Good News Agency – Year III, n° 6



Weekly - Year III, number 6 –  23 March 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.




Human rights - Economy and development - Solidarity

Health - Environment and wildlife - Culture and education



Human rights



International Day Against Racism

21 March is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and marks the start of a week of solidarity with The peoples struggle Against Racism and Racial Discrimination, 21 - 27 March 2002. According to the United Nations, "Racial Discrimination shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life".

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid "pass laws". In 1966, the UN General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. (…)


UNIFEM launches new push to ensure gender equality in fight against HIV/AIDS

19 March – The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) today announced the launch of a new initiative aimed at helping 10 developing countries ensure a gender-balanced approach to combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The three-year, $3 million effort will be carried out in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Barbados and Brazil. The project centres on reviewing relevant legislation and policies to ensure gender equality in the fight against AIDS, according to UNIFEM.

Highlighting the heavy toll which the disease takes on women and society at large, UNIFEM Executive Director Noeleen Heyzer pointed out that “Women are forced to abandon their work, girls are pulled out of school, and the development of countries is postponed.”

The initiative is being financed through the UN Trust Fund for Human Security, which is funded by the Government of Japan.


Rwanda: Swedish aid for governance and human rights

Nairobi, 18 March - The Swedish Minister for development Cooperation, Migration and Asylum Policy, Jan Karlsson, and Rwanda's Finance Minister, Donald Kaberuka, on Friday signed an agreement on development cooperation for 2002, a Swedish government statement said.

The agreement, signed in Rwanda's capital, Kigali, will focus on democracy and human rights, institution-building to promote peaceful development and national unity and reconciliation, economic reforms and capacity-building in Rwandan society, it said. (…)


Brazil: Human rights seminar for police instructors

14 March - The Second Latin American Human Rights Seminar for police instructors was held in the south-eastern Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte from 18 February to 1 March. The two-week event was organized by the ICRC delegation in Brasilia in conjunction with the military police of the state of Minas Gerais.

The seminar was attended by police instructors from Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Venezuela who had already received training from the ICRC over the last three years. It offered them the opportunity not only to learn more about human rights, but also to hone the practical skills they use in teaching the subject to their fellow police officers. Advice was given on organizing and coordinating courses to spread knowledge of human rights and humanitarian principles applicable to policing, and the police officers worked together to produce standard teaching materials in Spanish and Portuguese.

The 42 seminar participants are now fully trained specialists in human rights instruction. They will be available to take part in ICRC dissemination activities intended for police and security forces in Latin America.


Sierra Leone: UNHCR repatriates 6,400 since mid-February

Abidjan, 14 March - UNHCR has repatriated at least 6,400 Sierra Leoneans from Liberia since mid-February, the UN refugee agency reported on Tuesday. UNHCR said it was transporting an average of 2,400 persons in three convoys each week from refugee camps in Liberia to Sierra Leone. It has also transported 2,023 spontaneous returnees from the border with Liberia to locations within Sierra Leone. Moreover, it said, 3,352 Liberians fleeing the fighting in their country have been moved from the Sierra Leone border town of Jendema, to four settlements farther away. The camps were originally built for returning Sierra Leonean refugees.

Heightened insecurity in northwestern Liberia in February displaced many Liberians and prompted some Sierra Leonean refugees to return home.


Small grants support human rights in Jordan

12 March - The UN country team in Jordan is carrrying out an inter-agency initiative at the request of the government to strengthen the capacity of civil society groups in dealing with human rights issues. The initiative, built around a small grants programme funded by donors and implemented by local organizations, addresses key issues related to women's rights, children's rights, the independence of the judiciary and freedom of the press.

So far, the Netherlands and the UK have provided funding. The UNDP country office helps identify groups eligible for grants and monitors how well projects that are funded meet their objectives. UNDP also fosters linkages between the government and civil society on human rights. (…)



Economy and development



New initiative to tackle poverty in one of Iran's poorest provinces

19 March - A community-level initiative launched recently aims to help alleviate poverty in one of Iran's poorest provinces. The social mobilization and micro-credit project -- a new partnership between UNDP and the Government of Iran -- will help communities in the province of Sistan and Baluchestan establish community organizations, provide organizational and vocational training, and introduce savings and small loans schemes. (…)

Villagers will learn how to conduct regular meetings, identify their development problems and propose solutions in a participatory manner, with the use of external resources. Technical training courses will enhance the villagers' capabilities in fields such as planning small income-generating activities and protecting the environment. The management-training courses will also create a small pool of trainers and activists.


Monterrey: European Union announces increase in Official Development Assistance

19 March - Poul Nielson, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, European Union (EU), announced an increase in EU official development assistance (ODA) to 0.39 per cent of gross national product (GNP) -- from the current  0.33 level -- which would translate into an extra $7 billion in aid per year from EU member States by 2006.  

The new EU level of 0.39 per was not the end of the story, he stressed, as the 0.7 per cent target was still the goal to which the Union was committed.  The recent decision meant that those Union members that were presently below the average level of 0.33 per cent of GNP would reach that level by 2006, at the latest. On the most modest assumption, that new figure would mean that aid from EU member States would increase by an extra $7 billion per year by 2006.  When that amount was accumulated for the period between now and 2006, some extra $20 billion would be made available from the Union. (…)

Responding to a question, he noted that the total level of aid from the 15 member States of the European Union amounted to around $25 billion compared to $9.6 billion from the United States.  There was room for contributions from everyone and there was no need for comparisons, he said.  Every country could improve in the area of development assistance. (…)

Source: UN Information Office, Rome:


Uzbekistan: Cooperation agreement signed with US

15 March - Government representatives of the United States and the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan have signed a broad-based bilateral agreement in a move designed to further cement the fledgling relationship that has grown between the two countries since the 11 September events. The agreement, which provides for economic, political, legal and humanitarian cooperation, as well as an enhanced security arrangement, was signed by US Secretary of State Colin Powell and his Uzbek counterpart, Abdulaziz Kamilov, in Washington on Tuesday. As part of the agreement, Uzbekistan will intensify its commitment to the democratic transformation of its society and the establishment of a genuine multiparty system, as well as implementing economic and structural reforms. Both countries also affirmed their intention to work together to improve training, education, public health and the implementation of environmental protection schemes in Uzbekistan.


Eritrea: Border area aided by Dutch-funded housing project

Nairobi, 15 March - A project implemented by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has rehabilitated or reconstructed over 3,000 houses in Eritrea's border region of Debub, through a Dutch-supported post-war rehabilitation programme, a UNDP press statement said. Of these, 2,000 houses have been reconstructed in the town of Tserona on the border with Ethiopia. Tserona and the surrounding region has been one of the areas most devastated by the war with Ethiopia. According to the statement, the Dutch government has provided US $2.3 million for the housing initiative. The rehabilitation of 2,400 emergency housing units in the neighbouring Gash Barka Region is also proceeding well.

The housing project was part "of the UNDP Post War Emergency and Rehabilitation (PoWER) programme", the statement said. In addition to the provision of housing, the programme last year rehabilitated 22 schools and 13 health facilities, including one hospital. It also drilled 12 boreholes and constructed two hand-dug wells, the statement said. (…)


Djibouti: Over US $7 million for poverty reduction

Nairobi, 15 March - The Abidjan-based African Development Bank (ADB) has signed a number of agreements with Djibouti aimed at poverty reduction and improving the situation of women. According to an ADB press release, two loan and two grant agreements were signed amounting to a total of US $7.22 million.

A structural adjustment loan will help reduce poverty through the promotion of good governance, improving the legal framework for business, and the greater participation of civil society in development. The second loan is aimed at boosting the fishing sector by increasing fish production and reducing Djibouti's food dependence on the outside world. (…)


Chile's fruit growers phase out methyl bromide to save ozone layer

14 March - Chile has launched an initiative to eliminate the use of methyl bromide in its orchards and vineyards by 2007, substituting other products that do not damage the ozone layer in the atmosphere. (…) Chilean fruit growers use some 126 tonnes of methyl bromide annually for fumigating soil to control destructive microbes, insects and rodents. This accounts for one third of the chemical's use in agriculture. The fruit sector is vital to Chile's economy, producing over 1.5 million tonnes of fruit a year worth more than US$1.4 billion.

The project is administered by UNDP, with US$805,000 in support from the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund. Two government agencies are carrying out the project: the National Environmental Commission and the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research.


Near East Conference endorses German initiative for an international alliance against hunger and poverty, calls for increased investment in agriculture

Teheran, 13 March - Ministers of Agriculture and delegates from 24 Near Eastern countries endorsed the establishment of an "International Alliance Against Hunger and Poverty" as called for by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Johannes Rau at the annual World Food Day observance held last October at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Headquarters.

The endorsement was part of the decisions announced today at the conclusion of the 26th FAO Regional Conference for the Near East meeting in Tehran since 9 March. The Conference further called on FAO to formulate operational modalities for the International Alliance Against Hunger and Poverty for the timely consideration and adoption by member countries. (…)


Innovative Eco-town project in West Africa

13 March - The West African nation could one day be home to a model eco-town that mitigates the problems caused by both poverty and environmental degradation. The project is the brainchild of architect Nader Khalili, who pioneered a construction method known as "Superadobe," in which sand and barbed wire are used to build beehive-shaped homes.  The houses are flood-, hurricane-, and earthquake-proof, take advantage of solar and wind energy, and do not rely on timber for structural support -- a critical factor for developing nations facing severe deforestation. Senegal, which was hit hard by floods in January, plans to approach the World Bank or the European Union to help fund the innovative eco-town.






3,500 more women bakers to be recruited to help feed Afghan schoolchildren, WFP says

19 March – In the Afghan capital, Kabul, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today said it plans to employ some 3,500 women bakers to ensure that more than a quarter of a million Afghan schoolchildren are fed over the school year.  The agency said it plans to increase the capacity of its existing 21 female-run bakeries in Kabul in order to provide some 5,000 school children in 10 schools with fresh bread each day they attend classes. Eventually, the programme will reach between 250,000 and 300,000 schoolchildren in the capital, and about 1 million students nationwide, through bakeries run by Afghans.  (…)


Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan unveils FINCA international’s campaign for global endowment for the poor

Washington, DC — On Tuesday, March 19th FINCA Int’l held a luncheon in Hollywood in conjunction with Queen Rania of Jordan to meet leaders of the entertainment industry and talk about her support for micro-finance programs. Her work with FINCA International (Foundation for International Community Assistance) in creating micro-lending programs is helping to bring major social change to troubled areas such as Kosovo and now Afghanistan.

Micro-loans have been a groundbreaking way to create economic self-sufficiency, particularly for women, providing a way out of the grinding poverty that often accompanies their lives in developing nations. During the luncheon, Queen Rania introduced ‘The Global Endowment for the Poor,’ an initiative of FINCA International’s designed to create a revolving pool of loan capital to serve the needs of poor entrepreneurs throughout the world. Queen Rania remarks reflected that "Micro-finance is all about connecting … connecting people to the capital they need to control their lives." She encouraged participation to "start the engine to make a connection to millions of women and families worldwide." (…) FINCA alone disbursed $100 million in loans last year to some 200,000 poor entrepreneurs, with a repayment rate of almost 100%.


ADRA opens five new day care centers in Brazil

During this month of March, ADRA - the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International - is opening an additional five new day care centers in central Brazil. The combined service capacity of these centers will help 1,000 children of families living below the poverty line. Two new community development centers will also be opened for the Karajas Indians.

 ADRA International is an independent humanitarian agency established in 1984 by the Seventh-day Adventist Church for the specific purposes of individual and community development and disaster relief. The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations granted ADRA general consultative status in 1997. As an internationally recognized non-governmental organization, ADRA helps people without regard to ethnic, political or religious association. ADRA believes in each individual’s potential to reflect the image of God, the dignity which is inherent in each person, and the importance of quality in human life. ADRA’s development and relief work is divided among five core portfolio activities: Food Security, Economic Development, Primary Health, Disaster Preparedness and Response, and Basic Education.

In the Mayuge District of Uganda more than 48,000 people will benefit during the next phase of the Bunya Integrated Health Project. By January 2005, this project will build the capacity of the area’s health programs by training health workers and increasing the community’s understanding and involvement with health care. The Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) is providing a grant of USD 1.2 million to fund this phase of the health project. (F. G.)

Source: ADRA


WFP launches inter-ethnic consortium in Kosovo

14 March, Rome -The United Nations World Food Programme announced today the establishment of the Consortium for Inter-ethnic Development (CID), which is to assist people living in Kosovo after the U.N. agency ends its emergency food assistance on March 31. CID is comprised of six local NGOs, which have been the distribution partners of the WFP’s food aid programme in Kosovo. (…)

WFP first presented the idea for a consortium to local NGOs in February 2002. A series of meetings followed and on March 8 a Framework Agreement was signed by all participants. This marks the first time a multi-ethnic group has agreed to publicly work together for the benefit of Kosovo’s diverse population.  “CID is not only a move towards inter-ethnic cooperation but it will also assist the local population after WFP ends its operations” said Saeed Malik, director for Eastern Europe at WFP headquarters in Rome.  (…)


Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: ICRC delivers aid to remote villages

14 March - The ICRC has recently launched a new distribution programme in the Skopska Crna Gora region for people living in villages affected by last year's conflict. During December 2001, the ICRC provided assistance to help vulnerable groups through the winter months. The new relief effort is intended to ensure people have enough food and other resources, so that both inhabitants and returnees can concentrate on reconstruction. In turn, this will create conditions allowing people displaced from villages directly affected by the fighting to return home in safety.

On 7 and 8 March, the ICRC distributed supplies to 180 people in the remote mountain villages of Malina Mala and Brest. Over the coming days, the organization will distribute aid to some 520 people from the same region who either remained during the fighting or returned recently.

The ICRC is handing out food parcels, flour (bought from local Macedonian suppliers), hygiene products and baby parcels. The aid will help people in isolated villages who have no reserves to fall back on. (…)


Wheat seeds distributed to 30 000 rural families in Afghanistan

Rome, 12 March - Approximately 30,000 families in rural areas of Northern Afghanistan have received 1,500 tonnes of wheat seeds and fertilizers for the spring planting by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN agency said today. FAO estimates that farmers could finally harvest around 16 000 tonnes of wheat from the seeds distributed. (…)

The seeds were distributed for spring planting to poor farmers, returnees and internally displaced people in remote areas in Northern Afghanistan in the provinces of Faryab and Saripul. People there are suffering from food shortages caused by drought and conflict.

The project was carried out in close collaboration with non-governmental organizations such as Save the Children (USA), Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (Pakistan), and ACTED (France), which will also provide fertiliser to complement the seed distribution. The United States funded the seed distribution with around one million dollars. (…)


First supplies distributed to Kabul schools as "Back to School" campaign picks up speed

Kabul, 12 March - The first student and classroom materials for Kabul schoolchildren began to roll out of the capital's distribution centre Monday, as the nationwide "Back to School" campaign moved up a gear this week. The campaign, which is led by the Afghan Interim Administration and supported by UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, aims to equip up more than 1.5 million primary school age children in over 4,000 schools and other learning environments by the start of the new school year on 23 March.

The supply of Kabul city schools commenced with deliveries of stationery for over 20,000 primary school aged children, 200 teacher kits and 91 blackboards plus textbooks to a total of five schools on Monday. Transport was provide by the International Security Force in Afghanistan (ISAF). The distribution equipped students and teachers with basic stationery items, teaching materials and schoolbags. (…)






UN agencies combine forces to promote access to quality HIV medicines

20 March – The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today published the first list of HIV-related medicines that were found to meet the agency’s recommended standards, part of a joint effort by UN programmes to assess the quality of HIV drugs to help make treatment services more accessible to poor countries.

Forty products from eight branded and generic manufacturers are included in the initial phase of the project, which is managed by WHO, and supported by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Secretariat of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Bank. Today’s list includes 11 anti-retrovirals (ARVs) – which allow for several triple therapy combinations – and five products for opportunistic infections. (…)

Pharmaceutical products are evaluated according to WHO recommended standards of quality and for compliance with good manufacturing practices, and other drugs and suppliers will be added to the list as they meet the set standards. The list is now available on the websites of WHO and the other collaborating agencies. Eight companies have been evaluated so far but another 13, as well as 100 products, are currently under review.


Senegal: World Bank approves US $14.7 million for nutrition project

Abidjan, 18 March - The World Bank is to fund a community nutrition programme in Senegal that will support the growth of poor children under three years of age. The programme will also build institutional and organisational capacity to carry out and evaluate nutrition interventions in the country, the World Bank reported on Thursday.

The Nutrition Sector Enhancement Programme (NSEP), for which $ 14.7 million was approved last week, will also support the nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women in poor urban and rural areas. It builds on an earlier successful Community Nutrition Project in urban areas in Senegal which was also supported by the  World Food Program and a German NGO, Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau. (…)


Ethiopia: EC gives funds to tackle meningitis

15 March - The EC has allocated one million euros (about US $873,534) to help control a meningitis epidemic in Ethiopia. As of 3 March, the Ethiopian health ministry reported a total of 2,329 cases of meningitis, including 118 deaths. The disease first broke out in September 2001, with the Southern Region worst-affected. About 2,022 cases have been reported there, with 89 related deaths. According to an EC statement, the funds are being channelled through the EC Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) to nongovernmental organisations involved in tackling the current outbreak. The money will be used to support mass vaccination campaigns, to purchase the vaccines and to improve treatment in the affected areas.

The Ethiopian government has appealed for US $2.5 million to deal with the outbreak, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported.


UN Foundation announces partnership with Netherlands Embassy in New Delhi

Grant to Support UNAIDS Efforts in India

March 8, Washington, DC - In response to the need for increased resources and investments in HIV/AIDS prevention, the United Nations Foundation announced a new partnership with the Netherlands Embassy in New Delhi and the UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to fight the pandemic in India.  The “Coordinated HIV/AIDS/STD Response through Capacity-Building and Awareness” project, or CHARCA, will receive a multi-year, $2.8 million grant from the United Nations Foundation with a $2.8 million matching contribution from the Netherlands to reduce the risk of HIV infection among the most vulnerable Indian populations, particularly adolescent girls.

“This project serves as a model for the new public-private partnerships -- between NGOs, governments and the UN system -- that are needed to meet the world’s biggest challenges,” said Timothy E. Wirth, President of the UN Foundation. (…)



Environment and wildlife



United Nations forum on forests concludes second session

18 March - The United Nations Forum on Forests on Friday, 15 March, concluded its second session, which began on 4 March, by adopting the report of its session and eight draft decisions. (…) Adopted this afternoon were draft decisions on:  combatting deforestation; forest conservation and protection of unique types of forests and fragile ecosystems; rehabilitation and conservation strategies for countries with low forest cover:  rehabilitation and restoration of degraded lands and the promotion of natural planted forests, as orally amended; concepts, terminology and definitions; proposed revision for medium-term plans; and specific criteria for the review of the effectiveness of the international arrangements on forests.(…)


Report by Environment Canada supports enacting Kyoto agreements

18 March - Canada's federal government has prepared a report to counter opponents' forecasts that enacting the Kyoto Protocol would devastate the country's economy.  The report by Environment Canada, the country's environmental agency, says industry claims that Kyoto could cost the country as much as $19-25 billion and as many as 450,000 jobs are bunk.  The agency says both sets of figures assume that no other country but Canada would implement the treaty on climate change -- even though Kyoto can only come into force once 55 countries have ratified it.  In recent weeks, the oil-rich province of Alberta, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and the association Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters have attacked Kyoto as impractical.  This weekend, Alberta Environment Minister Lorne Taylor said Environment Canada's report was unconvincing and showed that the pro-Kyoto forces were desperate.


CITES incentives inspire vital reforms in wildlife management

Falcons, sturgeon, corals and other at-risk species to benefit

Geneva/Nairobi, 15 March - Trade suspensions and other incentives have succeeded in spurring the United Arab Emirates, the Russian Federation, Fiji, Vietnam and other governments to move towards more effective and sustainable management systems for a number of endangered species that offer economic benefits to poor communities. A Standing Committee meeting on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has agreed here today to lift or modify imposed trade measures in response to pledges by governments to reform their wildlife management and trade practices. (…)

Around the world, many species of plants and animals have become endangered because of habitat destruction, pollution, unsustainable trade, and other forces. CITES was adopted in 1973 to ensure the long-term survival of any species that are potentially threatened by international trade. Its 157 member governments strictly regulate international trade in threatened wild animals or plants via an Appendix II listing and prohibit international commercial trade in species threatened with extinction via inclusion in Appendix I.


Columbia: management of natural park in Amazzonia assigned to indigenous people

14 March - In what conservationists hope will serve as a model for future projects, Colombia has set aside a 167,960-acre park in the Amazon basin and granted the indigenous people who live there control over its management.  Formally established late last month after years of negotiations between the government, indigenous people, and environment groups, Indiwasi National Park is located in the most biologically diverse region of Colombia.  In addition to being home to rare and endangered animals and plants, the park is sacred territory to the Ingano tribe, which will manage it.  Colombia has 46 other national parks, but none is managed by indigenous groups.


Shenzhen City, China to host 2002 International World Environment  Day Celebrations

Nairobi, 11 March - The City of Shenzhen in the People's Republic of China will be the venue for the main celebrations of  this  year's World Environment Day (WED), on 5 June.  The announcement was made today  by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). (…)


Nations sign historic agreement to boost the health of the Northeast Pacific for the benefit of people and wildlife

Antigua, Guatemala/Nairobi, 11 March  - Big cuts in pollution and improved conservation of fish stocks are now likely in the Northeast Pacific following the signing of an historic, environmental agreement, by Central American nations. The agreement should also lead to better conservation and a boost in the quality of key coastal habitats including mangrove swamps, coral reefs and beaches upon which millions of people depend for food, construction materials and income from industries such as tourism.

The prospects have emerged as a result of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, signing the Convention on Cooperation in the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northeast Pacific. Mexico and Colombia, the two other nations involved in the region, have indicated that they will sign the Convention before the end of the year.

An action plan, detailing how the countries concerned will improve the environment of the Northeast Pacific for the benefit of people and wildlife, has also been approved. (…)



Culture and education



IFLAC launches the World Ban-War Campaign 2002

London, March 14-17: IFLAC’s conference on Conflict Resolution through Culture brought together academicians, 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. Specifically on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, representatives of both sides agreed on the need to enhance the understanding of each other’s expectations on the basis of mutual respect and dignity.

Participants to this third conference of the International Forum for the Culture of Peace agreed to support IFLAC’s new initiative: the World Ban-War Campaign launched recently with a letter addressed to the UN Secretary-General focussing on the need “to initiate and pass a powerful "International Law" that will enforce the banishment of the practice of War from our endangered world at the dawn of our 3rd millennium”.


Children's role in peace and security to be focus of global conference

United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children, postponed in September, brings world leaders back to New York eight weeks from today

Geneva / New York, 13 March - Eight weeks from today world leaders will gather in New York City for a major conference focused on global progress for children and the key role that investment in children can play in building global peace and security, the United Nations announced today.

Originally scheduled to take place in September 2001 but postponed following the attacks in New York City and Washington, the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children is expected to bring at least 60 Heads of State and Government to New York for three days 8-10 May.

The Special Session, an end-of-decade follow-up to the 1990 World Summit for Children, will present world leaders with a detailed review of what has been achieved for children and what has not been achieved. The Special Session is expected to focus on how investment in children's education, health, and protection contributes to global stability and peace.

The Special Session on Children will conclude with the adoption of a new set of global goals focused on children and an action plan to reach them. (…)


UN Foundation launches conflict prevention web resource

March 7, Washington, DC - In response to the release of the United Nations Secretary-General’s report on conflict prevention, the United Nations Foundation has launched a comprehensive page on its website,, to raise awareness about the United Nations’ work on preventing deadly conflict around the world. (…)

The United Nations Foundation, which was established to oversee administration of businessman and philanthropist R.E. Turner’s historic gift in support of the United Nations and its causes, has awarded more than $446 million for UN projects to date.  The UN Foundation considers support of UN causes in four areas – Women and Population; Children’s Health; the Environment; and Peace, Security and Human Rights.  Within its Peace, Security and Human Rights program, conflict prevention is a major focus.


Tamera, Portugal: “Love - Power for Survival”- Summer University, 5-14 August

The course will address these crucial and fundamental issues: 

Is there still something we can do to counteract the globalization of violence? Is there still a realistic possibility for practising peace, without closing our eyes to the events of the world? When we speak of "inner peace", do we include within this a commitment to a peace that effects our environment? On what grounds are realizations and discoveries based where there is a possibility for global peace? How can we stabilize the humane network in the peace movement and create iterating processes for a political movement signalled by courage, humanity and joy of life?

This session at the Summer University is followed by an exploration time from 19 August to 6 September with four, possibly five, theme courses: Ecology – peace with nature and co-operation with all living beings; New Building Structures; Basics for a functioning human community; International peace work "Israel/Palestine".  A fifth course about "autonomous energy supply" is still in preparation.

Information and Registration: Institute for Global Peace Work, (IGF) Tamera, Monte do Cerro, P-7630 Colos, Portugal. Tel./Fax 00351-283-635 306 (374 fax), email:



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Next issue: 5 April 2002 


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