Go to the Home Page

Good News Agency

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

monthly, year 19th, no. 280 – 14th June 2019


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


Venezuela partially opens border with Colombia that was shut in February

8 June 2019 - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday announced a partial opening of the country’s border with Colombia, which his government closed in February as opposition leaders prepared an ultimately failed effort to bring aid into the country.



COMMISSION DELEGATED REGULATION (EU) 2019/856 of 26 February 2019 supplementing Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to the operation of the Innovation Fund (Text with EEA relevance)

28 May 28, 2019 – The European Commission (…) has adopted this Regulation

Chapter I- General provisions- Article 1- Subject matter

This Regulation lays down detailed rules supplementing Directive 2003/87/EC as regards:

(a)  the operational objectives of the Innovation Fund established by Article 10a(8) of Directive 2003/87/EC;

(b)  the forms of support provided under the Innovation Fund;

(c)   the application procedure for the Innovation Fund support;

(d)  the procedure and criteria for project selection under the Innovation Fund;

(e)  disbursement of the Innovation Fund support;

(f)   the governance of the Innovation Fund;

(g)  reporting, monitoring, evaluation, control, and publicity concerning the operation of the Innovation Fund. (…)



REGULATION (EU) 2019/818 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 20 May 2019 on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems in the field of police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration and amending Regulations (EU) 2018/1726, (EU) 2018/1862 and (EU) 2019/816

22 May 2019 – The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (…) have adopted this regulation

Chapter I- General provisions- Article 1- Subject matter

1.   This Regulation, together with Regulation (EU) 2019/817 of the European Parliament and of the Council (28), establishes a framework to ensure interoperability between the Entry/Exit System (EES), the Visa Information System (VIS), the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), Eurodac, the Schengen Information System (SIS), and the European Criminal Records Information System for third-country nationals (ECRIS-TCN). (…)


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


Andorra ratified Protocol No. 16 to the Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

16 May 2019 – Protocol No. 16 allows the highest courts and tribunals of a High Contracting Party, as specified by the latter, to request the European Court of Human Rights to give advisory opinions on questions of principle relating to the interpretation or application of the rights and freedoms defined in the Convention or the protocols thereto.


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


Germany signed the Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Extradition

16 May 2019 – The European Convention on Extradition (ETS No. 24) bars extradition in respect of all political offences. While it does not define the notion of political offence, it excludes from the scope of such offences the taking of the life of a head of State. The Protocol further limits the scope of such offences by excluding also war crimes and crimes against humanity. Moreover, the Protocol supplements the provisions of the Convention that deal with the principle “ne bis in idem”, namely its Article 9, by enlarging the number of instances in which the extradition of a person is barred where that person has already been tried for the offence in respect of which the extradition claim was made.




Human rights


European Commission reports on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, 10 years on

5 June 2019 - Today, the Commission publishes its annual report on how the EU institutions and Member States have been applying the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Charter. On this occasion, the Commission is also releasing a Eurobarometer survey on citizens' awareness of the Charter. Thanks to the Charter, a culture of fundamental rights has developed in the work of the EU institutions over the last ten years. But the Charter is not yet used to its full potential by the enforcement chain and awareness remains low. The report shows that European policy makers are increasingly aware of the importance of ensuring that initiatives are Charter compliant and the EU has adopted many initiatives protecting people's fundamental rights, such as the General Data Protection Regulation.



The Oslo Freedom Forum in Norway

4 June 2019 - The Oslo Freedom Forum returned to the Norwegian capital for it’s 11th year, bringing the world of human rights together to debate under the banner of “Unite”. The forum gave a platform to the oppressed, such as Uyghur advocate Nury Turkel and offered solutions to sanction perpetrators through the Maginsky Act.


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


Trinidad and Tobago registers Venezuelan asylum-seekers to legalise their status

(by Janine Mendes-Franco)

4 June 2019 - The registration process that the Trinidad and Tobago government promised to introduce in an effort to regularise Venezuelan asylum seekers is officially underway. The two-week-long initiative, which began on May 31, 2019, will afford undocumented Venezuelans amnesty so that they can be put on the record and legally recognised in Trinidad and Tobago. Registering will also allow asylum-seekers the ability to work for one year, a measure that should minimise the exploitation that many currently face. Venezuelans have been fleeing their country to neighbouring territories as a result of their country's political problems, which has given rise to violence, exacerbated poor living conditions and increased shortages of critical supplies like food, toiletries and medicine. At its closest point, the Caribbean twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago lies just 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) north of Venezuela. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, estimates that Trinidad and Tobago's “population of concern” comprises more than 10,000 people — among them, 800 refugees and 9,985 asylum-seekers, most of whom are from Venezuela.


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


Know your Human Rights: new project

4 June 2019 - We're pleased to announce that BIHR has been awarded a grant from The Legal Education Foundation to develop a new interactive website to empower people about their human rights and how to use them interactions with mental health and mental capacity services.  This innovative tool draws on our experience of working with over 10,000 people using services, carers, family members, advocates and staff in health and care services. It will transform our practical co-developed flowcharts on "how to identify a human rights issue" and "how to take action" to secure human rights in mental health or capacity services, before having to go to court. It will focus on how people can benefit from their human rights in easy to understand steps, helping resolve sometimes complex situations, in positive ways that improve their lives.

Alongside the interactive tool will be other accessible, practical resources to help people understand their human rights, including mini guide versions of our hardcopy toolkits (get your copies here!) and new videos, including an exciting project with a local self-advocacy group in Liverpool, more information coming soon!



Somaliland/Puntland: 17 detainees released and returned home

3 June 2019 - Seventeen members of the armed forces of Somaliland and Puntland who were captured in the armed conflict that broke out in May 2018 were released and returned home today with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).  The ICRC flew the persons released to Hargeisa and Garowe, respectively. Prior to their release, ICRC delegates spoke in private with the former detainees to ensure that all agreed to be returned. The ICRC was not involved in the negotiations that preceded the release.




Economy and development


TEXAS - Charity Charge unveils a Custom Credit Card for Nonprofits that earns cash back with every purchase

4 June 2019 -   Charity Charge, a public benefit corporation, announced today a new credit card designed to specifically address the needs of nonprofits. The Charity Charge Nonprofit Business Mastercard, issued by Commerce Bank, is the first-of-its-kind to turn business expenses into rewards that support nonprofit operating models. Launch clients include charities such as local chapters of the United Way, The Junior League, YMCA, Global Impact, The Toby Keith Foundation, and 1% for the Planet. While traditional small business cards used by nonprofits include various fees and different rewards systems, the Charity Charge Nonprofit Business Mastercard keeps it simple and adds business perks, including: 

Nonprofit, academic, and religious organizations can benefit from advanced expense management features in the Charity Charge Nonprofit Business Mastercard platform that are not typically available to smaller organizations. These tools enable built-in online expense reporting and employee card limits, ensuring that nonprofits can effectively manage expenses. 



South Sudan inaugurates European Union-funded bridge in Warrap State

4 June 2019- Kwacjok, South Sudan – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the European Union have today officially handed over the completed Kwacjok Bridge to the Government of South Sudan that links Lunyaker, Kwacjok and Kangi regions for long separated by the Jur River. The 120-metre long bridge is part of a €20.3 million European Union-funded project to construct and maintain a total 100 kilometres of road infrastructure in Warrap and Western Bahr el Ghazal states. Built at a total cost of US$6.5 million, the bridge will connect tens of thousands of people and is key not only for humanitarian operations but is expected to boost farm-to-market access and commercial activities in the region as well. Construction, undertaken in phases since January 2018, consisted of a reinforced concrete sub-structure based on piled foundations, the supply and installation of the prefabricated bridge superstructure and development of seven kilometres of approach roads. Led by a construction firm under the supervision of WFP engineering teams, up to 80 local people were employed as workers, including electricians, welders, equipment operators, and drivers, creating much-needed job opportunities. The Kwacjok Bridge is the latest WFP engineering project in South Sudan.



UK - Ethical Herbal Wellbeing Company - Pukka Herbs - Launches Latest Sustainability Report

3 June 2019 - Organic herbal wellbeing company, Pukka Herbs has just announced the launch of its latest Sustainability Report; outlining the company’s sustainable business practices and insights from 2018. Pukka Herbs was co-founded in 2001 by ethical entrepreneur Tim Westwell and practising herbalist, Sebastian Pole. The company’s mission was built on a desire to create a business that lives regeneratively, benefitting the health of people, plants and the planet through herbs. The herbal wellbeing company has since gone on to become one of the fastest growing organic businesses in the world, selling its 100% certified organic herbal teas, supplements and lattes in over 40 countries. Pukka was acquired by Unilever in September 2017, during which time Co-Founders Tim and Sebastian confirmed the herbal wellbeing company was committed to staying organic, a certified B Corp and donating 1% of sales annually to environmental charities. Pukka’s latest Sustainability Report reveals the ways in which it has scaled up and stayed sustainable; from investing in regenerative organic agriculture practices to working with leading universities on innovative research into natural and preventive health. As a certified BCorp, Pukka is rigorously assessed on how it delivers its mission in the most ethical and sustainable ways possible.


News related with SDGs number 8-Decent Work and Economic Growth


Whole Planet Foundation annual Prosperity Campaign surpasses $4 million for micro-entrepreneurs

31 May 2019, Austin, Texas /CSRwire/ - With the tremendous support of Whole Foods Market shoppers, team members and volunteers, donors, and corporate partners, the Whole Planet Foundation Annual Prosperity Campaign raised $4,249,706 during the month of March.  These efforts will support more than 128,000 people with the chance to lift themselves out of poverty through microcredit. Each year, Whole Foods Market shoppers can round up their bill or make a donation of their choice to fund microloans for people living in poverty in countries around the world where Whole Foods Market sources products.(…) Microcredit is small loans – the current average first loan size supported by Whole Planet Foundation is $178 – with no formal collateral or contract, provided to the world’s poorest people – mostly women - to create or expand a business for the opportunity to pull themselves and their families out of poverty. Whole Planet Foundation’s global impact has reached micro-entrepreneurs in 75 countries thanks to donors who support our mission to alleviate global poverty through microcredit(…)


News related with SDGs number 8-Decent Work and Economic Growth


Boosting women’s entrepreneurship in Ghana

30 May 2019 – Women make up 70 percent of Ghana’s poultry labor force, yet only 7 percent own their own poultry farms. Edith Wheatland, 41, overcame the many cultural barriers that limit women’s access to finance, services, and land rights to launch her own poultry enterprise in Ghana’s Ashanti Region. She saved enough start-up capital while working abroad to return to Ghana in 2013 and open Rockland Farms. Since 2015, the USDA-funded Ghana Poultry Project has provided Edith’s staff with technical assistance in poultry production, finance and accounting, and business formalization. Rockland Farms now has the capacity for 65,000 chickens. The project also set up a local outgrower model, in which Rockland Farms provided inputs, such as vaccines and chicken feed, to five other female poultry farmers, who then sold their products directly to Rockland Farms. Edith applied a grant received through the project to expand that number to 10 female farmers. She also hired a farm manager, invested in computers and accounting software to improve financial management, and installed biosecurity infrastructure, such as foot baths, to prevent disease outbreaks.


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


British International development Minister breaks ground at new humanitarian logistic base

22 May 2019, Nepalgunj, Nepal – British Minister for International Development Baroness Elizabeth Sugg today attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the Forward Logistics Base in Province 5, managed by the World Food Programme (WFP) in Nepal, in close cooperation with the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal and the Ministry of Home Affairs. The symbolic groundbreaking ceremony marks the beginning of construction of the base. This base in Nepalgunj is one of the seven that will be built to support provincial and national emergency response operations across the country. Once completed, each of the seven provinces will have its own base, forming a network to improve storage and transport of relief goods to remote locations in times of disaster. The construction follows the success of the UK-funded Kathmandu Humanitarian Staging Area, which was launched one month before the devastating 2015 earthquake as the central humanitarian hub for emergency preparedness and response. The prompt activation of the facility saved 21 days in response time, which meant relief supplies reached the people in desperate need faster.






Rotary’s 110th annual convention concludes; one of Hamburg’s most multicultural, non-profit gatherings

8 June 2019 - Hamburg, Germany (5 June 2019): As Rotary closes its 110th annual international meeting at the Hamburg Messe und Congress on 5 June, Rotary members will bring home indelible memories and new insights on how to improve lives and bring positive, lasting change to communities around the world. In his keynote address, Rotary International President Barry Rassin said, “Service to others is an integral part of our mission, whether it’s through the plans and actions of individual clubs, Rotary’s six areas of focus, or the transformational support of The Rotary Foundation. And the service that most defines us and our global mission is the ongoing goal to rid the world of polio.”



Towards Zero Hunger - Japanese contribution builds resilient communities and nourishes school children

7 June 2019 Vientiane – The Ambassador of Japan to the Lao PDR, H.E Takeshi Hikihara, today handed over his government’s donation of canned fish and rice to the World Food Programme (WFP). This in-kind contribution is part of Japan’s pledge of US$3.2 million towards WFP’s school meals and resilience building programmes that help communities withstand disasters caused by climate change. Majority of the 425 metric tons of canned fish will be used to provide school lunches for 100,000 children in rural parts of the country. The children eat a staple of rice and lentils daily, with an addition of local greens and vegetables from school gardens and local communities. Fish is a welcome and nutritious variation to their daily lunch. The 205 metric tons of rice will help 40 vulnerable communities set up community rice banks in Sekong and Attapeu provinces in southern Laos. These rice banks will allow 20,000 villagers to borrow rice during the lean season to cope with potential food shortages. The rice banks will enhance the resilience of these communities to withstand weather conditions arising due to climate change. Through a partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Lux Development and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Laos, WFP has supported the establishment of 60 community rice banks.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger


Taking the healing power of dance to prisons

(by Maria Di Mento)

4 June 2019 – Lucy Wallace is a dancer who has spent a lot of time in prison. That’s because Wallace, the co-founder of Dance to Be Free, travels the country teaching dance classes to incarcerated women to help them cope with depression, despair, PTSD, and complex trauma. Wallace taught her first classes at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility in 2015 at the suggestion of friends and the following year began branching out to other prisons. Despite her assumption that most prisons would turn her away, not one has. "I’ve never had a warden say, ‘No, we don’t want your program,’ " Wallace says. "They’re grateful to get programming, especially in rural areas that are so remote no one goes there to volunteer." A former dance major who has a master’s degree in psychology, Wallace incorporates a mix of movement styles into her dance classes, including jazz, lyrical, and hip-hop, and a variety of musical genres. (…) The program involves writing exercises and group discussions that let the women talk about their lives, how they coped with their first few weeks in prison, their biggest challenges, and what they’re getting out of the classes. She provides the prisons with DVDs of the classes and has certified about 400 prisoners who can lead the courses. Dance to Be Free is in 13 prisons in eight states and operates on a budget of about $100,000 a year. Few prisons will pay for the programming, something Wallace would like to change. For now, the charity receives all of its funding from individual donors, raising roughly $175,000 since 2015. With no money to hire a professional fundraiser, she and her tiny board rely on online-fundraising campaigns, media coverage, and video footage that the nonprofit is sometimes allowed to shoot during classes to get the word out about its work and attract donations(…)



Save the Children announces $1.5 million grant from GSK to enhance disaster relief

(by Sara Neumann)

29 May 2019, Fairfield, Connecticut – Save the Children is pleased to announce that global healthcare company GSK will donate $1.5 million over three years to help enhance the global nonprofit’s ability to respond to disasters in the United States. The donation is aimed at maximizing the impact of Save the Children’s critical work, including helping to mobilize rapid responses to help children affected by natural disasters, strengthen the capacity of staff and volunteers and increase its efficiency through data system improvements. The announcement comes in the lead up to June 1, the official start of hurricane season.(…) Save the Children and GSK have been global partners since 2013 and have reached 2.8 million children in 45 countries. The organizations have worked together in the U.S. since 2015, helping children cope with natural disasters, with GSK providing corporate and employee donations to directly aid children affected by recent disasters, including hurricanes Michael, Florence, Maria, Irma and Harvey, and to help communities, child-serving institutions and families develop plans to increase the resilience of children experiencing disasters. (…)



Canada helps vulnerable Palestinians cope with increased hardships

9 May 2019 Jerusalem – The Government of Canada has provided the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) with a contribution of approximately US$2.4 million to support 128,000 vulnerable Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. WFP will use the funds to meet the food needs of 91,000 food-insecure non-refugees in Gaza through electronic vouchers for around one and a half months. They can use the vouchers to buy food items of their choice, including fresh dairy products, eggs and vegetables as well as cereals and pulses in any of 83 designated shops. In the West Bank, 37,000 vulnerable Bedouin and herders will receive food rations of fortified wheat flour, pulses, vegetable oil and salt that cover their needs for three months.WFP assists the non-refugee communities in Gaza and the West Bank who are most acutely hit by the lack of jobs and who receive less than US$1 a day to cover basic housing, clothing and food needs. WFP will use part of this contribution to organize nutrition and health awareness sessions where families can learn how to prepare healthy and vitamin-rich meals using their WFP food entitlements. Special attention will be given to pregnant and nursing mothers and caregivers of children under the age of five years.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger



Peace and security


GUATEMALA - FROM THE FIELD: Murals help heal wounds of bloody conflict in Guatemala

8 June 2019 - The horrific picture she paints was the reality experienced by many Guatemalans during the 36-year-long armed conflict between the military and guerilla groups which killed at least 200,000 people in the Central American country, beginning in the early 1960s. Now, Rosalina and the women of San Juan Comalapa, a municipality some 80 kilometers from the capital, Guatemala City, have established a memorial for victims of the conflict, due in part to the support of UN Women, and other organizations. The first of its kind in Guatemala, it is called the Center for the Historical Memory of Women, and has been painted with murals by artists from across the region.


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


Nigeria: how village Imam, Abubakar, puts his life on the line to save others in Barkin Ladi attacks

31 may 2019 - The 83-year-old Muslim Cleric, Imam Abdullahi Abubakar, who saved the lives of hundreds of persons fleeing from attacks by suspected bandits in Yelwan Gindi Akwati, Swei and Nghar villages in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, has been described as a hero by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.


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


From violence to dialogue: as land conflicts intensify, UN boosts efforts to resolve disputes through mediation

26 May 2019 – The town of Kitchanga, in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), hosts the highest concentration of internally displaced people in the country, and has been one of the regions most affected by clashes between local communities, made up of Tutsis and Hutus, especially in terms of accessing land. Today, however, thanks to a UN initiative, many disputes over land in Kitchanga are resolved through dialogue instead of violence, and families can cultivate, rent and make a profit from their land.


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





How Colorado halved abortion and teen birth rates

(by Lornet Turnbull)

5 June 2019– Twelve years ago, unintended pregnancies among young women in Colorado was at a stubbornly high rate. Federally funded family planning clinics in the state had been providing free contraception to families who couldn’t afford them for four decades, yet six of every 10 women, ages 15 to 24, who had a live birth that year said their pregnancy had been unintended. In 2008, an anonymous donation allowed the state to expand family planning services and for the first time provide long-acting reversible contraception, such as IUDs and implants, to low-income women at little to no cost. Over the next five years, the state’s teen birth and abortion rates were cut in half. While the state changed the way it asked about unintended pregnancies, health officials found that between 2009 and 2017 the birth rate for those 15 to 19, dropped 57 percent — from 37.5 births per 1,000 teens to 16.1, the steepest drop in the country. During the same time, the abortion rate fell by about 64 percent. (…) In Colorado, officials with the Department of Public Health and Environment attribute up to two-thirds of the decline there, as well as averted public assistance costs of nearly $70 million, to its comprehensive family planning initiative. And they predict a continued downward trend in both teen births and abortions before they taper off. (…)


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


Syria: Field hospital opens for displaced people in Al Hol camp

29 May 2019 Damascus, Syria – A new field hospital to assist patients wounded in war or suffering from illness will open this week in Al Hol camp to address the massive humanitarian needs after an influx of people in recent months. The hospital is opening with support from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Norwegian Red Cross. The more than 63,000 people who have arrived in Al Hol since December had been without access to health care in their areas due to ongoing hostilities, lack of medicine, and damaged or destroyed health facilities. After the arrivals, the population of Al Hol stands at 74,000 people, of which 90 per cent are women and children. "We are trying to meet the increasing humanitarian needs, not only towards the families residing in Al Hol Camp, but also the distressed people who have been affected by floods in Rural Hassakeh, where Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers have been working around the clock over the last few months," said Khaled Hboubati, president of SARC. "The deterioration of the health situation in the Camp rang a bell to the need of this medical facility, which is the first of its kind, designed to provide a higher level of health care services, among it high efficient surgeries. The field hospital is considered one of the most advanced facilities used in disaster response  “(…)


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


Launch of polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023

23May 2019 – The 72nd World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization held by in Geneva, Switzerland is the biggest congregation of public health actors. Taking advantage of the critical mass of global leaders, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative hosted an event for polio eradicators, partners and stakeholders on 21 May 2019. The event, To Succeed by 2023—Reaching Every Last Child, celebrated the GPEI’s new Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023. The five-year plan spells out the tactics and tools to wipe out the poliovirus from its last remaining reservoirs, including innovative strategies to vaccinate hard-to-reach children and expanded partnerships with the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) community and health emergencies. The informal event brought together a cross-section of stakeholders – partners, health actors, non-health actors, supporters, donors, Ministers of Health of endemic countries, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, and Polio Oversight Board members – alluding to strengthened and systematic collaboration in areas of management, research and financing activities in the last mile (…)


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


Algeria and Argentina certified malaria-free by WHO

22May 2019 – Algeria and Argentina have been officially recognized by WHO as malaria-free. The certification is granted when a country proves that it has interrupted indigenous transmission of the disease for at least 3 consecutive years. Contracted through the bite of an infected mosquito, malaria remains one of the world’s leading killers, with an estimated 219 million cases and over 400 000 malaria-related deaths in 2017. Approximately 60% of fatalities are among children aged under 5 years. Algeria is the second country in the WHO African Region to be officially recognized as malaria-free, after Mauritius, which was certified in 1973. Argentina is the second country in the WHO Region of the Americas to be certified in 45 years, after Paraguay in June 2018. For both Algeria and Argentina, malaria has a history that spans hundreds of years, and the battle against the disease has been hard-fought. Over the last decade, improved surveillance allowed for every last case of malaria to be rapidly identified and treated. Both countries provided free diagnosis and treatment within their borders, ensuring no one was left behind in getting the services they needed to prevent, detect and cure the disease.


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


World Red Cross Red Crescent Day: Celebrating “14 million points of hope”

8 May 2019, Geneva– On World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day 2019, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is celebrating the nearly 14 million Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers around the world who provide a lifeline to countless communities in need. This year’s World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day comes as volunteers around the world respond to a range of emergencies and crises. For example, volunteers in Mozambique are assisting thousands of families affected by Cyclone Idai and, more recently, by Cyclone Kenneth. In Venezuela, Red Cross volunteers are supporting communities, hospitals and health clinics across the country, providing needed medicines, medical supplies, equipment and care. In Afghanistan, Red Crescent volunteers are scaling up support to people who, in a matter of months, have suffered droughts and then floods. This year, IFRC has launched a global digital campaign to celebrate World Red and Cross Red Crescent Day. Hundreds of submissions that reflect the diversity and the power of the IFRC network have been received so far from volunteers and staff in Kiribati, Yemen, Venezuela, Mali, Lithuania, and dozens of other countries. https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/press-release/world-red-cross-red-crescent-day-celebrating-14-million-points-hope/

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



Energy and safety



Energy Department announces $2 Million to advance collaborative Geothermal Research through new International Partnership

4 June 2019 – Today (6/3), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced it will contribute up to $2 million in available funding through a joint Call for Proposals to advance geothermal research and development through a new partnership with more than a dozen European countries. (…) As part of its membership with GEOTHERMICA - a transnational consortium that combines financial resources and research expertise to demonstrate and validate novel concepts in geothermal energy use - the U.S. geothermal community will be able to collaborate directly with European partners on shared research projects that leverage valuable data, field site access, and extensive expertise in geothermal research and development. European researchers will likewise benefit from shared learning with American counterparts. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


Solar cell defect mystery solved after decades of global effort

(by Robin Whitlock)

3 June 2019 – A team of scientists at The University of Manchester has solved a key flaw in solar panels after 40 years of research around the world. (…) The majority of solar cells only achieve 20 percent efficiency – for every kW of equivalent sunlight (…). Now an international team of researchers have resolved a key fundamental issue of material defect which limits and degrades solar cell efficiency. The problem has been known about and studied for over 40 years, with over 270 research papers attributed to the issue with no solution. The new research shows the first observation of a previously unknown material defect which limits silicon solar cell efficiency. (…)


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


Geothermal energy consolidates its market uptake but much potential remains untapped finds new EGEC report

(by Robin Whitlock)

3 June 2019 – The European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC) Geothermal Market Report 2018, published today, finds that the geothermal sector has continued its steady development although the sustained rate of development has been confined to a limited number of countries. Core markets have continued carrying developments in geothermal electricity, large geothermal heating and cooling projects and deployment of smallscale geothermal heating and cooling systems. Meanwhile, the use of geothermal energy has also expanded geographically (…).


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


Biobased diesel fuels deliver largest carbon emission reductions for transportation

(by Helena Tavares Kennedy)

2 June 2019 – In California, new data gathered by the California Air Resources Board’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard program, shows that biobased diesel fuels (…) deliver the state’s biggest reduction in carbon emissions for the transportation sector. (…) In 2018, the use of these bio-based fuels reduced 4.3 million tons of carbon dioxide in California. This amount surpassed the reduction from ethanol for the first time since the program started in 2011. In that time renewable diesel and biodiesel have reduced CO2 emissions by over 18 million tons. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


Large swaths of incoming Solar & Onshore Wind are cheaper than fossil fuels

(by Joshua S Hill)

31 May 2019 – A new report published this week by the International Renewable Energy Agency has found that 77% of onshore wind projects and 83% of utility-scale solar PV projects set to be commissioned in 2020 will be cheaper than the lowest fossil fuel-fired generation prices. (…) Renewable energy is already the cheapest form of electricity in many parts of the world and, with prices expected to continue to fall, the cost advantage of renewable energy sources like wind and solar will only continue to increase. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action



Environment and wildlife


Congolese pupils plant trees to mark world environment day

6 June 2019 - Pupils from schools across Pointe Noire and authorities in the Congolese city planted over a hundred trees on Wednesday. The project, Initiated by the Direction de l’environment and the Africa environment solutions association, saw several students commemorate the World Environment Day. The NGO has visited nearly 1500 school school children for the last two days to raise awareness about environmental management, the conservation of natural resources and air pollution. The initiative that has been very welcomed due to lack of tree cover to provide natural shade especially in periods of high heat in the coastal town. World Environment Day was initiated by the United Nations in 1972, on the occasion of the opening of the United Nations Conference on the Environment in Stockholm.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


IAEA develops new method to track sources of water pollution

3 June 2019 – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts, has developed an innovative method for tracing the origin of nitrogen pollution in lakes, seas and rivers. The nuclear-derived analytical tool provides a cheaper, safer and faster way to determine if excessive nitrogen compounds in water stem from agriculture, sewage systems or industry, helping prevention and remediation efforts. (…) The excessive nitrate levels increase algae growth that can lead to toxic blooms. These also sink to the bottom of lakes, feeding bacteria and creating so-called ‘dead zones'.


News related with SDGs number 14- Life below Water


ePure says EU ethanol reduced GHG emissions by 71% compared to fossil fuels in 2018

(by Meghan Sapp)

30 May 2019 – In Belgium, ePure says European renewable ethanol delivered an average of more than 71% greenhouse-gas savings compared to fossil fuels in 2018, well above the minimum legal requirements, according to new certified data from producers. That continues a seven-year trend, as the climate-change-fighting potential of EU ethanol keeps improving. (…)


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production


Hanergy teams up with USGBC to boost global development of Green Buildings

30 May 2019 – The multinational clean energy company, Hanergy Thin Film Power Group, announced that it has recently inked a strategic cooperation agreement with U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) on May 14th to jointly foster the application of thin-film solar power products and technologies in buildings globally and promote the idea of "Powering Buildings with Green Energy". Under the aegis of agreement, the two parties will work together to conduct research, impart education and training, execute marketing activities and promote the certification of standards, such as LEED, SITES and PEER around the globe. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


Renewable Energy surpasses coal as source of US Energy, researchers say

(by Dan McCue)

15 May 2019 – For the first time in history, renewable energy surpassed coal earlier this month as a source of electricity generation in the United States, the Brookings Institution reported this week. The paper underlying the report attributes this almost remarkable development to U.S. municipalities and businesses striving to fill the void created by President Donald Trump announcing the United States' withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. Authors Shanta Devarajan and Tito Cordella, senior director and adviser respectively of development economics at The World Bank, said an unanticipated consequence of the U.S. "leaving Paris" was how private firms and local governments would react. (…) As an example, they point to the efforts of then-California Governor Jerry Brown, who in September 2018 signed an executive order committing the state to be carbon-neutral by 2045. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action



Religion and spirituality


AFRICA/EGYPT - Christians and Muslims on pilgrimage to the monastery in Smalut

7 June 2019 - Smalut (Agenzia Fides) – To make a pilgrimage and ask for the intercession of the Virgin Mary for security and peace in the country: with this spirit thousands of Christians and Muslims took part in the week of celebrations at the Deir Al Tayr monastery in Smalut, participating in the Ascension mass in recent days. The Monastery, visited by about two million faithful of the Christian and Muslim communities that week, is known for its ancient church carved in the heart of the eastern part of the mountain. The pilgrimage to the monastery constitutes the second stage in the so-called "Way of the Holy Family", the itinerary that unites the places crossed by Mary, Joseph and the Child Jesus when they took refuge in Egypt to escape from the violence of Herod.



Catholic composer pens song for Pride Month because ‘We are called to love’

7 June 2019- David Haas’ song, composed to celebrate Pride Month, illustrates how some Catholics are striving to be more welcoming of LGBTQ.  A renowned American Catholic composer and concert musician has written a refrain in celebration of Pride Month, in an effort to honor of the inherent dignity of LGBTQ people. David Haas, a composer of contemporary Catholic liturgical music whose pieces are sung in parishes across America, told HuffPost he wrote the refrain on Sunday as a “gift” to his friends in the LGBTQ community who will be involved in Pride activities this month, and for Catholic and Protestant clergy who minister to them. The simple, meditative refrain, titled, “You’ve made me wonderful,” is based on Psalm 139:13-14. Haas said the Bible verses speak of a God who “knows us better than we know ourselves” and “loves and accepts all of us.” The composer, a lifelong Catholic from Eagan, Minnesota, said he hopes the song illustrates how deeply God loves every human being, and how “we are called to love.” His efforts for Pride Month showcase the diversity of opinions American Catholics have on how welcoming to be toward LGBTQ people.



Spiritual science: how a new perspective on consciousness could help us understand ourselves

(bySteve Taylor)

6 June 2019 - Scientists have long been trying to understand human consciousness – the subjective “stuff” of thoughts and sensations inside our minds. There used to be an assumption that consciousness is produced by our brains, and that in order to understand it, we just need to figure out how the brain works.

But this assumption raises questions. Apart from the fact that decades of research and theorising have not shed any significant light on the issue, there are some strange mismatches between consciousness and brain activity. For example, as the neuroscientist Giulio Tononi has pointed out, brain cells fire away almost as much in some states of unconsciousness (such as deep sleep) as they do in the wakeful conscious state. In some parts of the brain, you can identify neurons associated with conscious experience, while other neurons don’t seem to have any affect on it. There are also cases of a very low level of brain activity (such as during some near death experiences and comas) when consciousness may not only continue, but even become more intense. If you held a human brain in your hand, you would find it to be a soggy clump of grey matter, a bit like putty, weighing about 1.3kg. How is it possible that this grey soggy stuff can give rise to the richness and depth of your conscious experience? This is is known as the “hard problem” of consciousness. As a result, many eminent philosophers (such as David Chalmers and Thomas Nagel) and scientists like Christof Koch and Tononi have rejected the idea that consciousness is directly produced by brain processes. They have turned to the alternative view that it is actually a fundamental quality of the universe. This might sound far fetched, but think about the other “fundamentals” in the universe we take for granted, such as gravity and mass. Consciousness would have the same status as those.



VATICAN - "A minute for peace": a minute of prayer or reflection for a more fraternal world

6 June 2019 – “Saturday, June 8, will be the fifth anniversary of the meeting of the Israel and Palestinian Presidents with me and Patriarch Bartholomew here in the Vatican. At 1 p.m. we are invited to dedicate ‘a minute to peace’ – of prayer, for believers, of reflection, for those who do not believe -: all together for a more fraternal world. Thanks to the international Catholic Action that promotes this initiative.” These are the words pronounced by Pope Francis yesterday, at the end of the general audience, to commemorate the initiative.  Also this year, recalling that meeting for reconciliation in 2014, the International Forum for Catholic Action (FIAC), the Union of Catholic Women's Organizations (Umofc), the Italian Catholic Action, the Argentine Catholic Action and the National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Argentine Bishops' Conference, ask their members to pause to dedicate a minute to prayer, calling for an end to conflicts that cause death and despair to the peoples of the world. "Wherever you are, at 1.00 pm on June 8th, pause, bow your head and pray for peace" is the simple invitation to women and men of good will in 30 different languages.



Bangladesh - Young Christians close to the poorest Muslims for the end of Ramadan

5 June 2019 - Dacca (Agenzia Fides) - "Christians have shown their great hearts. We are impressed by their love, compassion and hospitality. The Iftar meal, prepared by them for the end of Ramadan, has strengthened religious harmony, tolerance, and taught us respect for other faiths": says to Agenzia Fides Amir Hossian, a faithful Muslim who took part in the Iftar event, at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, organized by the Christian Youth Association of Dacca (YMCA). Iftar is the meal Muslims have after sunset during Ramadan. About 400 of the poorest Muslims took part in the program: ecological workers, sewer cleaners, day laborers. Amir Hossian, a laborer in the Mirpur area, said he saw faithful from different communities live brotherly relationships and celebrate religious holidays with members of other communities.



IRAQ - In Mosul, young Christians distribute roses to Muslims for the Eid al Fitr festival

5 June 2019 - Mosul (Agenzia Fides) - Young Christians, Yazidis and Shabaks, offer white roses and sweets to their Muslim fellow citizens on the occasion of Eid al Fitr, the Islamic festival that ends the holy month of Ramadan. This is what happened in Mosul, on the morning of Tuesday 4 June, on the initiative of the Italian association "Un Ponte per ...". This was reported by leaders of the association: "We celebrated this special day for the Muslim community together with the girls and boys of our Conflict Prevention Teams. Young people belonging to the Christian, Yazida, and Shabak community, arrived in Mosul from across the Nineveh Plain, to pay homage to their Muslim sisters and brothers with flowers and sweets after morning prayer". The distribution took place in particular in front of the Rashan mosque, in the district of al Muthanna, one of the most devastated during the military operations carried out to take away the city from the jihadist occupation.



Culture and education


NEMO calls for establishing a European Framework for cultural innovation together with other cultural and creative sectors stakeholders 

6 June 2019 - As one of the signatories, NEMO stands behind the expressed need for a framework for cultural innovation on a European level. DG CNECT, DG EAC and DG RTD are encouraged to establish a task force or a dedicated work-strand within existing inter-institutional channels to define a comprehensive and transversal approach to cultural innovation that could then inform the next generation of programmes in a strategic and coherent manner.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Football for Friendship sets world record for multiculturalism

6 June 2019 - Since 2013, Football for Friendship has been empowering young people with lessons about the value of multiculturalism as well as developing their football skills. Thousands of 12-year-olds have taken part in the annual programme. Hundreds of them travelled to Madrid last week to get involved in training sessions, camps that had workshops with team building exercises and a tournament between all the participants.Upon arrival, attendees are split into mixed gender teams composed of multiple nationalities. They prepare together for the international tournament which is the climax of the event. Today children have what we didn't in the past. They have to enjoy it to the maximum.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


UNICEF and Dove Team Up to Empower and Educate Girls

(by Sarah Ferguson)

5 June 2019 - Self-esteem and body confidence training helps girls around the world build self-assurance and reach their full potential.  Given the right tools and opportunities, there's no limit to what the world's 600 million girls can accomplish. But poverty, violence and lack of education disproportionately affect girls — and to make matters worse, research indicates that a majority of girls around the world grow up believing their future success hinges on their personal appearance. UNICEF works around the world to protect, educate and empower girls. Quality education offers children a ladder out of poverty and a path to a promising future. Girls who complete school are less likely to be forced into early marriage and less likely to experience intimate partner violence. They're more likely to have healthier children, and to make sure their children get an education. That's why UNICEF and Dove are teaming up to help 10 million young people in Brazil, India and Indonesia gain better self-esteem and body confidence by 2022. The partnership, announced at the Women Deliver Conference in Vancouver on June 5, will adapt modules on self-esteem and body confidence from the Dove Self-Esteem Project, founded in 2004 to deliver body image education to girls globally, and integrate them into UNICEF's Life Skills Programs used in schools and teacher training colleges and on digital platforms.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Nurturing talent, values and storytelling at 7th annual Football for Friendship event

5 June 2019 - The annual Football for Friendship project brought together hundreds of children from nearly 60 different countries to Madrid, the city hosting the Champions League final.Here the organisers help young people learn the core values of football, and hope to promote healthy living, tolerance of other cultures and the children’s football skills.  Football for Friendship's mission:

-       Promoting friendship among children from different countries

-       Fostering tolerance and respect toward other cultures and ethnicities

-       Promoting youth sports and a healthy lifestyle

-       Developing children’s football

The Nine Values taught in the initiative:

-       Friendship, Equality, Fairness, Health, Peace, Devotion, Victory, Tradition, Honour

For attendees who would rather pursue a career in journalism than in football, there is the Children’s Press Centre. Here participants get the chance to make their own reports on the project. They interview others attending the camp, cover the action on the football pitch, and learn from industry professionals. 32 children in total are on the team.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


* * * * * * *



Next issue: 12th July 2019.


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, Nazzarena 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.”

Go to the Home Page