can help us avoid such hunger and suffering in the future,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America. The documentary is now streaming on and


Flooding in Thailand: ICRC assists 8,000 detainees

Bangkok, October 10 – As a devastating monsoon sweeps across Thailand, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is providing emergency assistance to detainees and places of detention affected by the floods. In Ayutthaya, 105 km north of Bangkok, 1,700 prisoners were evacuated from a prison in the old town on 7 and 8 October. At the request of the Department of Corrections, the ICRC delivered dry food and drinking water to the remaining 2,000. The ICRC has also assisted 6,000 detainees in the Patum Thani prison for young offenders, which is having to cope with a big influx of detainees evacuated from the four prisons in Ayutthaya province.

The ICRC has been working in Thailand since 1975. Its main activity is to visit detainees and support families affected by the 2004 outbreak of violence in the south of the country. The regional delegation also cooperates with the national authorities to promote awareness of international humanitarian law among the armed forces and students.


Caritas aids one million people in East Africa as Pope makes food crisis plea

5 October – Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday 5 October highlighted the plight of 13 million people at risk in East Africa’s ongoing food crisis. Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and other parts of the region face a severe food crisis caused by drought, conflict and social injustice. Somalia is the first famine of the 21st century, with hundreds of thousands of people in danger and one in three children suffering from malnutrition.

Pope Benedict urged the international community to tackle the humanitarian emergency. He invited everyone “to offer prayers and practical help for so many brothers and sisters so harshly tested, particularly the children in the region.”

The Caritas network of Catholic aid agencies is helping over one million people in East Africa’s food crisis, providing families with food, clean water, and a way to support themselves in the future. Caritas is developing and implementing programmes worth more than €30 million ($41 million).


Southern Pakistan: ADRA aids flood survivors

Silver Spring, Md., USA, September 30 - Torrential rains have devastated the southern Sindh province of Pakistan, forcing survivors to seek refuge in over-crowded areas of undamaged higher ground. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) reports the heavy rains and floods have affected more than 8 million people, taking the death toll to more than 400, with children claiming just over 20 percent of total deaths. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has relief efforts in motion, providing medical assistance and relief provisions to survivors.

ADRA's initial response is targeting the Badin District of the Sindh Province, a fertile region to the east of the Indus River. The Agency has established a mobile medical clinic that has already provided medical assistance to more than 400 patients upon the first day of operation.  The clinic will remain open on a one-day-a-week basis for a total of five days. Additionally, ADRA is distributing tents, providing immediate temporary shelter, and mosquito nets as a precaution against the threat of insect borne diseases such as malaria.



Peace and security



Finland to host 2012 talks on setting up nuclear-weapon-free zone in Middle East

New York, October 14 - Finland will host the conference to be held next year on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, it was announced today at the United Nations.

In addition, Jaakko Laajava, Under-Secretary of State in Finland’s foreign ministry, has been appointed as the facilitator for the 2012 conference.

The announcement was made in a joint press statement issued by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – the co-sponsors of a 1995 resolution proposing a Middle East free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction – in consultation with States of the region.

The May 2010 review meeting of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – which takes place every five years – called for a UN-sponsored conference in 2012 to establish a nuclear-free Middle East to be attended by all States in the region. Currently, there are five such zones: Latin America and the Caribbean; the South Pacific; South-East Asia; Central Asia; and Africa.

For more details go to UN News Centre at


In South Sudan, UN envoy welcomes civilian-led disarmament process

14 October – The United Nations envoy to South Sudan today visited one of the country’s states that has been beset by violent ethnic tensions since independence to commend local communities for their involvement in a new, civilian-led disarmament process.

Hilde F. Johnson, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for South Sudan, travelled to Lakes state, which started its disarmament process last month.

“I am encouraged by the local communities and their participation in the civilian-led disarmament process taking place across Lakes state. There has been such as positive response to this initiative with excellent cooperation between local communities and the state authorities,” she said. According to a news release issued by the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), thousands of weapons are expected to be collected from local communities across Lakes, Unity and Warrap states and the process is expected to be completed within three months.


UN helps train Timorese police on internal discipline in further step towards stability

13 October - Police officers in Timor-Leste are undergoing a three-month training course on tackling internal misconduct in a United Nations-backed initiative to enhance their credibility in the streets as the country cements its recovery from an outbreak of deadly violence five years ago.

The 160 officers from the justice section of the Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste will serve as discipline leaders once they complete the courses.The 160 officers from the justice section of the Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste will serve as discipline leaders once they complete the courses.

The programme supports five priority areas – legislation, training, administration, discipline and operations – as the UN continues to help the small country on the path to complete stability after tensions within the security sector led to deadly riots in April and May 2006, claiming dozens of lives and driving some 150,000 people, or 15 per cent of the population, from their homes.


Caritas to help 48,000 Somali refugees in Kenya

30 September – In Somalia, drought and ongoing conflict have reached crisis levels and affect over half of the population. More than 250,000 Somalis have fled their country in 2011 alone. The mass movement of rural Somalis across the border to Kenya has put significant pressure on already overcrowded refugee camps in Kenya.

Caritas Internationalis is appealing for €3,684,050 ($5 million US) to build water and sanitation facilities in a new refugee camp outside of Dadaab, Kenya, near the Somali border.

“Without proper sanitation, refugees already weakened by their long journey from Somalia to Kenya will fall prey to waterborne diseases,” says PM Jose, Country Representative for Catholic Relief Services Kenya, which will implement the project. “Building water systems, latrines, and showers will keep illness at bay.”

CRS Kenya will provide latrines, showers, and handwashing stations for 48,000 refugees currently relocating to Kambios, the newest of several refugee camps in Dadaab. CRS will also promote hygiene education and distribute supplies like soap and detergent to 12,000 families. Finally, CRS will support solid waste disposal management and water drainage in Kambios.

“Many Somali refugees have already endured starvation and atrocities as they made their way to the camps in Kenya,” says Jose. “They deserve to live in dignity.”


New Earth Charter-based program at the University of Granada, Spain

The Faculty of Education Sciences of the University of Granada in Spain approved a new 6- credit program titled “Earth Charter Platform for Action (PACTA)”. The program is available for any student within the Faculty.  The general objective of the program is to promote a holistic learning (cognitive, affective/emotional, and action) based on Earth Charter values.  This project is more open and less formal and academic compared to typical classes.

After the EC-based teaching innovation project that was implemented two semesters previously, and along with the Earth Charter Congress held during the last year at this university, this amounts to a new achievement for the Earth Charter and Education Group led by professors Alfonso Fernández  Herrería and Francisco Miguel Martínez Rodríguez.






Project HOPE and AmeriCares deliver lifesaving vaccines to benefit thousands in the Dominican Republic

Vaccines and supplies donated by Sanofi Pasteur, Merck and BD to build healthier communities

October 10 – Global NGOs Project HOPE and AmeriCares are delivering lifesaving vaccines to the Dominican Republic to benefit children and adults, especially those living along the country’s border with Haiti, in support of the National Program of Immunization established by the Ministry of Health.

Nearly 200,000 adults and children will receive vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, meningococcal disease, and typhoid fever. The Ministry of Health is leading this effort to increase access to immunizations against these diseases among health care workers, food handlers, farm workers, low-income urban residents and other at-risk populations. In addition, more than 100,000 children under the age of two will be able to complete their childhood vaccination schedule with a vaccine that will protect them from hepatitis B, as well as meningitis and pneumonia caused by the Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria.


Save the Children receives funding to help save more newborn lives

Westport, Conn., USA, October 10 - Amidst new evidence that newborn deaths remains a critical global health issue, Save the Children is pleased to announce the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s additional grant of $8.9 million to its Saving Newborn Lives program.

The additional funding will enable the agency to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the progress to date, identify critical remaining gaps, and continue to mobilize governments, donors and local partners to make reducing newborn deaths a priority.  Save the Children will continue to provide technical assistance to better integrate newborn health into existing health systems in countries in Africa and Asia, where the need is great.

In the decade since Save the Children established its Saving Newborn Lives program with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, annual newborn deaths have dropped globally from 4 to 3.1 million. But progress is mixed across countries and regions, with sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, lagging behind. Working with local partners, Save the Children has demonstrated that empowering frontline health workers to educate families and provide basic newborn care in their community, while linking to quality care for mothers and babies in health facilities, can dramatically reduce deaths and be replicated at scale.


Rotarians gearing up for World Polio Day, 24 October

By Dan Nixon and Arnold Grahl

Rotary International News, 10 October - Rotarians around the globe are planning events to raise polio eradication awareness and funding for World Polio Day on 24 October.

Australian club members are working with the Global Poverty Project on a petition drive aimed at persuading world leaders to fully fund the critical work of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Supporters can sign the petition online.

The Global Poverty Project has scheduled an End of Polio Concert on 28 October to coincide with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia. Rotarians have joined with the group to lobby leaders to put polio eradication on the meeting agenda. (...)

Among other events planned around World Polio Day are (...article includes events in Ethiopia, Italy, Canada, USA, Finland, Scotland, Nepal.)


World’s First online procurement platform for eye care NGOs to launch on World Sight Day

October 7 - Under the auspices of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), six major eye health NGOs have formed an alliance to improve quality control and maximise value for money in procurement, with the creation of an interactive, online version of the IAPB Standard List. This List provides information for eye health providers on a carefully evaluated range of eye care technologies, supplies and training resources suitable for use in settings with limited resources.

The new IAPB Standard List addresses problems for eye care services in developing countries, which have struggled to identify and source reliable supplies. Top quality products are often beyond the reach of low income providers, while price driven purchasing decisions entail risks of substandard materials, lack of after sales support, and even equipment failure. For more information and to get access, please register and log on at


Pakistan: MSF is providing basic healthcare to families displaced by severe flooding

October 7 – Severe flooding in Pakistan has affected millions of people, with the southeastern province of Sindh particularly badly hit. Weeks of torrential monsoon rains have seen canals bursting their banks and flooding villages, leaving tens of thousands of families homeless for the past two months.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been providing basic healthcare to displaced families living in camps or in tents on the roadside. Although the rains have finally stopped and the water is starting to recede, thousands of people are still unable to return home. MSF continues to work in the area, providing basic healthcare and monitoring the health of affected communities.

Badin district, in southern Sindh, was one of the worst affected areas. In Tando Bago, an eastern sub-district of Badin, land on both sides of the elevated main roads was still under water two months after the floods first struck.


Somalia: ICRC launches new food distributions

Geneva /Nairobi, October 5– The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has started to distribute food with the aim of assisting some 1.1 million drought- and war-affected people across the hardest-hit areas of southern and central Somalia. The first round of distributions, currently taking place in the Gedo region, is providing 72,000 people with enough beans, oil and rice to cover their needs for one month. Several more rounds are planned to take place until December.

While food distributions are needed to relieve immediate suffering, the ICRC also aims over the medium term to give the population the means to sustain their own livelihoods. It is therefore providing seed and fertilizer for 240,000 farmers ahead of the planting season. Maize, sorghum, cowpea and sesame should be ready to be harvested by the beginning of 2012. This ongoing operation is being conducted by the ICRC with the support of volunteers from the Somali Red Crescent Society.

A severe drought that began in October 2010 has aggravated the already dire humanitarian situation in Somalia resulting from more than 20 years of armed conflict. Food insecurity has been severe for months. In addition to the distributions, the ICRC provides support for 39 clinics, 27 outpatient therapeutic feeding centres and 12 mobile health clinics in southern and central Somalia, all of which are run by the Somali Red Crescent Society. More than 10,000 children are currently receiving treatment in the ICRC-supported facilities.


Transforming lives: ADRA focused on maternal and child health in Bangladesh

Silver Spring, Md., USA, September 30 - In Bangladesh, women and girls struggle for equality due to patriarchal traditions of the country. This results in a minimized role in decision-making within family and social structures, leading to marginalization in a variety of areas, such as education and health. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is improving the health status of women and their children through nutrition, hygiene, and skill training programs.

In the slum area of Mirpur, a suburb of the Bangladesh capital city Dhaka, ADRA is training new mothers and pregnant women health and nutrition methods to improve health conditions. Women are taught the importance of taking adequate care of themselves as well as their children through proper feeding, basic hygiene practices, monitoring children's growth, and properly vaccinating children to prevent disease, such as polio. ADRA's training has benefitted approximately 2,000 women and 500 severely malnourished children under the age of five, and an additional 10,000 household members indirectly.


Saudi Arabia delivers US$10 million toward polio eradication efforts

For seven countries in west Africa and Horn of Africa

Washington, D.C. September 29 - The United Nations Foundation today announced that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had delivered $10 million of its $30 million commitment to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). Half the funds will be used in 2011 by UNICEF for vaccines and a further US$ 5 million will go towards the World Health Organization (WHO) to support campaign operations. The remaining funds will be released in 2012 to support both agencies. Countries benefiting from the funds include several members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation countries, such as Yemen, Somalia and Sudan.

The GPEI is supported by its spearheading partners, namely WHO, UNICEF, US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and Rotary International as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UN Foundation.



Energy and safety



EcoMedia teams up with Energizer to launch "The Energizer Positivity Project" on

Sponsored by Energizer, multimedia site provides green tips, highlights Energizer energy programs and invites users to vote on an environmental project to receive an Energizer EcoAd grant

New York, October 13 - EcoMedia and Energizer today announced the launch of a new environmentally-focused program on called "The Energizer Positivity Project." The site features green-focused tips, behind-the-scenes videos detailing green initiatives among CBS's offices and shows, and invites users to vote on a "green" project they think is most worthy of receiving an Energizer-sponsored EcoAd grant.

Together, EcoMedia and Energizer have identified three environmental projects that are underfunded, yet critical to the communities they serve. Starting today, users can vote for the program they believe should win a $60,000 EcoAd grant from Energizer. In addition to being the recipient of the EcoAd dollars, Energizer will also contribute supplies to the winning project. (...)

EcoMedia’s EcoAd program provides advertisers with the option of purchasing advertising that will deliver added value beyond a traditional marketing campaign. With the purchase of every EcoAd package, a portion of dollars spent goes directly toward funding environmental and clean energy projects, all of which have been identified by local municipalities and public entities as being critical.


Certification criteria revealed for companies to buy clean power

Posted on 13 October - The technical standard for the first global consumer label for companies to buy wind power and other clean renewable energy has been launched today. The label is backed by companies including WWF and effective immediately, the WindMade standard allows interested entities to apply for use of the label to communicate the share of wind power and other renewable sources in their overall power consumption demand.

WindMade is the first eco-label supported by the UN Global Compact,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of UN Global Compact. ”It is fully aligned with our mission to promote greater corporate sustainability as the critical business contribution to sustainable development. As a tangible and meaningful consumer label, WindMade can go a long way in advancing the use of renewable energy around the globe.” The WindMade standard specifies the requirements for the use of the WindMade label, requiring participating companies to source a minimum of 25 per cent of their electricity consumption from wind power.

The UN Global Compact will host a global launch event in New York on 18 November where WindMade will unveil the first companies and brands to become WindMade certified.


DOE announces Guide for 50 percent more energy efficient K-12 school buildings

October 12 - The U.S. Department of Energy today announced the release of the second installment in a series of four 50% Advanced Energy Design Guides (AEDGs). This latest guide will help architects, engineers, and contractors design and build highly efficient K-12 school buildings, saving taxpayer dollars. The 50% AEDG series provides a practical approach to designing schools and other major commercial building types that achieve 50% energy savings compared to the commercial building energy code used in many parts of the nation. These commercial building guides support President Obama’s goal to reduce energy use in commercial buildings 20% by 2020 and will help drive demand for energy-saving products made in the United States. The Advanced Energy Design Guide is available for download.



Environment and wildlife



Greening Fiji’s sugar through stronger partnerships

On October 12, the Labasa Cane Producers Association (LCPA) and WWF-South Pacific (WWF-SPPO) signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in order to work together to implement better management practices for sugarcane cultivation and production. The LCPA represents 4,005 farmers supplying the Labasa mill, actively supporting the adoption of sustainable land-use and cane cultivation practices.

This exciting joint venture aims to improve livelihoods, increase sugarcane productivity while reducing the industry’s environmental footprint and protect the Great Sea Reef, which lies off Vanua Levu and is the 3rd longest barrier reef system in the southern hemisphere.

WWF-SPPO and LCPA have identified potential farms for demonstrating better management practices for farming. These plots will be used to communicate the benefits of improving farming practices around the Northern Division, and ultimately the rest of Fiji.


CITES extends trade controls to 111 precious hardwood species from Madagascar and Panama

Geneva, 28 September – The Governments of Madagascar and Panama have requested the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to list 111 hardwood species in CITES Appendix III, in an effort to curb the increase in illegal timber trade by enabling verification of legal origin under CITES standards.

The listing of ebony wood and rosewood species in CITES Appendix III will help facilitate detection of fraud and make critical trade information available to exporting and importing countries. CITES Appendix III regulations mean that all cross-border shipments now have to be authorized by the issuance of a document certifying the origin of the products covered by the listing.

In welcoming the new listings, which will enter into force on 22 December 2011, CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon said: “CITES will support Madagascar’s and Panama’s efforts to control their timber trade and ensure that such trade remains legal and traceable."



Religion and spirituality



Jerusalem Society-Berlin seek new ecumenical learning with Kairos Palestine

13 October - The Jerusalem Society-Berlin, which has maintained active working links with Christians in the Holy Land for almost 160 years, has issued a response to the Kairos Statement issued in 2009. Citing their response as “an expression of our affectionate concern”, their response concludes by affirming support to “all endeavours which can enable both peoples in the Holy Land – the Palestinians and the Jewish people – to live together in freedom, security, justice and peace”. They further quote this as their reason why they seek to deepen their fellowship and “look for new approaches in the framework of ecumenical learning”.

The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum - PIEF is an international, inter-church advocacy initiative for peace in Israel and Palestine.


Religious leaders engage for polio-free DR Congo

September 30 – Ahead of the next National Immunization Days (NIDs) on 20 October, religious leaders from across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) have come together to pledge their support for polio eradication.

At a meeting on 8 October 2011 in the country's capital, Kinshasa, Dr Victor Makwenge Kaput, Minister of Public Health, convened the heads of the major religious affiliations to solicit their - and by extension their constituents' - support for polio eradication. "The persistence of polio in three areas of our countries is linked to a high number of people who refuse vaccination and therefore the risk increases of increased circulation of this outbreak in our country," he said. "The role of religious institutions is critical to help overcome any community resistance. It is the leaders of these institutions who are trusted and respected by communities across the country."

Religious leaders across the countries will now actively engage their communities in the polio eradication effort, and underscore the risk polio and non-vaccination poses to children everywhere.



Culture and education



Iraq: UN helps feed over 550,000 primary school children

13 October - More than 550,000 children in some of the most vulnerable districts of Iraq will benefit from a United Nations-backed school feeding programme that seeks not only to improve their nutrition but also to encourage poor families to send their children to school in the first place. The joint programme launched by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the Iraqi education ministry will provide a fortified midday snack to primary schoolchildren at some 1,800 schools in 24 districts over the 2011-2012 academic year.

While Iraq is considered as a middle-income country, decades of war and instability have degraded infrastructure and basic social services, leaving many people poor and vulnerable. Some 7.5 million Iraqis live under the poverty line of $2 a day. In August 2010 the Government approved the national school feeding programme to be led by the education ministry. WFP was asked to support implementation and build the ministry’s capacity to manage it. The ministry is planning to take over during the course of next year.


Historic conference assembles Afghan civil society leaders to begin government policy reform effort

Kabul, October 4 – Two hundred of Afghanistan’s civil society leaders and government officials converged for a historic meeting last week to begin working together on ways to reform national policies so they are more responsive to community needs.

The two-day National Policy Reform Conference, organized by the nonprofit Counterpart International and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), explored how Afghanistan’s government and civil society organizations can partner effectively to represent and advocate for community interests, influence policy and legislation and promote improved civic education and accountability. This national gathering was an important step in helping Afghanistan’s civil society organizations become more effective as advocates for citizens and as a link between citizens and government.


Rotary: vocational training and service

By Ryan Hyland 

Rotary International News, 3 October - Through the Avenue of Vocational Service, Rotarians contribute their professional expertise and skills to address societal problems and needs, promote high ethical standards in the workplace, support career planning and other vocational activities, and represent the dignity and value of their profession.

Carlos Früm, governor of District 6440 (Illinois, USA) and a member of the Rotary Club of Northbrook, teaches business principles and entrepreneurship to Maya high school students as part of his district’s ongoing service project in Guatemala. "Vocational service gives Rotarians the opportunity to help others escape poverty and gain a measure of self-respect," Früm says. "As business and professional leaders, we have a duty to lead and encourage good ethics through vocation." (...)


IFLAC celebrates Thousand Poets for Change and Peace, in Haifa, Israel

October 1 - IFLAC  Israeli commemorated  100 Thousand Poets for Change and Peace, on September 24.  This was a global happening of seven hundred events in 99 countries comprised of "Poets around and across the planet, gathered in a demonstration/celebration of poetry to promote serious social, environmental, and political change."

The Haifa event was convened by Dr. Ada Aharoni, a poet, scholar and peace bridge builder who is the founder and director of the International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace (IFLAC),,

In addition to the celebration of this unique  event around the world and in Israel, in parks, public gardens, coffee houses and literary clubs, gathered in the salon of a private residence on Mount Carmel ("God's Vineyard" in Hebrew), in Haifa, a city known for coexistence between Jews, Moslems, Christians and Druze, many participants in the Israeli gathering read Peace Poems, and poems having to do with issues of identity, inter-ethnic relations, and  about the crucial necessity to develop a culture of Peace in the Media and in all our global village. For further information on the Haifa gathering;


2011 Right Livelihood Awards put the spotlight on solutions to global wrongs

Stockholm, 29 September - The 2011 Right Livelihood Awards go to four recipients. One award is an honorary award, the three other laureates will share the € 150,000 cash award.

- Huang Ming (China) receives the 2011 Honorary Award “for his outstanding success in the development and mass-deployment of cutting-edge technologies for harnessing solar energy, thereby showing how dynamic emerging economies can contribute to resolving the global crisis of anthropogenic climate change”.

- The Jury awards Jacqueline Moudeina (Chad) “for her tireless efforts at great personal risk to win justice for the victims of the former dictatorship in Chad and to increase awareness and observance of human rights in Africa”.

- The Jury awards GRAIN (International) “for their worldwide work to protect the livelihoods and rights of farming communities and to expose the massive purchases of farmland in developing countries by foreign financial interests”.

- The Jury recognises Ina May Gaskin (USA) “for her whole-life’s work teaching and advocating safe, woman-centred childbirth methods that best promote the physical and mental health of mother and child”.

Award Ceremony - The Award will be presented at a ceremony in the Swedish Parliament on December 5, 2011, at 6 pm, hosted by the Society for the Right Livelihood. A press conference with the 2011 Laureates will take place the same day at the Swedish Foreign Office Press Room at 9.30 am. The Right Livelihood Awards are presented annually in the Swedish Parliament and are often referred to as ‘Alternative Nobel Prizes’. They were introduced in 1980 “to honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today”.


UNESCO and Procter & Gamble launch partnership to promote education for young girls and young women

September 9 - UNESCO and the multinational consumer product company Procter & Gamble’s Always brand have launched a partnership to promote literacy for young girls and young women. The announcement coincides with International Literacy Day, 8 September.

Overcoming the gender gap is one of UNESCO’s major priorities. In a world that still numbers 793 million illiterate adults, women account for two thirds of those who cannot read and write. And girls account for 53 % of the 67 million primary-age school children around the world who are not receiving the education to which they have a right.               

The first project launched under the partnership concerns girls’ literacy in Senegal, where, in 2006, fewer than 45% of women could read or write. Educational kits and digital resources will be made available to train and support more than 1,200 teachers who will devote 600 hours of literacy and life skills teaching to girls in Senegal.


Israel  -  Givat Haviva and Kulanana sign partnership agreement

Givat Haviva has recently signed a partnership agreement with Kulanana – an initiative to increase fairness in Israeli society and promote a greater sense of belonging for all Israel’s 7.7 million citizens. Kulanana integrates practical NGO-led projects in the field with a sustained media campaign aimed primarily at young Israelis (13-29) of all backgrounds.

 The initial stage of the partnership includes cooperation on Givat Haviva’s Children Teaching Children (CTC) project as part of the national Kulanana framework. CTC is a two-year program implemented in Arab and Jewish schools (8th and 9th grades) that aims to forge common citizenship between divided communities through civics studies combined with inter-community encounters. In its 25th year of operation, CTC has reached over 30,000 Jewish and Arab teachers and students to date.



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Next issue: 11 November 2011.


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*In the final report of the Decade for a Culture of Peace project (2001-2010) presented to the UN General Assembly (, Good News Agency is included among the three NGOs that have been playing a major role in the field of Information.  In section A - International Organizations, the Report says:

"Participatory Communication and Free Flow of Information and Knowledge has been advanced largely through use of the Internet by civil society corresponding to para 6 in the 1999 Programme of Action calling for the promotion of a culture of peace through sharing of information among actors in the global movement for a culture of peace (p.7). Diffusion and exchange of culture of peace information via the Internet has become the major instrument for several international organizations, notably the Culture of Peace News Network, the Good News Agency and the Education for Peace Globalnet (p.12).