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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 19th, no. 281 – 12th July 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

New agreement with NAUSICAÁ strengthens public science outreach for the UN Decade of Ocean Science

1 July 2019 - UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and NAUSICAÁ, National Sea Center, signed an agreement mobilizing the Center’s scientific and public outreach teams to support the coming UN Decade of Ocean Science in bringing ocean knowledge to visitors and policy-makers. (…) Between 2019 and 2021, IOC and NAUSICAÁ have committed to launching joint projects on Ocean Literacy, communication and public outreach, many of which already under planning or in early concept phase. (…)


News related with SDGs number 14- Life below Water


EU and Mercosur reach agreement on trade

28 June 2019 - The European Union and Mercosur reached today a political agreement for an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive trade agreement. The new trade framework - part of a wider Association Agreement between the two regions – will consolidate a strategic political and economic partnership and create significant opportunities for sustainable growth on both sides, while respecting the environment and preserving interests of EU consumers and sensitive economic sectors. The EU is the first major partner to strike a trade pact with Mercosur, a bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil Paraguay and Uruguay. The agreement concluded today will cover a population of 780 million and cement the close political and economic relations between the EU and Mercosur countries. (…)


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the Goals


G7 and UNESCO convene International Conference on girls’ and women’s empowerment through education

25 June 2019 - The G7 and UNESCO will host the Paris International Conference, Innovating for girls' and women's empowerment through education, on 5 July at UNESCO Headquarters, to mobilize support for girls and women through quality education and empowering learning opportunities for life and work. Policy and decision-makers, including the education ministers of the G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States), will address this priority concern after the G7 Development and Education joint Ministerial Meeting held the same day, also at UNESCO Headquarters to prepare the August G7 summit Heads of State and Government in Biarritz, France. (…)


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


U.S. House appropriations bill wisely invests in children at home and abroad

21 June 2019 - This week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2740, which provides major increases in funding for fiscal year 2020 programs that impact millions of children both in the U.S. and around the globe. Critically, the bill increases funding for many early childhood education programs and protects funding for global health, international development, and humanitarian programs that provide much-needed assistance for children living in some of the most challenging circumstances around the globe. Save the Children recently reported that over a quarter of a billion children are better off today than twenty years ago, representing gains in 173 of 176 countries studied.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


REGULATION (EU) 2019/942 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 5 June 2019 establishing a European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (Text with EEA relevance)

14 June 2019 - The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (…) have adopted this Regulation: Chapter I- Objectives and tasks-Article 1- Establishment and objectives:

1.   This Regulation establishes a European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

2.   The purpose of ACER shall be to assist the regulatory authorities referred to in Article 57 of Directive (EU) 2019/944 and Article 39 of Directive 2009/73/EC in exercising, at Union level, the regulatory tasks performed in the Member States and, where necessary, to coordinate their action and to mediate and settle disagreements between them in accordance with Article 6(10) of this Regulation. ACER shall also contribute to the establishment of high-quality common regulatory and supervisory practices, thus contributing to the consistent, efficient and effective application of Union law in order to achieve the Union's climate and energy goals.

3.   When carrying out its tasks, ACER shall act independently, objectively, and in the interest of the Union. ACER shall take autonomous decisions, independently of private and corporate interests.




Human rights


Liberia: "Land Rights Education will empower women, girls"

(by Alvin Worzi)

8 July 2019 –The Land Rights Act (LRA), which was passed into law in 2018 by members of the 54th Legislature, will serve as an impetus that will holistically empower women across the country, Cecelia Kuetee, a resident of Nimba County, has said. Madam Kuetee expressed the hope to see a society where women, who she said have been marginalized, will be empowered, especially with unhindered access to land. She recently gained access to her father's land and cocoa farm, but said a robust awareness exercise of the LRA and supporting organizations remain pivotal to achieving her goal. "Our father left land and cocoa farm with us before he died, but Othello Kuetee (senior brother) refused to allow me make farm on the land or even harvest some of the cocoa to enable me cater to some of my needs," Madam Kuetee told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview at the end of the Training of Trainers (ToT) on gender equality and women's land rights. The training was organized by the Land Governance Support Activity (LGSA) in Monrovia. The law, which was passed in 2018, is considered a milestone on a regional and continental level as it gives women opportunities to acquire land.


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


Thailand: Architecture students work on building humane and healthy prisons

28 June 2019 -Generous natural light streaming into the rooms, walls painted in soothing colours, washrooms that provide privacy and a farming area – all these creative ideas were pitched by the architecture students of King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) for their "women prison design" project. The second-year students developed 14 designs for the project that is part of an effort started in 2018 by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in partnership with the School of Architecture and Design (SoA+D) KMUTT.


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


Leading child rights organizations call for a second revolution in child rights

26 June 2019 - Thirty years after leaders adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, millions of global leaders promised to protect the rights of all children, millions are not in school, face poverty, exploitation, violence, neglect, and abuse. A new report, A Second Revolution: 30 years of child rights, and the unfinished agenda, says it is time for the global community to fulfil the broken promises of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UN CRC). Produced by the Joining Forces Alliance — an alliance of the six-leading child-focused organizations — the report makes the case for a new era of commitment for children. Alliance members assert that governments must take bold action to target the children who continue to suffer, often the result of discrimination based on gender identity, race, caste, religion, disability or sexual orientation.hildren lack rights and protections needed to thrive.


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


Press release: Young leaders propel African authorities to deliver actions to end FGM and child marriage

26 June 2019 - The first African Summit to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Marriage convened by the governments of Senegal and The Gambia, in partnership with the survivor-led NGO, Safe Hands for Girls, and with the support of multilateral organizations, including UN Women, UNFPA and the World Bank, took place in Dakar, Senegal on 16-18 June 2019.  The Africa4Girls Summit was attended by 500 participants, and marks the first initiative bringing together leaders from all sectors: Governments, religious leaders, traditional community leaders, alongside young civil society leaders, notably young women activists and survivors of FGM and child marriage. Ministers, UN leaders and Heads of State from 17 African governments attended the three-day Summit. Religious leaders included the deputy Grand Imam of Al Azhar Institute, considered the leading authority on Islamic jurisprudence, as well as representatives from Christian and other faiths.


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


Guterres hails historic Convention banning violence and harassment at work

21 June 2019 - A landmark international agreement banning violence and harassment in the workplace has been applauded by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, after it was adopted on Friday at the International Labour Organization’s Centenary Conference in Geneva. Mr. Guterres congratulated Member States for “building upon a legacy of achievement, guided by that age-old vision of social justice through social dialogue and international cooperation”. The Convention passed with 439 votes in favour, with seven against and 30 abstentions, after a ballot involving representatives of governments, employers and workers, in line with ILO’s tripartite structure. It is the first new Convention – a legally binding international instrument - agreed by the International Labour Conference since 2011, when the Domestic Workers Convention, was adopted. According to the new labour standard, violence and harassment at work “constitute a human rights violation or abuse”. Defined as behaviour that is likely to lead to “physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm”, violence and harassment are also regarded as “a threat to equal opportunities” which are “unacceptable and incompatible with decent work”. In signing the Convention, Member States have a responsibility to promote a “general environment of zero tolerance”, while also protecting trainees, interns, volunteers, jobseekers and employees “irrespective of their contractual status”.




Economy and development


USAID Enterprise Competitiveness Project supports charter flights to promote Kyrgyz Republic tourism

2July 2019 – On June 27, 140 tourists from Tashkent to Tamchy, Uzbekistan, arrived at Issyk-Kul International Airport in the Kyrgyz Republic on the first charter flight to the region supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Inspiro Travel in the Kyrgyz Republic and the Uzbekistani tour operator Asia Lux are chartering these summer flights, which will bring roughly 3,000 tourists to the Issyk-Kul Oblast, where they can swim in the blue waters of Lake Issyk-Kul surrounded by snow-capped mountains. The new route is part of USAID’s efforts to strengthen tourism and create jobs in Central Asia. Those efforts include both the USAID Enterprise Competitiveness Project, implemented by ACDI/VOCA, and the USAID Competitiveness, Trade and Jobs Project in Central Asia Project, which operates in Uzbekistan. The latter is supporting the marketing of local tourism and training of Asia Lux tour agents.On the Kyrgyz side, the USAID Enterprise Competitiveness Project is creating promotional materials for incoming tourists as well as journalists and travel agents from Uzbekistan to help them market and sell tour packages to Issyk-Kul upon returning home. The project is also providing 30 pieces of audio equipment for group excursions(…)



COPENHAGEN -   Sustainable Finance helps to launch Taiwan’s Offshore Wind Adventure

2 July 2019 - A global transformation towards green energy is needed to keep temperature rise below 1.5°C and avoid uncontrollable climate effects. Sustainable finance is vital to the transformation, as it helps to fund green assets such as renewable energy that can displace planet-warming fossil. Taiwan, for instance, has set ambitious renewable energy targets. In 2018, the Taiwan government contracted Ørsted, the world’s leading offshore wind developer, to build the 900MW Greater Changhua 1 & 2a offshore wind farms, off the country’s west coast. These wind farms are big enough to supply around one million Taiwanese households with clean power.fuels. To draw sustainable finance into the Changhua projects, Ørsted launched a green loan facility worth NTD 25 billion (USD 800 million). The facility has proven popular and attracted funding from 15 local and international banks, eight of which are state owned banks that are financing offshore wind for the first time.The facility enables Ørsted to withdraw or repay amounts as needed for construction of the Changhua projects, providing greater flexibility than traditional lending models. Drawing loans in local currency helps guard against volatility in the Taiwanese dollar, reduces complexity and lowers Ørsted’s overall risk. The green loan facility is the first such offered by a Danish company and marks the first time Ørsted establishes a green facility. It is part of Ørsted’s commitment to only finance green, and supports the company’s strategy to invest up to USD 30 billion exclusively in green energy towards 2025.


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


WISCOUNSIN - SC Johnson Earns 2019 Best Workplace Recognition in India and Nigeria

1 July 2019 - SC Johnson today announces that the company’s global operations in India and Nigeria have earned 2019 Best Workplace recognition by Great Place to Work®. SC Johnson India earned the No. 44 spot among large organizations while SC Johnson Nigeria ranked 2nd on the list of small to medium-sized organizations. This marks the third consecutive year the India operation has appeared on the Best Workplace list and the sixth time dating back to 2010. Meanwhile, SC Johnson Nigeria is making its fifth overall appearance on the Best Workplace list. SC Johnson Nigeria was also recognized for best practices in the category of Leadership. The Nigeria and India teams join SC Johnson Central America, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Canada, Turkey, Mexico and United Kingdom as Best Workplaces in 2019. SC Johnson has also earned Best Multinational Workplace recognition in Asia, Latin America and Europe. These awards and placement in the rankings are determined by the results of an employee opinion survey and information provided about company culture, programs and policies.


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


Government of Bangladesh and WFP working together to lift rural women out of extreme poverty

1 July 2019, Dhaka – The World Food Programme (WFP) is working with the Government of Bangladesh to lift rural women out of extreme poverty through a ground-breaking programme. With an investment of US$72 million, the Government, with technical assistance from WFP, is set to reach 100,000 women with livelihood training, behaviour change education, as well as food assistance. The participants of the Investment Component for Vulnerable Group Development (ICVGD) programme come from all 64 districts of the country, residing in remote areas that are prone to natural disasters, such as floods, tornadoes and cyclones. They face high poverty levels with low employment opportunities. Currently in its second phase, the programme consists of training in entrepreneurship, financial management and life skills, as well as behaviour change education in the areas of nutrition, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene. Each participant will receive a start-up grant of BDT15,000 (US$180) and a monthly ration of 30 kg of fortified rice during their training period. During the first phase of this programme, which started in 2015, 8,000 rural women were provided with similar support. An evaluation of the first phase showed improvements in income, food security and dietary diversity of these women and their families.  A positive change in their decision-making ability was also observed.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger


WFP and China's NAFRA sign MOU to promote South-South cooperation in Food Security

20 June 2019, Zhengzhou – The World Food Programme and China’s National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration (NAFRA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen South-South Cooperation and share China’s experience in food security. During the signing ceremony today in Zhengzhou, Stanlake Samkange, WFP’s Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships Division, said that about 821 million people in the world still suffer from hunger and China’s experience in addressing food security challenges will be useful for other developing countries.  China has significantly improved its food security during the past few decades, achieving the balance between food supply and demand, ensuring basic food self-sufficiency and absolute grain security. According to the MOU, the two sides will work together to share China's technology and experience in grain reserve management, post-harvest grain loss reduction and management, and enhance linkages with other developing countries to promote global food security.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger





WFP scales up assistance in Eastern DRC as conflict flares

2 July 2019, Bunia – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is ramping up an already sizeable relief operation for conflict-displaced people in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following renewed inter-ethnic violence that has forced tens of thousands more from their homes. In Ebola-afflicted Ituri province, where a resurgence of clashes between ethnic groups has claimed at least 160 lives in recent weeks, WFP intends to triple, to 300,000, the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) it supports with life-saving food and cash. Many of the newly-displaced are malnourished and have been forced to move numerous times. Widely dispersed, they are seeking security in urban centres and in the bush. The crisis is compounded by the fact that Ituri is one of two DRC provinces in the grip of the country’s worst ever Ebola outbreak, which to date has claimed more than 1,400 lives. WFP helps contain the spread of the virus by providing food assistance to those who have contracted the disease and to “contacts”, thereby limiting risky population movements.


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


42,000 returnees receive seeds and tools in west Ethiopia

ICRC and ERCS partner to help returnees improve their food security

2July 2019 – "We are very happy with the seeds and tools we received from the Red Cross as it will help us to cultivate our farms and secure food which we are in dire need," says Herpe Mekonnen, a single mom raising five kids by herself. Herpe is among the 42,000 people who were affected by the ethnic conflict that occurred between Gumuz and Oromo ethnic groups in Benishangul region in western Ethiopia. The affected communities received seeds and farming tools distributed jointly by the ICRC and Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) between 13-23 June 2019. According to Hussein Ibrahim Rasool working for the ICRC, 50 KG of teff seed and two farming tools were distributed to over 14,400 returnees in Haro limmu district of East Wellega Zone in Oromia Region. Whereas 50 KG of haricot bean and two farming tools were provided to more than 28'000 returnees and residents in Yaso district in Kamashi Zone of Benishangul Gumuz Region. The distribution is aimed at providing the returnees and the residents who were affected by the conflict with vital means of production thereby help restore their livelihoods


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger


Sindh launches WFP - supported Food Fortification Plan to tackle micronutrient deficiencies

20 June 2019, Karachi – The Government of Sindh, together with the National Fortification Alliance (NFA), and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), today launched a Provincial Food Fortification Strategy. The strategy – developed by NFA with technical assistance from WFP and funding from Australia, will serve as a roadmap to help the government and development partners tackle micronutrient deficiencies which affect more than half of the country’s children.  According to the National Nutrition Survey 2018, some 53% of Pakistani children are anaemic, and 5.7% are severely anaemic. Children in rural areas are more likely to be anaemic than those in urban areas. Without timely intervention, micronutrient deficiencies have long-lasting and often irreversible effects on the physical and cognitive development of children. The general health and wellbeing of the population at large, as well as workforce productivity, may also be compromised. The strategy identifies three food groups - wheat, cooking oil and salt – as the main vehicles for food fortification. It also sets out ways to enhance the production and utilization of fortified foods, while guiding the provincial authorities on how to better regulate and monitor food fortification systems. 


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger


WFP welcomes support from KOICA for rural women affected by conflict in Colombia

18 June 2019, Bogotá – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed a contribution of US$4.5 million from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), which will support rural women in areas affected by the conflict in Colombia. The funds will help to promote rural women’s economic independence and boost crop productivity. In collaboration with the Colombian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, WFP will support 45 associations of smallholder farmers affected by the internal conflict. WFP aims to assist 1,860 families or 7,440 people in the departments of Cauca, Chocó, Nariño and Valle del Cauca. The project contributes to the broader implementation of the Peace Agreement, which prioritizes sustainable rural reform. It is aligned with WFP’s Strategic Plan, supporting the Colombian Government’s development and peacebuilding efforts by assisting those most vulnerable. In Colombia, family and community agriculture accounts for 74% of rural workers, generates 50% of agricultural employment and produces 70% of the national agricultural output.




Peace and security


The African continent prepares for the Second World March for Peace and Nonviolence

8 July 2019 - After leaving Madrid on October 2, 2019, the march will continue towards southern Spain until reaching the African continent through northern Morocco on October 8. Several countries are already preparing to receive the core team that will showcase their initiatives (…). Morocco: on the occasion of our tours in March and May, several meetings were held in the eastern part, at the University of Oujda and Fez, with representatives of trade unions and associations, in Casablanca with several associative representatives and with students. While waiting to specify the concrete initiatives, the main cities envisaged for the moment are Tangier, Casablanca and Tarfaya, to which Fez and Agadir could be added.


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


Argentina: The T20 Summit and the 14th World Congress of Mediation and a Culture of Peace: Integrating approaches

5 July 2019 - The aim of this meeting is to cross the converging work agendas of the T20 and the Congress of Mediation and a Culture of Peace. It looks to open an enabling framework to prepare possible bilateral and/or multilateral meetings with international speakers that will be in Argentina from September 17. The T20 Summit and the 14th World Congress of Mediation and a Culture of Peace will take place in Buenos Aires during the same week. The strongest point of convergence between the T20 and the World Congress is the agenda of global governance, social cohesion and the legal basis we should pay attention to to understand the challenges of the international arena.


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


Security Council approves ‘historic’ political Haiti mission, ending UN peacekeeping role in the country

25 june 2019 - The Security Council on Monday approved a resolution to create a UN “Integrated Office” in Haiti, designed to support the country’s government in strengthening political stability and good governance. The Office, named BINUH, will replace the peacekeeping mission in Haiti on October 16, putting an end to 15 years of peacekeeping presence in the country.


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


Yemen: The Supreme Commander of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) signs 3 Deeds of Commitment with Geneva Call to improve the protection of civilians during armed conflicts

2June 2019 – During a ceremony at the Geneva town hall on 2 July 2019, the Director General of Geneva Call, Alain Délétroz, together with representatives of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, counter-signed three Deeds of Commitment, following on from the commitment pledged by the leadership of the Southern Transitional Council (STC). The President of the STC, Major General Aidros Qassem al-Zubaidi, recently took a significant step to bring the STC’s policies and behaviour in line with international standards by signing three of Geneva Call’s Deeds of Commitments. The STC pledged to ban any act of sexual violence against any persons, to prohibit the recruitment and use of children below 18 years old and to facilitate the provision of medical care and education to children. In addition, the STC also committed to ban the use of anti-personnel mines in the conflict in Yemen. Geneva Call will work closely with the STC leadership to make sure that this public commitment to strengthen the respect of the rights of the civilian populations is implemented on the ground. Geneva Call has maintained a humanitarian engagement with STC, the armed non-state actor (ANSA) present in South Yemen since March 2018, to introduce International Humanitarian Law norms and standards to the STC leadership with the ultimate goal of protecting civilians in war-torn Yemen. The thematic Deeds of Commitment has been recognized as a successful model by the UN Secretary-General in his reports on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.

For any enquiries please contact communication@genevacall.org


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





HIV Eliminated from the Genomes of Living Animals

2 July 2019 - In a major collaborative effort, researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) have for the first time eliminated replication-competent HIV-1 DNA – the virus responsible for AIDS – from the genomes of living animals. The study, reported online July 2 in the journal Nature Communications, marks a critical step toward the development of a possible cure for human HIV infection.


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


Progress toward eliminating trachoma: World Health Organization (WHO) announces hundreds of millions no longer at risk

27 June 2019 – The number of people at risk for trachoma, a painful and infectious cause of blindness affecting those in the most vulnerable situations, has now fallen by 91 percent since 2002, a reduction from 1.5 billion people to just over 142 million. New data presented today at the 22nd meeting of the WHO Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020 (GET2020) also demonstrated that the number of people requiring surgery for late stages of the disease has dropped by 68 percent. Since 1998, we have invested over $70 million in key partners with the goal to eliminate blinding trachoma. This has been largely through support for the SAFE strategy, namely: surgery for trichiasis, antibiotics to clear infection, and facial cleanliness and environmental improvement to reduce transmission. Our funding strategy focuses on filling strategic gaps in this space, primarily through supporting trichiasis surgeries and investing in the generation of high-quality data to better target trachoma endemic areas. It has played a critical role in the fight against the disease, contributing directly to the programs in several target countries that have achieved elimination, including Morocco, Ghana and, most recently, Cambodia.


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


Continuing innovation to reach every last child

Research underway on a newer tool to protect children from polio and sustain a polio-free world

27 June 2019 – Exciting research is underway on a novel oral polio vaccine for type 2 polio (nOPV2), which – if further trials are successful – could be a potential new tool to provide the same level of protection against poliovirus as the current oral polio vaccine (OPV), but without the same risk of mutating into vaccine-derived poliovirus in under-immunised populations. Results from a phase I study to test two nOPV2 candidates were published in The Lancet in early June 2019. The study, led by the University of Antwerp in partnership with a global consortium of researchers and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was conducted in 2017 at a unique container park named “Poliopolis” at the University of Antwerp. To test the vaccine, 30 individuals volunteered to spend a month living in the container park – complete with private, air-conditioned rooms, a lounge area and foosball table, fitness room, dining area, daily schedules of entertainment, exercise and health check-ups. The initial findings from this study are promising, showing that the two vaccines tested at Poliopolis are safe and produce the immune response needed to protect individuals against polio. Results from phase II trials are expected in the coming months, which is when the program will learn whether nOPV2 is a tool that can ultimately be deployed for children at risk of poliovirus transmission. (…)


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


New Multi-Partner Trust Fund launched to combat Antimicrobial Resistance globally

19 June 2019, Noordwijk, the Netherlands - In a major boost to combat one of the gravest risks to global health a dedicated funding vehicle allowing partners to devote resources to accelerate global action against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) was unveiled here today at a Ministerial Conference. The Tripartite - a joint effort by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO), launched the AMR Multi-Partner Trust Fund, which is being supported by an initial contribution of $5 million from the Government of the Netherlands. The AMR Trust Fund* has a five-year scope, through 2024, and aims to scale up efforts to support countries to counter the immediate threat of AMR, arguably the most complex threat to global health. Antimicrobial resistance refers to the natural ability of bacteria and other microbes to develop resistance to the medicines we use to treat them, and the process is accelerated by inappropriate or excessive use of pharmaceutical products designed to kill unwanted pathogens in humans, animals and crops. In particular, the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in human and animal health is fueling resistance. The rise of AMR, poses a threat described as a "silent tsunami". Drug-resistant microorganisms now account for an estimated 700,000 deaths a year, a figure that could increase to 10 million deaths each year if no action is taken.  


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



Energy and safety



Renewable power exceeds coal-fired power for the 1st time in the U.S. in April

5 July 2019 - Thanks to the need for low power and the US’s high wind power output, the output of renewable-energy power in the US has exceeded that of coal-fired thermal power for the first time ever in April. The intensified deployment in renewable energy in the U.S. in recent years has begun to bear fruit. In April, the total output of hydraulic power, solar power, and wind power approached 68.5 million megawatt/h, which is higher than the 60 million megawatt/h of coal-fired power. This has allowed renewable energy power to become the US’s second largest source of power supply, next to natural gas-fired thermal power, according to the U.S. (…)


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


RenewableUK - Global offshore wind market powers ahead with 16% growth

2 July 2019 - New figures from RenewableUK show that the global market for offshore wind has grown by 16% in the last 12 months. The biggest single growth market over the last year has been the USA, which accounted for nearly half (48%) of growth globally. Globally, the portfolio of global offshore wind projects in operation, under construction or in development rose from just under 105 gigawatts (GW) to over 121GW in the last year, according to new data RenewableUK is publishing at Global Offshore Wind 2019 in London.


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


Repurposing old oil tankers as renewable energy hubs

(by Steve Hanley)

2 July 2019 - There are thousands of giant oil tankers crisscrossing the world’s oceans with their cargoes of death-dealing products. Every year, a hundred or so are retired. Many of those are run aground off the coast of Bangladesh where they are cut up for scrap by unskilled workers who risk life and limb to eke out a meager existence. ShipEco Marine has a better idea — cut large holes in the hull of these behemoths, build watertight silos inside, and let the waves passing beneath them compress the air inside those silos. The air pressure can then be harvested to run electrical generators. Think of it as wind turbines that operate horizontally.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


Integrated Landscape Management reduces biomass production costs by 20%

(by Helena Tavares Kennedy)

30 June 2019 - In Idaho, a new techno-economic analysis by Idaho National Laboratory demonstrated that, by using integrated landscape management (ILM) techniques, bioenergy stakeholders could produce biomass at costs 20% lower than previous assumptions. Researchers modeled the cost reductions achieved by leveraging ILM strategies in Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois watersheds. Those strategies included switching to low-cost bioenergy crops such as switchgrass in parts of fields where high-cost crops don’t grow well. (…)


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 



Environment and wildlife


Two natural sites, one in China another in Iran, inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List

5 July 2019 - The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Baku until 10 July, inscribed two natural sites in China and in the Islamic Republic of Iran on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List:

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China (Phase I) (China)

The site features an intertidal mudflat system considered to be the largest in the world. These mudflats, as well as marshes and shoals, are exceptionally productive and serve as growth areas for many species of fish and crustaceans. The intertidal areas of the Yellow Sea/Gulf of Bohai are of global importance for the gathering of many migratory bird species that use the East Asian-Australasian flyway. Large gatherings of birds, including some of the world's most endangered species, depend on the coastline as a stopover to moult, rest, winter or nest.

Hyrcanian Forests (Islamic Republic of Iran) –

Hyrcanian forests form a unique forested massif that stretches 850 km along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. The history of these broad-leaved forests dates back 25 to 50 million years, when they covered most of this Northern Temperate region. These ancient forest areas retreated during the Quaternary glaciations and then expanded again as the climate became milder. Their floristic biodiversity is remarkable: 44% of the vascular plants known in Iran are found in the Hyrcanian region, which only covers 7% of the country. To date, 180 species of birds typical of broad-leaved temperate forests and 58 mammal species have been recorded, including the iconic Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus tulliana).


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


How trees could save the climate

4 July 2019 - Around 0.9 billion hectares of land worldwide would be suitable for reforestation, which could ultimately capture two thirds of human-made carbon emissions. The Crowther Lab of ETH Zurich has published a study in the journal Science that shows this would be the most effective method to combat climate change. The Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich investigates nature-based solutions to climate change. In their latest study the researchers showed for the first time where in the world new trees could grow and how much carbon they would store. Study lead author and postdoc at the Crowther Lab Jean-François Bastin explains: “One aspect was of particular importance to us as we did the calculations: we excluded cities or agricultural areas from the total restoration potential as these areas are needed for human life.”


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


UN and civil society team up to make cities more sustainable and inclusive

3 July 2019 - How can we make sure that cities become more inclusive, with a smaller environmental footprint, and leave no-one behind? These questions will be tackled at the UN Civil Society Conference, which is due to take place in the capital of Utah, Salt Lake City, at the end of August.  Representatives of civil society will have the opportunity to meet with senior UN officials, and discuss a wide range of solutions to the challenges of urban life. The theme of this year’s conference, “building sustainale and inclusive cities and communities”, reflects the fact that over half of the world’s population, some 55 per cent, now live in urban areas, with that figure expected to rise to 68 per cent by 2050. Conference sessions will discuss topics connected to the main theme, including climate change; opportunities for youth; and emerging technologies and innovation.


News related with SDGs number 11-Sustainable Cities and Communities


Solidia presents emissions reductions and carbon utilization technologies at International Low-Carbon Cement and Concrete Technology Conference

2 July 2019 Piscataway, N.J./CSRwire/ - Solidia Technologies® Chief Scientist Vahit Atakan, Ph.D presented technologies that lower carbon emissions and carbonate concrete during the first annual International Low-Carbon Cement and Concrete Technologies (ILCCC). Leaders in cement technologies from around the world gathered at the University of London to exchange the latest global scientific and technical achievements on low-carbon cement and concrete technologies in order to promote their wide industrial application. Presenting Properties of Solidia Cement and Concrete, Dr. Atakan described Solidia Cement™ as a low-calcium silicate Cement (CSC) and offered details of the companion processes that enable the manufacture of a low-carbon, non-hydrating binder that reacts with carbon dioxide (CO₂) as well as the concrete curing technology that enables the carbonation of concrete. He shared the results of tests at cement and concrete production facilities in the U.S. and Europe, enabled through a partnership with LafargeHolcim, and the current commercialization process for Solidia Cement and Solidia Concrete™, which are currently sold in the U.S. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


Ocean Science Day celebrates the benefits of science for society and rallies government, scientists and the public around preparations for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)

28 June 2019 - Ocean scientists, country representatives and concerned citizens gathered together for the celebration of Ocean Science Day, on the margins of the 30th Session of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Assembly (26 June – 4 July 2019).  The half-day event offered an opportunity to discuss the contribution of ocean science to society in the next decade.   The ocean health is deteriorating: rising sea temperatures, overfishing, loss of oxygen and increasing seawater acidity are posing major threats to marine ecosystems and their capacity to provide services essential to life.

Achieving a healthy ocean is vital not just for our planet, but equally essential for a rapidly growing human population and demand for resources. For decades, science has provided salient, timely and policy relevant advice to policy-making, from recovering the ozone layer, to mitigating and adapting to climate change. Nowadays, our changing world calls for even more science, and for a science that benefits society.


News related with SDGs number 14- Life below Water


Zambia halts hydropower dam on Luangwa river

26 June 2019 -In a major boost for communities and wildlife in the Luangwa valley, the Zambian government has halted plans to construct a mega hydropower dam across the river – safeguarding the diverse benefits it provides to people and nature. One of the longest free flowing rivers in southern Africa, the 1100 km Luangwa is a lifeline for communities and two of the most iconic national parks on the continent. Along with providing 25 chiefdoms with water, food and livelihoods, the Luangwa supports a wealth of wildlife, including over 400 species of birds and the only refuge for reintroduced black rhinos in Zambia as well as elephants, lions, hippos, leopards, African wild dogs, and the endemic Thornicroft’s giraffe. Constructing a hydropower dam at Ndevu Gorge would have fragmented the Luangwa, threatening the future of the area’s wildlife as well as the freshwater fish stocks, agriculture and tourism that communities depend on. After lengthy consultations, the Zambian government has now cancelled the pre-feasibility study, ending existing plans to build a dam on the Luangwa. “Keeping the Luangwa river free flowing is the best decision for both people and nature, and WWF commends the government for halting the dam and instead seeking lower impact, renewable alternatives to power Zambia’s development,” said Nachilala Nkombo, WWF Zambia Country Director. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report specifically recommended conserving and restoring river connectivity to boost freshwater biodiversity.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


New funding boosts efforts to combat deforestation, desertification, climate change and strengthen food systems

14 June 2019, Rome - FAO today welcomed a decision by the Council of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to provide $179 million to support the UN agency's work with countries worldwide at the critical nexus between agriculture and the environment. This includes projects focused on biodiversity conservation, transboundary water resources management, sustainable land management, highly hazardous pesticide remediation, and climate change adaptation.  The funding stems from the GEF's Council meeting in Washington this week where governments approved two separate Work Programs totaling some $967.47 million, the biggest allocation in GEF's history. This will benefit 91 nations, including 30 Least Developed Countries and 32 Small Island Developing States (SIDS).  As part of one of the work programs, the GEF launched two landmark Impact Programs -- on Dryland Sustainable Landscapes (DSL) and Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration. Some $104 million of the funding will go to the DSL Impact Programme, led by FAO, in 11 countries in Africa and Asia, in partnership with the World Bank, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and the World Wildlife Fund. FAO is a partner agency of the GEF, a partnership of 18 agencies and 183 countries to address the world's most challenging environmental issues related to biodiversity, climate change, land degradation, chemicals, and international waters. The GEF provides grants to countries to meet these challenges whilst contributing to key development goals, such as food security.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action



Religion and spirituality


ASIA/TAJIKISTAN - Caritas supports the network of international collaborations

8 July 2019 - Dushanbe (Agenzia Fides) - "It is gradually becoming a tradition for the Caritas organizations operating in Tajikistan to meet and live meetings of sharing. In the last appointment, we took the opportunity to have a representative of Caritas Luxembourg who was visiting our country. In Tajikistan, in addition to local organizations, Caritas Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland also operate and often their representatives manage to take part in our meetings. These exchanges do not represent the first steps towards the organization of a forum dedicated to Caritas in our country", explains a note sent to Agenzia Fides by Caritas of Tajikistan.



ASIA/PALESTINE - The project to find new jobs for young Christians in the Gaza Strip is starting to bear fruit

8 July 2019 The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, in cooperation of the Holy Family Parish, launched the job creation and capacity building program in the Gaza Strip. Nine months later, the 20 Christian youth benefiting from the program are reaping the fruits of their work and seeing the new career prospects of this project. Started in October 2018, the program has completed the first phase of training and apprenticeship - which lasted 9 months. The work start-up program was able to accommodate only a third out of 60 applicants that submitted their candidacy for the program, and fill in positions in religious, educational, social, medical and development institutions, such as those carried out by the Aisha Association for the protection of women and minors, for a period of 12 months, 
The realization of this program would not have been possible without the generous donation of the German Knights and Dames of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher, which aims to enrich the work experience of young Christians in the economically and socially depressed context of the Gaza Strip



Interfaith Award Presented to Parliament Chair on World Yoga Day Celebration

3 July 2019 - On Thursday, June 20th Parliament chair, joined interfaith leaders from around the world to celebrate the 26th Annual World Yoga Festival in observance of the International Day of Yoga at the United Nations. The celebration also marked the official presentation of the World Yoga Community, Inc.'s Interfaith Awards, presented in recognition and grateful appreciation for outstanding service and dedication for the human values that bring global culture of peace and universal spirituality. The award bestows the title of "Lotus of World Peace" to the award winners on behalf of the Board of Directors of the World Yoga Community. 



Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh receives the Luxembourg Peace Prize

3 July 2019 - Awarded for “Outstanding Inner Peace”,  93-year old Buddhist teacher and famous Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh, has been awarded the Luxembourg Peace Prize by the World Peace Forum for “Outstanding Inner Peace.”Known affectionately as “Thay” meaning teacher to his followers, the Zen teacher, is awarded this prestigious prize for his immense contributions to promoting mindfulness and encouraging people to live a peaceful and healthy life. According to the award committee, “Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered throughout the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace. His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment—the only way to truly develop peace, both in oneself and in the world.”



Zimbabwe: Archdiocese of Bulawayo at 140 years of Christianity

(by Alfonce Kugwa)

2 July 2019 - The celebrations for the 140 years of Christianity in Bulawayo were a symbol of the massive spiritual and infrastructural development by the Catholic Church in Matebeleland. All this dates from the time of the first missionaries in 1879 when they settled at Empandeni in 1887. The Faith has taken root. The anniversary serves as a testimony of the deep Catholic Faith that has taken root in Matebeleland and Zimbabwe as a whole. A rich history that has borne fruit. The history of Christianity in Matebeland dates back to the period of King Lobengula, According to records, the Church grew roots in September 1879 when Fr. Depelchin S.J, Fr. Augustus Law, S.J and Brother De Sadeleer arrived in what was known as “Gubulawayo” and established the first mission, “The Mission of the Sacred Heart,” near King Lobengula’s royal residence.




Culture and education


UNESCO fast-tracking girls’ and women’s education.

5 July 2019 - Too many girls and women are still held back by social norms and traditional school practices influencing their educational right and opportunities. But we know that their education is the most powerful investment to make for our collective future. Her education, our future is UNESCO’s new drive to accelerate action for girls’ and women’s education by leveraging political and financial commitments, as well as leadership for women and girls. It will contribute to the UNESCO Strategy for Gender Equality in and through Education (2019-2025) and its three pillars aiming for better data to inform action for gender equality in and through education; better legal, policy and planning frameworks to advance rights; and better-quality learning opportunities to empower. 

Her education, our future will be launched on 5 July 2019 at the G7 France-UNESCO International Conference Innovating for girls’ and women’s empowerment through education.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Together we are stronger: social media companies, civil society, and the fight against Disinformation

(by Lolita Berzina)

3 July 2019 - Social media companies must cooperate with local actors to fight election-related disinformation, and international organizations must encourage and support these efforts. Disinformation has become a common feature of election campaigns worldwide, and Facebook, with its reported 1.56 billion daily users, potentially serves as one of the biggest arenas for the fight against it. The company reports having made significant investments over the last two years to help protect the integrity of elections. It has worked with governments to ensure the transparency of election campaigns, and has fought inauthentic behaviors prior to elections in Europe and around the world. Besides the stated intentions of social networks themselves, several publications and other pieces of research have argued that social networks must cooperate with civil society in order to effectively fight against inauthentic or other harmful behavior. In addition, the EU Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online, a document that is not legally binding but which has been signed by the biggest internet intermediaries operating in Europe, encourages partnerships between tech companies and civil society organizations in the fight against illegal content online.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


National IFAP Committee of Eritrea introduces digital libraries to disadvantaged communities

3 July 2019 - With the commitment to leave no one behind, the newly formed National IFAP Committee of Eritrea worked in cooperation with the Rora Digital Library and the Ministry of Education in Eritrea to increase access to information.To ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, the project “Information accessibility in remote areas of Eritrea through Digital Libraries" aims to reduce disparities in educational opportunities by providing access to learning materials through digital libraries.  Furthermore, the project enriched school curricula with the digital library materials and teacher training for effective use of library resources.Digital libraries have been created in six regions of Eritrea, targeting 11 boarding schools and 4 public schools with digital library materials. The digital library is composed of a dedicated room equipped with audiovisual material, as well as a projector, wireless speaker, server, router and computer, using solar energy.  These newly created library spaces enable learners to access digital lectures, learning materials and other knowledge-based resources.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


FAO and Seeds&Chips join forces to promote youth’s active engagement in sustainable development

13 June 2019, Rome – FAO and the Italian innovation global platform Seeds and Chips have joined forces to promote food innovation and education, with a strong focus on strengthening youth engagement and awareness-raising initiatives to fight hunger and malnutrition and achieve sustainable development. FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and Seeds and Chips Founder and Chairman Marco Gualtieri today signed an agreement that culminates years of close cooperation and aims at redoubling efforts to build the Zero Hunger Generation. Graziano da Silva stressed that in order to succeed in achieving sustainable food systems that provide healthy and nutritious food for everyone, it is key to engage the private sector. For his part, Seeds and Chips’ Gualtieri explained the Seeds and Chips “recipe”, which has “three small but important ingredients: inclusion of all stakeholders, youth’s engagement and implementing concrete solutions”. Seeds and Chips is the organizer of one of the most prominent innovation events worldwide dedicated to highlighting young talents and cutting edge innovative solutions from around the world. FAO, together with the other Rome-based UN food agencies, IFAD and WFP, is also part of Seeds&Chips’ traveling exhibition Goals on Tour - a global campaign aimed at creating greater public awareness and support for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG2, which focuses on ending hunger.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger and SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Sing Me A Story… for Gaza

11June 2019 – A child’s drawing can say a lot, reflecting both their inner and outer lives. Over the years we have been fortunate to work with children throughout Palestine in our early childhood development programs. In late 2018, the Sing Me A Story Foundation approached Anera for a collaboration to tell the stories imagined by a few of the children in Gaza that we and our local partner schools work with. The Sing Me A Story Foundation aims to “bring the voices of children in need to the world through music.” The program amplifies the imaginations of vulnerable children by telling their stories through song. Their stories are posted online and then rendered in song by musicians around the world. Through the partnership, children in Gaza classrooms were encouraged to “write and illustrate stories about ANYTHING they want.” Songwriters participating in Sing Me A Story have already turned two of the stories we have collected into songs




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Next issue: 13th September 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.”

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