Good News Agency – Year XII, n° 197
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*.
United Nations Commission for Social Development - February 1 - 10
Priority theme: Poverty Eradication
46-member UN Commission for Social Development (CSD) is charged to advise the
Economic and Social Council of the UN and Governments on social issues and the
social perspective on development. Following the 1995 World Summit for Social
the 10 days of the Commission conference rooms at UN Headquarters in
US should conclude policy review and ban landmines
The majority of the other 35
nations that remain outside the ban treaty are in de facto compliance with most
of the treaty’s provisions, including the
administration began a comprehensive landmine policy review in late 2009. The
UN welcomes Iraqi ratification of Pact on Rights of Persons with Disabilities
“The ratification of this convention by Iraq marks a historic step in ensuring that persons living with disabilities enjoy full participation in the Iraqi society and can contribute to the community to their full potential,” said Francesco Motta, chief of the human rights unit of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Iraq.
UNAMI noted in a news release that the
EI welcomes new UNESCO initiative on teaching respect for all
26 January - Concerned about the increasing cases of racism, xenophobia and intolerance in many parts of the world, UNESCO, with the support of the Brazilian and United States (US) governments, has launched a new project to promote learning to live together.
The project, called “Teaching
Respect for All”, was launched by Ms Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, together with Ms
Esther Brimmer, the US Assistant Secretary of
Department of State and Mr Marios
Lisboa Theodoro, a
representative of the Brazilian Government, in
The project considers education as key to strengthening the foundations of tolerance and reducing discrimination and violence. It targets children and young people in their formative years through educational materials and curricula. To this end, UNESCO intends to develop a curriculum framework for anti-racism and tolerance, for adaptation and use by national governments.
United Nation’s report on Green Investments shows how sustainable investments can bring tide of economic and social benefits
Manila/Nairobi- Several United Nations Programmes and Organizations including FAO, have worked on
a very important report, the Green Economy in Blue World, that demonstrates how
sustainablefishing, shipping and tourism can create
economic growth and poverty eradication. It highlights how the sustainable
management of fertilizers would reduce the cost of marine pollution caused by
nutrients used in agriculture, which is estimated at $100 billion per year in
the European Union alone. Only five months before the UN Conference on
Sustainable Development (
million IFAD loan and grant to
January 24, Rome –The
Ambassador of the Republic of Malawi to Belgium and Permanent Representative to
the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome, Brave Rona Ndisale, and the President of IFAD, Kanayo F. Nwanze, signed an agreement for a $22.85 million loan and
$22.85 million grant to the Republic of Malawi to improve food security and
reduce rural poverty in the country. Agriculture is an important sector for
million IFAD loan for small farmers in
and the European Commission project to promote climate-smart farming in
January 16, Rome- FAO and the European Commission
announced a €5.3 million project to help the transition
FAO’s Assistant Director-General for the Economic and Social Development Department, Hafez Ghanem, says: "This project will look closely at three countries (…) and produce strategic plans tailored to each country's own reality". The EU is providing €3.3 million while FAO's contribution is €2 million, but FAO will take the overall lead on the project.
ACDI/VOCA celebrates launch of International Year of Cooperatives
Co-ops instrumental in driving economies, strengthening communities
cooperative development roots date to 1963 when
ACDI/VOCA applauds the theme for 2012: “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.” Worldwide, cooperatives are instrumental in driving economic, democratic and social development. In many countries they are instrumental in areas involving agricultural production and marketing, savings, credit, rural electricity, insurance, housing, and information and communication technology. From the United States—where nearly 30,000 cooperatives account for more than $3 trillion in assets, $500 billion in revenue and 2 million jobs—to hillside coffee farms of Ethiopia, cooperatives enable producers and marketers to take charge of their destinies and gain economic efficiency, while also building markets and local communities.
ACDI/VOCA does not develop a one-size-fits-all solution for smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs but rather tailors its approach to the needs of group members as well as the developmental and social context of the beneficiaries. The programs that ACDI/VOCA champions are designed to stimulate, and not replace or deter, the expanding private sector in developing countries. The goal is a more vibrant, competitive and diverse market environment.
Response to the Horn of
In the last six months, CARE has reached over 1.8 million affected people throughout the region. Long-term recovery efforts aim at building resilience to food insecurity
CARE is scaling up its
Building up on existing
programs in northern
by Anto Akkara
Monday, January 23 – Following
the devastating cyclone that wrecked havoc in
"People are still struggling without electricity, [with] roofless houses and roads blocked by fallen trees," said Florina Benoit, chief zonal officer of Churches Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA). Benoit was speaking to ENInews on 16 January from Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, after a weekend visit to the worst-hit remote villages around Cuddalore. "We have distributed emergency relief material in 40 villages. But the task is enormous," said Benoit.
Cyclone Thane pummelled the east coast of Tamil Nadu
and Puducherry on 30 December, killing nearly 50 and
damaging more than 350,000 houses, schools and roads. CASA, the charity wing of
30 Orthodox and Protestant churches in
million contribution to WFP from
January 18, Sanaa - WFP will receive the largest donation ever from
January 17, Silver Spring,
Following the presidential
election in November 2010, riots erupted in
The online quiz game Freerice reached the millionth registered player : the game has provided meals to almost 5 million people
New youth campaign launched in support of the needs of survivors
On January 25, the Youth to Youth Action Network officially launched its Take the Next Step with Survivors! Campaign, under the guidance of Mines Action Canada. The goal of the campaign is to promote the rights and needs of cluster munition and landmine survivors through youth-led action and advocacy.
In the coming months, the over 100 members of the Youth to Youth Action Network will be asked to undertake a variety of actions in support of that goal, including fundraising, media work, domestic advocacy and generating public awareness. They will also have access to online training sessions led by experts in the area of victim assistance, and develop critical skills such as proposal writing and utilizing social media effectively.
The Youth to Youth (Y2Y) Action Network is responsible for facilitating global youth action on cluster bombs and landmines and expanding the support and reach of youth involvement in the movement. Mines Action Canada is a Governance Board member of both networks and a recognized leader in the area of youth programming. Through their initiatives, including annual Youth Leaders Forums and the Young Professionals International program, they are actively preparing the next generation of campaigners and experts.
24 January – The United Nations
The last Special
Representative of the Secretary-General to be based in
UNPOS was established shortly
afterwards and has since been based in
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the relocation of UNPOS was a demonstration of the UN’s strong commitment to working alongside the Somali people and their leaders to build peace, political stability and a hopeful future. (…)
In partnership with the British Red Cross and with the support of the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan, the ICRC also provided 934 needy families living in eight communities with small-scale economic support through conditional cash grants.
The ICRC, which has been active in the region since 1992, continues to address the humanitarian consequences of the conflict on the civilian population living close to the front line and supports the local authorities' efforts to improve the situation.
Kanchanpur, 8 January - Hanumandhwoj Company of the Nepal Army has conducted landmine risk reduction education at schools in Kanchanpur district. Officers of the NA have run the awareness classes to make aware students about risks of landmine by reaching to schools.
Students were told to inform nearby relatives and security bodies if they see suspicious things, not to touch things found in a pile of garbage, rivers and banks of rivers, entry gate of the security bodies and not to enter the areas surrounded with barbed wire with 'danger' sign posting around the security base camps. Education about risks of landmine involved more than 3,000 students of 30 schools so far.
A total of 773 land mines were exploded across the nation after the comprehensive Peace Accord-2063 BS and 78 people lost their lives in the incidents. UNICEF has made aware about risks of landmines to children and locals of 21,565 affected areas of 84 places of the country as part of landmine risk reduction since 2063 BS.
fight in the Democratic
The United Nations Children Fund and the World Health Organization will receive $4.4 million and $4.7 million respectively. But agencies will work with a number of international and national NGOs who are instrumental in the frontline response. Aid organizations say they are confident that they will beat this emergency, but added that durable solutions are required and that the Congolese authorities will need to prioritise investments in clean water, sanitation and hygiene.
Aid organizations estimate that at its worst, the disease could affect some 21 million people.
The CERF was created by the
United Nations in 2005 to pre-position funding to respond in a timely fashion to
humanitarian crises. Last year, it allocated $4 million to fight cholera in the
provinces along the
By Kim Hughes
25 January – It’s hard to believe that another chapter could possibly be added to the story of yoga, which already spans the globe and the millennia. And yet a new, perhaps unlikely group — at-risk and incarcerated youth — is discovering the stress relief, mood-enhancement and improved balance and fitness benefits of regular yoga practice.
That’s thanks to the New Leaf Yoga Foundation. The Toronto-based registered charity brings downward dog, shavasana, meditation and conscious breathing — and the above-mentioned benefits they confer — to teens “overcoming histories of abuse, neglect, incarceration, gang-involvement, addiction, marginalization and other factors that have led them to be identified as ‘at risk,’” according to the Foundation’s website, www.newleafyoga.org.
Those involved insist yoga teaches real-world coping skills (focus, relaxation and calming breath, for example) that youth can access to constructively deal with anxiety and anger rather than acting out. Plus, it’s fun. Judging by the testimonials of former students on the New Leaf site — not to mention zealous practitioners in stretchy pants the world over — the transformative power of yoga can’t be overstated. Not surprisingly, New Leaf instructors claim to walk away from the sessions with as almost many benefits as their students. (…)
Published: 25 January – 2011
was a dramatic, and traumatic year for the people of
Further to the Appeal launched by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the Palestinian, Italian and Danish National Societies have offered to provide psychosocial support. They sent Bassam Marshoud, a psychologist from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, who specializes in dealing with post-traumatic stress and in providing psychosocial support training, which he practiced and developed at length and in depth during the Palestinian conflict. Marshoud came in with two objectives: provide psychological support to volunteers, while developing and providing a ‘Training the Trainer’ programme in post-conflict psychosocial support. The content of this programme is based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy specialized in post-traumatic/post-conflict stress syndrome, but it can also be used by those who do not come from a psychosocial background. (...)
Within a year, thanks to the Training the Trainers approach, Marshoud’s aim is to have two teams trained to provide psychosocial support. One group of 450 ex-detainees will work with other detainees, while 650 people will be trained to work with communities and individuals. A further five professional psychologists or social workers will be hired to coordinate the entire psychosocial programme.(…)http://www.ifrc.org/en/news-and-media/news-stories/middle-east-and-north-africa/libya/libyan-red-crescent-uses-play-to-restore-a-little-bit-of-normality-after-the-conflict/
The seminar will make use of
videos showing real-life situations involving casualties as well as the sharing
of experiences and best practices. The participants are from hospitals in the
states of Bauchi, Borno,
The ICRC has organized over
160 war-surgery seminars in various countries since 1989. The seminar in
By Dan Nixon and Wayne Hearn
12 January, Rotary
International News - Rotary club members worldwide are cautiously celebrating a
major milestone in the global effort to eradicate polio.
A chief factor in
Rotary has been a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative since 1988, along with WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is also a key supporter of the initiative.
Sporting their signature
yellow vests and caps, the nearly 119,000 Rotarians in
If all ongoing testing for
polio cases recorded through 13 January continues to yield negative results,
WHO will declare that
HIV patients in
January - SIDC – Soins Infirmiers et Developpement Communautaire – is
situated in a quiet neighborhood in Sin El Fil, East
of Beirut. It was founded in 1987 with the mission of meeting “the health needs
of the youth, elderly and the most vulnerable individuals and groups in
One of the major challenges
that face persons living with HIV in
By Steve McLean
9 December – The National
Hockey League Alumni Association has raised more than $16 million for
Alzheimer's disease research since launching a
Pro-Am for Alzheimer's expanded to
Half-a-million Canadians have Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia, and approximately 71,000 of them are under 65. This year alone, more than 103,000 Canadians will develop dementia, and an aging population is expected to push that figure to more than 257,000 by 2038. Alzheimer's still has no known cause or cure.
January 24 - The U.S.
Department of Energy (DOE) has released a report that documents the increased
adoption of energy-efficient lighting products in the
The new report is an update to
a similar DOE report that modeled the 2001
•Push toward energy-saving lighting – Investment in more efficient technologies, higher efficiency standards, and public awareness campaigns helped shift the market toward more energy-efficient lighting technologies across all sectors. The average system efficacy – a measure of the amount of light provided per watt of power consumed – of installed lighting increased from 45 lumens per watt in 2001 to 58 lumens per watt in 2010, due mainly to a move from incandescent to compact fluorescent lamps in the residential sector, and from T12 to more-efficient T8 and T5 fluorescent lamps in the commercial and industrial sectors.
•Increased demand for light –
The total number of light bulbs installed in
water scarcity in the Eastern
By Joan Nørgaard Madsen
January 5 – (...) The Eastern
The Bedouins live off their livestock so they are very much dependent on providing water for their animals. To increase access to water, DCA and EJ YMCA have commenced a project where ancient cisterns are rehabilitated and new household cisterns are built. This project is funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO).
During the raining season, the water is collected in these cisterns, but in 2010-2011 the raining season has been extremely short and the water in the cisterns ran out in early May. The next raining season starts in November-December.
To help mitigate the scarce
water situation, DCA and EJ YMCA have launched a Water Scarcity Response Plan
where the Bedouins living in the affected areas east of
July 2011 - June 2012: International opportunity for testing solar cooker designs
Originally announced as a
one-time event Oct. 11-13, 2011 with a related conference, the solar cooker
competition has been cancelled, and instead there will be a year-long
opportunity for having solar cookers and fuel stoves tested free.
Promoters and Researchers In
Non-Conventional Energy (PRINCE) is a volunteer-based group dedicated to
creating a better world for everyone through the use of renewable energy. We
believe that protecting and enhancing the environment is possible only through
using non-conventional energy sources. We are based in Dhule,
"At least 45 percent of Indonesian Borneo will serve as the lungs of the world… with the plan ensuring that local ecosystems are protected and the biodiversity of the island is allowed to flourish," a presidential press release said.
"We hope with the decree,
The regulation looks to promote the sustainable use of the island’s resources while ensuring an ambitious network of conservation areas are linked together by a series of “ecosystem corridors". In addition, existing protected areas are to be strengthened and degraded areas rehabilitated.
sides of the river protection confirmed for
26 January – Sofia, Bulgaria:
Bulgarian authorities have confirmed that a one year ban on sturgeon fishing in
the Danube river is to be extended for a further four years.
Originating 200 million years
ago, sturgeons have outlasted the dinosaurs, but today most species are
critically endangered according to the IUCN red list.
Dams such as the Iron Gates
Green Lavanya - A green initiative of Rotary Club of
1,500 tree saplings planted in one day
This tree plantation project
was kick started on 10th Dec 2011 at
On the inaugural day all the villagers joined at the Community Center to hear Rotarians' speeches on "Go Green Initiative" Villagers committed themselves tol take good care of the trees. A short film on 'Demerits of de-forestation was shown.
This Project is the need of the hour and local Rotarians are looking forward to bring more villages under a green cover, as their small effort in reducing global warming.
For further information: Rotarian Mythili Muralidharan, chairman - Project Green Lavanya:
World Interfaith Harmony Week - February 1 - 7
In November 2010, following a proposal by King Abdullah II and Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan, the United Nations General Assembly decided to observe the first week of February every year as World Interfaith Harmony Week. The resolution recognized that the moral imperatives of all religions, convictions and beliefs call for peace, tolerance and mutual understanding, and it reaffirmed that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace. Read the full resolution here.
Events will be held around the world to mark the Week. Special note should be made of a meeting, Common Ground for the Common Good, in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations on Tuesday, February 7, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm.
In calling for this meeting the President of the
UN General Assembly, Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz
The World Interfaith Harmony Week provides a platform—one week in a year—when all interfaith groups and other groups of goodwill can show the world what a powerful movement they are. www.worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com
Vatican signs treaties against drug trade, organized crime, terrorism
By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service
Vatican City (CNS), January 26 -- The Vatican has signed three international treaties supporting the fight against the illegal drug trade, financing terrorism and organized crime.
By signing onto these international legal instruments Jan. 25, the Vatican "confirms its intention as well as its effective and practical commitment to collaborate with the international community in a manner consistent with its nature and mission, with a view to guaranteeing international peace and justice," wrote Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican secretary for relations with states. The Vatican released copies of its declarations supporting the three treaties Jan. 26.
The Vatican ratified the U.N. Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances to help "contribute and to give its moral support to the global prevention, repression and prosecution of drug abuse and the related problem of illicit trafficking in narcotics and psychotropic substances," wrote the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who certified the declarations.
The Vatican is adhering to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, the cardinal wrote, in an effort "to contribute and to give its moral support to the global prevention, repression and prosecution of terrorism and to the protection of victims of such crimes." (...) The Vatican is also adhering to the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime as "the Holy See upholds the values of brotherhood, justice and peace between persons and peoples, whose protection and strengthening require the primacy of the rule of law and respect for human rights," wrote Cardinal Bertone. (...)
Help my hand write my future: Literacy project launched in Senegal in collaboration with UNESCO and Procter & Gamble
February 1 - “Literacy for
young girls and women through information and communication technologies
(ICT),” a project initiated by the Government of Senegal in partnership with
UNESCO and Procter & Gamble, was officially launched in
This project, under the slogan “Help my hand write my future,” aims at training 40,000 young girls and women in seven regions of the country, with emphasis on the use of ICTs to acquire skills in national languages.
This project is linked to the
achievement of the 4th Education for All goal to increase adult literacy levels
by 50% by 2015, especially for women. The illiteracy rate in
The agreement signed with Proctor & Gamble in April 2011, amounting to $750,000 over a period of two years, foresees the training of literacy teachers; face-to-face courses, virtual classrooms, the acquisition of income generating skills and the development of teaching tools and educational programmes for radio and television.
UNESCO forum to discuss role of holocaust education in fighting prejudice
The conference, which will be hosted by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), will provide an opportunity to debate the role of Holocaust education in the global fight against racism and anti-Semitism. It will also allow the attending experts to discuss the need to preserve the memory of the Holocaust in areas of the world where it is less well known.
Last week, the UN marked the International Day of
Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, which is observed
annually on 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of the
In a declaration marking the occasion, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova emphasized the need for Holocaust education as part of the overall fight against intolerance. “Transmitting the memory of the Holocaust is a vital part of the struggle to combat ignorance and prejudice through education in humanist values, the sharing of cultures and knowledge of history,” Ms. Bokova said. “Education is a key front in this struggle and also UNESCO’s unique contribution, through our work for youth, training of teachers and curriculum design,” she added.
school competitions on the Millennium Development Goals and on the Charter of
Duties launched in
Four school competitions have been announced this
year by four Rotary Clubs, in synergy with Good News Agency. Together with
those conducted successfully in recent years, these stimulating educational
activities, which have thrilled and involved many students in different
geographical areas of
The four school competitions have been announced
this year in
For further informstio: email@example.com
Youth and experts interact at launch of UNESCO-USA-Brazil project “Teaching respect for All”
© UNESCO/Danica Bijeljac
January 27 - Living with
diversity, how to tackle racism and the importance of youth involvement were
topics young people in the
Opening the ceremony, Ms. Irina Bokova, said education was
vital to deepen understanding and to protect the dignity of all, “regardless of
colour, gender, descent or national, ethnic or
religious identity”. This was essential for promoting a new humanism for the
21st century, she said. (...) Mario Lisbôa Theodoro, Executive Secretary, Secretariat on Policies of
Promotion of Racial Equality Brazil, said sharing experience with other
countries was important. “We want to learn,” he said. “We want to hear about
new experiences when it comes to fighting racism and education.” A
videoconference followed with students in Bagunçaço
Building respect in and
through education was the focus of the second part of the event. Moderated by
Maria Aparecida da Silva
Bento of the Research Centre on Laboor Relations and
Morocco: Improving public schools and teaching conditions in rural areas together
26 January - Education International has lent its support to the first forum of teachers working in rural areas in Morocco. This initiative of the Syndicat National de l’Enseignement brought together more than 250 teachers from all national rural areas to Marrakech, from 13-15 January. EI affiliates, AOB from the Netherlands and FETE from Spain, also took part in the event.
This forum was intent on having teachers engage in a real discussion about school, programmes, the curriculum, textbooks, teaching conditions and students’ difficult situations,. The aim was to come up with proposals that could lead to real solutions to the quality of public schools in rural areas.
As in most developing countries, public services in rural areas in Morocco (60%) are deeply disadvantaged, and education is no exception.Even today, schools in the most remote areas in the Moroccan countryside have neither water nor electricity, and often no facilities (classrooms, toilets) either. Students have to walk very long distances to get there, and teachers who have to live in such areas feel totally isolated. The SNE-FDT members decided to launch on appeal to have education in rural areas in Morocco become a national priority.
Young people building the future in Zambia
By Linda Nordahl Jakobsen and Doreen Kambanganji, Communications officers
January 6 – Dorcus Siamasusu, a 24 year-old old female stands out
Like in other rural areas in Zambia, very few women in Sikaneka Village were taking part in governance issues previously. Traditionally men are expected to take a centre role in governance issues while women are expected to take care of the household and fed for the children. This has a negative impact on most women and girls and retards development as they are unable to contribute to most local issues and problems which affect their day to day life such as health care, education, markets for their agriculture products, acces to land and water, taking up leadership roles, etc.
The advocacy training that is offered by Monze Diocese helps to reverse this trend in the villages. The advocacy training is part of the Sustainable Economic and Social Empowerment of Vulnerable and Marginalized Rural Communities in Southern Province (SESE). The SESE is aimed among other things at empowering local communities to hold their elected leaders accountable. This project has deliberately targeted its empowerment and advocacy trainings towards young people especially young women to encourage them to participate in the local development and in society issues. (...) http://www.danchurchaid.org/layout/set/print/news/news/young-people-building-the-future-in-zambia
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Culture of Peace; Amplifying the Unseen and Unheard Voices of Peace
Talk by Dorothy J. Maver, Ph.D., President
It is a joy to be with you today at the United Nations to share my thoughts and experiences regarding the heretofore invisible field of peace. And is it not a very auspicious day at the UN, the first briefing in 2012 as we celebrate the Culture of Peace. At the same time there is a Youth Assembly here at the United Nations. It doesn’t get better than that!
I want to thank Ambassador Chowdhury, and Cora Weiss, and Michael O’Malley. It is so delightful to share in the panel and to know that forthcoming is a dialogue with everyone in this room. You know, this year promises to reveal the culture of peace that already exists, and the many, many facets of right relationship, literally hundreds of thousands of threads in the fabric of society that are just becoming visible and viable as we shift from living in a culture wrought with violence and dysfunction where people’s needs are not fully met … to a culture where peace and justice, loving understanding and sharing, truth and reconciliation prevails, where everyone’s needs are met and there is true equity.
The definition of peace we are using in the work I am primarily involved with is taken from the Earth Charter: “peace is the wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part.”
Peace is sweeping the world right now … from Peace Councils in Kenya and a Peace Academy in Rwanda, Africa, to the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office, to right here in the USA where there are Peace Commissions in towns and cities, including Cambridge and Leverett, Massachusetts.
Infrastructures for Peace are becoming a framework for moving through this all systems breakdown we are experiencing. In my way of thinking, this breakdown is to be celebrated. We are moving from a system based on competition, separation, individualization and operating as silos … to a system based on cooperation, unity, group work and sharing on behalf of the common good.
On July 9, 2011 humanity made
history … when
One of the international
communities I am part of – soon to be an NGO - is the Global Alliance for
Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace and there are now four Ministries of
Peace on the planet:
The Global Alliance, founded in 2005, embraces infrastructures for peace, recognizing the necessity of national peace academies and similar education institutions (USA, Costa Rica, Romania, Rwanda, Nepal, Canada and others) As we experience this shift in our global society, we are developing the institutions and policies that embody and reflect a culture of peace and right relationship, by whatever name.
Peace Systems already exist. The best example is Mother Nature and the dynamic principle of cooperation. Everyone in this room is part of a peace system … a synergistic effort to play our part in making the world a better place … knowing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
We know that education shapes society, and it does not have to be formal education.
There are leading groups, such as the Peace and Justice Studies Association, a network of academics, educators and activists collaborating to bring a necessary focus and intention to peace studies and peace education. There are over 400 programs at the university level now and we are beginning to celebrate Ph.D.s in peacebuilding … yes, doctors of peacebuilding.
Two groups doing groundbreaking work in peace education are the International Institute for Peace Education, now in its 30th year, and the International Peace Research Association – both playing significant roles in revealing the underlying principles and processes of educating to live in right relationship at all levels (from personal to ecological) developing a personal skill set that encourages our attitudes and behaviors to truly reflect such values as cooperation, sharing, empathy, mutual respect, goodwill, loving understanding, nonviolent conflict resolution and sustainable stewardship of Earth’s ecosystems.
There are so many groups peacebuilding in all sectors of society –it has become impossible to name them all … if you visit wiserearth’s website you will see an ever increasing number count on the homepage … hundreds of thousands of groups working towards a better world.
2012 is already proving to be the turning point for us as a global family. In this moment of global connectivity and recognition of our interconnectedness, there are innumerable collaborative initiatives, including a ninety day initiative focused on the United Nations International Day of Peace … over fifty groups are already committed to cooperating … our BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) … to reach one billion people … and not only will we celebrate on September 21st with a united mass appeal at noon: May Peace Prevail on Earth … we will initiate a ninety day Push4Peace, encouraging individuals and groups to take action in their areas of interest all over the globe.
Imagine one billion people taking action for a culture of peace. And this is only one initiative among many in 2012. I hope you will participate at push4peace.org
The spirit of goodwill is alive and well in humanity, and this is the year to turn the corner. It is time to tell the new story … the story of peace … to make peace an organizing principle in society … and to intentionally offer our personal and group contributions on behalf of the greater good: to ourselves, to each other, and to the planet.
Let us sacrifice personal differences, bridge separate cleavages, and harmonize polarized schools of thought - personally, socially and between countries. We can do this – in fact, we are doing this – all over the world – let’s live the new story, beginning with each one of us.
In closing, I speak the words
and wisdom of former
So be it, and help us to do our part.
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Next issue: 24 February 2012
Good News Agency is published in English
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It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà
Mondiale, a registered educational charity chartered
in Italy in 1979 The Association operates for the development of consciousness
and promotes a culture of peace in the ‘global village’ perspective based on
unity in diversity and on sharing. It is based in Via Antagora
The Association is a member of the World Association of Non Governmental Organizations.
*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