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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. 272 – 12th October 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


South Sudan signs the 1951 Refugee Convention

1 October 2018- UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today welcomes South Sudan’s accession to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. President Salva Kiir signed the accession instrument in Juba on Friday (September 28) after it was ratified by the Transitional National Legislative Assembly. South Sudan has become 143rd country to accede to both the 1951 Convention on Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. The country hosts some 300,000 refugees, despite all the challenges of civil war that has displaced a large number of its own population.


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


Swiss-EU ties at crossroads over stalled treaty talks

26 September 2018 - ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland and the European Union have been negotiating the terms of a treaty that would cement ties between the neutral country and its biggest trading partner. The European Commission has been pushing for a decade for a treaty that would sit atop an existing patchwork of 120 sectoral accords and have the Swiss routinely adopt changes to rules governing the single market of 500 million people. It would also provide a more effective platform to resolve disputes, providing more legal certainty and strengthening commercial ties.


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


Canada's PM sees possibility of building on U.S.-Mexico NAFTA deal

September 25, 2018 - Sept 25 (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday took a cautious line over talks to update NAFTA, saying he saw a possibility that Canada could build on a bilateral deal that the United States and Mexico have already struck. Trudeau made his remarks at event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. With time fast running out ahead of a U.S.-imposed deadline to conclude an agreement, Canadian and American negotiators are making slow progress.



Two Koreas aim for agreement to unlock nuclear talks

18 September 2018 – Seoul, South Korea (Reuters) - Leaders of South and North Korea plan to announce steps aimed at rekindling stalled nuclear talks and deepening bilateral ties after they meet for a second day of summit talks on Wednesday in the North’s capital Pyongyang. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in kicked off their third meeting on Tuesday, during which Kim said his “historic” summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in June had improved regional stability and raised  hopes for further progress. A joint statement expected from the two leaders at the conclusion of their talks on Wednesday will provide clues to whether negotiations between North Korea and the United States over dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear programmes could regain momentum.


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


The Czech Republic ratified the Additional Protocol to the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption

11 September 2018 - This Protocol extends the scope of the Convention (ETS No. 173) to arbitrators in commercial, civil and other matters, as well as to jurors, thus complementing the Convention’s provisions aimed at protecting judicial authorities from corruption. Parties to the Convention will have to adopt the necessary measures to establish, as criminal offences, the active and passive bribery of domestic and foreign arbitrators and jurors.


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


Sweden ratified the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism

7 September 2018 - The Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 196) makes a number of acts, including taking part in an association or group for the purpose of terrorism, receiving terrorist training, travelling abroad for the purposes of terrorism and financing or organising travel for this purpose, a criminal offence. The Protocol also provides for a network of 24-hour-a-day national contact points facilitating the rapid exchange of information.


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



Human rights

Rights First Celebrates Awarding of Nobel Peace Prize to Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad

5 October 2018 - Human Rights First hailed today’s announcement by the Norwegian Nobel Committee that it had awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize to Dr. Denis Mukwege, a gynecological surgeon from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to Nadia Murad, a Yazidi Kurdish human rights activist.   In 2013, Human Rights First honored Dr. Mukwege with its annual Human Rights Award for his tireless and courageous work on behalf of women victims of rape in war-torn Congo.  For nearly 20 years, Dr. Mukwege has helped women traumatized by gang rape in Eastern Congo, becoming the world’s leading expert in this grim specialty. He founded Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where he and his colleagues have treated thousands of women since 1998, providing them psychological, medical, socio-economic and legal support.  Dr. Mukwege has also been an outspoken advocate, calling for accountability for these horrific crimes, often at great risk to himself and his family.  Since escaping from captivity at the hands of ISIS in late 2014, Nadia Murad has campaigned bravely and relentlessly on behalf of sexual violence victims and Iraq’s Yazidi population, testifying frequently before the U.N. and other bodies. Her work is widely credited with building global awareness of what the United States and others have labeled ISIS’s genocide against the Yazidis.


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


IPDCtalks held in Tunis to celebrate the third International Day for Universal Access to Information

3 October 2018 - The International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) held the third annual IPDCtalks global event in Tunisia on 27 September 2018, to celebrate the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI). The IPDCtalks aim to highlight the importance of access to information, a human right without which citizens cannot make informed decisions and a vital precursor to achieving all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2018 event was themed “Good laws and practices for open societies: Powering Sustainable Development with Access to Information”.



Donna Strickland, first woman to win Nobel Prize in Physics in 55 years

3 October 2018 - UNESCO congratulates this year’s 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics laureates:  Donna Strickland, Arthur Ashkin and Gerard Mourou for their groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics.  In particular, the recognition of Donna Strickland should be an encouraging sign for all women in science and more widely for diversity that fosters innovation. Dr. Strickland is the third woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics since its creation, and the first female laureate in 55 years in this discipline after Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963.


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


Women get a voice in Conventional Agriculture

2 October 2018 - HarvestHER seeks to recognize the important role that females have played in the male-dominated harvesting industry and establish a community for well-being. Since 2016, HarvestHER has existed as a forum to relieve the loneliness and stress that have plagued women of the male-dominated harvest industry since enterprising young cutters started following ripening wheat from north Texas and Oklahoma through Montana and North Dakota. Women make up only 31 percent of American farmers, and although no data exists for harvesters, a similarly small percentage has produced a culture in which they have been largely unnoticed. While women are essential to the industry, their role, like that of many women, in this already overlooked corner of traditional agricultural has never been fully recognized or appreciated. But HarvestHER seeks to empower these women by establishing a sense of community and providing a platform for them to have a voice and share their stories.


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


Costa Cruises and AISM: tours now also accessible to guests with disabilities for the first time

28 September 2018, Genova, Italy, /CSRwire/ - Costa Cruises, AISM (Italian Multiple Sclerosis Association) and the Costa Crociere Foundation present a joint project aimed at making vacations increasingly accessible to people with impaired mobility. For the first time in the cruise sector, guests with disabilities will be able to participate in group shore excursions, at no extra cost, with accessibility verified by AISM, in accordance with the most advanced international good practices. The new tours, called "Adagio Tours", will be available for booking from January 1, 2019 for Mediterranean cruises on the flagship Costa Diadema. At every port of call, at least one group excursion will be offered that is accessible to everyone, including guests with impaired mobility, and this is available at no extra cost.  The list of tours currently includes visits to the cities of Genoa, Marseilles, Barcelona, Palermo, Rome, Palma de Mallorca and Cagliari. "Adagio Tours" have been developed considering the needs of all our guests who want to enjoy their chosen destinations at a slower pace, with more time to discover or rediscover them. They are therefore particularly suited to parents with strollers, elderly guests or people with permanent or temporary mobility impairments. The programmes for these excursions have been devised, tested and checked with the contribution of 15 women with multiple sclerosis, trained and selected by AISM thanks to the "WAT! Women Accessibility Tourism” program funded by the Costa Crociere Foundation. (…)



European Parliament votes to trigger Article Seven against Hungary -

12 September 2018 - Human Rights First welcomed today’s vote by the European Parliament triggering so-called Article 7 proceedings against the Hungarian government for undermining democratic values and the rule of law. “Today’s vote sends a clear message that Hungary’s assault on human rights and the rule of law threaten fundamental transatlantic values and won’t be tolerated. The U.S. government should do everything in its power to support today’s vote, using its leverage with the Hungarian government to hold it accountable for maintaining the democratic governance so integral to peace and prosperity,” said Rob Berschinski, Senior Vice President for Policy at Human Rights First. This is the first time E.U. lawmakers have initiated Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, which can lead to sanctions and suspension of EU voting rights for Hungary. The Hungarian government immediately deemed the vote fraudulent, calling it “petty revenge.” In May 2018, Human Rights First released a report, Hungary’s False Sense of Security, which documents the Hungarian government’s ongoing efforts to undermine its judiciary, stifle civil society, silence journalists, and deepen ties to Russia.  Next month, Human Rights First will present its annual William D. Zabel Human Rights Award to Márta Pardavi, Co-Chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, for her work promoting fundamental freedoms and the rights of refugees in Hungary and across Europe.




Economy and development


WFP and Cote D'Ivoire create Centre of Excellence Against Hunger

5 October 2018, Abidjan - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Cote d’Ivoire today signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the creation of a Centre of Excellence Against Hunger and Malnutrition in West and Central Africa. It will serve as an enhanced knowledge management repository of best practices that contribute to achieving the goal of ensuring no one goes hungry in the region. The Centre, which will be based in Abidjan, will draw upon the expertise of WFP, and the specific strengths of Cote d’Ivoire and other countries in the region in family farming, postharvest loss management, malnutrition control, convergence of nutrition, community resilience and social protection. Cote d’Ivoire has prioritized the fight against malnutrition and hunger in its plan to become an emerging nation. It has developed successful models for homegrown school feeding and is committed to share its expertise and resources to scale up efforts by other countries. The regional centre seeks to replicate the successful South-South cooperation experience of the WFP Centre of Excellence based in Brazil that has assisted governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America in the fight against hunger, while promoting sustainable school feeding models and other food and nutrition safety nets.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger


Alexandria - Global Impact launches “Why #GiveGlobal?” Campaign to inspire people and companies to give and engage globally

4 October 2018 - Today, Global Impact, a leader in growing global philanthropy, launched its “Why #GiveGlobal?” campaign to encourage individuals and businesses to engage globally through donating, advocating and volunteering. The campaign runs through Nov. 30, 2018 and the campaign website is https://whygiveglobal2018.charity.org.

Campaign elements include a #GiveGlobal infographic#GiveGlobal IQ quiz, and “Why #GiveGlobal?” contest, as well as spotlights on some of Global Impact’s charity and corporate partners that are making significant contributions to improving the lives of vulnerable people in the United States and around the world through their programs. For the campaign, Global Impact’s partners were asked to answer questions about what giving global means to them and why it is important. The contest component of the campaign asks the public to answer similar questions, in order to win one of three $250 prizes to open and seed a Growfund account. Growfund is Global Impact’s no minimum contribution donor-advised fund that operates like your own personal foundation—helping you donate strategically and with more impact.

Use #GiveGlobal to join in the conversation on social media, and follow Global Impact’s Twitter and Facebook channels to see daily posts on the campaign.



EU and FAO reaffirm commitment to build a more sustainable future for all

3 October 2018, Rome - The European Union (EU) and FAO today reaffirmed their commitment to tackle common global concerns such as rising hunger, bring about prosperity and peace, and build a more sustainable future for all. Over the next two years, EU and FAO will focus on: building communities' resilience to food crises; addressing climate change and better use of natural resources; investing in agriculture and value chains; and improving nutrition and food systems. EU-FAO cooperation spans a range of areas - from food safety and security, sustainable agriculture, and disease and pest control, to land tenure, soil management, and the fight against illegal fisheries, desertification and deforestation. Between 2007 and 2017, the EU channeled more than €1.5 billion to over 250 FAO-led programmes in 60 countries. The EU remains FAO's main resource partner, representing with its Member States 45% of the UN agency's budget. The partnership also led to the development and promotion of a range of international guidelines, agreements and standards aimed at: keeping our food safe, food production sustainable, and animals and plants healthy; promoting fair food trade practices; and protecting wildlife, oceans, land and forests. These include the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT); the Sustainable Wildlife Management Programme; and the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


Atlanta - UPS employees advance 2020 Goal to contribute 20 million volunteer hours of service in communities around the world

1 October 2018 - UPS announced today that the company will deploy nearly 40 percent more employees on five continents to contribute to 450 community service projects, in the company’s 16th annual Global Volunteer Month. In 2014, CEO David Abney pledged UPS’s employees would contribute 20 million volunteer hours by the end of 2020, and the company is on pace to reach this goal.UPS estimates employees will devote 375,000 volunteer hours in October to projects in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Africa (ISMEA). The grants support initiatives such as disaster preparedness and recovery, youth literacy and skills development, and veterans training. Through UPS’s membership with IMPACT 2030, UPS encourages employees around the world to get involved in projects that help advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The UPS Foundation leads UPS’s global citizenship programs, including Global Volunteer Month. The UPS Foundation encourages employees from every region to volunteer their time to programs around the world. Global Volunteer Month helps increase the focus on volunteerism and community service in October so UPS employees can make a big impact.


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


ACDI/VOCA and Corteva sign global partnership to empower smallholder farmers worldwide

26September 2018 – ACDI/VOCA has signed a global memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Corteva Agriscience, the Agriculture Division of DowDupont, a global producer of seeds, crop protection products, and digital tools for growers. Corteva and ACDI/VOCA recognize the important role public-private partnerships play in agricultural development initiatives. The partnership will benefit smallholder farmers worldwide by facilitating market access, enhancing agribusiness competitiveness, improving access to inputs, and increasing farmer productivity. In Ethiopia, Corteva partnered with ACDI/VOCA’s USAID Feed the Future Ethiopia Advanced Maize Seed Adoption Program (AMSAP) to increase the productivity and incomes of 250,000 smallholder farmers. ACDI/VOCA and Corteva are also partnering on the USAID Feed the Future NAFAKA II: Cereals Market System Development project to identify seed packets, demonstration plot locations, and potential consignment sales for the project’s input supply network. NAFAKA II aims to benefit 400,000 smallholder farmers over the next three years.


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


FAO happy to contribute early-warning expertise to new platform

23 September 2018, New York - FAO welcomes a new World Bank initiative to promote action against famines and is eager to contribute its own considerable tools and resources to make it a success, Director-General José Graziano da Silva said late Sunday. He spoke at an event held during the United Nations General Assembly on partnerships to address severe food insecurity around the world, and focused on the World Bank’s proposed Famine Action Mechanism (FAM). FAO operates several early warning systems and set up the Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture, known as GIEWS, in response to the famines of 1974 in the Sahel and East Africa. FAO has also been one of the leading partners in the development and implementation of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC). Designed to be even more precise in identifying the people most at risk of hunger in increasingly complex food crises, IPC has played a critical role in tackling famine in Somalia in 2011 and also in emergencies last year in northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. While welcoming the potential of investments in new technologies such as artificial intelligence in the fight against famine, he emphasized the importance of keeping local stakeholders fully engaged to catalyse consensus on food-security analyses from governments and local actors.






Russia supports WFP development and resilience efforts in Kyrgyzstan

9 October 2018, Bishkek - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a contribution of US$8 million from the Russian Federation to improve the food security and nutrition situation of 100,000 vulnerable smallholder farmers across the Kyrgyz Republic. These funds will allow WFP to continue implementing activities aimed at improving rural livelihoods and food productivity for communities whose food security is directly impacted by climate change.  Kyrgyzstan’s food systems are extremely vulnerable to climate fluctuations, so WFP works with smallholder farmers and poor rural communities to build their resilience and improve farming practices. In using the funds, WFP will place particular emphasis on supporting irrigation and soil preservation, vegetable production, food harvesting and processing, and skills training. The Russian Federation is a major supporter of WFP’s humanitarian and development assistance worldwide and is the single largest donor for WFP in the Kyrgyz Republic. In the last decade, the Russian Federation has contributed nearly US$70 million to support WFP operations in the Kyrgyz Republic and over US$400 million to WFP operations globally, helping the food agency make significant steps towards achieving food security for all.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger


Republic of Korea supports displaced families through cash assistance in Iraq

4 October 2018, Baghdad - A contribution of US$1.5 million from the Republic of Korea will enable the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide cash assistance to some 68,000 vulnerable displaced Iraqis through electronic cash cards and mobile money transfers. WFP provides cash assistance to displaced Iraqi families, giving them access to a wide range of food items which provide diversity to their diets. Cash transfers also contribute to the local economy, befitting markets and farmers alike. Since 2014, Korea has supported WFP activities in Iraq by contributing US$ 6.3 million. These funds have enabled WFP to provide a significant increase in food assistance for the most vulnerable Iraqis and Syrian refugees in Iraq.


News related with SDGs number 1-No Poverty


Largest EU humanitarian programme helps around 1.4 million refugees in Turkey

25 September 2018, Brussels - Two years after its launch, the largest humanitarian relief programme in European Union (EU) history is supporting around 1.4 million refugees in Turkey. The scheme is funded entirely from the EU’s Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRIT), generously supported by EU citizens through the Member States’ contribution.Turkey is home to the largest refugee population in the world, currently nearly 4 million refugees, the majority of whom are from Syria. The Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) programme provides the most vulnerable of these refugee families with cash assistance every month. The impact of this support is now being presented to EU audiences through The #IncredibleOrdinary shop in Paris, Milan, Warsaw, Berlin and Amsterdam – an experiential exhibit showcasing the stories of eight refugee families who benefit from the programme. In their own words, the families explain how a seemingly ordinary item, made possible thanks to ESSN support, had incredible meaning for them. With humanitarian funding of €1 billion so far from the European Commission and EU Member States, the project is implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP) in partnership with the Turkish Red Crescent and supported by Turkey. Since the ESSN programme started in 2016, the number of beneficiary parents withdrawing their children from school has dropped by more than 50%, according to preliminary data from a new WFP report. By providing the most vulnerable families with a debit card, the ESSN programme allows them to pay rent and bills or choose which food to eat.


News related with SDGs number 1-No Poverty


Save the Children remains on-the-ground in Puerto Rico, helping children fully recover one year after Hurricane María

20 September 2018 San Juan – Puerto Rico continues to struggle a year after Hurricane María made landfall. In rural and mountainous areas across the island, children and families remain without reliable power or access to clean water. Save the Children, the national leader for children in emergencies, was on the ground in Puerto Rico within 96 hours of the storm and remains dedicated to the children and families most affected by the catastrophic storm. “A year later, children are still struggling across Puerto Rico. Children are always the most vulnerable in emergencies, and Save the Children is committed to support long-term recovery efforts,” said Mark Shriver, Save the Children’s Senior Vice President of U.S. Programs & Advocacy. In the earliest days of the disaster, Save the Children’s Emergency Response Team led nearly 200 emergency aid distributions and trainings for community leaders, teachers, social workers and parent volunteers to implement community-based children’s activities to support children’s emotional wellbeing. The nonprofit continues to work with communities, local partners, government and island-wide academic institutions to restore, improve and expand early learning and education programs to help children get back to learning and return to normalcy.



Germany helps WFP to build resilient communities in South Sudan

17 September 2018, Juba - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed an €11 million (US$ 12.7 million) contribution from Germany to help build community resilience in South Sudan, where 6 million people are unable to meet their food needs in a fifth straight year of conflict. The contribution comes as WFP and partners are pressing to scale up food assistance to reach up to 4.8 million people in the worst-affected areas of South Sudan.  It allows WFP to make a multi-year commitment to communities and will support WFP’s longer-term work to improve the resilience and food security of 180,000 people in the Lakes, Western Equatoria, Warrap and Abyei regions.  WFP activities are designed both to address immediate food needs while at the same time promoting the ability of vulnerable communities to withstand future shocks to their food security. WFP provides various kinds of assistance – food for people building and restoring community assets, life-saving emergency food, emergency school feeding and the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition among children, and pregnant and nursing women.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger



Peace and security


Geneva Call takes steps to tackle the protection of education in Afghanistan

2October 2018 – In August 2018 Geneva Call organised a series of meetings with varied constituencies in Kabul and Kandahar. In addition to meetings with government representatives and other stakeholders, our staff also had the opportunity to visit numerous schools and to meet with teachers and children who had been affected by the conflict. Several of the children in these schools had lost limbs after anti-personnel mines, often placed in and around the school itself, exploded and injured them. Today children have a dream: to go back to school. Nonetheless, getting to school is not yet safe for many of them. The use of these schools and other civilian infrastructure for military purposes had clearly become normalised by parties to the conflict, as was clear given the presence of government military forces in close proximity to the school our staff visited and despite the fact that Afghanistan is a signatory to the Safe Schools Declaration. Parents may interpret the presence of military or police near the school as a guarantee of safety for their children. However, to the contrary, this presence effectively turns the school into a legitimate military target. This clearly shows that there is a need to raise awareness among armed parties on the protection of education from military use and attack. Given these concerns, our work in Afghanistan will initially focus on engaging armed groups and civilians to raise awareness of and increase respect for the protection of education and medical missions and the relevant norms of international humanitarian law regarding the protection of civilians in armed conflict.


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


100,000 children and adults receive safety training from Norwegian People’s Aid

September 2018- Educating children and adults in preparation for war and conflict. Since 2016, a total of 100,000 people in Syria, Iraq and Palestine have received training in Conflict Preparedness and Protection (CPP). The programme has been developed by Norwegian People’s Aid and is being implemented in partnership with local organisations and enterprises, including schools. The programme focuses on how to protect yourself against explosive weapons and how to prevent injuries and suffering in war situations. To date, most of the participants in the programme have been children.


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





Bangladesh: Celebrating cries of joy at the Red Cross field hospital, one year on

By Gennike Mayers, IFRC

2October 2018 – “Nothing is more joyful than hearing a baby cry in the maternity ward.  It means the baby is alive and well!” says smiling Australian midwife Janet Gorrell, as she emerges from the maternity ward with a new-born baby girl to get some fresh air. Janet, who works with the New Zealand Red Cross, has been working at the Red Cross Red Crescent Emergency Field Hospital in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh for one month. (…)  On October 16, 2017, the emergency field hospital officially opened in Kutupalong near the main road within the camp district, so patients could easily access medical care.  A peculiarity of the site is that it is an active rubber farm, so due to the commercial value of the trees, not one could be cut down in the process of setting up the hospital. And so, the mass of white tents housing top-of-the-line equipment and beds for 60 patients was set up in between the rubber trees known fondly as the ‘rubber garden’. To serve the community round the clock, just about 150 local and international staff live on the same site as the hospital. The hospital tents and equipment were deployed by the Finnish and Norwegian Red Cross Emergency Response Units (ERUs) while the Danish Red Cross took charge of the living facilities known as “the basecamp”. The ERU is part of the IFRC global emergency response tools deployed when and where needed. Red Cross and Red Crescent staff around the globe are specially trained for these types of intense emergency deployments and minimalistic living arrangements, but it is still tough to adapt. Since the hospital opened in October 2017, a total of 43, 780 patients have been treated, 2,211 surgeries were performed, and 511 babies were born.


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


Shanti Khana: Bringing peace to Rohingya refugees

28 September 2018 – Prodjut Roy, a mental health supervisor with MSF, has been working as part of the Nayapara primary health centre team in Teknaf, Bangladesh, since June. During that time, he has seen the stigma associated with mental health services in the Rohingya community, but also patients who have found peace through the services of ‘shanti khana’. (…) “Shanti means peace,” explains Roy. “The Rohingya know mental health as ‘peace centre’. They don’t like psychology, they don’t know mental health, but they like shanti khana.” Health promotion and psychology education activities carried out by volunteers in the community have started to ease the stigma around mental health. The Nayapara primary health centre has seen the number of patients seeking mental health services almost double in the last few months. Patients present with a mix of problems. The violence they experienced and witnessed has left its mark. Many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or acute depression. This is compounded by their current situation, the daily difficulties of living in a refugee camp, and uncertainty about their future.


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


A vaccine for every baby

21September 2018 – In communities where boys are more valued, and there is uncertainty about the need for vaccination, they may not be given the polio vaccine alongside their sisters. Sadly, this leaves them vulnerable to polio paralysis, whilst girls grow up protected from the virus. Understanding that the world can only become polio-free if all children are vaccinated, the polio programme is developing a gender strategy which recognizes the way that gender impacts access to immunization, and also considers the valuable role of women health workers. Dr Usman Adamu, the Incident Manager at the Nigerian National Emergency Operations Centre for Polio Eradication, explains how these things are related. “All team members performing house-to-house for the polio campaign must be women. This is because we want to reach all eligible children with polio vaccines irrespective of whether children are inside or outside the house. Having a female team member makes it easy to reach these children in the household [where male vaccinators cannot enter].” Polio workers are locally recruited, and women vaccinators often have a preexisting relationship with the mothers they visit with vaccines. This means that they are uniquely placed to answer questions and reassure them of the safety of the vaccine for boys and girls. With extra training, many women vaccinators also provide mothers with important information about other health interventions, including maternity health.


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



Energy and safety


Australian researchers manipulate plant walls in hopes of easing biofuel production

3 October 2018 - In Australia, researchers from the University of Melbourne show how plant walls could be manipulated in the future to change the way we produce biofuels, bioplastics and other biomaterials. In particular, understanding how to control the production of flexible primary walls, which support cell growth, has been an important goal for biologists. The sugar-based polymers in these walls could be used for a range of applications—like converting them into biofuel, providing new types of green nano-materials or developing bioplastics.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate action


Government of India Ministry of New And Renewable Energy - Pm inaugurates First Assembly of the International Solar Alliance

3 October 2018 - The Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, today (10/2) inaugurated the first Assembly of the International Solar Alliance at Vigyan Bhawan. The same event also marked the inauguration of the second IORA Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting, and the 2nd Global RE-Invest (Renewable Energy Investors' Meet and Expo). The Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Antonio Guterres, was present on the occasion. Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that (…) this is a great forum to work towards ensuring climate justice. He said the International Solar Alliance could replace OPEC as the key global energy supplier in the future. The Prime Minister said that the effect of increased use of renewable energy is now visible in India. He added that India is working towards the goals of the Paris Agreement through an action plan. He said that the target is to generate 40 percent of India's total energy requirements in 2030, by non fossil fuel based sources.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate action


Solid-State and Sodium-Ion Batteries Shown as Promising Next-Gen Technologies for Energy Storage

1 October 2018 - The battery market has grown rapidly in scale during the recent period because of the growing demand for consumer electronics and the emergence of new energy storage applications (e.g. electric vehicles and utility-scale energy storage systems). This growth has also been a boon for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), which continues to be the dominant technology across most energy storage applications. Nevertheless, research institutions and startups have already entered the race to develop the next-generation battery technologies just as LIBs are approaching their technological maturity. Among the new technologies, solid-state (or all-solid-state) batteries and sodium-ion batteries (SIBs) are seen as promising alternatives to LIBs because of their potential advantages and recent technological breakthroughs.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate action


INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY - Small Island developing States and IRENA to take Energy Transformation to next level

1 October 2018 - Leaders of small island developing states (SIDS) and development partners meet today on the side-lines of the United Nations General Assembly to launch the SIDS Lighthouses 2.0, an initiative that seeks to accelerate energy transformation in SIDS, strengthen climate resilience and contribute to the achievement of the sustainable development goals. SIDS which are among the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and often heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels for their energy needs.

The SIDS Lighthouses Initiative (LHI) was launched at the 2014 UN Climate Summit to support SIDS in scaling up renewable energy through partnerships between public institutions, the private sector, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate action


INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY - IAEA Nuclear Safety Review Service Marks 100th Mission Worldwide

1 October 2018 - A major IAEA peer review service for nuclear safety is marking a milestone this week. With a review under way in Hungary, the Integrated Regulatory Review Service, or IRRS, is conducting its 100th mission worldwide. Launched in 2006, the IRRS assists Member States in strengthening and enhancing the effectiveness of their national governmental, legal and regulatory infrastructure for nuclear and radiation safety. IRRS peer reviews are conducted at the request of Member States by teams of international experts using IAEA safety standards as the benchmark, while recognizing the responsibility of each country to ensure nuclear and radiation safety. The missions identify areas for improvement and host countries develop action plans to address their findings.



Adorable LEGO Wind Turbine Is Made From Sustainable Bricks

30 September 2018 - A few years ago, wind turbines were a curiosity. Now LEGO has introduced its own version — a 3 foot high structure made from 826 white plastic blocks. But these are not your father’s LEGO blocks. As befits the idea of sustainable energy from the wind, the blocks for the miniature plants in this set are the first from LEGO to be manufactured from sugarcane rather than petroleum. The new sustainable material bricks are not biodegradable but can be recycled into new bricks (…). LEGO has linked up with the World Wildlife Foundation to create awareness about sustainable plastics and has joined the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance to promote the bioplastics industry.




Environment and wildlife


Anera’s land reclamation projects bolster Palestinian rural communities

3October 2018 – Terrace walls are almost as ubiquitous as the olive trees that grow behind them on the arid hills of the West Bank. The crumbling remains of terraces cut by Roman farmers dot the landscape. Driving along the steep road that leads from Qabalan to Jorish today, the role that terraces continue to play in conserving fertile land for farming is evident. In such mountainous terrain, terracing decreases erosion and surface runoff. In 2014, UNESCO recognized the cultural value of the stone terrace system dating back to antiquity by including the terraces in the West Bank village of Battir on its prestigious World Heritage List. The danger now is that the traditional knowledge of how to build terraces will be lost to future generations. There is an art to building terraces. Anera pioneered land reclamation projects in Palestine in the 1980s and 1990s. During this period, the organization donated eight bulldozers and 300 pieces of new agricultural machinery to Palestinian farmers and farming cooperatives. We also helped two West Bank cooperatives capitalize on revolving credit funds to provide members with loans for land reclamation. In the course of Anera’s 50-year history, we have supported many of the 184 West Bank farming cooperatives by providing training, loans, equipment, and other valuable assistance. https://www.anera.org/blog/aneras-land-reclamation-projects-bolster-palestinian-rural-communities/

News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


The Disney Conservation Fund awards $5 million to conservation organizations and names its 2018 Disney Conservation Heroes

2 October 2018 - Burbank, California /CSRwire/ - The Disney Conservation Fund (DCF), continued its more than 20-year commitment to conservation this month by awarding more than $5 million in grants to support 76 organizations working to protect the magic of nature around the world. The fund also recognized 13 people across the globe with the Disney Conservation Hero award, for their tireless efforts to save wildlife, protect habitats and inspire communities to take part in conservation efforts. “The Walt Disney Company has a rich history of respecting, protecting and preserving our natural resources and wildlife; as such, we are proud to award these latest grants to people and organizations around the world that share our mission,” said Elissa Margolis, senior vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility, The Walt Disney Company. “Our donation directly supports efforts to save animals and habitats in critical ecosystems across the globe and inspires others to do the same.” Additionally, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and The Seas with Nemo & Friends were recognized with a 20 Year Achievement in Conservation Award by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, at their annual conference in Seattle on September 26th (…)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


IFAD and the Lab launch new partnership to drive finance to African smallholder farmers combating climate change

28 September 2018 New York- Today, in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance (the Lab) and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) announced a new partnership that will help build climate resilience for smallholder farmers in Central and West Africa by developing and scaling up innovative financial instruments. There is an urgent need to spur greater investment into climate action, particularly for the agriculture sector, and particularly for smallholder farmers who are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The Lab is a network of public and private investors that identifies, develops, and launches transformative climate finance instruments. Since its start in 2014, instruments developed by the Lab have mobilized over US$ 1.15 billion for renewable energy, energy efficiency, adaptation, and climate-smart agriculture projects in developing countries. IFAD will be joining the Lab, bringing its expertise on agriculture financing to complement the Lab’s membership of private investors, governments, development finance institutions, philanthropies, and financial experts. Earlier this year IFAD launched a second phase of its Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) through generous contributions by the governments of Norway and Sweden. Through this programme, IFAD will be sponsoring the development of two instruments within a new thematic stream for smallholder agriculture financing in the Lab’s 2018-2019 cycle, starting in October 2018.

To learn more, visit: www.ClimateFInanceLab.org


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate action


GCF-IFAD agreement will help agricultural communities adapt to climate change

24 September 2018, New York- A key agreement signed today between the Green Climate Fund and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will help pioneer new land-based pathways of climate action. The signing of the Accreditation Master Agreement (AMA) in the margins of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly creates the potential for GCF to finance IFAD climate projects that empower rural people in developing countries. AMAs act as legal frameworks detailing the overarching rights and obligations of GCF Accredited Entities, such as IFAD. GCF Deputy Executive Director Javier Manzanares said the AMA signing will help GCF enhance its support for those on the frontline of climate change by improving their adaptive capacities, while at the same time supporting global mitigation measures. IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo highlighted how GCF resources can expand on IFAD’s work to channel climate and environmental finance to smallholder farmers.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate action



Religion and spirituality


Burundi: Forty more young people trained in active nonviolence from the Catholic Action Movement

4 October 2018 - On 20 and 21 September 2018, a training on “Empowering new generations on active nonviolence and entrepreneurship” was held in one of the halls of the parish of Saint-Sauveur in Nyakabiga (Archdiocese of Bujumbura) in Burundi. The training was attended by young people from the Catholic Action Movements and prayer groups of the Saint-Sauveur Parish of Nyakabiga: 40 young men and women responded to the invitation that the Nduwamahoro organisation had sent to them, for participating to the training. After a prayer and an introduction, the Coordinator of Catholic Action Movements of Nyakabiga Parish on behalf of the Parish Priest, gave a speech welcoming and thanking for the work that was going to be done in their parish. He also invited the participants to read carefully the material proposed to them, saying that it is an exceptional chance to have themes as rich and attractive for young people belonging to Catholic action movements.



Muslim Council of Britain to train women to run mosques

4 October 2018 - Six-month programme aims to increase diversity and follows calls for greater involvement. Britain’s leading Muslim organisation has launched a scheme to train women for leadership positions in mosques and community bodies. Twenty women have embarked on the six-month intensive programme run by the Muslim Council of Britain, aimed at equipping them for leadership positions. As well as one-to-one mentoring, the women will visit “best-practice mosques” and be given media and public speaking training.A national conference in Manchester this weekend on the future of mosques, organised by the MCB, will include a session on the participation of women on boards of trustees and other bodies running places of worship and community programmes.



ASIA/IRAQ - Christian monks and volunteers at the service of all: Kurds and refugees, without distinction of faith or ethnic group

3 October 2018 - Sulaymaniyya (Agenzia Fides) – In Sulaymaniyya, in Iraqi Kurdistan, there are currently no tensions, but the refugee emergency, caused by the war against ISIS and the internal instability of Iraq, has not ended. Kurdistan has welcomed 1,700,000 displaced people and refugees. In the area of Sulaymaniyya alone there were 200 thousand (including five thousand Christians). Faced with this emergency, Father Jens and the many volunteers are engaged in various projects. The most important is the language school (Kurdish, English and Arabic) including theatrical activities. 



Nuns win another victory in battle against gun violence

28 September 2018 - The victory is significant in holding gun manufacturers responsible for the risks associated with their products. The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary along with others from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility have won another victory against gun violence. Recent reports indicate that the group won a resolution at American Outdoor Brand’s recent annual shareholder meeting. This resolution requires the parent company to report on its brands and the steps they are taking towards the prevention of gun violence. The victory is significant because it requires Smith and Wesson to create an annual report. In the report, the company has to address whether or not it has done enough to show the risks of owning a gun.



AMERICA/ARGENTINA - G20 Interfaith Forum: religious contributions for a dignified future

26 September 2018 - Buenos Aires (Agenzia Fides) - The 2018 G20 Interfaith Forum will take place from 26 to 28 September 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the theme for this year’s Forum is “Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development: Religious Contributions for a Dignified Future". The Forum is organized by the G20 Association of Interfaith Forums, the Argentine Council for Religious Freedom (Calir) and the Latin-American "Ethics and Economics" Project (Creas-Pidesone).

The G20 is a forum that brings together leaders, finance ministers and central bank governors, created in 1999, after a series of financial crises, which takes into account the new economies under development. The G20 Interfaith Forum is in its fifth edition, the first was held in 2014 in Australia, and its aim is to develop recommendations on priority issues that draw on interfaith insight and experience. Particular attention is paid to ways that religious communities can contribute to the host country’s priorities.




Culture and education


UNESCO supports the launch of the Global Media and Information Literacy Youth Hackathon

4 October 2018 - UNESCO supports the call for the best and brightest answers to social opportunities and challenges through media and information literacy in connection with the launch of the first Global MIL Youth hackathon by our partners DesignEDly and Global Student Square. Winners of the three-day hackathon will be eligible for seed funding from an investment pool sponsored by UNESCO and the MiSK Foundation (link is external). Media and Information Literacy (MIL) cultivates critical minds in the current information and communication landscape that presents opportunities for sustainable development and dialogue but also challenges. Actions need to be taken to protect children and youth from online scams and harmful content, separate divisive disinformation from verified fact, and help refugees and migrants get the information they need no matter where they are. MIL is one sustainable way to empower people to self-protect and be agent of change. The Global MIL Youth Hackathon aims to tackle these topics and seek the best solutions.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality education


Laureates from Jamaica and Egypt to receive the 2018 UNESCO Prize for Girls' and Women’s Education

2 October 2018 - A Jamaican project to help school-aged mothers return to the classroom and another in Egypt which provides educational opportunities for marginalized girls will receive  this year’s UNESCO Prize for Girls' and Women's Education. An international jury selected the laureates from many remarkable nominations submitted by UNESCO Member States and partner non-governmental organizations. The Women’s Centre of Jamaica is rewarded for its project, Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC). It targets girls who drop out of school due to early pregnancy, providing these school-aged mothers with academic and practical training, health services, nursing and more. Young mothers are encouraged to re-enter school to complete their basic education and some to advance to tertiary education. The project, which has benefited from and impacted on state policies in Jamaica, has been replicated in other countries, supporting girls and women in the acquisition of knowledge and skills for a fulfilling life, helping them transition to employment.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality education and number 5- Gender Equality


Online consultation on the draft UNESCO position paper on the Future of Education for Sustainable Development

1 October 2018 - What makes people act for sustainable development? How can education help make the transformation?

UNESCO invites concerned stakeholders and the public to review the draft UNESCO position paper on the future of Education for Sustainable Development and share their comments. The UNESCO position paper on the future of Education for Sustainable Development reflects on where the work of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) stands amidst new emerging contexts and proposes the way forward for the 2020-2030 period. Building on the ‘Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (2015-2019)’ and the ‘UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014)’, UNESCO has prepared this post-GAP position paper, in view of the increasing importance of ESD as 'an integral element of the Sustainable Development Goal on quality education and a key enabler of all the other Sustainable Development Goals' (UN General Assembly Resolution 72/222).


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality education and number 15-Life on Land


World Teachers' Day: Quality education requires well-trained teachers

1 October 2018 - Overcrowded classrooms, inadequate teacher training, lack of professional development during their careers: all these factors have a negative effect on learning. World Teachers' Day, celebrated annually on 5 October, focuses this year on the right to education, which means the right to qualified teachers. On this occasion, several events are being organized at UNESCO Headquarters on 4 and 5 October. Well-trained teachers are essential for quality education. However, teachers who have not received the required pedagogical training to teach are teaching students today. According to 2017 data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 85% of primary school teachers worldwide have received teacher training. However, this figure masks significant regional disparities. For example, in sub-Saharan Africa, only 64% of primary school teachers are trained. In South Asia, this rate reaches 71%.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality education


Culture Action Europe wants to put Culture on the Agenda for the European Elections 2019 

29 September 2018 - On 21 September 2018, Culture Action Europe, CAE, published an appeal to EU politicians urging them to recognize culture and to approach cultural issues constructively and respectfully in the upcoming European elections. CAE writes, “without the explicit recognition of its cultural dimension, the future of the European Union as a common endeavor is difficult to imagine.” In a time full of eurosceptism and growing polarization of the society, culture should be seen as a source of unity, cooperation and mutual understanding. Celebrating the cultural diversity found within Europe can help unify Europe. CAE appeals to all political forces to approach cultural issues constructively and respectfully within the European elections.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality education


New Zealand: Historic pay equity deal in education signed

26 September 2018 – Hundreds of women working in education in New Zealand have achieved a pay rise of up to 30 per cent in a historic settlement for pay equity. The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) Te Riu Roa signed a historic deal last August with the Ministry of Education to ensure pay equity for education support workers providing support to young children with additional learning needs. This deal was ratified on 19 September, changing the lives of 329 education support workers who work for the Ministry of Education, and paves the way for other women in the education sector. The NZEI Te Riu Roa, a member of Education International in New Zealand, has welcome the settlement which includes an immediate pay increase of up to 30 per cent and further increases over three years for all education communications and behaviour support workers”. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said nearly all education support workers are women, and they do vital work helping young children with severe learning and behavioural challenges to learn.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality education



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Next issue: 16th November 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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