Good News Agency – Year III, n° 3



Weekly - Year III, number 3 –  9 February 2002

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 the editorial offices  of more than 2,400 media in 46 countries, as well as to 1,000 NGO.



International legislation - Peace and safety - Economy and development -  Solidarity

Health - Energy and safety - Environment and wildlife - Culture and education



International legislation



First meeting to discuss Draft International Convention Against Corruption

Vienna, 22 January  - New steps by the international community to fight corruption are being taken at the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on the elaboration of a United Nations Convention against Corruption being held in Vienna this week. The Officer-in-Charge of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP), Mr. Steinar B. Bjornsson, told delegates that the meeting was the beginning of a historic process in the fight against corruption. He reminded them that the task ahead is to equip the world with a broad, comprehensive, functional and effective international instrument which will strengthen the existing capacity of countries to counter corruption and create that capacity for those countries which do not yet possess it. 

The Ad Hoc Committee (meeting from 21 January - 1 February 2002) is now considering the first draft of a Convention against Corruption which derives from a wide range of proposals from Member States which were discussed at the Informal Preparatory Meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Negotiation of a Convention against Corruption, held in Buenos Aires from 4-7 December 2001. (…)



Peace and safety



Albania moves to tighten controls on small arms

6 February - Albania is shifting from collecting small arms to controlling them, Deputy Prime Minister Skender Gjinushi told a recent international workshop on human security and weapons control organized by UNDP and the Albanian Atlantic Association. A new UNDP project will support these efforts. Mr. Gjinushi said the government had retrieved one third of the weapons looted from government arsenals in 1997, and more than 100,000 weapons have been destroyed. Illegal arms are no longer shown off in public and illegal weapons possession has been reduced considerably, he added.

Albanians still hold hundreds of thousands of military arms and thousands of tons of explosives, and the workshop discussed how to reduce this threat to public order and human security. (…)

UNDP has actively supported the government's efforts to collect illegal arms and explosives since 1998.(…) The new UNDP project will focus on three regions (…) The European Union, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden are providing co-financing for the US$3.5 million budget.



Economy and development



At fortieth session, Commission for Social Development to consider integration of social, economic policy, 11-21 February

6 February – The Commission for Social Development will hold its fortieth session from  11 to 21 February at Headquarters in New York. During its current two-week session the Commission will consider the priority theme, "Integration of social and economic policy," focusing on its three main topics of discussion:  social aspects of macroeconomic policies; social assessment as a policy tool; and expenditures in the social sector as a productive factor.  Under the agenda item on the review of United Nations plans and programmes pertaining to the situation of particular social groups, the Commission is also scheduled to take up the outcome of the second session of the Preparatory Committee for the Second World Assembly on Ageing and the report of the Special Rapporteur on Disability.  As it begins its consideration of its main theme on Monday morning, the Commission will hold a high-level governmental and expert panel discussion on these issues.  It will also have before it a related report of the Secretary-General.(…)


African NGOs, fearing impact of structural adjustment programmes, adopt Cairo Declaration for food security

Cairo, 5 February (FAO) - Heads of 30 African non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations (NGOs/CSOs) concluded a two-day consultation held in parallel to the twenty-second Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Conference for Africa (4-8 February). (…) The NGOs/CSOs consultation produced a Cairo Declaration on Food Security in Africa and a detailed plan of action aimed at translating previous political commitments into concrete actions to promote food security in order to reduce poverty in Africa.

The plan of action identifies as priorities the achievement of food sovereignty and the right to adequate food; effective models of agricultural production; peace, democracy and good governance; programmes to curb the growing HIV/AIDS threat; public health; gender equality; financing for agriculture; and the improvement of rural infrastructures. (…)


IFAD to Support the Western Uplands Poverty Alleviation Project in the Kingdom of Nepal

Rome, 5 February  – A USD 32.6 million project in the Kingdom of Nepal – The Western Uplands Poverty Alleviation Project – will receive a USD20 million loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). A financing agreement was signed today in Nepal, by His Excellency, Mr. Bimal Prasad Koirala, Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Kingdom of Nepal and Mr. Phrang Roy, Director of the Asia and Pacific Division of the Fund.  The programme will  operate in the Western Uplands of Nepal, a remote and harsh area with low rainfall and very poor access. (…) The project will cover 11 districts in the far and mid-western development regions. By its close, in 11 years’ time, it is expected to have helped 115,000 households. (…)


Leader of 2002 Johannesburg Summit challenges business to become full partner in sustainable development

World Summit Secretary-General Nitin Desai calls on governments and advocates to forge partnerships with corporate sector

4 February – Speaking at the World Economic Forum meeting in New York, Nitin Desai, Secretary-General of the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development, today called on major corporations around the world to dramatically increase their involvement in sustainable development initiatives. 

Sustainable development, he said, is an approach to managing the world’s resources that integrates economic, social, and environmental decision-making to improve the quality of life of people today while preserving natural resources for future generations.  Mr. Desai’s remarks were made as part of a World Economic Forum meeting held to examine progress made since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, and discuss goals for the upcoming Johannesburg Summit, to be held from 26 August to  4 September 2002.(…)


California-based company combines efficiency with care for the environment

4 February - Gearheads have reason to feel smug about their Patagonia fleeces these days.  Once again, the company appears among Fortune Magazine's top 100 places to work in the U.S. -- and this time it moved up 17 places in the rankings, to number 41.  The company sold $223 million worth of outdoor gear last year, but it's not just the money that's green:  Patagonia offers its workers everything from financial rewards for buying eco-friendly cars to two months paid leave for working for an environmental nonprofit to organic food in its cafeterias.  Plus the company pledges 1 percent of sales or 10 percent of pretax profits -- whichever is higher -- to conservation efforts.  To top it all off, the California-based company offers on-site childcare, flexible work schedules, and yoga and surfing classes.


Viet Nam embarks on E-Trade Bridge to boost trade

4 February - Viet Nam has launched E-Trade Bridge, an innovative programme designed by the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC) to help small and medium-sized businesses in developing countries harness the Internet and other new technologies to boost international trade.

The initiative is part of Viet Nam's broader trade promotion strategy, supported by UNDP, which aims to increase merchandise exports by at least 14 per cent a year to reach $50 billion by 2010.

The Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) is carrying it out in cooperation with ITC and the Swiss Import Promotion Organization, with financial support from the Government of Switzerland. (…)


Tobin or Not Tobin?

It was the main theme on the Financial Capital Controls conference

By Satya Sivaraman

3 February - It is a tax whose time may have finally come and one that a significant portion of the anti-globalisation movement swears by. And yet the proposal for a Tobin Tax, which would be levied on global financial transactions, continues to generate strong debate - not so much over its practicability as over its real effectiveness in curbing the various ills associated with globalisation today.(…)

Leading the charge for implementation of the Tobin Tax was Dominique Plihon, French economist and leading member of the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens (ATTAC). Pointing to the way the Tobin tax, in just the past few years, has made strong inroads into French and European political debate, he said that the tax was 'not a panacea' but its implementation will be a very important first step in combating the problems created worldwide by neo-liberal economic policies.

Within the past few years ATTAC and other organisations supporting the Tobin Tax have managed to get politicians across the world, particularly in Europe and Canada, to bring the measure up for serious debate and push for its immediate implementation. (…)


Equator Initiative seeks nominations for tropical biodiversity awards

1 February - The Equator Initiative, an innovative programme launched Wednesday by UNDP and several partners, is seeking nominations for five awards recognizing extraordinary accomplishments in reducing poverty through conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the equatorial belt. The Equator Initiative is designed to support the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Through recognition of local achievements, fostering South-South capacity building, and contributing to generating and sharing of knowledge, the programme aims to promote a worldwide movement that links efforts to reduce poverty and conserve biodiversity across the tropics.

Partnering with UNDP in the initiative are the Government of Canada, the International Development Research Centre and the United Nations Foundation. BrasilConnects and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives supported launch, attended by 450 development and environmental leaders and ambassadors from around the world at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. (…)


Jordan women's co-op protects Ajloun forest and changes lives

31 January - The Women's Cooperative of Jabal Al Akhdar and Khshaibeh, two villages in northern Jordan, is taking a pioneering path leading to bigger roles in decision-making, new income earning opportunities and more protection for the area's endangered Ajloun forest.

A $31,000 grant from the UNDP Global Environmental Facility SGP (Small Grants Programme) has helped the 140 members of the cooperative improve their livelihoods and communities while protecting the environment. The project is an example of activities the SGP highlighted at a side event on 30 January during the preparatory meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development at the UN in New York this week.

Since some villages still don't allow women to work or participate in income generating activities "our cooperative represents a step forward, not only supporting women as economic participants, but also empowering them to be active decision-makers in the community and at home," said Jehad Amarat, head of the cooperative in Jabal Al Akhdar.  (…)


Speaking in New York at a preparatory meeting to the Johannesburg World Summit - Jacques Diouf underlines the important potential of agriculture to sustainable development

New York/Rome, 29 January - Dr Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), today underlined "the important potential of agriculture" to help achieve the goals of the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg on 26 August - 4 September 2002.

Dr Diouf, in a message to the participants to the second preparatory committee meeting of the WSSD (Prepcom II) at UN Headquarters in New York, that was delivered by FAO Assistant Director-General Jacques Eckebil, stressed that agriculture, forestry and fisheries should take a central position on the agenda of all preparatory events leading to WSSD.

"Environmental degradation and poverty are strongly linked," Dr Diouf pointed out. Therefore, initiatives to reduce poverty and hunger should be accompanied by good environmental management, which can only be achieved if the needs and motivations of farmers are given due consideration, the FAO Director-General said. (…)


International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD)

Monterrey, Mexico, 18-22 March 2002 - Organized jointly by The United Nations General Assembly and the governing bodies of  the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Trade Organization (WTO), is a process seeking innovative ways to strengthen the financing of development and the stability of the global financial system. UNIDO has presented three sets of initiatives in the context of the FfD process: strengthening of productive capacities; increasing export trade; promotion of foreign investment. 

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WFP will continue to help millions of Afghans recover from war and drought

5 February 2002, Washington D.C. - The United Nations World Food Programme today announced a new US$285 million operation to assist millions of Afghans beyond the current crisis. The operation aims to provide immediate relief as well as to support the longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction of Afghanistan after three years of crippling drought and 23 years of devastating conflict.

WFP is currently assisting about six million people in Afghanistan. Under the new nine-month operation due to start 1 April and continue through to December 2002 the focus will shift from relief to recovery with particular emphasis on schoolfeeding for education. It is estimated a total of 544,000 tons of food will be required. (…)

Liberia: WFP assists victims of new displacement

Abidjan, 4 February - The UN World Food Programme (WFP) says it completed on Monday the delivery of emergency food rations to over 9,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who fled to Klay Junction, about 58 km north of the Liberian capital, Monrovia, to escape fighting between pro- and anti-government forces.

Another 2,300 displaced persons were assisted at the weekend at Sinje, 80 km northwest of Monrovia, WFP said. Sinje is also the site of two refugee camps where about 17,100 registered Sierra Leonean refugees receive regular WFP food rations, the UN agency said. (…)


UN Population Fund rushes aid to volcano victims in Goma; acts to save lives of women facing pregnancy complications

United Nations, New York, 4 February - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has sent more than five tonnes of emergency reproductive health commodities to Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, to meet reproductive health needs of the thousands of people displaced by the eruption of a volcano last month. (…)

UNFPA has dispatched various supplies needed to address pregnancy complications and reduce infant and maternal deaths, in adequate quantities to meet the needs of a population of 300,000. They include emergency kits for basic personal hygiene, and equipment and drugs for safe delivery and post-partum care. The reproductive health kits have been developed by UNFPA in close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). (…)


ICRC aid for the internally displaced in Jammu and Kashmir

Geneva, 1 February - The current tension between India and Pakistan and the military build-up along the international border and the Line of Control has caused the inhabitants of several dozen villages close to the border to leave their homes and seek refuge in safer areas. While most of the displaced people are staying temporarily with friends and relatives, several thousand of them are having to camp in buildings such as schools, a commercial centre and a disused factory. After consultations with the civilian authorities (…), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) assessed the needs of some 2,600 families living in public buildings in the districts of Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch.

On the basis of its findings, between 25 January and 1 February the ICRC distributed family parcels comprising food (lentils, sugar, oil), hygiene products and blankets to these displaced families. (…) The ICRC will continue to monitor the needs of the displaced, alongside its ongoing detention-related activities in Jammu and Kashmir.


Mauritania: WFP approves US $200,000 in emergency aid

1 February - The World Food Programme (WFP) has approved the distribution of 400 mt of wheat to 6,785 victims of adverse weather in Mauritania. The emergency aid, worth some US $200,000, will be distributed in February, WFP said on 25 January.

Mauritania has been hit by drought since last year. Then, in January, unexpected heavy rains and a cold front killed at least 25 people and 80,000 camels, cattle and sheep. Some 5,500 families were affected. WFP plans to provide more emergency aid to the affected populations in the northwest African nation. A team is due to complete an evaluation of their food needs by 4 February.


Afghanistan: Reconstruction deal signed with Uzbekistan

Islamabad, 31 January - An Afghan government delegation led by the new planning minister, Hoji Muhammad Muhaqeq, signed a statement of cooperation with Uzbek foreign ministry officials on Wednesday in the capital Tashkent, a move hailed by a regional analyst in Pakistan. "Uzbekistan can help the new administration in reconstruction by providing expertise and raw material," Dr Fazle Rahim Marwat, a central Asian expert at Peshawar University, told IRIN on Thursday. (…)

According to media reports, the two neighbours discussed the reconstruction of existing roads as well as the building of new ones. Joint operations against drug trafficking, energy supplies and he construction of infrastructure by Uzbek engineers were also discussed. (…)


FAO launches emergency appeal for volcano victims in Goma

Rome, 31 January  - To assist refugees and farmers in the city of Goma in eastern Congo, hit by a volcanic eruption on 17 January, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today appealed, in the framework of a UN integrated effort, for US$1.25 million immediate aid. International emergency assistance to farmers and their families could help to avoid serious repercussions on food security and agriculture in the Goma area, FAO said. (…)

In close cooperation with non-governmental organisations, FAO is preparing to help farmers rebuild their lives by providing construction materials, seeds of fast growing vegetable and agricultural tools to around 6 000 affected farmers in Goma and nearby villages. With this help, amounting to more than US$ one million, some of the worst affected families will be able to supply themselves in the next three weeks with basic food. (…)






New Tool for Engaging Private Sector in Fight Against HIV/AIDS

New York, 2 February - UNAIDS and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have created a new tool to help the private sector find innovative HIV/AIDS partnership opportunities in developing countries. Known as the Partnership Menu, it provides potential donors with a list of HIV/AIDS projects they can sponsor at the country level, ranging from youth-friendly health services, to home-based care programmes, to education for orphans. The first series of menus features Brazil, India and Zambia. (…)

The menus are part of the Global Health Initiative, which was launched at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos last January by UNAIDS, the World Health Organization and the WEF. Its purpose is to engage the private sector in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Forum member companies participating in the initiative are currently exploring ways in which corporations can make a difference through workplace and community best practices, resource mobilization and advocacy.


Business-like approach to funding health programs in poor countries may save more than two million lives in 5 years

New York, 1 February - Two years after its official launch at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, or GAVI, reports that its goal-oriented approach to development aid could raise basic immunization rates in funded countries by 17 percentage points and increase coverage of hepatitis B vaccine from 18 to 65 percent by 2007, ultimately saving more than two million lives, according to new data released at the World Economic Forum today.

GAVI is a public-private partnership focused on increasing access to vaccines among children in poor countries. Partners include national governments, UNICEF, WHO, The World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the vaccine industry, public health institutions and NGOs. (…)

The GAVI data are based on the plans prepared by the countries and partners in the 53 approved countries. Five-year commitments to these countries total more than $800 million. GAVI partners estimate that this investment could result in more than two million lives saved, based on current data of disease burden and immunization costs. The projected results are subject to change, both because some countries may not reach their targets, and others may surpass them.


South Africa: Government under pressure to provide AIDS drugs

1 February - Frustrated at the South African government's refusal to provide antiretroviral treatment in state hospitals, international humanitarian organisation, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), and AIDS activist group, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), announced this week that they were importing generic drugs from Brazil.

This, coupled with the KwaZulu Natal province's recent decision to make nevirapine available in all state hospitals, has put additional pressure on the government to rethink its current policy on AIDS drugs.


WHO launches online medical library

Abidjan, 1 February - The World Health Organization (WHO) and six of the world's largest publishers of medical journals on Thursday launched a project to enable medical experts in developing countries to gain access, via the Internet, to medical literature which they could previously obtain only by paying high subscription fees.

The 'Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative' will allow thousands of doctors, researchers, health policy-makers and others to have access for free or at significantly reduced charges to "one of the world's largest collections of biomedical literature", WHO said in a news release on Thursday. During the project's first stage, more than 1,000 journals will be available to people in 70 countries. The project's second stage will target other developing countries.

The online project, which is expected to run for an initial three-year period, is part of a larger initiative, the Health InterNetwork project, which aims to strengthen public health services by giving specialists access to relevant and reliable medical information. (…)  WHO Director-General Gro Harlem described 'Access to Research' as a big step towards "reducing the information gap between rich and poor countries".


Cameroon: IFRC holds regional meeting on Ebola

Abidjan, 31 January - The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) held a two-day regional meeting this week to review its activities in combating the latest outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever, which has affected populations in Gabon and Congo. (…)

At the end of the meeting, the participants, representing six Central African countries, resolved to conduct information campaigns to raise awareness of populations, particularly those living in wooded areas in close proximity to animals. The six countries would also adopt a training curriculum for their volunteers as the group feels that they play an important role in education and prevention (…)


ILO and UNIFEM work on socio-economic impact of HIV/AIDS

29 January - UNIFEM and ILO are developing a collaborative programme on gender, HIV/AIDS and the care economy. The joint global programme will address the socio-economic impact of HIV/AIDS, run for a minimum of two years and focus on Africa during the first year. The programme will draw attention to the urgent need to increase sources of social protection, address income insecurity and improve access to health and basic social services that could alleviate the burden of care, especially for women.

Research, training and advocacy work to raise awareness about unpaid care economy issues will be conducted in four pilot countries and involve employers, workers, governments and households. Support will also be given to develop gender-sensitive workplace policies and programmes that take into account the burden of care shouldered by women workers. A vision-building workshop with global partners and stakeholders is planned for March/April 2002 in Africa. For more information, contact Stephanie Urdang, Advisor on Gender, HIV and AIDS, at


President of the International Narcotics Control Board welcomes drug-control assistance to Afghanistan

Vienna, 23 January - Professor Hamid Ghodse, President of the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), has welcomed the commitment of the international community to support the Afghan Interim Government in its efforts to rid the country of opium poppy cultivation. 

"By banning opium poppy cultivation, the Afghan Interim Administration has shown that it takes its responsibilities under the three international drug-control treaties seriously," the INCB President said, "INCB will continue its dialogue with the Afghan authorities to ensure that the ban is maintained." (…)



Energy and safety



Countries should pay for toxic cleanups beyond their own borders

1 February – Long unhappy about pollution from Britain's Sellafield nuclear power plant, Norway announced yesterday that it would call for a binding international agreement to force polluting countries to pay for toxic cleanups beyond their own borders.  The nation's foreign affairs committee voted unanimously to ask the government to impose economic sanctions on the U.K. until radioactive emissions from Sellafield cease.  Traces of the radioactive compound technetium-99 originating from Sellafield have been found along the entire Norwegian coastline. Norway's environment minister, Boerge Brende, has been a force behind the effort to create a U.N. high commissioner for the environment and a unified system of environmental treaties.


East-West Innovation Forum - Warsaw, Poland, 25-27 April 2002

Held within the framework of the INVEST-TECHNOLOGY International Fair of Innovations, New Technologies and Economic Co-operation, the main objective of the Forum is to facilitate co-operation between partners from EU countries and their counterparts in Central and East European states, in joint implementation of projects related to new technologies.

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Environment and wildlife



Next Stop Johannesburg

The spirit of Porto Alegre will be carried to Rio+10 in Johannesburg come September

By Ranjit Devraj, Terra Viva IPS

3 February - Environmentalists attending the WSF have a wish. They want to see the spirit and momentum of Porto Alegre carried to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) or Rio+10 in Johannesburg come September. (…)

In September serious activists will demand that government delegates to the Rio+10 conference endorse the treaty which cuts through all the hoopla surrounding gene patents to hold that the earth's gene pool cannot be patented for the simple reason that it is not a human invention.

The parties to the treaty, expected to include signatory nation states as well as indigenous people, must agree to administer the gene pool as a trust and acknowledge the sovereign right and responsibility of every nation and homeland to oversee their own biological resources and determine how they may be shared. (…)


New money from Ireland for Africa's environment

Three million Euros over three years: Ireland Aid becomes important new donor to UNEP

Dublin, 31 January - The Government of Ireland is providing new money to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in order to help tackle some of Africa's most pressing environment problems, it was announced here today. Ireland Aid, the government's official development cooperation programme, will give a minimum  of three million Euros (equivalent to US $2,647,650) over three years to support the work of UNEP in Africa. The money will support activities focused in the areas of freshwater, access to environmental information, protection of the marine and coastal environment and the conservation of biological diversity. (…)

The new Ireland Trust Fund for Africa will cover the following four priority areas: Protection of freshwater resources; Access to environmental information for decision-making; Protection of coastal and marine environment (with an emphasis on coastal and marine fisheries management); and Conservation of biological diversity (with an emphasis on monitoring of land cover, protected areas, and indigenous vegetation change). In all areas, the work will focus on poverty alleviation and capacity building.



Culture and education



Ethiopia: Girl launches campaign to improve children's lives

Addis Ababa, 4 February - A 12 year-old girl has become the new face of a campaign to improve the lives of children in Ethiopia. Leah Abebe, who is in grade five at her primary school, told a conference in Addis Ababa last week that children are the future of the country.

The campaign - called Say Yes for Children - is an international project launched by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in April 2001.

"It is us, the children of today, who will become the teachers, doctors, engineers, judges, and national leaders of tomorrow," Leah told the conference in Ethiopia. "We require care and support in order to become educated adults...Yet, in our surroundings, we witness children being insulted, beaten, and abused. There are also many orphans who spend their nights on the street."

So far more than 50,000 pledges have been collected from schoolchildren in Ethiopia. They will form part of the millions collected internationally and will be presented before the UN's Special Session on Children in May - which aims to improve the lives of children worldwide. (…)


First batch of African women graduate from ECA CISCO Networking Academy 

Addis Ababa, 31 January - Twenty-six African women from 16 English-speaking African countries graduated from the Cisco Internet Networking Academy today after 280 hours of training at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The training programme, organized by ECA's Information Technology Centre for Africa (ITCA), is the first of its kind, based on the established curriculum of the Cisco Networking Academy Programme, a global programme operating in more than 133 countries worldwide.

The programme is underpinned by three goals:

- To reverse the current unequal access of women and men to the new technologies;
- To address the shortage of skilled African human resources in new technologies; and
-  To provide trainees with skills that can produce high-income employment and provide entrepreneurial opportunities. (…)


UN Population Fund and AIESEC International Student Network agree to work together to educate youth on critical issues

United Nations, New York, 29 January - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and AIESEC International, the largest global student organization, have agreed to collaborate on projects aimed at raising young people's awareness of critical issues related to population and development, including challenges related to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid and AIESEC International President Sahil Kaul today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to serve as the overall framework of partnership.

The Memorandum creates opportunities for cooperation both at the global level and within countries, where it will serve as a basis for developing joint programmes to educate young people about issues related to population and sustainable development; gender equality; and the linkages between population, resources, the environment and poverty alleviation. (…)


Idea #3514

I am at fault in these thousands of ideas for speaking much too much of what is wrong or should be corrected, what should not be done, what dangers are expecting us.  I should speak more of what has been achieved, what is so beautiful on this Earth, of all the love and good that exists in the people, of our enormous progresses over time, of the paradise we already are in so many places.  I ask for forgiveness and will do it in the next work I have on my mind and in my heart, namely How to Attain at Long Last Paradise on Earth.

From volume IX of 4000 Ideas and Dreams for a Better World by Robert Muller

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Next issue: 23 February 2002


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