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. 283 – 11th October 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


Croatia ratified the Europe Convention on the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health

25 September 2019 – The "Medicrime Convention" is the first international criminal law instrument to oblige States Parties to criminalise:

-         the manufacturing of counterfeit medical products;

-         supplying, offering to supply and trafficking in counterfeit medical products;

-         the falsification of documents;

-        the unauthorised manufacturing or supplying of medicinal products and the placing on the market of medical devices which do not comply with conformity requirements.

The Convention provides a framework for national and international co-operation across the different sectors of the public administration, measures for coordination at national level, preventive measures for use by public and private sectors and protection of victims and witnesses. Furthermore, it foresees the establishment of a monitoring body to oversee the implementation of the Convention by the States Parties.


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the Goals


Bolivia’s Vice President and Minister of Culture and Tourism co-sign letter for the protection of documentary heritage

24 September 2019 – The Vice-President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Mr Álvaro García Linera, and the Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, Ms Wilma Alanoca Mamani, joined more than 40 experts in documentary heritage and officials from National Commissions for UNESCO, from 28 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia-Pacific, in the signing of the Letter of the City of La Paz.The Letter summarizes three days of intense discussions on the future of the Memory of the World (MoW) Programme (…).The meeting served to deepen ongoing discussion on two key themes for the protection and promotion of documentary heritage: the management of natural risks and those caused by human action as well as the preservation of digital documentary heritage. (…)


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the Goals


The Russian Federation ratified the Second Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters

September 16, 2019 – The Protocol is intended to improve States' ability to react to cross-border crime in the light of political and social developments in Europe and technological developments throughout the world. It will therefore serve to improve and supplement the 1959 Convention and the 1978 Additional Protocol to it, in particular by broadening the range of situations in which mutual assistance may be requested and making the provision of assistance easier, quicker and more flexible. It also takes account of the need to protect individual rights in the processing of personal data.


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the Goals



Human rights


17th World Day against the Death Penalty: Children, Unseen Victims

7 October 2019 - On 10 October 2019, the 17th World Day Against the Death Penalty aims at raising awareness on the rights of children whose parents have been sentenced to death or executed. Frequently forgotten, children of parents sentenced to death or executed carry a heavy emotional and psychological burden that can amount to the violation of their human rights. This trauma can occur at any and all stages of the capital punishment of a parent: arrest, trial, sentencing, death row stays, execution dates, execution itself, and its aftermath. The repeated cycles of hope and disappointment that can accompany all of these stages can have a long-term impact, occasionally well into adulthood. Stigmatization from the community in which they live and the loss of a parent at the hands of a state all reinforce deep instability in the child’s day to day life. In line with the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (20 November 1989), the focus of this World Day is on children and their human rights.


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


Cameroon: Release of Maurice Kamto and several detainees must signal end of repression of dissenting voices

5 October 2019 - Today, the military court in Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé has ended the prosecutions against opposition party leader Maurice Kamto, president of the Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (MRC), who was arrested on 28 January with hundreds of his supporters. They all had repeatedly denounced their arbitrary arrest for having exercised their right to freedom of assembly or opinion and called out that they should not be tried before a military court, in violation of international and regional human rights law. Earlier this week, President Biya announced the release of 333 prisoners arrested for their alleged roles in the crisis in the Anglophone regions. A national dialogue over the crisis in the Anglophone regions ended yesterday.


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


Armed with trumpets, S. African men blow away street crime against women

(by Kim Harrisberg)

30 September 2019 - South Africa's iconic vuvuzela trumpet is being used to alert women in Soweto that their local patrol group is ready to safely escort them to public transport. […] To prevent perpetrators abusing the service by tricking women into thinking they are part of the patrol, the real patrollers schedule their pick-up times with the women they are escorting. Some carry golf clubs, tasers, batons and whips for added protection. Starting as early at 2.30am until about 7am, the men patrol until the women have safely begun their commutes and then return to collect them in the early evening. "These patrollers, we love them!" said Jane Chabangu of The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), a labour dispute resolution body. "When I hear the vuvuzela, I think, 'here comes safety'. And they do it for free," she said, before hopping on the bus to her early-morning workout.


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


Greta Thunberg inspires youth activists in fight against child marriage

(by Rachel Savage)

26 September 2019 - Greta Thunberg elevating climate change to an issue of global importance is an inspiration in the fight against child marriage, young female activists said on Wednesday as they called for action from world leaders at the United Nations. Globally, 12 million girls become child brides each year, according to the campaign group Girls Not Brides, exposing them to greater risks of exploitation, sexual violence, domestic abuse and death in childbirth. Without greater efforts, another 150 million girls will be married before their 18th birthday by 2030, campaigners have warned - the target date to achieve the United Nations' latest set of global goals which includes ending child marriage.


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


Sudan and UN sign Agreement to open Human Rights Office in Sudan-

26 September 2019 - The Government of Sudan and the United Nations on Wednesday signed an agreement to open a UN Human Rights Office in Khartoum and field offices in Darfur, Blue Nile, Southern Kordufan and East Sudan. The High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Asma Mohamed Abdalla, signed the agreement in the presence of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in New York, on the margin of the current meetings of the UN General Assembly. “We have witnessed with admiration the persistence of the women, men and youth in Sudan in asserting their human rights. The road ahead promises to be full of challenges, but we are ready to assist to ensure human rights permeate the transition (…);with this milestone agreement, we are poised to accompany Sudan through an important moment in its history, to offer all our support to make this transition a success for the human rights of all the people of Sudan.” High Commissioner Bachelet said the Office seeks to support the transition particularly in four critical areas, including combating inequality and supporting the development of policies that will help provide for basic economic and social rights and the empowerment and participation of women.


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



Economy and development


If you teach a girl to code, she will change the world. In Kakuma refugee camp in north-western Kenya, girls are empowered by their new-found passion for computer coding.

4 October 2019 - Every day is a hot day in Kakuma refugee camp, located in the arid desert of north-western Kenya. Underneath a blue sky, three girls in gingham school uniforms gather together. The camp is home to more than 186,000 residents who are primarily from the Horn and Great Lakes region of Africa. Originally from Burundi, South Sudan, and Somalia, their backgrounds vary widely. Their ambitions may lead them to divergent futures as well; one wants to be a journalist, another a software engineer, and the thirda poet. But right now, they share a common interest that they are very excited about computer coding.

As part of a regional programme, "Women's Leadership, Empowerment, Access and Protection in Crisis Response", funded by the Government of Japan, UN Women supported a project in the Kakuma camp and Kalobeyei settlement that reached 2,850 people in just one year (2018 – 2019). The project equipped women in the camp and host communities with livelihood and leadership skills. It also supported advocacy efforts to prevent violence against women, improve girls’ access to technology and involve more women in humanitarian action.


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


Bayer Committed to shaping a more sustainable Food System

4 October 2019 Manheim, Germany – Bayer welcomed farmers, academics, leading global industry experts, journalists and other stakeholders for its 2019 Future of Farming Dialogue, to engage in a collaborative discussion on the future of agriculture. “Agriculture needs to feed a growing world without starving the planet”, said Liam Condon, member of the Bayer Board of Management and president of the Crop Science Division. Under the theme “Tomorrow belongs to all of us” the event gathered speakers and participants from around 40 countries for two days of robust panel discussions, talks and interviews on issues and opportunities facing the industry. Topics discussed include the need to find a balance between production of food and preservation of our planet; consumer demands to have a healthy diet with no negative impact on the environment; and the importance of crop protection tools for sustainable agriculture. During the event, Condon shared that Bayer is introducing three ambitious commitments to address some of the most pressing challenges our world is currently facing by 2030:

1. Reduce the environmental impact of crop protection by 30 percent by developing new technologies that help farmers to scale down crop protection product volumes and enable a more precise application.
2. Reduce field greenhouse gases emissions from the most emitting crops systems by 30% in the regions
3. Empower 100 million smallholder farmers in developing countries around the world by providing more access to sustainable agricultural solutions.



Egypt and IFAD strengthen partnership to reduce rural poverty and promote resilience in desert environments

3 October 2019, Rome – The President of the United Nations' International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Gilbert F. Houngbo, will meet with H.E. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, during a four-day visit to the country from 6 to 9 October to discuss IFAD’s ongoing investments and to pave the way for a strengthened partnership towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Agriculture is a vital sector of Egypt’s economy, providing livelihoods for 55% of the population and directly employing 29% of the labour force. Farming is also a vibrant source of exports and foreign exchange. IFAD is supporting the Government of Egypt in achieving its national plans, especially in the agriculture sector. IFAD interventions have already covered some 65% of reclaimed lands. IFAD began operations in Egypt in 1977 and so far has implemented 14 projects, investing nearly $520 million and directly benefitting approximately 1.2 million households. Currently, the ongoing portfolio comprises three projects for a total of about $300 million. An agreement for a fourth investment project worth $80 million has been recently signed.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


Getting out of the cycle of poverty in Tripoli, Lebanon

30 September 2019 – Cash assistance has given poor and working families in Tripoli, Lebanon a chance to pull themselves out of a cycle of poverty and debt. See how it’s making a difference. In response to the economic hardships created by the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon, Anera and UMCOR – United Methodist Committee On Relief have provided 250 vulnerable households (some 1,250 individuals) in Tripoli with nine monthly unconditional cash transfers ($174 USD) to address their basic human needs. The 250 households are divided equitably between those of Syrian and Lebanese origin. Anera’s cash program is unique in that it provides assistance to vulnerable Lebanese host communities, to avoid exacerbating tensions between the two groups. Many of the communities in Lebanon where Syrian refugees have encamped are among the poorest and least prepared for the influx of new residents. Many Lebanese residents and refugees cannot afford to pay for utilities like running water and heat. Tensions are very high between the host community and refugees, and there is a desperate need for social cohesion efforts.


News related with SDGs number 1-No Poverty


New FAO Hand-in-Hand Initiative to maximize partnerships for greater impacts

26 September 2019, New York – Having Member States’ support and buy-in is paramount to FAO successfully rolling out new initiatives, such as the new Hand-in-Hand Initiative, to help accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals - especially ending poverty and hunger - and not leaving anyone behind.The Hand-in-Hand Initiative aims to enable “matchmaking” – bringing countries with the highest poverty and hunger rates together with developed countries – to support development efforts in the Least Developed Landlocked Countries, Least Developed Small Island Developing States, and countries affected by food crises. Looking ahead, the initiative will then seek to support highly populated, less developed countries. This will be done in close coordination and partnership with multilateral development banks and other UN agencies, with FAO identifying opportunities at national level for all priority countries, as well as bottlenecks and investment gaps, and developing a detailed monitoring and evaluation framework with clear targets for 2030.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger





UN commits to help Pacific island agriculture adapt and survive climate crisis

4 October 2019 - The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) pledged on Friday to work hand in hand with the people of the Pacific to improve nutrition, and mitigate the worst effects of climate change, which pose an existential threat to many island nations across the region.  The commitment came at a joint meeting of Pacific Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry, as part of the Pacific Week of Agriculture being held in Samoa, convened jointly by FAO and the Pacific Community (SPC).


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


Japan to provide food assistance to 180,000 primary school learners in Lesotho

30 September 2019, Maseru - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes the Japanese Government contribution of about US$ 1,860,000 that will enable WFP to strengthen food assistance to some 180,000 primary school children, through the Government of Lesotho’s national school feeding programme. A ceremony was held today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations to mark the contribution which will be used to buy canned fish, further diversifying nutritious meals offered in primary schools across the country.  Japan has been one of the most consistent donors to WFP Lesotho having donated USD $8.2 million since 2014. The support comes at a crucial time, as food insecurity levels in the country remain high and particularly affect the most vulnerable, including children. Results from the latest Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis (VAA) of June 2019 predict that some 30% of the population will need immediate food assistance, with the figure expected to grow towards the end of 2019.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger


WFP and Government of China sign emergency food assistance agreements for African countries

24 September 2019, Rome – The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of China have recently signed agreements to provide emergency food assistance to Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe to respond to food insecurity.  Under the framework of the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund, China’s support will enable WFP to procure food including rice, maize, pulses, fortified cereals, vegetable oil for more than 477,000 of the most vulnerable people in these three countries, mainly women and children. Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe face serious food insecurity challenges especially due to climate-related disasters such as droughts and floods.China has provided continual and concrete support to WFP’s humanitarian operations in various countries and regions in recent years, contributing significantly to WFP’s mission of saving lives and changing lives.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger


Qatar helps WFP provide food for some of Yemen’s most vulnerable people

12 September 2019, Rome – A US$2.9 million contribution from Qatar has allowed the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide vital food assistance to over 160,000 vulnerable Yemenis. Qatar’s support enabled WFP to distribute food vouchers over a two-month period to families in four governorates – Lahj, Al Jawf, Dhamar and Taiz. WFP’s Commodity Voucher through Trader’s Network allows families to get basic foods from local retail outlets. WFP is supporting over 11 million people each month with food assistance. This level of support has so far helped avert famine in Yemen. But, over 20 million Yemenis continue to face a daily struggle to meet their food needs. Malnutrition rates among women and children remain dangerously high with around 3 million at risk of acute malnutrition. Economic collapse and outbreaks of disease have exacerbated the food crisis in war-torn Yemen. The provision of humanitarian food assistance remains critical, while investment in restoring people’s livelihoods and rebuilding infrastructure is also needed so Yemen can rebuild.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger


New EU funding helps WFP provide food assistance to Rohingya refugees and ensure their safety through the monsoon season

12 September 2019, Dhaka/Cox’s Bazar - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a contribution of EUR 2 million from the European Union (EU) for its emergency operation in Bangladesh. The new funding will help WFP sustain lifesaving food assistance to Rohingya refugees, addressing high rates of malnutrition among children and mothers, while protecting them from the monsoon season risks. Cox’s Bazar is the largest and most densely populated refugee camp in the world. The Rohingya refugees are facing heightened risks during the current monsoon season. Camps have already been flooded and threatened with landslides. The new EU contribution will help WFP ensure that refugee needs are met during this challenging time. In 2018, the EU provided EUR 12 million to help WFP respond to the urgent needs of the most vulnerable Rohingya refugees, playing a major role in enabling WFP’s continuing transition from in-kind food distribution to an electronic voucher system. Half of all refugees now receive food assistance through e-vouchers and by early next year all refugees will receive food this way. https://www.wfp.org/news/new-eu-funding-helps-wfp-provide-food-assistance-rohingya-refugees-and-ensure-their-safety

News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger



Peace and security


From Kabul: Youth on the Road to Peace

(By Hakim Young)

7 October 2019 - Despite the violent crises which we human beings have created for Afghanistan and our planet earth, I have witnessed yet again how renewing our relationships with Nature and one another can calm us, teach us, and change us. I saw this happening among the 26 participants of the “Youth on the Road to Peace Conference” organized by the Afghan Peace Volunteers from the 18th to the 21st of September. The youth were rightfully feeling disheartened by the ongoing challenges in their country: war, opposing local and foreign groups in conflict, ISIS, Taliban, U.S./NATO forces, capitalism, climate-change related drought, inequality, racism, rhetoric with no action, societal and personal confusion…Name any global problem, and we’ll find it looming in this ‘forgotten’ war-playground housing 35 million ordinary Afghans. Since the beginning of 2019, the UN had reported “shocking and unacceptable” numbers of civilian casualties across Afghanistan, noting a big increase in the number of casualties caused by government and NATO-led troops. So, imagine that everything is going wrong in our lives, and then, a pause and a space opens up. We get in touch with our feelings for life and people again, and our being shifts.


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


TOLEDO - SPAIN - Spain: Toledo hosts the II International Forum Toledo Culture of Peace in October

5 October 2019 - The regional capital will host the Second Toledo Culture of Peace Forum on October 16, 17 and 18, a space to reflect and jointly build local proposals to contribute to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The new development model considers cities as a basic element for promoting the necessary actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, during three days in which the Forum will take place, it will emphasize the need for a municipal and citizen commitment that drives profound changes in ways of life and the model of society to achieve a more just, sustainable and inclusive world.


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


Ukraine: window opens for peace in the Donbas after Volodymyr Zelensky agrees to election plan

3 October 2019 - As the war in eastern Ukraine drags into its sixth year, all the attempts to end it have so far failed. But in a significant development on October 1, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, announced his provisional agreement to hold local elections in the currently occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk, collectively known as Donbas.


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


6 humanitarians honored for their work with refugees

1 October 2019 – Six humanitarians who are members of the family of Rotary are being honored as People of Action: Connectors Beyond Borders during the 2019 Rotary Day at the United Nations, which focuses this year on the global refugee crisis. The annual event, being held at the UN’s headquarters in New York, USA, on 9 November this year, celebrates the vision for peace that Rotary and the UN share. Through Rotary’s long history with the UN, its members have helped people affected by war, famine, and disaster. Today, the number of refugees worldwide is the highest it has been since World War II. The six honorees — five Rotary members and a Rotary Peace Fellow — are all people of action who have found community-based solutions to the refugee crisis. (…)


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


Expert workshop on regional humanitarian issues and ANSA engagement in Erbil, Iraq

20September 2019 – On September 18 and 19 in Erbil (Iraq), Geneva Call held a two-day “Expert Workshop on Regional Humanitarian Issues and armed non-State actor (ANSA) Engagement” in the presence of representatives from ten international organizations and both local and international non-governmental organizations. The aim of the workshop was to generate ideas related to how to engage armed non-State actors (ANSAs) in the Middle East and to identify the most prominent humanitarian issues. This workshop took place after initial mapping and research of ANSAs was carried out by Geneva Call. Humanitarian experts representing the international community (OCHA, IOM, MSF, STC, ECHO, NRC and ICRC) and local non-governmental organizations (Afaq, Harikar and Jafra Foundation) covering Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen, attended the workshop. They shared their perspectives around key humanitarian challenges and the ways to address them through engagement with transnational ANSAs and influential national/regional actors. The importance of adopting a coordinated and joint approach between all humanitarian actors in terms of engaging with ANSAs was highlighted on many occasions throughout the workshop and was perceived as the main solution to minimize humanitarian challenges.






WHO and FIFA team up for health

4October 2019 – The World Health Organization (WHO) and football’s world governing body, FIFA, today agreed a four-year collaboration to promote healthy lifestyles through football globally.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and FIFA President Gianni Infantino signed the memorandum of understanding at WHO’s Geneva-based headquarters.

The agreement includes four areas of collaboration:


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


Over 51 million children reached in National Immunization campaigns

4 October 2019 – Abuja - In a bid to bolster immunity of eligible children, the Federal Government of Nigeria supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners immunized over 51 million children during the annual national immunization campaigns. The intervention, conducted in phases, from 30 July-30 August 2019, reached 51,151,924 eligible children across 36 Nigerian states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The campaign was integrated with Bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (bOPV) and fractional Inactivated Polio Vaccine (fIPV). While 0-59 months’ children received bOPV only in selected local Government Areas (LGA) of 15 Nigerian states, namely, Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara States, a total of 12,020,045 children 14 weeks to 59 months were given both fIPV and bOPV.


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


Vaccinating against Ebola in a challenging context

3October 2019 – Beni is one of the recurring hotspots of the current Ebola epidemic in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). For more than a year, the outbreak response has been in full swing in the city.  On site since the early days of the epidemic, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has recently started supporting vaccination activities, a promising tool in the fight against the virus disease. Yet reaching the right people in time is a complex endeavour. Esther only winces slightly when a doctor from the vaccination team injects the investigational Ebola vaccine called rVSV-ZEBOV into her left upper arm in Kimbangu, a community in the southwest of Beni. Justin*, her two-and-a-half-year-old son, bursts in to tears when he sees a new syringe being filled, and only calms down a few minutes after receiving his shot. The vaccine is painful in the arm, but the side effects are mostly mild. Early results show the vaccine provides effective protection for a promising 95 per cent of participants after 10 days.


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


New “game-changing” financing mechanism to end cholera launched at UN General Assembly

26 September 2019, New York– The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today unveiled a major new initiative to combat cholera and other diarrheal diseases in 29 member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Announced at the UNGA Financing for Development Dialogues by H.E. The Honorable Minister of Economy, Malaysia, Mohamed Azmin, the One WASH Fund will attempt to cut cholera deaths by 90 per cent and improve the lives of 5 million people in 29 cholera affected OIC member countries. The One WASH Fund is a scalable outcome fund model that uses an innovative financing mechanism designed to attract new philanthropic and private investor capital by combining Islamic social finance contributions with traditional humanitarian donor financing. This Fund structure will then be pre-funded through the issuance of an Islamic bond (Sukuk) enabling it to operate at multi-million-dollar scale.


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


Improving lives through better vision

(by Julian Wyllie)

4 September 2019 – More than one billion people around the world need but cannot afford eye exams and glasses. Poor performance at school and at work, among other problems, is the result. In response, the nonprofit group OneSight builds eye-examination centers and is expanding into countries where it has not worked, including Rwanda and Brazil. "We’re trying to reach people in remote communities and potentially in areas where there isn’t consistent electricity or internet," says the executive director, K-T Overbey, who added that the group is expanding its fundraising so it can reach more people. "We’ve started bringing a full manufacturing lab," she says, "so that we can manufacture the glasses on-site." Vision care has become a popular cause for wealthy philanthropists. Richard Branson recently announced a joint fund of $105 million, including money from the Gates Foundation, the ELMA Foundation, and others, with the goal of ending trachoma, a blinding disease. (…) OneSight, formerly the charity arm of the eyewear company Luxottica, is now an independent nonprofit. It does some work in the United States, but Africa and Asia are among its primary target areas because they have some of the highest levels of potentially blinding eye diseases. (…)


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



Energy and safety



INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY - UNOHRLLS and IRENA agree to support renewable energy in climate vulnerable countries

1 October 2019 – The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) have today underscored their commitment to strengthen cooperation aimed at advancing renewable energy in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in New York today by the UN-OHRLLS Under-Secretary-General Fekitamoeloa Katoa Utoikamanu and IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera. Strengthened collaboration between the two organisations contributes to global efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the context of renewable energy. (…)


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


New bill provides California with a powerful tool to reduce emissions and improve air quality

(by Lauren Navarro)

27 September 2019 – A new bill (AB 1328) just passed in the California legislature and is awaiting Gov. Newsom’s signature. The bill requires California’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, in consultation with the California Air Resources Board, to initiate an independent evaluation of the climate and health pollution impacts from idle, deserted and abandoned wells Just like active production sites, these inactive oil and gas wells can leak pollution, affecting communities through climate change and health impacts. There are around 30,000 idle and abandoned oil wells in California, with tens of thousands of people living within 100 feet or less of them. (…)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


Commentary: Non-traditional energy companies lead a record year for corporate investment in energy start-ups

(by Simon Bennett)

27 September 2019 – (…) Among the many takeaways from the UN Climate Action Summit earlier this week was the need for capital to be reallocated to clean energy solutions around the world – The Economist talks of the Climate Capitalists who see the golden lining in the climate cloud. These investors can play a crucial role in bridging the gap between lab and market, for example via venture capital (VC) funding that enables entrepreneurs to commercialise their first low-carbon products and hone their business models. Among the companies that have had a boost from venture funding, some are reshaping the energy landscape. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


Enel X joins Hubject, a global network of more than 200,000 charging points

26 September 2019 – Enel X has become a 12.5% shareholder in Hubject, an e-mobility joint venture which includes leading players across the technology, automotive and utility sectors. Hubject has developed an interoperable platform that enables electric vehicle ("EV") drivers to charge their cars across a network of over 200,000 public charging points worldwide, without having to sign new contracts on top of the ones with their e-mobility Service Providers that use Hubject's eRoaming services. By entering the joint venture, Enel X can extend the interoperability of its European network beyond the 8,000 public charging points already available to its customers, with the possibility to access the joint venture's overall network. (…)


News related with SDGs number 9-Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure


French researchers lead development of biobattery device powered by sweat

(by Meghan Sapp)

25 September 2019 – In France, a unique new flexible and stretchable device, worn against the skin and capable of producing electrical energy by transforming the compounds present in sweat, was recently developed and patented by CNRS researchers from l’Université Grenoble Alpes and the University of San Diego (U.S.). This cell is already capable of continuously lighting an LED, opening new avenues for the development of wearable electronics powered by autonomous and environmentally friendly biodevices. This research was published in Advanced Functional Materials on September 25, 2019.


News related with SDGs number 9-Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure



Environment and wildlife


Ecological ritual performed in Vatican gardens for pope’s tree planting ceremony

4 October 2019 - Pope Francis witnessed an indigenous performance at a tree planting ceremony in the Vatican gardens Friday, during which people held hands and bowed before carved images of pregnant women, one of which reportedly represented the Blessed Virgin Mary.

A group of people, including Amazonians in ritual dress, as well people in lay clothes and a Franciscan brother, knelt and bowed in a circle around images of two pregnant women who appeared to be semi-clothed, in the presence of the pope and members of the curia.



Deforestation, plastics, food waste, forced labour and health to top the agenda at 4th CGF Sustainable Retail Summit

3 October 2019 Paris/CSRwire/ - (…) Taking place on 24th-25th October 2019 in Berlin, Germany, the the 4th Sustainable Retail Summit (SRS) will showcase how the consumer goods industry remains focused on finding collaborative solutions to today’s leading sustainability and health challenges.  Organised by The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), the SRS aims to provide concrete examples of how the consumer goods industry can work with other key stakeholders to accelerate change and implement positive actions to benefit business, people and the planet. This year, under the theme “Sorting Fact from Fiction and Addressing the Hard Truths”, over 250 sustainability and health leaders are expected to attend to benefit from the best-practice sharing, solution-orientated discussions and networking opportunities on offer.The 2019 edition promises to put an even stronger emphasis on collaboration, innovation, transparency and driving positive change, with a compelling programme cutting through the noise and thrusting ground-breaking start-ups and concrete case studies into the spotlight. Topics at this year’s SRS will allow participants the opportunity to learn about the post-2020 deforestation agenda, inspiring healthier lives, whether enough is being done in building awareness on forced labour, and dispelling the myths around food and plastic waste. (…)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


Disney Conservation Fund awards $6 million in grants to support wildlife and the environment

3 October 2019 - Burbank, California /CSRwire/ - The Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) has awarded $6 million in grants to 80 nonprofit organizations working to save wildlife, inspire action and protect the planet. Since the fund’s creation in 1995, Disney has provided nearly $86 million total in grants to protect the magic of nature together with communities around the world. “These Disney award recipients represent a global community dedicated to ensuring a world where people and wildlife thrive together. The Disney Conservation Fund provides not only the opportunity to support these meaningful efforts, but also celebrate them as a point of hope that inspires our audiences around the world,” said Elissa Margolis, senior vice president, Enterprise Social Responsibility, The Walt Disney Company. The Disney Conservation Fund supports comprehensive community conservation efforts and initiatives that protect species and habitats, while inspiring kids and families to take action on behalf of wildlife and nature in their communities. The fund also pairs philanthropic grants with the expertise from many of Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment professionals and other Disney employees who work together to make a positive impact benefiting people, wildlife and wild places. (…)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


Celebrated partnership for mountain gorillas announces conservation international as new coalition member

24September 2019 – As we celebrate World Gorilla Day, the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) has announced Conservation International as its newest coalition member effective today, joining Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and WWF in one of the longest-running and most successful conservation partnerships. The expanded coalition has also unveiled a revitalized strategic plan to guide its crucial work through 2024, as it seeks to consolidate the notable gains made in mountain gorilla conservation and to tackle emerging threats while enhancing benefits to people, especially park adjacent communities. At the same time, IGCP announces a change in the Chair of the Board of the coalition programme, with Dr. Helen Gichohi, representing FFI, now assuming this position which rotates according to agreement among the three institutions.The new strategy is centred on strengthening IGCP’s role as an enduring advocate for collaborative mountain gorilla conservation action. It focuses on reducing threats to mountain gorillas, providing evidence to inform policy and decision-making by authorities in mountain gorilla range States, empowering people and civil society organizations, and reinforcing tourism as a conservation tool — done through a suite of partnership arrangements with other institutions and organizations working in the region. (…)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


A Great Green Wall for Cities

21 September 2019, New York - The UN Food and Agriculture Organization's Director-General Qu Dongyu today announced the Great Green Wall for Cities initiative that aims to support nature-based solutions to climate change. The Director-General made the announcement on the eve of this week's Climate Action Summit in New York. Qu outlined how the Great Green Wall for Cities builds on the progress made under the Great Green Wall of Africa and the Sahel project and would see the creation of urban green areas that are integrated into wider landscape restoration activities. FAO, together with partners, is aiming to support at least three cities in each of 30 countries in Africa and Asia, Dr Qu said today at the Climate Action Summit's Nature Based Solutions for Cities side event. By 2030, the bold action will have helped cities create up to 500,000 hectares of new urban forests and restore or maintain up to 300,000 hectares of existing natural forests in and around cities in the Sahel and Central Asia. Once completed, the Wall would capture 0.5-5 Gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. The enhanced green infrastructure will reduce the costs of preventing and addressing the impacts of climate change and improve the well-being of citizens, the Director-General said. If well managed, urban forests and trees can reduce air temperature by up to 8 degrees Celsius, reduce the costs of air conditioning by up to 40%, reduce stormwater flows and improve air quality by filtering dust and pollutants. 


News related with SDGs number 11-Sustainable Cities and Communities



Religion and spirituality



ASIA/INDIA - Christians pray for India on the anniversary of Gandhi's birth

3 October 2019 - New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - "Let us pray for India and for political administrators, collaborating for the development, progress and good of our Mother Earth": this is the appeal released by Archbishop Anil Couto, at the head of the Archdiocese of Delhi, inviting Christians of the country to pray, on the occasion of the prayer meeting held on 2 October in Delhi, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, the nation's father. The prayer meeting, organized by the "Fellowship of Christians" and held in the auditorium of the Jesus and Mary school near the Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, was attended by faithful from over 20 denominations and Christian organizations.



Stewards of the Planet: Faith Reflections from the Chicago Climate March

3 October 2019 - The climate march in Chicago on September 20th was organized as part of the worldwide youth climate strike that mobilized 4 million youth and their allies around the world. In Chicago, thousands marched from Grant Park to Federal Plaza in a unified show of support. The Parliament spoke with religious and spiritual leaders at the march. Their messages, though couched in different teachings and theologies, reflect an alignment in worldview, and a sense that we must all be good stewards of the planet.

Sisters of St Joseph - “We intuitively know that all of creation is sacred. In keeping with Catholic teachings, we see everything as connected. You can’t be for justice unless it’s for all people. This is the sacred communion.”

Catholic Friars - “We can look around and see that there is a grave problem with the world right now that we are primarily responsible for, and that we have to address for ourselves, and for future generations, and for all of God's creatures."

Unitarian Universalist - "We have seven principles and one is the interconnected web of all life, of which we are a part. We make this most real by our connections with stewardship here on planet Earth."

EcoSikh - "Our guiding text starts with the numeral one and a symbol for all that is, so it is all one. And if any part of that is hurting, we are all hurting. So if we are not engaged in the process, we are a part of the problem."

The interfaith movement continues to play a pivotal role in climate action. The Parliament recognizes the enormous courage and dedication of youth climate activists around the world. We stand in solidarity with them.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


Buddhist restorative justice expert Sujatha Baliga awarded MacArthur “Genius Grant”

(by Lilly Greenblatt)

3 October 2019 - Buddhist attorney and restorative justice expert sujatha baliga has been named one of the 2019 fellows of the MacArthur Foundation — the award known as the “Genius Grant” which grants recipients with $625,000 over five years. Baliga receives the award for her work “expanding access to survivor-centered restorative justice strategies that interrupt the criminalization of people of color and break cycles of recidivism and violence.” Her work was previously featured in the “Bodhisattvas” department of Lion’s Roar magazine. Baliga is a former victim advocate and public defender who was “never satisfied with legal outcomes that framed success as beating the other ‘side.’” Now, as a restorative justice practitioner, she devotes equal dedication to both crime survivors and those who have caused harm. She was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship in 2008 and launched a pre-charge restorative juvenile diversion program. In 2015, she helped found the Oakland-based Impact Justice, “a national center developing methodologies to reduce incarceration and create a more humane and restorative system of justice,” where she serves as the director of its Restorative Justice Project. As her website reads, baliga’s Buddhist faith journey “undergirds her justice work.” (…)



Marching for Religious Interfaith

(by Gary Nguyen)

2 October 2019 - On September 22nd, as part of a celebration of International Peace Day, marches were held around the world to celebrate Religious Peace and Justice. In a world so full of noise, concern and neglect, these marches were a testament to the fact that we can still come together and believe in one another. In Los Angeles, we participated in one of over 20 marches being held all around the world in California, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Wyoming. Marches were also held in India, Israel and Palestine, Malawi, Pakistan and Uganda. Some of the speeches I felt were, “preaching to the choir,” with those in attendance already aware of the need to learn about each other. However, there were enough news sources there to make it worth the effort and the attendees added weight to the words.


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


America’s growing interfaith infrastructure

16 September 2019 - In Columbia, South Carolina, Interfaith Partners regularly brings together for discussion Christians and Jews, Hindus and Muslims, Buddhists and Bahá’ís. Members visit one another’s places of worship, gather over meals, sponsor a program on inter-religious awareness for schools, and undertake an annual conference on interfaith dialogue. Interfaith Partners of South Carolina was launched in part by the faculty and students of the University of South Carolina. As one Christian participant put it: “The amazing thing is, when you learn about others, it inevitably causes you to learn about yourself. You become a different person in the process of meeting someone who has been previously unknown to you.” A Muslim participant explained: “We all live on one globe, and we’re working together here in Columbia, so there’s a need to get acquainted with one another, whether we accept each others’ differences or not, and find common ground. Then we can advance society.”


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



Culture and education


How a young teacher is making gender equality a reality in Ethiopia

4 October 2019 - As a young girl growing up in rural Seydebir in Semien Shewa, Ethiopia, Tigist had to walk for an hour to go to school. When she was in primary school, she would walk to school with her brother every day. They hiked uphill and downhill and crossed a river under the sun’s heat to reach the school.

Tigist’s walk to school was filled with fear. She often heard stories of girls who had drowned in the river or had been raped on their way to school. One of her close relatives was abducted when she was only aged seven, and never returned home. Tigist, now aged 20, is a graduate student of the Integrated Science Department at Kotebe Metropolitan College in Addis Ababa. As part of her studies, Tigist is currently teaching at Netsanet Birhan primary school. She has a third-grade class of 38 students, 24 of whom are girls. Although the challenges she faced growing up in a rural area may be different from those that girls face in urban areas, she believes that gender equality issues are relevant in any context.


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


UNESCO seeks nominations for the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture

4 October 2019 - UNESCO calls for candidatures for the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture. Awarded since 2001, the Prize was established in 1998 in collaboration with the Government of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) and is now at its 17th edition. The Prize fulfils the organization’s fundamental mission of promoting intercultural dialogue by rewarding significant contributions made by two personalities, groups or institutions to the developing, raising awareness and spreading of Arab culture through artistic, intellectual, or promotional work that enhances mutual understanding. Proposed candidates should have earned an international reputation through meritorious and long-term action.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Dedicated Teachers Are Educating Afghanistan's Girls

(by Sarah Ferguson)

3 October 2019 - UNICEF and partners are working tirelessly all over the world to save and protect children.

For many of Afghanistan's children, particularly those in the poorest and most isolated areas, completing elementary school remains a distant dream. The nation's education system has been devastated by more than thirty years of sustained conflict. Schools have been attacked and closed; teachers killed, injured and abducted. An estimated 3.7 million children are out of school, 60 percent of them girls. But despite the dangers, devoted teachers are giving their all to ensure that Afghanistan's next generation of girls get an education and reach their full potential.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Art Gallery of Greater Victoria explores relationship between Buddhism and contemporary art

(by Sandra Hannebohm)

3 October 2019 - The Canadian gallery’s project will focus on artists who have heavily drawn on Buddhism in their art, including Yoko Ono, Marina Abramovic, John Cage, and Tenzing Rigdol. The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada, has launched a project to explore Buddhism’s relationship to contemporary art. The project explores two sides of one coin: how modern art keeps Buddhism relevant and how Buddhism inspires socially relevant art. The project, called “In the Present Moment: Buddhism, Contemporary Art and Social Practice” kicks off on Oct 25 with lectures featuring Kay Larson, Suzanne Lacy and Jodie Evans, who will discuss how Buddhism informs their work and the work of others.



The United Nations World Food Programme launches a global movement to help fight food waste

2 October 2019, Rome– Be it a mouldy piece of cheese or an old carrot, there is often some frightful foodstuff festering at the back of the fridge. But very often, these seemingly spoiled items can be rescued and included in a tasty dish. That is why the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced the launch of Stop the Waste, a global campaign to raise awareness about the huge amounts of edible food that is daily discarded – a habit that must be overcome if we are to make real progress in eradicating global hunger.  As part of this campaign, WFP has enlisted top restaurateurs and celebrity chefs from around the globe to join the movement by making their own pledge to #StopTheWaste. While there is enough food in the world to feed everyone, one third of the 4 billion metric tons of food we produce each year is lost or wasted, costing the global economy nearly US$1 trillion annually. At the same time, war and unrest are forcing more people to flee their homes than at any time since the Second World War, making it difficult for millions of people to grow their own food or buy it at an affordable price. WFP’s goal is a world with Zero Hunger. Part of achieving that goal is preventing food loss. WFP does this by helping smallholder farmers through the provision of new technologies for storage and transportation that prevent crops from spoiling prematurely and by connecting them with markets. The World Food Programme has also launched a 30-second animated video as part of the campaign. The animation aims to spotlight food waste and highlight simple solutions we can take to prevent it by educating people on how to get involved. 


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


ANKARA - TURKEY– ASIA - Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia jointly support an "anti-Islamophobia" TV project

1 October 2019- The new television channel sponsored by the governments of Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia with the declared aim of spreading correct information about Islam and countering the growing Islamophobia worldwide, starting from western countries will broadcast programs in English. The ambitious project was the focus of a meeting between Malaysian Premier Mahathir Mohamad, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, held last week in New York, in the margins of the 74th UN General Assembly. In the statements also released through social media, the leaders of the three countries made explicit their intention to refute and disassemble through the new TV all the misleading definitions that describe Islam as a violent religion and label all Muslims as potential terrorists. Pakistani Premier Imran Khan added that the anti-Islamophobic battle entrusted to the new TV network will also take place with the production and broadcast of films and fiction oriented to spread a more appropriate knowledge of the history and doctrine of Islam, also "contextualizing" the controversies that arose around the application of the Pakistani law against blasphemy. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 1/10/2019)



More than 170 million minutes logged in Save the Children’s inaugural Summer Reading Campaign

10 September 2019, Fairfield, Connecticut – In celebration of World Literacy Day, Save the Children is proud to announce its summer reading campaign exceeded its 100 million minutes goal in its first year. Read a Story, Change Their Story – 100 Days of Reading began on June 1, and encouraged all children, parents, teachers, librarians, caregivers and adults to log their summer reading minutes at SavetheChildren.org/READ. More than 170 million minutes were logged – the equivalent of more than 118,000 days of reading – resulting in significant support of Save the Children’s work to improve literacy and change young lives across rural America. (…)


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education




* * * * * * *



Next issue: 15th November 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