Good News Agency – Year III, n° 8



Weekly - Year III, number 8 –  19 April 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 free of charge through Internet to the editorial offices of more than 2,400 media in 46 countries, as well as to 1,000 NGO.




International legislation - Human rightsPeace and safety - Economy and development

Solidarity - HealthEnergy and safety - Culture and education



International legislation



Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission decision: statement by President of UN Security Council

17 April - Following is the press statement on the 13 April decision by the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission, delivered by the President of the Security Council, Sergey Lavrov (Russian Federation):

Members of the Security Council express their satisfaction that a final legal settlement of the border issues between Ethiopia and Eritrea has been completed in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed by the parties in Algiers in December 2000.

Members of the Security Council welcome the decision by the Boundary Commission, announced in The Hague on 13 April 2002, which is final and binding.

Members of the Security Council call on the parties to cooperate closely with the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) in the implementation of the border decision, with a view to ensuring an expeditious and orderly process for the benefit of all the people, and without unilateral actions.

Members of the Security Council underline their commitment to support the implementation of the Boundary Commission's decision and to contribute to the completion of the peace process.

(Source: UN Information Centre, Rome)


African Governments respond to increasing illicit drug trafficking and abuse

Ministerial meeting to map out Drug Control Strategy

Vienna, 15 April -- A new strategy and action plan for drug control in Africa, which is to commit African Governments and regional organizations to stronger and more decisive action against drug trafficking and abuse will be the main focus of the Ministerial Meeting on Drug Control in Africa, to be held from 6-11 May in Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire. This will be the first ever Ministerial Meeting on Drug Control in Africa organized by the Organization for African Unity (OAU) and hosted by the Government of Cote d'Ivoire.

Several international organizations and donors have pledged support to OAU for this meeting. The United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) works directly with the OAU secretariat in the preparation of the conference and an exhibition on drugs in Africa during the meeting. (…)


WWF Launches POPs Ratification Page

15 April - The World Wide Fund for Nature WWF  has a new "Global Chemicals Conventions" page on its website, featuring treaty ratification news from around the world to help promote ratifications of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and related chemicals treaties, prior to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). The site has a Treaty Ratification Scorecard, Take Action Centre, and regularly-updated treaty information.

The site is designed to transmit updates as well as background information on POPs and three other chemicals-related conventions: the Rotterdam Convention on prior informed consent (PIC) for trade  in hazardous chemicals and pesticides; the Basel Convention and its 1995 Ban Amendment; and the 1996 Protocol to the London Convention on ocean dumping. WWF is urging governments to ratify the Stockholm POPs Convention and as many of the other treaties as possible. Ratification by a sufficient number of countries before the late August 2002 WSSD would make possible the conventions' entry-into-force by the end of this year.


WWF welcomes Russian Government's decision to start the process of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol

Moscow, 12 April – The Russian Government's decision to start the process of ratification of the Kyoto climate treaty could be the decisive factor in turning the agreement into international law this year, WWF says.

WWF has repeatedly urged the key countries necessary for the treaty to become international law, particularly Russia, to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. On 10 April, at a public action organized by WWF during President’s Putin visit to Chancellor Schroeder in Weimar, Regina Gunther of WWF Germany questioned President Putin about ratification. “We will do it,” promised Putin.

The next day, the Russian Government, which postponed consideration of the Kyoto issue four times since 14 March 2002, decided to begin the process of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol.

This decision puts Russia on track to ratify the climate treaty by autumn 2002. The Russian Ministry of Economic Development will prepare a report on the economic and social consequences of ratification for Russia and a detailed action plan for moving forward. The first step will be to develop the Law of Ratification, which will then be presented to the Duma.


Seminar builds skills of Fiji's parliamentarians

12 April - A majority of Fiji's parliamentarians took part recently in a seminar to learn ways of making the legislature more effective and responsive. Three out of four members of the House of Representatives and the Senate participated, reflecting on their roles and responsibilities and, in particular, examining recent recommendations on a range of actions to improve Parliament's operations.  (…)

The UNDP regional governance programme, which provided assistance for last year's elections, supported the seminar, in line with recommendation of the UN Electoral Observation Mission urging further support for democratic governance. (…)


UN treaty to curb financing for terrorism comes into force

New York, April 10 - The International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism automatically entered into force today, in accordance with its provision requiring the ratification of 22 States to become effective. The speedy entry-into-force of the pact, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999, is widely regarded as a sign of heightened international commitment to fight terrorism, especially following the 11 September attacks against the United States. Twenty-two of the 26 ratifications/accessions receive to date took place after that date. In total, 132 countries have signed the Convention.

The 28-article text criminalizes the act of providing or collecting funds with the intention or knowledge that those funds will be used to carry out a terrorist attack, according to particular definitions found in nine previously adopted anti-terrorism treaties.

The Convention itself provides one more definition: an act intended to cause death or serious injury to a civilian with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or organization either to carry out - or not to carry out - a particular action.

The Convention calls for efforts to identify, detect, and freeze or seize any funds used or allocated for the purpose of committing a terrorist act. It also asks that States consider establishing mechanisms to use such funds to compensate victims and/or their families.

In addition, it calls on financial institutions to pay special attention to unusual or suspicious transactions and to report to them government authorities. Participating countries are obliged to prosecute offenders or to extradite them to the parties that suffered from their illegal acts.


Positive step for women’s political participation in Tunisia

9 April - The Tunisian government has proposed to parliament an amendment to the electoral code whereby 10% of parliamentary seats at the national level would be reserved for women candidates. Currently only 0.5% of the members of parliament are women. In another move to promote gender equality, the six parties of the ruling coalition committed to a 20% quota of female candidates to run for the September 2002 parliamentary elections. Over the past two years, UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund For Women) has supported the coalition of women’s groups who have lobbied for these changes.

For more information, contact Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun, Gender Advisor for Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, at


UN Drug Control Body welcomes Drug Eradication Decree by Afghan Interim Administration

Vienna, 8 April - The President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Prof. Hamid Ghodse, welcomes the second decree on eradication of drugs with a specific aim to eradicate the current poppy crop issued by the Afghan Interim Administration on 3 April. He particularly welcomes the fact that, for the first time, loans made to farmers can no longer be repaid in the form of opium. This is now explicitly forbidden by decree, and whoever demands such repayment from farmers with an illicit product will be liable to imprisonment.

The Board is pleased with this new development, as it further reflects the determination and commitment of the Afghan Interim Administration to fighting against drug abuse and illicit trafficking and responds to the concern of the Board. The Board urges the authorities of Afghanistan to make every effort to ensure that the ban is strictly and effectively enforced. (…)


Morocco signs the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources - first North African country signatory

Rome, 28 March - Morocco has signed the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, as a first step in the ratification process. Eleven countries have now signed the Treaty since it was adopted by the FAO Conference last November: Venezuela, Mexico and Haiti, in the Latin America and Caribbean region, and Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Jordan, Mali and Namibia in Africa. Morocco is the first North-African signatory.

The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is a legally binding international agreement. It aims to ensure the conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, their sustainable use, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of these genetic resources, including benefits derived from commercial use. The treaty will enter into force when ratified by 40 countries. (…)



Human rights



Global: MSF publishes humanitarian law guide

New York, 16 April - Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has assisted in the publication of a guide to humanitarian law which aims to explain the rights of victims and humanitarian organizations in times of conflict, tension and crisis.

Titled "The Practical Guide to Humanitarian Law" the book presents humanitarian law in a new light:  from the perspective of  relief action carried out for the benefit of victims. By contrast, most books on humanitarian law explain the rules from the point of view of states and armed forces, the most powerful actors. (…) Written by MSF Legal Director Francoise Boucher-Saulnier, the 490 page volume was published in February 2002.


Chad: Woman lawyer receives human rights award

Abidjan, 12 April - A Chadian woman lawyer who represents victims of the regime of former president Hissene Habre, has received the 2002 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, Amnesty International reported on Thursday.

Jacqueline Moudeina has filed complaints in Chad against a number of Habre's accomplices, many of who are still in power. She is also one of the lawyers in a case against Habre in Senegal, where he lives, Amnesty said. (…)

Named after the first secretary-general of Amnesty, and granted jointly by 10 leading rights NGOs, the award is the highest for international criminal justice work since 1993. It is granted annually to an individual or an organisation "who has displayed exceptional courage in combating human rights violations". (…)



Peace and safety



Central & Eastern Africa: Peace & development symposium held in Kampala, Uganda

12 April - A three-day symposium on the Great Lakes region opened on Monday in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, news organisations reported. (…) The theme of the symposium was "reinforcing the region's solidarity by setting a regional agenda for a culture of peace, unity and people-centred development". It brings together Burundi, Rwanda, the DRC, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The New Vision government-owned newspaper reported that Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Botswana and South Africa would also be represented. It said 28 papers would be presented for discussion, and these would centre on six key themes, namely peace and security, regional stability and democratic governance, participation, empowerment and people-centred development, regional food security, and nutrition and health care.


Albania: Mine clearance, mine awareness

11 April - The ICRC is working with the Albanian Red Cross and local communities in remote northern areas to prevent accidents caused by mines and unexploded ordnance. The problem dates back to the war in Kosovo. The explosive remnants of that conflict have taken a heavy toll not only in terms of people injured or killed but also in damage to the region's social and economic fabric. The population of these isolated areas already struggle with long winters and generally harsh conditions. Mines and unexploded ordnance further deprive them of freedom of movement, making it that much more difficult to farm the land, collect firewood, graze cattle and so on.

The ICRC is working closely with local branches of the Red Cross and two organizations engaged in mine clearance (the Swiss Federation for Mine Action and Danish Church Aid). This week a theatre group set up by the ICRC and Albanian Red Cross visited the villages of Cahan and Topojan on the Kosovo border. Despite snow and low temperatures, schoolchildren and adults gathered to hear a message that could spell the difference between life and death.



Economy and development



African leaders meet in Dakar on business opportunities

15 April - African leaders from more than 30 countries began a three-day conference in Dakar, Senegal, today with representatives of corporations from across the globe to present a unified vision for Africa's development and opportunities for doing business there. The event is organized by the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), an initiative by African leaders aimed at ending poverty, putting the continent on a path to growth and development and promoting active participation in the world economy.  Businesses participating range from Cisco Systems to Air France. Also among the 800 conference participants are representatives from international organizations, development agencies, civil society and governments.

The conference builds on last month's International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico, and will discuss financing of NEPAD. The leading industrial nations that make up the Group of Eight have endorsed NEPAD, and it will be a focus of their June summit in Kanakis, Canada. (…)


West Africa: New FAO project to tackle illegal fishing

12 April - A programme to combat fish poaching implemented by the Food and Agriculture Programme, is to target illegal trawling in West African countries including Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Sierra Leone, the United Nations agency reported on Friday.

Vessels from Europe, FAO said, trawl off the coasts of West African countries taking advantage of lack of surveillance aircraft. Poachers work with industrial-scale vessels, enabling them to catch vast numbers of fish. The catch is sold in supermarkets in wealthy countries to consumers who do not realise that they are buying food stolen from regions such as West Africa where fish is the most common source of protein, FAO said.

According to the UN agency, abusive fishing practices take 30 percent of the catch in some important fisheries and in some areas even larger proportions of the catch may be going unreported. (…)


UN Forum adopts new blueprint to face challenge of ageing global population

New York, 12 April – After five days of intensive work, the United Nations Second World Assembly on Ageing concluded successfully in Madrid today by adopting an action plan aimed at addressing the challenges brought about by the rapidly growing number of older persons around the world, particularly in the developing countries.

Responding to growing concern over the speed and scale of global ageing, the International Plan of Action, which contained over 120 recommendations, and the accompanying Political Declaration both stressed the "crucial" importance of incorporating ageing issues into all development plans as a way of coping with what has been billed as the main demographic challenge of the 21st century. The forum's final texts, approved after a marathon negotiating session that stretched long into the night, focused on three main priorities: older persons and development, advancing health and well-being into old age, and ensuring enabling and supportive environments.

In contrast to the First World Assembly in 1982 in Vienna, this week's forum placed high priority on the situation in developing countries, which have witnessed dramatic intensification of the ageing phenomenon. (…)


Africa: Rich rob poor of US $100 billion a year – Oxfam

11 April - "For every dollar we give in aid, two are stolen through unfair trade," says David Gallagher of Oxfam. Gallagher was speaking in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Thursday 11 April at the launch of Make Trade Fair, a global campaign aimed at changing the rules of trade. He said the flouting of international trade rules by rich countries cost the poor world more than US $100 billion a year.

The campaign in Africa was launched in Johannesburg and Dakar simultaneously, as the 144 member states of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) starts to work on a new agenda for trade negotiations that will determine how world trade will be regulated in the future. In a report titled "Rigged Rules and Double Standards", Oxfam revealed some interesting statistics on Thursday. Campaign details and the full report can be found at and the full IRIN story at


Honey from Africa – Honey for the World

Honey Care Africa (HCA) won the World Bank’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Department Award at the Development Marketplace International Innovation Competition organised by the World Bank In January 2002 ( – proposal 378). It also received the Soros Foundation Award from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) at the same event.

Honey Care Africa is a small, recently-established, but rapidly expanding Kenyan company that manufactures and supplies high quality Langstroth Hives and related bee-keeping equipment to organisations, communities and individuals across Kenya. The company has a strong and well-trained field team to assist people in setting up the hives correctly and training them in using the equipment properly, as well as dealing with any technical problems as and when they arise.

HCA has already established a number of very successful bee keeping projects, working closely with a number of carefully selected and respectable Non-Governmental and International Organisations to promote small-holder bee keeping and honey production in various regions of the country. All hives are provided either on a loan or cost-sharing basis.

As most of the farmers did not have a ready and guaranteed market for their honey, HCA decided to offer them a stable and year-round market. Therefore, the company generally enters into an optional contractual agreement with the beekeepers and agree to buy the honey from them at a guaranteed and mutually acceptable price for a period of two years or more. The price offered is fair and the price guarantee allows the farmers to plan ahead and forecast their income. HCA also ensures that it pays the farmers promptly, directly (no middlemen), and in cash.  [F. G.]

Source: Honey Care Africa – e-mail:


Green Week 2002: a straw-bale house in the centre of Brussels

The Global Ecovillage Network - GEN - Europe will construct a straw-bale house in the centre of Brussels as part of the Green Week 2002 Our future, Our Choice - Changing our ways, an event organised by the European Commission Directorate of Environment. (…) Ecovillages are human-scale settlements, rural or urban, which strive to create models for sustainable living. (…)

The house will be constructed from the 12th  to the 18th of April 2002 in Parc du Maelbeek, Rue de la Loi 170, Brussels, Belgium, beside the European Commission buildings. To show high level of recyclability of such a building, the demo-house will be dismantled on the 20-21 of April and put up at another location in Belgium for permanent use.

GEN-Europe is a European ecovillage association. By promoting the concept of ecovillages through information exchange, partnerships, education and networking, it supports environmental protection, Earth restoration and the creation of harmonious human settlements.(…) GEN-Europe has received financial support of the European Commission Environmental DG for 2001/2002.






Convoy of humanitarian supplies reaches Israeli-occupied West Bank

Baltimore, April 15 - A convoy of humanitarian relief supplies, supported by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and four other faith-based aid agencies, has begun reaching needy families in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The convoy - which today reached Bethlehem and will also target Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Jenin, Ramallah and Nablus - is providing a food package to 5,800 families (about 35,000 people) in districts where such items are unavailable in local markets due to the escalating crisis in the Palestinian occupied territories. (…)

The five aid organizations (CRS, Caritas Jerusalem, Pontifical Mission for Palestine, Mennonite Central Committee and World Vision International) entered the designated areas, which have been under full curfew since March 29th. The distributions are based on need, not race, creed or religion. (…)


Republic of the Congo: Assistance to persons displaced in the Pool area

11 April - Since 6 April, a team of relief workers from the ICRC, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Congolese Red Cross has been assisting people displaced by armed clashes in the Pool area of the Republic of the Congo who are sheltering in Kinkala, a town south-west of Brazzaville. Following a survey of their needs, the team has provided them with medical care and improved sanitary facilities. The ICRC first opened an office in this city of almost 6,000 people in 1999. (…)


The Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia donates US$ one million to feed hungry Afghan refugees in Pakistan

Islamabad, 9 April - The Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia today donated US$ one million to the United Nations World Food Programme to help buy food for needy Afghan refugees in Pakistan. The Saudi contribution will help WFP to purchase more than 2,000 tons of pulses in Pakistan for poor refugees living in camps within Baluchistan and the North West Frontier Province.  (…)

WFP and its NGO implementing partners are feeding about 217,000 Afghan refugees who arrived recently in Pakistan along with a further 53,000 refugees in Shamshatoo Camp, near Peshawar, who were here prior to 11 September. The UN Food aid arm plans to continue its assistance to the Afghan refugees in the camps for the coming three months with over 16,000 tons of food.

WFP last month appealed to the international community for US$284.9 million to help feed 9.8 million poor Afghans from April through December 2002.


ADRA delivers medical supplies to Goma

9 April, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - In early April 2002, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) office in Rwanda worked with AmeriCares and a local organization to distribute 15,000 pounds of medical supplies in Goma to help residents displaced in the wake of January’s volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Supplies were distributed to two hospitals and 22 health clinics and will benefit approximately 400,000 people in Goma. The distribution was handled in cooperation with Association Regionale D'Approvisionnement En Medicaments Essentiels (ASRAMES), the local medical supply organization. The items include antibiotics, anti-malarial medicine, multivitamins, surgical kits, tents and sleeping pads gathered by AmeriCares from U.S. donors. (…)


ADRA-built houses shelter 3,000 in Peru

8 April, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - In early March, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) completed 508 plywood houses in San Francisco, a town located in the Department of Moquegua, Peru. These houses replace temporary tarp shelters used for shelter since earthquakes devastated southern Peru in June 2001. Approximately 3,000 people have moved into the new structures that have cement floors and electricity. Municipal officials provided some of the building materials. Funding for the building project came from ADRA International, ADRA network offices in Canada and Peru, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, ADRA’s regional office for South America, and the Banco de Credito.

ADRA Peru had trained disaster response personnel on the first relief flight into the earthquake zone. Within a matter of hours, the ADRA network had allocated US$ 130,000 to be used for immediate needs. Water, temporary shelter, food, and clothing were provided to earthquake survivors in Moquegua. Other long-term development projects throughout Peru have focused on health, nutrition, children and teens living in high-risk conditions agriculture, infrastructure, forestation and reforestation, and food-for-work programs. (…)






Afghanistan determined to eradicate polio

Kabul, Afghanistan - 16 April - Afghanistan is on the verge of a major public health victory. In a nation-wide campaign being held from 16-18 April 2002, nearly six million Afghan children will be vaccinated against polio, bringing the country a step closer to stopping transmission of the wild poliovirus in Afghanistan by the end of this year.

Throughout Afghanistan, 60,000 volunteer vaccinators, mobilised by the Afghan Ministry of Public Health and assisted by UNICEF, WHO and various NGOs, will carry out door-to-door vaccinations for all children under the age of five. In Kabul, for the first time, 70% of newly trained vaccinators will be women. In order to eradicate polio, all children must be reached. Therefore, special efforts will be made to vaccinate children in border areas and those on the move. (…)


Africa - HIV infection: new test could cut costs in developing world

Johannesburg, 15 April (PLUSNEWS) - A new scientific breakthrough promises to make treatment more affordable in developing countries.  A South African doctor has discovered a cheaper and more accurate method of CD4 testing, which cuts the cost of CD4 tests by almost a third. "With the new test, state hospitals can monitor three times as many patients," Dr Debbie Glencross of South Africa's National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), told PlusNews on Monday. According to Glencross, the haemotologist who discovered the new method, the new test is much quicker and easier to use. "The conception was that because it is so simple, the quality would be poorer, but it is actually of a much better quality," she said. (…)

CD4 cell testing is used to determine the efficacy of antiretroviral therapy (ART). By keeping track of the number of CD4 cells in the bloodstream, doctors can tell how far HIV infection has progressed. The prohibitive cost of the test has prevented it from being conducted in most public hospitals. The NHLS has patented the technique to prevent multinational and private companies from selling the tests at an exorbitant price. "The patent was a protection because we wanted it to get to the people who needed it most," Glencross added. (…)


Africa: Film educates youth on HIV/AIDS

12 April - An African film targeting young men is being used across Africa to educate youth about sexual health issues and HIV/AIDS.

Filmed in Zimbabwe, Yellow Card focuses on teenage pregnancy, which is often considered a girl's problem, and explores what happens when a boy is held accountable for his actions.

Through the story of Tiyane, a young soccer player who becomes a teenage father, the movie tackles the issues of unplanned pregnancy, unsafe abortion and HIV/AIDS.

More details:


First International Young People’s Conference on AIDS in Africa: 28 May-1 June

12 April - The first International Young People's Conference on AIDS in Africa will be hosted by Africa Young AIDS Coalition (Afyoac) from 28 May – 1 June 2002 in Mombasa, Kenya.

The conference will specifically bring together young researchers, educators, advocates, counsellors and policy makers. The conference will focus on the prevention needs of young people and look for appropriate ways capable of bridging the existing communication, language, and experience sharing gap between young HIV/AIDS activists in Africa.

For more information:


Tanzanian religious leaders mobilize against HIV/AIDS

10 April - Eighty Tanzanian religious leaders came together at a forum in Dar-es-Salaam recently to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and agree on ways to support the national campaign against the deadly epidemic. President Benjamin Mkapa, who has declared the epidemic a national disaster, hosted the forum, which was chaired by former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi and attended by Roman Catholic, Protestant and Anglican bishops and imams and sheikhs from the Muslim community. (…)

The religious leaders said they could not campaign for the use of condoms as a means of curbing HIV/AIDS as this runs counter to their doctrines, but agreed that it is the responsibility of the government to do so. They also agreed to collaborate with the government in educating their followers about avoiding extra-marital sexual relations.  (…)


Making women central to reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS

9 April - UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund For Women) is launching a 3-year programme to put the gender and human rights dimensions of the HIV/AIDS epidemic at the centre of strategies and policies in ten countries, with a $3 million grant from the UN Trust Fund for Human Security, funded by the Japanese government. As part of the programme UNIFEM will work with National AIDS Councils and key policy makers to increase their understanding of the impact of HIV/AIDS on women. At the community level, UNIFEM will work toward equality between men and women in an effort to link lower HIV/AIDS prevalence rates with transformed gender relations. UNIFEM will begin by working with railway workers in India to promote AIDS awareness and foster equality between women and men. The ten countries covered by the programme include Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Barbados and Brazil.

Over the course of three years, UNIFEM intends to build national capacity in each country to review existing laws and policies related to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care in order to identify provisions that need to be revised to ensure gender equality.

For more information, contact Nazneen Damji, Programme Specialist on Gender and HIV/AIDS, at



Energy and safety



IAEA secures radioactive source in Uganda

Vienna, 5 April - In response to a request from the Government of Uganda, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations organization with competence in nuclear safety and security, has secured a radioactive source in Uganda. The radioactive source contained a significant amount of cobalt-60 and had been impounded by authorities following its discovery.

Following the discovery of a radioactive source, two IAEA radiation safety specialists were sent to Uganda this week to provide assistance. The IAEA team checked the integrity of the shielded container, measured the level of radiation, verified the security of the location and concluded that the source is currently safe and secure and does not pose any immediate threat to the public.

The IAEA team also assisted Ugandan authorities in their effort to ascertain whether other insecure sources might similarly be found in the country. No evidence of such sources was found.



Culture and education



Eritrea - Food for Training Programme: illiterate women given chance at learning

12 April - An innovative scheme to help illiterate women learn to read and write has been launched in two regions of Eritrea. The Food for Training programme offers 19.5 kg of basic foods each month to women, and some men, who attend two hours of literacy lessons each day. (…)

The programme, which is being piloted during April and May in the Ansaba and Red Sea regions, is run by the National Union of Eritrean Women and the World Food Programme (WFP). The Ministry of Education has contributed 236 teachers as well as school classrooms in 75 towns and villages. More than 5,000 women have signed up for the lessons so far. A WFP spokesman said the programme was proving especially popular among teenage girls, aged between 14 and 16, some of whom have never been to school. Food for Training is part of an ongoing attempt by the government to change traditional attitudes, still dominant in many rural areas, that women should stay and work in the home, rather than seek an education, or a job. (…)

If the pilot programmes prove successful, organisers hope to extend Food for Training to other regions from September and eventually to enrol 50,000 women. (…) Full report at:]


Somalia: First women's teacher training college opens

12 April - The first all-women's teacher training college in Somalia officially opened in the capital, Mogadishu, on Tuesday. The college - which will be funded jointly by a Dutch NGO, NOVIB, and a local Somali education group, the Formal Private Education Network (FPEN) - would be known as the Banaadir Teacher Training Institute, the chairman of the FPEN, Ahmad Abdullahi, told IRIN. The college, which would train 105 women, actually started classes in February, but was officially opened on Tuesday by the minister of education of the Transitional National Government (TNG), Ahmad said. It was the first time since the start of the civil war, 11 years ago, that such an institution had come into operation, a Somali source told IRIN. Full report at:]


Formula one driver Michael Schumacher to be named UNESCO Champion for Sport

Paris, April 11 - German Formula One racing driver Michael Schumacher will be named UNESCO Champion for Sport by UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura at a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters on Monday, April 15, at 5.30 p.m., which will be followed by a press conference.

The nomination of Schumacher comes "in recognition of his role in the promotion of sport, his contribution to UNESCO's educational action in favour of young people all over the world, and his dedication to the Organization's ideals".

The four-times world champion (1994, 1995, 2000 and 2001) and driver for Ferrari since 1996 has placed sport at the service of disadvantaged children since 1995. He was named UNESCO Special Envoy for Education and Sports and donated DM 250,000 to UNESCO, money paid to him by the German magazine Bunte for exclusive photo of his wedding.

Further substantial donations by him enabled the building of a school in Dakar (Senegal) in 1996 and improvements to be made in the city's slum suburb of Baraka as part of a joint UNESCO/Enda Third World project. In 1997, his generosity made possible the opening in Sarajevo of a clinic to help child war victims heal their psychological wounds and teach young amputees to use artificial limbs. This year, Schumacher's donations will fund the opening, in Lima (Peru), of a "Palace of the Poor", a centre for street children that will provide them with shelter, food, medical care and pre-school education.

Other leading sports figures have rallied to UNESCO's cause, including French judo champion David Douillet and football player Edson Arantes de Nascimiento, better known as "King Pele."


Basketball Stars join the UN to promote cooperation and understanding between Greek and Turkish youths

The UN, NBA, the Turkish and Hellenic Basketball Federations, and FIBA come together for the second annual Basketball without Borders Camp

Vienna, 10 April - The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Hidayet ("Hedo") Turkoglu and Predrag ("Peja") Stojakovic of the Sacramento Kings will lead a group of Turkish and Greek basketball players serving as coaches for the second annual Basketball without Borders in Istanbul, Turkey, July 5-8, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced today. Basketball without Borders is a summer camp for 12-14-year-olds designed to promote friendship and understanding through sport.

The inaugural Basketball without Borders took place in July 2001 in Treviso, Italy, with Vlade Divac of the Sacramento Kings, Toni Kukoc of the Atlanta Hawks and five other NBA players from the former Yugoslavia uniting to work with 50 children from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYRO Macedonia, Slovenia and Yugoslavia. This year’s Basketball without Borders brings together 50 young Greeks and Turks who will be selected to participate on the basis of their basketball skills and leadership potential. (…)


Rotary's new program to create future world leaders

First class of 70 Rotary World Scholars to be announced on April 18 in New York

New York, 8 April - The end of the Cold War has brought increased attention to the more than 30 armed conflicts currently raging throughout the world. Since 1945, more than 100 million people have been killed or seriously injured due to national and international struggles. There is a major shortage in trained mediators, who are an essential element of any peace process. Rotary has undertaken a major long-term initiative aimed at filling that void.

To help prepare this next generation of diplomats and future leaders, Rotary has teamed up with eight universities around the world to establish new centers focused on peace and conflict resolution and will annually award scholarships to 70 promising leaders.

Please join us as we announce the first class of 70 Rotary World Scholars and introduce the world to a new chance for peace: Thursday, 18 April 2002, 11:00 a.m. at Millennium Hotel, One United Nations Plaza 44th St. at First Ave., Ballroom, 2nd floor.

Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians who are members of more than 30,000 Rotary clubs in 163 countries.



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Next issue: 3 May 2002




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