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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. 292 – 15th July 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


COUNCIL DECISION (CFSP) 2020/901 of 29 June 2020 on Union support for the activities of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) in order to strengthen its monitoring and verification capabilities and in the framework of the implementation of the EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

30 June 2020 – The Council Of The European Union (…) has adopted this decision:

Article 1

1.   For the purpose of continuing the effective implementation of the Strategy, the Union shall support the activities of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO, which aim to:

(a)  strengthen the capabilities of the CTBT monitoring and verification system, including radionuclide detection;

(b)  strengthen the capabilities of the States Signatories to the CTBT to fulfil their verification responsibilities under the CTBT and to enable them to benefit fully from their participation in the CTBT regime. (…)


News related with SDGs number 16-Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and number 17-Partnerships for the Goals


United Nations – Economic and Social Council – United Nations Forum on Forests Fifteenth session – Items 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10 of the provisional agenda – Implementation of the United Nations strategic plan for forests 2017–2030 (…)

22 June 22, 2020 – (…) Omnibus resolution

The Economic and Social Council, (…)

Quadrennial programme of work of the United Nations Forum on Forests for the period 2021–2024

1. Adopts the programme of work of the United Nations Forum on Forests for its sixteenth session, in 2021, as contained in annex I to the present resolution, and requests the Forum at its sixteenth session to decide on its programme of work * E/CN.18/2020/1. E/CN.18/2020/L.4 2/11 20-08224 for the period 2022–2024, taking into account the proposal contained in annex II to the present resolution;

2. Invites the Bureau of the Forum, in close consultation with members of the Forum, to decide on the thematic priorities for the biennium 2021–2022, consistent with the guidance contained in annex I;

3. Requests the Forum secretariat to organize a high-level round table during the sixteenth session of the Forum to discuss major forest-related developments;(…)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


United Nations – General Assembly – Human Rights Council – Forty-third session – 24 February–20 March 2020 – Agenda item 3 – Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,

political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

June 17, 2020 –The Human Rights Council, (…)

1. Encourages States to promote sport as a means to combat all forms of discrimination;

2. Calls upon States to cooperate with the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee in their efforts to use sport as a tool to promote human rights, development, peace, dialogue and reconciliation during and beyond the period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, in particular by observing the Olympic Truce;

3. Encourages States to adopt best practices and means to promote the practice of sport and physical activities by all members of society, and to cultivate a sports culture in society; (…)

7. Welcomes the cooperation (…) to maximize the potential of sport to make a meaningful and sustainable contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, (…)


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the Goals


REGULATION (EU) 2020/741 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 25 May 2020 on minimum requirements for water reuse (Text with EEA relevance)

5 June 2020 – The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (…) have adopted this regulation: (…)

Article 1

Subject matter and purpose

1.   This Regulation lays down minimum requirements for water quality and monitoring and provisions on risk management, for the safe use of reclaimed water in the context of integrated water management.

2.   The purpose of this Regulation is to guarantee that reclaimed water is safe for agricultural irrigation, thereby ensuring a high level of protection of the environment and of human and animal health, promoting the circular economy, supporting adaptation to climate change, and contributing to the objectives of Directive 2000/60/EC by addressing water scarcity and the resulting pressure on water resources, in a coordinated way throughout the Union, thus also contributing to the efficient functioning of the internal market.

Article 2


1.   This Regulation applies whenever treated urban waste water is reused, in accordance with Article 12(1) of Directive 91/271/EEC, for agricultural irrigation as specified in Section 1 of Annex I to this Regulation. (…)


News related with SDGs number 6-Clean Water and Sanitation



Human rights


New CARE Report calls for urgent Gender-Transformative Response to climate displacement

7 July 2020 - Today the international aid organization CARE launched a new report highlighting the causes and consequences of climate-induced displacement and the urgent need for a gender-transformative response. The report, Evicted by Climate Change: Confronting the Gendered Impacts of Climate-Induced Displacement highlights the urgent need for more women’s leadership and greater financial support for gender-just solutions to climate-induced displacement.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


Now is the time for action to fight systemic racism in the USA and globally

7 July 2020 - FIDH and its member organisations statement against anti-Black racism in the USA and globally. FIDH and its undersigned member organisations share the indignation against racism and police brutality which has erupted as mass protests around the world denouncing the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks and other Black people killed by police in the United States of America (U.S.). In such context, we welcomed the Urgent Debate held on 17 and 18 June 2020 at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to respond to the crisis of systemic racism and police violence. It led to critical contributions by member states and civil society regarding the roots of anti-Black racism in the U.S., notably, colonialism, slavery and apartheid. We were encouraged by the historic adoption of a UN resolution condemning the excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officers against Africans and people of African descent, and a mandated UN analysis on the issue.


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


Human Rights First applauds UK’s introduction of new regime, sanctions designations

(by Rob Berschinski)

6 July 2020 - Human Rights First today congratulated the UK government for joining the growing community of states using targeted sanctions to deny perpetrators of significant human rights abuses access to their territories and financial systems. The praise came in response to UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s announcement of the UK’s Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020, and a corresponding announcement of the UK’s first designations under their new regime against 49 individuals and entities involved in human rights abuses in Myanmar, North Korea, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.



International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement statement on building an environment free from racism and discrimination

1 July 2020 - The continued wave of Black Lives Matter and other anti-racism protests, across the United States and beyond, has put a spotlight firmly on deeply ingrained historic and systemic racist attitudes and discrimination against black people and people of colour – including in the humanitarian sector and in our own organizations. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is committed to help achieve the required changes to all systems that are oppressive to people of colour.


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


The Struggle to build a Social-Justice Group as a Black Leader

(by Jim Rendon)

30 June 2020 - Kandace Montgomery helped organize a Black Lives Matter chapter in Minneapolis in 2015 and started the Black Visions Collective in 2018. The queer- and trans-focused group works to organize young Black people to end systemic racism. Since its founding, the Black Visions Collective has been working on solutions to police violence in Minneapolis. It has pushed the city to decrease funding for the police department, something that has become a rallying cry at protests across the country after a city police officer was caught on video killing George Floyd.


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities



Economy and development


EcorNaturaSí and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat to boost rural, mountain, forest and island communities’ livelihoods

9 July 2020, Rome-EcorNaturaSí and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, hosted by FAO, today joined forces to better the lives of people living in rural areas and fragile ecosystems, such as mountains, forests and islands, and develop more inclusive food and agriculture systems. The two organizations committed to improving value chains and access to markets for small-scale producers; advocating for the conservation of biodiversity; reducing food loss and waste; and promoting animal welfare.

To date, some 10,000 farmers, including 6,000 women, have benefited from the MPP initiative alone, including farmers of purple and pink rice in the Indian Himalayas and producers of stingless bee honey in the Bolivian Andes.

The initiative, which is promoting 20 products in eight countries, has led in some cases to a 25% increase in the selling price and nearly a doubling in the production.

EcorNaturaSí is already providing advice on a range of areas - from identifying quality, marketable products to establishing quality assurance systems so farmers can certify their organic products - to MPP partners in eight countries: Bolivia, Peru, Panama, Kyrgyzstan, India, Nepal, Mongolia and the Philippines.


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the Goals


FAO partners with the Adaptation Fund to help vulnerable countries fight the impact of climate change

3 July 2020, Rome - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been accredited as an implementing partner of the Adaptation Fund and will work with the international fund on projects to help vulnerable countries fight the harmful effects of climate change. FAO is already accredited with the Green Climate Fund and now becomes the 13th multilateral implementing entity to work with the Adaptation Fund.  FAO previously worked with the Adaptation Fund on its regional project that was implemented by the World Meteorological Organization to enhance the resilience of small farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. The UN agency has now established a dedicated unit in its Land and Water Division to provide immediate assistance for the development and implementation of climate change adaptation projects in countries that might otherwise not have access to these climate-financing mechanisms.


News related with SDGs number 1-No Poverty and number 2-Zero Hunger


Global Economic Recovery must Prioritise Restructuring of Debt for Developing Countries

(by Samira Sadeque)

2 July 2020 - Unless there is a restructuring of debt for developing countries, the servicing for this debt will take away valuable resources from these nations that are needed to prevent the further suffering of people during the coronavirus pandemic — particularly with regards to safeguarding the health systems, and protecting the “integrity and resilience of economies”.  In order to prevent economies of developing countries from suffering disproportionately under the current pandemic, it’s crucial that there’s less protectionist thinking and that developed countries approach the economic downturn through means that empower developing countries, said  Kenewendo, who is also a former member of the U.N. secretary-general’s high level digital cooperation panel.


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


USA - Adobe Sign Enhances E-Signatures for Healthcare and Life Sciences

1 July 2020   Now more than ever, we recognize that your company needs to minimize business interruption, maintain business continuity, and build resilience for the future. This is especially critical for highly regulated industries like financial services, government, as well as healthcare and life sciences. Security and compliance have never been more important, especially as employees rapidly move to working remotely. Recently, we’ve announced new advancements in Adobe Sign that include readiness for industry standards in digital documents and e-signatures in healthcare and life sciences. These enhancements can help companies be even more productive by adopting e-signatures.  This is especially important for companies that need to comply with the US FDA regulation, 21 CFR Part 11, which oversees the use of digital documents and e-signatures in healthcare and life sciences. The business of healthcare and life sciences is highly regulated, and with these enhancements users can sign critical forms without worrying if the full digital process meets 21 CFR Part 11 requirements. This allows you to focus on helping your remote teams stay productive, not the technology.



UN World Food Programme and IIT Delhi come together to enhance food safety nets

19 June 2020, New Delhi, India- The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi come together to develop innovative solutions to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Government's food safety nets. The partnership will create sustainable models that can be replicated across the country to support governments in their work on food and nutrition security.  The partnership will use advanced analytics and operations research to develop practical solutions that support long term strategic planning of procurement, storage and movement of food grains by agencies such as the Food Corporation of India (FCI). Cost-effective supply chain networks for distribution of food grains under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) will also be developed.  Working together with the state and national governments, IIT Delhi and WFP will collect and analyse important operational data such as current stocks, projected harvest yields and consumption figures to develop TPDS supply chain networks that will ensure a steady supply of food grains in a cost-effective and efficient manner.


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





FAO welcomes additional €15 million from the European Union to fight Desert Locusts and their impacts on food security

8 July 2020, Brussels/Rome - The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, QU Dongyu, today welcomed a €15 million contribution from the European Union to fight the Desert Locust upsurge in East Africa as a new wave of locusts is emerging in the region. With FAO's support, nearly half a trillion locusts are estimated to have been killed in the Horn of Africa and Yemen in control operations since January and one millon tonnes of crops - enough to feed nearly 7 million people - have been spared from devastation. Despite the success of control operations spanning 500,000 hectares, heavy rains during this spring season created ideal conditions for reproduction and the potential destruction caused by the new-generation swarms could still provoke a humanitarian crisis as new swarms strike Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Yemen. Apart from the emergence of a new generation of locusts in East Africa, there is also concern that some of these swarms will migrate to India and Pakistan while others could potentially spread to West Africa, as indicated in FAO's latest revised appeal. The Desert Locust is considered the most destructive migratory pest in the world. A small swarm covering one square kilometer can eat the same amount of food in one day as 35,000 people. FAO is helping governments and other partners with surveillance and coordination, technical advice and the procurement of supplies and equipment.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


WFP receives new contribution of US$ 49 million from USAID to assist food-insecure communities in Afghanistan

8 July 2020, Kabul – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received a new contribution of US$ 49 million from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance towards programmes that help meet the food and nutrition needs of vulnerable communities in the country. With this new contribution, WFP will provide assistance – through food distribution and cash-based transfers - to nearly 1 million people, including communities affected by conflict and natural hazards, as well as malnourished children, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and people participating in risk reduction activities. Part of the contribution will go towards strengthening WFP’s fleet capacity to deliver food to remote areas, and the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) operated by WFP on behalf of the international community in Afghanistan. Before COVID-19, WFP’s plan was to reach 7.2 million people through our country operations; but now, an additional 3 million people are in need of our support as a result of the pandemic.


News related with SDGs number 1-No Poverty and number 2-Zero Hunger


ASIA/INDIA - Fervent charity initiatives in the Church of Bombay in times of pandemic

3 July 2020 - Mumbai (Agenzia Fides) - The charitable commitment of the Catholic communities of the archdiocese of Bombay is remarkable, which began with the lockdown imposed by the government to contain Covid-19 and which still continues, to meet the needs of the poorest and derelicts, whose social or work situation has worsened in times of pandemic. As Fides learns, among the many activities organized in favor of the poorest, most destitute or vulnerable, there is the "Manna on Weels" program (because volunteers go by car to the poorest areas, but also wants to underline the "we" of the community).



For Philanthropy to achieve its goals, democracy must work

(by Stephen Heintz)

2 July 2020 - As Americans get ready to mark the holiday of the nation’s independence, we have reason to celebrate one of the hallmarks of our democracy: The nation’s more than 100,000 foundations distributed more than $75 billion last year, the highest dollar amount on record. That money went to a kaleidoscope of causes, including cutting-edge medical research, early-childhood education, investigative journalism, microfinancing, and so much more. It is because lawmakers see these philanthropic contributions as an essential ingredient in our democracy that Congress long ago gave foundations special privileges to operate as tax-exempt institutions. You might think that this understanding would go two ways — that grant makers would make strengthening democracy itself a central part of their work.



Following emergency pandemic response, the Tomorrow Rising Fund by the Schneider Electric Foundation focuses support on recovery and resiliency

1 July 2020 Rueil-Malmaison (France)/CSRwire/ - Two months after launching the Tomorrow Rising fund to support Covid-19 emergency relief in April 2020, Schneider Electric’s Foundation moves forward to support recovery and resiliency through education and training programs. The Tomorrow Rising Fund was launched to support emergency and longer-term reconstruction related to Covid-19 in all the countries where Schneider Electric operates. The Schneider Electric Foundation appealed to its leaders and employees to get involved and all their donations have been matched by the Group. Other external stakeholders and partners have also contributed. (…)



Amid COVID-19 crises, Germany donates to protect African countries with climate insurance

16 June 2020, Berlin – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread into countries already dealing with the impacts of drought, economic crises and conflict, the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has provided USD 5.9 million to ensure that the UN World Food Programme (WFP) can continue to protect 1.2 million vulnerable African farmers with climate risk insurance. If these countries experience climate shocks that damage crops this year or the next, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be compounded and less food will be available in the markets, which could lead to food crises. This will create a situation where countries are faced with having to feed more people while at the same time trying to control the spread of COVID-19. (…) The insurance scheme is part of the African Union’s African Risk Capacity (ARC) - an innovative risk management and resilience building institution that helps African Union Member States manage climate and disaster risk and adapt to climate change. ARC Member States purchase an index-based drought insurance that guarantees payouts if rains fall below certain levels. Financial help can reach affected small-scale farmers immediately after the failed harvest. ARC is also offering governments comprehensive technical support for disaster preparedness and disaster risk management. As part of the InsuResilience Vision 2025, Germany and the other G7 countries have committed to ensuring 500 million poor and vulnerable people are covered against climate and disaster shocks by pre-arranged finance and insurance mechanisms by 2025.

News related with SDGs number 1-No Poverty and number 2-Zero Hunger



Peace and security


Sudan govt to sign final peace deal with rebel groups

10 July 2020 - Sudan’s transitional government and rebel groups negotiating in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, will sign a final peace deal in two weeks’ time. The news emerged after a delegation of South Sudanese mediators returned from Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. The peace talks had been stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The negotiations recently resumed via video conferencing between the government’s delegation in Khartoum and the rebel groups in Juba.


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


An African Agenda for Peace, Governance and Development at Thirty

(by Said Djinnit and El-Ghassim Wane)

9 July 2020 - The OAU Declaration on Fundamental Changes at 30 – A Retrospective Look at its Genesis and Impact.  This 11th of July marks-the 30th anniversary of the Declaration on the political and socioeconomic situation in Africa and the fundamental changes taking place in the world. Adopted by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in Addis Ababa, the Declaration has been the bedrock of many of Africa’s normative and policy advances over the past three decades. It provided encouragement and continental legitimacy to the democratization processes initiated in the early 1990s and set the stage for the redesign of the OAU conflict management tools, while also revitalizing the long-held dream of Africa’s integration. Yet, this policy document seems to have fallen from public attention. In a way, it was a victim of its own success: as the OAU and its successor, the African Union (AU), developed new and bolder instruments, it was bound to fall into some kind of oblivion.


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


Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping: Women, Peace, and Security in Post-Conflict States

(by Serena Simoni)

9 July 2020 - Reading an academic International Relations book that focuses on the promotion of gender equality is both energizing and inspiring. The use of a positivist approach is methodologically sound given the research question driving this work. That is, to what extent do Peacekeeping Operations (PKOs) promote gender equality both in missions and through them? (p.4). Since the authors are invested in analyzing correlations between variables, observations of different data sets are both necessary and appropriate. Maybe the book does not have the captivating narrative of some feminist critical works, but it does test its hypothesis on the expected manifestations of gender power imbalances in PKOs.


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


Fiji ratifies UN nuclear weapon ban treaty

8 July 2020 - The Pacific island state of Fiji has become the 39th nation to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Fijian ambassador to the United Nations, Satyendra Prasad, announced the ratification at an event on 7 July to mark the third anniversary of the adoption of the landmark agreement by a large majority of the world’s nations. He said the treaty has particular resonance in the Pacific as a region that has suffered from decades of nuclear testing by colonial powers.


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





Caritas niger ensuring people wash hands to save lives in covid-19 fight

7 July 2020 - Handwashing is not just a question of etiquette, it can save lives. As the coronavirus sweeps through African countries Caritas Niger is ensuring parishes, communities, health centres and schools have the means to protect themselves against the pandemic through high standards of hand hygiene.

There are challenges to keeping hands clean in a country which is mostly desert and where clean water is scarce. In addition, towns and cities are overcrowded and people migrate a lot internally and externally for work, raising the possibility of spreading infections.


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


Ebola Outbreak ends in Democratic Republic of the Congo

(by Sarah Ferguson)

29 June 2020 - After almost two years and 2,287 deaths, the Ebola outbreak in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is officially over. The World Health Organization made the announcement on June 25.

The outbreak — the world's second deadliest, after the 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa which killed more than 11,000 people — was the first to take place in an active conflict zone. A total of 3,470 people were infected, 28 percent of them children.


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


USAID supports WFP’s response to COVID-19 in the Pacific

29 June 2020, Suva, Fiji - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a contribution of US$500,000 from the United States Government in support of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Pacific. The funding, provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, will bolster a range of activities in logistics and emergency telecommunications that WFP is implementing in the region.  As borders remain closed and commercial aviation services suspended, WFP will soon kickstart humanitarian air services to deliver medical and humanitarian cargo to help governments, humanitarian organizations and health responders respond to the pandemic. The air services support the work of the recently established Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19 by the Pacific Islands Forum. In the area of emergency telecommunications, WFP helps health authorities across the Pacific through the provision of technical assistance for infrastructure-building, such as COVID hot-lines and call centres, as well as other essential telecommunications networks and systems. WFP’s COVID-19 response is part of the greater Pacific Humanitarian Team COVID-19 Response Plan - a comprehensive regional response plan that seeks to consolidate efforts by the United Nations agencies, government representatives, regional and multilateral organizations, NGOs, donors and development partners. It aims to harness collective resources and an effective humanitarian response to help governments strengthen healthcare systems, reinforce community engagement, and protects the most vulnerable, especially women, children, the elderly and those living with disabilities or chronic illness, against the pandemic.  The funding requirement of the humanitarian response plan is US$35 million. 


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


Zimbabwe on track to achieve the 2020 Global End TB Strategy milestones

26 June 2020 - To accelerate the TB response in countries to reach targets – Heads of State came together and made strong commitments to end TB at the first - ever United Nations (UN) high Level Meeting on TB (UN-HLM-TB) in September 2018. The President of Zimbabwe, His Excellence, President Emmerson Mnangagwa attended this historic UN-HLM-TB that brought together world leaders to accelerate the TB response in New York.  The 2019 WHO Global TB report reveals that Zimbabwe is making progress to End TB.  Zimbabwe managed to achieve very high rates of tuberculosis treatment coverage and is one of the four high burden TB countries that managed to achieve rates above 80% reaching 25,775 people notified.  In that report Zimbabwe was also noted to be one of the seven high burden countries that are on track to achieve the 2020 Global End TB Strategy milestones for reduction in TB incidence rate and TB deaths. However, despite this progress, TB remains one of the major causes of death in the country. Zimbabwe also continues to be one of the 14 countries worldwide that appears in all the 3 lists of WHO 30 High burden Countries for TB, TB/HIV and multi-drug resistant TB (MDR/TB) based on their severity of disease burden. Each of these 3 lists account for about 90% of the global burden.


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


Isolation field hospitals open to prevent COVID crisis in Bangladesh camps

22 June 2020, Kuala Lumpur/Geneva/Cox’s Bazar, –Two new isolation field hospitals are opening to treat an alarming and growing number of COVID-19 patients in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh camps and adjacent host communities. The isolation and treatment centres help address a growing gap in critical medical care needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and mass deaths in the world’s biggest camps for displaced people from Rakhine state of Myanmar.More than 1500 cases of COVID-19 in the Cox’s Bazar region, including 37 confirmed cases and three deaths in the crowded camps, are putting immense pressure on existing government hospitals and health facilities established by international relief agencies. (…)There are an estimated 1.24 million people in the Cox’s Bazar area, including more than 900,000 people living in the camps, with the existing healthcare system stretched to the limit even before the COVID-19 outbreak.

As part of a coordinated humanitarian effort, Red Cross Red Crescent has already established 12 healthcare facilities in the camp and meeting the health needs remains a huge challenge for all aid organisations in Cox’s Bazar. (…)


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


Energy and safety



Australian researchers develop electrochemical oxidation process to clean wastewater

(by Meghan Sapp)

7 July 2020 – In Australia, researchers from the University of Sydney’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering developed an electrochemical oxidation process with the aim of cleaning up complex wastewater that contained a toxic cocktail of chemical pollutants. The wastewater, which contained carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus, was generated in a pilot plant, designed by the team for the production of biofuels using naturally abundant microalgae. The process involved treating wastewater with electricity using specialised electrodes. They discharged electricity, then drove oxidation reactions near the electrode surfaces, transforming the organic contaminants into harmless gasses, ions or minerals.


News related with SDGs number 6-Clean Water and Sanitation


UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME – Electric mobility could help clean the air and boost green jobs as part of the COVID-19 recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean

7 July 2020 – Highlights.

. The transport sector is responsible for 15 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the region.

. New report calls to prioritize the electrification of public transport, especially when updating old bus fleets.

. Electric mobility could foster new investments and jobs, which are key to COVID-19 recovery efforts.

The transition to electric mobility could help Latin America and Caribbean countries to reduce emissions and fulfill their commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change, while generating green jobs as part of their recovery plans from the COVID-19 crisis, according to a new study.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report, "Electric Mobility 2019: Status and Opportunities for Regional Collaboration in Latin America and the Caribbean," analyzes the latest developments in 20 countries in the region (…).


News related with SDGs number 11-Sustainable Cities and Communities


Over 350,000 homes to be fitted with EV chargers by 2025

(by Robin Whitlock)

7 July 2020 – Analysis of sales trends by Andersen has found that 362,270 wall boxes could be installed in UK driveways and garages over the next five years based on current installation rates, adding to the current crop of 120,000. Andersen, the British manufacturer and installer of high-end home charging points, is predicting 2020 to be a tipping point for electric vehicle uptake, following January sales that were four times as high as the same period last year. By 2025, an expected one million electric vehicles will be registered on UK roads bringing with it a spike in the number of home chargers.

The electric vehicle market grew by 132 percent in the year to May 2020, compared to a 66 percent drop in petrol vehicles, and a 54 percent drop in diesel, over the same period; triggered by the Government’s announcement in February that all petrol and diesel cars would be banned in the UK by 2035. (…)


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY – Reaching international energy and climate goals requires a sharp acceleration in clean energy innovation – New IEA special report shows critical need for research and development and other innovation efforts to achieve net-zero emissions objectives.

6 July 2020 – Without a major acceleration in clean energy innovation, countries and companies around the world will be unable to fulfil their pledges to bring their carbon emissions down to net-zero in the coming decades, according to a special report released today (July 2) by the International Energy Agency.

The report assesses the ways in which clean energy innovation can be significantly accelerated to achieve net-zero emissions while enhancing energy security in a timeframe compatible with international climate and sustainable energy goals. (…) A significant part of the challenge comes from major sectors where there are currently few technologies available for reducing emissions to zero, such as shipping, trucking, aviation and heavy industries like steel, cement and chemicals. Decarbonising these sectors will largely require the development of new technologies that are not currently in commercial use. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


Spain closes half of all its coal-fired power stations in one fell swoop

(by Joshua S Hill)

3 July 2020 – In a move which appears to have hit suddenly, Spain ceased operations at nearly half of its coal-fired power stations on June 30, shuttering seven out of its 15 plants totalling 4,630MW. News of the closure was first reported on Monday by Spanish-language daily newspaper El País, which claimed that all of Spain’s “remaining coal-fired thermal power plants will start shutting down” on June 30. The move comes a year-and-a-half after Spain closed all its coal mines, which it said were unable to survive without the state aid now banned by the European Union. Similarly, this week’s closure of seven of Spain’s coal-fired power stations comes as the electric companies deemed it did not make financial sense to adapt them to necessary European regulations. (…)




Environment and wildlife


WFP and Tajik Committee for environmental protection launch a climate change adaptation project

7 July 2020, Dushanbe – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan signed an agreement last week to launch a climate change adaptation project funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The project will benefit over the next four years approximately 115,000 food-insecure people in rural Tajik communities. The project “Building climate resilience of communities through capacity strengthening and livelihood diversification in mountainous regions of Tajikistan” is intended to increase the adaptive capacities of vulnerable and food insecure communities in the target areas. The project will provide climate change adaptation interventions to strengthen the capacities of national actors in providing climate information services through monthly and seasonal forecasts, weather alerts, etc. to rural communities while enabling the communities to use the information and plan accordingly. The project will help create assets through the engagement of participants in community works in order to improve their food security and nutritional status as well as manage land and natural resources in a sustainable manner. The participants in assets building activities will receive in exchange cash assistance that will support them in fulfilling their immediate needs while enhancing their livelihoods.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


US House Democrats unveil sweeping plan to address climate change, boost Renewables

(by Dan McCue)

1 July 2020 – House Democrats took to the steps of the U.S. Capitol Tuesday to unveil an ambitious plan to address climate change by pushing for the greater adoption of renewable energy and setting a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In addition, and very much a reflection of the mood of the times in the U.S., the plan calls for sustainable job creation and cleaning up the environmental contamination that disproportionately harms low-income and minority communities. The new plan, set forth in a 538-page report, is the byproduct of 17 months of work by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. (…)


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


Towards innovative, conflict-sensitive and human rights-based approaches to forest monitoring

16 June 2020, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar- The Governments of Myanmar and Finland today launched a trailblazing project designed to allow for monitoring of forests in a manner that is sensitive to local conflicts and protects human rights. The five-year project will be led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) thanks to a EUR 8 million endowment from the Government of Finland, a consistent partner in the promotion of environmental sustainability.  The project is innovative in taking a conflict sensitive and human rights-based approach to forest monitoring. This has global relevance as it will provide insights into how to bolster sustainable forests in other fragile countries affected by conflicts that are frequently exacerbated by disputes over tenure and access to natural resources. The human rights-based scope of the project is anticipated to actively contribute to alleviating conflicts and offer a platform for improving the livelihoods of the country where 70% of the population who live in Myanmar's rural areas and rely on the country's estimated 29 million hectares of forests for basic needs and service. It also has a special focus on engaging the more than 100 different ethnic groups, each with its own history, culture and language or dialect, who live in the country. As some of Myanmar's regions are affected by internal conflicts, the project is designed to be participatory and inclusive, with extensive stakeholder consultations, communications and a grievance procedure that will include minority groups as well as global and national organizations with expertise in human rights and conflict. This will contribute to a do-no-harm approach in development projects related to the country's natural resources. FAO is pledging to use the human rights-based approach to forest monitoring developed under this project to craft global guidelines for conflict sensitivity and human rights-based approaches in ecosystem monitoring more broadly around the world.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land



Religion and spirituality


Interfaith Youth in East Africa gear up for Climate Action

(by Merylene Chitharai)

8 July 2020 - A youth-led interfaith environmental movement is rippling across Africa, as young people througout the continent gather online to build a network for climate advocacy, to discuss new ideas, and to generate recommended best practices for the recovery of the planet. “Biodiversity: Everything Is Connected” addresses humanity’s role in ecosystems and species, water and health, medical discoveries, economic development, and adaptive responses to new environmental challenges. Advanced by the African Council of Religious Leaders – Religions for Peace (ACRL-RfP), this call to action by interfaith youth in Africa focuses on one of the five strategic priorities laid out at the August 2019 Religions for Peace10th World Assembly in Lindau Germany—namely, sustainable and integral human development in protecting the Earth.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


Interfaith Forum calls for protection of human rights amid Covid-19

(by Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ)

7 July 2020 - The Geneva Interfaith Forum appeals for the protection of human rights amid the twin crises of Covid-19 and climate change.  “The Covid-19 pandemic and human-induced climate change are rooted in an unjust and ecologically unsustainable economic system and have profound implications for people and their enjoyment of human rights,” the statement reads. The made this call in a joint statement presented by the World Council of Churches (WCC) on behalf of the GIF during the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council meeting, from 30 June to 17 July in Geneva.



EUROPE/ITALY - Leaving for Africa, CUAMM volunteers keep the missionary and spirit of service alive

7 July 2020 - Padua (Agenzia Fides) - After three months of total lockdown that has blocked every flight and every airport, the first 16 volunteers of the Doctors with Africa CUAMM are about to leave for Africa. Many of the CUAMM volunteers remained alongside the local populations, in a time of coronavirus emergency, in addition to all the other crises. "Impossible to 'go away' from those places, for us who of that 'Eunte scurate infirmos' have made a choice of life. However, it was also impossible to be able to take over the shift from the many who remained on the spot, close to the population during the great fear that the pandemic, especially at the beginning, caused and which still exists", writes to the Agenzia Fides the  director of CUAMM.



Sangha Stories / Creating Gathas – Mindfulness at Play

7 July 2020 - Gathas are short practice poems, that help us bring mindfulness, concentration, and insight to daily activities. Sister Giac An offers a selection of Gathas created recently in the Lower Hamlet Sutra class. This spring and summer, the sisters and long-term residents of Lower Hamlet are attending a weekly sutra class, led by Dharma teacher Sr Luc Nghiem. Aside from studying a sutra (The Discourse on the Full Awareness of Breathing), we learn to turn the teachings into concrete practices that we can use in our daily lives.



ASIA/AFGHANISTAN - From Prague to Kabul, a fundraiser for the needy, a sign of spiritual communion of the Church

4 July 2020 - A fundraiser which began in Prague reached the church of Kabul through the staff of the Czech embassy. This is the initiative carried out by the parish community of St. Gotthard, in Prague, in support of the poor, destitute and most vulnerable Afghans.  In that parish, during the month of January, the faithful prayed for this Country and made a collection for the poor of our Mission. The result of the donations was entrusted to Czech diplomats in Kabul, but due to the rules for the containment of Covid-19, it was only possible to organize a meeting in June.



ASIA/MYANMAR - Burmese Bishops: "Peace is the antidote to the virus"

1 July 2020: Commitment and investment in peace and reconciliation by state and non-state actors in Myanmar is needed, in the midst of the coronavirus health crisis: this is the appeal launced by the Bishops of Myanmar who, in a note sent to Agenzia Fides, say: "Peace is possible, peace is the only way. Just, fair and inclusive solutions are possible with the cessation of hostilities and the desire to dialogue in good faith". The conference, made up of Bishops representing 16 Catholic dioceses in the country, hopes for the search for new opportunities for solid and lasting peace. Quoting the words of Pope Francis, the Burmese Bishops say: "Only with unity we can overcome this challenge". The Prelates recall that war-torn countries are the most vulnerable. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Pope Francis have called for all hostilities to cease during the pandemic, but their appeal has not been heard. "Peace is the antidote to the virus", the Bishops observe, declaring that they are concerned about the ongoing conflict in Myanmar.

In fact, there has been a regression and a resurgence of the conflict in the Kachin, Sharu Kay and Rakhine areas. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) found that there are nearly 250,000 internally displaced people in the country. The people who live in refugee camps "are the most vulnerable and their rights should be respected", note the Bishops, hoping that "any kind of land grabbing should not touch the lands of displaced people, protecting their property rights in the places of origin.




Culture and education


Op-ed: The role of digitalization in the decade of action

(by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka)

6 July 2020 - With the rapid digitalization of work, school and social life, stimulated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of technology and innovation to achieving gender equality and inclusive development has never been clearer nor more urgent. Apps and online helplines can be a life-saving line of defence for the millions of women vulnerable to a growing shadow pandemic of violence. Mobile devices can help women suffering from the economic impacts of the pandemic access essential cash transfer programmes. And with sufficient access, online learning programmes can ensure that girls do not drop out of education but are better equipped for a highly digitized future.  This will take UN Agencies working together, while also bringing in networks of like-minded Member States, civil society groups and the private sector. UN Women is taking part in four initiatives where we play a leading role in promoting collaboration on digital inclusion and digital equality.



A library to walk into the forest

5 July 2020 - Professor Deirdre Heddon and Dr Misha Myers explain how their Walking Library functions as a public artwork connecting people with places and writing. The Walking Library is simply a library filled with books suggested as good to take on a walk. In 2012, we created our first Walking Library, a commission for Sideways, an ecologically-oriented, pedestrian festival traversing the Flanders region of Belgium. Sideways aimed to find and walk back into existence the region’s ‘slow paths’ – a mesh of footpaths that offer alternative ways of getting from A to B without the need of a car. For that first Walking Library we posed a simple question: What book would you carry on a walk? From more than 200 suggestions, we selected about 90 books and took them out on our daily walks, which, over the course of the month, added up to 334 km on foot. Our stock was diverse, ranging from books about walking – fictional, biographical, historical – to guidebooks on flora and fauna, and books about treading more gently on the earth. We invited people to tell us why they made their suggestion, and we added this information to library card’s that we placed in pockets inside each book. This made the library more personal, creating invisible networks of affinity between readers.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Germany: New Declaration says civic education is key to strengthening democracy

30 June 2020 - A German education union has cautioned against fake news and societal fragmentation and called for the inclusion of civic education in vocational training and further education.

The COVID-19 crisis and its consequences, as well as ongoing social upheavals, present society with challenges of unprecedented dimensions. That’s according to the Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft (GEW), a German affiliate of Education International, in its latest statement, entitled “Strengthening democracy – more civic education in vocational training and further education!”.

In the Schwerin Declaration, the education union also highlighted how “conspiracy fantasies and fake news are on the rise, and our society is becoming increasingly fragmented”.

Evidence of threats to democracy:


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Education, not marriage: building better futures for girls in Ethiopia

(by Robin Kim)

29 June 2020 - UNICEF programs help Ethiopia's children keep learning and give them the support they need to survive and thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic.  WSU is a public university with 35,000 students, mostly from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and other neighboring countries.   Ethiopia is home to 15 million child brides; the country has one of the world's highest rates of early marriage. Four in ten girls in Ethiopia marry before their 18th birthday; the majority of them give birth while still in adolescence. Ninety percent of these girls will never go to school, much less attend university. They are far less likely to have access to basic health services and financial institutions and are more likely to justify wife beating and other disempowering behaviors to their peers.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


“BELUGA”, the Open Education Resources Online Library for Africa is Open!

24 June 2020 - A digital platform of open education resources for students, teachers, school administrators, and parents, called “BELUGA”, was launched on 25 June 2020 by the UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office for West Africa (UNESCO MSRO Abuja), in collaboration with Ganndal Editions and the Association for the Promotion of African Open Educational Resources (APRELIA).


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Statement | 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report: essential findings for inclusive education

23 June 2020 - The 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report) Inclusion and Education: All Means All was launched today. The report comes at a crucial moment, with the global Covid-19 outbreak causing a major education crisis, particularly for the most vulnerable.

The GEM Report addresses a broad notion of inclusion, focusing on persons with disabilities and other marginalised groups, as well as intersecting vulnerabilities and discrimination based on gender, location, wealth, disability, ethnicity, language, migration, displacement, sexual orientation, incarceration, religion, and other beliefs and attitudes. It assesses progress made towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) and reminds governments of their obligation to “ensure an inclusive and equitable quality education” for all.


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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