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Good News Agency

In spite of everything, a culture of peace is emerging in all fields of human endeavour

monthly, year 18th, no. 269 – 15th June 2018


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. It is distributed free of charge through Internet to media and editorial journalists, NGOs, service associations and high schools and colleges around the world.

It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, an educational charity associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information It is a supporter of the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace. In the final report of the Decade for a Culture of Peace project (2001-2010) provided to the UN Secretary-General for presentation to the UN General Assembly, Good News Agency is included among the three NGOs that have been playing an active role in the field of Information through Internet.* 



International legislationHuman rightsEconomy and developmentSolidarity

Peace and securityHealthEnergy and SafetyEnvironment and wildlife

Religion and spiritualityCulture and education


International legislation


Recent Changes for Treaties

5 June 2018 - Argentina acceded to the Convention on Cybercrime (ETS No. 185).


Convention on Cybercrime - The Convention is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks, dealing particularly with infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security. It also contains a series of powers and procedures such as the search of computer networks and interception. Its main objective, set out in the preamble, is to pursue a common criminal policy aimed at the protection of society against cybercrime, especially by adopting appropriate legislation and fostering international co-operation.



New political agreement for Libya a ‘welcome step’ says UN chief

29 May 2018 - United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed a new Political Declaration for Libya adopted by leading politicians and military leaders on Tuesday, pledging to “work constructively” with the world body to hold fresh elections this year. The Declaration, signed in Paris, includes Libyan Prime Minister Faiez Serraj, Speaker of the House of Representatives Agila Essa Saleh Gwaider, the President of the High State Council Khalid al-Meshri, and General Khalifa Haftar of the Libyan National Army.



Government of India Ministry of a new and renewable energy -Cabinet approves MoU signed between India and France in the field of Renewable Energy

28 May 2018 - The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and France in the field of Renewable Energy on 10th March, 2018 in New Delhi. Both sides aim to identify research/ demonstration/ pilot project between National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), India and Commissariat a I'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA), France in the mutually identified areas. Based on mutual agreement, both parties would work for implementation & deployment of pilot project in ISA member countries. Collaboration may occur through several means, including joint research projects, joint R&D, joint workshops, Research and Technology exchange including exchange of domain experts. The MoU also aims for exchange of expertise and networking of information. The MoU will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries.



World Food Programme applauds UN Security Council for tackling link between conflict and hunger

24 may 2018, New York - The Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) today hailed the UN Security Council for its leadership in adopting a resolution that for the first time paves the way to address conflict-induced hunger around the world. Around the world, 60% of the 815 million chronically hungry people live in a conflict zone; that’s 489 million people suffering man-made, preventable hunger. Children pay an especially horrible price – an estimated 122 million of the 155 million stunted children in the world live in countries affected by conflict. Over the past two years, the number of people with acute food insecurity has risen 55%, from 80 million to 124 million, according to the latest Global Food Crises Report. The resolution, officially #2417 (2018), emphasizes “deep concern that ongoing armed conflicts and violence have devastating humanitarian consequences, often hindering an effective humanitarian response, and are therefore a major cause of the current risk of famine.” The resolution appeals to all parties to armed conflict to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, including taking care to spare materials needed for producing and distributing food, such as farms, markets, mills and water systems. It strongly condemns starving civilians as a method of warfare, which is prohibited by international humanitarian law and which “may constitute a war crime.” Championed by a core group consisting of Côte d’Ivoire, Kuwait, the Netherlands and Sweden, the resolution was supported unanimously by the SC’s 15 members.



A high-level event marking the 15th anniversary of the UN Convention Against Corruption.

23 May 2018 – Adopted in 2003, the Convention Against Corruption is the only legally-binding universal instrument, drawn up to fight corruption in all its forms.


The Convention's far-reaching approach and the mandatory character of many of its provisions make it a unique tool for developing a comprehensive response to a global problem. The vast majority of United Nations Member States are parties to the Convention. The text of the United Nations Convention against Corruption was negotiated during seven sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Negotiation of the Convention against Corruption, held between 21 January 2002 and 1 October 2003.



UN court fully assumes remaining functions of tribunals for Rwanda and former Yugoslavia, officials tell Security Council

The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism) was established by the Security Council Resolution in 2010 to complete the remaining work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia after the completion of their respective mandates, in December 2015 and December 2017, respectively. The functions taken over by the Residual Mechanism include tracking and prosecution of remaining fugitives, retrials, new trials for contempt or false testimony, protection of victims and witnesses, and preservation and management of archives – tasks mandated to the two criminal tribunals. Highlighting milestones, Judge Theodor Meron, the President of the Residual Mechanism emphasized the adoption, in April, of the revision to the Code of Professional Conduct for the Judges of the Mechanism, by which the Judges may be held accountable for upholding the principles set forth therein.Serge Brammertz, the Prosecutor of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, spoke of the work by the Residual Mechanism in locating the remaining eight fugitives indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and also informed the Security Council about the search for missing persons in the former Yugoslavia and that many stakeholders took the initiative to raise this issue with his office and seek its assistance.




Human rights


Gender Equality Advisory Council to G7 calls for bold actions and investments to advance women's empowerment

8 June 2018 - Established by the Government of Canada, the Gender Equality Advisory Council advises the G7 Presidency and recommends specific actions to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment across all areas of the G7’s work. Under Canada’s Presidency, advancing gender equality is one of the five priority themes of the G7. 

The report calls for concrete commitments from G7 countries, matched with investments, targets and accountability mechanisms, to ensure that:

- Girls and women are safe, healthy, educated, heard and visible;

- Girls and women are equally represented in decision-making bodies and negotiation tables, and are free from harassment and violence;

- Economies are inclusive, innovative and more equitable, and women’s economic empowerment is fully backed as a driver of inclusive and sustainable economic growth;

- Peace and everyday security of women is at the core of building just, peaceful and sustainable societies; and

- Women’s needs, realities and agency are at the core of building a healthy and sustainable planet.



A healthy baby boy called Miracle born on the Aquarius

27May 2018) Saturday May 26, a healthy baby boy was born on board MV Aquarius, a search and rescue ship run in partnership between the international medical humanitarian aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and SOS MEDITERRANEE. Baby Miracle was born in international waters at 3.45pm, with his mother rescued just days before on Thursday May 24 by an Italian navy vessel and later transferred to the Aquarius. The new mother shared with MSF that she spent one year in Libya where she says she was held captive, beaten, given very little food and extorted for money for release. She says she escaped with her partner and hundreds of others earlier this year and had since been hiding in a friend’s house in Libya, before undertaking the dangerous sea crossing on Thursday. MSF nurse Aoife Ni Mhurchu said, “The situation in Libya is extremely dangerous for refugees and migrants, with very little access to medical care. If she had gone into labour just 48 hours beforehand she would have given birth hiding on a beach in Libya, without any medical assistance.” More than ever today’s events and this mother’s story show just how much MSF’s presence is needed in the Mediterranean and NGO’s should not be obstructed or criminalized for performing lifesaving search and rescue operations.



Global Investor Alliance for human rights launches today

New coalition representing $2 trillion will increase investor capacity to address human rights and business risks through targeted action, education and multi-stakeholder engagement.

24 May 2018, New York, NY – At an event held at Bloomberg, LP, the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, a new initiative designed to empower collective investor action on business and human rights, was launched this morning. Convened by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), the Alliance will coordinate investor action on priority human rights and business issues -- engaging corporations, state actors, and international organizations to ensure greater corporate respect for human rights. A cross section of 101 institutional investors representing $2 trillion in assets under management have already joined the Alliance, including public and union pension funds, faith-based investors, asset managers and others. Membership in the Alliance is expected to grow as more investors engage companies to drive the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into the core of corporate governance structures.



Ministry of Justice creates national human rights prize

24 May 2018 - Luanda - A national award to distinguish people and institutions that are committed to the observance of human rights in Angola, will be created shortly, by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, said the incumbent Minister, Francisco Queiroz. Speaking at the XIII Consultative Council of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, opened this Thursday in Luanda, the Cabinet official said that the prize will have an annual periodicity. "The idea behind of this prize aims to respond to the human rights issue, which is to mobilize society for respect for human rights, with Angolans themselves monitoring their compliance, given the emerging of many similar institutions "He said. According to the minister, a proper vision of the internal situation of human rights must be developed, based on the history of the pre-independence to date, where human rights have experienced a remarkable increase. To that end, he directed the commissioning of all provincial human rights commissions to carry out the task of monitoring and denouncing human rights violations.



Photo Essay: "I want to live in peace"

18 May 2018 - Rohingya women in Bangladeshi refugee camps share stories of loss and hopes of recovery. Today, a Multi-Purpose Women’s Centre inside the camp, supported by UN Women, provides support for the most vulnerable and marginalized women and girls, in particular, women from female-headed households, elderly women and adolescent girls. Every day, about 70 women and girls visit the Centre for an array of services, including information and referral services for psychosocial support, and education on nutrition, health and sanitation. The Centre also works to raise awareness of intimate partner violence, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, child marriage and trafficking.



Tunisia: Bill on racism must encompass all forms of discrimination

17 May 2018 — Tunis/Tunisia The draft organic law to combat racial discrimination must encompass different forms of discrimination, president of the Tunisian Association for the Support of Minorities (ATSM) Yamina Thabeut said on Thursday. At a hearing by the Parliamentary Committee on Rights and Freedoms on the draft law, Yamina Thabeut emphasised the need to include other forms of discrimination based on religion and gender. It also considered it essential to review the terms "acceptance of the other" and "tolerance" because they refer to a certain connotation of superiority of one race over another. With regard to article 11, which provides for the establishment of the national commission against racial discrimination, Thabeut stressed that this structure must represent civil society associations. For the legal affairs officer at the ATSM, Mohamed Amine Jlassi, this text must include an article that incriminates the apology for crimes against humanity.  The draft organic law against racial discrimination contains eleven articles divided into four chapters: general provisions, prevention and protection, sanctions and the national committee against racial discrimination. On the National Day against Racial Discrimination, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed had on December 26, 2016, called on the House of People's Representatives (HPR) to "urgently" consider a draft law penalising racism. This call came after a rally by African students denouncing several cases of assaults based on the colour of the skin.




Economy and development


NY - India-UN fund gets 22 development projects off the ground in first year

8 June 2018- An India-United Nations fund aimed at supporting sustainable development for low-income nations marked its first anniversary on Friday, with 22 projects having already been approved in 25 partner countries.  Managed by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, the Fund seeks to assist projects for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in partner countries.  South-South cooperation in the UN context refers to the exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge between developing countries. India has committed $100 million to the Fund over the next decade. The projects approved by the Fund so far include a climate early-warning system being implemented in seven Pacific island countries, and governance projects in eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, and Uruguay. But the UN chief stressed, however, that South-South cooperation should not be seen as an instrument to replace North-South cooperation, between developed and developing nations.



St. Louis - Monsanto and Iowa State Partner to Improve Water Quality

6 June 2018 - Monsanto Company, along with its subsidiary, The Climate Corporation, today announced a partnership with the Iowa State University (ISU) Department of Agronomy to create an infrastructure project designed to monitor water quality and downstream nitrate loss. The project will provide researchers with valuable information on management practices that help keep nitrogen fertilizer from entering surrounding waterways. Monsanto and The Climate Corporation invested more than $300,000 to fund the initial installation of the infrastructure, which features a system of drainage tiles and water monitoring equipment on 30 acres of ISU research plots. The installation will be owned and operated by the University.

Nitrogen is a nutrient critical for plant growth and development, and the addition of nitrogen fertilizer is a common practice in crop management. Climactic conditions such as heavy rainfall and temperature changes, combined with the natural soil processes can lead to situations where nitrogen is susceptible to loss to nearby waterways. The research conducted within this new infrastructure will produce water samples, flow information and weather data against a backdrop of different farming application practices and nitrogen use in order to better understand which practices can reduce nitrate runoff. The ISU Department of Agronomy is currently in the process of identifying the best site for this project. Under consideration are three ISU-owned farms located between Ames and Huxley, Iowa.



Malawi and IFAD launch new project to reduce extreme poverty among poor rural households

6 June 2018, Rome – A new financial agreement signed today between the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Republic of Malawi, will help more than 437,000 rural households improve their access to financial services nationwide. The agreement for the Financial Access for Rural Markets, Smallholders and Enterprise Programme (FARMSE) was signed in Rome. Malawi faces major challenges including drought, food insecurity and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The poverty rate stands at 50.7% of the population. In Malawi, as in other developing countries, micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are critical to economic growth and development, in particularly by creating jobs, increasing food production, providing income and fostering a diversified, resilient economy. To address sector challenges and exploit its potential, the government of Malawi is partnering with IFAD to implement FARMSE. With a particular focus on women and youth, FARMSE aims to sustainably reduce poverty by working with the poorest households. The programme will improve livelihoods and enhance the resilience of rural households in the programme areas. The programme will support government efforts to reduce poverty in rural areas and strengthen community-based financial organizations, financial cooperatives, microfinance institutions and commercial banks.



Cooperatives can bolster inclusive growth in Africa. FAO and Rabobank renew partnership to help smallholders participate in agribusiness boom

1 June 2018, Utrecht, the NetherlandsAfrica boasts huge potential for social and economic development, with agribusiness poised to play a major role. Without policies and partnerships that enable smallholder farmers - including subsistence farmers and pastoralists - to participate in and benefit from the growth, that opportunity will turn into risk. While poor rural family farmers rarely do not participate in the agri-food value chain, they play a fundamental role in local markets and in mitigating food insecurity in areas where it tends already to be high. FAO has been working on boosting smallholder integration into modern value chains around Africa, notably in several benchmark projects done in partnership with the Rabobank Foundation, an independent organization funded by Rabobank to help small-scale farmers and cooperatives in developing countries become economically independent. Graziano da Silva met with Rabobank's board of directors and, with Berry Martin, Vice President of the board, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding to renew and strengthen a partnership that began in 2013.
Other possible areas of collaboration between FAO and Rabobank include work on reducing post-harvest losses in Africa's grain supply chains, supporting investments in energy-smart foods, cocoa-based sustainable agroforestry in West Africa and expanding Africa's "Great Green Wall".



Farmers in Karnali region to benefit from climate change adaptation project

21 May 2018, Kathmandu - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Ministry of Forests and Environment today signed an agreement that will help vulnerable communities in the Karnali region of Nepal to protect their crops and livelihoods from climate variability and extremes. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – Adaption Fund is contributing US$9.5 million to assist vulnerable people in the Karnali, by diversifying and strengthening the management of livelihoods over a four-year period through supporting income-generation projects and training for farmers.In recent years, Nepal’s food production has been affected by climate-related hazards, including droughts, landslides, floods and hailstorms. The government-owned Nepal Food Security Monitoring System (NeKSAP) has reported recurrent natural calamities in mountain districts in Karnali and Province 7. The region saw bad winter droughts in 2006, 2009 and 2016, with serious consequences for food security. In 2016 alone, nearly 150,000 people in those areas experienced high levels of food insecurity and required humanitarian assistance.



IFAD and the Palestinian Authority collaborate in expanding cultivated land in the West Bank

10 May 2018, Rome – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Palestinian Authority have agreed to further them collaborate in developing agricultural land, promoting more climate resilient farming practices, and increasing productivity and profitability of agriculture in the West Bank. According to the financing agreement signed today IFAD will contribute US$4.56 million to the Resilient Land and Resource Management Project (RELAP). RELAP will receive $1 million in co-funding from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' Fund for International Development (OFID). RELAP will support increased land tenure for smallholders and promote climate-resilient land development activities, using past experiences as a foundation, but also by innovating around less costly land practices that are being tested and tried with farmers. Much of the investment will be devoted to increasing land productivity through soil improvement techniques and setting up rainwater harvesting facilities and efficient irrigation systems. RELAP will also substantially invest in training farming households to enable them to take full advantage of those investments. A microenterprise facility will provide investment grants exclusively to the targeted groups, enabling them to develop a diversity of climate-resilient livelihood activities and market-oriented small enterprises in the farming and off-farm rural sectors. Another key component of the project, which will be implemented together with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), aims to improve public weather forecasting services so that farmers have more accurate and updated information on weather.






WFP and Republic of Korea hand over 100 community assets and boost livelihoods in Chamwino

30 May 2018, Dodoma - The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today held a ceremony to mark the completion and handover of the Saemaul Zero Hunger Communities programme to the Government of Tanzania in central Dodoma Region. Under the programme, participants from three villages were able to improve their livelihoods through animal husbandry and beekeeping groups while over 100 community assets were constructed or restored. Assets included warehouses, solar-powered irrigation systems, earth dams and community centres. These projects help boost the communities’ resilience to shocks such as droughts and floods and provide economic opportunities for participants throughout the year. The US$5 million Saemaul programme is based on a similar programme in the Republic of Korea in the 1970s, which contributed to poverty reduction in rural areas by using development projects that were tailored by each community based on their needs. Saemaul means “new village” in Korean. Drawing on 30 years of experience on public works programmes in Tanzania and elsewhere, WFP assisted with planning, technical support, management of the project and the construction of community assets. Other activities under the Saemaul programme included sesame farming and processing as well as the construction of borehole wells, school classrooms and cattle troughs.



Cash assistance reduces poverty among refugees, new study finds

29 May 2018, Ankara - Extreme poverty among refugees receiving EU- funded cash assistance in Turkey has fallen by half in a little over a year, according to a new report by the World Food Programme (WFP), the Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) and the World Bank. Separate monitoring data shows that cash assistance received through the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) programme helped families reduce the amount of debt they are carrying by half. The number of participating refugee families living in extreme poverty dropped from 20.8 to 11.7% between surveys carried out in the spring and autumn of 2017. Funded by the European Union and delivered via a special debit card, the ESSN programme supports Turkey’s most vulnerable refugee families. It is implemented jointly by WFP, TRC and the Turkish Government. The lifeline of cash assistance that it provides covers families’ basic needs such as food, rent, medicine and clothes. Data also indicates that families are eating better, with more fresh vegetables, meat and dairy products.

With almost 4 million refugees within its borders, Turkey is hosting the largest refugee population in the world. Most have been driven from their homes in Syria by conflict there. The most vulnerable among them depend entirely on the support of the ESSN programme.



WFP welcomes Kuwait Red Crescent Society contribution for operations in Bangladesh

21 May 2018, Kuwait City - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a US$1 million contribution from the Kuwait Red Crescent Society that will be used to provide food assistance to Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh. Thanks to the contribution, WFP will be able to carry out food distributions for some 14,000 people for three months. In addition, 8,500 of the most vulnerable people – such as children under five and pregnant and nursing mothers – will receive six months of nutrition assistance. This is the second contribution from the Kuwait Red Crescent Society received by WFP for Rohingya refugees in less than a year and brings the total amount provided to US$1.5 million. Earlier this year, a delegation from the Kuwait Red Crescent Society visited WFP projects in the Cox’s Bazar area and witnessed the dire conditions in the camps. Each month, WFP reaches over 850,000 people with food assistance in the Cox’s Bazar area.



WFP’S ShareTheMeal App and Goodwill Ambassador Hend Sabry launch "Share Your Iftar” Campaign

16 May 2018, Cairo - The World Food Programme and Tunisian actress Hend Sabry today launched an innovative digital fundraising campaign for Ramadan, encouraging smartphone users around the world to donate at the tap of a button in support of vulnerable victims of conflict in the Middle East during the Muslim Holy Month. Through ShareTheMeal, WFP’s fundraising app, smartphone users around the world can help families in need in Syria and Yemen by sharing their iftar, the meal served at sunset in Ramadan to break the daylong fast, and donating to help those in need.During Ramadan, millions of families in Yemen and Syria do not know where their next meal is coming from. Conflict in the Middle East has forced millions of people to abandon their land, homes and jobs — putting them at risk of hunger or famine.By downloading the app and joining The Table, ShareTheMeal’s new monthly giving feature, donors can extend their charity beyond the Holy Month, supporting hungry families throughout the year. As little as US$15 covers the basic food needs of a hungry child for an entire month, bringing vital support to some of the most vulnerable families in the world. The Table feature on the ShareTheMeal app enables monthly givers to follow their donation and see exactly how it is helping families in need.



KSRelief supports WFP to provide vital food assistance in Yemen and Bangladesh

10 May 2018 -  The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a US$18.6 million contribution from the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) which will be used to provide urgent food assistance in Yemen and to support Rohingya refugees and host communities in the Cox’s Bazar area in Bangladesh. Within the overall contribution, US$17.6 million will be used to provide monthly food assistance for nearly 500,000 people in Yemen for three months through food rations or vouchers. Yemen is facing one of the worst hunger crises in the world, with nearly 18 million people not knowing where their next meal is coming from. The remaining US$1 million will enable WFP to provide food assistance to some 28,000 vulnerable Rohingya refugees for three months. More than 880,000 Rohingya refugees live in camps in the Cox’s Bazar area – one of the poorest districts of Bangladesh – and continue to need urgent assistance. KSRelief is the institution in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia tasked with coordination of the country’s international relief efforts. Since its inception in 2015, KSRelief has contributed over US$200 million to WFP for food assistance programmes in more than 20 countries.




Peace and security


UN Food Agencies commit to deeper collaboration to achieve Zero Hunger
FAO, IFAD and WFP sign new Memorandum of Understanding in Rome

6 June 2018, Rome – The three United Nations agencies tasked with ending hunger and boosting rural development have committed to strengthening their collaboration to help countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, with a special focus on achieving Goal 2 Zero Hunger. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP) have signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding that comes into force today.

The aim of the new MoU is to strengthen collaboration and coordination at global, regional and country levels in order to provide enhanced support to Member Countries.  It sets out areas for comprehensive and integrated support including working together on national planning processes with governments, as well as developing joint outcomes, programmes and assessments.

It also covers shared data analysis, joint accountability for collective outcomes, continued sharing of corporate services including security, human resources, travel and health services, developing new joint outcome-based financing approaches for projects, and a joint reporting mechanism to measure progress.
The memorandum is in line with the efforts of the UN Secretary General António Guterres for the UN system to transcend the humanitarian-development divide by working towards collective outcomes based on comparative advantages.



The Convention on Cluster Munitions at 10th anniversary!

30 May 2018 – Following adoption in Dublin in 2008, states were invited to sign the convention in Oslo in December, where support for a global ban was palpable. Along with the states that signed, many others indicated that they were willing to soon thereafter. Five years later, 112 states had signed or acceded, of which 83 were States Parties, and today that figure stands at 120, with 103 States Parties. In the 10 years since the convention was adopted, a great deal has been achieved. Of the 34 states that had developed or produced cluster munitions at some point in the past, 18 ceased manufacturing prior to or upon joining the convention. No State Party since joining has transferred the weapon. At least 30 states have destroyed their stocks, destroying almost 1.5 million cluster munitions and over 175 million submunitions in the process. A robust disinvestment campaign is making inroads and has resulted in 10 states enacting legislation explicitly prohibiting investments in cluster munitions. Eight States Parties have completed clearance of all cluster munition remnants on their territory. A stigma against use of the weapon is now well established, proven by the global outcry and condemnations that inevitably result from new use.



First new land ready to help Rohingya refugees move to safer ground before monsoon

8 May 2018 - Humanitarian agencies working on the Rohingya refugee response today marked the completion of the first new area of land being prepared to relocate families most at risk of landslides when the monsoon hits. The work is part of a major joint initiative between IOM, UNHCR and WFP. It has involved using dozens of earthmoving machines and a workforce of over 3,500 labourers, including both Rohingya refugees and members of the host community, to prepare the land so that families can move to safer grounds. An initial 12 acres of newly prepared land is now ready to receive shelters and other key services, including water, hygiene and education facilities, and is capable of providing new homes for nearly 500 families living in some of the most high-risk parts of the refugee site. Almost 700,000 refugees have fled violence in Myanmar since August 2017, bringing to around 900,000 the total number of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar district. The vast majority of the refugees are living under tarpaulins and bamboo shelters on steep sandy slopes in the desperately over-crowded mega camp. Across all the settlements, around 200,000 people have been identified as being at high risk of flood and landslides when Bangladesh’s notorious cyclone season and heavy monsoons hit in the coming weeks. The joint Site Maintenance Engineering Project (SMEP) between the three agencies is a practical and innovative response to support the Government of Bangladesh in emergency preparedness and response. It was specifically designed to save lives, and reduce landslide and flood risks, as well as to ensure access to the settlements is preserved. As well as preparing land for relocation, SMEP agencies are working to improve roads, drainage, and build bridges to help ensure life-saving access can continue when the worst weather hits.






€10m project launches to tackle Europe’s childhood obesity

by European Public Health Alliance

5June 2018 – If the current wave of childhood obesity is not stopped, more than one in three adults will be obese in some European countries by 2025. A collaboration of 31 research, advocacy and governmental organisations from 16 countries will today launch Europe’s largest research project to tackle obesity among children.More than one in ten children aged 5-19 is obese throughout southern Europe, in parts of central-eastern Europe and in the United Kingdom, with more than one in three children overweight in countries such as Greece, Malta and Italy. The STOP project (Science and Technology in childhood Obesity Policy), will examine potential opportunities for interventions to help reduce the high burden of childhood obesity in Europe. This includes improving our understanding of how the environment in which we live shapes children’s behaviours and parents’ choices, starting from before birth. The project will investigate early signs of biological changes due to those behaviours, eventually leading to obesity, in 17 cohorts of children throughout Europe.(…) The project is also designed to make the food industry and other commercial players accountable for what children consume, and stimulate them to produce innovative solutions to make children’s consumption healthier through a competition that will lead to the award of funds for bringing the most promising innovations to the market. Among other policies, the project will assess the scope for European governments to use levers such as taxes, nutrition labels and marketing restrictions on foods and beverages in tackling childhood obesity (…)



Red Cross medical team deployed to Ebola response

5 June 2018 Kinshasa/Nairobi/Geneva- A Red Cross medical team has been deployed to the centre of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The team – made up of doctors, nurses and water and sanitation experts from six Red Cross Societies – will support five health facilities in the city of Mbandaka to prevent the spread of the disease and to support people who have been infected. So far, 25 people have been killed by the virus. The team will advise national health staff on Ebola infection prevention control so that health care workers and other patients are protected from further transmission of the disease. IFRC and the DRC Red Cross are working as part of a larger coordinated response alongside government authorities, the World Health Organization and other international and national partners. Alongside the deployment of this expert team, Red Cross volunteers are expanding into four neighbouring provinces with awareness raising activities to ensure communities are prepared and can response should Ebola spread into their areas. IFRC is also working with Red Cross societies from the nine countries neighboring the DRC to activate readiness and preparedness mechanisms.



International partnership to address human-animal-environment health risks gets a boost

30 May 2018, Divonne-les-Bains, France/Rome - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) have agreed to step up joint action to combat health threats associated with interactions between humans, animals and the environment. In a Memorandum of Understanding signed today, FAO, OIE and WHO agreed to strengthen their long-standing partnership, with a strong focus on tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR is a high priority for the three organizations, who are working together to develop global systems for AMR surveillance and use of antimicrobials, a global antimicrobial stewardship programme, and a monitoring and evaluation framework for the global action plan. In addition to AMR, the new agreement will focus on improving disease forecasting capabilities for more informed and swifter responses to emerging and endemic zoonotic diseases (including foodborne diseases); helping countries strengthen their national health systems; and undertaking joint activities related to reduction of threats.

Advances in transportation, the rise of international trade, surging populations and agricultural expansion have dramatically altered how diseases emerge and spread, making a "One Health" approach more essential than ever before. FAO, WHO and OIE in 2010, formally established collaborative work on antimicrobial resistance and tackling diseases such as influenza and rabies. Bringing together knowledge, insights and technical capacities in human and animal health and food and agriculture can generate strong synergies, for more robust, effective and cost-efficient solutions to the complex health problems facing the world today.



Rotary International provides clean water to help end polio

In Karachi, Pakistan, Rotary PolioPlus activities are building community trust.

19May 2018 – Karachi, the capital of Sindh province, is Pakistan’s largest city, with an estimated population of more than 16 million people. It is also by far the most challenging place in Pakistan to eradicate polio. Difficulties include the large and frequent movement of people, poor water and sanitation conditions, and pockets of community resistance to vaccination.In the northwestern part of the city lies Orangi Town. The fifth largest slum in the world today, it is a tough place to live for the children who run around and play games in the streets outside their homes. One of their most pressing needs is a supply of clean, drinkable water. In Orangi Town, the sewage system is basic, and poorly maintained. At many points, human waste mixes with drinking water lines. The quality of potable water is low and filled with pathogens including bacteria and viruses, and it is the main cause of many water-borne illnesses in adults and children, including hepatitis A, acute watery diarrhea and typhoid. Polio can also be spread through drinking water contaminated with the stools of an infected person. Health workers for the polio eradication programme work tirelessly to immunize every child. Thanks to the efforts of Rotarians, who raised 50% of funds, 55 000 residents of Orangi now have access to a new water filtration plant. By ensuing that there are no viruses or bacteria present in the water, the plant will protect children from water-borne illness. As the plant runs using solar energy, it will work consistently through the regular power outages that affect the city, and won’t require expensive oil or electricity to run, placing fresh water within the reach of all.



Reframing adolescent substance use: new report and communications playbook for adolescent substance use prevention

14 May 2018 –Too little focus is placed on public health approaches that can keep young people from developing substance use problems in the first place. This National Prevention Weekoffsite link, supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrationoffsite link, we celebrate the importance of prevention in young people’s lives. Because people don’t understand the ways in which substance use impacts healthy development, they tend to assume that it is best handled by parents, teachers or supportive peers— and typically don’t see the value of a public health approach that draws on the expertise and capacity of health care providers. It is essential that the general public has a way of framing adolescent substance use capable of addressing misconceptions and moving the issue into the center of our public conversation. To expand public understanding of adolescent substance use, cultivate productive attitudes toward the issue, and increase support for evidence-based programs and policies, today FrameWorks Institute (FrameWorks)offsite link released a research report and communications playbook.



Inauguration of two new telemedicine centres in Cabo Verde

With donation provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia ITF enabled two new telemedicine centers thereby concluding the third and last phase of the Cabo Verde Integrated Telemedicine and e-Health Program.

9 May 2018, Santa Cruz, Island of Santiago, Cabo Verde – To mark the successful conclusion of the Phase III of the Integrated Telemedicine and e-Health Program in Cabo Verde (an archipelago of 10 islands and 8 islets located in the central Atlantic Ocean) an inauguration of the last two established telemedicine centres has taken place in Santa Cruz (island Santiago) and Tarrafal de São Nicolau (island São Nicolau). The two healthcare facilities are thereby integrated in the national telemedicine network linking their referring telemedicine centres with consulting centres in tertiary healthcare facilities in the capital city Praia and city of Mindelo in São Vicente island. From now on, inter-institutional teleconsultations between healthcare staff are possible enabling tertiary healthcare services to local population in more remote island and areas. A combination of country specifics, lack of specialists, long distances between the islands and major health care needs in the country, and a relatively well-developed telecommunications network on the other hand makes Cabo Verde an ideal place for implementation of technically advanced solutions in the field of telemedicine and e-health with the purpose to enhance the healthcare sector and provide to approximately 500,000 Cabo Verdeans adequate, good quality and accessible health services. The latter has its basis in the Agreement on Development Cooperation between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Cabo Verde determining health sector as one of the target areas of development cooperation.




Energy and safety


Eni begins UCO collection program amongst employees

4 June 2018 - In Italy, Eni will begin collecting used cooking oils from the homes of its employees, which will then be converted into high-quality biofuels. This pioneering initiative is part of Eni’s commitment to adopt a circular economy program across all of its business areas, with the aim of maximizing efficiency and the sustainable use of energy. The project is being launched in the Eni Bio-Refinery in Venice following an agreement between Eni and Veritas, the multi-utility company responsible for the collection and treatment of waste in the Venice area. Over the course of the next few weeks, the project will be extended to the Porto Marghera petrochemical plant where Eni’s subsidiaries Versalis and Syndial also operate.



UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) and Pennsylvania State University sign MOU on High Performance Buildings

4 June 2018 - Buildings are central to meeting the challenges of the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement.  If the objectives of the 2030 Agenda are to be met, the energy performance of buildings must be managed. In order to address this challenge, UNECE and Penn State signed a Memorandum of Understanding today whereby they agreed to collaborate on a Global Building Network to be established by and headquartered at Penn State. The Global Building Network will conduct the research, communication, dissemination and education necessary for implementation of UNECE's Framework Guidelines for Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings to promote sustainable, high-performance, energy-efficient communities of buildings around the globe.



The Electricity Sector is dominating the Modern Energy Transition; Heating/Cooling and Transport must catch up

June 4, 2018 - New data on the world’s transition to renewable energy are in, and the results are clear — the electricity sector’s uptake of renewables is well underway, but the transition for the heating/cooling and transport sectors has “barely begun,” according to the REN21 Renewables 2018 Global Status Report. “The power sector on its own will not deliver the emissions reductions demanded by the Paris climate agreement…to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all,” the report said. “The heating and cooling and transport sectors, which together account for about 80 percent of global total final energy demand, are lagging behind.”



Wood energy is no sleeping giant, say UNECE/FAO experts

May 28, 2018 - If we try to picture how humanity can "ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by the year 2030" (Sustainable Development Goal 7), solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal plants, heat pumps, tidal power plants or other technical solutions come to mind. But what about solid biofuels or, more specifically, wood energy? Wood energy is the overlooked renewable energy giant of the world, and the giant is not sleeping! Wood energy is modern and growing fast. Wood pellets, made from compressed wood particles, are changing the way wood is used for heat and power generation in the UNECE region by virtue of their efficient combustion, convenience and the fact that they are more energy-dense than traditional firewood.



Development of an Automatic Solar-Powered Domestic Water Cooling System with Multi-Stage Peltier Devices

17 May 2018 - At a persistent high temperature up to 55 degrees Celsius for almost half of the year, people have to face challenging and sometimes unbearable hot water for drinking, bathing, and other general use. The proposed method is based on the philosophy of, “cooling the water by the heat of the sun”, annexes the environmental friendly solar energy source and cooling technique to provide comfortable water. Design and implementation strategy towards practical deployment of the proposed solution is  presented. The real-time results and analysis with a developed laboratory scale prototype show the effectiveness of the system in providing solution to this perennial water problem.



Environment and wildlife


Historic presidential decrees safeguard water supplies for people and nature in close to 300 rivers basins in Mexico

5 June 2018 Mexico City- To mark World Environment Day, the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, today signed a series of landmark decrees establishing water reserves in nearly 300 river basins. The decrees will guarantee water supplies for the next 50 years for 45 million people, as well as some of the country’s most biodiverse ecosystems and globally important wetland protected areas. Combined with a handful of existing water reserves, the ten presidential decrees will protect the volume of water in almost half of Mexico’s 756 river basins. A “water reserve” is a volume of water in a river basin allocated exclusively for the protection of nature and human consumption. This involves leaving a certain amount of water in the rivers to run freely. Over the past 12 years, a multidisciplinary team coordinated by WWF and the National Water Commission in Mexico (CONAGUA), supported by the Gonzalo Rio Arronte Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank, mapped the country’s rivers and scientifically identified the amount of water that is required to sustain the flora and fauna of each basin and fulfil the demands of growing human populations over the next 50 years. Communities, universities, governments and conservationists worked for years to secure these water reserves: their creation will be viewed as a landmark in the fight to safeguard these precious freshwater resources. Along with securing water for the forests and species along the rivers, including the iconic jaguar, this water reserve also strengthens two previous conservation decrees that promote the sustainable use of forest resources and prohibit exploration for oil and gas. The water reserve also protects important livelihood activities for basin inhabitants, such as aquaculture, seasonal agriculture and tourism. (…)



Operation Warm celebrates World Environment Day with the Green Guardian™, coat made from recycled plastic

Nonprofit to provide 15,000 coats for children in need across North America this fall

5 June 2018, Chadds Ford, Pa.,  /CSRwire/ - Operation Warm, a national nonprofit that creates brand new,  high-quality coats and gifts them to children in need, has developed a new sustainable coat called the Green GuardianTM, as part of its ‘more than a coat’ program and a celebration of World Environment Day.

World Environment Day is the UN's most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.

World Environment Day: If you can’t reuse it, refuse it

This year, World Environment Day’s mission is to Beat Plastic Pollution, which is a growing epidemic. In 2014 alone, over 30 million tons of plastics were landfilled in the United States. A single plastic bottle can take nearly 500 years to decompose. Operation Warm aims to help the cause with its recent debut of The Green Guardian™, its new eco-friendly coat made of recycled plastics. Operation Warm’s goal is to manufacture and provide 15,000 Green Guardian™ coats to children in need across North America this coming fall.

The Green Guardian™ - Developed to keep kids warm and help the Planet

The Green Guardian™ coat’s shell, fleece, and lining are made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) also called #1 plastics, most commonly used to manufacture plastic bottles. Each Green Guardian™ coat will keep the equivalent of 32 plastic bottles out of landfills and oceans. In 2018 alone, Operation Warm's Green Guardian™ will save nearly 500,000 recycled plastic bottles. To learn more about supporting children in need with Green Guardian™ coats, visit operationwarm.org/green.

Operation Warm is a national nonprofit that creates brand new, high-quality coats for children in need. Every child, regardless of their economic situation, deserves a brand new coat. By 2019, Operation Warm will serve its 3 millionth child.



Global Sustain Announces Sustainability Forum 2018

1 June 2018, Athens, Greece, Jun. 01 /CSRwire/ - The “Sustainability Forum 2018, a training, networking and professional development event” organised by Global Sustain, will take place on October 5 at the NJV Athens Plaza Hotel, for the seventh consecutive year.  Once more, the event will be the reference point for sustainability, with prominent speakers from all around the world coming from organisations such as: Cambridge University, Trucost - S&P Dow Jones Indices, Rockwool Group, Carbon Clear, Wharton School, AstraZeneca, FMC Corporation, Osiris Labs, Trillium Asset Management, Walgreens Boots Alliance, GRI and AHC Group. They will share their knowledge and expertise with the attendees, through specialised sessions. (…) The Sustainability Forum 2018 brings together high-level professionals, such as: CEOs, general managers, process managers, sustainability professionals, CSR practitioners & managers, chief financial officers, HR and corporate affairs managers, PR specialists, marketing managers, communication experts, investors, environmental engineers, sustainability analysts, IT engineers, project managers, legal advisors, management systems auditors, quality assurance specialists, NGO’s staff, students etc (…)



Bees must be protected for the future of our food.

19 May 2018, Ljubljana - On the eve of the first World Bee Day, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has urged countries and individuals to do more to protect bees and other pollinators or risk a sharp drop in food diversity. Bees are under great threat from the combined effects of climate change, intensive agriculture, pesticides, biodiversity loss and pollution.More than 75% of the world's food crops rely to some extent on pollination for yield and quality. The absence of bees and other pollinators would wipe out coffee, apples, almonds, tomatoes and cocoa, to name just a few of the crops that rely on pollination.

Pollinators, such as bees, wild bees, birds, bats, butterflies and beetles fly, hop and crawl over flowers to help plants fertilize. Pollinator numbers and diversity have declined in the past decades, and evidence indicates that the decline is primarily a consequence of human activities including climate change.
Sustainable agriculture practices, and in particular agroecology, can help protect bees by reducing exposure to pesticides and helping to diversify the agricultural landscape.With the World Health Organization, FAO has also developed the International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management. This provides a framework on best practices that can help decrease the exposure of pollinators to pesticide.
The official ceremony for the first World Bee Day will be held tomorrow in the Slovenian village of Breznica, 50 kilometres north-west of the capital, under the patronage of Slovenia's President Borut Pahor. http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/1132329/icode/


Making forest concessions more transparent, accountable and pro-poor
First voluntary guidelines for forest concessions in the tropics launched

10 May 2018, Rome/New York- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched today the first voluntary guidelines for forest concessions in the tropics to make concessions more transparent, accountable and inclusive - all for the benefit of some of the poorest and most isolated communities in the world. Forest concessions have existed in many of the world's poorest nations for decades, but their contributions have not always been positive. While they have generated more jobs and better income for people in remote areas, in many cases, they have also left behind a trail of degraded forests and tenure conflicts, says the new Making forest concessions in the tropics work to achieve the 2030 Agenda: Voluntary Guidelines. Forest concessions can be poorly managed due to a lack of adequate skills in tropical forest management; weak governance; over-complicated rules and expectations; focus on short-term benefits, leading to overharvesting; inadequate benefit sharing, infringement and lack of recognition of local people's rights; no economic returns.The guidelines provide a set of principles to be respected by all stakeholders during the full cycle of concessions; they were launched on the margins of the 13th session of the UN Forum on Forests, as part of Sustainable Wood for a Sustainable World - a new initiative of the Collaborative Partnership on Forestsled by FAO and developed jointly with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the World Bank (WB) and the World Wildlife Fund(WWF).




Religion and spirituality


Priests and scientists talk neuroscience, cosmology, and philosophy – with pie

10 June 2018 - A Thomistic philosopher, an evolutionary biologist, and a Harvard astronomy professor walk into a bar. Well, not a bar. But they did walk into a Washington, D.C. symposium this week, at which graduate students, professors, religious sisters, and other curious Catholics discussed highly technical scientific questions over bourbon and pecan pie, late into the night. The three-day conference, co-sponsored by the Thomistic Institute and the Society of Catholic Scientists, brought together nearly 70 professors and graduate students from Princeton, Harvard, Yale, MIT, the University of Chicago, and other universities across the country to examine the intersection of faith and science.



TEXAS - Texas Mosque still recovering from Arson opens its doors for displaced church

5 June 2018 – When Texas’ Victoria Islamic Center was gutted in a suspected arson attack last year, several local churches reportedly opened their doors and offered the Muslim community temporary spaces to worship.Now the Victoria mosque is paying it forward by offering its own property as a worship space after a local church was damaged when a car crashed into it. About 30 members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Victoria packed into an auxiliary building on the Victoria Islamic Center’s property on Sunday for a morning worship service. Abe Ajrami, the Islamic center’s treasurer, told members of the displaced Unitarian Universalist Association congregation to treat the space like their own, according to the Victoria Advocate. The UUA group’s permanent home was damaged on May 29 after a car plowed through an exterior wall, its library and its worship space. The car’s driver apparently lost control of the vehicle after a collision with another car. No one was in the church at the time, and no one was hurt in the crash. However, the building sustained extensive damage. The Victoria Islamic Center is still rebuilding its own worship space after a fire ripped through its main building in January 2017. In June prosecutors charged Marq Vincent Perez with a hate crime for allegedly setting the fire.



ASIA/INDONESIA - During Ramadan, invitation to protect "cultural and religious diversity" and Pancasila

4 June 2018 -  Leaders of different religions, gathered for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, expressed their wish to protect "cultural and religious diversity in Indonesia", the largest Muslim country in the world. As Agenzia Fides learns, leaders and faithful of different religious and cultural backgrounds - Muslims, Christians and Buddhists - gathered to break fasting together in the Cathedral of Jakarta, in the capital on 1st June, in an event that wanted to commemorate the "Pancasila" (the "Charter of the five principles") to strengthen solidarity among the various Indonesian communities. 



ASIA/MYNAMAR - Letter from religious leaders to the people:"The future of the nation is in compassion and reconciliation"

24 May 2018 - Yangon (Agenzia Fides) - "The future of Myanmar is based on the rich history and tradition of multi-religious and multi-ethnic coexistence. At a deeper level, this promising future is assured by the values and virtues of compassion, shared well-being and justice present in the great religious traditions of Myanmar". This is what religious leaders of Mynamar, gathered in the forum "Religions for Peace", led by Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, said in a special Letter to the population released today, May 24, and sent to Agenzia Fides. In the text we read: "As Buddhist, Christians, Hindus and Muslims leaders of Myanmar and of the whole region, we write to you in solidarity with the hope of peace. We are now united in a crucial moment in which the future of this nation is being determined. Through the untiring efforts of countless men and women, you have endeavored to overcome suffering and heal the wounds of the past. Myanmar has shown the world that a peaceful transition of power was possible".




Culture and education


Canada and partners announce historic investment in education for women and girls in crisis and conflict situations

9 June 2018 - Gender equality is a fundamental human right and a top priority for Canada and its G7 Presidency. To make gender equality a reality, all women and girls around the world must have equal access to quality education and learning opportunities. When women and girls have an equal chance to learn, grow, and succeed, they help build an economy that works for everyone.

Canada, along with the European Union, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the World Bank, today announced an investment of close to $3.8 billion CAD, marking a fundamental shift toward improving access and reducing barriers to quality education around the world. Today’s announcement represents the single largest investment in education for women and girls in crisis and conflict situations. It has the potential to make a difference in the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable women and girls.



UNICEF USA's Bridge Fund & UNICEF Create Systemic, Sustainable Change

8 June 2018 - What Are The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals?

In 2015, 193 countries and the United Nations established 17 concrete Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to create a better world by 2030. Among many other key objectives, the SDGs involve ending poverty and malnutrition, fighting inequality, enhancing health and well-being, and increasing access to safe water and quality education in every participating country.

Each SDG includes multiple targets or objectives, and there are a total of 169 targets for the SDGs. Each target incorporates specific indicators used to evaluate progress towards a particular goal at the local, national, regional, and global level. For example, SDG 1, which calls for “Zero Hunger,” has eight targets, including one that involves ending all forms of malnutrition. That target, in turn, involves several specific indicators, including one that measures the prevalence of “stunting” — a medical condition, caused by chronic malnutrition, that impairs normal development as defined by the World Health Organizations’s Child Growth Standards — among children under age five.



Airbus and UNESCO invite the next generation of talent to make their innovative ideas fly

8 June 2018 - The sixth Fly Your Ideas competition has kicked off, and invites the next generation of innovators to propose and develop original ideas for the aerospace industry. The biennal competition is a celebration of creativity and innovation to solve real industry challenges. Open to university teams from across the world, including all disciplines from engineering and information technology to marketing and design, the competition is an opportunity for students to unleash their pioneering spirit, working at the cutting edge of digital technology alongside industry experts.

The Airbus and UNESCO partnership aims to provide a unique opportunity for students worldwide, working in diverse teams, to develop valuable employability skills, including teamwork, project management, communications and presentation skills. Fly Your Ideas is seeking ideas that could change aerospace in the decades to come and create a safer, cleaner and better-connected world.



LEBANON - The culture of non-violence will take place in the heart of Lebanese school curricula

4 June 2018 – For the first time in Lebanon, the culture of non-violence will be at the heart of the education system, public and private, classical and technical. Not only will it appear on the menu of the next school programs, as part of the development of these programs, from kindergarten to secondary classes, but the entire education system should be impregnated, teaching, management of schools, school life, playgrounds, school transportation, the relationship between students, that between students and teachers:this is promised by the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Education and Academic University For Non-Violence & Human Rights – Aunohr. An agreement was signed on May 15 between the two parties, represented on the state side by Minister Marwan Hamadé, sponsor of the event, and by the president of the Center for Educational Research and Development (CRDP), Nada Oweijane, and on the academic side, by Aunohr’s founder, Ogarit Younan, and by university president, Issam Mansour. The initiative aims to “institutionalize non-violent culture,” says Ogarit Younan, to involve the State, in all its components, from the Ministry of Education and the CRDP. Because “the needs are pressing at this level, given the increase in violence among young people and even among children.” This explains why Aunohr University is often asked by schools across the country to train their teachers in the culture of non-violence or to organize activities in this direction for students. “After the application of our methods, the results are palpable,” observes Younan, noting that children are quieter, that the educational life becomes easier.




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Next issue: 13th July 2018.


Good News Agency is published monthly (except August) in English, Italian and Portuguese. Past issues are available at www.goodnewsagency.org . Rome Law-court registration no. 265 dated 20 June 2000. Managing Editor: Fabio Gatti (fabio.gatti@goodnewsagency.org). Editorial research by Fabio Gatti, Isabella Strippoli, Elisa Minelli, Salvatore Caruso Motta, Chiara Damilano, Francesco Viglienghi, Carlo Toraldo, Andrea Landriscina, Nazzarella Franco. Webmaster, media and NGO coverage: Simone Frassanito (simone.frassanito@goodnewsagency.org


Good News Agency is distributed free of charge through Internet to media and editorial journalists of the daily newspapers and periodical magazines and of the radio and television stations, NGOs, service associations, high schools and colleges as well as over 26,000 Rotarians around the world.


It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, a registered, not-for-profit educational charity chartered in Italy in 1979 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. It is based in Piazzale degli Eroi 8, 00136 Rome, Italy. The Association is a member of the World Association of Non Governmental Organizations.


* http://decade-culture-of-peace.org/2010_civil_society_report.pdf - In section A - International Organizations, page 12, the Report says: ”Diffusion and exchange of culture of peace information via the Internet has become the major instrument for several international organizations, notably the Culture of Peace News Network, the Good News Agency and the Education for Peace Globalnet.”

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