Good News Agency – Year VII, n° 5



Weekly - Year VII, number 5 – 14th April 2006

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 (in charge) and Elisa Peduto. 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 3,700 media in 48 countries and to 2,800 NGOs.

It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, NGO associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information. The Association has been recognized by UNESCO as “an actor of the global movement for a culture of peace” and it has been included in the web site



International LegislationHuman rightsEconomy and developmentSolidarity

Peace and securityHealthEnergy and SafetyEnvironment and wildlife

Religion and spiritualityCulture and education



International Legislation



The Russian Federation joins FAO. The Organization now has 190 Members

Rome, 13 April 2006 – The Russian Federation has taken up membership of FAO by sending a letter accepting the Constitution of the Organization to Director-General Jacques Diouf more than 60 years after FAO’s foundation. In his letter, Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Serguei Lavrov informed Dr. Diouf of his country’s acceptance of the Constitution of FAO and Russia’s willingness to carry out the obligations of a Member of the Organization. Dr. Diouf said: “I warmly welcome the Russian Federation’s historic decision to take up its membership of FAO. Russia is a major agricultural economy and membership of FAO will have advantages both for itself and for the Organization as a whole.”

The decision means that FAO now has 189 member countries and one member organization, the European Community, following the admission of the Russian Federation.

FAO, following the practice of the United Nations, recognized the right of the Russian Federation to take on the rights of the former USSR. (…)

Before becoming a member of FAO, the Russian Federation had the status of Observer.


2nd ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States) Civil Society Forum

19-21 April, ACP House, Brussels

Brussels, 31 March (ACP Secretariat) - The 2nd ACP Civil Society Forum will be held in ACP House, Brussels, from 19 to 21 April 2006 to facilitate general political dialogue between ACP States and non-state actors. The Forum will emphasise the participation of non-state actors as stipulated in the Cotonou Agreement, especially in the areas of trade cooperation, political cooperation, implementation of cooperation projects and programmes, the fight against poverty, support for democracy and the Rule of Law, and the promotion of economic growth and sustainable development.

The discussions will lay the foundation for an ACP strategy to update the Plan of Action adopted in 2001 at the 1st ACP Civil Society Forum, and ensure the circulation of information on the ongoing programmes under the intra-ACP chapter of the 9th EDF. The meeting will examine the issue of civil society participation in the fight against HIV/Aids and the implementation of the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Facility. It will also deal with the promotion of Human Rights and democratic processes, the negotiation of the Regional Economic Partnership Agreements, the implementation of ACP-EU programmes in the area of ICT and the promotion of cultural industries. For further information: Holy Ramanankasina 



Human rights



Ethiopia-Sudan: Repatriation of Sudanese refugees underway

Addis Ababa, 6 April (IRIN) - The United Nations refugee agency will repatriate some 4,500 Sudanese refugees from Ethiopia during the next two months, an exercise made possible by the restoration of peace in southern Sudan after two decades of civil war, officials said.

Civil conflict pitting the Sudanese government and the former rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) ended in January 2005, when the two parties signed a definitive peace agreement after several years of peace talks in Kenya. The SPLM is now a partner in Sudan's government of national unity and administers southern Sudan.

The first group of 300 refugees from Ethiopia arrived in southern Sudan on Wednesday, after traversing 820 km in a convoy of vehicles. They had left a refugee camp near the town of Gambella in western Ethiopia on Friday, according to Fernando Protti, the deputy representative in Ethiopia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). "Since Monday, 300 refugees have crossed the border to south Sudan, marking the beginning of the long-awaited repatriation of Sudanese refugees from Ethiopia," Protti said. "We are planning to repatriate 4,000 more refugees until the end of May, before the rainy season starts." He said the rainy season would make roads impassable.(…)

There are an estimated 613,000 southern Sudanese refugees, and some 4.5 million people are displaced within Sudan.,%20Horn_of_Africa&SelectCountry=ETHIOPIA-SUDAN


United Arab Emirates:  Union Rights announcement a positive sign

Brussels,  3 April (ICFTU OnLine): The announcement by the United Arab Emirates on 30 March of a planned amendment to the labour law which would allow workers in the Emirates to join unions, take strike action and engage in collective bargaining with employers was described by the ICFTU today as a positive sign.  The announcement was made against a backdrop of recent protests by migrant workers against exploitation and hazardous working conditions, pressure on the Emirates authorities by international bodies, and negotiations between the UAE and the USA on a trade pact.

The Emirates is one of the Gulf countries where trade unions are totally banned.  It has not ratified either of the two International Labour Organisation Conventions, 87 and 98, on freedom of association and collective bargaining.  Some positive steps have been taken in recent years in the Gulf, in particular in Bahrain, where restrictions on trade union rights have been lifted. (…)

The ICFTU represents 155 million workers in 236 affiliated organisations in 154 countries and territories.  The ICFTU is also a partner in Global Unions:


Senegal: ICRC aids people displaced by fighting

31 March - The ICRC has come to the aid of people affected by fighting that erupted in Senegal's southern Casamance region along the border with Guinea-Bissau following tensions within the Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance as well as action by the armed forces of Guinea-Bissau.

The clashes have displaced as many as 7,000 civilians on both sides of the border. Though most of the people driven from their homes are being looked after by relatives and friends, some 700 – half of them children – are living in a makeshift camp on the Senegalese side. The ICRC facilitated their transport to the camp in order to get them away from the fighting. Given the tense situation, they are unlikely to return home in the foreseeable future.

Working closely with the Senegalese Red Cross Society, ICRC staff are supplying displaced people with food, drinking water, basic hygiene items and cooking utensils. (…)

The ICRC calls on all groups and all individuals to prevent suffering among the civilian population and to comply with the rules of international humanitarian law, which protect the life and the dignity of those not, or no longer, taking part in the fighting. The presence of landmines and other unexploded munitions is of great concern given the threat they pose to people living in the area.

The ICRC has been present in Senegal since 1991 with a delegation that also covers the organization's activities in Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Mali and Niger.


ILO Governing Body concludes 295th Session  - Considers labour situation in Myanmar and Belarus, as well as globalization and migration issues

Geneva, 31 March   (ILO News) - The Governing Body of the International Labour Office (ILO) concluded its 295th session here following discussions by tripartite delegates on issues ranging from respect of basic labour rights in Myanmar, Belarus, Colombia and other countries, to issues pertaining to globalization and migration. The Governing Body's Working Party on the Social Dimension of Globalization discussed the 2005 UN World Summit outcome and follow-up, the link between growth, investment and employment and the idea of an ILO Forum on Decent Work for a Fair Globalization to be held in 2007. Addressing the Working Party on Monday, 27 March, Mr. Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid said "it is not work which is lacking but the financial resources to promote it". The Commissioner called for closer cooperation between the ILO and the European Union to promote "decent work for all".(…)

The Committee requested the Government to carry out an independent inquiry into the allegations of ill-treatment of detainees, arrest and threats of arrest, and if the allegations of continued threats of arrest are confirmed, to take steps to ensure that trade union leaders may freely exercise their trade union rights.  Finally, the Committee requested the Government to examine the possibility of a direct contacts mission to the country in order to promote the full implementation of freedom of association. 


Communities nationwide will fly Children's Memorial Flag on April 28 to support child abuse prevention

March 27, Washington, DC -- CWLA launched the Children's Memorial Flag Campaign in 1998 to draw public awareness to the problem of nearly 3 million children reported abused and neglected each year. The campaign's centerpiece is the Children's Memorial Flag. The banner, designed by a 16-year-old California youth, depicts five doll-like figures of children standing side-by-side, holding hands against a red backdrop. A sixth child in the center is represented by a thin, white chalk outline, symbolizing a child lost to violence.

In 2001, a Congressional bill designated the fourth Friday in April National Children's Memorial Flag Day. On this day, local leaders, lawmakers, law enforcement, educators, organizations, families, and individuals fly the flag and conduct ceremonies and related activities to memorialize children and advocate ending violence. This year, many organizations and communities will fly the flag on April 28 as well as throughout April to recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month. (…)

The Child Welfare League of America is the nation's oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization. It is committed to engaging people everywhere in promoting the well-being of children, youth, and their families, and protecting every child from harm.


Securing children’s rights in Cambodia

Securing Children’s Rights in Cambodia is a project managed by DanChurchAid Cambodia. The project aims to decrease the level of excessive pre-trial detentions and to work towards ensuring that offenders obtain appropriate punishment for their crimes.

By Fiona Donson

(…) because Cambodia does not yet have a juvenile justice system, young people are often sentenced to long periods in prison even for minor offences. Although the courts are supposed to consider reducing the sentence of a convicted child because of their age the law is unclear. The courts are therefore often reluctant to be lenient especially in the face of political and social pressure to be tough on young criminals. (…)

Children are offered legal assistance as part of the Securing Children’s Rights in Cambodia project. The project, funded by the European Union, is managed by DanChurchAid Cambodia working with LAC and LICADHO. The main activities in this area are carried out by LAC which provides legal services to juveniles accused of crimes and child victims. The project aims to decrease the level of excessive pre-trial detentions and to work towards ensuring that offenders obtain appropriate punishment for their crimes.

As part of this work LAC has carried out research into excessive pre-trial detention and access to legal representation in four prisons in the project areas. (…) The findings of the report were presented at a National Workshop on Juvenile Justice held in Phnom Penh in February 2006. The Workshop, organised by UNICEF, DanChurchAid and AusAid, with the financial assistance of the European Union, was hosted by the Ministry of Justice. (…)



Economy and development



Austria contributes to reducing rural poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals

Rome, 10 April - The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) welcomed Austria's pledge to contribute US$10.8 million to the Seventh Replenishment of its resources for the period 2007-2009. The contribution will benefit poor people who live in rural areas and who depend on small-scale agriculture for their livelihoods. "We are very appreciative of Austria's generous pledge," said IFAD's Director of Resource Mobilization, Vera Weill-Hallé. "The contribution will enable IFAD to invest in rural development programmes over the three-year period."

About 1.1 billion people live on less than one dollar a day, of whom 800 million, or 75 per cent, live in rural areas. IFAD works to increase poor rural people's food production, raise their incomes and improve their health, nutrition, education standards and general well-being on a sustainable basis. (…) A founding member of IFAD in 1977, Austria plays an important role in steering the Fund's policies and operations. Over the past 28 years Austria has contributed US$40.7 million to IFAD’s regular resources.


2005, a record-breaking year for the world rice economy

FAO forecasts a contraction in trade in 2006

Rome, 7 April -  was a record-breaking year for the world rice economy, according to the FAO Rice Market Monitor published today. “For the third consecutive season, global paddy production experienced a brisk expansion, which lifted it to an all time high of 628 million tonnes. Growth reflected relatively favourable weather conditions in Asia, western Africa and South America and the positive effects of high prices in 2004, which had fostered a general increase in plantings,” according to the report. Based on a first and very tentative forecast, global paddy production in 2006 could rise to 634 million tonnes, 6 million or 1% more than in 2005. However, forecasts will remain highly tentative, at least until August/September, when more information on the South-West monsoon in Asia will be available.(…)

The FAO Rice Market Monitor is a service provided by FAO’s Commodities and Trade Division to facilitate access to and exchange of information of relevance to rice markets. It is published four to five times a year.


European Commission and FAO put food security information at policy-makers’ fingertips

Rome, 7 April -- The EC-FAO Food Security Information for Action Programme, which provides 20 countries subject to chronic food insecurity, protracted crises or undergoing rapid economic transformation with the technical assistance and tools to obtain high-quality, timely food security information to formulate more effective anti-hunger policies, has launched a new Web site.
Among the site’s features is a Food Security Analysis toolkit, which provides access to tools for early warning, food insecurity and vulnerability mapping, conducting nutritional surveys, harmonizing statistical databases, needs assessments, policy analysis and formulation and more.

The site also includes a distance learning course and training materials aimed at improving the collection, management, analysis and dissemination of food security information to improve decision-making. Food security news and alerts, as well as best practice case studies, are also available.

The use of on-line communities and other collaborative tools to promote dialogue and raise awareness of food security issues among policy-makers will be explored. (…)



Hope on the horizon for Democratic Republic of Congo

But needs still enormous – over $50 million required for agricultural assistance activities

Rome, 5 April -- With nearly 80 percent of its population trapped in extreme poverty and more than 70 percent undernourished, the Democratic Republic of Congo faces enormous challenges. Agriculture, which supports two-thirds of the population, will play a key role in the country’s future economic growth and poverty reduction efforts, according to FAO. As part of the 2006 Action Plan for the DR Congo recently launched by the UN and its humanitarian partners, FAO is appealing for over $50 million in funding to support its emergency-related agricultural activities in the country.

Years of conflict have left over four million dead in the DR Congo, with 1 200 continuing to die every day from violence, disease and malnutrition. More than 1.7 million people remain displaced, and an additional 1.7 million have recently returned to their communities and are trying to re-establish their homes and livelihoods. Agriculture has suffered tremendously, according to Anne M. Bauer, Director, FAO Emergency Operations and Rehabilitation Division. (…)

FAO’s proposed activities address malnutrition, support families affected by HIV/AIDS, assist in the reintegration of returnees as well as ex-combatants and promote the coordination of emergency agriculture operations, including distribution of seeds and tools and seed multiplication, and the strengthening of food security information. Other projected activities seek to rehabilitate infrastructure, including rural roads, support a rapid response capacity through pre-positioning of strategic stocks of agricultural inputs, and promote marketing of agricultural products.(…)






Democratic Republic of Congo: Food drops begin to people displaced in Katanga

Kinshasa, 6 April (IRIN) - The United Nations began airdrops of food relief on Wednesday to tens of thousands of people displaced by fighting between the national army and Mayi-Mayi malitiamen in Katanga, the south-eastern province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a UN official said. "With the logistical problems of transport and the very bad state of the roads, as well as the prevailing insecurity in the region, we are obliged to proceed with aerial food distribution," said Claude Gibidar, a senior official for the World Food Programme (WFP), on Wednesday.

Airdrops are being made to 40,000 displaced people in the villages of Dubie, Mitwaba, Sampwe and Kasongeji, he said. Some 80 tonnes of food, mostly flour and beans, would be parachuted in over 10 days, at a cost of US $1,200 a tonne. "We are facing a very serious situation, which is why we have resorted to such an expensive operation." Gibidar said. "Truck convoys have been trying to get to the zone for months."(…)


Horn of Africa: Regional response to crisis will ensure fairness

Nairobi, 7 April (IRIN) - Humanitarian agencies launching an appeal for funds in response to the drought crisis affecting more than eight million people in the Horn of Africa said they would focus on a regional response to ensure fair distribution of available resources and strengthen joint coordination of services.

Because most of the communities affected by drought were nomadic pastoralists, who often moved with their herds across international borders, a regional approach would enable aid agencies to focus attention on all the countries affected, especially those that often received less attention from international donors, the agencies said on Friday when they launched an appeal for US $425.7 million to respond to the crisis Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya and Somalia.(…)

Twenty-two agencies, including UN agencies and nongovernmental organisations, said a regional approach would reduce the possibility of inequitable interventions that would create "pull-factors" across borders, as affected populations converged on areas where services were being provided.(…)


Chad: ICRC aids families driven from homes by fighting

7 April - This week, the ICRC has launched an operation that may eventually help some 30,000 to 40,000 people displaced as a result of insecurity in eastern Chad. In the first phase, non-food aid was distributed to over 2,500 people congregated in the village of Dogdoré, south of Adré and close to the border with Sudan.

Lack of security in the region has caused between 6,000 and 8,000 families to flee their villages since the start of the year, taking with them only the bare necessities and seeking refuge in villages such as Dogdoré, where they live in makeshift shelters affording scant protection from the harsh conditions in the area. However, the solidarity shown towards the displaced by local residents is no longer enough and the village has reached the limits of its capacity to take in new arrivals.

Since the start of 2005, the ICRC has been working to improve access to water in host villages such as Dogdoré. It is also supporting the village dispensary. (…) The ICRC's activities in Chad focus on restoring links among families separated by the conflict in Darfur, visiting detainees, and protecting and assisting people displaced within the country. The organization also works closely with the Red Cross of Chad, promotes international humanitarian law within the Chadian armed forces and encourages the incorporation of that law into national legislation.


World Vision Romania launched a nationwide awareness campaign on March 29, with the slogan, ‘Equal Opportunities for All Children’.

The aim is to increase the level of Romanian social responsibility by utilising the two per cent clause from the Romanian Fiscal Code. All taxpayers have the opportunity to direct two per cent from their income tax to an NGO. Yet, in 2005, just 2.23 per cent of taxpayers chose to exercise this right.

“Through the two per cent campaign, World Vision wants to increase the number of people involved in charity from 2.5 per cent to 10 per cent,” said Violeta Moisa, World Vision Romania Marketing Manager. (…) World Vision Romania plans to use any money donated to them for educational purposes in rural areas, many of which haven’t seen renovation or school supplies for over 30 years. Only five per cent of students from these rural schools go to high school and continue on to higher education. (…)


ADRA provides shelter for displaced flood survivors in Indonesia

Silver Spring, Maryland, USA, April 7 - After flooding and landslides displaced more than 17,500 people in Indonesia during heavy rain in February, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) provided relief for families whose homes have been severely damaged or destroyed to repair their homes, and regain their lives. (…)

ADRA provided basic repair materials for 140 families that were displaced by the rains or whose homes heavily damaged. The project, which is worth $10,000, provided plywood and zinc roofing sheets for families to aid them in repairs, or to provide temporary shelter. The project is funded in partnership by ADRA International, the ADRA Regional Office in Asia, and the ADRA office in Indonesia. ADRA is present in 125 countries, providing community development and emergency management without regard to political or religious association, age, or ethnicity. Additional information about ADRA can be found at



Peace and security



Cote D’Ivoire: AU chairman arrives to kick start talks

Abidjan, 7 April (IRIN) - African Union Chairman and President of Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso arrived in war-divided Cote d’Ivoire’s main city Abidjan on Thursday promising to kick-start progress at talks between the five key players this Sunday. President Nguesso told reporters on his first trip to the troubled West African nation that the AU would do “everything it could” to yield progress on disarmament and voter identification, critical issues in the run up to elections just six months away. “The AU president’s presence is really needed to speed things up. Certainly we have the impression of progress, but in reality the political and military actors are getting nowhere,” said a western diplomat.(…)


Northern Caucasus: €22 million of humanitarian aid to support victims of conflict in Chechnya

Brussels, 6 April - The European Commission has approved a €22 million humanitarian aid package to support victims of the ongoing conflict in Chechnya. Since the beginning of the current conflict in autumn 1999, and including this new decision, the European Commission humanitarian aid department (ECHO) has provided €196 million, making the EU the largest donor in the region. The recipients will include internally displaced persons (IDPs) and vulnerable groups in Chechnya as well as IDPs in Ingushetia and Dagestan and Chechen refugees in Azerbaijan. Funds are being allocated via the European Commission Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel.

Humanitarian needs deriving from the conflict in Chechnya remain acute. (…)

This new funding decision will continue to support protection activities in Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan. It will finance the distribution of basic and supplementary food for the most vulnerable people and develop income generation and food security activities. It will support primary education, vocational training and psychological assistance for the people, especially children, affected by war-related trauma, as well as mine risk education. The funding will also cover health services and the improvement of water and sanitation facilities in Chechnya, including water-trucking in Grozny, as well as the basic rehabilitation of private houses. This decision also includes an action to support the most vulnerable refugees living in Azerbaijan.


First International Day for Mine Awareness to be marked on April 4

The United Nations General Assembly has declared April 4th the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) April 4 - The United Nations General Assembly has declared April 4th the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. The day will raise awareness about landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) and progress toward their eradication.  The mine ban movement continues to make good progress toward eradicating antipersonnel landmines and saving lives and limbs in every region of the world. However, significant challenges remain. (…)

Landmines Blow is a grassroots non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to raising awareness of the global landmine crisis, the education and engagement of civil society, and raising funds to build wells and latrines in mine affected communities. It is a proud member of The U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines (USCBL), a coalition of approximately 500 U.S.-based human rights, humanitarian, faith-based, children’s, peace, disability, veterans’, medical, development, academic, and environmental organizations dedicated to a total ban on antipersonnel landmines. It is one of 90 country campaigns that form the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL).


Mine Risk Education saves children's lives

Story by project officer Emily Reilly

"Mine Risk Education is very important, especially for those who do not know what landmines are or look like. They may play with them and get killed, as happened to four of my friends." Zaynab Yassen Dewali is an 11-year old pupil at Brayeti primary school in Domeeze, North Iraq. Since 2003, this small town has witnessed eleven casualties as the result of landmines or unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Mine Risk Education (MRE) provides appropriate knowledge for those at risk to live more safely in contaminated areas. It's now part of the curriculum at the school and a number of the teachers have been trained by MAG to educate the children about the dangers from the remnants of conflict, and what safe actions they should take if they discover such an item. Children are taught about the physical appearance of landmines and UXO and given basic safety guidelines and emergency measures, involving how to mark and report dangerous items. (…)

MRE is now a crucial part of the children's education at Brayeti primary school. Zaynab expresses how important it is to her and her classmates: "We enjoy learning MRE because we learn how to protect ourselves. I tell my parents what MRE messages I learned at school. I also tell my cousins, who visit me from Baghdad. I keep away from dangerous areas."

MAG (Mines Advisory Group) is one of the world's leading humanitarian organisations providing conflict-affected countries with a real chance for a better future.


Ethiopia: EC funds mine clearance

Addis Ababa, 5 April  (IRIN) - The European Commission will provide 8 million euros (US $9.7 million) to Ethiopia to support humanitarian demining in the Horn of Africa nation, which is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world. The funds will be channelled through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ethiopian Mine Action Office (EMAO) to finance demining in Tigray and Afar regions over the next three years. Tim Clarke, head of the EC mission in Ethiopia, told reporters on Tuesday that the effort would benefit an estimated 500,000 people in the two regions. He was speaking on the occasion of the first International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, which will be observed on 4 April every year.(…)
Max Gaylard, the director of UN Mine Action Service, said on Monday that although 15,000 men, women and children around the world lose their lives or limbs to landmines each year, sustained international action could eradicate the problem. In the late 1990s, he said, there were around 25,000 landmine victims annually. The number is decreasing every year due to the mobilisation of the international community, the international mine-ban treaty signed in Ottawa, Canada, in 1997, and the completion of comprehensive surveys in mine-affected countries.(…)






Tanzania: New dosage for TB patients introduced

Dar Es Salaam, 6 April  (IRIN/PLUSNEWS) - Tanzanians suffering from tuberculosis (TB) now have fewer pills to swallow, thanks to a new treatment, which reduces the daily dosage of tablets from between 11 and 12 to three or four.(…) James Kamala, a programme officer in charge of the health ministry's TB and leprosy unit, said on Wednesday that the government began dispensing the new medication in March in seven out of 21 regions in mainland Tanzania. "We hope to cover the whole country by the end of the year," he said from country's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

Kamala said the new treatment, known as the four-drug, fixed-dose combination (4-drug FDC), is widely used in many countries on recommendation of the United Nations World Health Organization. The previous 11-12-tablet dosage, he said, was too heavy, especially for patients who were also taking other drugs, such as antiretrovirals for HIV/AIDS. (…)

Government statistics have shown the number of TB patients in the country to be growing at an alarming rate, from 39,000 in 1995 to at least 66,000 in 2004. HIV/AIDS is to blame for this trend, according to Health Minister David Mwakyusa. (…),%20Great_Lakes&SelectCountry=TANZANIA


The second round in 2006 of the Polio Immunization Campaign to reach all children in Sudan

Khartoum, 3 April – As part of the global initiative to eradicate polio, the Sudanese Federal Ministry of Health of the Government of National Unity and Ministry of Health of the Government of Southern Sudan, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and other partner organizations, launched the second round of the national polio immunization campaign, 03 to 06 April 2006.

Over 50,000 health care workers, volunteers and community health workers have been mobilized for the campaign which targets the estimated 8.1 million children under five years of age in Sudan, particularly those living in the poorest communities or those intermittently cut off by conflict. These children are the key to stopping the spread of the disease. Although the transmission of wild polio virus has apparently been interrupted in Sudan with no new cases of polio reported since June 2005, continued attention and vigilance is needed. (…)

During the first round of the 2006 campaign, approximately 8 million children were immunized against polio. However, over 120,000 children in Darfur were not reached due to the insecurity in the region. This is of grave concern to Sudan.  (…) Ensuring the safety of vaccinators, supervisors and volunteers is the responsibility of every person in Sudan, including the armed groups and community leaders. 

In 2006, UNICEF, WHO, Rotary International and the Centres for Disease Control, among other partners, are supporting the cost of vaccines, logistics, and social mobilization efforts in Sudan.


Nationwide mosquito net distribution completed in Niger

3 April - In an intensive distribution campaign completed last week in Niger, more than 2 million mosquito nets were delivered in two week-long phases, to mothers of children under age 5 throughout the country. With Niger’s rainy season due to begin in May, the programme aims to protect 3.5 million children from malaria.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies which acts as the Principal Recipient for a Global Fund grant to Niger together with the Niger Ministry of Health began distributing mosquito nets on December 19, in tandem with a house-to-house effort to vaccinate ‘under-fives’ against Polio. The initial week of vaccination and bed net distribution in rural Niger was followed by a second ‘push’ on March 17, through 54 distribution centers in the capital city of Niamey. The campaign made use of a voucher scheme, whereby mothers were presented with a voucher for a free mosquito net once their child had been vaccinated against Polio.

The program is supported in part by an US$11 million Global Fund grant, as well as US$2 million from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) through the Canadian Red Cross and the International Federation’s Malaria Initiative. In an example of strong collaboration among partners, additional support for the programme was provided by the Norwegian and American Red Cross societies, Rotary, the Center for Medical Research (CERMES), the Measles Partnership, the Polio Eradication Programme, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, which includes the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The campaign also drew upon a clear commitment from the people of Niger, including 3850 Red Cross volunteers and another 16,150 other vaccinators and community workers who played an essential role in accessing even the remotest areas of Niger. (…)


UNICEF-funded project focuses on protecting children from accidents

28 March, Ha Noi, Vietnam - A UNICEF-funded project on child injury prevention, having ended its 2003-05 phase, enters a new phase with a new name, the Programme to Prevent Child Accident and Injury. The programme, co-ordinated by the National Committee for Population, Family and Children and the Health Ministry, is expected to receive funding of about US$4 million from UNICEF. The 2003-05 project received non-refundable grant funding of $548,000 from UNICEF. Its main goals were to raise community awareness in order to change the behaviour of parents and caregivers and give impetus to government officials to prevent child injury. (…)

The 2006-10 programme would focus on three areas: landmine injury prevention, raising community awareness, and increasing safety in and around the home.


“HELP” for Lithuania: Project HOPE, Lithuanian AIDS Centre announces HIV/AIDS management courses for professionals

28 March - Millwood, Va. - Project HOPE, an international health education and humanitarian assistance organization, today announced the start of its HIV/AIDS Education for Lithuania Program (HELP), a March to June 2006 program made possible by a partnership with Johnson & Johnson, to expand the skills of Lithuanian professionals caring for patients with HIV/AIDS and related health illnesses.(…) HELP will provide trainees with an understanding of case management and network development; skills for developing and conducting prevention programs; and the ability to impart knowledge that reduces the risk of passing HIV/AIDS or re-infection. (…)

Sixty trainees will engage in team exercises involving professionals of different disciplines whose work benefits the same municipality— family physicians, social workers, health policymakers and specialists from the national HIV/AIDS centre. This is in keeping with Project HOPE’s commitment to plan solutions appropriate to the health and cultural environment of those served.

Consistent with Project HOPE’s training-of-trainers (TOT) methodology, it is intended that one-fifth to one-half of the initial course’s trainees will acquire the knowledge and skills to teach future courses. Project HOPE’s partner in HELP, the Lithuanian AIDS Centre, was created by Lithuania’s Ministry of Health in 1989.

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems, with the mission of helping people to help themselves. (…)



Energy and safety



UNESCAP Initiating Review of Developing Country Options for Climate Change Actions beyond the Kyoto Protocol

Bangkok, 27 March (UN Information Services) -- Experts from Asian countries will gather in Bangkok to review the options for developing country actions to reduce green house gas emissions. Developing countries, or “Non-Annex I Countries of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)” will attend the “Asia-Pacific Dialogue on Innovative Options for Non-Annex I Countries Participation for Climate Change Action” at the United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok on 29 March 2006. UNESCAP will put forth a new option which proposes to discount the Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) from Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects to generate net global emission reductions and to promote more widely unilateral CDM as an incentive for developing country to voluntarily initiate emission reduction projects. One of the most important issues for the future of any climate regime is the active participation of developing countries. Little progress has been made, because many developing countries are worried that binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will limit economic growth. (…)


Largest tent camp in Azerbaijan receives clean drinking water, just ahead of bird flu

Residents of the Sabirabad tent camp joined forces with Counterpart and the US State Department to refurbish water tanks and purification systems, making clean water a reality.

31 March - Until recently, the nearly 10,000 residents of Azerbaijan’s largest Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) settlement faced a constant shortage of clean drinking water. (…) After witnessing the harsh conditions at the Sabirabad camp and the urgent need for clean water, Counterpart appealed to the US Department of State’s Office of the Coordinator for Europe and Eurasia (EUR/ACE) for funding to improve and reconstruct the settlement’s drinking water system. Under the EUR/ACE’s Small Reconstruction Projects Program, Counterpart received a $10,000 grant to provide a water sanitation project. (…)

At a cost of only $1 per person, the reconstructed Sabirabad water tanks greatly decreased the residents’ risk of contracting water-borne illnesses, spreading contagious diseases such as dysentery and hepatitis, and becoming affected with malaria and other parasitic illnesses.  There have been no reports of the avian flu in the region. (…)


World Telecommunication Development Conference sets agenda to connect the world by 2015

Doha, 15 March  — The Doha Action Plan adopted by the World Telecommunication Development Conference sets out a road map to implement the global objectives of harnessing the power of information and communication technologies (ICT) to accelerate the pace of development.  Work was conducted under the chairmanship of Dr Hessa Al-Jaber, Secretary-General of ictQatar whose deft handling of the debates led to the successful outcome of the conference on a broad front. (…)

The Action Plan is based on a mutually reinforcing strategy for telecommunication development to be implemented at the global, regional and national levels. The Plan is based on six programmes, five global initiatives, two cross-cutting activities and a new regional approach where each region defined the framework of action for all stakeholders based on agreed categories and region-specific priorities. The Doha Action Plan offers a comprehensive package that provides the elements needed to make an impact on the ground together with clear guidance for achieving universal access.(…) The six programmes encourage actions to be taken on women, youth and children, indigenous people and communities, people with disabilities and communities living in underserved areas and become important tools for achieving universal access. In addition, ITU’s work programme for the next four years now includes a new subject of study to examine the question of access to telecommunication services for people with disabilities.



Environment and wildlife



WWF welcomes launch of Forest Stewardship Council in China

Beijing, China, 7 April – The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an independent, non-government organization aimed at promoting responsible forest management, has launched an initiative in China that marks the first formal steps toward the development of a forest certification scheme within the country. China is a major player in the global forest products market, both as a producer and consumer. Its market for industrial timber, pulp, and paper is the second largest in the world, outranked only by the United States. It has relatively limited forest resources and a great potential for increases in consumption of wood and paper products.

Given China’s massive role in the world’s timber market, the FSC initiative in China is a critical strategy for mitigating the destructive environmental impacts of poor forest management on a worldwide scale. In addition, China is increasingly exporting wood in value-added products so a growing share of its wood imports represents the ecological footprint of end-consumers in other countries. (…)


Churches help southern neighbours, environment with support of ‘eco-Palm’ Sunday

Montreal, 6 April– Churches in 34 states helped protect rainforests, stimulate jobs and create education scholarships with the purchase of over 80,000 ‘eco-palm fronds’ for Palm Sunday services this week. The palm fronds, imported from Mexico and Guatemala, are being certified as environmentally sustainable by Rainforest Alliance under a project of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management (CINRAM).

Dean Current, program manager for CINRAM, says 282 congregations paid up to double the normal price for chamaedorea palm fronds to ensure that they were harvested in a sustainable manner to avoid damaging the palms themselves, as well as to provide improved income to the harvesting communities. (…)

The certification and improved quality empowers harvesters to negotiate with wholesalers like Continental Floral Greens—a partner in the project—extra funds that stimulate local job growth and contribute to community funds allocated to educational scholarships. This year, the second of the project, 20 temporary jobs were created and an extra US$4,000 contributed to two community funds. The palm fronds, which symbolized triumph and victory in ancient times, are gaining new significance in rainforests of Mexico and Guatemala. (…)


Ozone-Friendly Agricultural Products - Goal of New Global Initiative

Thousands of Farms Join with UNEP to Phase-Out Methyl Bromide

4 April - More than 5000 farms and organizations today joined forces with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to accelerate the phase-out of an agricultural pesticide that damages the ozone layer, the Earth’s protective shield. Methyl bromide has been used by farmers to kill pests in the soil before planting crops like tomatoes, strawberries, melons and flowers.  But in 1992 it was officially controlled as an ozone-depleting substance and is scheduled to be phased-out under the Montreal Protocol, the international treaty set up to protect the ozone layer.

The new International Partnership for Phasing-out Methyl Bromide brings together many farms and companies that have shown leadership in protecting the ozone layer. These include farmers’ associations and supermarkets such as Marks & Spencer and Co-op – with international organizations such as UNEP, FAO, UNIDO, UNDP, GTZ, MPS and CAB International. The Partnership plans to establish a business-to-business (B2B) net-based service, linking grocery stores seeking goods produced without methyl bromide with farmers and suppliers who do not use methyl bromide. This will link with agricultural certification organizations (e.g. MPS, AENOR) so that companies can confidently purchase flowers, strawberries, tomatoes, melons, and other products that are certified as grown without methyl bromide.

Farms and companies that join the Partnership have already stopped using methyl bromide or will pledge to halt their use of methyl bromide by September 2007, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol.(…)


Mediterranean threatened by development, says Blue Plan report

Study also recommends solutions for minimizing the damage

Geneva, 4 April - A 400-page report commissioned by the 21 nations bordering the Mediterranean Sea extrapolates from current trends in environment and development to paint a grim picture of the region in the year 2025. But the report also describes an alternative pathway based on the principles of sustainable development that could dramatically boost the quality of life over the coming decades. (…)

The report, "A Sustainable Future for the Mediterranean: the Blue Plan’s Environment & Development Outlook", was written by some 300 experts assembled under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Athens-based Mediterranean Action Plan. It was funded by the participating countries with special support from the European Commission, France, and the European Environment Agency.

The report concludes that many of the more pessimistic predictions that the first Blue Plan study made in 1989 have come true. Looking ahead now another 20 years, the Blue Plan examines how current baseline trends will affect the Mediterranean Basin by 2025. (…)



Religion and spirituality



White House spokesman expresses President's concern over worsening situation of the Baha'is in Iran

Washington, 29 March (BWNS) -- At the 28 March 2006 White House press briefing, Spokesman Scott McClellan said President George Bush is concerned over last week's announcement by a UN official that government persecution of the Baha'is in Iran is intensifying.

In response to a reporter's question, Mr. McClellan called on the Iranian regime to respect the religious freedom of all of its citizens and indicated the President would continue to monitor the situation of the Baha'is very closely. He also said the United States would continue to speak out and urge other countries in the region and the United Nations to defend the rights of the Baha'is and other religious minorities in Iran.



Culture and education



Earth Charter International Council Sets Bold New Course; Delegates Meet President-Elect Oscar Arias

7 April - The newly formed Earth Charter International Council, holding its first meeting at the UN-affiliated University for Peace in Costa Rica, has approved a plan for reorganizing and expanding the Earth Charter Initiative.  The aim of the reorganization is to greatly expand the impact of the Earth Charter as a framework for action to achieve sustainable development.

The Earth Charter is a global consensus declaration on ethics, values and principles for a sustainable future.  The document, developed over ten years by an exhaustive process of global consultation and consensus-building, has been endorsed by over 2,400 organizations, including prominent global institutions such as UNESCO and the World Conservation Union (IUCN). It is often referenced as a defining statement on sustainable development by other international documents and processes, and it has inspired many action projects around the world.

During the International Council meeting, a special ceremony was also held to mark the strengthening of ties between Earth Charter International (ECI), the organization that coordinates and supports the global civil society effort known as the Earth Charter Initiative, and the University for Peace (UPEACE) in the field of education.  The two organizations will be working together to promote a more integrated understanding of the peace and sustainable development issues, through a variety of courses, curriculum development projects, and strategic initiatives.

After the Council meeting, delegates from Earth Charter International and the University for Peace met with President-Elect Oscar Arias of Costa Rica to discuss areas of potential collaboration during Mr. Arias' term of office.  Mr. Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was recently re-elected after years away from political office, will be inaugurated on 8 May 2006. The Costa Rican government has traditionally been a strong supporter of the Earth Charter in international fora, such as the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and the 2004 World Congress of the IUCN (World Conservation Union). (…)

Earth Charter Initiative


European Parliamentarians visit youth projects in Bangladesh

Bangladesh, 5 April - Grinning with nervousness and excitement, a group of teenagers stands up and asks rapid-fire questions: What’s your name? How old are you? Are you married? How old were you when you were married? How and where did you learn about sex? Smiling in return, the Members of Parliament respond in kind: What are you learning that is useful? When do you want to get married? How do you stop an early marriage from happening? What do your friends and family members think about what you’re doing? What impact has this programme had on your life? The discussion took place during a recent visit of Members of Parliament from Belgium, Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom to Bangladesh, one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with almost 142 million people living in 147,570 km2. By the year 2050, the population of the country is projected to increase to 242 million. As a result of continuing high fertility rates, especially in poor rural areas, the country’s population is young. A full 40 per cent of the entire population is under the age of 24, while one quarter are adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19. Teenage marriage is highly prevalent. To address these and other concerns, the European Union (EU) and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, joined forces to fund the Reproductive Health Initiative for Youth in Asia (RHIYA) in seven South and Southeast Asian countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam. (…)

During the 6-day journey, the parliamentarians met with government officials (…)The Bangladeshi Government highly appreciates the RHIYA-Initiatives, one of the many reasons that made the European legislators confirm that they would persuade their respective governments to enhance assistance for developing the health sector of Bangladesh.


UNESCO Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize 2006 awarded to Lebanese journalist May Chidiac

29 March - On the recommendation of an international jury of media professionals, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura designated Lebanese journalist May Chidiac, winner of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2006. May Chidiac is a popular television presenter, whose news bulletins and Sunday programmes - Naharkoum Saïd and Bonjour – on LBC (Lebanese Broadcasting Corp.) are among the most widely followed in Lebanon. Ms Chidiac’s popularity owes as much to her professionalism as to her direct and open approach in a country traumatized by years of war.

The victim of a car bomb attack on 25 September 2005, Ms Chidiac had one of her hands and her left leg amputated. The tragedy shook Lebanese opinion, which came to see the journalist as a symbol of freedom of expression. (…) May Chidiac was proposed as a candidate for prize by the Lebanese minister for culture.(…)


EDC’s Adult Literacy Media Alliance receives grant for Investor Education Video Programming

Newton, MA, USA, March 27 - EDC’s Adult Literacy Media Alliance (ALMA) has been awarded a grant of $210,000 from the NASD Investor Education Foundation to produce investor education video programming that teaches key math concepts and makes investment language more meaningful to public television viewers, particularly women with low literacy skills.

The project, called Calculating Women: Smart Investors-A TV Special and a Multimedia Investor Literacy Project, will produce three educational video segments and other teaching materials aimed at American women with a 5th to 8th grade reading level. (…)

The content of this program will be broadcast as part of ALMA’s television series TV411, which airs primarily on national public television and non-commercial cable stations. Through ALMA's network of adult education providers and state departments of education, the program will make available student and teaching materials, including Web lessons and a DVD for teachers in community-based classrooms around the country.

ALMA, which is based in EDC’s New York offices, receives support from foundation, government, and industry partners. For more information, contact ALMA at 800-304-1922 or . Visit the web site at The NASD Investor Education Foundation, established in 2003, supports innovative research and educational projects that give investors the tools they need to better understand the markets and the basic principles of financial planning. To learn more, go to Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) is one of the world’s leading nonprofit education and health organizations, with 335 projects in 50 countries.


‘Every Child Needs a Teacher’ campaign: Global Action Week 2006 – 24-30 April

In 2006 Education International and its partners in the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) are organising the ‘Every Child Needs a Teacher’ campaign to build pressure on politicians to provide more funding and demonstrate greater political leadership to achieve Education for All. This year EI and its GCE partners aim to mobilise more than 5 million people worldwide and rely on the participation of teachers to do so!

In April 2000 in Dakar, Senegal, 185 governments committed to provide Education for All (EFA) by the year 2015. Global Action Week is one of several events organised by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) with the intention of mobilising public opinion to exert pressure on governments and intergovernmental agencies to provide free, quality Education for All (EFA).

During this week, millions of people around the world organise activities in their own country to remind their governments to fulfil the promise made in Dakar.

This year the theme of Global Action Week is “Every child needs a teacher.”

Today over 100 million children wake up every day without the hope that education offers. These children know AIDS, know poverty, know hard labour , know hunger, but they will never know a teacher.


UNTV - 21st Century magazine to be launched this Fall

This fall, UNTV will launch 21st Century, a new half-hour monthly TV magazine that will highlight 3-4 feature-length reports from producers dispatched across the globe, covering the most compelling international stories from the field including conflicts, crises and other gripping global issues. Highly-produced, highly-stylized and language-adaptable, 21st Century will incorporate narrative storytelling with solid reporting and coverage of some of the world’s most important stories.  The series will be carried by the many international, national and regional television networks which are UN broadcast partners.

UNTV produces several series, including UN in Action, a series of short features that cover the work of the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies around the world.  The programme is available in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish, and 57 reports are produced every year. Also, UNTV's Year in Review , an annual 15-minute documentary that recaptures the major highlights of UN activities and initiatives during the past year.  It is a fast-paced presentation of a year in the life of the United Nations that provides an excellent overvie of events that affected the world. 

Broadcasters and members of the public can preview these programmes through the programmes' websites.  Also, exclusively for broadcasters, the UNiFEED service provides a daily 10-minute feed of UN TV material, including news stories, features and expert interviews on a variety of international issues, often highlighting countries rarely visited by broadcast journalists.  UNiFEED will soon make material available on the web for free download of broadcast-quality video.


UN Radio promotes its programmes in the upcoming media markets 

Las Vegas, Nevada, 24-26 April  --  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 29-31 May

UN Radio along with UN TV will be attending the Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) market, which is held in conjunction with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, from 24 to 26 April.  NAB is one of the largest media markets in the world and attracts attendees from around the world, not just the United States.  UN Radio will also be exhibiting at the Asia Media Summit from 29 to 31 May in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  UN radio and UN TV will welcome Good News Agency's readers going to either or both of these markets to discuss possible partnerships.

UN Radio produces a 15-minute weekday news programme in the UN's six official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish), plus two 5-minute editions in Portuguese (for Brazil and Africa).  In addition, UN Radio produces 20 weekly radio magazines in some 14 languages. UN Radio currently has over 180 partner stations in 76 countries and continuously aims to find new audiences.  The programmes can be heard by satellite (World Radio Network,, and, in the Middle East and Africa, through shortwave.  Those with Internet access can visit UN Radio's website and listen to its programmes.


Rhapsodies for Humanity: the first annual Glorious Beings Award

To Robert Muller and Barbara Gaughen-Muller, 14 April, Santa Barbara, California

This award will be presented to PAX 2100 Advisory Council member Robert Muller, former Secretary-General of the United Nations; and Barbara Gaughen-Muller, President of PAX 2100's board of directors.

The Glorious Beings Award recognizes visionary human beings whose work has made  lasting contributions to a more peaceful future for humanity. "You see, love for peace is not enough. Beyond it we need a vision of peace, a science of peace, a strategy for peace and innumerable actions for peace." (Robert Muller)

The occasion will be celebrated with a concert featuring Stephen Kelley, piano; Carol Ann Manzi, soprano; and Ray Tischer, viola and violin. At the Music Academy Of The West, Abravanel Hall, Santa Barbara, California. Music by Brahms, Chopin, Beethovin, Shostakovich, Saint-Saens, and V. Kelly. Friday, April 14, 2006 8:00pm For inquiries or to reserve a ticket, call (805)569-0389 or go to 


Terra City – "A Concrete Step into a Human Era"

Is it possible to build a better world? How? Based on what premise? What would be the first step to make? An answer to these questions, and others, is being offered by a 12 minute video presentation called: "Terra City".

Montreal, Canada (PRWEB) April 12 -- This thought-provoking blend of imagery, narration and music is the result of an original synergy of over 100 talented artists worldwide - painters, photographers, narrators and musicians. The work represents the essence of a humanitarian project called Terra City, initiated in Montreal, Canada and intended to benefit the entire world.

Interestingly enough, none of the co-producers - Tom Vernon (USA), Janusz Rebis (Poland), Dan Bostan (Canada) and their worldwide collaborators, has ever met in person. “It is amazing what people can create by putting their minds, talents and souls together,” says Dan Bostan, founder of Human Wisdom – the organization that initiated the project. (…) Tom Vernon, one of the narrators and project coordinators summed it up this way: “When I learned of this, there was no hesitation on my part to get involved immediately. It was something I had been waiting to do for a long time. (…)  The Terra City project allows every human being on this planet to have a say and an input in our common future. This project is being presented in six languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish and Romanian, and can be seen at this internet address:


Prizewinners at the first World Road Safety Film Festival

Geneva, 24 March  -- On 23 March, the Palais des Nations hosted the first World Road Safety Film Festival on the occasion of the 48th session of the UNECE Working Party on Road Traffic Safety (WP.1). The festival was organized by UNECE in cooperation with LaserEurope. “This is the first time that such a festival has been held at the Palais des Nations and it illustrates one of the major concerns of our member States – road safety, said José Capel Ferrer, Director of the UNECE Transport Division, opening the Festival. Films were shown from over 30 countries representing all regions of the world.

Selected by an international jury composed of experts in communication for road safety, the films were classified in the following five categories: communication and campaigns, education for road safety and driver training, risk prevention for professional drivers, road safety innovations, and television broadcasts. In the category Communication, first prize was awarded to Denmark for the film «Dead Man Walking», by Jonas Arnby. In the category Education, first prize went to Israel for the cartoon film for children entitled «Zoo on wheels», by Einat Bilitzki. In the Professionals category, first prize went to «Portrait of Claude Nurdin », by Fouad Benhamou. First prize in the Innovations category went to the Develter driving simulator. In the TV broadcast category first prize was awarded to «Secours pour un cerveau câblé pour ça », prepared by Romain Cipière for the town of Aubagne in France. The jury awarded special prizes to films from the Sultanate of Oman, Morocco and Cambodia.


International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace

September 17-21, 2006 - Haifa, Israel

With great pleasure we invite you to participate in the 6th IFLAC Mediterranean Congress.  Its central theme is: Creating Bridges of Conflict Resolution, through Communication, Literature, Poetry and Culture. Writers, Poets, Researchers, Experts in Conflict Resolution, Media, and Women Leaders, will jointly explore the role of culture, literature, poetry, and other means of artistic expression and communication in guiding society towards a better world beyond war and hunger.

Call for Artistic Submissions and Participation - At IFLAC, we believe that culture and literature can promote peace, freedom, and the enrichment of the quality of life. On the threshold of the 21st century, we shall endeavor to pave the way towards the fulfillment of our main ideal: One world and one humanity, living together in peace. Our goal is to help build a Middle East and a world beyond war in the 21st century, by means of literature, culture and art.

At ILFAC, we strive for freedom of speech and expression and for freedom from hostile and oppressive violence of all forms. We believe in the right of people everywhere to live in peace, with equal civil justice, and the rights to pursue their cultures, beliefs and human endeavors.

If you would like to participate in the 6th IFLAC Congress, please visit our website at: or contact IFLAC Secretary, Kristina Barger at 



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Next issue: 5 May 2006



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