Good News Agency – Year IX, n° 10
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 4,000 media in 49 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
UN agency applauds Security Council resolution on sexual violence during wars
25 June - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has welcomed the Security Council’s call for an immediate end to all acts of sexual violence against women and girls in conflict situations.
Calling the resolution, adopted unanimously last week, “a historical achievement,” the Fund’s Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid said it would go a long way to protect the dignity of women and girls. “While sexual violence against women in conflict has often been ignored and considered a marginal concern, it in fact cuts to the very core of the existence of the women who are victims of this crime.” The resolution, which says sexual violence against civilians is often a tactic in war, demands all parties to conflicts take concrete measures to prevent and respond to violence, such as by training troops and upholding military discipline procedures. It also says sexual violence crimes should be excluded from any amnesties reached at the end of conflicts, and calls on States to strengthen their judicial and health-care systems to better assist victims. (...)
International conference on marine affairs and the Law of the Sea
3 July - In connection with
its 50th anniversary, the Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) will on 21-23 August 2008 organize
an international conference on marine affairs and the Law of the Sea in
This is the third international conference organized by the FNI to discuss challenges for international cooperation on oceans in general, and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in particular. Further information is available at http://www.fni.no/conference
by Dominik Zimmermann
3 July - After one year of blogging on international law related subjects we (the authors) were glad to see that International Law Observer has now been chosen to be one of the top 100 Law and Lawyer Blogs by the Criminal Justice Degrees Guide. This recognition is all the more enjoyable when considering that International Law Observer was one of only ten law blogs focusing specifically on international law and foreign law (from the perspective of the US). Other blogs that were listed in this category were long-running classics such as Opinio Juris, International Law Reporter and EU Law Blog.
We will of course use this recognition as an incentive to keep providing our readers with news, commentary and reports on international law related subjects.
Signed the Draft Agreement between
The European Social Fund in Support of Victims of trafficking
July 9 - The new transnational cooperation between
The fundamental objective of the Protocol is to guarantee the social and occupational inclusion to the victims of trafficking through actions funded mainly with ESF.
The signatories of Protocol are: Ministry of Labour, Family and Equal Opportunities in Romania, the Ministry of Labour Health and Social Policies in Italy, Department for Equal Opportunities - Prime’s Minister Office in Italy and ten Italian Regions (Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, Marche, Sicily, Tuscany, Autonomous Province of Trento, Autonomous Province of Bolzano and Piedmont leader) with the Technical support of Tecnostruttura. (…)
The Protocol originated from the “Ways Out” project, that focused on phenomenon of human trafficking and realized by the Italian Department for Equal Opportunities - Prime’s Minister Office, ten Italian Regions (Calabria, Campania, Emilia Romagna, Lazio, Marche, Sicily, Tuscany, Autonomous Province of Trento, Autonomous Province of Bolzano and Piedmont leader Region). They proposed to European Commission to activate actions to support victims of trafficking also in other Countries of the European Union. For information: Tecnostruttura of the Regions for the ESF – Comunication Department, Roberta Giangiorgi: email@example.com The Draft Agreement can be downloaded at http://www.tecnostruttura.it/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabID=4605
7 July - At a high-level
The participating organisations discussed different aspects of intercultural dialogue and their collaboration in this area, particularly the role of human rights, the promotion of intercultural competences through education as well as the link between intercultural dialogue and conflict prevention. Participants declared their determination to strengthen co-ordination and co-operation between them in the area of intercultural dialogue, and discussed additional opportunities for joint action in the field of human rights protection, education and conflict prevention.
The aim of the course, which
is the first of its kind to be organized by the ICRC in
The training course is being taught by ICRC and RDF experts and is part of a long-term ICRC commitment to provide support for the Rwandan authorities in the process of adhering to the treaties of international humanitarian law. It is intended to strengthen their capacities to implement those instruments.
Italian Government strengthens commitment on hunger
At the FAO Summit in June, and
at the last G8 meeting held in
Italian contributions to the
FAO Trust Fund for Food Security have so far helped fund 29 rural development
projects, almost half of them in Africa (14) with others in the Middle East,
Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the
Energy for sustainable development
15 July - With nine of its
member countries accounting for some 56 and 30 per cent of oil and natural gas
world supplies, the UN-ESCWA region is especially rich in these resources, said
Executive Secretary Bader Omar AlDafa. At the same
time, other member countries have little or no gas or oil reserves. Such disparities among and between countries
of the region had kept average growth over the past two years at about 5.6 per
cent. AlDafa was tackling the subject of energy for
sustainable development for
Since Agenda 21 (1992) and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (2002), UN-ESCWA Executive Secretary said, member countries have made concerted efforts for achieving energy sector sustainability. The region is indeed continuously working to improve its energy efficiency, by promoting, among others, relevant policies, codes of practice, enabling regulations, performing energy audits and implementing energy efficiency field projects. Despite limited progress in the areas of renewable energy, member countries took steps in promoting the use of solar water heaters, and in making use of wind and solar energy. (…)
Planting underway in
FAO initiative focuses on local production to offset high prices
Rome, 11 July - FAO is moving into the final stages of an intensive month-long distribution of millet, sorghum, maize, cowpea and peanut seeds to 33 000 farmers in the regions of Burkina Faso that have been hardest-hit by a devastating combination of soaring food prices and severe weather that has vastly reduced the local food supply. (...)
FAO has just finished one of the last distributions, of nearly 20 tonnes of improved seed varieties and just under 30 tonnes of fertilizers, in the villages surrounding Gourcy, the provincial capital of the arid Centre North region. Recent distributions covered much of the country’s eastern and central zones. In all for the current planting season, about 600 tonnes of improved seed varieties and 432 tonnes of fertilizers have been made available to impoverished farmers in Burkina. (...) In addition to seeds being provided of the main staple grains, quality vegetable seeds are also being distributed to be planted in the dry season, September-October, to take advantage of planting areas that with irrigation can still produce. (...) FAO is also training local producers in quality seed multiplication, to continuously augment the amount and quality of seed available, as well as to raise crop yields. (...)
Initiative on soaring food prices now covers 54 countries
Vulnerable populations are the main target
With six countries already
benefiting for a total amount of nearly US$ 2.8 million (
Young people meet with G8 Leaders
Recommendations on pressing global issues presented
ECLAC creates network to disseminate successful experiences for achieving millenium development goals
The network website contains information on projects in 17 Latin American countries to combat poverty, hunger, gender inequality.
30 June - With the aim of encouraging
information exchange on programmes that contribute to achieving the Millennium
Development Goals (MDG), the Economic Commission for
Each file provides information
related to the initiative: its objectives, indicators, success factors,
activities, obstacles in its implementation and costs. (...) In order to
present the most significant initiatives, seminars will be held in South
America, Central America and the
Develops Project to Improve Trade Relations Between
Project will analyze the effects of transportation infrastructure and logistic business services between countries of both regions.
27 June - The Economic
Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the government of
The Korean government will
provide funds to finance the initiative. The project includes an analysis of
the physical, economic and operational conditions of transportation corridors
in order to determine the influence of infrastructure and logistics costs on
Latin American development. Complementary investment in infrastructure and
possible measures to improve the business environment will also be studied.
ECLAC data shows that economic and political ties between
to provide additional US$4.2 million to
loan will bring total IFAD funding to US$13.5 million for
Rome, 26 June - A US$4.2 million supplementary loan to
Cape Verde from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will
assist poor rural people to further integrate into the country’s fast-growing
economy. The agreement was signed today in
The new IFAD financing will allow the existing Rural Poverty Alleviation Programme - costing a total of US$36.1 million - to be expanded to cover all rural areas of the West African islands. It will make use of legal, institutional and financial mechanisms that have already proved effective in reducing rural poverty during the first two stages of the programme. Food security and nutrition will be improved, incomes and market access will be improved and productivity in agriculture, fisheries and livestock will be increased. About 60,000 poor rural people, particularly women, will benefit. “This model programme is becoming a major national policy instrument to fight poverty in rural areas” said Mohamed Béavogui, Director, West and Central Africa Division, IFAD. (…)
“We are trying to help the most vulnerable people here in the area to cope with food shortages in the coming months,” said Christophe Driesse, an ICRC economic security expert who is overseeing the distribution. “Poor security conditions have prevented local people from tilling their fields and the Red Cross is currently the only organization addressing this situation.”
Altogether the Red Cross will
provide 120 tonnes of maize, 40 tonnes of beans, two tonnes of salt and
The ICRC has started an emergency distribution of water for 1000 people and their 50,000 sheep in the southern district of Massafar Yatta, which is one of the worst-affected areas. (…) Many have had to reduce the size of their herds since they could not find enough food and water for them. Animal health problems and a fourfold increase in fodder prices have made life even more difficult. (…)
The ICRC will continue distributing water until other organizations take over. In the longer term, it plans to help the herders to cope with veterinary problems and provide assistance to better overcome the deteriorating situation.
by Marie Louise
Belanger, regional communications officer for
3 July - Nicaraguan communities devastated by 2007’s Hurricane Felix have taken another step towards recovery, thanks to a food security and water and sanitation project set up by the Nicaraguan Red Cross.
The Red Cross Red Crescent provided seeds and technical guidance on how best to plant and nurture crops, improve production levels of plants such as tomatoes and chiltoma, and work the land efficiently. The project benefited a total of 1,910 families in 14 communities in the municipalities of Puerto Cabezas and Waspam, and was supported by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) and a number of other partners. (…)
The Red Cross Red Crescent food security project was supported by local authorities and government institutions, the World Food Programme, SINAPRED and the Catholic Church.
reached as first
The new agreement with the DPRK Government will allow WFP to send nearly 50 more international aid workers to the country, who will oversee and monitor the delivery of food to make sure it reaches hungry people most in need. It allows the organization to expand into 128 counties, up from just 50, including the remote and traditionally food-insecure Northeast and some counties never before accessible to humanitarian agencies. In the two northwestern provinces of Chagang and North Pyongan, US NGOs will distribute up to 100,000 metric tons of the US-contributed food aid to schools and hospitals in rural areas hardest hit by food shortages. (…) http://www.wfp.org/english/?ModuleID=137&Key=2877
Grant brings foundation support to the public-private partnership that will provide housing for the county’s most vulnerable.
27 June - United Way of King
County today announced the receipt of a $1 million grant from the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation to support its Campaign to End Chronic Homelessness in
To read the full press
release, visit the
and GE Foundation to provide additional $1.2 million to address
Money and products to support work of International Medical Corps
Total GE assistance in the region surpasses $5 million
Fairfield, CT, 24 June - Today the GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of General Electric Company, has awarded International Medical Corps (IMC) $700,000 in an emergency grant directed toward humanitarian efforts for the impacted population in the Darfur region of Sudan. In addition, the GE Corporation will be donating nearly $500,000 in health care equipment, training and supplies to support the organization’s efforts in the region. (…)
The grant will allow International Medical Corps to continue its existing activities in response to the escalating humanitarian crisis in the region, including assisting the displaced population in the areas of health and nutrition, emergency supplies and other critical needs. Health care equipment included in the donation to International Medical Corps includes mobile x-rays, ultrasounds, baby warmers, patient monitors, electrocardiogram (ECG) and related supplies and training. (…)
July 16 – HR 808, the proposed legislation to create a U.S. Department of Peace
and Nonviolence, now has bipartisan support in the
U.S. House of Representatives. Republican Congressman Wayne Gilchrest of
If created, the Department will be headed by a Cabinet-level Secretary of Peace appointed by the President (with the advice and consent of the Senate), and will focus on expanding the nation’s capacity to resolve conflict nonviolently, prevent violence by addressing its root causes, and promote justice and democratic principles to expand human rights. (…)
The Peace Alliance is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization leading a growing grassroots movement active in all 50 states to pass legislation to create a U.S. Department of Peace. The bill, HR 808, is currently co-sponsored by 70 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including the original sponsor.
Contact: Patty Kuderer, National Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
International builds mine awareness in
8 July - In a corporate
goodwill initiative, DynCorp International is helping a non-profit organization
teach Afghan children to avoid mines and unexploded ordnance. DynCorp
International is working with the Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan
Rehabilitation (OMAR) to reduce casualties from mines - a dangerous legacy of
years of conflict in
latest phase of MAG’s work at the barrier minefield
surrounding the southern town of
8 July -
The town of
2 July - Since beginning the clearance of landmine-contaminated land in the Malai district of Banteay Meanchey province in July 2006, MAG has located and destroyed 507 anti-personnel mines, two anti-tank mines and 30 other items of unexploded ordnance (UXO).
AIDS Conference 2008 –
The world's attention is
Held every 2 years, the conference provides many opportunities for the presentation of important new scientific research and productive, structured dialogue on the major challenges facing the global response to HIV and AIDS. Conference organisers are developing a wide variety of session to meet the needs of various participants, and to support collective efforts to expand delivery of HIV prevention and treatment to communities worldwide. The transfer of knowledge and the sharing of best practices will be central to many of these sessions. In addition to the conference sessions, there are a number of activities, including satellite meetings and exhibitions, Global Village, a cultural programme, that are integral too delegates' experiences at the conference. (…)
responds to the cyclone in
Calls for immediate and unobstructed escalation of assistance
9 July - Cyclone Nargis hit
MSF is now working in the areas of the Delta that need the most assistance. Teams are running mobile and fixed clinics, trying to reach an additional 350,000 people. Thousands of cyclone survivors in the worst-affected areas continue to struggle with day-to-day survival, and there is a significant shortage of aid and assistance in many areas. MSF medical teams are treating patients for diarrhea, respiratory tract infections, malaria, dengue fever, and malnutrition. (...) MSF is also integrating a mental health and psycho-social program into its emergency response. (...)
of Chief Ministers of Sindh and Balochistan,
following technical consultation on polio eradication in
1 July - A targeted supplementary immunization activity targeting 17.8 million children is being held in 67 selected districts of the country from 1-3 July. Staff have been moved from non-participating districts to campaign districts to ensure the intensified supervision required for a high quality vaccination activity.
Spurred by the increase of
polio cases in
the campaign was launched in
30 June - From large-scale
community development projects to polio eradication, Indian Rotarians are
improving people’s lives on a broad front through their support for The Rotary
Foundation. In the past three years,
An aggressive campaign against
type 1 poliovirus has led to historic low levels of type 1 polio in
Project HOPE receives donation for Basrah children’s hospital from Triple Canopy, Inc.
Children’s Hospital represents the first new hospital constructed in Iraq since
the 1980s and will provide Basrah and the southern
governorates with high-impact children’s health services with an oncology focus
including cancer prevention, early diagnosis and cures using standard therapies
otherwise unavailable in the country. Childhood cancers are 8 to 10 times more
The World Health Organization
(WHO) welcomes the agreement announced today in
· to greatly increase progress on maternal, newborn and child health;
· to reaffirm, sustain and extend previous commitments on HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, as well as on polio and neglected tropical diseases; and
· to strengthen health systems, including social health protection and building an adequate health workforce with a voluntary code of practice regarding ethical recruitment of health workers.
EU to limit energy use of electronics on stand-by
8 July - A range of electric devices in the EU will in future be required to use significantly less energy when idle or in stand-by mode. The rules are expected to be endorsed by Parliament later this year and would take effect as of 2010.
Computers, televisions, printers and similar devices should, by 2010, consume no more than one or two watts when on stand-by. From 2013, that level should then be lowered even further to 0.5 or maximum one watt. The rules, proposed by the Commission in its Regulation to reduce the energy consumption of electrical appliances used in homes and offices, were approved yesterday (7 July) during a vote in a special regulatory committee composed of member-state representatives. The committee was formed as part of the implementation of the EU's 2005 eco-design of energy-using products (EuP) directive.
The electricity savings
produced by the lower watt levels would be equivalent to the yearly electricity
Clean energy investments charge forward despite financial market turmoil
end of cheap oil, renewables and energy efficiency attracts
fast-growing interest. New investment surpasses $148 billion in
Climate change worries,
growing support from world governments, rising oil prices and ongoing energy
security concerns combined to fuel another record-setting year of investment in
the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries in 2007, according to an
analysis issued Tuesday July 1 by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). “The
clean energy industry is maturing and its backers remain bullish. These
findings should empower governments - both North and South - to reach a deep
and meaningful new agreement by the crucial climate convention meeting in
Copenhagen in late
Over $148 billion in new
funding entered the sustainable energy sector globally last year, up 60% from
2006, even as a credit crunch began to roil financial markets, according to the
report, “Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment
EWEA welcomes European Parliament support of full ownership unbundling for EU electricity grids
19 June - The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) welcomes yesterday’s European Parliament vote in favour of full ownership unbundling of vertically-integrated power companies, and its rejection of the Independent Systems Operator and Independent Transmissions Operator options. The votes demonstrate the Parliament’s support for a properly liberalised energy market and a level playing field for renewables.
“Allowing power generation
companies to own the transmission grid makes no more sense than allowing an
airline company to own the sky,” commented Christian Kjaer,
EWEA Chief Executive. “The European Parliament has shown its commitment to fair
access to the electricity grids, which is essential if the EU is ever to attain
effective competition in the power market while meeting its objective of 20%
renewable energy by
RES - the School for Renewable Energy Science
RES is headquartered in
RES offers an intensive
one-year MSc Programme in Renewable Energy Science. The Programme is offered in
cooperation with The University of Iceland and The University of Akureyri, as well as in partnership
with a number of leading technical universities in
5th Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations includes celebrities, special events, and opening ceremony on International Youth Day
5th anniversary Youth Assembly
at the United Nations to host 800 national and international youth leaders in
The ceremonies and launch will kick off a three-day conference including a select group of youth leaders from more than 50 countries to discuss successful, youth led development approaches to the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals, the corner stone of the United Nation's better world effort.
This year's theme for the YA, "STEP UP: Taking Plans into Action," will train the 18-26 year old delegates to develop successful MDG campaigns, NGOs, or otherwise participate in projects that will benefit the Millennium Development Goals. (…) This year's lead sponsor is the Permanent Mission of Hungary to the United Nations. Fourteen other missions to the United Nations are also endorsing or sponsoring the program as well as international NGOs affiliated with the United Nations.
Friendship Ambassadors Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization, affiliated with the United Nations Department of Public Information www.faf.org
Spotlight on forest monitoring
Remote sensing and field inventories to monitor forests worldwide
Earlier this year, countries and FAO reconfirmed their commitment to jointly prepare the next Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA), a comprehensive data collection on the state of the world’s forests which is scheduled for release in 2010.
As part of the FRA 2010, FAO, its member countries and partner organizations will undertake a global remote sensing survey of forests. The survey will substantially improve knowledge on land use change including deforestation, reforestation and natural expansion of forests. The assessment will cover the whole land surface of the Earth with about 9000 samples. (…)
Important research expedition flies Explorers Club flag
11 July - Launched by Green
Cross France on June 4th, 2008 the Pax Arctica expedition has been approved as a flag research
expedition under the Explorers Club of New York. On a mission to engage in
scientific and cross cutting research on environmental issues affecting the
The Explorers Club flag has been flown in countless research expeditions around the globe in extraordinary places such as deep seawater and moon exploration. Today, the flag represents a history of accomplishments and courage, and an international community of explorers and field scientists worldwide.
Led by Luc Hardy, the Pax Arctica expedition will serve to uncover the true environmental situation of the Arctic habitat and the extent of the impact of climate change on this fragile environment. (...)
Three UNEP projects win UN-wide awards
UNEP partner Green.tv to host new WWF Channel
8 July - WWF has launched its own dedicated television channel to bring high quality campaign and conservation videos to a worldwide audience. The new WWF channel is hosted by the online environment channel green.tv, a partner project of the United Nations Environment Programme. It can be accessed at http://www.green.tv/WWF and through the WWF website www.panda.org Ade Thomas, Founder of green.tv, said: “green.tv is extremely proud to be working with WWF, the world’s leading conservation organisation, to show WWF’s great films on both our broadband TV channel and via our video podcasts. We hope to bring a large international audience to WWF’s content.” WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. The organisation has a long track record of using film and video to raise awareness of environmental challenges and using the web to inspire audiences and create change. (...)
UN-HABITAT partners with private firms for solid waste collection
Continental plan to protect the monarch’s migratory journey
focuses on protecting habitat in overwintering sites
27 June -
Although the monarch butterfly
(Danaus plexippus) is not
in danger of extinction, its unique multigenerational migration spanning the
continent is considered an endangered biological phenomenon due to threats to
the monarch’s habitats throughout the flyway. Because monarchs depend upon a
wide range of habitats in
The North American Monarch Conservation Plan, announced this week by the environment ministers of the three countries, outlines concerted actions to be taken in each country. (…)
According to Earth Day Network’s
Green Schools program, close to 60 million students spend up to 40 hours a week
in facilities that are often unhealthy and a hindrance to their ability to
learn. Green schools reduce sick days, significantly
improve the health of students with asthma and other respiratory illnesses, and
increase student morale and confidence. (...) Earth Day Network works to green
schools across the country and has an agreement with the William J. Clinton
foundation to green all
Building an interfaith community
At a time when the monolithic society created on the old pattern “one nation, one culture and one religion” is rapidly becoming a relic of the past, the one-month programme “Building an Interfaith Community” prepares the future generation of leaders in churches, other faith communities and society at large for the challenges of living peacefully in a world of religious plurality. (...) http://www.oikoumene.org/en/news/upcoming-events/ev/se/article/1722/building-an-interfaith-co.html?tx_ttnews%5Bcat%5D=78&cHash=eea42103dd
A multimedia platform for World Youth Days 2008: www.wydcrossmedia.org
Sydney, 30 June (wydcrossmedia) - “All for one, and one for All” is the slogan that has already brought together Afriradio (Comboniani), Centro televisivo Vaticano, Donboscoland (Youth Movement Salesiano Triveneto), H2onews, Korazym,Lamorfalab, Lemiedomande (question and answer site about religion), MISNA, Movimento dei Focolari, One o five live, Pj Online (St. Paul Pastoral Vocation), Radio Vaticana, Telepace and ZENIT in a single resource sharing project to offer, through the internet, a united communication service about Sidney’s World Youth Day (15 July 2008) available on www.wydcrossmedia.org
13 June (SIR) - “A sort of road map with concrete proposals to be submitted to priests, bishops and all the other brothers and sisters”: Card. Jean-Louis Tauran spoke those words during the annual plenary assembly of the Papal Council for interreligious dialogue, presided over by him, which lasted until 9th June. During the assembly, they also talked about the new guidelines for interreligious dialogue. With respect to the previous ones issued at the beginning of the nineties, said the Cardinal to Terrasanta.net, these ones (which are not ready, yet) “should be more concrete, and we intend to adapt them to any situations”. (...) There are no first class and second class religions. Interreligious dialogue - he added - is neither a sociologic analysis, nor a political strategy. It is a religious activity, and the language of religion is prayer”. Among the words heard at the assembly, there was also “reciprocity”. Tauran said: “What is good for me is also good for the neighbour. (...)
Interfaith study with the Dalai Lama
Madison, Wisconsin, USA, 20-24 July - His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibetan Buddhism, will visit Madison, Wisconsin July 20-24 to offer teachings from the Tibetan tradition. The four days of teaching by His Holiness are about Shantideva’s Guide to a Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (Cho-jug) and Kamalashila’s Middle Stages of Meditation (Gomrim Barpa). These two texts, important in Buddhist practice, will be made available in multiple languages free to those in attendance.
The Dalai Lama’s visit is
being coordinated by representatives from the North American Tibetan
Association and The Deer Park Buddhist Center in
In conjunction, an interfaith
group is being organized to participate in this event. Up to 19 people from different
traditions will stay together at Holy Wisdom Benedictine Monastery in
America and the
13 July - Reducing stark inequalities in higher education, along with improving access and quality emerged as clear priorities at the Regional Conference on Higher Education of Latin America and the Caribbean (Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, 4- 6 June). This massive stocktaking exercise involved 3,500 members of the regional academic community, who concluded in the conference declaration, that “higher education is a social public good and a universal human right”.
The first Higher
Education Map in
Youth Event in
“Youth - actors and intermediaries in the intercultural dialogue”
Marseille, 9 July -
Intercultural dialogue is the main theme of the European youth event organised by
the French EU presidency in Marseille from 6 to 9 July 2008. The event,
entitled “Youth - actors and intermediaries in the intercultural dialogue” will
have a Euro-Mediterranean character: Around 120 young people from some 50
countries in Europe, North Africa and the
dialogue for the greater
7 July - Academics, religious
leaders, policy-makers and NGO representatives came together at a conference in
What should our schools be like in the 21st Century?
3 July - In its Communication “Improving Competences for the 21st Century: An Agenda for European Cooperation on Schools”, presented on 3 July, the Commission is proposing an agenda for cooperation among the Member States in three main areas, to make school systems more relevant to the knowledge-based Europe of the future.
First, there needs to be a focus on giving all pupils the competences they need for life in our rapidly changing knowledge society. This includes: increasing levels of reading literacy and numeracy; reinforcing learning-to-learn skills; and modernising curricula, learning materials, teacher training, and assessment accordingly. Second, there needs to be a commitment to provide high quality learning for every student. This involves generalising pre-school education; improving equity in school systems; reducing early school leaving; and improving support within mainstream schooling for students with special needs. Third, we need to strive to improve the quality of teachers and school staff. This will require more and higher quality teacher education; more effective teacher recruitment; and help for school leaders to focus on improving learning.
Migrant children and education: challenges and opportunities for EU education system
3 July - With its Green Paper “Migration & Mobility: challenges and opportunities for EU education systems”, adopted on 3 July 2008, the Commission wants to open the debate on how education policies may better address the challenges posed by immigration and internal EU mobility flows. It raises issues such as how to prevent the creation of segregated school settings, so as to improve equity in education; how to accommodate the increased diversity of mother tongues and cultural perspectives and build intercultural skills in the EU; and how to adapt teaching skills and build bridges with migrant families and communities. The Green Paper forms part of the Renewed Social Agenda, the Commission’s package of measures, adopted on 2 July 2008, to reinforce Access, Opportunities and Solidarity among all EU citizens. (...)
New SIGNIS media (2/2008): media, conflict and reconciliation
Conflict, and violent conflict
is very much part of our human reality. Heroic efforts to reconcile protagonist
of violent conflict, combating stereotypes and hate have also been part of our
history. The role of the media in conflict and reconciliation came to the fore
with the infamous Radio Mille Collines incitement to
Gives Back” preschools open in
More than 3,000 children mark their first day of school
Westport, Conn., USA, 1 July - As July 4th festivities and summer vacations begin in the United States, thousands of children, ages 3 to 5, are starting preschool in five districts of the southern province of Gaza in Mozambique, thanks to American Idol viewers. The global humanitarian organization Save the Children announced today that 96 preschools in 42 communities, funded through a grant from the Charity Projects Entertainment Fund (CPEF) from donations raised through Idol Gives Back 2007, opened in May and June. Many of the children attending the preschools have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. (…) Yet, only 4 percent of young Mozambican children go to preschool, according to the Mozambique Ministry of Women and Social Action.
Donations raised through Idol Gives Back are helping to fund teacher training; the purchase of school materials like floor mats, blackboards and pencils; and construction materials. Local community members in each village, including several skilled carpenters, volunteered their time to build classrooms. Other community members are donating their time to teach at the schools. (...) http://www.savethechildren.org/newsroom/2008/pr-preschool-mozambique.html?print=t
EDC to share open source math curricula on Curriki
Collaboration offers teachers new ways to use educational tools
Starting today, educators will be able to use EDC’s online mathematics course Building Algebraic Thinking in the Middle Grades on the Curriki site (www.curriki.org). The course, specifically designed to build the expertise of teachers at the middle level, focuses on the algebraic concepts of patterns and functions. It was designed and developed by mathematics and curriculum specialists at EDC and funded by the National Science Foundation as part of a research initiative to explore the comparative benefits of online professional development. (…)
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Good News Agency is distributed free of charge through Internet to over 4,000 editorial offices of the daily newspapers and periodical magazines and of the radio and television stations with an e-mail address in 49 countries: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, USA. It is also distributed free of charge to over 2,800 NGOs around the world and it is available in its web site: http://www.goodnewsagency.org
It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, a registered non-profit educational organization chartered in Italy in 1979 and associated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations.
The Association operates for the development of consciousness and promotes a culture of peace in the ‘global village’ perspective based on unity in diversity and on sharing.
Via Antagora 10, 00124 Rome, Italy. E-mail: email@example.com
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