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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 20th, no. 291 – 15th June 2020


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


DECISION (EU) 2020/701 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 25 May 2020 on providing macrofinancial assistance to enlargement and neighbourhood partners in the context of the COVID19 pandemic


1.   The Union shall make macro‐financial assistance (the ‘Union’s macro‐financial assistance’) available to the Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Kosovo, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia, the Republic of Tunisia and Ukraine (the ‘partners’) for a maximum total amount of EUR 3 billion, with a view to supporting the partners’ economic stabilisation and a substantive reform agenda. The assistance shall contribute to covering the partners’ urgent balance‐of‐payments needs as identified in the programme supported by the IMF and shall be made available as follows:

(a) EUR 180 million for the Republic of Albania; (…)


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the Goals


United Nations – Economic and Social Council – Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific – Seventy-sixth session – Strengthening cooperation to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific – Draft Resolution

18 May 2020 – The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (…)

4. Requests the Executive Secretary: (…)

(b) To continue to strengthen and facilitate national capacities and to provide, upon request, and within existing resources, technical assistance for the effective implementation of relevant internationally agreed conventions to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources, in collaboration with relevant United Nations bodies and specialized agencies and regional and subregional organizations, in line with their existing mandates;

(c) To continue to support countries, in particular least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, as well as developing middle-income countries, in sharing experiences as well as in enhancing cooperation (…)


News related with SDGs number 14- Life below Water


United Nations – General Assembly – Seventy-fourth session – Agenda item 117 –Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit – International Day to protect Education from attack

12 May 2020 – The General Assembly (…)

1. Decides to proclaim 9 September the International Day to Protect Education from Attack; (…)

3. Invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, other international and regional organizations, the private sector and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, individuals and other relevant stakeholders, to observe the International Day to Protect Education from Attacks in an appropriate manner;

4. Invites the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund to facilitate the observance of 9 September of every year as the International Day to Protect Education from Attack, mindful of the provisions contained in the annex to Economic and Social Council resolution 1980/67; (…)


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


United Nations – Economic and Social Council – United Nations Children’s Fund– Item 5 of the provisional agenda – Annual report on UNICEF humanitarian action

7 May 2020 – (…)

13. In 2019, UNICEF and its implementing partners responded to 281 humanitarian situations in 96 countries and territories, compared with 285 in 90 countries and territories in 2018. Of these, 42 per cent responded to emergencies affecting more than 1 million people.

18. Partnerships remained central to the humanitarian action of UNICEF, and involved collaboration with, for example, 1,394 civil society partners in 2019 (two thirds local). More than $582 million in cash was transferred to civil society partners (over 57 per cent to local partners). UNICEF also partnered with national government responders (…)

19. Strong engagement with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Governments, private sector leaders and other stakeholders at the first-ever Global Refugee Forum in December 2019 positioned UNICEF as a key partner in implementing the Global Refugee Compact. UNICEF also strengthened humanitarian partnerships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) (…)




Human rights


Peru: Women unite against toxic metals pollution

(By Cecilia Niezen & Gloria Alvitres)

5 June 2020 - In Peru, communities in the Andes and the Amazon have come together to defend the health of people and families affected by pollution from toxic metals. To achieve this, they have formed the National Platform of People Affected by Toxic Metals, which was recently awarded Peru’s National Human Rights Prize. Indigenous, rural and urban women are especially affected by this daily struggle and are now determined to end the contamination affecting their bodies, their rivers and their land. They demand that the state determine responsibility and provide immediate solutions.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


South Asia: Amnesty International launches Human Rights Clubs Programmes

3 June 2020 - Amnesty International is launching its first ever “Human Rights Clubs” in South Asia, starting with programmes for young people in Afghanistan and Bangladesh, the human rights organization announced today. The Amnesty International Human Rights Clubs are a space for young people to join the world’s largest movement for human rights. They offer a platform for young people, where like-minded individuals can connect on issues across the region, share opinions, learn and collectively take action on pertinent human rights issues. The launch comes after the popularity of Human Rights Education during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first phase of the programme will be implemented in Afghanistan, Bangladesh followed by Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The programme provides an immersive learning experience for the region that combines offline approaches with online tools for university students and educators.


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


The Popes and Martin Luther King’s dream

(by Alessandro Gisotti)

3 June 2020 - The “dream” of full rights for African-Americans in the United States has found passionate support from Pope Paul VI to Pope Francis. They have held up Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as an example worth following in the non-violent fight for equality.  The tragic death of George Floyd has dramatically shown that Martin Luther King's dream is still far from being fully realized. Yet the historic I have a dream speech, delivered by the leader of the civil rights movement on 28 August 1963 – 57 years ago – continues to resound in the mouths and hearts of those who demand justice and dignity for the African-American community and, along with it, for all minorities of all time. That “dream”, which has its roots in the Gospel and in the liberating power of God's love, has found great allies in successive Popes.


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


5 ways to stand up against racism and injustice

(by Sarah Ferguson)

2 June 2020 - Racism and violence damage children, leaving deep and lasting scars. Here are five things you and your family can do now to help create a more just society.

As peaceful protesters across the country stand up against police brutality and the systemic mistreatment of Black Americans, UNICEF condemns racism in any form.

For more than 70 years, UNICEF has been helping children caught up in conflict. Every child, every young person, deserves to grow up with every chance for safety and every opportunity to succeed. Discrimination, violence and racism cause deep harm, unsettling communities and leaving lasting scars for children and families.

We have always believed in the power of global citizenship to fight these biases. Here's how you and your family can help:

1. Listen to and amplify Black voices

2. Call out bigotry and hate speech

3. Teach children about kindness and human rights

4. Stand up for people being harassed — intervene if it's safe to do so

5. Support human rights organizations


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


UN welcomes arrest of top genocide suspect, Félicien Kabuga

16 May 2020- UN Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed the arrest on Saturday of one of the world’s most wanted fugitives, his Spokesperson said in a statement. Félicien Kabuga, alleged to be a leading figure in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, was apprehended in Paris by French authorities as a result of a joint investigation with the UN’s International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT). He was indicted by the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1997 on seven counts of genocide and crimes against humanity. "Mr. Kabuga’s apprehension sends a powerful message that those who are alleged to have committed such crimes cannot evade justice and will eventually be held accountable, even more than a quarter of a century later," the statement said. As  head of the Comité Provisoire  of the Fonds de défense nationale ("National Defence Fund") from about 25 April 1994 to July 1994, Mr. Kabuga allegedly helped finance the genocide, He was also president of the Comité d’Initiative of Radio Television Libre des Milles Collines, whose broadcasts were used by Hutu extremists to incite hatred against Tutsis and identify individuals for subsequent killing. "The Secretary-General's thoughts today are first and foremost with the victims of Mr. Kabuga’s alleged crimes, the victims of other serious international crimes, and their families.  Ending impunity is essential for peace, security and justice," the UN statement continued. Mr. Kabuga was arrested in what was described as a sophisticated, coordinated operation with simultaneous searches across a number of locations.


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



Economy and development


NEBRASKA USA - Arbor Day Foundation and Bank of America drive local Climate Resiliency Initiatives

5 June 2020 - Bank of America is expanding its commitment to the Arbor Day Foundation through a second $250,000 grant to support efforts in four U.S. cities to increase the number of trees planted in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Cities will receive funding from the Community Resiliency Grant program and recipients include local nonprofit organizations and municipal agencies. This grant will support the following cities:

These programs will drive green infrastructure projects, expand tree equity, and increase resiliency in urban communities most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Tree coverage has been linked to cooler cities, improved air and water quality, effective stormwater control, and better health outcomes. Research has noted that urban trees also increase property values and reduce residents’ energy costs. These benefits of urban tree canopy are vital for cities increasingly facing the impacts of climate change, including heat waves, coastal flooding, extreme storms, and poor air quality. In 2019, Bank of America provided the first $250,000 grant for this program which helped support tree planting activities in Tucson, Arizona; Kansas City, Missouri; Providence, Rhode Island; and Norfolk, Virginia. At these events, Bank of America employees worked alongside other community members to support tree plantings and tree giveaways.  To learn more about the Arbor Day Foundation, visit www.arborday.org. To learn more about Bank of America’s environmental efforts, visit www.bankofamerica.com/environment.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


USA – “Necessity really is the Mother of Invention”: meet two nurses working on clever innovations to keep moms and babies healthy

2 June 2020   You’ve likely heard the phrase “necessity is the mother of invention.” At Johnson & Johnson, we take that message to heart—especially when it comes to supporting nurses, whom we believe are some of healthcare’s greatest innovators. It's why Johnson & Johnson launched the Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge series in 2018, with the sole purpose of helping bring nurses’ bright ideas for how to improve healthcare to life through mentorship and funding. The latest one, the Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge in Maternal and Newborn Health—held in partnership with the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses—was focused on finding innovative solutions for improving neonatal care, obstetrics and women’s health. In time for Mother's Day and National Nurses Week, we sat down with both of the winners—each of whom will receive $50,000 in grant funding and mentorship from experts at the Johnson & Johnson family of companies—to learn about their work, the impact they're already having on the health of moms and babies, and their plans for making that impact even bigger. Enter BabyLiveAdvice, a digital platform designed to support, educate and empower mothers and parents so they feel confident and knowledgeable about pregnancy, delivery, breastfeeding, infant care and more. It features both video and chat components so moms can easily get help online from a healthcare provider, midwife, nurse, mental health practitioner and even a peer if something concerning is going on.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, BabyLiveAdvice has seen a surge in users.


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


Sudan government and WFP sign agreement on Sudan family support programme

30 May 2020, Khartoum – The Government of Sudan and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the government’s Family Support program that will provide Sudanese families direct cash transfers. Under the Sudan Family Support Programme, the Sudanese Government will provide direct cash transfers each month to support vulnerable families as part of its efforts to mitigate the effects of the ongoing economic difficulties. The multi-ministerial programme, led by the MoFEP, is expected to start in the second half of the year with financing from the Government of Sudan and partners. The Government of Sudan estimates that 65% of the population live below the poverty line. The already dire food security situation is likely to worsen with the adverse socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, with the closure of nonessential businesses, coupled with rapidly rising food prices.

According to the MoU, WFP will support the Government to develop a cash transfer delivery and payments system, and a complaints and feedback mechanism - including a call centre - to support recipients of the programme.


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


WFP ramps up support to people affected by the socio-economic fallout from coronavirus in Chad

28 May 2020, N’Djamena – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is ramping up its support to the Government of Chad’s World Bank-funded Food Security and Response Plan for people affected by the growing social and economic fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic. WFP will provide food assistance for three months to more than 433,000 people who may struggle to feed themselves in eight provinces (Batha, Bahr el Gazel, Guéra, Kanem, Lac, Logone oriental, Logone Occidental and Wadi Fira) as measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19 affects livelihoods, limit access to food and disrupt supply chains.   Funding to support the plan will be provided following the World Bank and Government of Chad agreement to reprioritize a total of US$ 22 million from two existing World Bank-funded projects to cushion the socio-economic impacts from COVID-19. According to the agreement signed with the Chadian government on 22 May, WFP will purchase supplies including sorghum, corn, millet and rice, beans, black-eyed peas (niébé) and vegetable oil from local markets in Chad in a bid to help boost the local economy. Earlier this month, as part of its support to the government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, WFP provided 80-100 bed mobile clinics to the Ministry of Health to support provincial hospitals in case an upsurge in the number of cases takes place.


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





Crisis and the Will to Help

(by Jhon Sánchez)

3 June 2020 - New York City - Since the first moment the coronavirus crisis started, there have been a blooming of organizations, mutual funds, or groups of neighbors who get together to help the unemployed, the undocumented, or the disabled. People have different motivations to do selfless acts. I think of the volunteers of Invisible Hands, carrying bags with groceries from the supermarket to the doorsteps of a person suffering from cancer. For many of those volunteers, helping others is also a way to keep up the spirits to fight the feeling of isolation.  Another way to help is to offer business equipment or scientific skills. Dr. Ellen Jorgensen from Anika Biosciences, a small Brooklyn based company, offered free COVID-19 testing for New York schools.  Jillian Wiedenmayer and George Coffin, who transformed their design business, Studio Den Den, into small manufacture of face shields to provide for free to Brookdale and Mount Sinai Hospitals.


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


Caritas distributes aid in Brazil as needs keep increasing

29May 2020 – The epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic is currently in Latin America, where many Caritas organisations are trying to meet the needs of the population despite serious difficulties and limitations. In Brazil – the country in the region most affected by the pandemic with over 400 thousand infected – Caritas Brazil has reacted promptly to the crisis providing 100,000 vulnerable people with food and hygiene items to help them cope with the effects of COVID-19 in the course of the past month. The distributions are part of É Tempo de Cuidar (It’s Time to Care), a joint campaign with the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference and with support from the Fundação Banco do Brasil which aims to boost solidarity during the time of the coronavirus pandemic. The campaign has been launched in 58 dioceses and covers hundreds of towns and cities. Sixty percent of those helped so far have been unemployed people, many of them single mothers. Migrants and refugees and the homeless are also a big focus for the project. At the time of writing, Brazil is the second country in the world for most confirmed coronavirus cases. More than 25,500 people have died from the virus since the first case was confirmed three months ago. (…)


News related with SDGs number 1-No Poverty


Nobel Peace Prize winner calls for culture of solidarity

28 May 2020 - The founder of Servizio Paz y Justicia, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, speaks to Vatican Media about Covid-19 in Latin America and the need for a culture of solidarity. (…) Esquivel points out that new social and economic policies are needed to respond to the unprecedented situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. He says many people have lost their jobs, making inequality between the rich and poor are more pronounced.  “It is necessary to promote a culture of solidarity and the sharing of goods with those most in need,” he adds. “We must not forget that the problem of others is a problem for everyone.” The 88-year-old calls for the creation of a new social contract based on principles that “guarantee respect for fundamental rights such as health, education, peace and protection of the environment.” He also stresses the urgent need to protect common goods such “rivers and seas, forests, fauna and biodiversity.”



News release: ADRA provides $2.4M in food assistance and medical supplies to expand ACS COVID-19 response in the U.S.- Food and medical supplies to be distributed to thousands of U.S. families and healthcare workers

26 May 2020- Silver Spring, MD – The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, will provide food and medical supplies worth $2.4 million to the North American Division’s Adventist Community Services (ACS), to expand relief to families and essential workers in the U.S. who are impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 crisis. “As Christ is our example in all things, so must the Adventist Church continue to demonstrate love toward our neighbors. Working together to tackle challenges during this pandemic speaks volumes for Christians and all humanity. I want to especially thank ADRA and its partners for this significant gift to provide such critical assistance,” says Dan Jackson, NAD president. “Keeping families healthy and healthcare workers safe has never been more critical than now. This is why ADRA is proud to partner with the Adventist Church in the U.S. and ACS to ensure that we serve children, families, and essential workers, during this health crisis,” ADRA’s President Michael Kruger says(…)


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger and number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


UN chief says pandemic should inspire ‘new unity and solidarity’

(by Hannah Brockhaus)

26 May 2020 - U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said that the world needs a response to the coronavirus pandemic based on the protection of human dignity and human rights. “The pandemic should be a wake-up call,” Guterres said in a May 26 interview with Vatican News. “Deadly global threats require a new unity and solidarity.” “From the very beginning of this crisis, I have been advocating for solidarity within societies and among countries. Our response must be based on human rights and human dignity,” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/un-chief-says-pandemic-should-inspire-new-unity-and-solidarity-44172//


As the impacts of climate and COVID-19 intensify, WFP helps the Government to assist flood-affected people

20 May 2020, Lusaka – While ramping up its efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun delivering relief food assistance to more than a quarter of a million vulnerable people heavily impacted by recent flash flooding. Unpredictable weather patterns are having a profound impact on the lives of the most vulnerable in Zambia. On top of last year’s drought that plunged 2.3 million people into food insecurity, recent flash floods have left an estimated 1.1 million in need of food assistance. WFP is working with the Government and the national disaster management agency to deliver immediate relief food to 260,000 food-insecure people in 32 flood-affected districts in central, northern and eastern parts of Zambia. With COVID-19 preventative measures in place, people affected by the floods are receiving up to 30-day rations of government-supplied maize meal, together with WFP pulses that ensure an adequate protein intake.


News related with SDGs number 1-No Poverty



Peace and security


One minute for peace with Pope Francis

8 June 2020 - Men and women of goodwill across the world are invited to stop for one minute on Monday and pray for peace. The International Forum of Catholic Action (IFCA) is calling on believers across the globe to stop, bow their heads and pray for peace, every one according to his or her own tradition, at 1 pm Rome time on Monday 8 June. IFCA has chosen this date to commemorate the unprecedented “Meeting of Prayer for Peace”, called for by Pope Francis on 8 June 2014, in which the Presidents of Israel and the Palestinian Authority met in the Vatican to pray together for peace in the Holy Land. Launching today’s initiative, the organization said it called for the first “A Minute for Peace” event In 2014 in preparation for that unprecedented meeting of prayer promoted by the Pope. That initiative was supported by local Catholic Action organizations, by the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations and by other entities.


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


Eight armed non-State actors active in the Syrian conflict take a step forward to prevent the spread of COVID-19

5June 2020– Eight Syrian armed non-State actors (ANSAs) – Division 23, Al Mo’tassem Brigade, the First Coastal Division, the Central Division, 51 Brigade, The Free Idlib Army, Jaysh al Izza (Al-Izza Army) and, finally, Jaysh al Islam, active in North West Syria, signed a “Unilateral Declaration on COVID-19 and Health Care” supported by Geneva Call to safeguard access to health care and help preventing the spread of COVID-19. By signing the Declaration, the ANSAs committed, notably, to “respect and protect health care personnel, transports, facilities and goods”, to “take preventive measures to avoid COVID-19 spreading that are necessary and proportionate to protect public health” and to “ensure, maintain and provide access for affected populations to essential health care facilities, goods and services without discrimination” and “facilitate the provision of health care by impartial humanitarian organizations”. Across the world, Geneva Call is leading discussions with key ANSAs on their response measures to COVID-19 and the protection of health care in the areas they control. So far, 11 ANSAs signed this Unilateral Declaration, thus highlighting and showcasing one of the practical steps they can undertake to ensure their compliance and commitment to protect civilians during this global pandemic. The Declaration will also serve as a useful tool that will contribute to the implementation plan of an already signed Deed of Commitment (DoC) on the Protection of Health Care by some of the ANSAs.


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


UN: International Day of Innocent Children victims of aggression

(By Robin Gomes)

4 June 2020 - The purpose of the June 4 observance is to acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the world who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse.  It is indeed a sad reality that children are the most vulnerable victims of armed conflicts and their consequences.  The six most common violations on the lives and dignity of children are their recruitment and use in war, killing, sexual violence, abduction, attacks on schools and hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access. To draw attention to this phenomenon, the United Nation instituted the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.  The origin of the day goes back to August 19, 1982, when the UN General Assembly held an emergency session on the question of Palestine. Horrified at the great number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of Israel’s acts of aggression, it decided to commemorate the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression each year on June 4.


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


Domestic measures to implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions

3 June 2020 - The Convention on Cluster Munitions contains various measures and mechanisms for promoting its implementation and ensuring compliance with its provisions. Some of these may necessitate the adoption of States Parties of domestic legislation and administrative regulations. This may involve the adoption of criminal legislation, including the imposition of penal sanctions, to ensure respect for the Convention’s provisions within their territory and by persons under their jurisdiction or control. It may also require issuing administrative instructions to the armed forces and introducing changes in military doctrine, policies and training. This checklist provides guidance for States on the legal/regulatory/administrative framework necessary to ensure implementation of the Convention, as well as good practices and is complementary to the ICRC Model Law.


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





GPEI welcomes the strong commitment of partners at Global Vaccine Summit

9June 2020 – On 4 June 2020, the UK Government hosted Gavi’s third donor pledging conference, the Global Vaccine Summit, to mobilize at least US$ 7.4 billion to protect the next generation with vaccines, reduce disease inequality and create a healthier, safer and more prosperous world. Responding to this unique call for global solidarity, leaders from donor countries and the private sector made unprecedented commitments of US$ 8.8 billion in order to save up to 8 million lives. Since 2019, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has strengthened its collaboration with Gavi, inviting Gavi to become the sixth core partner of the GPEI. While the GPEI will continue its focus on interrupting virus transmission and eradicating polio through immunization campaigns using the oral polio vaccine (OPV), Gavi’s support for the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) at an estimated cost of US$ 800 million during its 2021-25 strategic period represents the insurance policy for the success of the Polio Endgame Strategy. Thanks to the remarkable mobilization and solidarity of leaders worldwide, Gavi will be able to maintain immunization in developing countries, mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gavi will also be able to sustain health systems so that countries are ready to rapidly introduce COVID-19 vaccines. And by 2025 Gavi will have immunized more than 1.1 billion children, saving 22 million lives(…)


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


Webinar: Religions, health issues and management of the dead with Alkhairaat University

10June 2020– The event was initiated by the regional delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for Indonesia and Timor Leste, in collaboration with the University of Alkhairaat, in light of the stigmatization of COVID-19 positive or suspected patients. In Central Java, the burial at a public cemetery of a nurse who died of COVID-19 was reportedly rejected by the locals, who were worried about further infection. A man in Kolaka, Southeast Sulawesi, insisted on washing the body of his suspected COVID-19 positive wife, without observing the government protocol. The concern over the husband's infection increased when the deceased wife was confirmed COVID-19 positive a few days after the burial.

These two examples - and other incidents across Indonesia - have revealed a gap in understanding over how to bridge religious values and health protocols.The webinar featured speakers on three different topics, all closely related to the COVID-19 issue: religions, health issues and MotD. (…)


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


DR Congo: Red Cross calls for “swift and extensive” response to the new Ebola outbreak

3 June 2020- Goma/Nairobi/Geneva–More than 150 trained Red Cross volunteers have been deployed as part of a first wave of response to the latest Ebola outbreak in the Équateur Province, in the western part of Democratic Republic of the Congo. (…) The 11th Ebola outbreak in Mbandaka, the capital of Équateur Province, was officially declared by the DR Congo Ministry of Health on 31 May 2020. This area was previously affected by an outbreak between May and July 2018. It adds an additional layer of suffering for a population that is already struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The DR Congo Red Cross has been on the frontline of all previous Ebola outbreaks in the country and has developed a strong in-country capacity with 1,600 trained and highly skilled volunteers. Crucially, these have successfully built trust with communities. During the most recent outbreak in the eastern DR Congo, these volunteers provided information on prevention to almost 3 million people and conducted over 28,000 successful safe and dignified burials for confirmed or suspected Ebola cases as part of the 10th outbreak. (…)


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


World Food Safety Day 2020: UN experts in Facebook live event on 5 June 2020

3 June 2020 - On 7 June 2020, the United Nations will mark the second global World Food Safety Day, led by two of its specialized agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Food safety is a shared responsibility, and everyone has a role to play including governments, industry, producers, business operators and consumers. This is reflected in the theme of the day ‘Food safety: everyone’s business! FAO and WHO are supporting their Members in efforts to provide enough safe food for all and to enable people to trust that what they eat is safe. Events such as World Food Safety Day help by highlighting the critical role played by all those who work to ensure that they are not derailed by disruptions and other challenges to continue keeping foods safe.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger and number 3-Good Health and Well-Being


Doctors Without Borders returns to Guinea to battle COVID-19

23 May 2020 - Doctors without Borders has returned to Guinea to battle the coronavirus. As the country deals with the virus, the international NGO has reopened its Ebola-era hospital to tackle the disease. We have an epidemic that is much larger than that of Ebola but at the same time causes fewer deaths. People who went into a centre like this one with Ebola had a 70 percent chance of dying, here it’s the opposite, we have a really low mortality rate.


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


Historic Health Assembly ends with Global Commitment to COVID-19 Response

20 May 2020 - At today’s meeting of the 73rd World Health Assembly —its first-ever to be held virtually—delegates adopted a landmark resolution to bring the world together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The resolution, co-sponsored by more than 130 countries, was adopted by consensus. It calls for the intensification of efforts to control the pandemic, and for equitable access to and fair distribution of all essential health technologies and products to combat the virus. It also calls for an independent and comprehensive evaluation of the global response, including, but not limited to, WHO’s performance. As WHO convened ministers of health from almost every country in the world, the consistent message throughout the two-day meeting—including from the 14 heads of state participating in the opening and closing sessions —was that global unity is the most powerful tool to combat the outbreak. The resolution is a concrete manifestation of this call, and a roadmap for controlling the outbreak.


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



Energy and safety


BUSINESS NETWORK FOR OFFSHORE WIND – United Nation's blue economy and green energy go hand-in-hand Business Network for Offshore Wind participates in United Nations call ahead of Decade of the Ocean

5 June 2020 – Earlier today (6/2) the Business Network for Offshore Wind participated in a United Nations call focused on sustainable ocean business. The call, which hosted CEOs, international organizations, Heads of State and more, discussed the agenda of ocean actions for businesses and governments in order to support the sustainable development goals as part of the upcoming Decade of the Ocean. (…) Beginning in 2018, the U.N. has held a series of strategic meetings that will lay the groundwork for Decade of the Ocean, taking place 2021-2030. The U.N. has used these meetings to further create goals for the Decade, which include supporting the growth of a blue economy. A robust blue economy will require engagement from various stakeholders, including offshore wind energy suppliers and developers, to create new ideas, solutions, partnerships, and practical applications to meet its goals. This will also require a global framework for development and approval that the U.N. should adopt in the future. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action and number 14- Life below Water


INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY – Small Island Developing State to align renewables ambition with recovery efforts to rebuild economies

4 June 2020 The Government of Belize, in its capacity as Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), co-hosted a virtual High-level Dialogue on Accelerating Energy Transition in SIDS to Stimulate Post Pandemic Recovery. The meeting featured Small Island Developing State (SIDS) Heads of Government and Ministers, together with representatives of development partners, international organisations and international financial institutions. (…) The Ministers underscored the challenges associated with financing aggressive energy transformation which has been compounded by the economic downturn resulting from COVID-19. They affirmed their commitment to press forward and noted the economic and social benefits particularly in the context of recovery efforts, that renewable energy transformation can yield for their people and economies. (…)


News related with SDGs number 7-Affordable and Clean Energy and number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


AMERICAN WIND ENERGY ASSOCIATION – U.S. Renewable and Clean Energy Industries set sights on market majority

3 June 2020 – For the first time, the American wind, solar, hydropower, and storage associations have come together to announce a shared vision of renewables reaching a majority of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. (…) The four industries have released a set of joint advocacy principles that will enable them to realize this bold vision of a majority renewables grid. Along with increased collaboration, these shared principles include building a more resilient, efficient, sustainable, and affordable grid; achieving carbon reductions; and advancing greater competition through fair market rules. Each of these areas is critical to attaining the shared vision for 2030. (…)


News related with SDGs number 7-Affordable and Clean Energy


INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY – Global energy leaders highlight need for greater investment in clean, secure and sustainable electricity systems amid Covid-19 crisis

2 June 2020 – Energy ministers and electricity industry CEOs from around the world took part in a roundtable discussion today (5/29) about the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the electricity sector and the need to mobilise investments for secure and sustainable power systems. The high-level virtual meeting was co-hosted by the International Energy Agency and the Government of the United Kingdom.The discussion focused on the implications of the Covid-19 crisis for investments in the power sector that are needed to support clean energy transitions, as well as the opportunities for international co-operation and collaboration. The participants recognised the critical importance of the electricity sector in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic to keep essential services running, hospitals open, and communication flowing. They applauded the efforts of electricity companies and their employees in keeping the lights on despite the health risks involved. (…)


News related with SDGs number 7-Affordable and Clean Energy


NUCLEAR ENERGY INSTITUTE – How one company is rethinking nuclear energy

(by Matt Wald)

28 May 2020 – (…) Today's nuclear reactors are very large (…) Enter the micro-reactor, compact enough to be shipped by truck or helicopter. Some can be set up in days; all can run for years without refueling. And they aren't just smaller versions of today's models. They use different fuels and different cooling systems. They have few moving parts, can vary their output automatically to meet changes in demand and run without a crew of human operators. (…) The fuel is richer in atoms that can be split to make energy, so it can last 20 years. The fuel runs cooler and can't get hot enough to damage itself, partly because the core is so small. The material that transfers heat from the reactor to the part of the plant that makes electricity is different, too: it's carbon dioxide, so the system is smaller and lighter. (…)


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



Environment and wildlife


Thirty countries will benefit as Global Environment Facility funds FAO-led projects

4 June 2020, Rome- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today welcomed the decision by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council to allocate a substantial $ 176 million to 24 of its projects that tackle the critical intersection between agriculture and environmental concerns. The decision came at the Council's 58th meeting, the first to be conducted virtually. The projects address global environmental crises that impact the productivity and sustainability of agricultural systems on land and water across five continents. Led by the World Bank, this Program aims to protect ecosystem services by embedding production systems within wider landscapes. Further projects focus on safeguarding international and transboundary waters. This work strand includes the second phase of the Common Oceans ABNJ Program which aims to establish international standards for sustainable fishing and help reduce overfishing in tuna stocks and bycatch caught through unsustainable practices - ABNJ stands for Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, which cover nearly 95% of the volume of the world's oceans. All projects were climate-proofed and will be executed in partnership with and co-financed by the governments of Albania, Algeria, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Georgia, Guinea, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen.


News related with SDGs News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger

and number 15-Life on Land


Renewables surpass coal in US energy generation for first time in 130 years

(by Oliver Milman)

June 3, 2020 – Solar, wind and other renewable sources have toppled coal in energy generation in the United States for the first time in over 130 years, with the coronavirus pandemic accelerating a decline in coal that has profound implications for the climate crisis. (…)


News related with SDGs number 7-Affordable and Clean Energy


Virtual Global Forum for Water, Earth, Climate, and Diversity

3 June 2020 - Santiago de Chile - The Senator Andrea Blandini invites you to the “Global Forum on Water, Earth, Climate and Diversity” that will be held on July 5, World Environment day. The forum will take place via Zoom, from 11 am to 2 pm from the Legislature of the Province of Mendoza to the entire world. Just a few weeks of confinement without the dairy pollution caused by thousands of planes, millions of vehicles, and hundreds of industries burning fossil oils, were enough for humanity to verify that it is still possible to recover the health of our planet.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action, number 14- Life below Water and number 15-Life on Land


Smart windows that self-illuminate on rainy days

(Source: Pohang University of Science & Technology – POSTECH)

29 May 2020 – Smart windows that automatically change colors depending on the intensity of sunlight are gaining attention as they can reduce energy bills by blocking off sun's visible rays during summer. But what about windows that change colors depending on the humidity outside during the monsoon season or on hot days of summer? Applicable to various fields including smart windows, health care and safety management (…)


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


Everything on our planet is interconnected - and we are part of the equation

22nd May 2020 – Everything on our planet is interconnected. To help prevent the next pandemic, we must transform our relationship with nature. It has been widely reported that COVID-19 is likely to have originated sometime in late 2019 when an individual in Wuhan, China, was infected by a virus from an animal. Scientists suspect it may have jumped from a bat by way of an intermediary animal, such as a pangolin. Having made the leap to humans, the virus is dealing a terrible toll in terms of human lives and suffering, as well as causing an unprecedented economic crisis. And, tragically, people and countries with the least resources potentially face the most catastrophic impacts.  The transmission of zoonotic diseases from animals to humans has long been recognized as a serious threat by global health experts. Studies show that 75% of all emerging diseases come from wildlife, with recent years witnessing the emergence of SARS (from civet cats) and MERS (from dromedary camels). To help curb future pandemics, we must greatly reduce the opportunities for viruses to jump from animals to people. First and foremost: the loss and degradation of natural habitats must be recognized as a key driver of emerging infectious diseases from wildlife. When an area of land is deforested and converted to agriculture, or used for infrastructure development, it reduces the natural habitat available to species and can bring them into more regular contact with each other as well as humans. This gives microbes a greater ability to move between species and to make the jump to people. While this relationship is complex and context-dependent, the general trend is that habitat loss increases the likelihood that species carrying potential viruses are in close proximity to people. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action and number 15-Life on Land



Religion and spirituality


2,500 rare texts from Islamic world to go online for free

(By Dalya Alberge)

8 June 2020 - More than 2,500 rare manuscripts and books from the Islamic world covering a period of more than a thousand years are to be made freely available online. The National Library of Israel (NLI) in Jerusalem is digitising its world-class collection of items in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, dating from the ninth to the 20th centuries, including spectacularly beautiful Qur’ans and literary works decorated with gold leaf and lapis lazuli. The NLI’s treasures include an exquisite Iranian copy of Gift to the Noble (Tuhfat al-Ahrar), created barely three years after the completion of a 1484 collection of verse on religious and moral themes by the great Persian mystical poet Nur al-Din Jami.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


60 years of ecumenical dialogue: from conflict to communion

(By Francesca Merlo)

5 June 2020 - The importance of ecumenism, and the dicastery’s journey as it celebrates 60 years since its foundation. Sixty years ago, on 5 June 1960, Pope Saint John XXIII established what was then called the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity. The foundations of the Secretariat, later renamed the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU), were intimately bound up with the history of the Second Vatican Council, which began just two years later.



84000 Buddhist translation initiative launches “Save Wisdom Now” video campaign

(By Lilly Greenblatt)

5 June 2020 - 84000, a non-profit global initiative to translate the words of the Buddha into modern languages, has marked their tenth anniversary with a new video campaign titled “Save Wisdom Now” that tells the story of the project. The organization is working to preserve the Tibetan Buddhist Canon, the world’s largest and oldest collections of writings with 230,000 pages “locked within the fading Classical Tibetan language.” 84000 was founded following a 2009 conference of the world’s leading Tibetan Buddhist teachers, translators, and academics, where it was concluded that less than 5 per cent of the Canon had been translated into a language spoken today. In their 10 years, they have translated over 30% of the sutras from the Canon. The translations are all freely available on 84000’s digital library for the public to read. This weekend, they are pairing the launch of the video, voiced by British actress Joanna Lumley, with a  “Like and Share” campaign running until June 7th. “With one click,” they write “help preserve the world’s largest archive of wisdom.”


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Parliament joins World Environment Day 2020 Observance

4 June 2020 - Friday, June 5th marks the United Nations observance of World Environment Day. This year, the Parliament is partnerning with Parmarth Niketan and the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance for the program "United Nations to a United Creation: Bridging Science & Faith is the Solution". The program brings together leaders from the United Nations, Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and other intergovernmental organisations, with revered faith leaders, heads of interfaith organizations and renowned scientists to discuss how, as we open from the Coronavirus lockdown, we can keep Mother Earth healthy while reinvigorating depressed economies and staying healthy ourselves. Where is the intersection, in the world of the ‘New Normal’, between a healthy economy and a healthy environment? Mother Earth is now healing and it is essential that we recognize the crucial sacred and scientific importance of our planet's biodiversity and work to protect it. What can individuals do to make a difference? Faith Leaders play an important role in directing cultural, social and political change in the world, especially in times of crisis. On World Environment Day, we will be asking scientists, leaders and experts to convey what messages they feel are most important to be conveyed and embodied by the faith leaders of the world today.


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the Goals


ASIA/INDONESIA - Interreligious coexistence and solidarity: the songs of Catholics are viral on social media

3 June 2020 - Jakarta (Agenzia Fides) - Two songs sung by Catholic nuns, priests and lay people, in the most densely inhabited Muslim country on the planet, have got the audience of social media heated on two very topical matters: the feast of the end of Ramadan, or Eid el -Fitr, and the drama of the coronavirus. The two videos reached a record audience on both Instagram and YouTube with a simple, but very effective message: "The beauty of a life in tolerance" is the title that the three Catholic nuns Eufrasia, Vincentine and Dorothea dedicated to the "brother who celebrates Eid ". The three nuns sing a message of coexistence in front of an altar that has collected 40 thousand views on the YouTube channel and over 600 thousand on Instagram. In one of the many comments from YouTube viewers, Tyon Setyono wrote: "MasyaAllah is beautiful, melodious, cool. This is the essence of tolerance". Also the video song "Kamu untuk Kita" (You for us) dedicated "to the fighters at the forefront of the Covid-19 pandemic" is appreciated, conceived, sung and recited by bishops, priests, young people, boys and girls, from the diocese of Ruteng , on the island of Flores: ten thousand visits on YouTube.




Culture and education


Childhood under lockdown: poems from children across the world capture life during COVID-19

Fairfield, Conn. (June 9, 2020)—This week marks three months since the coronavirus pandemic was announced.  Billions of children’s lives have been turned upside down and never before have so many children been forced out of school. To capture their experiences, Save the Children invited 15 children from 15 countries to write a poem about life under lockdown, sharing their hopes, fears, and how the pandemic has changed their lives. From the United States, Italy, Peru, and Colombia to Gaza, Yemen, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, their poems bring to life the experiences of children living through this pandemic. Despite their differences, their struggles are shared and they remain united in their hope for a brighter future. (…)



International Summit on the Teaching Profession 2020: teachers recognised as the heroes of the Covid-19 crisis in education

4 June 2020 - The 10th edition of the International Summit on the Teaching Profession (ISTP) took place on 2 June 2020, in a webinar format. Co-hosted by Education International and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the ISTP brought together education ministers and education unions for a discussion on the impact of Covid-19 in education and how to ensure that education systems emerge stronger from this crisis. All speakers recognised the essential role of teachers in navigating this crisis, overcoming challenges, and ensuring educational continuity for students. Educators’ leadership, resilience, adaptability, creativity, and dedication to their students were praised by all ministers who spoke during the Summit. Opening the ISTP, Education International and the OECD shared global insights into the impact of the pandemic in education and the way forward.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Africa: integrating languages should form part of South Africa's xenophobia solutions

(By Karien Brits, Russell H. Kaschula and Zakeera Docrat)

2 June 2020 - There are many complex reasons for xenophobia in South Africa. These include racial and linguistic diversity, low education levels and lack of service delivery. Sometimes local governance is seen to sanction xenophobic attacks or not provide positive leadership. Impunity is another issue. One aspect that has not been explored is the role that language might play in xenophobia. We suggest that looking at xenophobia from a sociolinguistic angle could contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon, and longer-term solutions. This isn't to suggest that merely tackling linguistic issues will somehow eradicate the complex social phenomenon of xenophobia. But it is an important element that should be considered.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Global Education Coalition facilitates free internet access for distance education in several countries

27 May 2020 - Major mobile telephone operators that are part of UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition have stepped up efforts to improve connectivity by providing free access to online educational content for students in all regions of the world affected by Covid-19 induced school closures.In sub-Saharan Africa, Orange through its subsidiaries, provides free access to accredited learning platforms in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Democratic Republic of the Congo. Similar packages are planned in Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia and Madagascar. The practice is also being extended to countries in other regions: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia, free connection is provided to digital education contents.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Smithsonian Science Education Center with support of the World Health Organization launches new COVID-19 guide for youth

21 May 2020 - The Smithsonian Science Education Center, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP)—a partnership of 140 national academies of science, engineering and medicine—has developed “COVID-19! How can I protect myself and others?” a new rapid-response guide for youth ages 8–17. The guide, which is based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, aims to help young people understand the science and social science of COVID-19 as well as help them take actions to keep themselves, their families and communities safe. Through a set of seven cohesive student-led tasks, participants engage in the activities to answer questions previously defined by their peers. The questions explore the impact of COVID-19 on the world, how to practice hand and respiratory hygiene and physical distancing, and how to research more information about COVID-19. The final task teaches youth how they can take action on the new scientific knowledge they learn to improve their health and the health of others. Each task is designed to be completed at home. The guide includes updated research, activities, quotes from scientists and frontline public health officials, and physical and emotional safety tips on COVID-19. It also integrates inquiry-based science education with social and emotional learning and civic engagement.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


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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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