Good News Agency – Year II, n° 20



Weekly - Year II, number 20 –  21 December 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


Peace and safety


Environment and wildlife


Economy and development


Culture and education







International legislation



Measures on terrorism, human cloning passed by General Assembly

12 December - In a series of actions on legal matters, the United Nations General Assembly today decided to establish a panel to study the elaboration of an international convention against the reproductive cloning of human beings and called for continued work on a draft accord against terrorism.

Acting on the recommendation of its legal (Sixth) committee, the Assembly approved without a vote a resolution envisaging the start of formal negotiations on an international convention on the issue once agreement was reached on a negotiating mandate. The treaty was proposed by France and Germany, whose representative told a committee debate that the threat posed to human dignity by reproductive cloning was a sufficient reason in itself for the international community to strive for a legally binding instrument against it.

The resolution on cloning was one of 21 decisions and resolutions adopted today on the reports of the Sixth Committee.

By another resolution, the Assembly decided that its own Ad Hoc Committee on terrorism should continue work towards a comprehensive convention on the subject at a session to be held from 28 January to 1 February 2002. The Ad Hoc Committee would also continue its work on a draft convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism. (…)


Senegal: report on implementation of Rome Statute

7 December - The Organisation Nationale des Droits de l'Homme (ONDH) organized a highly successful conference on the implementation of the Rome Statute into Senegalese law on October 23-26, 2001. This conference was organized in collaboration with the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (LCHR) and the Fédération Internationale des Droits de l'Homme (FIDH) and took place with the support of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Canada and the assistance of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Final Report is available for download.


Mozambique: Government targets corruption

7 December - This week the Mozambican government announced the formation of a special unit to fight corruption. The new unit would be made-up of magistrates who would be trained in Botswana, which has extensive experience and success in fighting corruption, Attorney-general, Joaquim Madeira, was quoted as saying. He said the new body would first focus on corruption in the judiciary. Political analysts said the new body could lead to the prosecution of many people within government who, up until now, have been considered "untouchable".

International donors have in recent months placed increasing pressure on the government to weed out corruption in government structures and to treat the scourge as a national priority.



Human rights



2002 UN Commission on Human Rights: Geneva, 18 March-26 April 2002

7 December - The fifty-eighth session of the UN Commission on Human Rights will be held from 18 March to 26 April 2002 in Geneva. The International Catholic Commission on Migration and December 18 encourage all ECOSOC accredited NGOs to prepare a written statement on the human rights of migrants from their own perspective. Written statements submitted by NGOs and government delegations are issued as UN documents and made available as such to member and observer governments and NGO participants.

Further details:



World congress against the exploitation of children – Japan, 17-20 December  

13 December - The second world congress against the sexual exploitation of children will be held in Yokohama, Japan from 17 to 20 December (the first was held in Stockholm in August 1996). The event has been organized by the Japanese government, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef), Ecpat (an organization engaged in the struggle against every form of the commercial sexual exploitation of children), and non government organizations supporting children's rights. It is estimated that in the world today there are two million child prostitutes or children subjected to various forms of sexual exploitation. The International Campaign for the Prevention of Child Trafficking and Please Disturb (a site for the prevention of sexual tourism) will be presented during the Congress. In the last meeting in Stockholm 122 states pledged themselves against the violence of children but to date only one third of these have applied suitable programs of national intervention.  

© 2nd World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, Vita , Unicef, Ecpat, Mondo e Missione, Terres des Hommes.



Peace and safety



Yugoslavia/Kosovo: "Women Facing War": ICRC holds multiethnic round table

13 December - (…) At a round table organized by the ICRC in Pristina on 1 December, eleven prominent members of civil society, representing different communities - Kosovo Albanian, Serb, Bosniac and Ashkali - met to air their views and exchange ideas on the theme "Women as positive actors in defusing violence and preventing armed conflict". The event was part of the international campaign launched this year by the ICRC and marked by the publication of a major study on the impact of armed conflict on women, entitled "Women Facing War".


Secretary-General, UN Receive Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo

10 December -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan and General Assembly President Han Seung-Soo today received the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded jointly to the Secretary-General and the United Nations. The Secretary-General, upon receiving the Prize, said, "In the 21st Century I believe the mission of the United Nations will be defined by a new, more profound, awareness of the sanctity and dignity of every human life, regardless of race or religion." (…)

In a statement issued on 12 October 2001 in Oslo, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said it had decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2001 in two equal portions - to the UN and to its Secretary-General, Kofi Annan - "for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world."

The Committee said the end of the cold war had at last made it possible for the UN to perform more fully the part it was originally intended to play. Today the organization is at the forefront of efforts to achieve peace and security in the world, and of the international mobilization aimed at meeting the world's economic, social and environmental challenges, the statement said.

As Secretary-General, Kofi Annan has been pre-eminent in bringing new life to the organization, according to the Nobel Committee. "While clearly underlining the UN's traditional responsibility for peace and security, he has also emphasized its obligations with regard to human rights," it said. "He has risen to such new challenges as HIV/AIDS and international terrorism, and brought about more efficient utilization of the UN's modest resources. In an organization that can hardly become more than its members permit, he has made clear that sovereignty can not be a shield behind which Member States conceal their violations." (…)


UNIFEM sponsors roundtable on women's leadership in rebuilding Afghanistan

United Nations, December 7 - The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) will convene an international roundtable on women's leadership role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan from December 10-11 in Brussels. Co-sponsored by the Government of Belgium, the meeting will provide a unique opportunity for Afghan women to voice their priorities and hopes for the future of their country to members of the international community. ()


Second Moving Beyond Missile Defense Workshop Held in Shanghai, China

Moving Beyond Missile Defense, a project of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation (INESAP) and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) joined with Center for American Studies at Fudan University at Shanghai in holding its second international workshop in Shanghai, China from 30 November to 2 December, 2001.  The workshop brought together more than 30 experts in the science, technology, policy, military and security fields from China, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the UK and the US.  The goals of the workshop were to review and assess plans to develop and deploy missile defense programs and their potential impact on global security and regional security in North East Asia. 

The Sunflower



Economy and development



IFAD strengthening its support for combating rural poverty in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Caucasus

Bucharest Workshop will challenge governments and donors to foster innovative strategic programmes

Rome, Bucharest, 7 December - A two day Regional Rural Poverty Assessment and Strategic Opportunities Workshop for Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Caucasus will be held in Bucharest, Romania, on 11-12 December. () The Workshop will discuss the causes, variations and specific features of rural poverty in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Caucasus. ()

The IFAD Rural Poverty Report 2001, officially launched earlier this year by Mr Kofi Annan, Secretary -General of the United Nations, will also be presented in the course of the Workshop. The Report argues that, to be successful, poverty reduction policies must focus on rural areas and stresses the need for increased investment in agriculture if the Millennium Summit target of halving poverty by 2015 is to be met.  (…)


Niger: Grain surplus recorded, government says

7 December - Niger harvested a cereal surplus of nearly 300,000 mt this year, The PanAfrican News Agency (PANA) reported a government statement as saying. This contrasts strongly with a cereal deficit last year that affected more than one-third of Niger's 10 million inhabitants, forcing thousands of people to leave their villages in search of food.


Guinea: ADF support for sustainable social development

7 December - The African Development Fund (ADF) has approved a loan of about US $25.56 million and a grant of just under US $2.24 million for a sustainable social development project in Upper and Central Guinea.

The objective of the project is to help reduce poverty by supporting the implementation of Guinea's National Poverty Reduction Strategy and enhance governance at the local government level, the African Development Bank (ADB) said. It seeks to facilitate access by the poor to basic socio-economic services and develop productive capacities, especially those of women and youths.

The project will support 57 urban districts and rural communities in preparing and implementing sustainable development programmes. (…)


West Africa: UN plans to set up West Africa office

7 December - The United Nations plans to establish a West Africa subregional office in Dakar, Senegal, in January for three years. It would be run by a Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa.

"Among its tasks, the Office would assist the work of the Economic Community of West African States and the Mano River Union (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone). It would also carry out good offices roles and special assignments in countries of the subregion on Mr. Annan's behalf, including in conflict prevention and peace-building efforts, as well as report to Headquarters on key developments of subregional significance," the UN news service reported.


Viet Nam cuts poverty rate by nearly half, says new report

7 December - Viet Nam's poverty rate fell from well over 70 per cent in the mid-1980s to around 37 per cent in 1998, according to the new National Human Development Report 2001. This is one of the sharpest declines recorded by any developing country.

The report, prepared with support from UNDP, credits the Government's Doi moi (renovation) process for this and other human development gains. Its main components include a transition from central planning to a "market economy with a socialist orientation" and an open-door policy to facilitate integration with regional and global communities.

The report notes, however, that poverty fell more rapidly in the 1990s in urban areas than rural areas, where 90 per cent of the poor live, and there is a widening gap between rich and poor. (…)


FAO says that in the third millennium aquaculture is forecast to contribute to global food security even more than in the past three decades

Rome, 6 December - Over the next two decades, aquaculture will contribute more to the global food fish supplies and will help further reducing global poverty and food insecurity, according to "Aquaculture in the Third Millennium" a new publication released today by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Aquaculture's contribution toward global fisheries landings continues to grow (31.3% in 1999) and it continues to dominate all other animal food producing sectors. Total aquaculture production in 1999 was about 42.77 million metric tons, valued at 53.56 US billion dollars.

Since the FAO Technical Conference on Aquaculture, (Kyoto, 1976), aquaculture has gone through major changes, ranging from small-scale homestead-level activities to large-scale commercial farming. ()


Programme offers grants for research on Internet and development in Asia-Pacific

6 December - To strengthen research on Internet policies and applications for development problems in the Asia-Pacific region, an initiative by UNDP and several partners is offering grants to fund projects in this sector. The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) R&D Grants Programme also funds research projects on the outcome and social impact of policies on ICT and Internet networking in the region. "Our idea in developing the programme is to encourage and stimulate the use of information and communications technology to improve a country's economy, as well as reduce poverty," said Vijay Parmar, deputy regional coordinator of the Asia Pacific Development Information Programme (APDIP). UNDP funds APDIP, and the UN Office of Project Services (UNOPS) implements the programme. (…)


Croatia banking breakthrough spurs loans to small businesses

5 December - Banks in Croatia wary of lending to small and medium sized businesses are loosening their purse strings, thanks to an initiative by UNDP and the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

Participants from five Croatian banks took part in a recent workshop at the Jadranska bank in Šibenik to learn techniques for lending to small businesses, including evaluating and processing business plans, instruments for risk management, loan collateral and guarantees, handling complaints, time management, granting credit and follow-up. UNDP and UNOPS organized the session in cooperation with the Netherlands Management Cooperation Programme, which arranged for two Dutch bankers with extensive experience in working with small and medium sized business, Piet de Vries and Jan Zandbergen, to carry out the training. The Netherlands programme and the Government of Norway funded the workshop. (…)


Impact of research results on sustainable agriculture: IFAD/CropLife International partnership initiative for development

Rome, 3 December The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the CropLife International will be addressing a Press Conference in Brussels to present a number of examples of joint ventures that demonstrate how tangible results in rural poverty reduction can best be achieved through joint public and private sector efforts. The examples are from the Latin America and Caribbean region and emphasize the importance of private-public sector synergies of agricultural solutions that would ensure food security and sustainability for small holder farmers. This would help improve the triple bottom line of economic viability, social responsibility and environmentally sound approaches.

IFAD’s projects are designed to promote the economic advancement of the rural poor, both through empowerment and improvement of the productivity of on- and off-farm activities. CropLife International is led by companies such as Aventis, BASF, Bayer, DuPont etc. in the plant science industry and contributes to these projects with its expertise in crop protection and biotechnology to developing agricultural solutions and technology packages. (…)






Russian Federation / Northern Caucasus: Winter assistance for the residents of Grozny

13 December - As civilians face their third winter of displacement in Chechnya and the northern Caucasus, the ICRC is pursuing its assistance programme for the most vulnerable, paying particular attention to their shelter and clothing needs so as to ensure that they are prepared to face harsh weather conditions in relative comfort and dignity. In Grozny alone, the ICRC, in cooperation with the Chechen branch of the Russian Red Cross, assists over 17,000 civilians. Moreover, each month the ICRC provides the elderly and disabled with 12 loaves of bread each, in addition to rations of oil, tea, sugar and soap. Since 1997 roughly 30,000 civilians have received such aid and in 2002 the ICRC plans to increase the number of beneficiaries in Grozny and other major urban centres to 50,000. (…)


Afghanistan: ICRC assists Bamyan Hospital

13 December - "When we visited the hospital last week," says Dr Daniel Brechbuehler, the ICRC medical co-ordinator for Afghanistan, "there was nothing. Even the beds, mattresses and lights had been looted." Bamyan Hospital normally serves between 15,000 and 20,000 families in the region. But for the moment the closest hospital is in Kabul, an eight to ten hour drive away. (…)

The ICRC has offered to re-equip the hospital and restore it to full operational capacity. It has already provided emergency medical supplies sufficient to treat 1,000 patients for three months. The ICRC will also provide the hospital with a complete two-table operating theatre including surgical, anaesthetic and sterilization equipment and supplies. (…)


Mozambique: Debt relief agreement with France

7 December - In a related development, the Mozambican and French governments this week signed an agreement under which an estimated US $26 million of Mozambique debt to France would be cancelled. The agreement takes the form of a contract redirecting the money from debt servicing into poverty reduction programmes. The contract is for an initial three-year period. Bernadette Leforte, French ambassador to Mozambique, said France hoped to follow the contract with another one after the three-year period, until Mozambique's entire debt to it was wiped out.


Rwanda: Number of vulnerable households down almost 50 percent

7 December - The number of vulnerable Rwandans without proper shelter has dropped by almost 50 percent since 1999, according to a survey by the Ministry of Human Settlement in collaboration with the UN Development Programme, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as well as donors and other development partners. A 14-day 'Rapid Assessment of Immediate Shelter Needs' survey that ended on 21 October showed that 191,844 Rwandan households were still living under sheeting and grass-thatched shelters compared to 370,000 in 1999.

The survey attributed the downward trend to five factors, among which was that displaced and other returnee populations recovered their properties. Some other factors were that non-governmental organisations - funded by France, Switzerland and Canada - built more homes; government urging of the public to build their own shelters, as well as UNHCR and WFP provision of food-for-work programmes to resettle homeless families.


Rwanda: UNICEF lays out humanitarian action plan for 2002

7 December - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and its partners plan to spend some US $10.9 million for humanitarian action in Rwanda during 2002, according to a UN Children's Fund report made available to IRIN on Thursday. This effort is part of a broader UNICEF goal to ensure that the rights of all children are realised, and in this way "support Rwanda's transition from emergency to long-term human development".

Further details:


Italy contributes $5 million for Bethlehem recovery

6 December - The Government of Italy last week announced a contribution of US$5 million to the UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP) to help residents and institutions in the Bethlehem District recover from the devastating impact of recent violence.

Dr. Gianni Ghisi, Italian Consul General in Jerusalem, said the contribution covers emergency assistance and medium-term interventions.

The emergency funds -- $827,000 -- are to be used by the end of the year to rehabilitate infrastructure, generating opportunities for unemployed workers. (…) Since 1987, the Government of Italy has contributed approximately $55 million to UNDP/PAPP to help meet development needs of the Palestinian people and support the Middle East peace process.


OneWorld US: Congress green lights AIDS $1.3 billion

US lawmakers yesterday approved legislation that will give a $1.3 billion boost over one year to fight the global HIV/AIDS epidemic through bilateral and multinational programmes aimed at education, prevention, treatment, and research. (…)


DebtChannel: Promise of debt relief for Burundi

Burundi's donor partners have promised the government US $830 million to fight HIV/AIDS, reduce the debt service burden and support priority development programmes. This new undertaking was the outcome of a donor's roundtable for Burundi held in Geneva. This, and the latest news on debt from around the globe at the

From: DebtChannel.


Poverty Mapping Website

27 November - Poverty maps, integrating data from various sources, quickly provide information on the spatial distribution of poverty.  Poverty maps can improve the allocation of resources in  anti-poverty programs, and make poverty studies more easily understandable to wider audiences.  The new Poverty Mapping website, at, provides state-of-the-art poverty maps and methodology on the global as well as regional and sub-national levels. 

See also PovertyNet's website on the Geographical Aspects of Inequality and Poverty at : .






Three UN agencies join hands in the fight against HIV/AIDS

Rome, 4 December  - Three Rome-based UN agencies - the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) - have decided to join hands in the fight against HIV/AIDS, in coordination with the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). ()

Cooperation between FAO, UNAIDS and other specialized agencies including UNDP and UNOPS will help achieve a broad-based response to HIV/AIDS on issues relating to food security and rural livelihoods. Government and NGO representatives will present their countries' experiences and objectives regarding the mitigation of the impact of HIV/AIDS on the agricultural sector. They will identify obstacles toward the attainment of those objectives and discuss ways to overcome them. Participating countries are Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. ()


HIV/AIDS Network launches a search engine

7 December - The HIV/AIDS Search Engine is a tool for searching the internet for news on medications, treatments and vaccines. People can log in privately and chat with a counselor or get answers to questions from an online forum. Users can search through links using major search engines and news headlines sites. This online service is particularly targeted at rural locations where HIV/AIDS information and support is limited.

HIV/AIDS: World Bank appoints new global Adviser

7 December - The World Bank has announced the appointment of the bank's first global HIV/AIDS adviser, charged with galvanizing bank efforts in the fight against the spread of the disease, particularly in developing countries. Medical scientist Debrework Zewdie of Ethiopia has been appointed as the bank's HIV/AIDS adviser "to make a difference in developing countries which are struggling with the social and economic ravages of HIV/AIDS, and to raise global awareness and resources to combat and prevent the disease," said bank Vice President for Human Development Jozef Ritzen.

Further details:


AIDS and men in Africa

7 December - The Panos AIDS Programme is working in collaboration with the Society for Women and AIDS in Africa (SWAA) in three countries, Kenya, Mozambique and Cameroon, on issues around men and HIV and impact on women. The project targets local organisations, policymakers and the media --by disseminating information on the issues and existing projects working with men, and catalysing the development of new projects. The reports Men and HIV in Mozambique ( in Portuguese) and Men and HIV in Kenya have been produced in collaboration with SWAA as part of this project.



Energy and safety



Biodisel from chicken waste in UK

(5 December) A British supermarket chain said today that it would begin fueling its delivery trucks with  chicken waste and used cooking oils.  The Asda chain, which includes 258 stores in the U.K and is a part of the Wal-Mart company, generates about 36,500 gallons per year of chicken waste and cooking fat that currently winds up in landfills.  But starting in April, the gunk will be transformed into biodiesel to power the company's trucks.  For fact-happy readers:  According to Asda, the U.K. produces as much as 23 million gallons per year of used cooking oil.



Environment and wildlife



Scotland deepens perspectives for wind and wave energy

10 December - Scotland has enough potential wind and wave energy to power the entire U.K., according to an independent study that has been met with excitement by the Scottish government. Known as one of the windiest spots in Europe, Scotland could apparently provide almost a quarter of the U.K.'s energy needs from onshore wind farms, without having to construct the farms on designated scenic areas.  Wave and tidal stream energy could meet the other three-quarters of Britain's power needs.  A second report issued today said Scotland could achieve its goal of generating 18 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2010.


Largest gift ever to a single environmental group

10 December - In the largest gift ever to a single environmental group, the foundation created by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore announced yesterday that it would give Conservation International $261 million over 10 years.  The money will help the Washington, D.C.-based group identify and protect biodiversity hotspots, areas that CI says cover 1.4 percent of the Earth's land mass but contain 60 percent of the planet's terrestrial species.  The group's president, Russell Mittermeier, said he hoped to use Moore's gift to leverage as much as $6 billion from private and public sources.  In 1998, Moore gave $35 million to CI to help establish the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science.


United Nations urged to include oceans and coasts at World Summit on sustainable development

Paris, December 7 - The goals of next year's World Summit on Sustainable Development can only be met if effective action to protect ocean and coastal areas is implemented - and soon. This conclusion was reached at a five-day meeting of over 400 coastal and ocean experts assembled for The Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10: Toward the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg which ended at UNESCO Headquarters today.

"Sustainable development and poverty reduction cannot be achieved without healthy oceans and coasts," said the meeting's Co-Chairs, Patricio Bernal, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Committee (IOC) of UNESCO, and Biliana Cicin-Sain, Director of the Center for the Study of Marine Policy of the University of Delaware (USA). "The key question is how to sustain the natural resource base and the integrity of coastal and ocean ecosystem services, while continuing to expand economically. We strongly recommend that the United Nations put sustainable development of oceans - comprising 70% of the Earth's surface - as a central feature of the World Summit."

The United Nations will convene heads of state for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, in September 2002, the 10th anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit, which was held in Rio de Janeiro. (…)


World Bank to finance projects in four countries to fight global warming projects worth US$35 million will protect the ozone layer

Montreal, December 6 - In a significant move towards ending developing countries' use of harmful ozone depleting substances (ODS), the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol (MFMP) approved US$35.8 million to completely phase out the consumption of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) through World Bank-implemented projects in the Bahamas, Malaysia, Thailand and Turkey.

These groundbreaking projects will result in a permanent global reduction of 7,468 ozone depleting potential (ODP) tons by 2010. (…)


Indonesia to tighten laws against illegal logging

5 December - Indonesia said this week that it would tighten its forestry laws to rein in illegal logging.  Under the new rules, companies will lose their licenses to log in 2003 unless they can prove they are managing forests sustainably.  Enviros cheered the change, though it remains to be seen just how the theory will translate into practice.  This week's move follows a policy shift in October, when the government banned some log exports to help slow the pace of logging in the country's tropical rainforests.  The World Bank estimates that Indonesia lost about 3.7 million acres of forest per year from 1985 to 1997; by 2000, the country's forests had been reduced to 49 million acres, down from 106 million pre-1985.


Netherlands Gives Big Backing to UNEP in Run Up to World Summit on Sustainable Development

Substantial and Vital Cash Increase Welcomed by Klaus Toepfer

Nairobi, 28 November 2001 - The Government of the Netherlands have almost doubled their contribution to the core budget of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for the year 2001, it was announced today.

The Netherlands, already a significant financial supporter of the organization, have decided to raise their contribution to UNEP's Environment Fund by around $2.1 million to a total of about $4.5 million for this year.

The Environment Fund, which in recent years has been declining, is UNEP's core funding. It is critical for the organization's activities in areas such as chemicals, early warning of disasters, wildlife and environmental law as laid out in UNEP's work programme and authorised by its Governing Council of 58 nations, the organization's supreme decision-making body. (…)



Culture and education



Globalisation and sustainable development: is ethics the missing link?

A Forum initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong

Lyon, France, 21-23 February 2002 – Palais des Congrès

Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong are launching the Earth Dialogues to provide a forum for constructive debate on the world’s most acute problems. In February 2002, leaders of civil society, government, international organisations, finance, business, religion, media and academia, along with members of the public, will convene in Lyon to share their views on how to forge the essential links between Globalisation, Sustainable Development and Ethics.

The Earth Dialogues will seek to encourage high-level pressure and guidance in the search for a more just and sustainable model of development in the globalised world, by: providing a platform for civil society to share its perspectives with those in powerful positions in order to influence future decision-making; identifying obstacles to achieving sustainable development; tracing the links between the environment and human security; articulating essential principles and values for sustainable development; clarifying the concept of environmental rights; sharing value-changing best practices and experiences; considering the contribution of the Earth Charter in defining and strengthening sustainable development; producing integrated proposals and recommendations for action and implementation.


Television and radio stations worldwide open airwaves to Children UNICEF's Ninth International Children's Day of Broadcasting

New York, 7 December - More than 2,000 broadcasters from over 160 countries will air TV and radio programmes by, for and about children on Sunday, 9 December, International Children's Day of Broadcasting (ICDB). Started by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Council of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), the event galvanises some of the most influential broadcasting organisations around the world in support of children's issues and in celebration of their huge energy and creative potential.

The fundamental right of children to express opinions and participate in public discussion is emphasised in the Convention on the Rights of the Child; ICDB helps make this right a reality. The event provides an opportunity for children to work with broadcasters, designing studio sets, setting up cameras and reporting and presenting the news. Programmes produced for ICDB spotlight the major challenges to children in poverty and in war, being enlisted as soldiers, being sexually exploited and infected with HIV/AIDS. (…)


"The Mystery of the Four-leaved Clover"

27 November - "The Mystery of the Four-leaved Clover": this is the name of the video-game produced by the Italian Department of the Interior and financed together with the European Union to inform children about legality. The task of the player is to guide Anthony, the small hero of the video-game, through situations on the limit between legality and illegality. An internet site, 'Anthony's room', has been created along with the game where, a part from downloading the game itself and Anthony's screensaver, the children can express their own creativity and exchange opinions on assurance and legality.




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Next issue: 18 January 2002