Good News Agency – Year XII, n° 196
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. 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 via Internet*.
Key organizers of Rwandan genocide jailed for life by UN tribunal
21 December 2011 – Two key organizers of the Rwandan genocide in 1994 were today sentenced to life in prison by the United Nations tribunal dealing with war crimes in the country which resulted in the deaths of some 800,000 people in just 100 days.
Édouard Karemera and Matthieu Ngirumpatse, both senior members of the ruling party in
was the chairman of
Human Rights chief welcomes lifting of state of emergency in
New York, January 9 - The United Nations human rights chief today welcomed the lifting of a state of emergency in Fiji, more than two years after it was imposed, calling it a “step in the right direction” for the Pacific island nation. “The emergency law has seriously restricted the right to public assembly and freedom of expression, and given the authorities broad powers of arrest and detention,” said Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a <http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=11753&LangID=E> statement.
More than a million children
set to return to school in
6 January – At least 1.2 million Libyan pupils are set to return to school tomorrow, almost a year after they evacuated their classrooms during the country’s popular uprising against the regime of Muammar al-Qadhafi, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported today.
The agency said about 27
million textbooks are being printed by
Libyan authorities, supported
by UNICEF and others, have worked to clear rubble, landmines and unexploded
ordnance (UXO) from schools and to rehabilitate many of the buildings and other
infrastructure. Children who have been distressed by the conflict have been
given psycho-social support and mechanisms are in place to ensure that
vulnerable children are enrolled in classes. A survey will also take place
later this month to amass data on equipment, supplies, teaching materials,
teachers and enrolment. UNICEF reported that
US$24.9 million IFAD loan
of the agriculture sector is a top national priority of the Liberian
government. Although agriculture is the largest employer in the country, it is
facing major challenges. This new project will aim to increase the incomes of
cocoa and coffee producers by raising the quantity of produce sold. The project
will revitalize 50 per cent of existing plantations and restore
project will reach out to the most vulnerable rural farming households in
Contact: Jessica Thomas, IFAD Communications Division, J.Thomas@ifad.org
Newmont outlines community investment
programs for Conga project in
USA, January 5 - Newmont
Mining Corporation (NYSE: NEM) today outlined a number of community investment
programs – developed in conjunction with local communities – that have been
implemented or are under development in the Conga project’s area of influence
in Peru. The programs include efforts to advance
health and education, critical infrastructure and economic development in
In addition to community investment programs, Conga is expected to generate more than US$2 billion in taxes over the life of the operation, half of which would be directed to the Cajamarca region through the mining canon. And while the project would replace four lagoons with four engineered reservoirs, downstream users would benefit from a reliable, year-round water supply, something they don’t currently have due to the lagoons not continuously overflowing into the natural streams during the dry season. http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/33577-Newmont-Outlines-Community-Investment-Programs-for-Conga-Project-in-Peru
Rotary Scholar aims to link small farmers to international food markets
By Ryan Hyland
International News, 4 January – Alex Dalley
believes that impoverished communities in developing countries can sustain
economic and social growth if small farmers are connected to global
agricultural supply chains. Dalley, a Rotary Scholar
Dalley says the resurgence of private-sector interest
in small-farm agriculture will help lower poverty levels in emerging markets.
"The function of economic and community development has always been a
public-sector issue. [But] the private sector and big businesses are beginning
to take over," he says. "If you can establish a modern, sustainable
distribution and supply chain between small farmers and various food markets,
governments will be more inclined to improve roads, power, and
infrastructure." Before his scholarship, Dalley
worked as an agribusiness adviser on private-sector development programs in
USAID turns to EDC to assist youth in
Waltham, MA, USA, January 3 - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has asked Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) to help expand education, skill-building, and employment for at-risk youth in the South American nation of Guyana, with the goal of reducing youth crime and violence by strengthening economic participation and civic engagement. As part of the Skills and Knowledge for Youth Employment (SKYE) project, EDC will also work directly with youth offenders in the juvenile justice system to re-integrate them into the workplace and community. SKYE is a key piece of the Obama administration’s Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.
two-year, $2.6 million project will provide targeted detention prevention,
work-readiness training, and livelihood coaching activities for youth ages
15–24. Over the next few weeks, EDC and its partners will conduct an assessment
of livelihood options and other opportunities for Guyanese young people. EDC is
working closely with a team of local partners that includes Catholic Relief
Services, Youth Challenge
Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of WFP, will be the new Vice Chairman of the World Economic Forum
Executive Chairman of the
Forum says : “Josette Sheeran has shown in her career (…) a true commitment to
address major global issues in a visionary and pragmatic way. She has won the
trust of global decision-makers across the spectrum of politics, business and
civil society ". Under her leadership, WFP has increased its donor base
with the BRIC nations as major donors and the
and European Union help strengthen
Rome, 28 December - FAO
has assisted Mozambique in stepping up quality seed production to increase crop
yields, something that is crucial to unlocking the country's vast agricultural
potential. "Increasing agricultural production in a country whose yields
are among the lowest in the world starts with boosting productivity," said
José da Graça, who
coordinates FAO's European Union-funded effort in
gains stemming from the EU-supported FAO project are significant - although
most smallholder farmers, an estimated four million, continue to need support.
Much more is needed to offset
New project won:
ACDI/VOCA has won the $20 million, five-year agribusiness productivity (AMARTA II) program.
23 - Funded by USAID, the program will improve the competitiveness of the
horticulture, coffee and cocoa sectors in
to the CIA World Factbook, much progress has been
By the project’s end, AMARTA II will assist approximately 120,000 beneficiaries through interventions in increasing competitiveness. Activities will focus on firms’ efficiency, product quality and integration into high-value domestic and regional markets.
$100 million IFAD loan and grant to
IFAD Member States announce US$1.5 billion new funds for food security in developing countries
Innovative solutions conference gives new hope to poverty challenges
many examples of success highlighted at the Expo, the Programme
for South-South Cooperation on Sustainable Development (PSC), in just three
years, has improved people's lives in
Two years after earthquake, CARE supporting haitians on long road to recovery
CARE helps with long-term needs, sounds call for greater women‘s role
In the wake of the disaster, CARE's emergency response team delivered life-saving food, water, shelter and other vital services to 290,000 Haitians most in need in Lêogâne and Carrefour. CARE also built 2,400 transitional shelters to house roughly 13,400 people and built and rehabilitated 2,500 latrines and showers.
CARE still offers life-saving supplies and services to Haitians most in need, but many of CARE's programs have transitioned from earthquake recovery to long-term rebuilding. CARE's Neighborhoods of Return program, for example, is working with 5,000 households in Carrefour to improve sanitation, education, safety and income opportunities.
Nations Foundation reports on recovery in
1.5 million people now have shelter, clean water, emergency kits, and access to latrines
750,000 children are receiving a free education
50% of the debris produced by the earthquake’s destruction has been removed
Solar lights have been installed to help keep women and girls safe from violent attacks
The United Nations Foundation
continues to help the UN in
By Kathy Calvin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Imprint Plus(TM) donation yields $35,505.72 in food distribution to the Richmond Food Bank Society
Company exercises generosity in the spirit of the holidays
"We are a grassroots, non-profit organization that relies entirely on the contributions of our community. We are lucky to have such a broad range of support from all sectors of our community, including individuals, schools and churches, service groups, and businesses making donations from modest to large" said Margaret Hewlett, Executive Director of the Richmond Food Bank Society. Imprint Plus™ is very proud of their fundraising efforts and the contributions of their dedicated employees. Having just met their yearly budget, Imprint Plus™ says "Kudos" to the silent and humble volunteers at the Richmond Food Bank Society.
A New York Food Bank sees success with a virtual food drive
By Cody Switzer
January 5 – Food drives are a popular activity for companies and community groups that take part in service projects. But they are often costly and inefficient for food banks, which often have to provide materials, plan pick-ups, and process the donations. The Food Bank for New York City has found a way around that problem by moving its food drives online, allowing donors to shop in virtual grocery aisles, give cash donations, and even start their own food drives.
a virtual food drive doesn’t add any cost to the Food Bank for
concept isn’t new to food banks, or even to the Food Bank for
The food bank has already seen a 120-percent increase in donations through the site this fiscal year, Mr. Buckley said, well surpassing its goal of 20 percent. That number is expected to grow, as the food bank’s fiscal year ends in July 2012.
Much of the early growth has come through small donations. (...)
Foundation Trustees approve
Rotary International News, 28
December - In response to the two recent earthquakes in eastern
The two powerful quakes, which struck within three weeks of each other in late October and early November, have claimed more than 660 lives. Tens of thousands of people have been left homeless. Dropping temperatures and heavy snowfall have worsened conditions for those affected.
An international committee of Rotarians close to the situation will oversee the fund. They will identify the needs of the affected communities, manage the distribution of funds, oversee project implementation, report on projects, and ensure proper stewardship.
23 December – Like a thief in the night, Tropical Storm Washi
(also known as Sendong) has caused flash floods in
To support the relief operations led by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and in cooperation with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the ICRC immediately dispatched 3,000 relief kits, that reached 18,000 people in three of the worst-affected areas – Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Bukidnon – within the first 48 hours.
A second batch of 3,400 relief kits for a further 20,400 people has been sent to reinforce the initial aid to Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and to help people in other areas affected by both disaster and the ongoing internal armed conflict, such as Negros Oriental and Surigao del Sur.
ITF donated two vehicles to sitting volleyball club Oki Phantoms
ceremony to hand over of keys was held at the premises of the “Club Fantomi” as well as Press Conference for media. Mr. Dorijan Maršič handed keys
of two vehicles to Mr. Ševko Nuhanović,
Coach of Club Phantoms from
Volleyball Club “Fantomi”
An estimated 1,440 families in the affected areas are receiving much needed emergency food kits comprised of rice, noodles, canned fish, dried fruits, beans, peanut butter, milk, oil, salt, and sugar. Implemented by ADRA Philippines, the distribution will last four days and will be carried out in close coordination with the City Social Welfare Office and Adventist Community Service volunteers.
The Agency is working to broaden its response, which plans to provide flood victims with essential health services, in addition to increased access to clean water.
New York, January 6 - A senior United Nations official who has visited the Libyan cities of Bani Walid, Sirte and Misrata, which saw some of the most intense fighting during last year’s military campaign to oust Muammar al-Qadhafi’s regime, said today he was impressed by the rate of return of displaced residents to their homes.
Georg Charpentier, the UN
Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for
“Following the liberation of Bani Walid and Sirte in October and the progressive return of their populations over the last months, the two cities now need more attention and concrete action to accelerate their full return to normalcy,” said Mr. Charpentier, who is also the deputy head of the UN Support Mission for Libya (UNSMIL). “Public infrastructure, housing, education and health facilities need to be rehabilitated, reconstructed and reactivated, intense and focused reconciliation efforts also need to be encouraged in these two cities.”
January – The leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities will
continue to make efforts to reach agreement on core issues when they meet near
Downer, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, told reporters in
Nicosia after today’s meeting between Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris
Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu that there are
outstanding core issues to be thrashed out on governance and power-sharing,
property rights, territory and citizenship. Those
issues will be the focus of the 22-24 January talks at the
The UN-facilitated talks began in 2008 with the aim of eventually setting up a federal government with a single international personality in a bi-zonal, bi-communal country, with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot constituent states of equal status.
UN welcomes move enabling Arab
League monitors to visit
20 December 2011 – The United
Nations said today it is encouraged by the signing of a protocol paving the way
for monitors from the League of Arab States to go to
Earlier this month, UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told the Council in a closed-door meeting that more
than 5,000 people have died since the start of the public uprising in
Departure of US forces from
20 December – The completion
of the withdrawal of
In a statement issued by his
spokesperson, Mr. Ban said he is closely following the political situation in
A fortified future for
Keller International (HKI) has been a staunch advocate for food fortification
Pakistan - In 2011, MSF provided medical care to 20,440 patients in Hangu
5 January – Though the security situation in Hangu
remains tense, Médecins Sans Frontières
(MSF) continues to work inside the Hangu Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) hospital, where it has been since
2011, the MSF medical team also referred more than 452 patients to
MSF has also established a mass casualty preparedness plan in the hospital, in order to be able to quickly respond and provide emergency life-saving medical care to the victims of bomb blasts, clashes, and other trauma cases.
In the hospital's Mother and Child Health Center (MCH), MSF has had one expatriate midwife assisting in handling complicated deliveries and providing training since May 2011, while the daily services inside the MCH are run by Ministry of Health (MOH) staff. So far, MSF has assisted more than 761 complicated deliveries free of charge.
Mobile health clinic aids homeless children in
By Megan Ferringer
International News, 5 January – A Rotary Foundation Matching Grant
project that grew out of a Group Study Exchange (GSE) has provided basic mobile
medical and dental care to thousands of children who lost their families in the
2006 eruption of
a District 1200 (England) GSE visit to District 3400 (Indonesia) in 2008, team
leader Hugo Pike discovered that many homeless children living in Yogyakarta, Java, needed medical care. His district
developed a plan to outfit a vehicle as a mobile clinic that would be staffed
by medical teams from a major hospital in
US$20,000 project got underway in September 2010, funded by clubs in both districts
and a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant. A month later, the project came to a
sudden halt when
Last February, the medical teams were reassigned to the mobile clinic. With the relaunch of the project came an expansion; by partnering with various hospitals, the clinic was able to reach children at 22 locations. By the time the project ended in June, it had provided health care to 3,636 children -- more than three times the number originally envisioned. (...)
(ICRC) 30 December 2011 – In response to ongoing armed clashes in
the Middle Juba region of southern
"More than 100 wounded people, mainly civilians, reached the medical facilities during the most recent phase of the fighting," said Randi Jensen, an ICRC nurse. "It has become very dangerous for patients to reach the few clinics available to them and we just don't know how many more wounded are still out there, desperately waiting to get help."
In cooperation with local treatment facilities, the ICRC will continue to closely assess surgical and other medical needs in the coming days and weeks.
Conclusion of the five-year project “Access to physical,
medicine and rehabilitation services in
21 December - The five years project (2006-2011) “Access to Physical and Medicine and rehabilitation services in Albania” implemented by Handicap International (HI) has been carried out under the responsibility and in close cooperation with the Ministry of Health, the Albanian Mine Action Executive (AMAE) and the Nursery Faculty of Tirana University .
the implementation of the five year PMR project of HI
The final 15-month phase was designed to consolidate the achieved results and has taken into consideration two important disparities still present in the country: the shortage of specialized personnel and the shortage of available services.
Donors for the project were the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and Handicap International through International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance.
Not my child
Addressing the challenges of resistance to polio
To address the issue of resistance to polio immunization, local government and polio eradication partners organize regular community dialogues with the support of traditional leaders. In fact, according to the latest data analysis, almost eight out of ten of resolved non-compliance cases were due to traditional leaders’ interventions.
DOE announces guide for 50% more energy efficient retail buildings
January 10 - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the release of the third 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 retail buildings, helping to save energy and cut store operational costs. The 50% AEDG series provides a practical approach for designers and builders of retail stores, and other major commercial building types, to achieve 50% energy savings compared to the 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. The Advanced Energy Design Guide for 50% energy savings in retail buildings is now available for download.
Green funds that merit the name
By Ellie Winninghoff
6 – What do the California Institute of Technology and
According to “Greening the Bottom Line,” a study by the Sustainable Endowment Institute (SEI,) a nonprofit based in Cambridge, Mass., annual returns to date for GRFs have ranged from 29% at Iowa State University to more than 47% at Western Michigan University. The median annual return is 32%. "This is a real and very significant opportunity to transform energy efficiency upgrades from perceived expenses to high return investment opportunities," says Mark Orlowski, SEI’s executive director.
The nonprofit launched a "billion dollar challenge" in October encouraging educational institutions and nonprofits to invest a total of $1 billion in similar revolving funds.
SEI’s study found that GRFs
are growing fast, with nearly three-quarters of the funds created since 2008. GRFs range in size from $5,000 at the
ENEL and WFP: an important partnership to fight hunger and climate change
Conference: Towards democratic environmental governance at the global level
As a contribution to the build-up to the United Nations Rio + 20 Sustainable Development Summit in June the French government is hosting this one-day conference to explore 'A New Global Governance on the Environment'. The goal of the event is to gather civil society representatives to consider development of a World Environmental Organization (WEO) as a UN Agency to drive effective global governance of the environment.
December 21 - Leaders from the six countries of
the Greater Mekong Subregion have affirmed their
commitment to realize a more integrated, prosperous and equitable region, while
respecting the environment, at the conclusion of their summit Tuesday in
Leaders and senior officials from
GMS countries agreed, as endorsed in their new Framework, to focus more attention on the linkages across different sectors, notably between energy, agriculture and food security, and the environment, and recognised climate change not only as an environmental concern but also a broader development issue.
“Leaders from the Greater Mekong Subregion are showing progress towards restructuring their economies to reflect the true role natural capital plays in underpinning their economies and the well-being of about 320 million people,” said Dr. Geoffrey Blate, WWF Greater Mekong’s Senior Advisor on Landscape Conservation. “The new Framework does signal a commitment to green the region’s economies.”
World Spirituality Day / Universe Day - December 31
Think of World Spirituality Day as The Earth Day for the Spirit. Just as Earth Day is celebrated worldwide now, in an infinite number of ways, since its inception in 1970, World Spirituality Day has the same potential to expand into a boundless kaleidoscope of worldwide gatherings and events, big and small, year after year.
Universe Day is a day of educational, social connection and celebration events all over the planet. Universe Day begins each December 31 at noon and ends at noon January 1st. This year Universe Day focuses on increasing awareness of the severe climate change caused by carbon pollution. This years Universe Day highlights the urgent need for reducing carbon emissions in the atmosphere, which are directly contributing to the severe climate changes on the planet.
Reducing planetary carbon emissions is truly Job One for Humanity! Universe Day advocates for creating a sustainable planetary biosphere and reducing atmospheric carbon pollution by using a science-grounded universe-scaled, progressive evolutionary perspective.
Martin Luther King Day - January 16
A national holiday in the
It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality. … This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren't going to have peace on earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality. — Martin Luther King Jr
UNESCO Chief stresses need for innovation to ensure quality, equitable education
January 10 - The head of the
United Nations agency tasked with promoting education today underscored the
role that information and communications technologies can play in ensuring
quality education and equal opportunities to learning even in countries that
lag behind because of limited resources. “Progress is more than a question of
money – it is all about matching. Matching capacity with needs,” Irina Bokova, the
Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations
(UNESCO), told delegates at the Global Summit for Education Ministers under way
“This means making the most of innovation, notably in technology. It means building innovative partnerships with the private sector, such as through the Global Alliance of Corporate Partners for Education that we are aiming to establish this year,” Ms. Bokova told the forum, whose theme is ‘Learning from the Best for a World of Change."
The framework, which can be
downloaded from the UNESCO website, is a collaboration
between private sector partners, such as Cisco, Intel and Microsoft, as well
the International Society for Technology in Education and experts from the
UN leadership camp aims to empower youth through sport
New York, January 9 - Thirty young people from nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the occupied Palestinian territory will participate in a United Nations leadership camp which kicks off today in Doha, Qatar, and aims to empower underprivileged youth through sports-based activities. The camp consists of 10 days of experiential learning activities addressing themes such as health, gender, disability, education and peace, and seeks to invoke greater change in communities driven by young leaders.
The participants, aged 18 to 25, have already made significant contributions to their communities through grassroots projects that use sport as a method to foster peace and development. At the camp, they will develop an action plan to implement in their local community with the support of camp organizers and partners to ensure the legacy of the project.
The initiative was led by the
UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) in close collaboration
with the Canadian-based non-governmental organization (NGO) Right to Play and
the Aspire Zone Foundation based in
Youth Assembly at the United Nations - January 19-20
2011 Theme: The Unwired Generation — Youth Leveraging Technology for the MDGs.
This annual conference at UN Headquarters brings together young professionals and youth leaders from around the world. Youth Assembly Overview:
•Focus: Youth Led Development toward the Success of the 8 U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGS)
•Theme: The UNWIRED GENERATION – Youth Leveraging Technology for the MDGs
•Program: Two days at the U.N. Headquarters in
•Platform: Plenary sessions, workshops, round table discussions, networking
•Leadership: Renowned speakers and expert workshop facilitators; U.N. Staff participation at all sessions; Young leaders like yourself from around the world
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Next issue: 3rd February 2012.
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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 (http://decade-culture-of-peace.org/2010_civil_society_report.pdf), 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