Good News Agency – Year VII, n° 8
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 http://www3.unesco.org/iycp/uk/uk_sum_monde.htm
Internet for all: EU ministers commit to an inclusive and barrier-free information society
Brussels, 12 June - A pan-European drive to use information and communication technologies to help people to overcome economic, social, educational, territorial or disability-related disadvantages was endorsed by ministers of 34 European countries in Riga (Latvia) today. "e-Inclusion" targets including halving the gap in internet usage by groups at risk of exclusion, boosting broadband coverage in Europe to at least 90%, and making all public web sites accessible by 2010. (…)
The Riga Ministerial Declaration, signed today by ministers from EU Member States, accession and candidate countries, and EFTA/EEA countries, sets out the following specific targets:
* halve the gap in internet usage by 2010 for groups at risk of exclusion (…),
* increase broadband coverage (…),
* ensure that all public websites are accessible by 2010,
* by 2008, put in place actions in the field of digital literacy and skills to reduce gaps for groups at risk of exclusion by half in 2010,
* by 2007, make recommendations on accessibility standards and common approaches, which could become mandatory in public procurement by 2010, and
* assess the necessity for legislative measures in the field of e-Accessibility, and take account of accessibility requirements in the review of the electronic communications regulatory framework beginning in June 2006. (…)
Strong backing for treaty on plant genetic resources for agriculture
FAO's Jacques Diouf calls for political will to continue moving ahead
Madrid, 14 June – Ministers of Agriculture responsible for implementing the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture have unanimously approved a Ministerial Declaration in which the Treaty's contracting parties pledge to fully implement it at the national level via specific rules and programmes. The ministers expressed their conviction that the Treaty is vital to achieving the UN's Millennium Development Goals -- particularly eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and guaranteeing environmental sustainability. They also pledged to enhance national capacities for the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources.
The Madrid meeting of the Ministerial Segment of the Treaty's governing bodies, chaired by Elena Espinosa, Spain's Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, was attended by over 70 countries, a fact which sent a powerful political message in support of the Treaty, according to FAO. This was the first ever meeting of the Treaty's governing body.
In a speech made at the event, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf urged countries to muster the political will needed to guarantee the Treaty's ongoing implementation, describing the international accord as "a fundamental tool in humanity's efforts to do away with hunger and malnutrition." (…)
Philippine Senate approves abolition of death penalty
Manila, Philippines _ The Philippine Senate on Tuesday approved on final reading a bill repealing a 12-year-old death penalty law, moving the country a step closer to abolishing capital punishment. A similar bill is pending in the House of Representatives. For the death penalty to be formally abolished, both chambers must pass a version to be ratified by Congress and signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
The bill was approved by a vote of 16 senators in favor, none against and two abstentions. Five other senators were absent. Sen. Jose «Jinggoy» Estrada, a son of ousted President Joseph Estrada, said he abstained because he and his father have been indicted for the capital offense of plunder.
The constitution only permits execution for «heinous crimes» such as murder, child rape, and kidnapping.
The Senate bill passed Tuesday says life imprisonment or a 40-year jail term can be imposed instead of death, depending on the offense. The death penalty law took effect in 1994 at the height of a crime spree, when victims' families demanded capital punishment.
Arroyo has said she would support abolishing the death penalty, and has certified as «urgent» the bill repealing capital punishment. (…)
Human Rights Council begins to take shape as First session convenes in Geneva on 19 June
Geneva, 15 June -- The first meeting of the newly established Human Rights Council opens in Geneva on Monday, 19 June, marking a new beginning for United Nations efforts to promote and protect fundamental freedoms worldwide.
This inaugural session, set to last until 30 June, will bring together high-level representatives from over 100 countries and see delegates begin concrete work to allow the Council to build on the recognized strengths of its predecessor -- the Commission on Human Rights -- and flesh out the features that make it a stronger and more effective human rights body. The meeting will take place just over a month following the open and competitive election of the Council’s 47 members by the UN General Assembly in New York .
The Human Rights Council was established by the General Assembly in its resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006. The Human Rights Council will replace the Commission on Human Rights, which will be formally abolished on 16 June 2006.
Following the historic adoption of the General Assembly resolution establishing the Council on 15 March 2006, [A/RES/60/251], UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated that: “Now the real work begins. The true test of the Council’s credibility will be the use that Member States make of it. If, in the weeks and months ahead, they act on the commitments they have given in this resolution, I am confident that the Council will breathe new life into all our work for human rights, and thereby help to improve the lives of millions of people throughout the world.”
World Day Against Child Labour – Trade unions ready and willing to fight the good fight
Brussels, June 12 – On the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour, the ICFTU is today launching a video portrait of Jonathon, a 12 year old child labourer from Peru who is one of many children benefiting from a union-sponsored program that has helped him find his way back to school.
Guy Ryder, the General Secretary of the ICFTU commented: “Today we mark yet another World Day Against Child Labour in the shadow of the knowledge that there are some 218 million children like Jonathon whose lives are profoundly affected by the fact that instead of going to school they have to go to work.” (…) “We know what works: a quality education system and decent work for adults above all else is the only way sustainable and long-term changes can occur that will see child labour vanquished globally. These require political will and commitment from all governments and institutions, and today we reiterate the international trade union movement’s resolve to play our part,” he concluded.
The video-portrait is accompanied by two spotlight interviews with trade unionists from the Moroccan and Dutch trade unions who are responsible for an innovative program which seeks to get children out of work and into school.
International Trade Unions Welcome ILO Child Labour Debate
Brussels, 9 June - The international trade union movement today welcomed the holding of a key debate at the International Labour Organisation's Annual Conference, as a key moment for the international community to examine progress in eliminating child labour and ensuring that every child goes to school. Governments, employers and trade unions are discussing the ILO report "The end of child labour: Within Reach" at the Conference. The report sets out results in implementing ILO Child Labour Conventions, and identifies a number of key challenges for the coming years. (..)
The report sets a target for the elimination of the "Worst Forms" of child labour, under ILO Convention 182, by the year 2016, and includes figures indicating a major reduction of children suffering the worst forms of exploitation. It also sets out some future reference points for international action, including strengthening the "Worldwide Movement" against child labour and building further cooperation with trade unions and employers.
Trade unions are concerned nevertheless that some may seek to use the ILO report as a justification for focusing on the most egregious forms of child labour, while not tackling the broader problems of insufficient provision of quality education, and poor regulation of labour markets. Such an approach risks merely moving children from very hazardous to less hazardous work, while avoiding tackling the fundamental reasons that children end up in work instead of school. Therefore, the ILO Convention 138 on Minimum Age for Employment must always remain the benchmark for policy and for action.
Football Against Racism at the 2006 Fifa World Cup™ – alliance between FIFA, LOC and FARE
New system of “fan embassies” in all host cities
June 9 - When the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ kicks off today in Munich, the slogan of the event, "A time to make friends", will dominate the game on the pitch as well as off it.
At each of the 64 games, a banner covering the entire centre circle will be displayed from the stadium's opening until the end of the official pre-match protocol, bearing the tournament slogan "Say no to racism". In addition, anti-racism video spots will be aired at all FIFA World Cup™ stadiums. All TV rights holders have received five-second mini-spots at no cost for integration in their programmes related to the event. FIFA will also dedicate all quarter-finals on 30 June and 1 July to a special activity on the pitch to give the participating teams the chance to raise their voices against this blight on society in a message to be aired around the globe. (…)
This year, the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) have joined forces in a unique initiative called "Football unites" to contribute to a positive atmosphere during the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, aimed at people of all origins, religions, nationalities and skin colour. This alliance was presented today at the FIFA/LOC daily media briefing at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. (…)
Chad: Internally displaced receive seed and tools
June 9 - The ICRC has started distributing seed and tools this week to 25,000 displaced people in eastern Chad. The operation will be completed by the end of next week, just in time for the planting season and before the rains make it difficult to reach the area. It will benefit people who either still have access to their own fields or can plant on the land of their host villages.
The distribution is part of an integrated response to the needs of displaced people and host communities. As part of its activities, the ICRC is also providing shelter materials and household items, supporting health services and improving access to safe water. (…)
In addition to the aid it is providing, the ICRC is maintaining an ongoing dialogue with the various parties involved with a view to improving the safety of civilians in an area where the security situation is so poor that few other organizations are working there on a consistent basis. The ICRC, which will continue to do its best to assist those in need, hopes that vulnerable communities will remain accessible despite the current tensions and that the aid supplied will not in itself become a source of further tension and violence.
The ICRC has been present in Chad since 1977 and has over 100 staff working in the country. http://www.icrc.org/
Responding to racism - information and the role of Civil Society
ENAR launches leaflets on the state of racism in EU member states
Brussels, 6 June - The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) has today published national information leaflets on racism in 24 European Union (EU) countries. (…) The leaflets are the result of a collaborative effort between the ENAR Secretariat, based in Brussels, and the National Coordinations of ENAR in each EU Member State. Each of the leaflets has been produced in the national language of the country involved and in English. (…)
The leaflets provide an overview of the concerns and issues in the country concerned, as well as a brief outline of the national legislation available to counter racism. They highlight the importance of the role of civil society in this fight, as well as the key activities of ENAR and its national coordination in the country. The leaflets provide information on the importance of strategic litigation, together with a rationale for NGOs to engage in this activity. They also provide information on the existing services available for the victims of racial discrimination, including racist crime and racist violence. A section on the ‘EU and anti-racism’ highlights the emergence of an anti-racism infrastructure at EU level as well as key developments in this area. Finally, the leaflets include links and sources of information at national and European levels. (…)
International Symposium on a Culture of Peace 2006 – Seoul, 25-27 October
The APCEIU (Asia Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding) will hold the International Symposium on a Culture of Peace 2006 under the theme "Intercultural Understanding and Human Rights Education" from 25 to 27 October 2006 at Hoam Faculty House, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. This will serve as an ideal arena to facilitate the exchange of information related to intercultural understanding and human rights education and at the same time present an opportunity to learn from each others experiences and identify new ways of addressing the issues involved.
The plenary sessions will address the following topics: intercultural education towards a culture of peace, human rights sensitive intercultural education, intercultural sensitive human rights education, human rights education through art, and the pushing effects of globalization on migration.
“Sparks of Humanity”: International Documentary Film Festival – October 25-29
9th United Nations Association Film Festival, Stamford University, Palo Alto, California, USA
The United Nations Association Midpeninsula Chapter is delighted to announce the ninth annual United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF). The festival was established in 1998 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was created with the help of members of the Stanford Film Society as an independent project of the United Nations Association (UNA), a grassroots, community based, nonprofit organization. UNAFF, whose theme for this year is “Sparks of Humanity.”, is an international documentary film festival held from October 25-29, 2006 in Palo Alto, California, with a few pre-screenings in East Palo Alto and San Francisco to kick off the event.
Conceived nine years ago, UNAFF celebrates the power of international films and videos dealing with human rights, environmental survival, women's issues, protection of refugees, homelessness, racism, disease control, universal education, war and peace. UNAFF offers a unique opportunity to view documentaries that are rarely screened, to become familiar with global problems, and to acquire a better understanding of the means to address these problems. (…)
Last year we introduced for the first time three awards - The Stanford Video Award for Cinematography and The Stanford Video Award for Editing (sponsored by Stanford Video), as well as the UNAFF Grand Jury Award. Our relentless efforts in promoting awareness of global issues have been rewarded at the annual UNA Convention in New York, where UNAFF received the prestigious Earl W. Eames Award for innovatively combining new technologies with traditional media. We are also proud that UNAFF has twice won WAVE Awards for the best trailer. (…)
New US$26.4 million IFAD loan to reconstruct families’ livelihoods after Pakistan earthquake
Rome, 14 June - Eight thousand families left destitute by last October’s earthquake will receive financial and technical support to rebuild their houses and buy livestock through a new project in northern Pakistan. The US$29.6 million Project for the Restoration of Earthquake-Affected Communities and Households (REACH) will be financed almost entirely by a US$26.4 million loan from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD). The loan agreement will be signed today at IFAD headquarters in Rome by the President of IFAD, Lennart Båge, and the Ambassador of Pakistan to Italy, Mirza Quamar Beg.
About 80 per cent of families lost their houses in the project area of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and in the North-West Frontier Province. Most of the REACH funds, more than US$20 million, will be invested in restoring houses or rebuilding new ones. (…)
With this project, IFAD will have participated in financing 21 loans to Pakistan for a total investment of US$387 million. For more information contact: Farhana Haque-Rahman, Chief, Media Relations, Special Events and Programmes firstname.lastname@example.org
UN officials stress the positive aspects of international migration
8 June – Senior United Nations officials today stressed the mutual benefits to countries of international migration, emphasized the importance of the high-level dialogue to take place in September examining the links between migration and development, and strongly backed the findings of the Secretary-General’s report issued earlier this week focusing on the global phenomenon. (…) The dialogue will be held by the General Assembly from 14 to 15 September, and today’s press briefing along with this week’s report are intended to spur the discussion on international migration (…)
One of the findings of the report, which ran to 90 pages, was how migration has become a major feature of international life, such that the number of people living outside their home countries reached 191 million in 2005 – 115 million in developed countries, 75 million in the developing world.
Another finding from the report highlighted that migration was not a zero-sum game but rather can benefit both sending and receiving countries (…) The report highlighted that migrants not only take on necessary jobs seen as less desirable by the established residents of host countries but also stimulate demand and improve economic performance overall. They also help to shore up pension systems in countries with ageing populations.
And for their part, developing countries benefit from an estimated $167 billion a year sent home by migrant workers. The exodus of talent from poor countries to more prosperous one often poses a severe development loss but in many countries this is at least partially compensated by migrants’ later return to, and/or investment in, their home countries, where profitable new businesses are established.
Project to improve roads in Yemen will help 300,000 highland people
Rome, 7 June – A new development project in Yemen will focus on upgrading 215 kilometres of dirt roads in isolated highland areas of the country. The roads reach the most disadvantaged villages in the highlands and their upgrading will lead to better links to markets, health facilities and schools for over 300,000 people. A further 100,000 people will have improved access to drinking water.
The Pilot Community-Based Rural Infrastructure Project for Highland Areas will cost US$10.4 million and is partly financed by a loan of US$9 million and a grant of US$400,000, both from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The Financing Agreement was signed at IFAD’s headquarters in Rome on 1 June by the Assistant President of IFAD, James Carruthers, and the Ambassador to Italy for the Republic of Yemen, Shaya Mohsin Zindani. For more information contact: Farhana Haque-Rahman, Chief, Media Relations, Special Events and Programmes email@example.com
UN training project produces scores of Liberian vocational graduates
8 June – Dozens of young Liberians have graduated from an intensive six-week project organized by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to train them in such skills as tailoring, generator mechanics, first aid and computer operations.
Speaking to hundreds of residents, the 144 graduates and local authorities who attended the graduation ceremony in Nimba County in the north of the country, UN Deputy Special Representative Luiz Carlos da Costa said, “This core trained group can multiply skills and capacities by serving as trainers themselves within their communities.”
He thanked the Bangladeshi contingent of UNMIL for organizing the courses and for the role they continue to play towards consolidating the peace process. “I commend the contingent for going beyond their mandate of peacekeeping by engaging themselves in humanitarian activities,” he said.
Farm investment helps slow migration
Major FAO study on roles of agriculture
Rome, 2 June - A major study conducted by FAO in 11 countries shows that agriculture does much more than produce food, feed and fibre for people. The farm sector impacts deeply on economies and societies at a number of unsuspected levels, according to FAO’s Agricultural and Development Economics Division.
The right farm policies can, for instance, help regulate rural-to-urban migration, which has seen 800 million people move from the countryside to towns in the past 50 years. By extension, such policies, coupled with the right level of investment, could help reduce illegal migrant pressure on Europe and North America.
International Delegates to learn the importance of city-to-city partnerships
Sister Cities International hosts workshops on Millennium Development Goals at 50th Anniversary conference in July, 13 to 15
Washington, D.C. May 31 - Sister city delegates from around the world will soon learn that they can achieve the Millennium Development Goals through City-to-City Partnerships. Workshops on this important initiative will be held during the Sister Cities International 50th Anniversary Conference being held July 13-15, 2006 in Washington, D.C. (…) The conference will feature several events highlighting the importance of City-to-City partnerships in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
City-to-City Partnerships is the development of strategic partnerships between two or more communities to exchange information, technical assistance, or training. Representing more than 2,500 communities in 134 countries, Sister Cities International is a citizen diplomacy network creating and strengthening partnerships between the U.S. and communities abroad.
UN aids flood relief efforts in northern Thailand
9 June – Following severe flash floods and landslides in Thailand that have affected more than 340,000 people, completely destroyed 700 houses and damaged more than 1,000 roads and bridges, the United Nations Office has released emergency cash grants of over $100,000 for the purchase of relief supplies and materials for temporary shelter.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today it had given $51,000 for immediate relief efforts in the five affected northern provinces, where agricultural lands in more than 100 villages remain under water, although the situation has improved.
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has released a further $50,000 to support the Government’s relief efforts.
Initial Government surveys estimated damage of more than $8 million, which does not include that to the affected population’s properties and personal belongings. The Government has allocated some $63 million to the Flood Relief Fund for the five affected provinces.
In addition to its cash grant, the UNDP will work with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to facilitate construction of permanent housing for those affected by the flooding.
Timor Leste: Red Cross aids 16,000 displaced
June 9 - A team of water and habitat specialists from the ICRC and staff from the Timor Leste Red Cross today visited the town of Baucau, 160 km east of Dili, to assess the needs of some 16,000 people who have fled there from the violence in the capital. (…)
Access to water, sanitation and cooking facilities is limited in the temporary camps and conditions are difficult in the severely overcrowded households that have taken in relatives. "One house we visited has gone from six occupants to several dozen," said Alain Oppliger, an ICRC delegate. He added that there was an acute need for greater access to water, with many people having to walk more than three kilometres to wash their clothes or bathe.
With displaced families continuing to arrive in Baucau, the need for water and other basic necessities looks set to grow. To help alleviate immediate shortages, the ICRC handed over two 10,000-litre bladder tanks, pipes and other equipment to the local branch of the Red Cross. Having surveyed the situation in Baucau, the ICRC plans further aid in the near future.
In Dili, meanwhile, the ICRC is continuing to work closely with the Timor Leste Red Cross to distribute water to displaced families living in camps. It is also endeavouring to restore contact between people and loved ones from whom they have become separated.
German-Egyptian Rotaract project is named “European Best Service Project” 2005-2006
Living situation for 1400 people improved, and the work goes on
The project „Responsible Parenthood, Skill Development and Micro-Loans in Slum Areas of Alexandria, Egypt” has been elected as “Best Service Project” 2005-2006 by Rotaract Europe. The project is a joint project between the Rotaract District 1860 in Germany and the Rotaract Club Alexandria Cosmopolitan (D 2450, Egypt) and the first Rotaract Project within RFPD.
This development project is one way to face the population explosion, the impoverty and the lacking (health) education in countries like Egypt, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Starting in 2001, nobody could anticipate the huge success it has become in the past years. Until today up to 1400 people were able to greatly improve their living situation.
The goal of this project is to support the poorest women living in the slums of Alexandria (Egypt) by providing financial and educational support. The women are not only provided with micro-loans in order to establish a business of their own, but they are also given the chance to attend different kind of lessons: Illiteracy classes, vocational assessment and Population and development classes.
The members of the Rotaract Club Alexandria Cosmopolitan take care of the project’s process on the spot. Their job is to select and to support the women. They have to organize the lessons together with the NGO PLAN International. The Rotaractors in Alexandria are supervising the repayments as well as documenting the money flows. The members of the Rotaract District 1860, Germany participated in the development of the project which included the financing aspect. (…)
People interested in running a similar project, should feel free to contact the team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Liberia: ICRC delivers aid to rural needy
June 8 - ICRC staff have completed the latest round of aid distributions to people still suffering the effects of years of armed conflict in Liberia. The distributions, which began in February, ended last week, having helped some 37,500 households (225,000 people) regain the ability to feed themselves. The households received more than 1,000 tonnes of rice, bean and vegetable seed and about 1,000 tonnes of rice to be used as food while the seed is planted.
Last November the same families received farming and building tools (…) Essential household items, including sleeping mats, blankets, kitchen sets, buckets, clothing and tarpaulins, were also distributed to the families.
The beneficiaries of these distributions are people who have returned to their homes after earlier fleeing fighting and other particularly vulnerable families in the counties of Lofa, Gbarpolu, Nimba, Bong, Bomi, Cape Mount, and Rivercess. Difficult challenges were faced in completing the most recent distribution before the onset of the rainy season since many rural roads were near-impassable. In some counties, the ICRC had to start by rebuilding a large number of bridges that were unsafe or had been completely destroyed.
This latest distribution of seed and food by the ICRC will enable returnees and other particularly vulnerable residents in the most severely war-affected areas to resume farming and make progress toward self-sufficiency.
Caritas aiding victims of Lorestan Earthquake in Iran
Vatican City, 8 June – Caritas Italy will move forward with plans to build 400 temporary showers for the victims of the earthquake in Iran’s Lorestan province on March 31st, which levelled about 70 villages and severely damaged about 260 others, making some 15,000 people homeless.
Caritas Internationalis has opened an appeal for just over $US 460,000 to help fund the project.
The quake, which was preceded by a series of tremors that served as a warning, measured 6.0 on the Richter scale. Because authorities had issued warnings to residents to move outside after the first smaller shudders, only 70 people were killed and over 1200 were injured.
The epicentre of the quake was in Dasht Silakhor, about 400 kilometres southwest of Tehran.
Several United Nations agencies responded to the immediate needs of the victims, providing them with food, water, tents, blankets and medical assistance. The Iranian state also provided relief, and said that an international response in the immediate aftermath would not be necessary.
Caritas Italy, after consulting with the Iranian Ministry of the Interior to establish how Caritas could be of help, has been given permission to construct showers in the earthquake-damaged areas. The design is based on a similar project that Caritas Italy carried out following a previous quake in Zarand in early 2005. The showers will be equipped with water heaters and will include a separate dressing room to provide privacy, especially for the women using them.
Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development, and social service organisations present in over 200 countries and territories.
Adopt a group of elderly
June 1 - GrannyAid is a new, joint initiative between DaneAge Association and DanChurchAid with the aim of assisting elderly people in need in the former Soviet Republic, Kyrgyzstan through adoptions. By adopting a group of elderly provisions of i.e. food and medicine are distributed and thereby improving their livelihoods. The co-operation combines DanChurchAid's longstanding experience with development projects in the region and DaneAge Association supporters' great interest in assisting these needy, fellow elderly. (…)
GrannyAid engages with three Kyrgyz senior citizen organisations, Ymyt, ADRA and PASPP who are the Kyrgyz version of DaneAge Association and a longstanding collaborator of DCA. These organisations attempt to build a dialogue with the authorities regarding the rights of the senior citizens in order to improve livelihoods for elderly in Kyrgyzstan in general. (…)
EU response to Indonesia earthquake
Brussels, 31 May - Following the earthquake that struck Indonesia near the Javanese city of Yogyakarta on Saturday, 27 May, the EU immediately mobilised to assess needs and offer help. In Brussels, the coordination machinery has been active drawing together the Austrian Presidency of the EU, the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) and the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC), and the EU Situation Centre and Civil-Military Cell of the EU Military Staff.
The EU through the European Commission was the first donor to offer relief funding on the day of the disaster. €3 million was announced on the 27th and formally committed on the 28th by the Commission's Humanitarian Aid Department. Agencies to which funds are being allocated include the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) and Médecins du Monde France (MDM-F). (…)
Rotary International selects Indian school project as “South Asia Regional Winner”
May 30, Evanston, ILL, USA: The President of Rotary International Carl-Wilehlm Stenhammar writes: “It is with great pleasure that I congratulate the Rotaract Club of Delhi Qutab of District 3010 on its Outstanding Project, Saksham School (Self-Reliance). The members of the 2005-06 Rotary International Rotaract Committee have selected your project as the South Asia Regional Winner to be recognized at the 2006 Rotaract Preconvention Meeting on 9-10 June in Malmö, Sweden.”
India Rotaract Club Adopts a School for Impoverished Children
by Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga
The 25 members of the Rotaract Club of Delhi Qutab, Delhi, India, have found their calling in supporting projects that improve the lives of young and impoverished area residents. From sponsoring dental checkups to making in-kind donations of personal, household, and domestic
items, they have sought hands-on service opportunities in their neighborhood. But their most meaningful initiative so far, according to club president Divya Vatsa Tyagi, is a school project that addresses the plight of 6-to-10-year-old students from poor families.
It all started early this year when A.C. Peter, assistant governor of RI District 3010, informed the
Rotaract club of the dire needs at Saksham, a makeshift school that teaches reading and writing to children from the slums. Nadira Razak, a civil servant, established Saksham two years ago after learning that some parents were too poor to afford to send their children to government or private schools. These mostly migrant laborer families earned only 1,000 rupees (US$22) a month on average and had barely enough money to feed themselves. In addition to volunteering her time to teach the children from such homes, Razak raised funds or solicited donations of goods from her workmates to take care of students' material needs and cover the costs of running the school. "We started with eight children," says Razak. "Now we have more than 200. [But our] resources are limited, and we are unable to meet expenses of rent for the premises, meager allowance to volunteer teachers, light refreshments [and so forth]."
After paying a visit to the school, members of the Rotaract club decided to adopt Saksham. (…)
Helen Keller International supports World Food Programme's Fight Hunger: Walk the World Rally
May 30 – More than forty staff members from Helen Keller International’s offices in Bangladesh and a smaller contingent from Cameroon joined hundreds of other supporters in the World Food Programme’s (WFP) rally Fight Hunger: Walk the World on May 21, 2006.
In Bangladesh, Mr. Choudhury Kamal Ibne Yousuf, Honourable Minister for Food and Disaster Management inaugurated the Rally as the Chief Guest. During their speeches Dr. John M. Powell, Deputy Executive Director of WFP, and Douglas Broderick, Country Representative of WFP, Bangladesh, expressed special thanks to HKI for the large numbers of walkers who participated. In Cameroon, the Ceremony was launched by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Walk the World is an annual demonstration led by WFP and held across the globe. Hundreds of thousands of people participate in order to raise awareness about the plight of 300 million hungry children in this world, and to help reach the Millennium Development of ending child hunger by 2015. This year, more than 760,000 marchers from 118 countries at 420 locations participated in Walk the World. (…)
Under intensive UN mediation, Nigeria and Cameroon sign accord ending border dispute
12 June – The presidents of Nigeria and Cameroon today signed an agreement settling a decades-old, sometimes violent, border dispute over the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula following intensive mediation over the weekend by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, seeking to avert a potential crisis flashpoint in already troubled West Africa.
“The signing ceremony which has brought us together crowns a remarkable experiment in conflict prevention by Cameroon and Nigeria,” Mr. Annan said of the agreement which provides for the withdrawal of Nigerian troops within 60 days, with a possible 30 day extension, from Bakassi, which the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the UN’s Supreme judicial body, awarded to Cameroon in 2002.
“With today’s agreement on the Bakassi Peninsula, a comprehensive resolution of the dispute is within our grasp,” he added at the ceremony at the Greentree Estate in Manhasset outside New York City. “The momentum achieved must be sustained.”
Under the agreement transitional arrangements will be completed in two years for the Peninsula, which was the last of four areas to be demarcated in accordance with the ICJ decision. (…)
UN agency leads project to control trafficking of small arms in West Africa
9 June – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will lead a $30 million, five-year programme aimed at controlling the sales and trafficking of small arms in West Africa, where more than 8 million illicit weapons are in private hands, representing about half of all the small arms held illegally in the continent, the agency said.
The Small Arms Control Project will focus on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and will also help build the capacity of the region’s national Small Arms Commissions, while providing technical support to the ECOWAS secretariat’s Small Arms Unit. (…)
The project has been strongly supported by the Government of the Netherlands and other partners include the European Union (EU), Finland, France, Japan and Sweden.
Joseph Byll-Cataria, the UNDP Resident Representative in Mali, stressed that the agency and its partners are working to try to reduce armed violence in the region and combat its impact on stability, security, and human development.
Easy access to illicit weapons for organized crime, terrorism and civil conflict creates a cycle of violence disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable members of society – the children, women and elderly who account for more than 80 per cent of the victims of killings by firearms in West Africa, UNDP said. (…)
Russia - The First Nuclear National Dialogue Forum to take place in Moscow, 3-4 July
“Towards a Russian National Dialogue on Energy Security, Nuclear Non-Proliferation, and a Safe and Sustainable Future”
Geneva, 6 June - At this crucial threshold for the future development of Russia, but also for the global economy, the Public Council of Rosatom, the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, and Green Cross International will hold a broad discussion of energy security and the safe and sustainable development of the energy sector. For the first time this conference will bring together a large number of international, national, regional, and local stakeholders to address issues covering energy security for sustainable development, nuclear power and non-nuclear alternatives, the future of the Russian nuclear industry, non-proliferation and threat reduction, and the G8 “Global Partnership for Securing Weapons of Mass Destruction.”
On its first day, the conference aims at providing a better public understanding of the current challenges to energy safety and to initiate a balanced public discussion on the role the nuclear sector might have for future Russian and international energy policy. On its second day, the conference analyzes progress made in the Global Partnership, reviews lessons learned and discusses the most efficient concepts and approaches for implementation. Speakers will include the leadership of Rosatom; representatives of the international community including the G8 Global Partnership involved in energy, security, and non-proliferation policy; and regional and local speakers from some of Russia’s main nuclear sites.
Green Cross International is an NGO with an HQ in Geneva and affiliates in 27 countries, which works in the field of sustainable development. For more information please visit us at: www.greencrossinternational.net
Rotary - Indian and Pakistani business and professional leaders gather to discuss peace
Islamabad, 2 June - More than 500 Rotary club members from India and Pakistan, who represent a cross-section of business and professional leaders from both countries, will meet in Islamabad to explore further efforts to help children in their communities and promote cultural understanding and peace between the two countries. The Indo-Pakistan Conference on Conflict Resolution and Peace will take place 2-4 June at the Islamabad Marriott Hotel, Convention Center and Bhourban Pearl Continental Hotel. The conference will be attended by government officials from both countries including Mianmohammed Soomro, Chairman, The Senate of Pakistan, Khurseed Raza Kasuri, Foreign Minister of Pakistan and Shivshankar Menon, Indian High Commissioner. The three-day conference will focus on measures to build support for a lasting peace and establish further links between the two countries’ economies. Organizers of the conference see it as another step in Rotary’s efforts to bring people of these two countries even closer.
In the past decade, Rotary clubs from India and Pakistan have overcome their countries’ political differences and worked to promote peace through joint humanitarian programs. Rotary has organized exchange programs, provided life-saving heart surgeries for needy children and organized conferences to further dialogue at the grassroots level. (…)
Media Contact: Howard Chang at email@example.com
Nepal: No new use of landmines under new code of conduct offers a glimmer of hope
by Simona Beltrami
30 May - In the code of conduct agreed at the end of the first round of peace talks on 26 May 2006, the Nepalese government and Maoist groups committed to refrain from new use of landmines: a welcome development in a country where both sides of the internal conflict have been resorting to these indiscriminate weapons.
The announced commitment by both government forces and Maoist groups not to make further use of landmines as they seek a solution to their conflict, if implemented, would be a positive indication of the political will to put an end to the deaths and suffering these weapons indiscriminately cause to civilians across Nepal, said the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL).
The ICBL’s statement came in response to the inclusion of a provision which committed both sides to refrain from laying new mines as part of a 25-point code of conduct concluded by the government of Nepal and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) during the first round of negotiations in Kathmandu on 26 May. (…)
Help the world, bit by byte
A click saves the world. It's a start, at least.
Mikelle Charlebois, a student at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, has spent her last year at college helping end poverty, little by little, around the globe. She's one of three founders of the World Neighborhood Fund, a nonprofit that aids inhabitants of the world's poorest regions.
Entirely Internet-based, the fund raises money by serving as a Web site for searches and online shopping. Using the site, www.worldneighborhoodfund.org, is free and requires no registration.
The fund raises money in three ways. First, when anyone uses the Google box on the fund's Web site for Internet searches, Google gives a small amount of money to the fund. There's no cost to the user. "It generates pennies per search," says Charlebois. "But it does add up."
Second, shopping online through the fund's Web site creates revenue. Some 50 vendors, ranging from Amazon and Petco to Macy's and Sears, have links on the Web site. Again, there's no extra cost to the user, but the online store donates a percentage of the purchase to the fund. (…)
The fund then gives 100 percent of the money to a chosen charity.
The third way the fund raises money for causes is through direct donations, either given through the Web site or by mail at 3133 N.E. Rodney Ave., Portland, OR 97212.
Every three months, the founders pick a different nonprofit, humanitarian project in a struggling area of the world to receive funds. The current project is Bahia Street, a nonprofit girls school in Salvador, Brazil. The school seeks to break the cycle of poverty in urban slums by educating girls ages 8-18. (…)
International Day of Peace 2006 – September 21
The Peace Alliance Foundation is partnering with Pathways to Peace in a global call to people, organizations, and communities all over the world to come together for a worldwide observance of the International Day of Peace (also called Peace Day), which includes a call for a global ceasefire and day of nonviolence. The response to this call has been overwhelming, with thousands pledging to a moment of silence and some type of observance action.
Take your own personal pledge to observe the International Day of Peace! 2006 is the 24th annual observance of Peace Day, established 25 years ago by resolution of the United Nations General Assembly. To find out more about the background of Peace Day, what people around the world are pledging to do this year, and the actions you yourself or your community or organization can take: http://www.peacealliancefound.org/files/ProgramReport_WA.pdf
Polio outbreak update: response in Namibia
9 June - National health authorities are preparing a response to an outbreak of wild poliovirus in Namibia, polio-free since 1996. The outbreak is affecting mostly adults. Genetic sequencing confirms that the virus is consistent with an importation from Angola, of Indian origin. Angola, polio-free since 2001, was re-infected last year by a virus from India. (…)
The Government is planning an immunization response consisting of three National Immunization Days (NIDs), using monovalent oral polio vaccine type 1 (mOPV1). The first NID is scheduled to start 21 June, and both the first and second NIDs will aim to reach the entire population of the country (two million), rather than the usual under-five year population. The age of any further cases will dictate the target age groups for subsequent NIDs. An international team is in the country to assist the national authorities.
Namibia began routine immunization for polio in 1990. While the cause of the largely adult outbreak is yet to be determined, it is likely that those who fell ill did not receive immunization as children. Routine immunization coverage within Namibia today varies by region from 60% to 80%.
ICRC works on improving access to potable water and to medical care in Iraq
June 7 - Yesterday, the ICRC completed a partial rehabilitation of the R-Zero water station in Basrah and handed it over to the Directorate of Water. 25% of the lost capacity was thus restored, enabling the plant to reach a production of 4'300 m3 of water per hour.
It is worth mentioning that last month, the ICRC completed the rehabilitation of Bradiyah and Al-Mouhad treatment plants. ICRC engineers indicate that the three projects aim at improving the access of Basrah residents to potable water. Furthermore, the ICRC completed the building of the extension (170 m2) of the primary health care centre of Al-Sangar area in Basrah. This extension will help provide better conditions for the 13'000 residents in this area; the centre deals primarily with mother and childcare as well as with dentistry care.
World Health Assembly - 22-26 May
26 May – Noting that the number of countries with indigenous poliovirus transmission is at a historic low of four, and that outbreaks in re-infected countries have been systematically stopped or slowed, the World Health Assembly (WHA) this week recognized that significant progress has been made during the past year towards polio eradication and resolved to support the final stages. The policy-setting body of the World Health Organization, the WHA studied the Report on poliomyelitis eradication and adopted a resolution calling for increased focus on interrupting transmission in endemic areas (those which have never interrupted polio transmission), adherence to rapid response standards in case of importation of poliovirus and technical advice on planning for a post-eradication world.
In their comments, Member States unanimously acknowledged the progress in further restricting the circulation of indigenous polioviruses. At the beginning of this year, Egypt and Niger marked 12 months without indigenous poliovirus transmission, leaving Nigeria , India , Afghanistan and Pakistan as the only remaining polio-endemic countries in the world. In the latter three, poliovirus is restricted to a handful of high-risk districts. The WHA also recognized that importations of polio had been dealt with swiftly and effectively, with a total of 31 cases linked to imported poliovirus reported in 2006 to date, compared to 105 cases at the same time last year.
Mexico - The solar cooker project keeps on growing
Kathy Dahl-Bredine, who works with the Nino a Nino organization, reports that solar cooking is taking hold in the state of Oaxaca. She gave nine workshops in her first year and helped about 150 people learn to make and use solar cookers. In the workshops, new solar cooking students are given homework — to teach others how to make and use a CooKit-style solar panel cooker. Ms. Dahl-Bredine reports that many of her students have done their homework and taught others. She has also taught solar cooking skills to Indian development promoters who are spreading the idea to many other families. (…)
Ms. Dahl-Bredine reports that the major motivation for using the solar cookers is that people have little income, and benefit from reduced fuel costs. The CooKit-type solar cooker is practical because it is inexpensive and can be made by the families themselves. She emphasizes follow-up visits with new learners, because people don’t always get everything they need to know from one workshop. When people are learning, she says, “you want all the conditions to be right to succeed at first.” After people have some experience, they can try more challenging cooking problems. She believes that experienced solar cooks can use their solar cookers most days even during Oaxaca’s rainy season, by starting early in the day and planning carefully.
Contact: Kathy Dahl-Bredine, firstname.lastname@example.org
World Water Week in Stockholm, 20-26 August
Building Capacity – Promoting Partnership – Reviewing Implementation
The World Water Week in Stockholm is the leading annual global meeting place for capacity-building, partnership- building and follow-up on the implementation of international processes and programmes in water and development. It includes topical plenary sessions and panel debates, scientific workshops, independently organised seminars and side events, exhibitions and festive prize ceremonies honouring excellence in the water field.
Stockholm is the meeting place for experts from businesses, governments, the water management and science sectors, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs, research and training institutions and United Nations agencies. The 2006 World Water Week in Stockholm will continue its important role at the nexus of the water, environment, development and poverty reduction fields when it takes place August 20-26 at the Stockholm City Conference Centre in the Swedish capital. The full programme can now be found in the printed Second Announcement and Call for Registration, and also at this website.
Maui County invests $7.2 million to secure its water future
FY 07 Budget includes funding to appraise and acquire plantation watersheds & assets
June 1 - Honolulu, HI - Today, in a historic step in water resources management in Hawai`i, Maui County included in its final budget a bold measure to return to public control water presently diverted by a former Maui plantation. Effective July 1, 2007, the County appropriated $7.2 million in direct funding and general obligation bonds to appraise and acquire portions of watersheds and water-related assets owned by Wailuku Water Company ("WWC," formerly Wailuku Agribusiness Company), with the ultimate goal of restoring base flow to three major streams in Central Maui (Waihe`e, Waiehu, and `Iao), while also helping to satisfy Maui County's future water needs.
The budget appropriation follows up on the groundbreaking agreement in December 2005 between Earthjustice, on behalf of Maui community group Hui o Na Wai `Eha, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs ("OHA"), and the Maui County administration, which resolved litigation over ground water from the `Iao aquifer, Maui's primary source of drinking water. In return for the Hui and OHA withdrawing legal challenges to the County's permit applications for `Iao, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa committed to take the steps necessary to restore flows to streams overlying that aquifer that are diverted by former Maui plantation interests, including WWC. One of the promised steps was to introduce the budget requests finalized today. (…)
Reconnecting lakes helps restore the Yangtze
Anqing, China – A WWF project has resulted in the simultaneous opening of several sluice gates that are reconnecting eight lakes to the Yangtze River. The move is the first step in restoring natural ecological processes that will help heal the degraded Central and Lower wetland ecosystem. (…)
The Yangtze River is the world’s third longest, with its basin covering an area of 1.8 million km2. The vast area of the Central and Lower Yangtze once acted as a natural sponge to soak up flood waters during the rainy season. However, dyke and embankment building along the river has seriously disrupted natural processes across the basin. (…) WWF believes that a practical solution is to reform the existing sluice gate (dyke gate) management regime, which currently mainly serves agricultural needs and addresses flood control issues in reclaimed lake areas.
Previous sluice gate openings in other parts of China, such as in Lake Zhangdu, have resulted in a total fish yield increase of 17 per cent in 2005. Fourteen native species have been successfully introduced into the lake and nine fish species that had previously died out in the area have returned. (…) To achieve these goals and provide solutions for China’s decision-makers, the WWF-HSBC Yangtze Programme has been working to restore the "web of life" along the Yangtze River since 2002. (…) The project is introducing sustainable alternative livelihoods, such eco-fisheries, eco-tourism, and growth of aquatic vegetables, for local communities. (…)
Giraffe’s relative rediscovered in eastern Congo
Gland, Switzerland, 9 June – After nearly 50 years, the okapi – the closest known relative to the giraffe – has been rediscovered in Virunga National Park in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), said WWF today. This is the first sign of okapi presence in the park since August 1959, according to official records.
The discovery happened during a recent survey led by the global conservation organization and its governmental Congolese partner ICCN (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature).
Still rare and threatened, the okapi lives only in the tall primary forests of eastern DRC, mainly in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, centered around the village of Epulu. But the species was originally discovered further east in the forests along the Semliki Valley, now in the Virunga National Park – created in 1925 and today a UN World Heritage site protected by international and national laws. (…) http://www.panda.org/news_facts/newsroom/index.cfm?uNewsID=71400
UN Peace Forum to reveal proposal for Spiritual Empowerment and Disarmament
New York, June 13 - On June 22, in an all day Forum at the United Nations an international non-governmental organization, A Centre for the World Religions (ACWR), will convene “A Spiritual Agenda for World Peace - for Disarmament and an Empowered United Nations.” (…)
ACWR is calling on the religious community to re-commit to a leading role in the struggle for disarmament because religion has played a crucial part in a great number of the violent conflicts and wars of the past sixty years. The forum will discuss how individuals and spiritually based organizations can approach disarmament by going back to their roots, wherein all the major religions teach non-violence, tolerance and love. ACWR invites attendance by all member UN states, UN staff, NGO’s and peace activists concerned with harnessing personal spiritual power to offset the threat of armed conflict to world peace. (…)
The idea of infusing UN peace-keeping efforts with spiritual empowerment is not new. The late Dag Hammarskjold, 2nd Secretary General of the UN and founder of the United Nations Meditation room, once declared that, "The more faithfully you listen to the voices within you, the better you will hear what is sounding outside." Using this approach, the Forum will take a fresh look at the United Nations year-2000 Millennium pledge to ”spare no effort to free our peoples from the scourge of war, whether within or between States, which has claimed more than 5 million lives in the past decade. We will also seek to eliminate the dangers posed by weapons of mass destruction.” (…) Persons interested in attending can email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Leadership Convergence/Festival of Faith
Saturday & Sunday, June 24 & 25, Los Angeles
The Leadership Convergence/Festival of Faith on June 24th and 25th this year are held in celebration of the 61st anniversary of the birth of the United Nations and the 41st anniversary of the birth of Unity-And-Diversity World Council (UDC). These anniversaries are at the occasion of United Nations Charter Day, June 26th. Both days contain events that are unique to the link between UDC and the U.N. Both days are being held at 1020 S. Flower St., Los Angeles.
The Leadership Convergence on Saturday the 24th is UDC’s time to bring together individuals, groups, and networks for the exploring of common ground and the development of ongoing activities and projects. As the Unity-and-Diversity name implies, UDC is involved both with interfaith activities and with all kinds of other intergroup participation. (…) Last year’s Leadership Convergence developed an outstanding document called “Guidelines for an Interdependent World Culture”, which will be used as background for this year’s Convergence.
Sunday the 25th is a unique event entitled Festival of Faith, which was first held in San Francisco at the U.N. tenth anniversary and shared by 16,000 people in the Cow Palace. Every ten years the U.N. comes to San Francisco to celebrate its decade of progress, which usually includes some form of interfaith event. Our effort is to preserve and develop this unique event and to make it a worship experience that can be held in any community throughout the world.
In wide-ranging interviews, US radio hosts broadcast live from UN
9 June – Counter-terrorism, the promotion of democracy worldwide, efforts to assist children living in poverty and the threat of bird flu were among the many and varied subjects explored live on the air as an unprecedented gathering of radio hosts from across the United States broadcast from United Nations Headquarters this week in an initiative that brought a first-hand account of how the world body works to millions of listeners across the country.
Radio personalities well-known in various parts of the US, and some national names, set up shop on Thursday in a basement conference room at the United Nations, where dozens of staffers – from senior officials to front-line personnel – answered questions and exchanged views with the hosts.
Blanquita Cullum of the national programme Radio America underscored the power of her shows to raise awareness. Ms. Cullum said she had told Ann Veneman, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), that talk radio could help promote the agency’s activities in Africa, especially in sensitizing US citizens to the challenges faced by a continent ravaged by AIDS.
Echoing this view, Kathy Bushkin, Executive Vice-President of the UN Foundation (UNF), called the event an innovative partnership that focused “not only on the role of the UN in global stories already receiving attention, but also the lesser-known stories about the life-saving work the UN performs everyday, bringing this information directly to American communities.”
“Talk Radio Day at the UN,” held from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., was the result of a partnership between UNF, Talkers Magazine and the Talk Radio News Service, with assistance provided by DPI. (…)
New blog joins UN video game in battle against hunger
8 June – Fresh from the global success of the world’s first humanitarian video game designed to arouse children’s interests in the challenges of fighting hunger, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced the launch of a blog, an interactive internet chat site, that allows youngsters to talk directly to aid workers on the battle’s frontlines. (…)
‘Joe’s blog,’ named after one of Food Force’s main characters, is a place where the millions of youngsters who played the video game and visited the site can form a global community focusing on hunger and other social issues. It lets them send questions to WFP aid workers who post stories about their experiences and the reality of delivering life-saving food to those in need.
Hunger and malnutrition kill more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
Food Force conjures up a virtual world of planes launching food airdrops over crisis zones and emergency trucks struggling up treacherous roads under rebel threat with emergency supplies to bring food to the desperately hungry.
Gamers face a number of realistic challenges to urgently feed thousands of people on the fictitious island of Sheylan, piloting helicopters on reconnaissance missions, negotiating with armed rebels on convoy runs and using food to help rebuild villages.
Before each mission, the player is presented with an educational video segment about the reality of WFP work in the field, teaching them how WFP responds to actual food emergencies – where food originates, its nutritional breakdowns and how it is delivered.
International Peace Education Conference: Educating a Generation to create a Culture of Peace, 25-27 June, Vancouver
June 2 – Education International strongly encourages its member organisations to take part in the coming International Peace Education Conference, which will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada, from 25-27 June 2006. The Conference is part of the World Peace Forum (WPF), which will take place from 23-28 June. (…)
The EI delegation will participate in the Peace Walk on 24 June, and EI President Thulas Nxesi will open the International Peace Education Conference the next day. The theme of the conference will be "Educating a Generation to create a Culture of Peace".
The conference will bring together teachers, students, elders and citizens with interests in pre-school to tertiary education to discuss, produce and disperse curricula of peace, discuss and model teaching and organisational strategies to sustain peace efforts, and to transform society by seeking answers to the question "how, through education, are we going to create a culture of peace in our classrooms and communities?". (…)
Friendship Ambassadors Foundation Invites applications to the 3rd Annual Youth Assembly at the UN: “Tomorrow’s Leaders Today”, August 16 -18, UN Headquarters, New York
A Call to Youth Worldwide:
• Become Involved in Renewal at the United Nations
• Join People with Vision and Motivation like Your Own
• Make a Difference in Your Lifetime
The Youth Assembly at the United Nations is a gathering of hundreds of young people from around the world (16-28 years old) who seek future involvement with the United Nations and ways to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The goal is to show how one person can make a difference and that person can be YOU. This is an intensive, three-day program providing direct access to the U.N. and its agencies, such as UNESCO, UNICEF, and the World Bank. Pace University in New York is a major partner of the Youth Assembly this year.
POST ASSEMBLY TRAINING: Delegates are encouraged to take part in the Leadership Seminar (August 19-23) at Pace University in Manhattan following the Assembly: Training young leaders how to create humanitarian initiatives, start their own NGOs, and become activists & social entrepreneurs. Apply Today! Download Application Form at:
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Next issue: 7 July 2006.
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