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In spite of everything, a culture of peace is emerging in all fields of human endeavour

monthly, year 20th, no. 293 – 15th September 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


United Nations – General Assembly – Seventy-fourth session – Agenda item 12 – Improving global road safety

18 August 2020 – The General Assembly (…)

  1. Reiterates its invitation to Member States and the international community to intensify national, regional and international collaboration, with a view to meeting the ambitious road safety-related targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; (…)

3.   Proclaims the period 2021–2030 as the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety, with a goal of reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by at least 50 per cent from 2021 to 2030, and in this regard calls upon Member States to continue action through 2030 on all the road safety-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (…)

9.   Encourages Member States to make efforts to ensure the safety and protection of all road users through safer road infrastructure by taking into account the needs of motorized and non-motorized transport, and other vulnerable road users (…)


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the Goals


United Nations – General Assembly – Seventy-fourth session – Agenda item 14 and 117 – Review of the implementation of General Assembly resolution 67/290 on the high-level political forum on sustainable development, resolution 70/299 on the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the global level and resolution 72/305 on the strengthening of the Economic and Social Council.

17 August 2020 – The General Assembly (…)

  1. Recognizes the role that the Charter of the United Nations and the General Assembly have vested in the Economic and Social Council as a principal organ for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on issues of economic and social development, as well as (…) in overseeing the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the global level, working coherently with the Assembly, the Council and other relevant organs and forums, in accordance with existing mandates; (…)

3.  Also decides that the thematic focus of the Economic and Social Council for its 2021 session and the 2021 high-level political forum on sustainable development convened under the auspices of the Council shall be “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development” (…)

5. Decides that the review shall take into account the different and particular impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across all Sustainable Development Goals, consider progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda in its entirety and address the interlinkages between Goals (…)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land and number 17-Partnerships for the Goals


United Nations – Economic and Social Council – United Nations Children’s Fund – Executive Board – Second regular session 2020

6 August 2020 – (…) This report provides an overview of the resource trends, current situation and funding perspective of UNICEF, taking into account both regular and other resources, and includes elements of a decision for consideration by the Executive Board. (…)

81. UNICEF extends it deep appreciation to its resource partners for the income generated in 2019 for results for children. UNICEF particularly seeks guidance and support from its partners in supporting its immediate and longer-term response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as in addressing the resulting gaps and setbacks in regular development and humanitarian programming. The development gains of the

past decade are now at risk of being lost. As such, it is imperative that UNICEF continues to make the case for flexible funding to allow all children, everywhere – especially the most vulnerable – to realize their rights.

82. UNICEF looks forward to consultations throughout each year with partners, including the Member States, National Committees, civil society and the private sector, and will continue working with partners to further shape the approach to the structured dialogue on financing the results of the Strategic Plan, along with its sister United Nations agencies, particularly in support of the Secretary-General’s reform efforts. (…)



United Nations – General Assembly – Human Rights CouncilForty-fifth session – Agenda item 3 – Impact of the coronavirus disease pandemic on contemporary forms of slavery and slavery-like practices

4 August  2020 – (…) The present report contains reflections on and analysis of the impact that coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has had on contemporary forms of slavery and slaverylike practices, and recommendations on how various stakeholders could mitigate the impact of the pandemic. It also contains an overview of the methods of work that the new Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, intends to implement and promote during his tenure. (…)

A. Conclusions

86. States have been slow in fulfilling their anti-slavery obligations and honouring the global commitments made to meet target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals to end modern slavery and eradicate forced labour by 2030 and to end child labour in all its forms by 2025. COVID-19 is likely to further stall this process and reverse the progress that has already been made, if States fail to take genuine and decisive steps to accelerate their anti-slavery efforts without further delay. The socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic have already exposed the gaps in national responses to contemporary forms of slavery, causing further deterioration of the precarious situations of the victims, survivors and those at risk of being subjected to such practices. Taking no action is not an option.

87. The Special Rapporteur recognizes the immense challenges faced by States and the efforts that have been made to respond to the multifaceted and complex impacts of the pandemic. However, there is a close interconnection between the rising levels of poverty, the unprecedented unemployment rates and deepening inequalities and the vulnerability to exploitation and abuse. It is of utmost importance that States put in place adequate measures now to mitigate the increasing risks of contemporary forms of slavery in the longer term. (…)

B. Recommendations

1. Access to justice and remedies (…)

2. Increased support for civil society organizations and government service providers (…)

3. Wider measures to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 (…)

4. Upholding and enforcing labour laws

5. International solidarity and cooperation


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


Human rights


This Labor Day, honor essential workers and remember those who died

(by Amy Goodman)

5 September 2020 - From windows and rooftops through the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions around the world cheered essential workers on the frontlines who daily risked contracting this highly contagious disease. Janitors, grocery store workers, drivers, warehouse workers, letter carriers, food delivery people, teachers and transit workers, along with the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff caring for patients, all became heroes as the worst pandemic in a century swept the planet. Thousands of these frontline workers died. As we celebrate Labor Day, traditionally marked by cookouts and beaches followed by the return to school, we should honor these fallen heroes — by wearing masks, social distancing, and fighting for a science-driven course correction to this country’s catastrophic pandemic response.



Qatar, two small steps forward in protecting the rights of migrant workers

(by Riccardo Noury)

5 September 2020 - On August 30, the Qatari authorities published two measures, announced in October 2019, intended – if fully implemented – to improve the protection of the rights and living conditions of migrant workers, massively present in the Gulf emirate. The first measure removes the employer’s “no-objection certificate”, allowing migrant workers to change jobs without their consent. It is sufficient to give one month’s notice in the case of an employment relationship of fewer than two years or two months’ notice in the case of a longer-term relationship. The procedure will be managed directly by the Ministry of Labor. The second introduces the minimum wage of 1,000 Qatari rials (around 230 euros) per month, plus 300 rials in food benefits and 500 rials for renting accommodation if it is not provided by the employer. The previous minimum wage, introduced by a 2017 law, was 750 rials, although some groups of workers had obtained higher wages through bilateral agreements by nationality: 900 rials for Nepalese and 1,400 rials for Filipinos.


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


Human rights must be at the heart of the first world summit of Public Development Banks

4 September 2020 - On the occasion of the first world summit of public development banks, the FIDH and more than 200 local and international organizations address an open letter to the Director General of the French Development Agency (AFD). The summit is highly relevant and timely, but for a truly comprehensive and inclusive dialogue, it should draw lessons from the past to shape the strongest future with full participation of the communities impacted by PDB projects and supporting civil society organizations. In many instances, PDB supported activities have exacerbated poverty and inequality and human rights abuses such as reprisals against human rights defenders and forced evictions, without meaningful redress for affected communities. The summit should include reflection and discussion on the importance of respecting international human rights standards in achieving sustainable recovery goals, including addressing human rights abuses widely documented in PDB supported investments and projects. The summit should contend with the challenges of increased investment from PDBs lacking robust standards for human rights, social and environmental protection, climate change, and anti-corruption, or where those standards exist, how to address failures to follow them in practice.



25 years after Beijing’s Women Conference, significance ‘undimmed’

4 September 2020 - Exactly 25 years after the historic world conference in Beijing on the advancement and equality of women, the head of the UN gender empowerment agency declared on Friday that “its significance is undimmed”. Looking back on the Fourth World Conference on Women in the Chinese capital, UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said in a statement that “we have seen the strength and impact of collective activism grow and have been reminded of the importance of multilateralism and partnership to find common solutions to shared problems.”


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality


Stories of South Africa’s Powerful Women Doing Extraordinary Things

4 September 2020 - On August 9, 1956, 20,000 women of all races marched through the streets of Pretoria, South Africa in defiance of apartheid. They stood outside the Union Buildings, the government seat, protesting apartheid, and sang, “You strike a woman, you strike a rock.” The women’s march shook South Africa at a time when women’s actions against apartheid were largely overlooked. As a reminder of women’s bravery, every August since 1995 has been Women’s Month in the country. For South Africa’s black women in particular, the struggle for equality extended well beyond the end of apartheid in the 1990s. What does the Women’s Month mean to women who not only fought against apartheid, but for their rights as women and as lesbians? As August draws to a close, Philippa Stewart spoke to Phumi Mtetwa and Beverly Ditsie, two women at the forefront of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement in South Africa.


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality



Economy and development


Cincinnati- Fifth Third Bank Joins HBCU Partnership Challenge

3 September 2020 - Fifth Third Bank, National Association, today announced that it has joined the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Partnership Challenge, sponsored by the HBCU Caucus. The bipartisan initiative strengthens public-private investments in HBCUs to ensure their future sustainability, increase career prospects for their students, and advance diversity and inclusion within all sectors of employment. n 2017, Fifth Third launched a multicultural college and university recruitment program as part of its $32 billion Community Commitment. The program focuses on establishing relationships with colleges and universities to recruit, hire and retain the best and brightest students. The program serves to deepen the Bank’s relationships with traditional colleges, and particularly with HBCUs, to strengthen the pipeline of diverse talent through internships and long-term employment opportunities through leadership programs.Since the program’s inception, Black students have been recruited from the following HBCUs: Central State University, Florida A&M University, Johnson C. Smith University, Clark Atlanta University, North Carolina A&T, Tennessee State University, Spelman College and Morehouse College. Because of their close proximity, the Bank has combined its recruiting efforts and on-campus presence at Wilberforce University with activities at Central State.



New York - Spence-Chapin Services to families and children completes first of four Playgrounds for Orphanages in Johannesburg, South Africa as part of Project Play Initiative

3 September 2020  In 2019, Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children (Spence- Chapin) launched Project Play in conjunction with Jo’burg Child Welfare (JCW) as part of its Granny Program expansion project to benefit more than 200 children residing in four orphanages throughout Johannesburg, South Africa. Project Play benefits four orphanages in Johannesburg, South Africa by providing outdoor playgrounds with state-of-the-art equipment and stations. The first of the four playgrounds planned for Project Play was completed in August of 2020 at Othandweni Family Care Centre in Soweto, Johannesburg, home to 90 children, the majority under the age of 12. While the COVID-19 pandemic has had an incredible global impact and is particularly hard- felt by already vulnerable populations, Spence-Chapin made it a priority to continue to serve the children, women, and families who rely on its services and programs. This commitment to the children residing in orphanages in South Africa is no exception. By working closely with local partners, Spence-Chapin was able to continue the Project Play initiative as part of its Granny Program expansion despite the pandemic, while still ensuring the health and safety of all involved. roject Play was launched in conjunction with the expansion of Spence-Chapin’s South Africa Granny Program, which pairs local volunteer caregivers from the community with children in orphanages, providing them with consistent, one-on-one attention and care to help them grow and form healthy attachments. Since the expansion commenced in the summer of 2019, the number of children served has grown from 30 to 108, with 40 new Grannies. Recreation and play contribute greatly to a child’s brain development, physical growth, social skills, and emotional well-being. Walt Landscape Architects is a firm that designs and builds playgrounds to encourage child development, to improve motor and social skills, and to accommodate the needs of children of all ages. 



Mobile phones to help 1.7 million small-scale farmers increase production during COVID-19 economic slowdown

17 August 2020, Rome – Some 1.7 million small-scale farmers in Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan will soon receive personalized agricultural advice through their mobile phones as a means to improve their incomes, food security and resilience to economic shocks caused by COVID-19, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) announced today. The innovative initiative, one of 11 proposals to receive initial funding under IFAD’s Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF), comes as a result of a new partnership between IFAD and Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD), a global non-profit organization co-founded by Nobel Prize winning economist Michael Kremer. Using mobile phone technology, farmers will receive low-cost, customized advice to improve on-farm practices, input utilization, pest and disease management, environmental sustainability and access to markets. IFAD’s RPSF, which was launched recently by IFAD’s UN Goodwill Ambassadors, the actor and humanitarian Idris Elba and the model and activist Sabrina Dhowre Elba, aims to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods and food security of rural poor people. Funding for these first 11 initiatives, amounting to US$11.2 million from the RPSF plus $5.2 million in co-financing mainly from governments and implementing partners, will benefit an estimated 6.7 million small-scale farmers in developing countries who are adversely impacted by the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


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


GSMA and UN World Food Programme accelerate the use of mobile financial services for humanitarian assistance

7 August 2020, London - The GSMA and United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are expanding their partnership to help the world’s most vulnerable people. Through the GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Programme, which has been funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) since 2017, this three-year collaboration will primarily focus on the use of mobile money to deliver digital assistance through cash-based transfers to save lives in global emergencies, including pandemics and natural disasters. As well as being fast and efficient, digital assistance offers better security, tracking, transparency and, therefore, accountability. It also boosts financial inclusion by offering vulnerable people access to a range of digital financial services and more flexible choices about how to spend their assistance, which can, in turn, boost local businesses. In 2020, the partnership aims to use mobile technology to deliver impactful assistance by working with regulatory authorities and local mobile network operators in key countries. With continued support from UK DFID, the partners will focus on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the digital cash transfer process, starting in Nigeria and expanding to other countries.


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


Casual labourers in Bangladesh to benefit from newly launched flood insurance scheme

3 August 2020, Dhaka - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Oxfam Bangladesh and Green Delta Insurance Company Ltd. launched a new insurance scheme on 1 July to protect casual agricultural labourers in Bangladesh from catastrophic floods during this year’s monsoon season. The on-going flood has affected more than 1 million people in South Asia this month. Recognizing the wages lost due to disasters during the monsoon period which runs from the beginning of July to end September 2020, the scheme will support 2000 casual labourers engaged in agricultural work. Based on the set parameters of flood index, each household will receive a pay-out of BDT 2,700 to 18,000 to cover their wage losses caused by severe flooding.  Developed with funding from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the overall goal of the risk transfer solution is to enhance households’ and communities’ abilities to absorb climate shocks, improve their ability to reduce and manage risk and maintain food security. The product has been developed based on an analysis of over 19 years of satellite data and validated by water level and rainfall data. The pay-out will be made based on pre-defined flood indexed parameters such as inundated area as a percentage of the total geographical area and the duration of flooding. Green Delta Insurance Ltd. will cover the risk as the insurer. 


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





Bloomberg Equity Initiative’s first investment is $100 Million Gift

(by Ruth McCambridge)

4 September 2020 - “The data is clear: Black patients over all have better outcomes when they get treatment from Black doctors. By increasing the number of Black doctors, we hope the gift will help to save more Black lives and reduce the health problems that limit economic opportunity in Black communities.” So wrote Michael Bloomberg in a CNN op-ed he shared with the leaders of four intended grantee institutions as they jointly announced a $100 million commitment from Bloomberg to Black students studying to become medical doctors. The money is expected to provide around $100,000 apiece to 800 students at the four historically Black medical schools led by Bloomberg’s coauthors. The gifts will be the first to come out of the Greenwood Initiative, which is meant to address the systemic economic inequality of Black Americans.


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


After wildfires, Community gatherings offer emotional support

(by Megan Cattel)

3 September 2020 - After the Tubbs Fire in 2017, Anabel Garcia felt on edge every time an ambulance siren blared outside her home in Santa Rosa, California. Sirens reminded her of evacuating during the state’s second-deadliest wildfire, which killed 22 and destroyed 5,000 homes. Flames reached as close as 5 miles from her family’s house. She means the Kincade Fire, which blazed through Sonoma County this past fall. Garcia recalled the roads being blocked for hours, preventing her, her husband, and their two teenage children from evacuating. To cope, she attended a convivencia, or community gathering, hosted by Humanidad Therapy and Education Services. Wildfire survivors gathered in a local park to discuss their experiences with a bilingual therapist over hot chocolate, coffee, and bread. The therapist walked through deep-breathing exercises, stretches, and relaxation techniques in Spanish. After attending these free group sessions for several weeks, Garcia felt better.



Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation Commits $50 Million for Social Justice (Grants Roundup)

(by M.J. Prest)

2 september 2020 - $50 million over 10 years to support programs that advance social justice and economic mobility for Blacks, Indigenous people, and people of color, particularly in Brooklyn. Clara Wu Tsai and Joe Tsai own the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and the WNBA’s New York Liberty basketball teams. This pledge is in addition to the $10 million commitment to the NBA Foundation that will come from the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets men’s basketball team. The foundation intends to do some of its social-justice work in partnership with the two basketball teams and the Barclays Center, a sports arena in Brooklyn.



The European Union supports WFP with lifesaving assistance to vulnerable families in Iraq

31 July 2020, Baghdad – The European Union has provided a new contribution of €5 million for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide food assistance to vulnerable families, over six months.

In its response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable in Iraq, WFP has scaled up its response to help meet the food needs of 76,000 Syrian refugees and 280,000 vulnerable displaced Iraqis, in camps throughout the country. Refugees and displaced households are among the worst affected by the ongoing crisis. Many families depend on casual employment, and struggling with little or no income. They rely almost entirely on humanitarian support. The European Union contribution is supporting WFP in providing monthly cash transfers to families, delivered via mobile phone or “e-vouchers” on registered cards, which they can redeem in food shops in the camps. WFP continues to pioneer innovative “cashless payments” in camps in Diyala, Ninewa and Salah al-Din, as another COVID-19 precautionary measure, whereby families can purchase food in camp shops with their mobile phones. At the same time, WFP is on standby to provide ready-to-eat food packages or “immediate response rations” in case supplies to food markets are disrupted. The emergency packages cover the food needs of a family of five, for three days.


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


Take home rations from the United States support nutrition and learning for children amid Covid-19

5 August 2020, Kathmandu – Fortified rice, lentils and vegetable oil, totaling to nearly 1,500 MT, donated by the United States have been distributed by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Nepal to school children (from Grade1-8) in rural areas who are missing out on nutritious school lunches they used to receive in Sudur Paschim and Karnali provinces. Since March, 2.4 million children in Nepal have been missing out on the nutritious lunches they used to receive at school — the only proper meals many of them could count on.  The donation from the United States will support 150,000 of the most vulnerable households in the area.  Since 2005, the U.S. Government’s (USG) McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has been supporting the WFP school meals programme in Nepal. With a total contribution of more than $81 million, McGovern-Dole has helped over 250,000 children access daily nutritious lunches through WFP’s school meals programme. In order to shift to long-term, nationally run school feeding programs, WFP has started handing over McGovern-Dole supported schools to the government, with about 95,000 students already integrated into the national school meals programme to date.


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



Peace and security


Colombian Church celebrates ‘Peace Week’ amid sporadic conflict

(by Devin Watkins)

7 September 2020 - As parts of Colombia continue to suffer from a low-intensity conflict, the local Church celebrates its national Peace Week in hopes of bettering the lives of all Colombians.  Bishops in Colombia are inviting Catholics to pray and work for peace, as parts of the country continue to deal with conflicts between various drug cartels, armed rebel groups, and security forces. The local Catholic Church is marking its 33rd “National Week of Peace”, 6-13 September. In a communique, the Bishops of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cali reminded the people that peace is a universal good which should be the heritage of all.


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


Culture of Peace in Guinea: Journalists Equipped with a ‘Common Ground Approach’ for Managing Rumors During Election Periods

2 September 2020 - On the initiative of the international NGO Search for Common Ground, ten journalists from the written press and online media benefited from training on the roles and behaviors that journalists should adopt during elections: conflict-sensitive journalism, rumor management and the “Common Ground approach ”.


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


ECOSOCC / Morocco: Launch of the e-caravan of peace, flagship event of Amnesty Month in Africa

2 September 2020 - The e-Caravan of Peace, a flagship event of the “Month of Amnesty in Africa 2020”, was launched on Tuesday from Rabat, capital of Morocco, to travel [virtually] through all African countries, with the objectives of promoting values โ€‹โ€‹of peace, tolerance, solidarity and pan-African integration.


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


Annual meeting of the United Nations High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace

1 September 2020 - In 2020, despite the difficulties in ensuring business continuity in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is of utmost importance that the United Nations continues to support the global movement to promote the culture of peace, its Declaration and Programme of Action, and that our response and recovery efforts are guided towards implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


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





Food security and nutrition. Hopes and Challenges for the First-Ever Food Systems Summit

(by Samira Sadeque)

9 September 2020 - Building inclusive and healthier food systems, and safeguarding the health of the planet will be some of the key priorities at the first-ever Food Systems Summit next year. The United Nations is gearing up for the Food Systems Summit 2021, which will be spearheaded by Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Food Systems Summit Dr. Agnes Kalibata. “Food is more than what satisfies our hunger, it’s more than what nourishes our bodies and brains,” Kalibata, former Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda, said in a passionate speech in February. “Food is…economics, politics.”


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


Heat, Energy Efficiency, Smart Technology and Health

(by Lucy Hocking, Evangelos Gkousis, Pamina Smith, Daniel Gehrt)

3 September 2020 - A Review of Evidence from High-Income Countries, with a Focus on the UK.

This report outlines the results of a rapid evidence assessment on the health and wider societal impacts of poor indoor heating in the home and workplace, focusing on 4 overarching research questions:


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


Global Polio Eradication Initiative applauds WHO African Region for wild polio-free certification

25 August 2020, Geneva – Today, the Africa Regional Certification Commission certified the WHO African Region as wild polio-free after four years without a case. With this historic milestone, five of the six WHO regions – representing over 90% of the world’s population – are now free of the wild poliovirus, moving the world closer to achieving global polio eradication. Only two countries worldwide continue to see wild poliovirus transmission: Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) congratulates the national governments of the 47 countries in the WHO African Region for today’s achievement (…) Strong leadership and innovation were instrumental in stopping the wild poliovirus in the region. Countries successfully coordinated their efforts to overcome major challenges to immunizing children, such as high levels of population movement, conflict and insecurity restricting access to health services, and the virus’s ability to spread quickly and travel across borders. In addition, the continued generosity and shared commitment of donors – including governments, the private sector, multilateral institutions and philanthropic organizations – to achieving a polio-free world helped build the infrastructure that enabled the African region to reach more children than ever before with polio vaccines and defeat wild polio.(…)The resources and expertise used to eliminate wild polio have significantly contributed to Africa’s public health and outbreak response systems. The polio programme provides far-reaching health benefits to local communities, from supporting the African region’s response to COVID-19 to bolstering routine immunization against other vaccine-preventable diseases. (…)


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


WFP and Takeda partner to strengthen public health supply chains in Africa and the Global COVID-19 response

14 July 2020, Rome/Yokohama – Through a new five-year partnership, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda) is contributing approximately USD 14 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) to support the pandemic response and help make health systems more resilient.  Nearly USD 3 million is being put to immediate use by WFP to support the Global Humanitarian Response Plan, helping construct a treatment and isolation centre for humanitarian and health workers responding to COVID-19 and establish a supply chain “control tower” to monitor humanitarian cargo that is part of the response.The remaining contribution will be used by WFP starting in 2021 to strengthen public health supply chains and support long-term pandemic preparedness at the country level. In collaboration with public health stakeholders in four African countries, WFP will promote best practices in supply chain management and introduce tools, processes and simulation-based trainings to enhance the ability of health systems to absorb and respond to health shocks.


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



Energy and safety



INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY – Latin America's Energy Community underlines link between energy transformation and prosperity

25 August 2020 – High-level energy and climate decision makers from Latin America and the Caribbean underlined the importance of low-carbon energy policy to securing stable, long-term prosperity across regional economies, during a webinar co-hosted by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE). The virtual meeting entitled Accelerating Latin America's Energy Transformation: RE and Economic Recovery was built around the recent analytical work featured in the Agency's Global Renewables Outlook report, Power Generation Cost 2019 and the Post-Covid Recovery report - all of which reinforce the centrality of energy transformation to positive long-term economic outcomes in Latin America and around the world. The discussion sought to deepen regional decision makers' understanding of the strengthening economic case for more purposeful energy transformation action, highlighting the socio-economic benefits of a renewables-based energy system. (…)


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


New Hydrogen Triple Alliance will benefit all of Europe

25 August 2020 – Three European hydrogen projects including the Belfast Metropolitan College led GenComm project are collaborating to form the ‘Hydrogen Triple Alliance’ which will further increase a green hydrogen transition across Europe and reduce carbon emissions on a much quicker timescale. (…) GenComm, Seafuel and HUGE, three green hydrogen projects encompassing Europe are seeking to overcome the issue of how to connect stakeholders, end users, policymakers and communities interested in hydrogen technologies. (…) The integration of the three projects will lead to major international change and will fast track the sector coupling of renewables, allowing expansion of renewables investment across Europe. (…) The alliance allows the integration of hydrogen production and use in the energy value chain leading to even more reduction in carbon emissions. (…)


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


EAG Reveals Hybrid Electric Airplane Concept

(by Jo Borrás)

23 August 2020 – Earlier this month, EAG, a UK-based engineering and development company, presented what appears to be the world’s first hybrid electric airplane for regional fleets. It’s called the HERA, and with its ultra-low operating cost, whisper-quiet running, and room for up to 70 commercial passengers, the new concept promises to reinvigorate the sustainable mass transportation market. EAG plans to have the HERA — for Hybrid Electric Regional Aircraft — in production and flying passengers by 2028, which will offer carriers short take-off-and-landing performance, a flexible cabin design for quick transformation between passenger and cargo configurations, and an operating range of 800 nautical miles. (…)


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


56 Countries gather online in their quest to fix climate change

8 August 2020 – Despite the current crisis, green entrepreneurs across the globe continue to create positive climate impact and economic opportunities. A record number of 3,000 startups from 56 countries entered this year’s edition of ClimateLaunchpad*, the global green business ideas competition. The 7th edition of its Global Grand Final will be an entirely digital 3-day event (September 30 – October 2). ClimateLaunchpad is part of the entrepreneurship offerings by EIT Climate-KIC, the EU’s main climate innovation initiative. Its mission is to unlock global cleantech potential and to accelerate innovations that address climate change. (…) There will be 65 cleantech startups pitching, live keynotes, interactive masterclasses, networking, fun sessions, inspirational talks, and live discussions. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action




Weatherwatch: floating wind farms – the power source of the future

7 August 2020 – Giant turbines operating from anchored rafts can harness strong offshore winds. Offshore wind farm potential is enormous. They are no longer limited to shallow water but can operate from anchored rafts - and the size and output of the turbines keeps increasing. (…) But it is the development of the floating platform that provides a potential new power source for any country in the world with a coastline. With the wind offshore blowing more strongly and consistently, particularly at the height of the new turbines, the electricity produced will be competitive in price to fossil fuels and well below nuclear. (…) Theoretically if enough of these turbines were built they could produce all the planet’s electricity needs. That will not happen but it is cheering that this is the world’s fastest growing industry. Despite Covid, massive investments continue in both the well-established technology of shallow sea wind farms and the new wonder of the age, the floating wind farm. (…)


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



Environment and wildlife


New Online Platform shows how to protect biodiversity and avoid ecological collapse

(by Morgan Erickson-Davis)

8 September 2020 - As the world heads towards 2021 with COVID-19 still raging overhead, it might be easy to forget about the other global crises. But a new app, debuted today, aims to light the way to a brighter future, showing how we can stop global warming, halt extinctions and prevent pandemics – all in one fell swoop. Research shows that global warming above 1.5 degrees Celsius will likely result in the collapse of ecosystems around the world. Scientists say that not only would this result in mass extinctions, but it would also have dire consequences for humans in terms of food and water security, community resilience against environmental disasters, public health and other societal needs that are intrinsically tied to a healthy environment.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


UN marks first International Day of Clean Air for blue skies

(by Robin Gomes)

7 September 2020 - The UN General Assembly on December 19, 2019, established September 7 as the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies, underscoring the importance of clean air for the health and day-to-day lives of all. In a message for Monday’s observance of the first International Day of Clean Air,  on the theme, “Clean Air for All”, the UN chief notes that 9 out of every 10 people around the world breathe unclean air. He calls on all to join hands in building a better future with clean air for all.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


With record new solar and wind installed, Australia's clean energy is booming – for now

5 September 2020 - Renewable energy equivalent to four large coal plants will be installed this year but lack of investment could put a brake on further growth.  The numbers make a clear case that renewable energy is booming in Australia. Data released last week by the government’s Clean Energy Regulator suggests 6.3 gigawatts of new solar and wind energy – roughly equivalent in capacity to four large coal plants – will be installed across the country this year. It would equal the record set last year, and is about five times greater than what was installed in 2016.


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


Green Climate Fund approves new projects

21 August 2020, Rome -The Board of the Green Climate Fund today approved several new projects, including one for Côte d'Ivoire that marks the first time the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has helped an African country obtain a grant from the international entity. Along with the $11.8 million approval for Côte d'Ivoire, other two FAO-led projects in Armenia and Colombia, for a total amount of $58.5 million, including $10.5 million in cofinancing, received approval from the Green Climate Fund, a unique global platform mandated to invest in low-emission and climate-resilient development.  The funds will help Côte d'Ivoire's Promire project - Promoting zero-deforestation cocoa production for reducing emissions in Côte d'Ivoire -upscale a pilot project which supported a local cooperative of organic cocoa producers in La Mé amplify their access to fair-trade markets while reducing loss of forest cover. The Green Climate Fund Board approved a $10 million grant for a project on rural green growth and forest resilience focused on 207 rural communities in Lori Marz and Syunik Marz.  In Colombia, the Green Climate Fund is offering $28 million to help finance the existing REDD+ programme, which led to 31.5 million tCO2 equivalent of carbon mitigation in 2015 and 2016. In lieu of active carbon markets, the Fund is making a payment for some of the results achieved.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


ACAMS and WWF answer call to action on illegal wildlife trade

Partnership seeks to build global alliances and facilitate compliance efforts to uncover the financial networks of criminal syndicates

18 August 2020, Gland- The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), a leading international conservation organization, and ACAMS, a global association of financial crime prevention professionals, have launched an initiative to empower compliance professionals to face the growing threats associated with the illegal wildlife trade (IWT). The partnership seeks to drive collaboration among financial institutions, governmental bodies and non-profit groups in the fight against a major trans-national crime that fuels corruption and threatens biodiversity worldwide. The project has three immediate goals: to raise awareness of the issue through conferences, strategic roundtables, member engagement and other ACAMS forums and publications, to develop educational and training modules for public- and private-sector organizations, and to create a compliance toolkit incorporating the red flags of IWT and the ACAMS Risk Assessment model. The initiative will also offer a free, first-of-its-kind certificate outlining the steps financial sector actors should take to identify, report, mitigate and remedy the risks associated with each stage of an illegal wildlife supply chain. The partnership aims to help financial intelligence units and compliance investigators and seeks the initiation of regional and national operations targeting suspicious transactions or ongoing cases with red flags for IWT financial flows. (…)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land



Religion and spirituality


AMERICA/CUBA - For the first time the media have broadcast the religious feast of the Virgin of Charity

9 September 2020 - Havana (Agenzia Fides) - Cuban television broadcast the solemn Eucharist in honor of the Virgin of Charity, Patroness of Cuba, celebrated yesterday morning, September 8, in her sanctuary in El Cobre, a town near the city of Santiago de Cuba. Up to now religious events have never been broadcast by the government media in Cuba, so this gesture is considered to be the beginning of a new era.

The mass was broadcast in the evening by one of the national channels of Cuban television, in a spirit of collaboration between the Church and the State, so that the religious rite could reach the largest number of faithful during the current Covid-19 pandemic.



OCEANIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Celebrating the Time of Creation with the awareness that when our world is sick, we also get sick

4 September 2020 - Port Moresby (Agenzia Fides) - Every year from 1 September to 4 October the Christian family in the world gathers to celebrate the protection of our common home. "We rejoice in this Time of Creation which offers us the opportunity to pray, reflect, stop and act in favor of our common home", writes Fr. Ambrose Pereira SDB, Director of the Communications Office of the Bishops' Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. During the Time of Creation, 2.2 billion Christians around the world will come together to pray and act for our common home. Among the testimonies regarding this event, Salesian Fr. Savio Silveira, director and founder of the Don Bosco Green Alliance, offered some suggestions inspired by prayer and action to be implemented during this time. Among these, the priest invites us to pray daily a 'prayer for our land' of Pope Francis, found in Laudato Sì; integrate the theme of Creation into Sunday liturgies; organize a meditation session to appreciate creation and its importance.

For each week of the Time of Creation, Fr. Silverio also proposes to spend time outdoors, learn about local biodiversity, improve creation by organizing campaigns for tree planting, restoring gardens and organizing ecological days in view of the World Clean Up Day which will be celebrated on September 19th.
The Salesian, recalling the words of Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of the XLIII International Day of Peace 2010, "If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation" - urges us all to commit ourselves to protect creation by organizing online campaigns to highlight local threats to nature.

The Don Bosco Green Alliance is a global initiative founded in 2018 and inspired by Laudato Sì. It is an international group of young people who work together to contribute to global environmental initiatives, reflections and policies. (AP/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 4/9/2020)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


Multiconvergence of Global Networks: the second meeting and dialogue about the initiative

4 September 2020 - The 2nd virtual meeting entitled “Multiconvergence of Global Networks”, held on August 29, 2020, was attended by representatives of eleven international networks and took place in an atmosphere of rich exchanges. The meeting was marked by the great diversity of approaches and the unity in the common engagement for a fair, solidary, democratic, and ecological world. A beautiful connection was established between people who care about the common good, both in the general plenary held in Spanish and in the four discussion rooms by language, Spanish, Portuguese, English, and French. This connection was enriched by the practices of small collective meditations at the beginning and end of the meeting, using a methodology proposed by the Humanist Movement, the network that organized the event. The tower of Babel, in which many dozens of people took part, ended with a fun collective singing of John Lennon’s “Imagine”, which represents the aspiration of a world without borders where people can live in dignity.



Mother Teresa: A Saint for all

(by Linda Bordoni)

4 September 2020 - On the 4th anniversary of the canonization of Mother Teresa of Kolkata, the postulator of her cause for sainthood tells us why she is so relevant in today’s world.  On 4 September 2016 tens of thousands of pilgrims flocked to Rome for the canonization of St. Mother Teresa of Kolkata, the tiny nun who dedicated her life to the poorest of the poor, living among them and like them. During the Mass in which Pope Francis proclaimed her a saint, he described her as a holy woman who defended the unborn, the sick and the abandoned and who shamed world leaders for the “crimes of poverty they themselves created.”



Global Interfaith Partners to launch new report entitled "Faith Action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals"

26 August 2020 - On Monday, September 21, 2020 join Bhumi Global, the Parliament of the World's Religions, UNEP Faith for Earth, and United Religions Initiative (URI) for the launch of our report, Faith Action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Progress and Outlook. We face major sustainability challenges in the 21st Century. Fortunately, we have a unique opportunity to implement solutions at a global scale. The UN Sustainable Development Goals grew out of a pioneering idea to mobilize around a global framework for sustainability.  Faith-Based Organizations have made significant contributions, including in nature conservation, renewable energy, fossil fuel divestment, and sustainable agriculture.


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the Goals


The Interfaith Rainforest Initiative: a call to religious communities to help protect our rainforests

(by Ms. Audrey Kitagawa)

26 August 2020 - We are all beginning to understand more deeply, the importance of rectifying our mismanagement of our environment. In 10-15 years, we may reach a tipping point of mass extinction of numerous species, caused by humans, that poses a huge risk to our own survival. We are eroding the capabilities of the planet to maintain human life and life in general which will unleash the failure of ecosystems, destabilize economies, and governments, and trigger famine and refugee crises.

In order to stem this crises there has to be an immediate halt to deforestation, and a complete reform of the wildlife trade that will replace sustainability over profits. A strong call must be made to reduce human enterprise, especially our consumption demands on the biosphere, and create tools for educating and activating the public about this unfolding extinction.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land



Culture and education


International Literacy Day: Celebrate educators, invest in learning potential

9 September 2020 - With 1.4 billion people around the world lacking basic literacy skills, the head of the UN cultural agency on Tuesday urged all those involved in learning, to mobilize the investments needed that could unleash each person’s potential.  "At a time when we need to reinvent a world of hope, literacy is more important than ever,” said Audrey Azoulay, Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in her message for International Literacy Day.  Organized under the 2020 theme, “Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond”, the Day is celebrated annually on 8 September.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Intercultural dialogue during the pandemic: impact and response

8 September 2020 - Whilst underscoring humanity’s interconnectedness and interdependency, COVID-19 has also led to a rise in discrimination, inequality, and vulnerability, putting pressure on the capacities of societies for intercultural understanding at a time where solidarity and cooperation are needed more than ever. Exploring these themes, a new UNESCO brief has been released examining both the impact of COVID-19 on intercultural relations and the creative responses undertaken to strengthen cross-cultural cooperation within this unprecedented context.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Mexico: SNTE welcomes government efforts to boost democracy and quality education

7 September 2020 - In Mexico, the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE) has welcomed steps taken by the federal government that guarantee certainty in employment, wages, and benefits for education workers. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions on health, life, work, and the economy in Mexico, the country is moving forward. “There is social peace, life in democracy and expectations of economic recovery,” said Alfonso Cepeda Salas, SNTE President and member of Education International’s Executive Board. Acknowledging the progress on democracy, he added: “In these two years of government, a profound national transformation has been undertaken that the SNTE will continue to support as a social, educational, and union actor.”


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


The World’s First Happiness Museum opened in Copenhagen, and it’s bound to put a smile on your face

(by Judy Cole)

3 September 2020 - Happiness, like art, is often subjective, but unlike art, happiness isn’t something you’d expect to find hanging in a museum. Or, at least it wasn’t until an entire museum devoted to happiness opened in Copenhagen this past July. The Happiness Research Institute—yes, there really is such a thing—is the driving force behind the new project. According to their mission statement, the independent think tank’s goal in exploring why some societies are happier than others “is to inform decision-makers of the causes and effects of human happiness, make subjective well-being part of the public policy debate, and improve [the] overall quality of life for citizens across the world.”


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Futures of Education

18 August 2020 - UNESCO has just launched a global initiative to reimagine how knowledge and learning can shape the future of humanity and the planet.

UNESCO’s Futures of Education initiative aims to rethink education and shape the future. The initiative is catalyzing a global debate on how knowledge, education and learning need to be reimagined in a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty, and precarity.


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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