Good News Agency – Year IV, n° 11



Weekly - Year IV, number 11 – 27 June 2003

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. Editorial research by Fabio Gatti. Good News Agency is published in English on one Friday and in Italian the next.  It 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.

It is a service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, NGO associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information.




International legislationHuman rightsEconomy and development

SolidarityPeace and securityHealthEnergy and Safety

Environment and wildlifeCulture and education



International legislation



ILO Launches global campaign on social security for all

Geneva, 18 June – Noting that four out of five people in the world lack basic social security coverage, the International Labour Office (ILO) announced today that it would spearhead a campaign to encourage countries to extend social security to more of their citizens.

"Only one-out-of-five people in the world today has adequate social security", said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. "What's more, half the world's population has no social security coverage of any kind. We have the will, and now must find the way, to provide more people with the social benefits needed to survive and prosper."

The "Global Campaign on Social Security and Coverage for All", is to be launched today during the 91st International Labour Conference currently taking place in Geneva. The campaign reflects a global consensus on the part of governments and employers' and workers' organizations to broaden social security coverage among working people, particularly in the informal economy, and raise awareness worldwide about the role of social security in economic and social development. The campaign will seek to develop a broad partnership involving international organizations, donor countries, social security institutions and civil society organizations. (…)


Twenty-eight countries and the European Community sign tobacco treaty at first opportunity

States from Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Oceania and South America represented

Geneva, 16 June - A range of countries — both large and small, developing and industrialized — as well as the European Community today signed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the only global health treaty produced in several decades. The treaty opened for the first signatures at a ceremony held today at the Geneva headquarters of the World Health Organization. (…)

As soon as 40 countries ratify the Convention, it becomes law for those countries and thereafter, for other countries that ratify it. Today’s signature does not yet bind countries to the treaty, but is an expression of political support and of good faith to abide by the principles it enshrines in the interim period until ratification.

Today's signatories, in the order that they signed, were: Bangladesh, Brazil, Burundi, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, the European Community, Botswana, Hungary, Iceland, Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Paraguay, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Gambia. The European Community signs as a regional economic integration organization. Its Member States that wish to do so will sign and ratify the treaty individually. (…)


Treaty on international trade in GMOs to become law

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety will enter into force in September

Nairobi, 13 June - Palau has become the 50th country to ratify the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, starting a 90-day countdown to the agreement's entry into force.

Adopted in January 2000 by the member governments of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Protocol sets out the first comprehensive regulatory system for ensuring the safe transfer, handling and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), with a specific focus on movements of these organisms across national borders.

"The Cartagena Protocol recognizes that biotechnology has an immense potential for improving human welfare, but that it could also pose potential risks to biodiversity and human health," said Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, under whose auspices the Biodiversity Convention was adopted in 1992. "This new regime promises to make the international trade in GMOs more transparent while introducing important safety measures that will meet the needs of consumers, industry and the environment for many decades to come," he said.

The Protocol deals primarily with GMOs that are to be intentionally introduced into the environment (such as seeds, trees or fish) and with genetically modified farm commodities (such as corn and grain used for food, animal feed or processing).  (..)


Training course on the United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice in law enforcement

Vienna, 13 June - The Second Training Seminar Course on the Application of United Nations Standards and Norms in Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Law Enforcement concluded today. It was held from 10 to 13 June, and was attended by seven female and six male police academy and training instructors from Central Europe and the Baltic region. The course was convened as part of the implementation of ECOSOC resolution 2002/15, and was organized by the Centre for International Crime Prevention of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in cooperation with the Regional Delegation for Central Europe of the International Committee of the Red Cross. (…)


United Nations and European Commission join forces to curb corruption

Hungary presents UN anti-corruption pilot project to EU experts

Vienna, 12 June - In a workshop on preventing corruption, organised by the European Commission and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime - which runs the United Nations Global Programme against Corruption (GPAC) - both institutions called for European Union strategies to build integrity and transparency and to curb corruption among current and future EU member states.

A national action plan to curb corruption in Hungary was presented yesterday to participants of the one-day workshop in Brussels within the framework of the European Forum on the prevention of organised crime. The Hungarian anti-corruption strategy - worked out as a GPAC pilot project - is intended to serve as a model for other European Union countries including newcomers from the Central and East European region. The anti-corruption measures aim at integrating national level specifics with the EU regional requirements and the United Nations global approach. (…)



Human rights



UNICEF and UNODC join forces to fight human trafficking

Vienna, 17 June (UN Information Service) -- On 12 June the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) signed a Joint Plan in which they pledged to join forces to combat trafficking in persons.

Under this new agreement, UNODC will work with the Government of Viet Nam to strengthen the legal and law enforcement institutions. In particular, UNODC will focus its activities on criminal justice aspects, investigation methods, prosecution and features of organized crime. For its part, UNICEF will work with the Government to enhance trafficking-prevention measures, improve child victims' and other at-risk children's access to basic psycho-social services, facilitate the reintegration of victims in their communities, and improve the Government's monitoring capacity. (…)


Day of the African Child, 2003: For each child, an identity

Birth registration theme: 50 million born without legal documents in 2002.

A continent celebrates its children; dozens of countries carry out events

New York, 16 June - UNICEF offices in dozens of countries are set to celebrate the Day of the African Child today, calling for the need to ensure all children are registered at birth.

In 2002, 50 million newborns were denied their right to a legal identity. Without a birth certificate, children have no official identity, no recognized name and no nationality. In later life, the unregistered child may be unable to apply for a passport or formal job, open a bank account, get a marriage licence, stand for elective office or vote. (…)

In honour of the Day of the African Child, UNICEF offices are coordinating dozens of events. The day marks a 1976 march in in Soweto South Africa, when thousands of black school children took to the streets to protest the inferior quality of their education and to demand their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young boys and girls were shot down; and in the two weeks of protest that followed, more than a hundred people were killed and more than a thousand were injured.

To honour the memory of those killed and the courage of all those who marched, the Day of the African Child has been celebrated on 16 June every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organization of African Unity. The Day also draws attention to the lives of African children today.


Malaysia: Improving compliance with the law

13 June - The ICRC's regional delegation in Kuala Lumpur this week organized a two-day seminar on existing mechanisms to implement international humanitarian law and the possible need for new measures. The meeting brought together 53 international law experts from over 20 countries in the Asian-Pacific region. (…) In addition to their discussion of existing and proposed measures by States to implement international humanitarian law, the participants explored ways to encourage compliance on the part of non-State armed groups.

This was one of a series of five such regional seminars. Two were held recently in Cairo and Pretoria. The remaining two will take place in Bruges, Belgium and Mexico City in coming months. The seminars' findings will then be presented to the States party to the Geneva Conventions, whose representatives will attend the 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in early December.



Economy and development



New "Marrakech Process" Promotes Sustainable Consumption and Production on an International Basis

New York, 20 June - Agreement was reached at an international gathering held in Marrakech this week on mapping out a 10-year plan for improving patterns of production and consumption, and turning international commitments on sustainable behaviour into reality.

The new 'Marrakech Process' will be an instrument to develop and implement the long-term plan which world leaders agreed to at the 2002 Johannesburg Summit. It follows up on agreements reached at the Summit to accelerate the shift towards sustainable lifestyles that promote social and economic development for all. (…)

The meeting identified a number of key priorities for the framework plan, including the development of policies that integrate the economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainable behaviour. Strategies should include a mix of regulations, economic incentives and communication tools to change patterns of behaviour, and involve partnerships between government agencies, international organizations, private enterprise, and public interest organizations.

The Marrakech meeting was organized by the UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs, in cooperation with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). It was chaired by the Secretary of State of the Environment for Morocco and Ambassador for the Environment of Sweden. The report of the meeting will be presented to the 12th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development in April 2004 and UNEP's Governing Council in February 2004.

For more information:


Land rights for poor people key to poverty reduction, growth – World Bank report

Secure tenure and easing barriers to land transactions empowers poor people, improves governance, in addition to economic benefits

Paris, June 19 - Strengthening poor people's land rights and easing barriers to land transactions can set in motion a wide range of social and economic benefits including improved governance, empowerment of women and other marginalized people, increased private investment, and more rapid economic growth and poverty reduction, according to a new World Bank report.

Land policies are at the root of social conflicts in countries as diverse as Cambodia and Colombia, Zimbabwe and Cote d'Ivoire. (…) Yet a growing number of countries are successfully addressing land policy issues. The report, Land Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction, shows that countries as diverse as China, Mexico, Thailand, Uganda, and some transition countries in Eastern Europe, have begun to address land policy issues in ways that benefit everybody. (…)


World Bank approves $80 million to strengthen pro-poor programs in Bolivia

Washington, June 17 - The World Bank today approved three loans totaling $80 million to Bolivia to expand and protect vital anti-poverty programs.

Ensuring the financial viability of social service programs, extending electricity, telephone and Internet coverage in the countryside, and continuing the decentralization of government functions to improve the delivery of services to the poor are the lending programs’ main goals.

“With these loans, the Government will be supported in its efforts to stabilize its fiscal situation, strengthen safety and pro-poor social programs, and sustain its commitment to existing reforms,” said Marcelo Giugale, Director of the World Bank’s Regional Office for Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. (…)


Rural poor in border areas to benefit from IFAD-backed development project in the Dominican Republic

Rome, 12 June – Some of the poorest people in the Dominican Republic will benefit from a USD 24 million programme that will focus for the first time on the country’s border areas.

The programme will be financed largely by a USD 14 million loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to the Dominican Republic. The loan agreement was signed today at IFAD headquarters by the Ambassador in Italy to the Dominican Republic, H.E. Pedro Padilla Tonos, and the IFAD President, Mr. Lennart Bäge.

The border areas of the Dominican Republic are home to many of the country’s extremely poor rural people. The goal of the programme is to reduce poverty in the region, mainly by strengthening the organizations of the rural poor, so that they are better able to contribute to sustainable social and economic development.

Another important first is that the programme will include measures to improve health and sanitation, such as provide better drinking water pipelines, as ways to combat HIV/AIDS.  (…)

With this programme, IFAD will have financed six projects in the Dominican Republic totaling USD 62.1 million in loans.


UNCTAD, Netherlands and Switzerland join together to support the national biotrade project in Bolivia

On 11 June, in Santa Cruz (Bolivia), the Minister of Sustainable Development, Ms. Moyra Paz Estensoro, announced the launch of the National Sustainable Biotrade Programme (PNBS), aimed at helping to reduce poverty and foster sustainable development.

The Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Mr. David Syz, confirmed that his country would contribute 1 million dollars to the programme, and the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Bolivia, Mr. Wicher Willdeboer, promised 2.5 million dollars. This was the climax of an intensive process involving the formulation of the PNBS, initiated two years ago by the Department of Biodiversity in the office of Bolivia´s Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, together with the UNCTAD Biotrade Initiative.

Bolivia is a country which possesses great natural wealth. It is one of a group of countries known as "megadiverse", which are considered to constitute a world power in terms of their biological riches, since they contain some 70 per cent of the world´s biodiversity. Bolivia also has some of the highest poverty indices in the world. (…)






Hampered by insecurity, CRS Relief activities continue in Liberia

June 18, Baltimore, MD, USA - With news of a ceasefire between government and rebel groups spawning hope for a peaceful resolution to Liberia’s crisis, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), working with its local partner, Caritas Monrovia, continues to distribute emergency food aid to thousands of displaced Liberians. In recent days CRS has distributed 100 metric tons of food to more than 1,700 displaced families in Buchanan, Liberia’s second largest city (…)

Fighting between Liberian government forces and a collection of rebel groups, who control two-thirds of the country, had intensified in the months preceding Tuesday’s ceasefire agreement. The conflict has uprooted hundreds of thousands, including tens of thousands last week alone. According to the United Nations, the conflict has made nearly three quarters of the country inaccessible to aid groups. (…) CRS has been working in Liberia since 1990, initially providing emergency assistance after the start of the civil war. The agency continues to support activities in areas such as health, agriculture, education and peace building.

Catholic Relief Services is marking its 60th year as the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community. The agency provides assistance to people in more than 90 countries and territories on the basis of need, not race, creed or nationality.


Israel and West Bank: ICRC extends emergency relief

Geneva , 17 June – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has decided to extend its main relief programmes for the Palestinian population of the West Bank to the end of 2003, at a cost of over 8.6 million US dollars. Under the previous budget, emergency support for Palestinians affected by the Israeli closure policy was scheduled to end in June. However, the ongoing violence and the stringent security measures maintained by the Israeli authorities have left many Palestinian households in dire need.

The organization's rural relief and urban voucher programmes were started in the spring of 2002 after renewed Israeli military operations exacerbated hardship in the West Bank, with the movement of many Palestinian families being severely restricted and their income thus drastically reduced. Under the rural relief programme, families receive food and other basic items while the urban voucher programme provides town-dwellers with coupons which they can exchange for goods in designated stores. A recent independent study shows that both ICRC programmes have achieved their target of helping some 300,000 people. (…)


Russia makes a landmark pledge of food aid for North Korea and Angola

Rome, 13 June – The World Food Programme today hailed its first ever donation from the Russian Federation, a US$11 million contribution to the U.N. agency’s under-funded emergency operations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Angola.

“This is a truly historic development. With this substantial pledge, it is giving life-saving assistance to millions of hungry people in two of the neediest countries on the planet”, said WFP Executive Director James Morris. “We are delighted to welcome one of the world’s great nations into our family of donors, and look forward to developing a long-term partnership.”

The Russian government is providing US$10 million for WFP’s 2003 emergency operation in the DPRK, which is designed to feed 6.4 million of the crisis-ridden country’s most vulnerable – mainly children, women and elderly people. The funds are to be used to purchase some 40,000 tonnes of Russian wheat, with deliveries beginning in August.

While the DPRK operation has suffered significant resourcing shortfalls over the past year, depriving as many as half the targeted beneficiaries of vital supplemental rations, the Russian contribution, and recent pledges by other donors, will enable WFP to reach most of those deemed especially in need until October.  (…)


Ethiopia: drought-hit farmers receive emergency aid

Pre-famine conditions in pockets of the country

10 June, Rome/Addis Ababa -- Drought-hit Ethiopian farmers have received emergency agricultural assistance to help them prepare land for the next planting season after months of devastating crop failure, FAO said today.

Years of acute drought in several regions of the country, especially the south, have withered crops and left farming households destitute and unable to feed themselves.

Pre-famine conditions are now reported in parts of the East African country, and large numbers of children are suffering from malnutrition. (…)  An estimated 12.6 million Ethiopians are now in need of food aid. FAO's emergency agricultural projects, worth some $4.3 million, aim to help farmers cope with the crisis now and manage better in the future.

These projects include supplying seeds, feed, equipment, animal health services, farming expertise and training in water management to boost the agriculture sector, which accounts for 45 percent of the Ethiopian economy, and improve access to food. (…)



Peace and security



Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines Reissues its call for 10 out of 10 in Bangkok

Pnom Penh, Cambodia, 19 June - The Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines (CCBL) reissued its call for 10 out of 10 States to join the Landmine Ban Treaty by the 5th Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty to be held in Bangkok this September.

On the eve of the 36th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting 16-17 June and the Tenth ASEAN Regional Forum 18-20 June 2003 the CCBL sent letters to all of the embassies in Cambodia. They also enclosed a copy of the book "ASEAN and the Banning of Anti-personnel Landmines 2002".


UN Mine Action update on Iraq

12 June - In the Basrah area, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) continues, and the activities are being recorded in the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA). Teams are continuing to report the extraordinary nature of the operation as a result of the size of the caches and munitions dumps in Basrah.

Meanwhile, the Area MACT in Basrah is providing daily landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) safety briefings and operations.  The Basrah MACT has also established a victim monitoring system through 82 public-health centres in the Basrah governorate.

The Government of New Zealand has deployed two New Zealand Army officers as an in-kind contribution to the United Nations’ mine-action response in Iraq.  The officers will work as liaisons in the Joint Force EOD Centre and provide a link between the Coalition and the MACT on all mine-action issues in southern Iraq. (…)






Decline of opium cultivation in the "Golden Triangle"

Vienna, 18 June - The Myanmar and Lao PDR Opium Surveys for 2003 confirm the downward trend in opium cultivation in the "Golden Triangle" (which also includes Thailand). The surveys show a 24 per cent decline for Myanmar and a 15 per cent decline for Lao PDR in comparison to 2002. Opium poppy cultivation is estimated at 62,200 hectares in Myanmar in 2003 against 81,400 hectares in 2002, and at 12,000 hectares in Lao PDR in 2003 against 14,100 hectares in 2002. Potential opium production in Myanmar is estimated at 810 metric tons against 828 metric tons in 2002.

"The vicious linkage between opium and poverty is being broken. Until recently the elimination of opium cultivation in the "Golden Triangle" would have been considered impossible. It is now within reach. However, countries need assistance to sustain legal activities and alternative crops. With the support of the international community, an important and painful chapter of world drug history is coming to an end " Antonio Maria Costa, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said today at the launch of the surveys in New York. (…)


UNODC launches radio campaign "Let's Talk About Drugs..."

Vienna, 18 June - To encourage parents, grandparents, teachers, peers and other persons of authority to talk to young children and teenagers about the dangers of drug use, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is launching a series of radio spots as part of a year-long "Let's talk about drugs..." campaign.

The thirty- and sixty-second radio spots are available for free in English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Hindi, and are for unrestricted use by broadcasters. The spots are available in MP3 format with and without music, and can be downloaded from the Internet at All of the radio spots are also available on CD.

"'Let's talk about drugs...' underlines the need for children, families, peers, teachers and communities to talk about drug abuse, admit that it is a problem, and take responsibility for doing something about it," states UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his message for 26 June, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. (…)


WHO meets with food, beverage and producer Associations on diet and chronic diseases

Industry associations provide input to WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health

17 June - World Health Organization (WHO) officials met today in Geneva with representatives of some 30 food, beverage and producer associations to discuss ways of working together more effectively to encourage healthier diets and increased physical activity worldwide. The meeting is the last in a formal consultation process to develop input for the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. This process has included meetings in all six WHO regions with representatives from 81 of its Member States, as well as consultations with UN organizations and other intergovernmental agencies, civil society groups and private sector companies.

WHO is preparing the Global Strategy for presentation to the World Health Assembly in May 2004, in response to increasing Member State concern at the growing chronic disease problem. Cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, respiratory disease, obesity and other noncommunicable conditions now account for 59 per cent of the 56.5 million global deaths annually, and almost half, or 45.9 per cent, of the global burden of disease. (…)


MSF opens medical centres in 'critical' area of Baghdad

Brussels, 17 June - On Monday June 16, MSF opened a second primary health centre (PHC) in Al-Ma'amil, in the northeast of Sadr city, in the poverty-stricken outskirts of Baghdad. The first clinic was opened on June 6 and, highlighting the desperate need for medical care, by the end of the first afternoon it had already carried out 138 consultations and is currently conducting over 700 per week.

"The people living in this deprived suburb, estimated to be around 300,000, are in a dire state," explains recently returned head of Mission for Iraq, Pierre Boulet-Desbareau, "for years this area of Baghdad has been used as a rubbish tip by the rest of the city. Just as an example, during our assessments we discovered that in one area over 10,000 people are living on a garbage dump in metallic shacks. Access to medical care is virtually zero."

The 7-strong MSF team is supporting the nearby 300 bed Al Thawra hospital by training nurses in key areas such as administering injections, dressing and medical documentation. (…)


Routine immunization of children re-established across Iraq

210,000 newborns in last 90 days, all vulnerable to preventable diseases

Baghdad, 16 June – With support from UNICEF, the Iraqi Ministry of Health has begun the process of immunizing the country’s 4.2 million children under the age of five against preventable diseases such as polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, measles and tuberculosis. The World Health Organization is also contributing to the reactivation of the Iraq’s Expanded Programme of Immunization by re-establishing the country’s vital disease surveillance system.

According to UNICEF, no child in Iraq has been routinely immunized since the start of military action on 20 March 2003.  (…)

UNICEF has been bringing millions of doses of vaccines into Iraq to restart the country’s routine immunization programme in partnership with the reactivated Ministry of Health. The 25 million doses of vaccines were purchased through a $3.2 million grant from USAID.

UNICEF has also been working with health officials to repair Iraq’s cold chain system so that the vaccines that are brought in can be properly stored. The $1.85 million rehabilitation project was covered by funds from DFID (United Kingdom). (…)



Energy and safety



Syria plans renewable energy investment of almost $1.5 billion

16 June - With its demand for energy nearly tripling in the past three decades, Syria has approved a plan calling for investment of US$1.48 billion through 2011 to produce power from environmentally friendly renewable energy sources.

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs cooperated with the Ministry of Electricity in carrying out a three-year project, funded by UNDP, to develop the plan. UNDP is working with the ministry to organize a meeting of donor countries and organizations to raise funds for implementation. (…)

About half the planned investment will go for wind power, projected to supply 800 megawatts of electricity. Solar energy is the second priority, and the plan calls for installation of 16,000 solar power units in 1,000 villages. (…) Renewable energy will fill about 4 per cent of the country's energy total needs by 2011, according to the plan, and create 7,225 new jobs. It will likely reduce emissions by 2.6 million tonnes a year of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.  (…)



Environment and wildlife



WWF hails conservation successes at 55th International Whaling Commission

Berlin, Germany, 19 June – As the 55th International Whaling Commission (IWC) draws to a close, WWF says that after 55 years the conservation of whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans) has moved to the very heart of the Commission’s work.

A new resolution, the Berlin Initiative, supported by a majority of governments, will enable IWC member countries to tackle the full range of threats to cetaceans beyond commercial whaling. These include by-catch, marine pollution, climate change, noise pollution and ship-strikes. By-catch – entanglement in fishing nets – is the biggest threat of all, causing the death of around 300,000 cetaceans each year.

In addition to this breakthrough, efforts to undermine whale conservation were defeated. Japan had sought a radical expansion of its current whaling programme to catch 150 Bryde’s whales and 150 minke whales each year for five years. Its proposal, put forward in defiance of the 1986 global whaling moratorium, was heavily defeated. Sharp criticism was also directed at Japan for their refusal to cease whaling in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary. (…)


Nokia and WWF start environmental cooperation worldwide

18 June - Nokia and WWF have signed an agreement to launch a series of discussions with stakeholders and a new learning initiative for Nokia employees around the world. The agreement has been signed for an initial term of three years. Nokia, together with WWF, will implement a number of activities enabling employees to learn about environmental matters.

Nokia and WWF will cooperate in conducting training workshops and seminars on environmental issues for Nokia employees, and facilitate active dialogue and exchange on environmental issues.


International effort results in new tool to calculate greenhouse gas emissions from aluminium smelters

London, UK, Washington, DC and Geneva, Switzerland, June 12 - The International Aluminium Institute (IAI), in association with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), today announced the development of new tools for calculating greenhouse gas emissions from primary aluminium production. These calculation methods will serve as a simple unified industry approach to greenhouse gas emissions accounting.  ()

IAI and its member companies, with the support of the US EPA, began developing the Aluminium Sector Greenhouse Gas Protocol in early 2002. It is based on protocols previously developed by WRI and the WBCSD, and was peer reviewed and endorsed as conforming to their model, the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol.

"This process provides a model for other industry associations developing sector-specific greenhouse gas calculation tools," said Jonathan Lash, WRI president. (…)


Time for Action: Your Planet Needs You!

Young Environmentalists from Across the Globe Meet in Russia to Agree on Actions for a Better World

Nairobi, Kenia/Dubna, Russia, 11 June - An elite group of young people will be converging on the Russian town of Dubna to share their passions for a greener, cleaner world and to draw up action plans for realizing an environmentally-friendly future.

The Tunza International Youth Conference will mark the next step in the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) growing campaign to enlist the enthusiasm, creativity and vision of young people to deliver a more sustainable and fairer world. UNEP is urging young people from across the globe, eager to make a difference and keen to take action, to apply to be delegates at the Youth Conference which is taking place between 25 and 27 August.

Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of UNEP, said: " We are looking for dedicated, imaginative young people who share our vision that the environment is one of the keys to a better, more prosperous and healthier world. Our new youth and children's' strategy is called Tunza, the Swahili word meaning 'to treat with care and affection'. We want to work with young people to spread this philosophy from the Dubna conference, through concrete actions, to their homes, communities and countries all around the globe".  (..)


World Environment Day - Pakistan

UNIDO and TetraPak launch recycling programme

Around the world, 5 June, World Environment Day was celebrated, or observed, with street rallies, bicycle parades, green concerts, essay and poster competitions in schools, tree planting, recycling efforts, etc.. At the Vienna International Centre, the location of UNIDO's headquarters in Austria, in addition to an exhibition of UNIDO's environmental work, activities included a butterfly dance by an Indonesian folk group and a Digeridoo performance.

UNIDO Pakistan and Tetra Pak Pakistan (a joint venture between Pakistan's Packages Limited and Tetra Pak International) celebrated the day by launching Proud Pakistanis Recycle. (…) From July to December 2003, Environment Protection Agencies, planners, managers, community representatives, municipalities, scavengers associations, NGOs/CBOs and policy makers involved in the logistic of solid waste collection & treatment, muncipal engineers, in short, anyone involved in waste management technology, resource recovery and ultimate disposal of waste, will be invited to recycling conferences in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and Sialkot. The conferences will assist local officials develop cost-effective strategies for solid waste management. (…)



Culture and education



ADRA Uganda receives $2.4 million to improve education

Silver Spring, Maryland, 16 June – The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) office in Uganda has received a total of $2.4 million through ADRA’s office in Denmark from the Danish International Development Agency to implement a rural education project in Karamoja, Uganda. The Karamoja Integrated Rural Education Project (KITENEP) started in October 2002 and is the first of its kind in the region.

The KITENEP is a three-year project that will renovate eight primary schools, construct one dormitory, 36 houses for teachers and staff, nine rain water systems, four demonstration gardens, three community centers, and 200 adult learning centers. In addition, 200 teachers will receive training. (…)

According to ADRA Uganda, the illiteracy rate in Karamoja is 88.5 percent.


Next Generation of World Leaders Attend International Training Seminar

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), Rotary's training program for young leaders, emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and personal growth.

Young adults from around the world met at the International Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Convention, which was held 29 May-1 June in Brisbane, Australia.

Eighty-five youths ages 18 to 30 were selected to attend the event, which was held in conjunction with the 2003 Rotary International  Convention in Brisbane. The young adults are outstanding youth leaders in their communities and represent such diverse countries as Bangladesh, Philippines, and Scotland.



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Next issue: 11 July

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