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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. 294 – 19th October 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


INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY – World Economic Forum and IRENA Partner for Sustainable Energy Future

24 September 2020 – The President of the World Economic Forum, Børge Brende, and the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Francesco La Camera, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) alongside the 75th session of the UN General Assembly and the Sustainable Development Impact Summit. The Forum's Energy Transition Index has found that, without urgent stakeholder action, COVID-19 will compromise the transition to clean energy. And IRENA's Post-COVID-19 Recovery Agenda shows that while renewables have proven their resilience throughout the crisis, targeted policy action and investment in energy transition can leverage socio-economic benefits while staying on course towards a fully decarbonised system by 2050. This MoU brings together two international organizations to collaborate and advance a sustainable energy future through the adoption of new technology, financing and ambitious policy frameworks. It aims to advance the necessary global energy transition, decarbonise hard to abate sectors, scale up the deployment of clean technologies and enhance the energy literacy of decision-makers and the public. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


United Nations General Assembly – Seventy-fourth session – Agenda item 123 – United response against global health threats: combating COVID-19

15 September 2020 – The General Assembly, (…)

2. Emphasizes the need for the United Nations system, as well as relevant regional and international organizations and financial institutions, to collaborate in order to ensure that the adverse social, economic, humanitarian and financial impacts of COVID-19 are addressed in a timely and non-discriminatory manner;(…)

4. Stresses the necessity of urgent short-term actions to step up the global efforts to fight global health crises and pandemics and maintain economic stability, including by taking the following steps: (…)

(c) Expanding manufacturing capacity to meet the increasing needs for medical supplies and ensuring that these are made widely available, at an affordable price, on an equitable basis, where they are most needed and as quickly as possible;

  (d) Engaging with the front-line international organizations, notably the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group and multilateral and regional development banks, to deploy robust, coherent, coordinated and rapid financial packages to strengthen global financial safety nets; (…)

9.   Urges Member States, in conjunction with the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group and other regional and international organizations, working within their existing mandates, to embark on sustainable pandemic preparedness, response and recovery planning, taking into account strengthening the capacity of health sector institutions in developing countries; (…)


News related with SDGs number 3-Good Health and Well-Being and SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the Goals


United Nations – General Assembly – Seventy-fourth session – Agenda item 125 – Interaction between the United Nations, national parliaments and the Inter-Parliamentary Union – Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 4 September 2020

9 September 2020 – The General Assembly (…)

3. Also encourages the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union to strengthen cooperation by engaging parliamentarians in efforts to maintain support for the implementation of relevant United Nations agreements and resolutions;

4. Encourages the continued active involvement of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in promoting the enhanced contribution of parliaments at the national, regional and global levels, including through multi-stakeholder partnerships, in support of the accelerated implementation and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030; (…)

6. Welcomes the efforts of the Inter-Parliamentary Union to promote universal health coverage and to address public health emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and invites the World Health Organization, as the United Nations specialized agency for health, and other relevant agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system to enhance cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union in this regard; (…)

12. Encourages the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) and other relevant bodies of the United Nations system to work closely with national parliaments and the Inter-Parliamentary Union in accordance with their respective mandates and, upon request, in such areas as gender equality and the empowerment of women, including in conflict prevention and peace processes, institutional gender mainstreaming, support to parliaments in promoting gender-sensitive legislation, increasing the representation of women in parliaments, combating violence against women, including women in politics, and implementing relevant United Nations resolutions; (…)


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the Goals


COMMISSION DELEGATED REGULATION (EU) 2020/1238 of 17 June 2020 amending Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/40 as regards the evaluation of the implementation of the school scheme


Article 1

Article 9 of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/40 is amended as follows:

  1. paragraph 2 is replaced by the following:

2.  Member States shall evaluate the implementation of the school scheme in order to assess its effectiveness against its objectives of increasing the consumption of fruit, vegetables, milk and milk products by children and educating them about healthy eating habits. The results of that evaluation shall be submitted to the Commission by way of an evaluation report. A Member State that implements the school scheme at regional level may choose to submit a corresponding number of evaluation reports.’; (…)


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education




Human rights


Building Back Better: Education Cannot Wait

10 October 2020 - The United Nations General Assembly adopted The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 declaring October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights. This year, on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child, IPS released the video ‘Building Back Better: Education Cannot Wait’. declaring October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights. This year, on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child, IPS released the video ‘Building Back Better: Education Cannot Wait’.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


World Day Against the Death Penalty: 4 countries carry out 86% of documented executions

(by Benjamin McInerny)

9 October 2020 - This year marks the 18th World Day Against the Death Penalty, and its theme campaigns for those on death row to obtain access to effective legal representation during arrest, detention, trial and post-trial, to ensure due process. But how far have the implementation of the day and its celebrations helped the elimination of the death penalty around the world?  Some countries have taken positive steps to improving their legislation on capital punishment. In September 2020, Kazakhstan signed the Second Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, making a commitment against capital punishment. Despite its poor record as the country with the second highest execution rate, Saudi Arabia have also made some small strides by a issuing a  royal decree in April 2020, that aims for the abolition of the death penalty against juveniles. Similarly, the state of California extended the ban on capital punishment for intellectually disabled people.



South Africa: Call to protect the rights of children

(SAnews.gov.za) (Tshwane)

9 October 2020 - The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) has urged the public to protect the rights of children. This follows a video that has been making rounds on social media of two women and a young boy, in which the child is coerced into kissing one of the women in a sexualised manner. "At this stage, the department is not in a position to verify the origin of the video," the department said on Thursday. However, DWYPD is in communication with the Department of Social Development and the South African Police Service (SAPS) on the matter. The police have confirmed that the matter has been handed to its Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit.


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


IDUAI 2020: UNESCO calls to strengthen legal guarantees for access to information in times of crises

8 October 2020 - On 28 of September, UNESCO and its partners celebrated the International Day for Universal Access to Information as the UN International Day for the first time in its history. Celebrations were held under the slogan “Access of Information—Saving Lives, Building Trust, Bringing Hope” and the UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, in her message emphasised that in a world where COVID-19 has caused chaos and complexity, access to reliable and verified information is more important than ever. Information is essential for encouraging healthy behaviours and saving lives – rumours and inaccurate information can be as lethal as viruses.  Outlining continued action, the UNESCO Director-General urged governments to “adopt access to information legislation, and to strengthen the implementation of such guarantees where these already exist” in recognition that access to information is a norm in sustainable development and a prerequisite for human rights.



Sudan: UN Human Rights Council welcomes progress in Sudan

7 October 2020 - The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva welcomes the progress Sudan has made recently. It unanimously adopted a resolution yesterday to end the mandate of the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Sudan. In his report to the Human Rights Council Independent Expert Aristide Nononsi called on Sudan to ratify international human rights conventions, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention Against Torture.


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



Economy and development


European Bank for Reconstruction and Development EBRD to aim for a majority of green investments by 2025

(by Vanora Bennett)

8 October 2020 - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is reinforcing its position as a leader in green finance with an ambitious plan to broaden and deepen its climate activities and become a majority green bank by 2025. The EBRD's new Green Economy Transition (GET) approach for 2021-25 forms part of the Bank's overall strategy for the next five years, which won approval today from the Board of Governors at the EBRD Annual Meeting. GET 2021-25 will be the EBRD's new blueprint for supporting its countries of operation to pursue a green, inclusive and resilient recovery from the impact of the pandemic.


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


WASHINGTON - HACR Commends New California Law Requiring Diversity on Corporate Boards

6 October 2020 The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) supports the passage of Assembly Bill 979 by the California State Assembly and State Senate signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 30, 2020. The new law mandates that all California-based, publicly held companies have at least one board director from an underrepresented community by 2021. By 2022, organizations with four to nine board members must appoint two directors from underrepresented communities, and boards of more than nine must appoint at least three. According to the Alliance for Board Diversity-Deloitte Missing Pieces Report: The 2018 Board Diversity Census of Women and Minorities on Corporate Boards, Hispanics and Latinos make up 3.8% of all Fortune 500 corporate boards, with less than 1% of those corporate board seats going to Latinas. Of California’s 662 public companies, only 13% have at least one Latino on their boards, according to the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA). This is despite the fact that Latinos are approaching nearly 20% of the U.S. population and command $1.7 trillion in economic buying power. HACR and its coalition members continue to advocate for increased Hispanic inclusion on corporate boards in the U.S. To download the survey, visit https://www.hacr[FG2] .org/cii/.


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


USA - The Science & Art of Goal Setting: announcing Johnson & Johnson's new climate goals

5 October 2020 - Johnson & Johnson’s latest climate goals build on the legacy and achievement of our previous efforts, while accelerating action as part of the larger movement by the private sector, along with governments and civil society, to ramp up the ambition and implementation of climate goals during this new UN Decade of Action.  Johnson & Johnson has been setting public climate goals for over two decades. During my time at the Company, I have had the opportunity to participate in setting and achieving each generation of climate goals, including leading the goal setting process twice in my current role as Worldwide Vice President of Environmental Health, Safety & Sustainability (EHS&S). Goals provide focus and propel us forward. About halfway through a current goal period, we start thinking about the next set of goals. For us, the goal setting process is an iterative blend of science and art. The science tells us where to place our stake in the ground, while the art informs how we engage and enroll our stakeholders in the journey to get there – both are equally important to setting goals that are both ambitious and achievable. The most recent scientific consensus tells us atmospheric temperatures must be kept below 1.5 degree Celsius of temperature rise to avoid the most significant impacts of climate change. With this science as our guide, we dove deep into our carbon inventory, evaluating our footprint and potential roadmaps for each of our focus areas, which include operational carbon emissions (Scope 1 & 2), renewable electricity and value chain carbon emissions (Scope 3) (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


FAO and CropLife International strengthen commitment to promote agri-food systems transformation

2 October 2020, Rome/Brussels - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and CropLife International today renewed and strengthened their commitment to work together and find new ways to transform agri-food systems and promote rural development through on the ground investment and innovation. During a virtual meeting, FAO Director-General, Qu Dongyu, and Giulia Di Tommaso, the President and Chief Executive Officer of CropLife International, signed a Letter of Intent to explore new partnerships between the UN Agency and the private sector.  In his opening remarks, Qu stressed the importance of having the private sector onboard in the adoption of concrete steps towards agri-food systems transformation and highlighted the potential of digital technologies in this regard. Qu pointed out that FAO has become more and more digital, and it is working towards the implementation of the International Platform for Digital Food and Agriculture, as he invited CropLife International members to work with FAO and its Members. CropLife International is a trade association, which promotes agricultural technologies such as pesticides and plant biotechnology. Its members have been working with FAO on a number of initiatives such as improving pesticide management and global action to tackle Fall Armyworm.


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


Lesotho and IFAD join to improve the livelihoods of the most vulnerable small-scale farmers

23 September 2020, Rome –160,000 poor rural households in Lesotho will benefit from new financing for a project that will boost food security and nutrition, mitigate the impact of climate change and strengthen livelihoods for greater income. Women, who typically have limited access to land and finance, will make up 50% of the project’s participants. About 35% will be young people who face high rates of unemployment. The $62 million project, which will provide the means for a six-year extension of the successful Smallholder Agriculture Development Project (SADP I), was announced today by the International Fund for Agricultural Development of the United Nations (IFAD).The total project financing amounts to $62 million, with $50 million from the World Bank and a $5 million loan from IFAD. The beneficiaries themselves are providing $5 million, and JICA will contribute an additional $2 million. The project will reach all 10 districts of the kingdom, an increase from the 7 districts reached through SADP I. SADP II will build on the achievements of the project’s first phase. SADP II will promote the cultivation of cash crops, such as fruits and vegetables, and will link farmers to markets where they can sell their products. Project participants will also benefit from new technologies for land and water management including the modernization of irrigation infrastructure to reduce producers’ dependence on rain-fed farming. Furthermore, the project will train participants’ on nutrition, food preparation and better hygiene.


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





New Pumps Ensure Access to Clean Water for Over 1 Million Yemenis

8 October 2020 - The people of Aden have been experiencing chronic water shortages, in part due to their reliance on aged and damaged water pumps in local wells. Submersible engine-pumps are expected to improve access to clean water for almost 1.1 million Yemenis living in the port-city of Aden, in the country’s south. The United Nations Development Programmed (UNDP), in partnership with the Public Works Project (PWP), and with generous funding from the Government of Japan, delivered 12 submersible engine-pumps to the Local Water and Sanitary Corporation (LWSC) in August, which have since helped to re-operationalise 12 existing wells.



FAO welcomes $3 million contribution from Germany and Sweden to help farmers fight the impact of climate change

8 October 2020 - Assistance will support capacity development and sustainability in vulnerable countries.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has welcomed a $3 million contribution from Germany and Sweden to help farmers in the world's most vulnerable countries fight the impact of climate change and to build sustainability. The countries' contribution was finalized through the Technical Assistance Fund (TAF) of the NDC Partnership, a global coalition of countries and institutions committed to supporting climate action and sustainable development.



Hundreds receive aid as migrants cross into Guatemala

2 October 2020 Geneva/Panama – The Guatemalan and Honduran Red Cross Societies are providing assistance and care to hundreds of migrants who have crossed the border from Honduras to Guatemala.

In Guatemala, Red Cross volunteers have been deployed to Entre Rios in the department of Izabal on the north east border with Honduras to support people as they arrive. In all, more than 2,300 people are believed to have crossed in recent days. María Elena Ajpacaja of the Guatemalan Red Cross said: “We are seeing many vulnerable people crossing the border and they desperately need assistance. Among the crowd of migrants we are identifying pregnant women, children of different ages and elderly people. Many of the people we are treating are dehydrated or suffering from various injuries after having walked very long distances in recent days.” Guatemalan Red Cross volunteers are providing a range of services, including pre-hospital care, water, hygiene items, snacks, face masks, and information on COVID-19 prevention. In Honduras, three Red Cross humanitarian service points have been operational since the morning of 30 September, providing water and face masks, as well as information about safety, security and virus prevention.



Spain and 11 of its regions step up support to Sahrawi refugees facing COVID-19 in Algeria

21 September 2020, Algiers/Madrid – The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and 11 Spanish regions have increased their contributions this year to EUR 1.9 million to provide critical humanitarian assistance to Sahrawi refugees in Algeria during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Spanish funds will help WFP provide much-needed food assistance to Sahrawi refugees by distributing monthly food rations that include cereals, pulses, vegetable oil, sugar and fortified blended foods. AECID increased its annual contribution by EUR 100,000 to respond to the increased needs during the Covid-19 crisis. Thousands of refugee families are suffering from the economic impact of the health crisis and related losses in income. To ensure that all families have had enough food, WFP expanded its caseload to 20,000 refugees during the May-July period.  The Sahrawi refugees live under harsh conditions in five refugee camps in the Sahara Desert of southwestern Algeria and rely primarily on WFP assistance for their food needs. https://www.wfp.org/news/spain-and-11-its-regions-step-support-sahrawi-refugees-facing-covid-19-algeria



WFP Chief and UK Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs make joint call for countries to "step up" their support to tackle famine

16 September 2020, London – To urge action on addressing the urgent risk of famine, the UK’s first Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs Nick Dyer met the United Nations World Food Programme’s Executive Director David Beasley to jointly call for other countries to step up.  Nick Dyer and David Beasley said: “More than 250 million people now face extreme hunger this year alone and coronavirus has made this dire situation even worse. The United Kingdom and World Food Programme are taking early action and working together to fight famine and protect the world’s poorest people from the devastating consequences of conflict and climate change. The UK is leading by example, bringing the international community together and pledging £119 million in additional support, which is enabling WFP and others to alleviate extreme hunger for over 6 million people. We join in the UN’s call to action to step up support for countries hit by conflict, particularly Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, North-east Nigeria and South Sudan where the lives of millions of women, men and children are being threatened by violence and the coronavirus pandemic. We now need other countries to step up and tackle the threat of famine head on.”


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



Peace and security


UN World Food Programme wins 2020 Nobel Peace Prize

9 October 2020 - The UN World Food Programme (WFP), which provides lifesaving food assistance to millions across the world – often in extremely dangerous and hard-to-access conditions – has been awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.  The agency was recognized “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict”.  WFP is the largest humanitarian organization in the world. Last year, it assisted 97 million people in 88 countries.   Its efforts focus on emergency assistance, relief and rehabilitation, development aid and special operations. Two-thirds of the work is in conflict-affected countries where people are three times more likely to be undernourished than those living in countries without conflict.


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


Sudan, rebel alliance sign peace deal

4 October 2020 - Sudan's transitional authorities and a rebel alliance signed on Saturday a peace deal agreed in August that aims to put an end to the country's decades-long civil wars, in a televised ceremony in Juba. Sudanese civilian leaders hope the deal will allow them to revive the country's battered economy by slashing military spending, which takes up much of the national budget. Saturday's official signing in Juba sealed the peace deal reached in late August between the Sudanese government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front, a coalition of several armed groups.


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


October 2nd a Nonviolence Day in the White West

(by David Andersson)

2 October 2020 - This year it’s really complicated in this part of the world to hold a joyful celebration about nonviolence. The International Day of Nonviolence is a celebration of Gandhi’s birthday and an opportunity to commemorate the work of many others who have opened a path a to nonviolent conflict resolution, built a culture of peace, opposed systemic discrimination, and fought against the destruction of humanity’s habitat.


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


International Day of Peace - UN Women Statement for International Day of Peace

21 September 2020 - Women’s peace power is vital for our world’s security. Peace is a prerequisite for health, equality and human security. Our ability to live dignified, fulfilling lives depends on acting without fear, in mutual respect and co-existence. Today, as we mark International Day of Peace, some 2 billion people are living in areas affected by armed conflict. They struggle to survive through forced displacement, and collapsed economies and infrastructure. Profound, systemic inequality breeds tensions that can ignite different forms of conflict. In many regions of the world, the impacts of climate change are exacerbating conditions that threaten peace and security. And the devastating social and economic consequences of COVID-19 have coupled with discriminatory gender norms and unequal power dynamics to feed insecurity and fragility.


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





PAHO and IOM sign agreement to improve the health of 70 million migrants in the Americas

10 October 2020 - The agreement will focus on increasing and scaling-up interventions that address barriers to health care and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on migrant population.  Under the agreement, PAHO and IOM will focus on scaling up coordinated interventions to support countries of the Americas in addressing health and migration, while leaving no one behind. It will also ensure greater advocacy for the inclusion of the specific needs of migrants in health and development policy throughout the Region, both in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.


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


UN promotes greater universal health coverage investment

(by Robin Gomes)

8 October 2020 - The UN chief is calling for greater investments to strengthen universal health coverage to enable societies and economies to deal adequately with the effects of Covid-19.  Healthcare for all Even though health is a fundamental right and universal health coverage (UHC) a key target for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Guterres pointed out, at least half of the world’s population does not have full coverage of essential health services and over 800 million people spend at least 10 per cent of their household budgets to pay for health services.


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


Launch of Ethics & Vector-borne Diseases: WHO Guidance

8 October 2020 - On Wednesday 14 October, WHO will launch new guidance: Ethics & vector-borne diseases. The guidance document is a culmination of more than three years of work and will be a valuable new tool to support global efforts to prevent and control vector-borne diseases (VBDs). VBDs are a major contributor to global morbidity and mortality and have a disproportionate impact on the world’s poorest populations. However, despite the growing burden and threat of VBDs to individuals, families and societies, the significant ethical issues raised by VBDs have received only limited attention. Recognizing this gap, WHO developed this guidance to help programs and staff working in VBD prevention and control identify and respond to the core ethical issues at stake.


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


Somalia conducts successful first immunization campaign amid COVID-19

Integrated polio and measles campaign protects thousands of children

7October 2020– From 30 August to 3 September, Somalia conducted an integrated measles and polio campaign in the Banadir region – the first immunization campaign held since the COVID-19 pandemic reached Somalia. Over the last seven months, health workers have been fully engaged in fighting the pandemic. This campaign, conducted whilst observing safety measures to prevent spread of COVID-19, was a chance to get back on track to protect children who have missed out on vital immunizations. The campaign was conducted by Somalia’s Federal Ministry of Health, with technical support from WHO and UNICEF, and financial support from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The campaign had initially been scheduled to take place in 2019 as part of a nationwide effort, but was postponed due to technical challenges. Ahead of the campaign, vaccines were procured and stored in optimum cool conditions. Microplans and maps were updated to help vaccinators reach all children at health facilities and fixed outreach sites. Building population immunity to polio and measles is extremely important in Somalia: Since the start of the year, 744 children in Banadir have contracted measles, accounting for half of the cases nationwide. Two forms of polioviruses, in circulation in Somalia since the end of 2017, have caused paralysis in 19 children across the country. As part of the planning, 602 teams of health workers were given protective face masks and gloves, and were trained rigorously to keep themselves and their families safe from COVID-19(…)


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


MSF supports India and South Africa ask to waive COVID-19 patent rights

7October 2020– Geneva - In a landmark move, India and South Africa on 2 October asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to allow all countries to choose to neither grant nor enforce patents and other intellectual property (IP) related to COVID-19 drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and other technologies for the duration of the pandemic, until global herd immunity is achieved. This bold step is akin to efforts by governments nearly 20 years ago, which spearheaded the use of affordable generic HIV/AIDS medicines, and, if approved, could signal a major turning point in countries’ response to the pandemic, according to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, MSF called on all governments to support this waiver request at the WTO, whose TRIPS Council (Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement) is meeting on 15 October to start building consensus on the issue. WTO member countries can seek a waiver from certain obligations in WTO treaties under exceptional circumstances. If members agree on the waiver, countries can choose not to grant or enforce IP (patents, industrial designs, copyright and trade secrets) related to all COVID-19 medical products and technologies.


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


New WHO guidelines on promoting mental health among adolescents

28 September 2020 - New guidelines from WHO recommend a set of psychosocial interventions to promote mental health and prevent mental health conditions among adolescents, aged 10-19 years. The recommendations are based on the results of intervention studies – both universal, delivered to all adolescents; and for selected individuals perceived to be at risk of mental health conditions. They will help inform the development of policies and programmes for the improved mental health of young people.    Particular attention is given to: adolescents at increased risk of mental disorders or self-harm due to exposure to adversity; adolescents going through challenging life circumstances such as adolescent pregnancy; and those with early signs or symptoms of emotional or behavioural problems.


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



Energy and safety



Why combining hydro power and floating solar PV may be a good idea

(by Joshua S. Hill)

2 October 2020 – New research published this week by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has highlighted the “untapped potential” of combining floating solar PV projects and hydropower plants. According to the NREL’s research, hybrid systems combining floating solar panels and hydropower plants may hold the “technical potential” to produce a “significant portion” of the necessary electricity generated across the globe. Published in the journal Renewable Energy, the authors determine that adding floating solar panels to bodies of water that are already in use as hydropower stations could yield as much as 7.6-terawatts (TW) of potential electricity each year from solar PV systems alone, or around 10.6TWh of potential annual generation. (…)


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


ScienceDaily – Chemical innovation stabilizes best-performing perovskite formulation

(Source: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)

1 October 2020 – Researchers have successfully overcome a limiting problem with stabilizing the best-performing formulation of metal-halide perovskite films, a key player in a range of applications, including solar cells. Perovskites are a class of materials made up of organic materials bound to a metal. Their fascinating structure and properties have propelled perovskites into the forefront of materials' research, where they are studied for use in a wide range of applications. Metal-halide perovskites are especially popular, and are being considered for use in solar cells, LED lights, lasers, and photodetectors. For example, the power-conversion efficiency of perovskite solar cells (PSCs) have increased from 3.8% to 25.5% in only ten years, surpassing other thin-film solar cells. (…)


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


ScienceDaily – Ecological power storage battery made of vanillin

(Source: Graz University of Technology)

1 October 2020 – Researchers have found a way to convert the aromatic substance vanillin into a redox-active electrolyte material for liquid batteries. The technology is an important step towards ecologically sustainable energy storage. (…) He and his team have succeeded in making redox-flow batteries more environmentally friendly by replacing their core element, the liquid electrolyte, which are mostly made up of ecologically harmful heavy metals or rare earths -- with vanillin, an important ingredient of Austrian vanilla croissants. (…)


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


'Tiny wind turbine' can collect energy from a walker's swinging arm

(by Natalie Grover)

23 September 2020 – Researchers say device can generate sustainable power from gentle breeze. Scientists have developed a “tiny wind turbine” that can scavenge energy from the breeze made while walking. Imagine rubbing a balloon on your hair for a few seconds – can you hear the crackle of static electricity, see your hair stand on end? That energy, powered by the contact and separation of two materials, can be bottled up and stored for use, according to researchers working on the device. Scientists in China hope the device can generate sustainable power in a low-cost, efficient manner. Once placed on a person’s swinging arm, the airflow is enough to generate power, the researchers said. (…)


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production


EU ramps up emissions reduction target to 55 pct by 2030

(by Joshua S. Hill)

22 September 2020 – The European Commission has announced plans to increase its climate ambitions, raising its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target from 40% to 55% by 2030, based on 1990 levels, a target that will require significant increases in energy efficiency and renewable energy shares. Europe’s new climate ambition has been tabled as an amendment to the proposed European Climate Law which will include a 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of at least 55% by 2030 as a steppingstone towards a 2050 climate neutrality goal. To achieve the newly proposed 55% greenhouse gas emissions reduction, the EU will need to increase the share of renewable energy to around 38% to 40% of gross final consumption. For the EU’s power sector, renewables will be required to supply around two-thirds of the EU’s electricity while fossil fuels must generate less than 20% of the EU’s electricity by 2030. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action



Environment and wildlife


WWF launches ‘Planet-Based Diets’ - for human health and the future of the planet

8 October 2020 – WWF today launches Planet-Based Diets, a new approach to making food choices that can help ensure a healthy planet as well as healthy people. The initiative will offer not just a global framework but also, for the first time, a customized platform which can accelerate the adoption of healthy and sustainable planet-based diets at the national and individual level.   A new report, Bending the Curve: the Restorative Power of Planet-Based Diets will help individuals and policymakers understand the health and environmental impact of their diets. The Planet-Based Diets Impact & Action Calculator will lay the foundations for better decision-making by measuring the national health and environmental impacts of any diet, customized across 13 food groups, and built on bespoke datasets and analysis for 147 countries. The Calculator will support policymakers in designing more ambitious National Dietary Guidelines (NDGs) and incorporating dietary transition into other policy frameworks, in line with global health, climate and environmental targets.  As recognised at the recent UN Summit on Biodiversity, the climate crisis and destruction of nature, both of which are driven significantly by our food system, leave humanity in a state of planetary emergency. Against the backdrop of the ongoing pandemic, it’s become more important than ever to adopt healthier and more considered diets. The major drivers of emerging infectious disease, such as COVID-19, have been shown to be the unsustainable conversion of land for agriculture, intensive livestock farming and illegal trade in wildlife, often for consumption. It is necessary to change how we produce and consume food to provide everyone with a healthy and sustainable future.  The report Bending the Curve: The Restorative Power of Planet-Based Diets found that transitioning to planet-based diets delivers high human health benefits and low environmental impacts, including a more stable climate, less wildlife loss and more space for it to thrive, and, crucially, longer and healthier lives for people. (…)



Researchers find monocultures negatively impact terrestrial water cycle

(by Meghan Sapp)

23 September 2020 – In the UK, the global spread of vast forest plantations and agricultural monocultures are turning once diverse landscapes into areas of land supporting single plant species, with profound implications for our terrestrial water cycle, according to new research. (…) While land-use cover change can be well intentioned—whether it is done to increase carbon sequestration or meet food, water, and energy demands—it can have unintended consequences that affect the water cycle. Plant uniformity in highly managed landscapes that have replaced wetlands, for example, has been linked to increases in the frequency and severity of both floods and droughts, as well as the deterioration of water quality. Elsewhere, the growth of corn monocultures to produce ethanol in the United States are projected to increase areas at risk of groundwater nitrate contamination. And tree plantations grown to meet the demand for wood can reduce or even eliminate streams, leading to soils becoming more acidic or salinated and with increased susceptibility to fire. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


The Power of Inclusive, Intergenerational Climate Activism

(by Breanna Draxler)

21 September 2020 - A coalition of climate, Indigenous, and racial justice groups gathered at Columbus Circle in New York City to kick off Climate Week with the March for Climate Justice Through Racial Justice on September 20, 2020. This year the decidedly youthful focus on intersectionality is a big part of what defines the transformation of the climate movement. Climate is not just an environmental issue, according to youth activists. It’s also a racial justice issue, an economic issue, and an access-to-health care issue. Today, the different movements are converging, and I think that convergence makes for greater potential for success.



FAO launches Green Cities Initiative to help transform agri-food systems, end hunger and improve nutrition

18 September 2020, Rome/New York - FAO unveiled today its new Green Cities Initiative and Action Plan to help transform agri-food systems, end hunger and improve nutrition in and around the cities in a post COVID-19 era. The launch took place at a high-level virtual event entitled "Green Cities to Build Back Better for SDGs - A New Powerful Venture" hosted by FAO during the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.

FAO Green Cities Initiative aims to improve the livelihoods and well-being of urban and peri-urban populations in at least 100 cities (15 metropolitan, 40 intermediary and 45 small cities) around the world in the next three years, looking to have 1000 cities join by 2030. In particular, the initiative is focused on improving the urban environment, strengthening urban-rural linkages and the resilience of urban systems, services and populations to external shocks. Ensuring access to a healthy environment and healthy diets from sustainable food systems, it will also contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation and sustainable resource management. The new initiative also includes the creation of a "Green Cities Network", where cities of all sizes - from megapolis to medium to small - will exchange experiences on best practices, successes and lessons.  The world is becoming more and more urbanized. As a result, many urban and peri-urban communities are now more than ever exposed to food and nutrition insecurity combined with diet-related non-communicable diseases as well as increasing rates of overweight and obesity. Today cities consume almost 80% of the total energy produced in the world. They are responsible for 70% of global waste and account for about 70% of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Maintaining sustainable food systems and having more green spaces, including urban and peri-urban agriculture and forests are essential for cities, making them more resilient in dealing with the impacts of climate change and COVID-19, ensuring that health-related issues do not disrupt urban food supply and distribution.


News related with SDGs number 11-Sustainable Cities and Communities



Religion and spirituality


Freedom, Equality, & Justice

8 October 2020 - The problem is that we contemporary people get very excited about freedom, equality, and justice. But Buddhism faces us with some hard questions about those concepts. For example, you can find a lot of references in Buddhist literature to freedom. But when you see the word “freedom” used in Buddhist writings it does not mean personal libertyHere are a few lines I found in Shobogenzo when I searched for the word “free.” “This sutra can free all living beings from pain and suffering” (quoted from the Lotus Sutra). “The god Indra asks the National Master, ‘How can we be free from becoming?’ The National Master says, ‘Celestial One! You can be free from becoming by practicing the truth’.” “When we spring free from delusion and realization, the Flower of Dharma turns the Flower of Dharma.” “The master who gets free of body and mind is ourself already.” “Whatever comes into this great world sanctified by the buddhas—whether it is the buddhas, living beings, the earth, or space—will get free of fetters and attachments, and will return to the original state which is the wonderful Dharma of the buddhas.”


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


Pope to Moneyval: Preventing merchants from speculating on humanity

8 October 2020 - In an address to the Committee of Experts of the Council of Europe, Pope Francis recalls the need for clean finance at the service of humanity, especially the weakest members of society.  It is a task which is “particularly dear to my heart", carried out "to promote a 'clean finance', in which the 'merchants' are prevented from speculating in that sacred ‘temple’ which is humanity." Pope Francis made that remark on Thursday in an address to the evaluators of the Moneyval Programme. The Committee of the Council of Europe arrived in the Vatican on 30 September to evaluate measures against money laundering and financing of terrorism. The visit was agreed upon in 2019, and takes place in the cycle of periodic evaluations to which all jurisdictions belonging to Moneyval are subject according to a pre-established schedule.



“Fratelli tutti”: Pope Francis presents new encyclical in Angelus address

5 October 2020 - Pope Francis introduced his new encyclical, “Fratelli tutti,” in his Angelus address Sunday, saying that “human fraternity and the care of creation” were the only paths forward for humanity. Speaking from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square Oct. 4, the pope recalled that he visited Assisi the day before to sign the encyclical at the tomb of St. Francis, who also inspired his 2015 encyclical “Laudato si’.” He said: “The signs of the times clearly show that human fraternity and the care of creation form the only path towards integral development and peace, already indicated by the saintly popes John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II.”



The Buddha’s Four Foundations of Mindfulness

(by Bhikkhu Bodhi)

2 October 2020 - The Buddha’s most detailed teaching on the practice of mindfulness is found in the famed Satipatthana Sutta, “The Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness.” The Buddha opens this discourse by declaring that the four foundations of mindfulness are the “one-way path” for the overcoming of suffering and the attainment of nirvana. The expression “four foundations of mindfulness” refers to the mindful contemplation of four objective domains that, between them, comprise the entire field of human experience: the body, feelings, states of mind, and dhammas, a term I leave untranslated. With regard to each contemplation, the text tells us that the practitioner dwells “ardent, clearly comprehending, and mindful, having put away longing and dejection concerning the world.” These terms indicate that the practice involves not only mindfulness, but the coming together of mindfulness, energy, and discernment, coupled with detachment from the claims of the mundane world.



Compassion and Mercy — Common Values between Islam and Buddhism

28 September 2020 - A conversation about Compassion and Mercy, values common to Islam and Buddhism, had been organized by the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) and the Tibetan Buddhist Culture Centre (TBCC), Malaysia. President of TBCC, Casey Liu, welcomed His Holiness and the other participants. He invited Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz, President of ABIM and moderator for the session to begin. He began with the common Muslim greeting, “As-salamu alaykum” and introduced His Holiness. He mentioned his commitment to promoting awareness of the oneness of humanity, inter-religious harmony, the preservation of Tibetan culture and the environment of Tibet, as well as the revival of ancient Indian knowledge.




Culture and education


October 2nd a Nonviolence Day in the White West

10 October 2020 - This year it’s really complicated in this part of the world to hold a joyful celebration about nonviolence. The International Day of Nonviolence is a celebration of Gandhi’s birthday and an opportunity to commemorate the work of many others who have opened a path a to nonviolent conflict resolution, built a culture of peace, opposed systemic discrimination, and fought against the destruction of humanity’s habitat.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Call for Europeana Museum Educator Ambassadors

9 October 2020 - The European Schoolnet is looking for three museum educators active in the European Union to join the Europeana DSI-4 project as Europeana Museum Educator Ambassadors (November 2020 – August 2021). Deadline to apply: 25 October 2020.  Europeana is Europe’s platform for digital cultural heritage, empowering the cultural heritage sector in its digital transformation. Through its website, millions of cultural heritage items from around 4,000 institutions across Europe are available online. Europeana also works to share and promote this heritage so that it can be used and enjoyed by people across the world. Teachers and learners of all ages can find images, text, audio, video, but also 3D content, on anything from art to science, in over 37 languages. A big part of the collections – over 20 million items – is openly licensed and can be freely reused in education.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Ivory Coast: A new museum for contemporary art

(by Pauline Bock and Tatiana Mossot)

9 October 2020 - The new museum is at a crossroads, not only physically, but symbolically.  Inaugurated in March, at the start of the pandemic, the museum aims to display contemporary art from multiple African cultures. It has over 500 square meters full of sculptures, paintings and photographs by famous or rising artists. The exhibition Prête moi ton rêve (Lend me your dream) displays art by diverse contemporary artists from the African continent. It's also a chance for the locals and visitors to discover artworks of the African art scene.



UNESCO’s digital learning event 2020: Innovative remote education solutions to build back better

9 October 2020 - Beyond Disruption: Technology Enabled Learning Futures, will be the theme of UNESCO’s flagshipannual conference on digital learning (formerly known as Mobile Learning Week) this year. The online event will bring together the tech and education communities from 12 to 14 October.

Organized in partnership with the International Telecommunication Union and in collaboration with Ericsson, GIZ, Huawei, Microsoft, Norad, and ProFuturo. amidst the largest education disruption in history due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s conference, will focus on distance learning solutions to build back better. It will examine the medium and long-term implications of the learning crisis that forced 1.6 billion learners worldwide out of the classroom, and the challenges that lie ahead. The event will also share best practices and explore innovative solutions to resolve this crisis.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


International Day of the Girl Child - Girls to know: The next generation is already leading the way

8 October 2020 - Around the world, girls are driving change. They are activists and advocates on the front lines of movements for social and racial equality. They are calling for urgent climate action and demanding space at decision-making tables in their communities, countries and beyond. The theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl, “My voice, our equal future”, is highlighting how girls everywhere are leading the way in creating the world we all want and deserve. Girls - their rights, voices, talent and dreams - are the foundation of the world we want. Here are just eight girls who are changing the world that you should know about.


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


Japan to provide food assistance to 154,000 school children in Lesotho

18 September 2020, Maseru - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes the Japanese Government contribution of about US$ 2.3 Million that will enable WFP to strengthen food assistance to some 94,000 primary school and 60,000 pre-primary school learners, through the Government of Lesotho’s national school feeding programme. An online ceremony was held today at the United Nations House to mark the contribution which will be used to buy canned fish, maize meal and highly fortified foods to further diversify nutritious meals offered in primary schools and Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) centres across the country.  Lesotho is in the third consecutive year of poor crop production due to drought. The support comes at a crucial time, as food insecurity levels in the country remain high and particularly affect the most vulnerable, including children. Results from the latest Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) Food Insecurity Analysis of August 2020 predict that some 40% of the population will need immediate food assistance, with the figure expected to grow towards the end of 2020.


News related with SDGs number 2-Zero Hunger and 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.


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* 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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