Good News Agency – Year II, n° 18



Weekly - Year II, number 18 –  16 November 2001

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.

Good News Agency is distributed through Internet to over 2,400 editorial offices of the daily newspapers and periodical magazines and of the radio and television stations with an e-mail address in 46 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Finland, Holland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway,  Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, USA, and it is also available in its web site:

It is a free of charge service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, a registered non-profit educational organization chartered in Italy in 1979. The Association operates for the development of consciousness and supports the activities of the Lucis Trust, the Club of Budapest, the Earth Charter, Radio For Peace International and other organizations promoting a culture of peace in the ‘global village’ perspective based on unity within diversity and on sharing.          Via Antagora 10, 00124 Rome, Italy. E-mail:



International legislation




Human rights


Energy and safety


Economy and development


Environment and wildlife




Culture and education



UN Secretary-General repeats call for global response to terrorism


International legislation



UN calls for international convergence to defeat causes of world imbalances

New York, 10 November -  In his address to the UN General Assembly, the Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today that “The United Nations is indeed ‘the indispensable common house of the entire human family’, as our Heads of State and Government declared last year. And seldom has the need for it been more widely understood. When a family is under attack, it is in their common house that its members gather, to decide what to do. (…) One is tempted to say that we must now focus all our energies on the struggle against terrorism, and on directly related issues. Yet if we did so we should give the terrorists a kind of victory. Let us remember that none of the issues that faced us on September 10th has become less urgent. The number of people living on less than one dollar a day has not decreased. The numbers dying of AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other preventable diseases have not decreased. The factors that cause the desert to advance, biodiversity to be lost, and the earth's atmosphere to warm, have not decreased. And in the many parts of the world afflicted by the scourge of war, innocent people have not ceased being murdered or mutilated, dragged or driven from their homes. (…)We face two possible futures: a mutually destructive clash between so-called "civilisations" based on the exaggeration of religious and cultural differences; or a global community, respecting diversity and rooted in universal values. The latter must be our choice - but we can achieve it only if we bring real hope to the billions now trapped in poverty, conflict and disease. In short, my friends, the agenda of peace, development and human rights set for us in the Millennium Declaration is no less pressing. If anything, it has taken on new urgency. “

After reviewing the main objectives that must be pursued, the Secretary-General concluded his address with these words: “For the sake of all those whom we hope to save - whether from terrorism, from war, from poverty, from disease, or from environmental degradation - let us resolve that only the best is good enough.  And let us equip ourselves so that, in future, the best is what we give.” 


International treaty on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture approved by FAO conference

Rome, 3 November  - An International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture approved today by the Conference of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), will ensure better use of plant genetic diversity to meet the challenge of eradicating world hunger. The Treaty was approved with 116 favourable votes and two abstentions.  There were no votes against.

This Treaty is a unique comprehensive international agreement. It takes into consideration the particular needs of farmers and plant breeders, and aims to guarantee the future availability of the diversity of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture on which they depend, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits, FAO experts say.

The International Treaty is in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which was adopted in 1992 as the first international binding agreement covering biodiversity. (…)


Kenya: new commitment to fight corruption

3 November - For the first time ever, a joint delegation of Kenyans attended the 10th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Prague, Czech Republic, (October 7th to 11th 2001) and signed a Joint Commitment Statement to combat corruption.


UNICEF hails entry into force of optional protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

New York, 23 October - A major step forward in the protection of children from exploitation, trafficking and sexual abuse has just been achieved, UNICEF stated today, welcoming the imminent entry into force of the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. With the submission of Romania's tenth ratification last Thursday, the Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child will become a legally binding instrument on the 18th January 2002. This three month interval is in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Protocol. (…)

Once ratified and translated into national law, the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography places responsibility squarely with the adults involved in these activities, criminalizing these violations of children's rights. It also calls for measures towards increased public awareness and international co-operation in efforts to combat them.

Carol Bellamy, UNICEF Executive Director, congratulated the first ten countries ratifying this treaty (Andorra, Bangladesh, Cuba, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Panama, Sierra Leone, Norway, Morocco and Romania) and called upon all states to swiftly move to making this same commitment to their children.



Human rights



Nobel Laureate calls for decent work, basic labour rights

Geneva, 2 November - The Nobel economics laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz of Columbia University today urged world political and economic leaders to back the International Labour Organization (ILO) goals of "decent work, full employment and better working conditions" and said development requires "basic labour rights."

Speaking on the second day of a three-day Global Employment Forum at the ILO, Professor Stiglitz argued in his keynote address that current international policies often fail to take account of the human value of labour, instead treating it as a commodity.

"Equitable, sustainable and democratic development requires basic labour rights, including freedom of association and collective bargaining," he said.

The Forum has drawn some 700 world political and economic leaders here to discuss the theme of " Creating Decent Work in the 21st Century" and address what ILO Director-General Juan Somavia has called the "biggest threats to human security affecting the largest number of people - rising unemployment and poverty." (…)


Central Africa: Countries meet to coordinate policies and efforts

2 November - Representatives from the governments of the CAR, DRC, the RoC, Gabon and Angola met last week in the DRC capital, Kinshasa, to synchronise their policies and efforts on behalf of refugees IDPs in the region. The meeting was organised by the l'Association des parlementaires Europeens pour l'Afrique (AWEPA), in collaboration with the government of the DRC and the UNHCR, from 24 to 26 Oct. (…) The primary objectives of the conference included the promotion of human rights, and in particular the rights of refugees, with special attention to women and children in light of their vulnerability; seeking long-term solutions to the problems of refugees and IDPs with a view to a safe return to their places of origin; and adoption in each country of national legislation and a national commission for refugees where no such thing already exists. (…)


Philippines government launches a national action plan against trafficking in human beings

Joint UN-Philippines initiative leads to strong coalition of government agencies in the fight against trafficking in human beings

Vienna, 30 October - On 24 October, 14 Ministries and Government agencies of the Philippines signed a Covenant to implement the Philippines Strategic Action Plan for a National Coalition against Trafficking in Human Beings. The Action Plan is the result of the work of an alliance of government departments and agencies, the Inter-Agency Executive Committee, led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of the Interior and Local Government to strengthen national action in the international fight against trafficking in human beings. The Committee was set up by the Philippines Government in cooperation with the United Nations Centre for International Crime Prevention (CICP). (…)


Women peace leaders address Security Council members – Women from Afghanistan, Kosovo and East Timor ask for increased protection from abuses during war

New York, United Nations, 30 October - Women peace leaders from Afghanistan, Kosovo and East Timor today spoke to Security Council Members about violations committed against women during and after war and women's role in peace negotiations and peace-keeping efforts. International experts Elisabeth Rehn, former UN Under-Secretary General, and Maha Muna from the NGO Working Group on Women, International Peace and Security also addressed Council Members at the meeting in New York.

The briefing by women leaders to Council Members occurs exactly one year after the Security Council passed Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. The groundbreaking Resolution linked gender equality to global security and committed governments to include women's voices in peace negotiations while protecting them from the abuses of war. "The entire peace process benefits when women are at the table," said Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). "Recognizing and supporting women's contributions can prevent many lifetimes of untold sorrow. This is especially poignant for Afghanistan. Any UN response for Afghanistan must include women and their concerns."  (…)


New steps against trafficking in human beings in West African States: special task forces planned to fight human trafficking

Vienna, 25 October - Experts from West African countries have agreed a political declaration and an action plan against trafficking in human beings in the region. The Meeting on Trafficking in Human Beings was held in Accra, Ghana by ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] in cooperation with UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP).

The plan of action commits ECOWAS countries to urgent action against trafficking in human beings in 2002 – 2003, setting achievable goals and objectives. The action plan calls for countries to ratify and fully implement crucial international instruments of ECOWAS and the United Nations that strengthen laws against human trafficking and protect victims of trafficking, especially women and children. (…)



Economy and development



FAO's Members end cycle of budget cuts with nominal increase for 2002-2003

Rome, 9 November - For the first time after eight years, the member countries of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have approved a nominal budget increase for the Rome-based UN agency. FAO's budget will total US$651.8 million for the years 2002-2003, the governing FAO conference decided on Friday. 107 countries voted for the increase,  with 2 abstaining.

This increase maintains the budget in real terms. FAO's budget had been kept at US$650 million per biennium since 1995, forcing the Organization to absorb estimated cost increases of about US$95 million. FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf had proposed a real growth budget for 2002-2003 of $688.7 million, an increase of some $38 million above the 2000-2001 budget, but this was not accepted by the membership.

The Conference also noted that additional funds may become available during the biennium 2002-2003 in the form of payments of arrears, in particular by the biggest contributor to the FAO budget, the United States. Total payments of arrears in assessed contributions owing from the major contributor amount to US$95 million.

 The Conference authorized FAO's Director-General to use the arrears for one time programme activities in the areas of biotechnology and biosecurity, natural resource assessement and conservation, multilateral trade, fisheries, information technology infrastructure, statistical data and translation services.


IFAD to support cooperative rural finance programme in Lebanon

Rome, 5 November- A USD 12.84 million project in the Lebanese Republic –

The Cooperative Rural Finance Programme Project' will receive a USD 12.84 million loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). A loan agreement was signed today at the Fund's Headquarters by H.E. Mr. Ali Abdallah, Minister for Agriculture of Lebanese Republic and Mr. Lennart Båge, President of the Fund. (…)

The new project will benefit an estimated target group of around 250 000 rural people in 50 000 households, and will include agricultural small farmers, the landless, small rural entrepreneurs, rural women and small fishermen. Most of them identified the lack of access to credit as the main obstacle to the betterment of their income. The lack of credit prevents the poor from engaging in productive activities, including small or medium on-farm and off-farm income-generating activities. They encounter great difficulties in access to banking and financial facilities. Programme beneficiaries are or will be members of rural producers’ cooperatives or rural savings and credit cooperatives. (…)

With this programme, IFAD will have financed 4 projects in the Lebanese Republic, for a total loan amount of about USD 44.58 million.


East Timor prepares strategy against poverty

5 November - A UNDP-supported assessment will bring data about poverty from the villages to the new policy makers to East Timor's first Parliamentarians as they buckle down to draft the nation's Constitution. The three-step process will help develop a poverty reduction strategy, said Finn Reske-Nielson, UNDP Resident Representative. The first two steps included village and household surveys. Preliminary results show high rates of poverty, with only 20 per cent of aldeias (hamlets) having electricity. (…) The third step started last week with a six-day training course for 24 East Timorese development facilitators. This week, they begin work in 48 aldeias in locations ranging from the most remote highland regions to the suburbs of the major cities. (…)


New projects tackle rural poverty in Somalia

5 November - UNDP has launched a series of projects in partnership with World Vision International to reduce rural poverty and stimulate economic growth in Somalia's southwestern Bay region. The projects promote seed oil extraction, grain milling, and bee-keeping for honey production, as well as packaging and marketing these products. "These projects will benefit about 10,000 Somalis directly and help 70,000 people in the area by boosting economic activity," said Jean-Luc Stalon, UNDP programme manager in charge of poverty reduction and economic recovery. "We are now getting into the nuts and bolts of economic development at the grassroots level," he said.

The poverty reduction and economic recovery programme is one of three major new programmes launched in July by UNDP Somalia. Other programmes cover peace and security and governance.


ILO Employment Forum calls for global jobs rescue package

Geneva, 3 November - A Global Employment Forum held at the International Labour Organization (ILO), citing the need for urgency in dealing with a growing worldwide jobs crisis, today launched a 10-point plan aimed at reversing mounting unemployment and poverty due to the dual impacts of global recession and the terrorist attacks of September 11.

The Global Agenda for Employment, adopted by some 700 world political and economic leaders meeting here at the Forum, will seek to mitigate a stunning reversal in the global economy which threatens to plunge some 24 million people into joblessness, and millions more into poverty. (…)

Delegates to the Forum also called for a global stimulus package designed to boost employment and reduce poverty, and appealed to the World Trade Organization Ministerial Meeting in Doha, Qatar on 9-13 November to join the fight for jobs by opening up international trade to developing countries. (…)


Four countries admitted to FAO on opening day of the Organization's 31st Governing Conference bringing membership to 183 countries

Rome, November 2- Four countries became members of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today, bringing membership in the Organization to 183 countries and the European Community. FAO's governing Conference approved the applications of the Principality of Monaco, the Republic of Nauru, the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Yugoslavia was admitted as a new state. Previously, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, incorporating a number of now independent states, had been a member of FAO. That state ceased to exist according to UN Security Council Resolution 47/1 of 19 September 1992.


Leading Senegalese company joins anti-poverty initiative

1 November - One of Senegal's leading companies is joining UNDP in a programme to lift poor rural communities out of poverty by offering small business loans, widening access to social services, and training people for jobs.

Industries Chimiques du Sénégal (ICS) is supporting an initiative to make micro-finance services available to poor communities, particularly for young people and women. ICS will help small businesses set up under the country's anti-poverty programme enter into sub-contracts with it. (…) The initiative will also improve access to social services and offer training for jobs with the company. Under the agreement, UNDP will help in the design of training programmes with start-up companies recommended by ICS. (…)


Eurofish, a new international organization to build on the development of fisheries in eastern and central Europe

Rome, 31 October - Eurofish, a new international organization for the development of fisheries in Eastern and Central Europe, has officially come into existence with the signature of the constituent agreement by Romania. Romania is now the fifth country to become a member of EUROFISH, together with Latvia, Albania, Denmark and Norway.

Several other European countries are also expected to join Eurofish during its first Governing Council in Copenhagen next January. The Council will decide on the work plan, staff arrangements and other key issues of Eurofish, which will continue and build on the activities of Eastfish, a trust fund project established by the Danish Government in 1996 and managed by FAO. For six years Eastfish has been supporting the development and modernisation of aquaculture and fish processing in Central and Eastern Europe, promoting private sector investment and partnership, developing projects with governments and acting as a catalyst for trade and market opportunities. Eurofish will also be a member of the FISH INFOnetwork, a network of regional marketing information services that FAO set up in the late 70's. (…)






Uganda: Increase in Irish aid

2 November - Increasing Irish government development aid to Uganda, signalled again last week by President Mary McAleese during a visit to the country, was based on Uganda's sustained commitment to tackling poverty, the Irish Embassy in Kampala reported. Irish aid to Uganda is expected to reach some 28 million Irish punts (about US $32 million), in 2002, reflecting a rapid increase in Ireland's global development expenditure since it committed itself to reaching the UN target of 0.7 percent of Gross National Product by 2007, the Irish charge d'affaires in Kampala, Mairtin O'Fainin, told IRIN on Tuesday. That development aid was up from some 19 million punts ($21.8 million) in 2001 and 9 million punts ($10.3 million) in 2000, O'Fainin said, adding that next year's level of funding would put Ireland among the more significant donors to Uganda. Ireland's assistance would continue to support priorities in health and education through the central government's sector programmes, as well as additional programmes targeting particular poorer districts, he added. [For IRIN interview with Irish Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Liz O'Donnell, on the reasons for the extra aid, see East Africa page at:]


Mozambique: Donors pledge US $722 million

2 November - In Mozambique this week, international donors pledged more than US $700 million in support of Mozambique's poverty reduction programme. A World Bank press release said 80 percent of the pledges were in the form of grants. "These contributions are in addition to the debt service relief granted to Mozambique under the original and the enhanced HIPC (Highly Indebted Poor Countries) frameworks," the bank said. The donor support came during the 13th Consultative Group (CG) meeting of the government and its international development partners in Maputo on 25 and 26 October. The statement said donors "recognised" the government's "continued commitment" to implementing economic reforms. "Despite severe setbacks caused by floods in the previous two years, Mozambique has shown a remarkable capacity to recover," said the statement. (…)

For the full story:


WFP extends feeding programme in Malawi

2 November - The World Food Programme (WFP) said it was extending its emergency feeding programme for families still suffering from floods earlier this year for a further two months "in response to the alarming food situation" in the country. WFP adviser in Malawi, Ayoub Algaloudi, told IRIN that the programme which was supposed to end in October would now wrap up at the end of December. "An extension-in-time and a budget revision have been developed for two months effective 1 November 2001. The operation plans to distribute 11,330 mt to 366,000 beneficiaries, representing 73,200 families," he said. (…)

For the full story and more details on Malawi's food shortage, please see:


West Africa: Japanese development aid

2 November - Japan's government has granted some 156 million CFA (US $221,000) for development projects and medical aid in Cote d'Ivoire and Senegal. In Cote d'Ivoire US $136,00 will be divided between local organisations for development projects including the construction of wells, purchase of medical equipment for a children's health centre and construction of an AIDS information centre, Japanese embassy in Abidjan said in a news release.

A Senegalese teaching hospital in the capital Dakar is the recipient of medical equipment worth some 60 million CFA (US $85,000).






Ethiopia: ministry launches new malaria plan

3 November - The Ethiopian Ministry of Health said on Wednesday that the government had launched a strategic plan designed to reduce malaria mortality by 50 percent by the year 2010.


International Labour Organization joins UNAIDS

3 November - The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) today announced that the International Labour Organization (ILO) has formalized its commitment to fighting the global HIV/AIDS epidemic by becoming a Cosponsor of UNAIDS.

Further details:


Japanese NGO becomes implementing partner in Central African Republic's HIV/AIDS strategy – Project to be funded by the Japan Social Development Fund

Bangui, October 31 - The Government of Central African Republic and Amis d'Afrique, a Japanese NGO, today signed the letter of agreement for the Japan Social Development Fund Grant in support of reinforcing HIV/AIDS responses in communities in the Central African Republic.

The grant, amounting to $630,000, will be made available from funds provided by the Government of Japan under the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF), an untied grant facility, established in June 2000 to assist World Bank clients in tackling the poverty and social consequences of the 1997-1999 global economic crises. (…)



Energy and safety



Small cars get 'green' light in India

1 November - A new "green rating" of India's auto industry finds small cars among the top eco-friendly vehicles, but below average performance for the industry as a whole. The environmental assessment looks at the entire life cycle, from raw materials to disposal of junked vehicles. India produced about 4.7 million vehicles in 2000.

"The green rating of the automobile industry is a landmark that will act as a motivating force for all stakeholders to improve upon their performance," said Dr. Manmohan Singh of the Centre of Science and Environment, which carried out the assessment with support from UNDP and the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

A significant achievement of the project has been the strong partnership among the industry, civil society, government and UNDP, said Dorothy Gordon, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative. "Concrete action plans for mitigation of environmental problems" are now needed, she said, "and all stakeholders need to be involved in the follow-up."



Environment and wildlife



WWF completes "A New Map of Life on Earth"

5 November - "A New Map of Life on Earth," a new project of the World Wildlife Fund, charts the natural world in unprecedented detail and may help environmentalists figure out where to best direct their efforts.  The project, which took eight years and the labor of more than 1,000 people to complete, divides the Earth into 867 ecoregions based on climate, plants, animals, soil type, geological features, and other characteristics.  Eric Dinerstein, chief scientist at WWF, says the map was inspired by the advice of a veteran colleague: "The first thing you're going to need, to do conservation, is to go out and get a good map."


$1 million award to help preserve wild area in South Africa

5 November - The Global Environment Facility has awarded $1 million to help preserve a rugged wilderness area in South Africa's Eastern Cape.  In addition to being the largest protected area in the Eastern Cape and the source of 85 percent of drinking water for nearby Port Elizabeth, South Africa, the Baviaanskloof wilderness preserve contains more than 1,100 species.  Although local authorities have been committed to protecting the area's biodiversity, they were hampered by a lack of funds.  The grant was announced during the seventh World Wilderness Congress, which opened Friday in Port Elizabeth.  Over the last 20 years, the GEF has provided $1.3 billion to more than 400 projects in 123 developing countries.


U.S. Congress bans drilling in the Great Lakes for two years

2 November - In a move that pleased environmentalists but irked industry, the U.S. Congress voted yesterday to ban new oil and gas drilling in the Great Lakes for two years.  The measure, which was part of a $24.6 billion federal energy and water bill, was passed overwhelmingly in both chambers despite President Bush's recent calls to tap into more domestic energy sources.  Under the bill, states would be prohibited from green-lighting new projects while the Army Corps of Engineers studied the environmental impact of drilling  Although none of the Great Lakes states allow drilling from rigs on the water, there are currently seven slant wells that pipe oil and gas from under the lakes to the shore; Michigan Gov. John Engler (R), for one, has been looking to expand such drilling.


Canada: new legislation supports conservation effort

1 November - Almost 1,2 million of threatened land north of Toronto would be protected by legislation to be announced today by the Ontario government.  The conservation effort would protect more than 90 percent of the Oak Ridges Moraine, which is the source of groundwater for much of southern Ontario.  The province plans to establish a $250 million fund to purchase private land on the moraine.  The decision is a reversal of previous policy, in which the provincial government had left development in the area up to the discretion of individual municipalities.  Environmentalists hailed the move as a decisive blow to urban sprawl.



Culture and education



Say Yes for Children campaign: 40 million people have pledged support for children

The Say Yes for Children campaign is designed to broaden awareness of issues affecting children and accelerate action on children's behalf.  Say Yes was launched in 2001 as part of the Global Movement for Children. The campaign is built on 10 imperative actions and responsibilities which must be undertaken to ensure a better world for children everywhere. These actions cover issues ranging from poverty and education to HIV/AIDS and the environment.

More than 40 million people worldwide have pledged support for children through the campaign--on pledge forms distributed to communities and through the Internet, email and mail.  Those pledging to support  the 10 imperative actions for children are asked to indicate the three actions they feel are most important. 'Educate every child' has clearly come out on top so far . The pledges will be taken to the first United Nations Special Session on Children at the United Nations General Assembly by champions of Say Yes for Children -- influential public figures like Nelson Mandela whom the world knows and trusts.

Say Yes for Children is preparing the world to take on the challenges the Special Session on Children will identify by posing a defining question: Would each one of you be willing to pledge your time and energies to the well-being of the world's children? This is the essence of the Global Movement, and the ultimate hope of the Say Yes for Children campaign.

Founding partners of the Global Movement for Children ( are BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee), Foundation, PLAN International, Save the Children, UNICEF and World Vision. The Global Movement for Children is a force for change, calling for people throughout the world to take action and protect the rights of children.


Declaration on Cultural Diversity

Paris, November 2 - UNESCO’s governing body – the General Conference – today adopted the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, a text about which Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura expressed hope that it can “one day acquire as much force as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”.

Mr Matsuura declared: “At a time when some might see a clash of cultures in the current international situation, UNESCO’s Member States, convening for the Organization's 31st General Conference, adopted by acclamation today the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, reaffirming their conviction that intercultural dialogue is the best guarantee of peace, thus categorically rejecting the idea that conflicts between cultures and civilisations are inevitable. (…) UNESCO's Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, along with the main lines of an Action Plan, is a determining instrument to humanise globalisation. UNESCO is honoured to be at the forefront of a movement that involves all of humanity. This Declaration now counts among the basic texts of new ethics UNESCO is advocating at the beginning of the 21st century.”  (…)


Conflict Resolution Through Culture

III IFLAC International Conference, London, 14 to 17 March 2002

The Conference will bring together academicians, specialists, writers, poets, peace researchers, media, and women leaders, from a broad range of fields, to discuss the impact of the social dimensions of Conflict Resolution through cultural bridges, and its key roles in the development, definition and construction of identity in the Middle East and in other conflicted areas.

After examining alternative cultural paths toward a more peaceful and desirable present and future, participants will work together to produce useful proposals for research and programs required to "un-violence" national cultures, and to contribute to the enhancement of a peaceful Middle East, and world. Themes to be examined and discussed at this conference by participants will include: national and cultural identity in an era of globalisation; women and peace; the communications revolution and social change, and the importance of the creation of a peace culture and a peace media. A session will be dedicated to the Ethical Code of the Media drafted and promoted by Good News Agency. The Code is available on site

IFLAC PAVE PEACE, The International Forum for the Culture and Literature of Peace, is a network of researchers, writers, poets, media, and intellectuals, working together to foster joint cooperation and understanding in the Middle East and in our global village.


Another world means another journalism too

7 November - The main challenge facing communicators today is to coordinate existing alternative and community media into a network capable of surmounting the blockade imposed by the major information chains. That was the opinion of participants in the Congress of Latin American and Caribbean Journalists held this month in Havana. The congress highlighted a number of specific tasks to that end: demanding that governments ensure plural communication in their societies as a basic right and introduce university programmes that afford journalists an overall perspective, putting an end to the myth of the technical, impartial reporter. These and other accounts are in a report by the Chilean newspaper, El Siglo


Tanzania: envoy explains push on primary schooling

3 November - Tanzania is determined to see to it that no child is denied the right to education just because parents cannot afford to pay, and the government has committed itself since July to providing basic primary education free of charge to all, Tanzanian envoy Christine Kapalata told a UN General Assembly debate on child rights on 26 October.

Tanzania: World Bank backing for primary education

3 November - The World Bank on Wednesday announced its approval of a US $150 million interest-free credit to support the government's efforts to improve education quality, expand school access and increase school retention at the primary level.


Women prepare for Earth Summit 2002

3 November - The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD 2002) will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 02 to 11 September 2002. In preparation for this important event, the Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) is calling on concerned women's organisations to participate in the global consultation that aims to come up with a Women's Action Agenda for a Healthy Planet 2002(WAA2002). This will be launched in the World Summit.

Further details:



CNN's Jim Clancy and indian journalist Palagummi Sainath jointly awarded $10,000 for work in raising awareness of global hunger

Rome, 2 November - The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today has awarded CNN's Jim Clancy and Indian journalist Palagummi Sainath this year's A.H. Boerma Award, which recognizes journalistic excellence in raising awareness of global hunger. The prize brings with it an award of US$10,000, which will be split between the winners.

Mr. Clancy, anchor of Inside Africa, is recognized for his contribution in raising public awareness on the diverse problems facing the continent; Mr. Palagummi Sainath is a freelance journalist and photographer from India who has shaped the debate on food, hunger and rural development on the sub-continent. (…)






Message to Warsaw Meeting Says Current Military Action in Afghanistan

Fits Context of Security Council Resolutions, UN Charter on Self-Defense




6 November - This is the text of a message today from Secretary-General Kofi Annan (delivered by Vladimir Petrovsky, Director-General, United Nations, Geneva) to the Warsaw Conference of heads of State from central and eastern Europe on combating terrorism: 


I wish to convey my warm greetings to President Kwasniewski -- as well as the other leaders of central and eastern European States -– who are meeting to combat international terrorism. Your meeting today is a reflection of the importance all States attach to this fight, and a recognition that terrorism is a threat to all States -- great and small; rich and poor.  The 11 September attacks were assaults on humanity, and humanity must respond to them as one.  Every nation and every people have a responsibility to fight against terrorism by ensuring that differences and disputes are resolved through political means, and not through violence.


For the United Nations, it is essential that the global response to terrorism be truly universal and not divisive.  North, South, East and West must come together to forge a sense of human solidarity and unified purpose.  To defeat terrorism, we need a sustained effort and a broad strategy that unite all nations, and address all aspects of the scourge we face.  We are in a moral struggle to fight an evil that is anathema to all faiths.  The struggle will be long, for there is much to do.  Terrorists must not be given shelter and their financial mechanisms and logistical supports must be destroyed.  The international community has at its disposal political, legal, diplomatic and financial means, which it must use in innovative ways to combat terrorism.


Following the 11 September attacks in the United States, both the Security Council and the General Assembly adopted strong resolutions condemning the attacks and calling on all States to cooperate in bringing the perpetrators to justice.  The Security Council expressed its determination to combat, by all means, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.  The Council also reaffirmed the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.  The States concerned have set their current military action in Afghanistan in that context.


The Security Council also adopted unanimously a broad resolution —- resolution 1373 -— aimed at targeting terrorists and those who harbour, aid or support them.  That resolution requires Member States to cooperate in a wide range of areas —- from suppressing the financing of terrorism to providing early warning, cooperating in criminal investigations, and exchanging information on possible terrorist acts.  Now all Member States must make greater efforts to exchange information about practices that have proved effective, and lessons that have been learned, in the fight against terrorism —- so that a global standard of excellence can be set.


The Security Council also established a Committee consisting of all members of the Council to monitor the implementation of resolution 1373.  To this end, the “Counter-Terrorism Committee”, chaired by the United Kingdom, has transmitted Guidance to States for the submission of reports on the steps that States have taken to implement the resolution.


The Committee has also invited States to submit names of individuals available to be appointed to assist its programme of work.  Counter-terrorism experts are being sought in the fields of customs, immigration, extradition and financial law and practice, police and law enforcement work and illegal arms trafficking.  I appeal to all the leaders at the Warsaw meeting to collaborate with the Committee in order to ensure the full implementation of resolution 1373.


The General Assembly has already adopted 12 conventions and protocols on combating terrorism.  When the Assembly completes its work on a comprehensive convention on terrorism, I urge Member States to sign, ratify and implement it very quickly.  The Security Council and General Assembly actions will provide a common legal framework for international cooperation in the fight against terrorism.  In the long-term, this is the way to succeed in our joint efforts.


The victims of the attacks on 11 September were, first and foremost, the innocent civilians who lost their lives.  The victims were also their families who now grieve for them.  But peace, tolerance, mutual respect, human rights, the rule of law, and the global economy are all threatened by the terrorists’ acts.  In order to restore trust among peoples and cultures, a concerted international response can make the work of terrorists much harder to accomplish.  The unity born out of this tragedy should bring all nations together in defence of the most basic right —- the right of all peoples to live in peace and security.  This is the challenge before us as we seek to eliminate terrorism in every part of the world.



* * * * * * *



Next issue: 7 December 2001