Good News Agency – Year IV, n° 15



Weekly - Year IV, number 15 – 26 September 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

Solidarity Peace and securityHealthEnergy and Safety

Environment and wildlifeCulture and education



International legislation



AEGEE-Europe: The future of Cyprus needs to be discussed now

AEGEE-Europe organised on 12 September the conference 'Cyprus in Europe - Europe in Cyprus' in the Buffer Zone in Nicosia, the last divided capital in the world. The conference gave the youth from the two Cypriot communities as well as European students the possibility to engage in an open dialogue concerning the situation on the island. The discussion about the future are needed now, as Cyprus will join the EU in less than 8 months and plans for future collaboration are needed between the two communities. (…)

25 Cypriots - Greek and Turkish  - as well as students of 16 different European nationalities took part in the conference, organised in cooperation with the local organisation Youth Promoting Peace. The conference was a contribution in a manner that has proved most successful in the 'Turkish-Greek Civic Dialogue' project - an open and forthright dialogue between youngsters. The conference was a starting point for a longer project on Cyprus by AEGEE-Europe. (…)

The AEGEE network consists of 260 local branches in 42 European countries, gathering 17.000 members. (…)


European Women’s Lobby’s annual seminar – 10 October, Brussels

This year the European Women’s Lobby’s annual seminar will be held in Brussels on the 10th October 2003, just before our General Assembly and we are very pleased to invite you to take part to this event.

The theme of the seminar is women in political decision-making and the seminar is entitled “European Elections 2004: women demand an equal share”. The aims of the seminar are to identify the main obstacles for women in political life; to agree on strategies to promote the nomination of women by political parties and their election to the European parliament and to put pressure on political parties, government and the European institutions in order to achieve gender equality in the future European Parliament. (…)



Human rights



World Bank / IMF Annual Meetings, Dubai 2003

First ever free trade union meeting in Dubai supported by World Bank

Brussels, September 22 (ICFTU Online) - In a country where any form of democratic worker's representation is strongly opposed by the state, an unprecedented seminar on "Core Labour Standards and Poverty Reduction" will be held on Monday 22 September in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The meeting is organized in co-operation with the World Bank. Workers in the UAE, 91% of whom are migrants from South Asia, risk expulsion if they try to organize unions.(…)

The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) has planned the activity on the eve of the annual meetings between the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, 23-24 September. Representatives from trade unions, the International Labour Organisation and the World Bank will discuss the role of core labour standards (CLS) in the reduction of poverty in developing countries, and the role of international institutions in promoting CLS. (…)

Progress, according to an ICFTU statement to the meetings, must still be made in several areas, and ten proposals are made on how the Bank and the IMF should proceed. (…) The ICFTU statement also praises areas where progress is being made. For instance, in some places, such as Bosnia and Nepal, the Bank is finally starting to make the link between violations of workers' rights and the persistence of poverty. In two other countries, Burkina Faso and Senegal, World Bank reports state that sustained progress in poverty reduction will only occur if trade unions and other civil society organizations are strengthened and play a more important role in the
development process.

Timor-Leste shines light on past violence and seeks healing

Thursday, 11 September - An independent commission helping Timor-Leste uncover and come to terms with widespread violence and other human rights violations has found so many people coming forward to participate that it is extending its work until next year, with help from UNDP.

At community hearings people tell of brutality and suffering they endured or witnessed, and lives of loved ones lost, during the decades before independence last year. Others are owning up to inflicting beatings, burning houses, thefts and other acts of violence and intimidation.

Community members then agree on steps for reconciliation that draw on traditional customs, including apologies, pledges by offenders never to repeat such acts, community service, and symbolic contributions such as a goat and fortified wine for a communal meal. Serious offences can be referred to the justice system.  (…)


The Africa Prize For Leadership: Announcing the 2003 laureates

September 8 - Two women legal activists who are respected for their bold effective action for women’s rights will receive the 2003 Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger, The Hunger Project announced today.

Meaza Ashenafi established Ethiopia’s leading women’s legal aid, education, and policy reform organization in 1995 - the Ethiopian Women Lawyers’ Association (EWLA). (…)

Sara Longwe of Zambia is a grassroots mobilizer, writer and gender consultant. She is the author of the "Longwe Framework for Gender Analysis" which is used internationally to promoting focus on gender issues in development program. (…)

The Africa Prize, often referred to as the “Nobel Prize for Africa”, will be awarded at a ceremony in New York on Saturday, October 11. The laureates receive a sculpture by Takenobu Igarashi and US$50,000 each to continue their work for the well-being of Africa’s people. (…)

The Africa Prize is awarded by The Hunger Project, a global, non-profit, strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger. (…)



Economy and development



Seeds and tools for nearly 2 million farmers in Angola

People are returning to their land - largest FAO operation in Africa

19 September, Rome/Nairobi -- Almost 2 million Angolans will receive agricultural emergency assistance in the next few weeks before the start of the rainy season, FAO said today.

FAO will provide agricultural kits to farmers in 14 of the 18 provinces in Angola. The kits will include locally adapted varieties of maize, beans, vegetable, millet and sorghum seeds, and agricultural tools such as hoes and machetes.

Other humanitarian organizations working in Angola will distribute an additional 300 000 kits, the total will be some 600 000 kits.

In what is FAO's largest operation in Africa, approximately 5 000 tonnes of inputs will be distributed to the most remote and isolated villages, where pockets of extreme vulnerability still exist. (…)


IFAD to boost the economy of Nicaragua’s dry region

Rome, 17 September – A new IFAD-supported programme will provide a much needed boost to economic development in the Dry Region of Nicaragua. The USD 25 million programme will also strengthen Government efforts to implement its Reinforced Strategy for Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction, which was adopted in 2001 to take full advantage of the international Debt Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC). The Initiative permits Nicaragua to reduce its debt stock by 70%, representing annual savings equivalent to 5% of GDP, which will be devoted to poverty reduction. Many of the country’s rural poor live in the Dry Region, where natural disasters in recent years have damaged infrastructure and left the economy increasingly vulnerable.

Through economic revival and the creation of small business and employment opportunities, the new Programme for the Economic Development of the Dry Region targets 44,600 rural poor families with annual per capita incomes under the poverty line of USD 430 in 33 municipalities of the region. The programme will be financed partly by a highly concessional loan of USD 14 million from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The loan agreement was signed today at IFAD Headquarters in Rome (…)


UNECE-WYB joint mission to Belarus to assist in development of youth entrepreneurship

Geneva, 17 September - At the invitation of Mr. Vladimir Konopljov, Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the World Youth Bank (WYB) made a joint advisory mission to Minsk to explore the current youth situation and to advise the Parliament, government authorities and non-governmental organizations how to develop youth entrepreneurship. The mission was also to advise on the creation a Youth Entrepreneurship Development Centre (YEDC) within the framework of national entrepreneurship as well as youth policies. (…)

Discussions were held on the establishment of a Belarusian branch of the World Youth Bank in Minsk.






WFP resumes food distributions in rebel-held Liberian city

Monrovia, 17 September – The United Nations World Food Programme has sent a consignment of food to tens of thousands of people in the insurgent-held Liberian city of Buchanan for the first time since heavy fighting between government forces and rebel factions erupted in and around the capital, Monrovia, earlier this year.

Despite the continuing precarious situation, WFP and its partners have gone ahead with plans to start a general distribution of cereals, pulses and vegetable oil to about 32,000 people in Buchanan, a port city some 100 kilometres south-east of Monrovia. (…) WFP is also starting food distributions this week to tens of thousands of displaced Liberians and refugees from Sierra Leone in camps outside Monrovia. (…)

Over the past month, the agency has provided food assistance to some 420,000 people, most of them displaced by the fighting and living in temporary shelters in the capital. (…)


Running for Fun and Charity! Beirut, Lebanon, 19 October

On Sunday 19 October, Beirut will host its first International Marathon. Already, it is noted not only as a unique sportive event but also as a remarkable charity initiative.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is a partner of the Beirut Marathon Association (BMA), a non-profit organization, to promote and support humanitarian and development projects endorsed by the BMA within the framework of the Beirut International Marathon. The theme of the humanitarian component is "Youth and the Community" and consists of seven projects that are given visibility and for which the Beirut International Marathon (BIM) and runners will mobilize resources. Within the context of the BIM, the United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV) agreed to support the event through volunteer services. Also, participation of UN staff as runners in the BIM is being promoted and encouraged within the context of healthy lifestyles. UN runners will form a UN team. (…)

As of today, the commitment and the enthusiastic participation of staff and UN agencies lead to say that the Beirut International Marathon (BIM) will effectively combine sports and development.



Peace and security



Peru: Raising awareness of the dangers of landmines

19 September - A second campaign on the dangers of anti-personnel landmines, organized by the Peruvian Mine Action Centre (CONTRAMINAS) with the support of the ICRC and the Organization of American States (OAS), came to an end this week in the department of Junín (central Sierra), Peru.  The event was part of the 2003 National Mine-Awareness Plan for the Central Sierra, a community-based project using various art forms to convey important messages about mines.

During the first phase of the plan, a technical team trained teachers and community leaders so that they could go on to spread the messages in their respective towns and villages. The team was made up of representatives from the national police, the Ministries of Education and Foreign Affairs, the ICRC and the OAS, and two mine accident survivors.

So far, 275 teachers and 110 community leaders have taken part in the training workshops, in which they have learned various methods of spreading information and devised their own messages to be used in specific situations. (…)


Eritrea: War-torn village gets clean water

September 19 - Some 1,000 residents and 1,200 internally displaced persons living in the war-torn village of Endembastifanos no longer need to walk for five hours to fetch drinking water. Now they can get safe water from two public fountains that the ICRC has built in their village.

Endembastifanos is situated about 15 kilometres northwest of the border town of Tsorona, where some of the fiercest battles of the 1998-2000 war between Eritrea and Ethiopia took place. At the time, inhabitants of the border villages fled their homes in large numbers and found temporary shelter in a camp for displaced persons. Owing to the threat of landmines, many of these people are still unable to return to their villages – among them the 1,200 displaced persons who have resettled in Endembastifanos. (…)

Clean drinking water is a precious commodity in Eritrea. Since the opening of its delegation in 1998, the ICRC has endeavoured to provide safe water for both internally displaced persons and residents living in the areas most hard-hit by the war – those in and close to the temporary security zone, a buffer zone along the Eritrean-Ethiopian border. A variety of other water-supply systems have been completed or are currently under way, for instance in Bishuka (Gash-Barka) and Adi Quala (Debub). ICRC technicians have also repaired dozens of broken hand pumps in areas close to the border.


Latin America: Course on journalism in armed conflicts

15 September - The third online course on journalism in armed conflicts organized by the ICRC was launched on 15 September with the participation of 180 journalists and students of journalism from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay and Peru.

For one month the participants will have access to the course on a website set up by a company specializing in online training. The course takes 10 to 20 hours to complete, depending on how much of the material each student wishes to cover. Among other things, it focuses on the protection and assistance afforded to victims of armed conflict under international humanitarian law, the responsibility journalists have to report on violations of humanitarian norms and the protection which the ICRC can provide for journalists on dangerous assignments.

This time around, the course contains a new component on the recent armed conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. It presents the views of journalists who covered those events and their thoughts on their work, in particular as regards breaches of humanitarian law.

The ICRC delegation in Buenos Aires provides ongoing tutoring for participants. Over the past two years, 320 people have attended the course and qualified for a certificate.


UN: Campaigners hope Bangkok Conference will help eliminate land mines

Campaigners against the use of land mines have gathered in Bangkok this week for a UN-sponsored conference on the international treaty against their use. A nongovernmental organization called the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, has sent 250 delegates to the five-day event.

Prague, 15 September (RFE/RL) -  A large delegation of anti-land-mine campaigners is in Bangkok this week to urge countries to stop using, producing, and stockpiling the weapons.

A nongovernmental organization called the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) -- which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 -- has sent some 250 campaigners, de-miners, researchers, and land-mine survivors from 70 countries to a five-day conference in Bangkok convened under the auspices of the United Nations.  The event is the fifth annual meeting on the implementation of the 1997 convention against land mines. It also is the last formal gathering of officials from the 136 countries that have signed the so-called Ottawa Convention before a review conference scheduled in Nairobi, Kenya, at the end of next year. (…)

Several nonsignatories have sent observers to the session in Bangkok this week. Among them are China, Vietnam, and Laos. But a U.S. Embassy spokesman in Bangkok said the United States is not sending any official observers. An observer from Pakistan had been expected at the conference but had not arrived in time for the opening today.


Second IIPT African Conference on Peace Through Tourism

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania  December 7-12, 2003

The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) is pleased to announce the  IIPT 2nd African Conference on Peace through Tourism to be held in Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania, 7-12 December, 2003  The Conference theme is: "Community Tourism - Gateway to Poverty Reduction." The Conference is being organized in partnership with the African Travel Association and hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Tanzania. Aim of the Conference is to develop partnerships, implementation strategies, and action initiatives that contribute to sustainable community development, peace and poverty reduction. (…)

The Conference will bring together senior African executives from both the public and private sectors of tourism, donor agencies, educators, policy makers, leading-edge practioners, entrepreneurs, future leaders of the industry - and senior representatives of related sectors including environment, culture and economic development.  To register, please see our website:


IFLAC Israeli-Palestinian Delegation to San Francisco – October 16-17

An Iflac Delegation including: two Women Peace Leaders, Palestinian Samia Shahade and Israeli Ada Aharoni,  has been invited to represent IFLAC: The International Forum for the Culture of Peace,  at the "Gather The Women" Congress for "Peace Among Nations" in San Francisco, (October 16-17, 2003). After the Congress, the Iflac Delegation will go on a "Peace Tour" which includes contacts and lecturing to various groups and universities, and Media exposure. 

“IFLAC: The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace” is conducting important work in spreading the "Culture of Peace and Reconciliation" in the Middle East, and especially in Israel and Palestine, through various projects. Palestinian Samia, and Israeli Ada (former Egyptian), who are both from Haifa, will bring the message that multicultural and pluralistic Haifa, in the North of Israel, where Jews, Arabs and Christians live and prosper side by side,  can indeed be a model for the whole of the Middle East.


Clash or Consensus? Gender and Human Security in a Globalized World – October 8-9

Convened by the Women's Learning Partnership in collaboration with the Global Fund for Women, at

The School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC.

The purpose of the conference is to provide a forum for women leaders and human security experts from the Global South, particularly from Muslim societies, to come together to discuss and strategize on ways to advance human security around the world.

Traditionally, human security has been concerned with protecting the state–its boundaries, people, institutions, and values– from external attacks. (…) This conference will advance the debate on the new vision of human security by (a) analyzing human security issues from a gender perspective, and (b) exploring ways to implement human security goals including conflict prevention, sustainable development, gender equity, and strong civil societies that promote democratic processes. (…) Keynote Address: Mary Robinson, Director, Ethical Globalization Initiative, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and former President of Ireland.






Tens of millions immunized in India Sub-National Immunization Days

17 September - Signaling the level of priority the Global Polio Eradication Initiative places on vanquishing the crippling disease in India, World Health Organization Director-General Lee Jong-Wook was present at the launch of a round of Subnational Immunization Days in New Delhi on 14 September. Tens of millions of children across polio-endemic and at-risk states in India were targeted in the five-day effort.

The WHO chief said that although India had made progress in efforts to eradicate polio, the situation remained fragile due to new cases of the poliovirus in parts of the country. This poses a problem to the rest of the world, he said. (…)

To ensure maximum coverage during the SNIDs, nothing was left to chance. Health workers, students, government officials, community leaders, celebrities, and volunteers rallied to mobilize families and to administer the polio vaccine door-to-door.

As usual, Rotarians were at the forefront of those efforts. (…)


250 U.S. Rotary members to immunize children against polio in Africa and Southeast Asia

As polio still threatens children in parts of Africa and South Asia, Rotary remains steadfast in its 20-year commitment to eliminate this crippling disease worldwide.  In support of this global endeavor, approximately 250 Rotary club members from the United States and Canada will help administer drops of oral polio vaccine to children, deliver the vaccine to health clinics and recruit fellow volunteers during mass national immunization campaigns in the following countries:
Ethiopia, 12-18 October; Nigeria, 24 November to 2 December; Niger,(1-14 December;
India (Delhi), 12-26 February 2004; India (Calcutta) and Nepal/Tibet, 5-18 February. (…)

Since establishing the PolioPlus program in 1985, Rotary members have helped to immunize more than 2 billion children in 122 countries, and have contributed more than US$500 million toward a polio-free world.  Rotary is the lead private sector contributor and volunteer arm of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a partnership spearheaded by the World Health Organization, Rotary International, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and UNICEF. 

For more information, contact: Vivian Fiore, Rotary International,


UNAIDS and International Cricket Council join forces to fight AIDS

Mumbai, 18 September  - For the first time in cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has joined forces with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to take up the fight against HIV/AIDS in cricket playing countries, some of which are hardest hit by the epidemic. Today's partnership announcement was made by ICC President Ehsan Mani in Mumbai.

The partnership's primary aim is to use cricket to raise public awareness of HIV/AIDS in the cricket playing world. Other objectives are to incorporate UNAIDS education and training messages and materials in the ICC's own global Development Programme and encourage National Cricket Boards to support HIV/AIDS issues. (…)

The ICC will work with UNAIDS to integrate HIV/AIDS in activities around cricket tournaments, and link up UNAIDS with individual National Cricket Boards to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS in each country. Initiatives will vary from country to country depending on the issues identified between the Boards and the local UNAIDS staff. (…)


Energy and safety



Coalition of twelve major US corporations and WRI announce largest corporate green power purchases in US

Washington DC, September 17 - The World Resources Institute (WRI) and the 12 members of its Green Power Market Development Group today announced 97 megawatts (MW) of groundbreaking green power deals. The purchases include the largest corporate fuel cell and renewable energy certificate deals in the United States.

The Green Power Market Development Group (The Green Power Group) is a unique commercial and industrial partnership dedicated to building corporate markets for green power. Its members are Alcoa Inc, Cargill Dow LLC, Delphi Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company, DuPont, General Motors, IBM, Interface, Johnson & Johnson, Kinko's, Pitney Bowes, and Staples. (…)

The 97 MW announced today, enough to power 73,000 homes, represent purchases made in the past year by 250 facilities in 22 states and the District of Columbia. This brings the total amount purchased by The Green Power Group to 112 MW since it started identifying green power options in 2001.

The purchases announced today include a wide variety of green power technologies and products to match corporate interests. From on-site solar power and landfill gas to electricity from wind farms, the projects offer the companies the best economic and environmental value. (…)


100% green energy reduces WRI's carbon emissions

Washington, DC, September 17, 2003 -- The World Resources Institute (WRI) announced today that it is now 100 percent powered by green energy, making it the largest environmental non-profit in metropolitan Washington, DC to use renewable energy.

WRI achieved this by partnering with its landlord, the American Psychological Association (APA) and property manager, Trammell Crow Company, to purchase renewable energy equivalent to 75 percent of the electricity used in its two Capital Hill buildings. WRI, headquartered in one of the buildings, bought additional renewable energy to make its office 100 percent green.

All the purchases were made in the form of renewable energy certificates (RECs) which represent the amount of pollution avoided when electricity is generated by renewable resources instead of by fossil fuels. Green Mountain Energy Company will supply WRI and APA with more than 20 million kilowatt hours of RECs from wind and other renewable resources. With 100 percent green energy, WRI's annual greenhouse gas emissions will also be reduced by more than 40 percent. (…)



Environment and wildlife



United Nations Environment Programme opens China Office

Beijing, Bangkok, Nairobi, September 19 – The United Nations Environment Programme today opened an office in Beijing, China. Speaking at the opening ceremony, UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said it was a response to the important progress being made in meeting environmental challenges in China, the world’s largest developing country, and to the challenges

lying ahead. (…) He said China had a historic opportunity to leapfrog traditional polluting technologies and to adopt sustainable production and consumption policies.

The new office will work closely with the State Environmental Protection Administration of China (SEPA) and other ministries, international agencies and non-governmental organizations in implementing programmes in environmental assessment, law, education and training, management, technology transfer and innovation and natural disaster prevention.

It will also develop and support projects under the Global Environment Facility, an international fund to address climate change, biodiversity, land degradation, transboundary water and chemical management issues. (…)


New Executive Director Joins Television Trust for the Environment

London, 25 September - Cheryl Campbell has joined Television Trust for the Environment from one of the UK and Ireland’s leading aid agencies, Christian Aid. Cheryl is a journalist who worked in print, radio and television in the UK before moving to Christian Aid in 1992. She played a significant role in developing its cutting edge approach to development education.

TVE’s Founder Executive Director, Robert Lamb has stepped aside after leading the non-profit organisation for almost two decades. Robert will continue as Series Editor of Earth Report, TVE’s long running BBC World television series, which he has personally supervised since 1996.

TVE was set up in 1984 with the backing and support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UK broadcaster Carlton (then Central) Television and WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature). It raises global awareness of sustainable development, environment, health and human rights issues through television and electronic media. It has two flagship series, Earth Report and Life, both of which are broadcast on BBC World which is received in 264 million homes throughout the world. 


Melina Mercouri prize for cultural landscapes to be awarded to Japan's Koga Park

16 September - The Park of Koga, Japan, has won this year’s $20,000 Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes (UNESCO/Greece), which will be presented on September 18 at UNESCO Headquarters. The 25-hectare park is in the centre of the Kanto plain, 60 km north of Tokyo. Although under pressure from housing development because of its proximity to the capital, it is an exceptional example of a green space devoted to peace and relaxation and is visited each year by half a million people. (…)

The renowned Japanese landscape architect Yoshio Nakamura redesigned the lake area. Some of the buildings near the park date from the 18th century and are part of Japan’s national heritage.


City of the Future: Opportunities for Europe

9 September – The city of Ludwigshafen, Germany, together with BASF and UN-HABITAT have agreed to initiate on a joint project to showcase environmental technologies and successful collaboration with the private sector in the development of sustainable cities.

The agreement was reached at a meeting between UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, the Mayor of Ludwigshafen, Dr. Eva Lohse, the Deputy CEO of BASF and representatives from the Federal Ministry of Transport, Construction and Housing. They met at the City of the Future: Opportunities for Europe conference, held in Ludwigshafen on 8-9 September.

The conference, whose main theme was sustainable urban development in a European setting, focused on energy-saving technologies. Practical experiences, best practices and lessons learnt on improving energy efficiency were shared with the aim of replicating them in other cities, particularly in eastern European countries about to join the European Union. The meeting also highlighted strategic partnerships with the private sector in building sustainable cities.  (…)



Culture and education



Africans discuss bridging digital divide, looking to world summit

Wednesday, 17 September - More than 150 delegates from 23 African countries meeting recently in Maputo, Mozambique, agreed to bring "e-strategies" for mobilizing information and communications technology (ICT) for development into the mainstream of government planning.

The gathering was held in preparation for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva this December. The summit will provide a unique opportunity for developing countries to voice their needs and development priorities relating to the rapidly expanding global information society. (…)

Delegates recognized that e-strategies are essential policy tools for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including halving severe poverty, and related development targets. They agreed to adapt these strategies to their countries' unique socio-economic conditions.

So far, over 30 African countries have completed or are in the process of completing national ICT for Development strategies.


UN looks to sports to advance Millennium Development Goals

New York, 17 September - The world would be a healthier and less dangerous place if nations invested more seriously in their citizens’ right to participate in sports, according to a report launched today by 10 United Nations agencies. “The aim of the United Nations activities involving sport is not the creation of new sporting champions and the development of sport but rather the use of sport in broader development and peace-building activities,” states the report, published at the request of Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Launched at UN Headquarters in New York, the report says team sports embrace core values such as cooperation, social interaction, fair play, sharing and respect. Participation in sports and other physical activity also has public health benefits. Initiatives incorporating sports are used to promote drug-free lifestyles, control aggression and build volunteer support for multiple causes. Thousands of street children and orphans also learn life skills while sharing in basketball, dance and other activities. The report, entitled Sports as a Tool for Development and Peace: Towards Achieving the Millennium Development Goals, states that the UN has only scratched the surface of possibilities for integrating physical activity, recreation and sports activities into development programming. (…)


Global Learn Day VII - October 12

Global Learn Day is the largest education conference in the world, the most technically complex conference of any kind in the world … yet simple to attend virtually and wonderful to attend physically.  Global Learn Day is truly global — speakers and panelists from 24 time zones with an audience from 100 plus countries. Global Learn Day is now in its seventh consecutive year

Each October we host an annual 24-hour, non-stop round the world "voyage" which showcases highly innovative activities in education and internet technology from 24 time zones. In order to build an audience in the millions we involve community radio stations and local television.

The event opens in the South Pacific then makes about 40 stops in 24 time zones where those doing truly extraordinary work in the field of education, training and affordable technology are showcased. 24 non stop hours after the opening, GLD concludes with a demonstration of technical wizardry provided by the University of Hawaii and their friends in the Central Pacific.

The total number of physical attendees expected to gather at the Celebrations will exceed 2,000. With radio, television and the Internet, the total real time audience will approach one million. With electronic mailings, magazine supplements and local newspaper partners in the Celebration cities, the total number who will learn about Global Learn Day VII will be several million.


Earth Charter Community Summits USA 2003 - 11 October

The Earth Charter Community Summits are a grassroots effort to bring people together in cities around the world to be inspired to make the Earth Charter's principles a reality in their lives and communities. The Institute for Ethics & Meaning, a volunteer community building organization based in Tampa, Florida, is the international organizer for the annual summits held in the Fall. 2002 summits were held in 24 cities around the US and Canada, and were connected by webcast. In 2003 the summits will include cities in other countries and will be held on Saturday, Oct. 11.


IFLAC: Pave Peace -  International Ataturk Peace Culture Conference

Bursa, Turkey, 9-11 October 2003

We invite you to participate in this innovative International conference. Its central theme is "Building Bridges through Culture, Conflict Resolution, Communication, and Literature". Writers, poets, peace researchers, experts in conflict resolution, and the general public will jointly explore the role of culture, literature, poetry, and other means of artistic expression and communication in guiding society towards a more peaceful world. Registration is $100, and it includes participation in all lectures, roundtables and workshops, a Tour of Bursa, and Iflac membership for 2004. For more information, the program, and for the registration form, you are invited to visit:  and  as well as 



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Next issue: 10 October.


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