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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. 284 – 15th November 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


UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR EUROPE – New UN standards for assessment of solar and wind energy resources could spur investment in renewables

5 November 2019 – (…) The European Commission has included both solar PV and offshore wind as key components of its long–term strategy for reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. To accelerate the shift to renewable energy, UNECE has prepared specifications that enable the classification and reporting of solar and wind energy resources in an internationally–harmonized manner. The new specifications will make it possible to assess wind and solar energy resources in different geographical contexts in comparison with alternative energy sources. The ability of governments and companies to understand and compare competing energy sources is essential for navigating energy transitions and transformations. The assessments will inform policy decisions on increasing renewable energy investments, with significant potential for climate action. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


United Nations – General Assembly – Seventy–fourth session – First Committee – Agenda item 98 – General and complete disarmament – Strengthening and developing the system of arms control, disarmament and non–proliferation treaties and agreements

31 October 2019 – The General Assembly (…),

1. Urges all States parties to arms control, disarmament and non–proliferation treaties and agreements to implement all provisions of such treaties and agreements in their entirety;

2. Calls for continued efforts to strengthen the system of arms control, disarmament and non–proliferation treaties and agreements and to preserve its integrity and validity for maintaining global stability and international peace and security; (…)

4. Urges all Member States to support efforts aimed at the resolution of implementation issues by means consistent with arms control, disarmament and non–proliferation treaties and agreements and international law, (…)


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


United Nations – General Assembly – Seventy–fourth session – Second Committee – Agenda item 19 – Sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central America

22 October 2019 – Belize (…), and Panama: draft resolution. The General Assembly (…),

12. Stresses the need to promote the further development of sustainable tourism, in particular through the consumption of sustainable tourism products and services, and to strengthen the development of ecotourism, maintaining, in particular, the culture and environmental integrity of indigenous and local communities and enhancing the protection of ecologically sensitive areas and the natural heritage and indigenous cultural and religious sites of those communities; (…)

18. Invites States Members of the United Nations and other stakeholders and the World Tourism Organization to continue to support the activities undertaken by the Central American countries for the promotion of sustainable tourism in the region, including with regard to emergency preparedness for better disaster risk reduction, as well as for capacity–building, job creation and the promotion of local culture and

products, and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals; (…)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


United Nations – General Assembly – Seventy–fourth session – First Committee – Agenda item 104 – Comprehensive Nuclear–Test–Ban Treaty

21 October 2019 – Andorra (…), United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Uruguay: draft resolution. The General Assembly (…),

1. Stresses the vital importance and urgency of signature and ratification, without delay and without conditions, in order to achieve the earliest entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear–Test–Ban Treaty; (…)

4.  Urges all States not to carry out nuclear–weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions, to maintain their moratoriums in this regard and to refrain from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of the Treaty, while stressing that these measures do not have the same permanent and legally binding effect as the entry into force of the Treaty; (…)

6.   Urges all States that have not yet signed or ratified, or that have signed but not yet ratified, the Treaty, in particular those whose ratification is needed for its entry into force, to sign and ratify it as soon as possible and to accelerate their ratification processes with a view to ensuring their earliest successful conclusion; (…)


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



Human rights


Nonprofit Works to empower women throughout West Africa

8 November 2019 - This edition of the Business of Giving features Molly Melching, founder of the nonprofit Tostan. The organization is working to change social norms around issues of sustainable development, human rights, genital cutting, and child marriage in West Africa. Tostan’s model for community-led change has been implemented in 22 languages across eight African countries. Melching says it works because it brings human rights to people “in a way that they truly understand, that it speaks to them, that they have the time to think about it, to assimilate what this means.”


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


Nigeria: We’ve rescued, rehabilitated 11,600 trafficked persons in 20 years – Mrs Titi Abubakar -

by Luminous Jannamike

31 October 2019 - Wife of former Vice President, Titilayo Abubakar, has said nearly 11,600 victims of human trafficking and child labour have been rescued, rehabilitated and empowered through Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF), an initiative she founded in 1999. Mrs Abubakar, who stated this in Abuja at an event to mark WOTCLEF’s 20th anniversary, said the organisation has remained at the forefront of the fight against trafficking in persons in Nigeria in spite of daunting challenges. According to the ex-VP’s wife, she was moved to start an advocacy to end forced prostitution and other forms of human trafficking in the country after observing many Nigerian girls in the 1980’s were lured into the menace in Italy with fake job promises. Mrs Abubakar said, consequently, she entered into a covenant with God to fight the societal ill, if opportuned to serve in high office. She added, “My dream to rescue and empower those girls who were trafficked abroad for forced prostitution and other inhuman treatments became reality in 1999 when my husband became Vice President, and we have come a long way in welcoming and rehabilitating girls repatriated from different countries.


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


Cambodia: Release prisoners of conscience Kong Raiya and Soung Neakpaon -

27 October 2019 - The Cambodian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release two youth activists who have been arbitrarily detained since July for attempting to peacefully commemorate the murder of a popular government critic, Amnesty International said today. Both Kong Raiya and Soung Neakpaon are currently being held at Phnom Penh’s CC1 prison on charges of “incitement to commit a felony.”Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear Kong Raiya’s final appeal against the denial of hisbail application, which was initially refused by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court along with Soung Neakpaon’s bail application 24 July 2019,contrary to both men’s right to liberty. This denial was upheld by the Appeal Court on 13 August 2019.Soung Neakpaon’s bail appeal will be heard by the Supreme Court on 15 November. Both men were detained solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression, as guaranteed under the Cambodian constitution and international human rights law. As prisoners of conscience, Amnesty International calls for both men to be immediately and unconditionally released and for the bogus charges against them to be dropped.


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


Guinea: MFWA, Partners organise Media-Security Forum to promote journalists' safety in Guinea

25 October 2019 - The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in collaboration with the partner organisation in Guinea, Association Guineenne des Editeurs de la Presse Independante (AGEPI), is organising a Media - Security Agencies Forum to promote the safety of journalists in Guinea. The Forum is being organised on October 28, 2019, as part of the MFWA's activities to mark the Internal Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists which is observed worldwide on November 2nd, 2019. The Forum will bring together senior officers from the police and gendarmerie and media stakeholders made up of journalists, editors, media owners, other media experts, journalism training institutions, officials of the media regulatory bodies and press freedom organisations in Guinea to discuss strategies for improving relations between the media and state security agencies with a view to promoting journalists' safety.



GRAMMY® Award-Winning global Artist Enrique Iglesias named a ‘Changemaker for Children’ by Save the Children

Enrique Iglesias Salutes Fans for Helping Contribute Over $350,000 to Save the Children

23 October 2019 Fairfield, Connecticut GRAMMY® Award-winning singer and songwriter Enrique Iglesias has been named a “changemaker for children” by global humanitarian organization Save the Children for raising his voice and mobilizing his fans to raise funds for the most vulnerable children. In celebration of Save the Children’s 100th year of changing children’s lives, the organization is honoring changemakers like Enrique who have used their influence to drive change for the most marginalized and deprived children in the United States and around the world. Enrique joins the ranks of CEOs, philanthropists, policymakers, educators and advocates. A strong supporter of Save the Children since 2015, Enrique with the help of his fans have raised a third of a million dollars for Save the Children. In appreciation of this fundraising milestone, Save the Children and Enrique would like fans to know that their generous contributions made the world a little better for children. 


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities



Economy and development


USA - 2020 Grant Funds available for Nonprofits

7 November 2019 - First Horizon Foundation is accepting Nonprofit funding requests for the 2020 grant cycle. Eligible nonprofits are encouraged to submit their funding requests for consideration.

The deadline to apply for 2020 funds is Jan. 17, 2020. Decisions will be communicated by March 31, 2020. For more information or to apply, visit https://www.firsthorizon.com/foundation. The Foundation focuses contributions to strengthen the following areas:

About First Horizon Foundation

First Horizon Foundation is the private charitable foundation of First Horizon National Corp., the parent company of First Horizon Bank. Founded in 1993, our foundation has donated more than $90 million to meet community needs. First Horizon Foundation most recently operated as First Tennessee Foundation in Tennessee and Texas and as Capital Bank Foundation in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. More information is available at 



FAO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation strengthen partnership on food security and sustainable development

2 November 2019, Tashkent, Uzbekistan - Agreement seeks to increase the exchange of information, research data, and best practices.  FAO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation today agreed to boost joint efforts aimed at providing food security and sustainable development for present and future generations, in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's 18th meeting of the Heads of Government Council in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, by Vladimir Rakhmanin FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia and Vladimir Norov, Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger


Creating A Future-Fit Chemical Industry: Cefic’s Chemical Convention discusses the role of innovation

31October 2019 – “The only thing banned in the Europe of the future should be the word ‘waste’”. This was the message given by Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness at Cefic’s Chemical Convention in Helsinki on 25 October. The chemical industry will play a crucial role in advancing the circular economy in Europe, stressed Katainen. This message echoed opening remarks by Cefic’s President, Daniele Ferrari, who emphasised that it is important that solutions for a low-carbon and circular economy are developed in Europe, and not imported from elsewhere. “The chemical industry is a driving force for innovation along the entire value chain and must have a key role in the low-carbon transition”, stressed Ferrari. Theoretical physicist, promoter of science and Professor at the City College of New York Michio Kaku shared his optimistic vision on technological developments that are transforming our world. In his speech he set out challenges for the future but identified areas of development where chemistry could play a role – from hypersonic drones, to nano-medicines, and even in digitalising the mind.


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


EU provides extra €9 million to support FAO's work promoting nature-friendly agricultural practices in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific

14 October 2019, Rome - European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Qu Dongyu, today signed a new agreement which will see the EU provide an additional €9 million to support the UN agency's work in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. The funding will boost the efforts of countries in the targeted regions to bring about sustainable changes in agricultural policies and practices to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and natural resources. Today's contract is part of a broader EU support programme promoting environmental sustainability in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries via stronger environmental governance and the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements like the Convention on Biological Diversity. The programme will also address some of the most unsustainable practices in agriculture, such as the use of highly hazardous pesticides, and scale up ecosystem-based practices and approaches that favour natural pest control and protect pollinators and other beneficial organisms. Partnerships with the private sector and civil society will act as drivers towards more sustainable agricultural systems.


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





ASIA/KAZAKHSTAN - Renewal and future projects of Caritas, at the service of the most vulnerable

8 November 2019  During the meeting, held in Almaty, the delegates of the Church's charitable organization "said that their activities are focused on supporting vulnerable people who seek help from time to time, such as seniors, low-income families, people with disabilities", explains the national representative of Caritas Kazakhstan, Fr. Guido Trezzani to Fides.

The importance of introducing at the local level the standards for the management of the organization developed by Caritas Internationalis was also discussed. National Caritas is continuing to pursue, among others, a program to support parents of children with Down syndrome, implemented with the support of Italian specialists: "Over the whole country there are already more than 700 children participating, together with their families. In the near future, we will begin to work to create a state center, which also aims at scientific research and the training of operators for centers and schools".

By encouraging the Caritas of Kazakhstan, the president of Caritas Internationalis, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle sent a video message to the assembly, recalling that the work of Caritas "is not just a simple ordinary activity, but represents the working arm of the Church", which is based on three pillars: the Word of God, the sacraments and works of charity. "We cannot eliminate one and concentrate on the others, nor consider them separately.



EU supports Yemen with €79 million to sustain public services and generate job opportunities

7 November 2019 - The European Commission has today adopted a €79 million package to support Yemen, where violent conflict has created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and devastated livelihoods since 2015. This support will help to sustain public services, such as health and education, and to develop livelihood opportunities. Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development said: "Yemen is a country torn by conflict and ravaged by violence, but it is also a country full of resilience and entrepreneurship. In addition to the EU's humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen, investing in development is crucial. Today's package worth €79 million will support health services, access to water, food and education, as well as improve the livelihoods of people." The EU support will focus on two areas. First, it will help Yemeni communities such as local councils to improve health services, access to drinking water and food, primary and hospital care sanitation and invest in education. It will furthermore promote better revenue collection and spending, as well as better waste management. Second, it will stimulate the private sector, especially small-scale economic actors, for example in the sector of agri-businesses. This will support people's ability to secure their livelihoods and boost their resilience in a country where the economy has essentially halted due to five years of conflict.


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


Everyday Heroes: Teen who gave life to save classmates long known as hero

by Joseph Pappalardo

5November 2019 – Even before he died saving his classmates from a shooter at his school, 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo was known for going out of his way to help others. Last May, the nation learned about this young man from Colorado, who gave his life to save others, and he was hailed as a hero. But those who knew Kendrick Castillo saw him as heroic long before then. They witnessed his heroics in small acts of kindness and the way that he lived his life: unafraid to try new things; unapologetic about how much he cared; unwavering in his commitment to his Catholic faith. There was that day he jumped out of a car to assist an elderly person who had stumbled in the street. And that time he volunteered to help carry the casket at a funeral when he noticed that there were not enough pallbearers. Kendrick Castillo's heroism -- both on the day he died as a STEM School Highlands Ranch high school senior and throughout his life -- is celebrated as part of the Knights of Columbus video series, "Everyday Heroes," which tells the stories of ordinary Catholic men acting extraordinarily. In this episode, viewers can gain a better understanding of who Kendrick was. Kendrick's father, John Castillo, said his son was not the type of kid to believe he could not do something, even throwing himself into a pool just to teach himself how to swim. And he fearlessly brought love and faith with him everywhere he went. (…)



Barry raises more than £60k for MAG in three years

1 November 2019 – This week we are focusing on one incredible donor who has dedicated the past three years of his life to raise more than £60,000 for our charity and to help improve the lives of people around the world. Barry Bassett, from Iden Green in Kent, is hanging up his cycle shoes after an incredible fundraising campaign in aid of our cause. The 51-year-old, who is the managing director for London and Bristol digital facilities company VMI, said he was first compelled to launch a “Superhero” cycle after reading about the terrible consequences of landmines on men, women and children all over the world. Since then he has cycled more than 900 miles in total, taking part in two gruelling challenges a year and gaining sponsorship from countless generous businesses. (…) Barry has cycled from London to Bristol and London to Amsterdam every year since 2017, raising money through corporate sponsorship of the participants. In the first year of his quest Barry was joined in the London to Amsterdam leg by only one other rider. He raised £12,500. This year, for his final event, the dad-of-one took a team of eight on his travels. The group raised an astonishing £27,500. (…) The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) is a global humanitarian and advocacy organisation that finds, removes and destroys landmines, cluster munitions and unexploded bombs from places affected by conflict.


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


USAID continues to support the growing humanitarian need in Sudan

30 October 2019, Port Sudan – The first shipment of humanitarian food stocks donated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Office of Food for Peace (FFP) has arrived in Port Sudan. The contribution to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) aims to support 2.2 million people across the country. The total US contribution valued at US$102 million will support the growing food needs of internally displaced people, refugees, and vulnerable communities through a variety of WFP assistance programmes. This is the largest contribution by a single donor to WFP in Sudan in recent years. This is the first of three consecutive shipments arriving from the United States of America at the Sudanese port, including cereals, vegetable oil and pulses. Currently, 5.8 million people in Sudan are food insecure due to multiple years of conflict, droughts, floods, and increased economic hardship. In 2019, WFP has so far reached a total of 1.5 million people across Sudan through USAID food contributions.  


News related with SDGs number 1-No Poverty



Peace and security


Yemen agreement to end southern power struggle 'important step' towards peace: UN Special Envoy

5 November 2019 - The top UN official in Yemen has welcomed an agreement to end infighting between the Government and separatist allies in the south of the country, known as the Southern Transitional Council, signed on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia. Special Envoy Martin Griffiths described the Riyadh Agreement as “an important step for our collective efforts to advance a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Yemen."

Internationally-recognized Yemeni Government forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, have been battling rebels known as Houthis for more than four years. The Southern Transitional Council is part of the coalition but has been pushing for self-rule.


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


Ethiopia: Army officers discuss laws of armed conflict and international human rights standards

4 November 2019 – 40 army officers were trained on basic principles of international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights standards at a three-day seminar conducted in Addis Ababa from 29-31 Oct. 2019. The officers were drawn from Special Operations Force with the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), tasked to ensure law and order in times of the emergence of violence. The seminar, which was organized jointly by the ICRC and the ENDF, was aimed at influencing army members so as to improve the protection of civilians and other victims in times of armed conflict, facilitate access for the victims, and improve security for humanitarian action in times of armed conflict and other situations of violence.Integrating the law of armed conflict into military operations, command responsibility, peace support operations and IHL and use of force in law enforcement operations were among the major topics discussed at the seminar. (…)


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


Federation of World Peace and Love

2 November 2019 - I am honored to share with you that the World Leader Summit of Love and Peace held in the UNHQ on Sep 26 and 27 gathered over 200 participants from various fields including government officials and envoys from missions to the UN. The summits have received significant recognition from the participants. For more information about the summits, please visit www.fowpal.org

The Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL), established in California in 2000, is a non-profit and non-governmental organization for public welfare. Over the years, FOWPAL has visited 101 nations, actively promoting a culture of love, peace, and conscience through various means, such as having dialogues with heads of state, religious leaders, and other visionaries, conducting cultural exchanges around the globe, holding World Leader Summits of Love and Peace, hosting ceremonies of ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love, as well as initiating and promoting endorsement campaigns for declarations of peace.


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


Calligraphy for Dialogue: an exhibition to promote peace through art

by Gabriella Ceraso

31 October 2019 - An exhibition at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome invites visitors to contemplate dialogue and peace through the beauty of calligraphic art.  Signs that speak of infinity. Letters of the alphabet that invite dialogue. This is the inspiration behind 24 works by Saudi artist, Othman Alkhuzaiem, on exhibition at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome until Friday 22 November. The exhibition is part of a Study Day organized at the University within the context of the world event entitled "Rebuilding the Global Educational Pact", scheduled for 14 May 2020, and launched by Pope Francis. The Study Day is dedicated to education, human rights and peace, applying the instruments of international action, and the role of religions.


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





USAID Announces Nearly $56 Million in additional humanitarian assistance to contain Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo

8 November 2019 - The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing nearly $56 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help end the ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the second-largest outbreak of the disease on record. This brings the total USAID funding for the efforts to respond to Ebola to more than $266 million since the beginning of the outbreak in August 2018. This funding also includes support for regional preparedness activities in the DRC and neighboring countries and is in addition to contributions from other U.S. Federal Departments and Agencies and the U.S. private sector.With this funding, the United States is continuing to provide life-saving assistance through on-the-ground partners, including activities to prevent and control infections in health facilities, enhanced surveillance for the disease, training for health-care workers, community-engagement efforts, the promotion of safe and dignified burials, and food to support people and communities affected by Ebola.


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


14 Hospital systems to collaborate in addressing social determinants of health

by Ruth McCambridge

6 November 2019 - Yesterday, a coalition of 14 large hospital systems said they would collectively commit $700 million toward community-based initiatives aimed at addressing the social determinants of health. The money, which seems to us like a relatively modest investment, will be used to address, among other things, housing instability, food insecurity, and economic revitalization. This effort flows from a two-year-old collaboration called the Healthcare Anchor Network, which includes 45 hospitals and health systems and is overseen by the Democracy Collaborative.


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


835 000 people to receive second dose of the cholera vaccine in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo

30 October 2019 - The second phase of an oral vaccination campaign to protect more than 835 000 people from cholera in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) begins today. While North Kivu has been struggling with an outbreak of Ebola virus disease for more than a year, this north-eastern province is also endemic for cholera. The Ministry of Health is launching this major campaign, which is fully funded, including operational costs, by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and is being implemented with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners in the Global Task Force on Cholera.

The campaign aims to reduce the still-high risk and persistence of the cholera outbreak in seven North Kivu health zones (Binza, Goma, Karisimbi, Kayna, Kibirizi, Kirotshe and Rutshuru) by targeting everyone older than 12 months with the oral vaccine. This five-day campaign (from 30 October to 3 November) follows the first-dose distribution of the cholera vaccine in June 2019, which was also fully funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, with the extensive technical and logistical support of WHO and partners. The previous effort reached at-risk populations in the same seven health zones targeted in this second campaign.


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


Two out of three wild poliovirus strains eradicated

Global eradication of wild poliovirus type 3 declared on World Polio Day

24 October 2019 – In a historic announcement on World Polio Day, an independent commission of experts concluded that wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3) has been eradicated worldwide. Following the eradication of smallpox and wild poliovirus type 2, this news represents a historic achievement for humanity. “The achievement of polio eradication will be a milestone for global health. Commitment from partners and countries, coupled with innovation, means of the three wild polio serotypes, only type one remains,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization and Chair of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) Polio Oversight Board .There are three individual and immunologically-distinct wild poliovirus strains: wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1), wild poliovirus type 2 (WPV2) and wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3). Symptomatically, all three strains are identical, in that they cause irreversible paralysis or even death. But there are genetic and virologic differences which make these three strains three separate viruses that must each be eradicated individually. WPV3 is the second strain of the poliovirus to be wiped out, following the certification of the eradication of WPV2 in 2015. The last case of WPV3 was detected in northern Nigeria in 2012.


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



Energy and safety



INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY – Action on the Ground takes Centre Stage in Abu Dhabi as Countries gather for 18th IRENA Council

5 November 2019 – More than 350 high–level government representatives from 124 countries will gather tomorrow (11/5) in Abu Dhabi to attend the Eighteenth Council of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) (…) only six weeks after world leaders gathered in New York for the United Nations Climate Action Summit. (…) Specific programmatic discussions will cover IRENA's areas of engagement in supporting renewable energy deployment; enhancing dialogue among countries with high shares of renewables in their energy systems as well as decarbonising complex sectors to pave a way towards a carbon–free economy. A series of sessions will be dedicated to the follow–up from September's UN Climate Action Summit in New York, discussing renewable energy in relation to the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the newly announced Climate Investment Platform. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


ENEL – Climate, European companies put pressure on governments

4 November 2019 – It used to be the practice for governments to impose environmental legislation on the manufacturing sector, but now companies have taken on the role of promoting sustainability by asking public bodies to do more for the planet. That, in a nutshell, is the purpose of a letter addressed to EU heads of state and government drafted by The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), an organisation founded with the purpose of promoting a business model that is compatible with safeguarding the climate. The document was also signed by Enel CEO Francesco Starace, together with fifty or so other CEOs and presidents of large companies, including IKEA and Unilever, and organisations such as the Finnish Industrial Federation and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. The letter asks the EU countries to support a long–term strategy to achieve a carbon neutral system by 2050 – in other words, a zero net balance in greenhouse gas emissions. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


UK halts all Fracking Operations in the Country

by Steve Hanley

2 November 2019 – The UK government has issued an order halting all fracking operations in the country effective immediately. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland already have measures in place against fracking. Government ministers also issued a warning to shale gas companies that it will not support future fracking projects. The Guardian calls the announcement “a crushing blow to companies that had hopes of profiting from one of the few remaining opportunities for to growth in the fossil fuel industry.” The decision came after years of bitter opposition to fracking by environmental advocacy groups and many local communities. (…)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY – High–level Meeting in Luxembourg takes Electromobility to next level

30 October 2019 – (…) Challenges and opportunities of electrified transport systems have now been discussed at a Ministerial Conference on Electromobility in Luxembourg. Supported by IRENA, Luxembourg organised a pentalateral conference 'Closing the loop between Energy and Transport' which for the first time ever gathered key stakeholders from all sectors involved such as car manufacturers, electricity market players and e–mobility actors. Energy and transport ministers, government representatives from the pentalateral region, CEOs and experts discussed strategies to accelerate the energy transition through electromobility. (…)


News related with SDGs number 11-Sustainable Cities and Communities and number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production


Offshore windfarms 'can provide more electricity than the world needs' – Supplies from turbines will prove to be the next great energy revolution, IEA predicts

by Jillian Ambrose

25 October 2019 – Erecting wind turbines on the world’s best offshore sites could provide more than enough clean energy to meet global electricity demand, according to a report. A detailed study of the world’s coastlines has found that offshore windfarms alone could provide more electricity than the world needs – even if they are only built in windy regions in shallow waters near the shore. (…)


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production



Environment and wildlife


Helping countries better monitor and report on forest and land-use under the Paris Climate Agreement

11 November 2019, Rome - FAO today launched a new $7.1 million project supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to make forest data more accessible, transparent and available, and, in particular, help developing countries to meet the Paris Climate Agreement's enhanced transparency requirements. Efficient monitoring of and reporting on forests and land-use change is essential for tracking progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and as countries adopt climate change-mitigation and adaptation measures.The project is co-funded by GEF ($1.9 million) and FAO ($5.2 million). It is one of only four global projects approved under the GEF's Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) - a new trust fund aimed at supporting countries' implementation of the Paris Agreement. The project will directly benefit 26 targeted countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America and more broadly some 185 countries and territories that are part of the global network of National Correspondents for the Global Forest Resources Assessment. The project will be implemented over two years by FAO's Global Forest Resources Assessment  and National Forest Monitoring teams, which already support 70 countries in their forest-monitoring to ensure more sustainable forest management and better reporting.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


CEC premieres short film "Voices of the Pacific Flyway"

28 October 2019, Montreal,– The Commission for Environmental Cooperation has partnered with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to produce a short documentary entitled Voices of the Pacific Flyway. The documentary features voices from three communities along the Pacific Flyway that are linked by a shared esteem for shorebirds. Shorebirds are marathon migrants. Each year they fly over thousands of miles of coastline, stopping over at multiple key sites. These spectacular migrations connect distant places—and people. From the shores of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, where a community celebrates the arrival and passage of its shorebird visitors; to Grays Harbor, Washington, where an international team of researchers works to decode the mysteries of their routes; and on to Hooper Bay, on Alaska’s Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, where birds have been important food and cultural resources for thousands of years—shorebirds connect us. The documentary was created as part of an initiative by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation to engage communities along shorebird migratory routes in conservation, as part of its mandate to conserve, protect and enhance the shared North American environment.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


EUROPEAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT – Benban, Africa's largest solar park, completed

by Jonathan Wells

25 October 2019 – After three years of work, construction of one of the largest solar parks in the world is now complete and all its plots are now operational. Benban, in Egypt's Aswan desert, extends over 37 square km and will generate 1.5 GW, enough to provide renewable energy to more than 1,000,000 homes.

The EBRD is proud to be the largest financier, having supported 16 of the 32 plots. This project is supported by the Green Climate Fund, the European Union and the donors to the SEMED MDA (Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Taipei China and the United Kingdom).


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


30 companies and institutional investors commit to take action to secure a healthy and productive ocean

24 October 2019 – 30 companies and institutional investors have signed up to the UN Global Compact Sustainable Ocean Principles committing to take action to secure a healthy and productive ocean. (…) The Sustainable Ocean Principles were developed by the UN Global Compact Action Platform on Sustainable Ocean Business in consultation with stakeholders from the private sector, NGOs, academic institutions and UN agencies. In committing to the nine principles, companies pledge to take action to prevent pollution, manage their use of marine resources to ensure long–term sustainability, and be transparent about their ocean–related activities and impacts. (…) Initially launched during the UN General Assembly in September, the Sustainable Ocean Principles are intended to build upon and supplement the overarching Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment and anti–corruption. (…)


News related with SDGs number 14- Life below Water


Norway, FAO will boost transparency and accessibility of global forest information

11 October 2019 - Information on the world's forests will be more transparent and easy-to-use thanks to the new cooperation between FAO and the Government of Norway, which aims to improve global statistics on forest resources and their changes. A $3 million, three-year project supported by the Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI), will enable FAO to organize a number of capacity development events that focus on improved reporting on forest resources as well as hands-on training of developing country participants on using satellite remote sensing to collect data that can be used to produce new and independent global and regional estimates of forest area, biomass, carbon stocks and their changes following an internationally agreed methodology. This is part of the wider Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) work by FAO that collects official forest resources information on all the aspects of Sustainable Forest Management from 236 countries and territories and is the most comprehensive assessment of the status and trends of the world's forest resources. Forests support directly or indirectly the lives and livelihoods of 1.6 billion people and are key to sustainable development, yet the current scale and pace of deforestation and forest degradation are alarming - and contribute to more than 10% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action



Religion and spirituality


Document on human fraternity ray of light for Judaism

by Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp

8 November 2019 - World Jewish Congress President, Ronald S. Lauder, and Cardinal Miguel Ayuso address a Conference on Human Fraternity: A Reflection for Common Coexistence at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on Friday morning. At the invitation of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), members of the Catholic clergy, Jewish communities and youth movements, and several rectors of Pontifical Universities in Rome gathered at the Pontifical Gregorian University on Friday morning. WJC President, Ronald Lauder, and His Eminence Miguel Ayuso, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, addressed the Conference entitled Human Fraternity: A Reflection for Common Coexistence.


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


Talking about secular Ethics with entrepreneurs and management graduates

7 November 2019 - Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, India - A group of Indians, many of whom graduated from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, in 1979, who are attending a conference in Dharamsala on secular ethics, came to visit His Holiness the Dalai Lama this morning. They were joined by business leaders from the Zuckerberg Institute who are here to learn about Tibet in the context of their global ethics in business agenda. His Holiness greeted them as brothers and sisters and told them how important it is to emphasize that as human beings, we are all the same. “In the 21st century the world belongs to us 7 billion human beings and each country belongs to the people who live there, not their rulers. Basic human nature is compassionate because we are social animals. Community is the basis of our survival and nowadays technology has helped humanity become one community.” He commended the longstanding Indian traditions of ‘ahimsa’—non-violence and ‘karuna’—compassion, which he stressed remain relevant today. He also noted that the general Indian practices for developing a calmly abiding mind and insight into reality have given rise to a profound understanding of the mind and ways to tackle destructive emotions.



Dialogue begins with empathy, not contempt, pope says

by Junno Arocho Esteves

6 November 2019 – VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christians who preach the Gospel must see people who do not know Christ as children of God and not as nonbelievers worthy of hostility and contempt, Pope Francis said. The example of St. Paul's mission in Greece and his encounter with the pagan culture there serves as a reminder that Christians should "create a bridge to dialogue" with other cultures, the pope said Nov. 6 during his weekly general audience. "Paul does not look at the city of Athens and the pagan world with hostility but with the eyes of faith," he said. "And this makes us question our way of looking at our cities: Do we observe them with indifference? With contempt? Or with the faith that recognizes children of God in the midst of the anonymous crowds?" (…)



Tzu Chi Center for Compassionate Relief opens in New York City

by Lilly Greenblatt

25 October 2019 - The Buddhist foundation Tzu Chi USA held a grand opening for its new Tzu Chi Center for Compassionate Relief in New York City on Sunday, October 13. The new center is situated in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, near the United Nations Headquarters. The introduction of the center featured an opening ceremony, keynote speakers, and dharma masters from Taiwan. The event also celebrated Tzu Chi USA’s 30th anniversary. Tzu Chi, founded in 1966, is a Taiwanese international humanitarian organization with locations in over 47 countries. Their first chapter in the United States was established in Alhambra, California in 1989. Today, Tzu Chi USA has 57 offices and facilities in the U.S. working towards its mission to “relieve the suffering of those in need” by providing charity, medical care, education and humanities in their own communities and throughout the world.



First Thai female Theravada monk named one of BBC’s 100 most influential women

21 October 2019 - This article is from Prachatai, an independent news site in Thailand, and is republished on Global Voices as part of a content-sharing agreement. Dhammananda Bhikkhuni, the first Thai woman to be ordained as a Theravada monk and current abbess of Songdhammakalyani Monastery, has been listed as one of the BBC’s 100 Women in 2019. While Thailand has around 300,000 Buddhist monks, women are still mostly barred from being ordained on Thai soil. In 1928, after the attempted ordination of two women, Prince Bhujong Jombunud Sirivaḍḍhano, then the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, issued an edict forbidding monks from ordaining women as monks or novices. The Sangha Supreme Council of Thailand also issued two rulings in 1984 and 1987 forbidding the ordination of women. However, the Sangha Act of 1962, the secular law governing Thai monastics, and the 1992 amendment do not prohibit the ordination of women.




Culture and education


Beyond November, Indigenous Communities honor Culture and Heritage Year-Round

8 November 2019 -We’re rolling through November, recognized as Native American Heritage Month, when many of us celebrate the nation’s rich and diverse Indigenous history. Tribal communities, as well as cities and states, host parades, powwows, art shows, award ceremonies and other events to spotlight Native cultures. On Nov. 15, people post photos of ourselves on social media wearing moccasins, as part of “Rock your Mocs.” And in Los Angeles, the LA Skins Fest, scheduled for Nov. 19 to 24, will honor emerging Native actors, filmmakers, writers, directors and other artists.


News related with SDGs number 11-Sustainable Cities and Communities


Dominican Republic: Education ministry continues training on ethics, culture of peace and protection of rights

7 November 2019 - More than 250 regional, district and educational center directors of the province of Valverde participated in the third day of training on the guidelines of ethics and public integrity, strategies of culture of peace in schools and the protection of rights of children and adolescents. It was organized by the Ministry of Education to empower the actors of the education system on these issues.  The conferences, organized through the Vice Ministry of Technical and Pedagogical Affairs of MINERD, are held jointly with the aforementioned public institutions, as well as the General Directorate of Special Programs of the Presidency (DIGEPEP) and the National Council for Children and Adolescence (CONANI).


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


What is the Global Convention on higher education?

7 November 2019 - Imagine a world where students can swiftly move around the world and pursue their studies without hitting any roadblocks. Well we might be one step closer to that. In November 2019, the draft text of the future Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education will be submitted to UNESCO’s General Conference for adoption. Once approved, the Global Convention will be the first legally binding United Nations treaty on higher education. But what exactly is the Global Convention? What is the Global Convention? The Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education will be a binding agreement. It will join the ranks of other UNESCO conventions, such as the cultural conventions and the convention against doping in sport. The Global Convention will be the first of its kind in the UN on higher education with a global scope, and will complement the five UNESCO regional conventions on the recognition of higher education qualifications.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Erasmus+: EU will invest over €3 billion in young Europeans to study or train abroad in 2020

5 November 2019 - Today, the European Commission published its 2020 call for proposals for the Erasmus+ programme. 2020 is the last year of the current European Union programme for mobility and cooperation in education, training, youth and sport. The expected budget of over €3 billion, an increase of 12% compared to 2019, will provide even more opportunities for young Europeans to study, train or gain professional experience abroad. As part of the 2020 call for proposals, the Commission will launch a second pilot on European Universities. Moreover, the EU aims to create 35,000 opportunities for African students and staff to participate in the programme as part of the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Finland: Leading education event in Nordic countries welcomes international participants

4 November 2019 - The Trade Union of Education in Finland (OAJ) invites educators from across the world to Educa’s 25th anniversary edition and its first international programme in English on 24 and 25 January in Helsinki.

“Educa” is the leading event in the education and training sector in the Nordic countries. Each year, it brings together 20,000 visitors and 350 exhibitors. In 2020, a new international segment will be introduced, allowing international professionals to learn more about the education ecosystem in Finland, its innovative practices, as well as insights into global trends in education.

The international programme is built around the following questions, aiming to provide information and sharing spaces to help answer them:


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


British Library’s “Buddhism” exhibition explores Buddhist printing centuries before Gutenberg

by Lauria Galbraith

1 November 2019 - The British Library showcases masterworks of Buddhist printing in a new exhibition that explores the life of the Buddha and Buddhism’s spread across Asia.  The British Library opened its newest exhibition, Buddhism, on October 25th. Buddhism explores the printed and textual tradition of Buddhism, featuring 120 items from the British Library’s collection of manuscripts, prints, and art. The exhibition presents a look at Buddhism that spans 20 countries and 2,000 years. The exhibition is thematically split into four sections: life of the Buddha, Buddhist philosophy, the spread of Buddhism, and Buddhist practice. The space is filled with crimson decor and soft, rhythmic recordings of monastic ceremonial music. Each section is lavishly colored with illuminated scriptures, scrolls, wall hangings, and manuscripts from across the millennia of Buddhism’s development (…)


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


World Food Programme and Education Cannot Wait team up to reach vulnerable children and youth in emergencies

23 October 2019, Rome – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Education Cannot Wait (ECW), today embarked on a strategic partnership to ensure children and youth in emergencies do not miss out on the education opportunities that will shape their futures. WFP Assistant Executive Director, Valerie Guarnieri, and ECW Director, Yasmine Sherif, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding at WFP’s headquarters in Rome, to strengthen joint programming, and joint advocacy at a global level. There are currently 73 million children living in extreme poverty who attend school but are missing out on the school feeding, health and nutrition programmes that are essential for their ability to learn. WFP and ECW are committed to address this through an integrated approach that tackles the multiple needs of each child learner. School feeding programmes in crisis contexts are a highly effective tool to address children’s diet, nutrition, education and security needs during crises as part of a wider school-based package. These safety nets help provide children with a sense of normalcy and promote social cohesion and stability during crises.

WFP and ECW are conducting joint missions in priority countries to identify challenges related to school feeding as a driver of increased enrolment and continuity in education. The two organisations will also work together globally to inspire greater political commitment and financial resources for school-based interventions, that address children’s education, nutrition and health needs in emergencies and protracted crises.


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



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Next issue: 13th December 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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