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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. 271 – 14th September 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


Luxembourg ratified the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence

7 August 2018 - This new landmark treaty of the Council of Europe opens the path for creating a legal framework at pan-European level to protect women against all forms of violence, and prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence. The Convention also establishes a specific monitoring mechanism ("GREVIO") in order to ensure effective implementation of its provisions by the Parties.


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


The Netherlands accepted the Protocol amending the European Landscape Convention

31 July 2018 - The Convention aims to encourage public authorities to adopt policies and measures at local, regional, national and international level for protecting, managing and planning landscapes throughout Europe. It covers all landscapes, both outstanding and ordinary, that determine the quality of people’s living environment. The text provides for a flexible approach to landscapes whose specific features call for various types of action, ranging from strict conservation through protection, management and improvement to actual creation. The Convention proposes legal and financial measures at the national and international levels, aimed at shaping "landscape policies" and promoting interaction between local and central authorities as well as trans-frontier cooperation in protecting landscapes. It sets out a range of different solutions which States can apply, according to their specific needs. The Council of Europe intergovernmental committees will be supervising the convention’s implementation. The text also provides for a Council of Europe Landscape award, to be given to local or regional authorities or an NGO which introduced exemplary and long-lasting policies or measures to protect, manage and plan landscapes.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


Strategic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Japan, of the other part

17 July 2018- Article 1 - Purpose and general principles

1. The purpose of this Agreement is for the Parties to:

(a) strengthen the overall partnership between the Parties by furthering political and sectoral cooperation and joint actions on issues of common interest, including regional and global challenges;

(b) provide a long-lasting legal foundation for enhancing bilateral cooperation as well as cooperation in international and regional organisations and fora;

(c) contribute jointly to international peace and stability through the promotion of peaceful settlement of disputes in conformity with the principles of justice and international law; and

(d) contribute jointly to the promotion of shared values and principles, in particular democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

2. In pursuance of the purpose set out in paragraph 1, the Parties shall implement this Agreement based on the principles of mutual respect, equal partnership and respect for international law.

3. The Parties shall strengthen their partnership through dialogue and cooperation on matters of mutual interest in the areas of political issues, foreign and security policies and other sectoral cooperation. To this end, the Parties shall hold meetings at all levels, including those of leaders, ministers and senior officials, and promote wider exchanges between their peoples as well as parliamentary exchanges.


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the goals


UN conference adopts treaty banning nuclear weapons

7 July 2018 - Countries meeting at a United Nations conference in New York today adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament to have been negotiated in 20 years. (…) The treaty – adopted by a vote of 122 in favour to one against (Netherlands), with one abstention (Singapore) – prohibits a full range of nuclear-weapon-related activities, such as undertaking to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, as well as the use or threat of use of these weapons.


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Human rights


Human rights – Nigeria creates website to help vulnerable groups get legal assistance

7 September 2018 - The Nigerian government in collaboration with human right groups has created an electronic platform to reach vulnerable people in need of legal assistance. The platform, www.probono.ng, was unveiled during a meeting of the organisers in Abuja, on Thursday. The portal, which categorises various groups of people in need of legal assistance, was created to focus on major groups, including victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual harassment, disinheritance of widows and orphans, disinheritance by reason of gender, rape, unfair dismissal, commercial cases (involving oppression of indigent persons, such as petty traders on matters such as unlawful taxation), among others.



Press release: UN Women’s Global Innovation Coalition for Change launches the Gender Innovation Principles -

7 September 2018 - Today, the Global Innovation Coalition for Change (GICC), a unique alliance with 27 partners from private sector, non-profit organizations and academic institutions, facilitated by UN Women to develop the innovation market to work better for women and to accelerate the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment, is launching a set of global standards called the “Gender Innovation Principles”. The Principles aim to take a gender-responsive approach to innovation and technology. GICC established the ambitious Principles to help guide organizations toward including women and women’s needs throughout the various phases in the innovation lifecycle, such as design, implementation and evaluation. Specifically, the Principles include:

Principle 1. Make a high-level corporate commitment to adopt a gender responsive approach to innovation

Principle 2. Design innovations that include women as end us

Principle 3. Adopt an adaptive approach to implementation to ensure innovations are gender-responsive and meet the needs of women

Principle 4. Evaluate the gender-responsive impact using a data driven approach

Principle 5. Scale innovations that provide sustainable solutions to meet the needs of women and girls

Applying a gender lens to the innovation cycle and more actively involving women has the potential to serve as a catalytic tool of change, to break trends and increase access and availability of opportunities. The Gender Innovation Principles launched today will be implemented in connection with the WEPs framework and other UN Women partnerships to bring together GICC members and like-minded organizations to share experience and knowledge on gender-responsive innovation.


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


UN hails ‘ground-breaking’ Supreme Court ruling to decriminalize gay sex in India

6 September 2018 - A landmark ruling in India that decriminalizes gay sex has been welcomed as a “ground-breaking decision” by the UN agency leading the fight against HIV/AIDS. India’s Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a key section of a colonial-era law which made specific sexual acts between adults illegal.  “Today is a day of gay pride, a day of celebration, a day when respect and dignity was finally restored in India for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people,” Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, said in a statement.  UN Secretary-General António Guterres also welcomed the decision by India’s highest court, applauding the verdict of the Chief Justice, who said that discrimination and prejudice are always “irrational, indefensible, and arbitrary.” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said: “This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights. With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality." She added that she hoped other courts elsewhere in the world where gay rights are being infringed, would follow suit.


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


Verdict against South Sudan soldiers ‘finally delivers justice’ – UN Mission -

6 September 2018 - The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has applauded the verdict by a military court on Thursday, that found ten government soldiers guilty of murder, rape and other crimes against civilians and journalists at a hotel in the capital Juba, just over two years ago. “The victims and survivors of this horrific attack deserved justice and that has been served today,” said UNMISS in a statement. It is the first time that soldiers have been sentenced for atrocity crimes in South Sudan, where government and rebel soldiers have been accused of committing numerous atrocities against civilians since civil conflict intensified in 2013. The brutal assaults – which included the murder of a local journalist and rape of five foreign aid workers – occurred at the Terrain Hotel in July 2016, amidst heavy fighting between Government and rival forces which lasted three days and left dozens dead. The judgement delivered early on Thursday, handed down lengthy prison terms to the guilty and also ordered the Government to pay damages to the victims. In the statement, the UN Mission also commended the witnesses and survivors for demonstrating “true courage and patience” by participating in the judicial process, which began in May 2017.



Land rights at last for Sulaliyyate women in Morocco

29 August 2018 - After 10 years of advocacy, ethnic Sulaliyyate women of Morocco finally have equal land rights. On 23 July, a State-run lottery distributed some 860 plots of land equally among men and women, as part of ongoing efforts to privatize land throughout the country. Finally, this year women and men benefited from equal shares of land through the July lottery. The Sulaliyyate also demand equal financial compensation for land taken by the Government for privatization purposes.


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


UNICEF and WFP harness technology to strengthen food and hygiene distribution for Rohingyas

7 August 2018, Cox’s Bazar - UNICEF has partnered with WFP to use the food agency’s SCOPE digital assistance system to distribute soap supplies to up to 50,000 refugees in Rohingya Refugee camps, strengthening hygiene practices and helping prevent disease outbreaks. The pilot was launched in Balukhali Refugee camp on 1 August 2018. SCOPE is an online database system which WFP has developed to improve how it distributes food and other assistance to people in need. Each household is issued an assistance card that stores household data which can also be used to redeem food at outlets within the camps. SCOPE allows Rohingya refugees to enroll for an electronic food assistance card, much like a smart card. Refugees can use this card at participating food outlets and use their monthly credit to collect food and now soap. They have greater choice on the diversity of food and hygiene supplies they receive, and they no longer need to travel and queue at centralized distribution points. UNICEF is providing 13 bars of soap for each target household every month – eight for hand washing and five for laundering clothes. UNICEF plans to align with WFP to scale up coverage within the camps and potentially expand the range of hygiene supplies available through the SCOPE system to ensure sustained progress on good hygiene practices in the refugee camps.


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions



Economy and development


SINGAPORE -  Horyou’s 5th edition of SIGEF in Singapore to foster tecnology for good and further UN Sdgs

7 September 2018 - The 5th edition of SIGEF, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, is set up in Singapore on 12-13 September, to coincide with the ASEAN 2018 Chairmanship. Organized by Horyou, the Social Network for Social Good, it will stage top-class debates on the social innovation challenges and trends of our times to an international and diverse audience, at Suntec Singapore. A highly qualified team of entrepreneurs, innovators and thought leaders will cover disruptive trends that are changing the way our society works globally, some of them amongst the top priorities for governments and international organizations. In its 5th edition, SIGEF is being held for the first time in Southeast Asia, with an agenda focused on the future developments of our interconnected societies, gathering a worldwide audience comprised by social entrepreneurs, business leaders, impact investors and government officials.  SIGEF2018 panels will stage ideas, propositions and projects stemming from inspiring thought leaders and experts, including Mikkel Larsen Chief Sustainability Officer of DBS, Arndt Husar, former UNDP Deputy Director, as well as personalities like Josie Ho, singer and actress, influential entrepreneur Kazuhiro Hisata, investor and founder of SRS Fintech Commerce (SFC), Hayden Majajas, Head of Diversity & Inclusion APAC Bloomberg, Steve Leonard, Founding CEO of SGInnovate, or Leopold Feiler, co-founder of Global Energy Storage (GES), will share, among others, their insights with a global audience.


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the goals


LOSANNA - Nespresso revives Zimbabwe’s coffee production

7 September 2018 - Nespresso announced today a long-term investment plan to revive Zimbabwe’s coffee industry and stimulate the rural economy. The company will provide training and technical assistance to 400 smallholder coffee farmers over the next five years, with the goal of increasing the country’s production of quality sustainable coffee. Zimbabwe’s coffee sector is in danger of disappearing as the result of a sharp decline in production over the past 18 years, following a series of economic shocks affecting many of Zimbabwe’s agricultural industries. Nespresso expects to buy more than 95% of the high quality coffee production of Zimbabwean smallholders this season. The coffee will be available to global consumers in 2019. Nespresso is already working with farmers for the next harvest, where it expects volumes to increase, marking a potential turning point for Zimbabwe’s coffee producers. Together with TechnoServe, an international non-profit organization specializing in business solutions to poverty, Nespresso is training farmers to revive their production through climatesmart, sustainable farming practices. The revival of the Zimbabwean coffee industry is part of Nespresso’s commitment to investing in coffee communities to create sustainable sources of income, preserve the environment and ensure coffee availability for future generations. 


News related with SDGs number 8-Decent Work and economic growth


Bicycle-powered rickshaws get older people out and about

By Ariella Phillips

5September 2018 – On a visit to Denmark, Kelly Talcott gave a Polish woman in a nursing home a ride in a bicycle rickshaw. The woman missed her old neighborhood and had trouble getting across town to the Polish grocery store to pick up her favorite candy. "We go out, we’re talking, we’re enjoying ourselves, we get the candy, and then three and a half hours later we come back," he says. "She kept wanting to go out and see more, be around people." Talcott is now a U.S. captain for Cycling Without Age, an international movement of volunteers who pedal older people and their family members on outdoor excursions. Getting outside (…) has changed how these folks and their loved ones relate to one another, Talcott says. "We are really not just about giving rides. We are mostly about having conversations, sharing memories, and creating new memories." Cycling Without Age’s specially designed rickshaw (…) seats the pilot in the back and the passengers up front, allowing for easy conversation. After about 30 minutes of training, pilots are ready to give their first ride. And they don’t have to be athletes; the bikes are partially powered with electricity. Cycling Without Age got its start in Denmark, and Danish expatriates brought it to America. The first chapter started in Oshkosh, Wis., in 2015. More than 50 additional chapters have popped up across the country. The cost of buying one of the rickshaws and shipping it to the States is roughly $9,000. The organization has also gained popularity in Europe.


News related with SDGs number 11-Sustainable cities and communities


The African Development Bank and FAO target agriculture investments to end hunger and create wealth in Africa

27 August 2018, Rome- The African Development Bank (AfDB) and FAO today agreed to boost joint efforts aimed at catalysing agriculture sector investments in Africa to end hunger and malnutrition and increase prosperity throughout the continent. In terms of the agreement, the AfDB and FAO are committed to raise up to $100 million over five years, to support joint partnership activities. Specifically, the new strategic alliance seeks to enhance the quality and impact of investment in food security, nutrition, social protection, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development. The Bank's Feed Africa strategy, launched in 2015, targets to invest $24 billion into African agriculture over a ten-year period. The aim is that of improving agricultural policies, markets, infrastructure and institutions to ensure that agricultural value chains are well developed and that improved technologies are made available to reach several millions farmers. The collaborative programme would be created through an initial financial contribution of up to $15 million by the two institutions. Joint advocacy and policy advice activities will include the promotion of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forestsand the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems, both endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger


IFAD and Bangladesh invest US$109 million to increase incomes of rural households

1 August 2018, Rome– The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Bangladesh today signed a financing agreement to significantly increase incomes and food and nutrition security for 250,000 rural households in southern Bangladesh where the highest percentage of rural poor reside. The total cost of the Smallholder Agricultural Competitiveness Project (SACP) is US$109.85 million. The project will be co-financed by the Government of Bangladesh ($28.65 million), the private sector ($8.1 million), and beneficiaries ($6.6 million). It will be implemented over six years and directly supervised by IFAD. While Bangladesh is a lower middle-income country, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty in rural areas is still three times higher than in urban areas. Women are particularly affected by poverty, as they have fewer opportunities for employment, and rural youth are the most likely to migrate to cities to seek employment. The main goal of the project is to help smallholder farmers to be more responsive and competitive in producing diverse, high value crops and marketing fresh and processed agricultural products. The SACP aims to improve incomes and food security by supporting producers in developing high-value agricultural products that correspond to market needs and can contribute to a diversified diet. Technical training and financial services will be provided and women, youth and disadvantaged households will be specifically targeted.


News related with SDGs number 8-Decent Work and economic growth


WFP supports the Tajik government in emergency preparedness and response

18 July 2018, Dushanbe– The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) held today a ceremony to mark the handover of technical equipment to strengthen the government’s capacity to monitor disaster-prone areas and create situational maps to improve search and rescue operations during emergencies. Thanks to a donation from the Government of the Russian Federation and the WFP Emergency Preparedness Fund, WFP has provided the government’s Committee of Emergency Situations and Response (CoES) with two unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) in addition to cutting-edge mapping and spatial analytics software, and two lighting towers. WFP, which has been operating in Tajikistan since 1993, is providing technical and financial support to CoES to strengthen its emergency preparedness and response capacity. In 2018, WFP conducted a one-week emergency response training session and a warehouse management training session for more than 60 CoES staff.


News related with SDGs number 8-Decent Work and economic growth





Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announces Kenya-based grassroots nonprofit as 2018 recipient of $2 million Hilton Humanitarian Prize

22 August 2018, Los Angeles (CA)– The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced today that the grassroots nonprofit organization SHOFCO (Shining Hope for Communities) is this year’s recipient of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. A distinguished panel of independent international jurors selected SHOFCO, which catalyzes large-scale transformation in urban slums by providing critical services for all, community advocacy platforms, and education and leadership development for women and girls. Based in Kibera—one of the largest slums in Africa—SHOFCO was founded by Kennedy Odede as a teenager in 2004 with 20 cents and a soccer ball. While growing up in Kibera, Kennedy saw firsthand the devastating consequences of living in urban informal settlements, known locally as slums and then the potential to transform his community by working side-by-side with his neighbors within the slum. SHOFCO’s programs, which include health care, education and economic empowerment for women and girls, and sustainable delivery of clean water through a cutting-edge aerial piping system, are always demand-driven and community led. SHOFCO creates sustainable, systemic change within urban slums. What began as a grassroots movement in Kibera by Kennedy in 2004 has ignited transformation and hope in six Kenyan slums, reaching more than 220,000 people. (…)


News related with SDGs number 8-Decent Work and economic growth


The Republic of Korea continues to support refugees in Iran with multi-year contribution

20 August 2018, TEHRAN – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a new US$2.2 million multi-year contribution from the Republic of Korea to support 30,000 of the most vulnerable Afghan refugees living in settlements in the Islamic Republic of Iran. WFP will use the funds to provide both cash and food assistance to meet refugee families’ most pressing needs, and promote girls’ education and women’s livelihoods, in 20 settlements in 13 provinces across the country. Iran hosts the world’s fourth largest refugee population, with nearly 980,000 registered Afghan and Iraqi refugees. WFP has been providing assistance to refugees in Iran since the arrival of the first asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Iraq in the late 1980s.



Kuwait provides significant support to WFP's fight against famine in Yemen

6 August 2018, Kuwait City – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a new donation of US$50 million from the State of Kuwait for emergency food assistance in Yemen. The funds will be used to reach more than 2.5 million people over two months with wheat flour and oil through both direct distributions and WFP food assistance cards at retail outlets. More than three years of conflict have pushed Yemen to the brink of famine; nearly 18 million people do not know where their next meal is coming from and more than eight million of them live in extreme hunger and depend entirely on external food assistance. When one child dies every ten minutes in Yemen from preventable diseases, the key to saving lives is ending the fighting and ending hunger. As conflict continues in Yemen, more people are in danger of falling victim to hunger and disease. Yemen is currently the world’s largest humanitarian crisis; 22 million people out of the country’s 29 million need some form of humanitarian assistance. Kuwait is a major supporter of WFP’s humanitarian and development assistance worldwide. In the last decade, Kuwait has contributed nearly US$190 million to WFP operations internationally, helping to make significant steps towards alleviating hunger for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger


Flexible funding from Belgium powers WFP to address food crises and build resilience

31 July 2018, Brussels – At a time of unprecedented demands on the humanitarian system, the Government of Belgium is stepping up to ensure that the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has flexibility in deciding how the funds it provides are spent. Belgium recently committed €14.4 million to WFP, the country’s first fully flexible multi-year contribution to the organization. This will enable WFP to allocate funding where needs are greatest and most immediate from 2018 to 2020. Belgium’s flexible contribution will empower WFP to maximize the impact of donor funding at a moment of unparalleled needs, exemplified by multiple large-scale hunger crises facing the organization. Simultaneously, flexible funds allow WFP to invest in bridging the gap between humanitarian and development operations, while building the foundation for longer-term resilience where possible. Thanks to flexible donors like Belgium, WFP recently allocated more than €146 million to some 60 country operations – while providing a vital and urgent boost to lifesaving efforts in Syria, Yemen, the Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo. These funds will also surge support to development projects and provide food assistance to refugees and displaced people. Under the agreement known as the Grand Bargain, concluded at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, leading donors committed to progressively reduce earmarking, with an aim of achieving a global target of 30% of humanitarian funding with fewer restrictions by 2020.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger


UK boosts WFP efforts to break the cycle of hunger in Malawi

16 July 2018, Lilongwe – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes two generous contributions totalling £9.1 million (USD 12 million) from the United Kingdom government to support WFP operations in Malawi.  Of this amount, £2.3 million will provide nutritional supplies for the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition among 87,000 people including children, and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, between June 2018 and March 2019. The remaining £6.8 million will help WFP to provide support to 31,000 households under its Food Assistance for Assets (FFA) programme. The funds will also allow for the scale-up of resilience-building interventions such as weather-indexed micro-insurance, village-based savings and loans activities, and climate services. The UK is one of the largest donors to WFP in Malawi, having contributed £24 million (USD 31.7 million) since 2016 towards breaking the cycle of hunger. WFP is supporting the Government of Malawi through a range of programmes, including emergency food and cash-based transfers, nutritional support and resilience-building. The funding will support a multi-sectoral approach to addressing malnutrition and building resilience. To ensure the long-term impact and sustainability of the programme, WFP is placing a significant focus on strengthening the capabilities of government, communities and families to withstand and recover from shocks.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger


Republic of Korea contributes rice to serve 420,000 refugees in Uganda

13 July 2018, Tororo, Uganda – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a contribution of 5,000 metric tons of rice from the Government of the Republic of Korea. The contribution will enable WFP to meet the minimum food needs of 420,000 refugees in seven settlements in Uganda for the entire month of August. WFP will distribute the rice in the settlements of Nakivale, Kyangwali, Kyaka II, Oruchinga, Palabek, Imvepi and Rwamwanja as part of its monthly food distributions. The rice received will replace maize in the regular food assistance provided in August and help to diversify the diets of refugees. WFP has recently introduced biometric verification systems in its Uganda refugee operation to confirm the identity of beneficiaries at distribution points. Along with monthly food assistance and cash transfers, WFP treats acute malnutrition and works to prevent it during a child’s first 1,000 days. WFP also supports livelihoods among refugees and host communities in line with the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework .




Peace and security


It's a season of peace in the Horn of Africa region

7 September 2018 - The normalisation of relations between Djibouti and Eritrea on Thursday was hailed as yet another step in the pursuit of peace and economic development in the turbulent Horn of Africa region.The two nations have been at loggerheads for decades over the disputed border region of Dumeira, and clashes erupted in 2008. The development is the latest in a series of diplomatic breakthroughs in theregion, notably the historic peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea in July.


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


UK government announces extra 46 million pounds to tackle landmines

5 September 2018 - The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has announced £46 million of new funding for landmine clearance that will benefit more than 800,000 people in conflict-ravaged countries around the worldInternational humanitarian organisations MAG, The Halo Trust, Norwegians People's Aid and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining will work in partnership to deliver demining efforts, mine risk education and capacity development in Angola, Cambodia, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, South Sudan, Laos, Lebanon and Vietnam.


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Namibia deposits instrument of ratification for Convention on Cluster Munitions as eighth Meeting of States Parties opens in Geneva

2 September 2018 – Namibia has become the 104th member state to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, following deposit of the instrument of ratification with the United Nations (UN), on Friday 31 August. "Namibia's accession to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, just two days before the opening of the Eighth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva, is yet another indication of the strength of this treaty and the global norm banning these horrific weapons," said Cluster Munition Director, Hector Guerra. The Republic of Namibia was an early supporter of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, signing in 2008 and participating in every Meeting of States Parties since then. Namibia states that it has never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions and has condemned new use of cluster munitions. The Convention will enter into force for Namibia on 1 February 2019.


News related with SDGs number16-Peace, Justice and strong Institution


Congratulations to Spain on Treaty Commitment

Spain completes stockpile destruction treaty obligation

31August 2018 – As we prepare for the opening of the 8th Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) on Monday 3 September, the Cluster Munition Coalition notes the immense progress made since the treaty adoption ten years ago, due to the unwavering commitment of member states. The Kingdom of Spain signed the CCM on 3 December 2008, ratified on 17 June 2009, and was among the first 30 ratifications to trigger the convention’s entry into force on 1 August 2010. In fact Spain's committment to the global ban dates to July 2008 when the country declared a unilateral moratorium on use, production, and transfer of cluster munitions, prior to the convention’s entry into force. Spain was also the first signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions to report completion of their stockpile destruction obligations in March 2009.  The country subsequently declared additional cluster munition stocks, and it committed to destroy these by the convention’s August 2018 deadline.


News related with SDGs number16-Peace, Justice and strong Institution





Pakistan: vaccinating the nation on Independence Day

30August 2018 - Mazar-e-Quaid, the mausoleum of Pakistan’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah, is a prominent symbol of Pakistani independence, and of the united people of Pakistan. Each year, millions of people from across Pakistan and the world visit Mazar-e-Quaid. The number of visitors reaches its peak on 14 August, Pakistan’s Independence Day. For the Pakistan polio eradication programme, Independence Day is an important opportunity. From morning to night, they will try to vaccinate all children visiting the mausoleum against the poliovirus. Permanent Transit Points (PTPs) are vaccination sites established at important transit points such as country and district borders, bus terminals and railway stations, to make sure that children on the move are vaccinated against polio. Currently, there are 390 PTPs across Pakistan. On an ordinary day, eight vaccinators work at a PTP at Mazar-e-Quaid. Independence Day requires a different kind of operation. The teams know that they have to take the opportunity to vaccine young children who otherwise might miss out. As the crowds surge into the mausoleum, vaccinators immunize a new child every few seconds at fixed points at the entrance and exit, whilst others mingle with the crowds, searching for any young child without a purple stained finger – the sign used to indicate that they have been vaccinated.


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


Rotary partners with Mediators Beyond Borders to bring local solutions for lasting peace

17 August 2018 Evanston, Illinois — Preventing conflicts from escalating into violent crises is 60 times more cost effective than intervening after violence erupts, according to the Carnegie Corporation of New York. A recent partnership between the membership service organization Rotary and Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI) aims to bring community-based solutions to prevent conflict in more communities.  Rotary has worked with MBBI – an impact organization founded on the principle of people-centered peacebuilding – since 2013 to advance our common goals for peace. This new, partnership will enable Rotary members to train with MBBI to sharpen their mediation, dialogue and other conflict transformation skills. Rotary’s 1.2 million members, located in over 200 countries and regions, will help MBBI expand its network of trained mediators – potentially transforming conflict in communities not previously reached. MBBI’s members are at the center of a movement for global peacebuilding through advocacy, capacity building and consultations. Rotary members take action to address underlying causes of conflict by providing access to clean water and sanitation, supporting education, preventing and treating disease, saving mothers and children and growing local economies. MBBI joins a list of Rotary service partners including, Ashoka, Habitat for Humanity, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, and Peace Corps. (…)


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being



Energy and safety


Irish researchers develop bio-plastic blend that can compost in 60 days

30 August 2018 - In Ireland, scientists at BEACON Bioeconomy Research Centre, the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded Research Centre at University College Dublin, and AMBER, the SFI Research Centre for materials science at Trinity College Dublin, have discovered a blend of biodegradable plastic that completely degrades under typical home-composting conditions. The team blended 15 different biodegradable plastics together so they could function as commercial plastics but which could be composted at home.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate action


Launch of the construction of the Taconnaz hydropower plant: water from Mont-Blanc will contribute to fighting climate change

30 August 2018 - Voltalia (Euronext Paris, ISIN code: FR0011995588), an international player in renewable energies, announces the beginning of the construction of its 4.5 MW run-of-the-river hydropower power plant on the Taconnaz torrent in the Haute-Savoie department (France). "While most European glaciers are melting as a result of global warming, the construction of a hydropower plant at the foot of the Taconnaz glacier contributes to tackling climate change by producing a greenhouse gas free electricity…”


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate action


EU-funded ZYBIOM project discovers enzymes that can double amount of glucose from wood

29 August  2018 - In France, by studying a particular fungus, scientists in the EU-funded ZYBIOM project have discovered a family of enzymes that can double the amount of glucose extracted from wood. Although biofuels are the most immediate application, as their production from glucose is already well understood, the new enzymes could also have a part to play in the biorefining sector, which aims to replace oil-based products with materials derived from biomass. During the three-year project, researchers at the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA) at Aix Marseille University in France, discovered a new class of enzymes that can break down more of the wood. They investigated a white-rot wood fungus known as Pycnoporus coccineus.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate action


From London To New York, 19 Cities Commit To Net-Zero Carbon Buildings By 2030

August 27, 2018 - A total of 19 cities connected through the C40 Cities network signed the Net-Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration last week, which aims to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions from cities by ensuring that all new buildings operate at net-zero carbon by 2030. The Declaration was signed by mayors from Copenhagen, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York City, Newburyport, Paris, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Tshwane, Vancouver, and Washington D.C.. The signing of the Declaration comes in advance of the Global Climate Action Summit set to be held in San Francisco over the 12th to 14th of September under the theme “Taking Ambition to the Next Level.”


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate action


The Silent Fuel: Methanol for power, fuels and chemistry in a low-carbon economy

27 August 2018 - From Switzerland comes word of a technology for methanol synthesis plants which capture CO2 from the environment to create renewable methanol fuel. (…) Everyone agrees that atmospheric CO2 levels are higher than normal. (…) And, while methanol fuel is traditionally produced from natural gas, it can also be synthesized using CO2 from the air, making it a renewable fuel. “When methanol is synthesized in this way, it captures CO2 from the environment and locks it up right into the fuel. This enables the removal of excessive CO2 emissions from the air”.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate action


Enel ranks 28 in Fortune's 2018 “Change the World” list

24 August  2018 - TwitterFacebookGoogle + Send Save  Print

For the third year out of four since the list was established, Enel has been included in Fortune's prestigious "Change the World" list, a ranking of the top businesses in the world making a positive social impact through activities that are an integral part of their business strategy and operations. Enel ranked 28 out of the 63 companies in the 2018 list and the Group is the only Italian company to be included in this year's edition. Fortune Magazine praised Enel for its continuous commitment to renewables, as evidenced by its zero- emission generation portfolio, which now accounts for over half of the Group's global production (51%).  Furthermore, the ranking highlights Enel's Open Power strategy entailing its role as a promoter of "green tech and tactics with its many partners worldwide".


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate action



Environment and wildlife


Safe spaces for threatened species

27 August 2018,Copenhagen, Denmark -CSRwire/ - The Earth is a wonderful place. But burning rainforests, melting glaciers and dying corals could wipe out nearly half of all plant and animal species in some of the world’s most naturally rich areas. We need to act now to protect animals and habitats from the effects of climate change. That’s why Energy company Ørsted and WWF have announced they will partner to contribute to restoring the natural balance and help create a world that runs entirely on green energy.

Climate refuges

A key task will be to establish and map the effects of climate change on particularly vulnerable natural habitats and wildlife. (…)

Engage children and young people

Children and young people today are likely to live their lives on the frontlines of a warming planet. That’s one reason why the partnership will especially engage with children and young people in Denmark to help build a more sustainable future. (…)

Green energy leader

WWF will also advise Ørsted on its sustainability strategy and help the company remain a green energy leader in the years ahead. (…)

Coming up: Climate Safari in Copenhagen

The partnership kicks-off with a “climate safari” in the historic city center of Copenhagen (…) on Sept. 13-30. The safari is centered around a 26-metre-high globe, where virtual reality and films will help children and young people to explore topics like climate change, threatened species and renewable energy.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate action


New hope for some of world’s last near-pristine coral reefs

14 August 2018 Noumea – The New Caledonian government has announced the highest possible levels of protection as defined by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) for its near-pristine coral reefs. The classification of all New Caledonia’s offshore, healthy reefs as Strict Nature Reserves or National Park means that all types of extraction, including fishing, will be strictly prohibited, and tourist activity will be rigorously controlled. WWF is delighted with this listing, for which it has been advocating for many years. WWF believes this announcement must be seen in the context of the setting up of an ambitious management plan for the Natural Park of the Coral Sea. The Park, an enormous conservation zone of 1.3 million km² (about 380,000 square nautical miles), was created in 2014. It is an important place for nesting of sea birds and green turtles, and a breeding ground for humpback whales around Chesterfield and Bellona reefs. New Caledonia has control over many of the world’s last remaining near-pristine reefs, entrusting France with a responsibility to protect these ecosystems and an opportunity to show global leadership.WWF will continue to work toward ensuring the New Caledonian government initiative is followed through with enhanced surveillance of these exceptional but remote sites, particularly against incursions and plundering by illegal fishing vessels.


News related with SDGs number 14-Life below water


Building stronger, climate-resilient farming and forest communities

20 July 2018,  Rome - Millions of small-scale farmers and foresters will be able to better protect their lands from the impacts of climate change, and improve their livelihoods thanks to renewed global efforts announced today on the sidelines of World Forest Week (COFO24). The Forest and Farm Facility initiative - a partnership among FAO, IIED, IUCN  and AgriCord initiated in 2013 - will scale up its efforts to help forest and farm producers and their organizations develop climate resilient landscapes, strengthen enterprises and generate work opportunities for women and youth, and create more enabling policy environments for the rural poor.  Launched today, the second phase of the initiative will be rolled out over the next five years, across 25 countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa, up from ten countries targeted during the initial stage. Some 1.5 billion forest and farm producers make up 90% of the world's farmers. They provide about 80% of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa's food supplies, and manage 500 million family farms and 30% of forests in the global south. Globally, indigenous peoples also play a key role in sustainable forest management.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate action



Religion and spirituality


Kabul - Asia/Afghanistan - Peace building starts again with young people, through social media

10 September 2018 - The Helmand Peace Movement, an organization for the promotion of peace born after a suicide attack in Lashkargah, which took place last March. The scholar emphasizes how the organization, in order to be successful, should be able to "dialogue with the Taliban who, strengthened by recent successes, may not be willing to carry out peace talks with the government, often perceived as weak". According to the President of ISAG, the perspectives of the movement seem to be linked to their ability to aggregate requests from other sectors of Afghan society, such as urban areas or the more well-off social classes


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and strong Institutions


NEMO has been invited to Speak at the Future for Religious Heritage (FRH) Conference

7 September 2018 - The Future for Religious Heritage (FRH) conference takes place in Paris, France, from 11-13 October, 2018, and aims to create a real debate on the future of Europe’s religious heritage and to create a lasting legacy for the EYCH 2018. NEMO is honoured to speak alongside stakeholders and European networks such as Civilscape, E-Faith, Efforts, Encatc, European Historic Houses and Europa Nostra.

NEMO at the conference will focus on:


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and strong Institutions


ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Rebirth of the movement for Islamic-Christian dialogue "Silsilah" in Marawi

5 September 2018 - In Marawi, a town on the island of Mindanao made famous by the occupation of jihadist groups linked to ISIS (Islamic State) in 2017, and destroyed as a result of the siege by the army of Manila, the Forum "Silsilah" (which means "chain"), sees the rebirth of the movement for Islamic-Christian dialogue founded in the South of the Philippines by the missionary of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) Fr. 


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and strong Institutions


The Inaugural Interfaith Family Festival to be hosted at the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions in Toronto

4 September 2018 - The Parliament of the World's Religions, in collaboration with Spiritual Playdate, is hosting the inaugural Interfaith Family Festival at the 2018 Parliament in Toronto from November 2 to November 6 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The first festival of its kind to be hosted at a Parliament, the Interfaith Family Festival provides parents, teachers, and children the opportunity to immerse themselves in interfaith and multi-cultural programming, performances, and service events. The festival features 5 days of joyful, engaging, and experiential spiritual exploration for kids, teens, families, schools, faith groups, and all who are young at heart as they celebrate this year's theme "Plant an Interfaith Garden". Programming is available for littles, middles, tweens, teens, parents and grandparents, and educators from around the world.


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and strong Institutions


Tunisians preach tolerance as Muslims, Jews join Christian celebration

22 August 2018 - Manifesting a rare exhibition of religious solidarity, dozens of Muslims and Jews gathered in a port area at the Tunisian capital to witness the revival of “The Madonna of Trapani”, a Catholic tradition introduced to Tunis a century ago. The statue of “the Madonna of Trapani” was presented to Tunisians of all religions in celebration of the mid-August feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, on Wednesday. As scores of Muslim residents and Jews of French origin who were born in Tunisia gathered outside the church at La Goulette, prayers were led by a multi-cultural Catholic ministry, including Italians, Sub-Saharan Africans and Asians. In the past, the procession left the 19th century church of Saint Augustin and Saint Fidèle and headed toward the coast to bless the sailors who were about to take to the sea. For security concerns, this year’s procession was kept within the church compound. Only a handful of the hundreds of people outside the church were selected by alerted security forces to attend the procession, which only started to resume last year after a fifty-year pause. Home to Tunisia’s main commercial port, La Goulette was a town where Italian, Maltese, Jews, Christians and Muslims coexisted for decades.


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and strong Institutions



Culture and education


Burundi: Kamenge Youth Centre trains 23 students from universities in active non-violence in Bujumbura

9 September 2018 - As part of the partnership with Pax Christi International, the Kamenge Youth Centre organised a training session at the Holy Family Parish of Kinama on active nonviolence on 1st September 2018. The beneficiaries of this training were university students from the Catholic Action Movements. One feature of this training is that these young men and women all wore T-shirts and bracelets promoting nonviolence. In addition, for the visibility of the project "Empowering New Generations in Active Nonviolence and Peacebuilding in the Great Lakes Region", the Kamenge Youth Centre invited the National Radio Television of Burundi (RTNB) for media coverage by an infomercial that has been broadcast on 3rd September 2018 before the news in Kirundi and French. For the print media, two newspapers were also present, namely: "The Renewal of Burundi" and the online newspaper "Ijambo". The item is available on YouTube (Pax Christi and Kamenge Youth Center).


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality education


UNESCO organizes first international meeting on its "Revive the Spirit of Mosul" initiative

6 September 2018 - UNESCO and the Republic of Iraq are co-organizing the first international meeting on the "Revive the Spirit of Mosul" initiative on Monday, 10 September 2018, at the Organization's headquarters in Paris. This unprecedented initiative aims not only to rebuild the city’s cultural heritage, but also to rehabilitate it educational system and revitalize its cultural life.  The conference, which comes at a key moment for Iraq, aims to unite all the actors of the international community and make solid commitments for the reconstruction and recovery of Mosul. Its objective is to take stock of the situation after four years of conflict and to present the flagship projects already initiated by UNESCO, as well as upcoming projects.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality education


Romanian Red Cross helps children to stay in school

By Alina Dunel, Romanian Red Cross

4September 2018 – School dropout is a serious issue in Romania where 18 per cent of students are leaving each year without finishing their studies. Most of them come from marginalized families that cannot afford to buy books and pencils, let alone provide breakfast for the kids. (…) Having this in mind, the Romanian Red Cross set up three E.G.A.L Community Day Centres in Botoşani, Craiova and Lupeni, three of the poorest regions of the country. (The acronym stands for Education, Generosity, Abilities and Liberty.) The project was supported by the Velux Foundation through the Danish Red Cross. In the centres, primary and secondary school students can get a hot meal and homework support. Together with their parents and family members the children also attend sessions where they can learn, with the support of the Red Cross volunteers, life skills, first aid, crafting, communication and social interaction. Since the opening of the Community Day Centres in 2016, more than 1,500 children and their families have benefited from the programs. (…) The kids spend more time in school and managed to improve their grades, and teachers are also impressed by their progress. These very positive results of the program made it a good practice model for the Red Cross branches, to be rolled out all over the country.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality education


First-ever National Youth Conference held in South Sudan

3 September 2018 - The first-ever National Youth Conference held in recent memory in South Sudan, bringing together over 200 youth from across the country was held in Juba from 29-30 August 2018 under the theme: Promotion of Youth Voices for Sustainable Peace and Development in South Sudan. The ground-breaking conference was organized under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and the National Youth Union with technical and financial support from UNESCO, UNFPA, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and other development partners. The conference served as an inaugural platform for youth to engage decision-makers and other stakeholders on important issues affecting young people who make up over 70% of South Sudan’s population.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality education


Strengthening data management for quality education in Niger

31 August 2018 - The production of reliable statistical data remains a priority for the Government of Niger in monitoring and evaluating performance in the implementation of the Education and Training Sector Programme 2014-2021. In this sense, the Directorate of Statistics of the Ministry of Primary Education, Literacy, National Language Promotion and Civic Education (MEP/A/PLN/EC) produces a statistical yearbook each year which compiles the information collected from each preschool and primary school (basic cycle 1). However, this yearbook does not provide all the data needed for the MEP/A/PLN/EC since it includes little data on literacy and non-formal education. Moreover, the data is collected at a time of the year that is out of step with the statistical period covered by the yearbook. The organization of simultaneous data collection for formal and non-formal education is therefore necessary to produce a single annual statistical yearbook for the sub-sector.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality education


A violet chair to give indigenous women a seat at the table

8 August 2018, Rome– FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva has urged countries to unite behind a campaign to promote indigenous women’s rights and encourage their participation in policy discussions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger. There are some 400 million indigenous peoples in the world; about half of them are women. Indigenous peoples play an important role in ending hunger. Indigenous women raise livestock, farm, fish and hunt to gather food for their communities. They are also considered guardians of seeds and medicinal plants. Despite their contributions, indigenous women are not part of policy and decision-making processes affecting their lives. Despite their wealth of expertise, their work, knowledge and needs are not represented in statistics. In January, FAO launched the Global Campaign for the empowerment of Indigenous Women for Zero Hunger with the International Indigenous Women’s Forum and the News Agency of Indigenous and Afro-descendent Women. One highlight of the campaign has been the Violet Chair initiative - a call to authorities, policy makers, organizations, the international community, academia and civil society to guarantee the full and effective participation of indigenous women in policy discussions and decision-making processes that affect them and their communities. To make them visible, a violet chair is placed at a meeting to highlight that an indigenous woman is participating, or when the chair is empty, that she is not.  Violet has become a symbolic colour for women’s struggle to be heard. People can use paintings, indigenous textiles or handicrafts to create a violet chair and support the campaign.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality education


Italian singer Laura Pausini named WFP Goodwill Ambassador

11 July 2018, Rome - Grammy Award-winning singer Laura Pausini will be appointed Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the Rome-based agency that works in over 80 countries around the world, providing food assistance to people affected by conflicts and natural disasters. An internationally renowned singer and songwriter with a career spanning 25 years, Pausini has won some of the most prestigious music awards, including a Grammy, three Latin Grammy, four Lo Nuestro and six World Music Awards. The singer is a role model both on and off stage. She has championed WFP’s work by supporting several fundraising initiatives and campaigns, including the #ZeroHunger campaign launched in 2015 and a charity concert held in Petra in 2008, whose proceeds were donated to a joint WFP/UNHCR project in Afghanistan. In her role as WFP Goodwill Ambassador, Laura will lend her powerful voice to speak up on behalf of those 815 million people who go to bed on an empty stomach every night. She will have the opportunity to travel and visit some of the 76,000 schools involved in the WFP school meals programme, and meet some of the children and women WFP serves. In addition, Pausini will use her platforms to showcase WFP’s work and to engage her millions of supporters in advocating for a Zero Hunger world.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality education


* * * * * * *



Next issue: 12th October 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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