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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. 296 – 15th December 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


“Ecocide” could soon be punishable by law

(by Teresa Bergen)

1 December 2020 - International lawyers are now working together to define the new crime of ecocide. By criminalizing ecosystem destruction, they hope to both punish and deter those who wantonly harm the earth.  Swedish parliamentarians requested that the Stop Ecocide Foundation launch the project. It’s timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the start of 1945’s Nuremberg war crimes trials. These famous trials punished Nazi leaders. Proponents of the new movement to define and stop ecocide want this environmental crime to be of similar stature to genocide and war crimes. Professor Philippe Sands of University College London and Florence Mumba, formerly a judge with the International Criminal Court (ICC), are chairing the panel coordinating the initiative.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


United Nations – General Assembly – Seventy-fifth session – Agenda item 15 – Promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace

24 November 2020 – The General Assembly (…)

8. Calls upon Member States, which have the primary responsibility to counter discrimination and hate speech, and all relevant actors, including political and religious leaders, to promote inclusion and unity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to prevent and speak out and take strong action against racism,

xenophobia, hate speech, violence, discrimination, including on the basis of age, and stigmatization;

9. Reaffirms the solemn commitment of all States to fulfil their obligations and commitments to promote universal respect for and observance and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other instruments relating to human rights and international law, the universal nature of these rights and freedoms being beyond question; (…)

15. Encourages Member States to consider, as and where appropriate, initiatives that identify areas for practical action in all sectors and levels of society for the promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, tolerance, understanding and cooperation, (…)


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


United Nations – General Assembly – Seventy-fifth session – Second Committee – Agenda item 19 (f) – Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its contribution to sustainable development

16 November 2020 – The General Assembly (…)

8. Urges parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and all other relevant stakeholders to mainstream biodiversity into COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, to fully implement and support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other international development goals, including by strengthening approaches to enhance resilience, protecting wild flora and fauna and other living species, reversing the trends in environmental degradation (…)

11. Urges parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to ensure the coherence and complementarity of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework with other existing or upcoming international processes, in particular with regard to the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and other related processes, frameworks and strategies (…)

16. Stresses the importance of mainstreaming biodiversity for achieving the objectives of the Convention, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020, its Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity in order to achieve the transformational change required throughout societies and economies (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


United Nations – General Assembly – Seventy-fifth session – Second Committee – Agenda item 22 (a) – Towards a New International Economic Order

11 November 2020 – The General Assembly (…)

2. Notes that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development and the Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change carry forward many of the ideas and recommendations

of the Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order and the Programme of Action on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order; (…)

4. Reiterates that States are strongly urged to refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impede the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries; (…)

12. Stresses the need to explore the means and instruments needed to achieve debt sustainability and the measures necessary to reduce the indebtedness of developing countries; (…)


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


COUNCIL DECISION (CFSP) 2020/1656 of 6 November 2020 on Union support for the activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the areas of nuclear security and in the framework of the implementation of the EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

9 November 2020 – The Council of the European Union (…) has adopted this decision:

Article 1

1.   For the purpose of continuing the effective implementation of the Strategy, the Union shall support the activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that aim to:

(a)  contribute to global efforts to achieve effective nuclear security, by establishing comprehensive nuclear security guidance and, upon request, promoting the use of such guidance through peer reviews and advisory services and capacity building, including education and training;

(b)  assist in adherence to, and implementation of, relevant international legal instruments, and in strengthening the international cooperation and coordination of assistance; and

(c)   support the IAEA mandate to play a central role and enhance international cooperation in nuclear security, in response to priorities of Member States expressed through the decisions and resolutions of the IAEA’s Policy Making Organs. (…)


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



Human rights


72nd Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

(by David Andersson)

9 December 2020 - December 10, 2020 is the 72nd anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The document is a powerful, and hopeful, testimony to the belief that all people on our planet should have access to fundamental human rights, including protection under the law, freedom of thought and expression, the right to an education, and the right to an adequate standard of living. It is difficult this year, however, to imagine a joyful celebration of this milestone event, given the worldwide challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. According to Feeding America, the largest hunger relief organization in the U.S., more than 50 million people will experience food insecurity this year in the US, the world’s wealthiest country.



Towards a rights-based economy: putting people and the planet first

9 December 2020 - A joint report by the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) and Christian Aid asks a radical question: what would it look like if we had an economy based on human rights? Choosing between people or the economy has become a persistent theme in political debates as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic. Politicians in the UK are rejecting a free school meals plan because it would “destroy” the economy and increase “dependency”. These false “people vs the economy” dichotomies overlook a fundamental truth: people are the economy. There is no healthy economy without a healthy population where everyone can enjoy their socioeconomic rights – such as to housing, food, education and decent work.


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


Journalism without fear or favour

5 December 2020 - The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made even clearer the importance of being able to access reliable, unbiased information in a time of crisis – and of independent media as the source of such information. But freedom of the media is under attack in many countries all around the world and journalists are subject to harassment, repression and violence. The World Press Freedom Conference 2020 (WPFC) aims to stand up for a free, safe and independent media and protect journalism from new and existing forms of unwanted control, pressure and influence. The WPFC is co-hosted by UNESCO and the Kingdom of the Netherlands and will take place on 9 – 10 December 2020 in a new, innovative format, merging digital and in-person elements. It will bring together journalists, media companies, human rights defenders, members of the judiciary, policymakers, academics, youth and NGOs from around the world and is open to anyone, anywhere, who is interested in press freedom. RNW Media is proud to be participating in the WPFC in a number of ways.


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


Cities for life 2020: light up your city to say "no to the death penalty"

30 November 2020 - Tonight, from the Colosseum in Rome to hundreds of cities around the world.  On the 30th November 1786, for the first time the Death Penalty was abolished in a state, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Italy). Since then, a great deal of progress has been made on the road to the abolition of capital punishment in the world. But so much can and must be done against this highly inhuman and useless instrument, since it does not act as a deterrent and reduces states to mere perpetrators of injustice. Today, following the Webinar #stand4humanity, the most famous monument in Rome will be exceptionally lit up by a spectacular set of video-mapping. But already in these days, more than 2,300 cities around the world are choosing an important monument to be illuminated in a special way and to make it a “living logo” of the people’s commitment for a world without the death penalty. It is a major world mobilization so people do not forget that several countries still keep this cruel and inhumane punishment. It wants to show there is a higher and more civilized justice capable of abandoning capital punishment once and for all.



Amnesty International launches free human rights education app to educate next generation of activists

26 November 2020 - Amnesty International has launched Amnesty Academy, a free human rights education app to educate the next generation of human rights defenders on a range of topics including freedom of expression, security digital rights and the rights of indigenous peoples.  Users around the world will have access to lessons lasting 15 minutes to 3 hours, available in over 20 languages. All courses can be downloaded on the app, which is available for iOS and Android devices, allowing them to be taken offline.




Economy and development


Multi-million-euro contribution from Germany to IFAD will help avert a COVID-19 food crisis

7 December 2020, Rome In the face of a looming food crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Germany has committed funds to the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to help ensure small-scale farmers can continue growing food in some of the poorest regions of the world. Germany’s €27.3 million contribution to IFAD’s Rural Poor Stimulus Facility will provide small-scale food producers with timely access to inputs, markets, liquidity and information to help ensure a continuous food supply in the worst affected areas in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. The Facility was launched in April by IFAD’s Goodwill Ambassadors, Idris and Sabrina Elba. Up to 132 million additional people are expected to go hungry this year due to the economic impact of the pandemic, according to UN estimates, which would mean one in ten people would be suffering from hunger. Extreme poverty is also expected to rise this year for the first time in two decades. The Facility has already approved 50 proposals for funds which will support around 1.5 million people, including in some of the world’s most challenging contexts such as Afghanistan, Lebanon, Somalia and Yemen. 



WASHINGTON- Leading impact investors, water experts launch water finance exchange

1 December 2020 - Millions of people across the U.S. lack access to safe, reliable, and affordable drinking and wastewater services. To address this challenge, a new non-profit platform, the Water Finance Exchange (WFX), is launching to increase investment in the nation’s aging water and wastewater infrastructure and to help meet the growing needs and funding gaps of small and mid-sized utilities across the U.S. Seed funding for WFX is being provided by leading impact investors, the Lyda Hill Philanthropies and the Water Funder Initiative. WFX’s vision is to bridge the growing water funding gap by combining public and private financing with philanthropic funding to help communities develop safe and sustainable water and wastewater systems. WFX will help break down the financial and structural barriers that have historically stymied water financing by partnering with communities to provide not just supplemental funding, but expertise needed to accelerate water and wastewater infrastructure investments on a broad scale. To help address the growing needs of rural communities, WFX has partnered with CoBank, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership and the Rural Community Assistance Corporation to establish a rural community pre-development fund that will serve as a catalyst to more fundable projects in rural America.



COPENHAGEN - Ørsted Joins the SteelZero Initiative to Support Transition to Low-Carbon Steel

1 December 2020 - SteelZero, a global initiative to drive market demand for net-zero emissions steel, was launched today with support from major steel-using organisations, including Ørsted. The steel industry contributes about 7% of global carbon emissions, making it one of the largest contributors to climate change. Zero-emissions steel is critical to meeting global climate goals and decarbonising the steel sector and value chain.  On track to be carbon neutral in 2025, Ørsted targets a net-zero carbon footprint and carbon-neutral supply chain in 2040. Steel accounts for about half of the emissions in Ørsted’s offshore wind supply chain. The steel used in the company’s wind turbine installations is highly specialised, and no commercially viable low-carbon alternatives are available today. In January 2020, Ørsted launched a programme to reduce emissions in the most carbon-intensive categories of the company’s supply chain: manufacture of wind turbines, foundations, substations, cables, and components. These are produced using materials that are energy intensive to extract and manufacture. Ørsted’s strategic suppliers are asked to disclose their own emissions, set science-based carbon reduction targets, and use 100% renewable electricity in manufacturing, among other key requirements. The SteelZero initiative will support such engagement by fostering low-carbon innovation and collaboration across the steel value chain.


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


New partnership to boost bamboo and rattan’s contribution to sustainable development

18 November 2020, Rome - A new five-year partnership signed today between the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization (INBAR) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations that aims to scale up the benefits and opportunities that these fast growing tropical plants provide, including reducing rural poverty, increasing carbon sequestration, promoting biodiversity and land restoration, and the greening of the construction industry worldwide. The new partnership has come together quickly amid the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic. A task force comprising some 30 experts from FAO and INBAR has already held its first meeting to operationalize a work plan through 2022.  Bamboo and rattan grow locally to some of the world's poorest communities in the tropics and subtropics and their special characteristics fit well into green development plans, able to provide a fast-renewing alternative to timber fuel as well as cutting-edge building materials to replace emissions-intensive materials such as steel, plastics and concrete. New uses are projected to include wind turbine blades and bullet-train fuselages. Rattan, a member of the palm family, grows like a rope and is widely used to make woven items, furniture, baskets, and birdcages, and is being trialed as the basis for bone replacement material. Like bamboo, it grows quickly and grows back after harvesting, creating a fast-acting source of sustainable income.


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 




Benevity Data shows that more people gave more money to Nonprofits in 2020 than they did last year

8 December 2020 - Driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and multiple instances of racial injustice, 51 percent more people donated through corporate purpose programs in 2020, with 41 percent more dollars per donation.  Benevity, Inc., the leading provider of global corporate purpose software, today announced that 51 percent more people donated through its platform from January through October 2020, giving 41 percent more dollars per donation, and culminating in an average of $64 per donation compared to $46 the year prior. In the first ten months of 2020, employees and customers of Benevity’s corporate clients donated $500 million of their own funds through Benevity — a 76 percent increase over last year — indicating an increasing desire from more people to take personal action to support critical societal issues.



FAO and partners advocate for inclusive food systems to combat rural poverty

2 December 2020 - The implications of agri-food systems transformation for the livelihoods of rural people in the COVID-19 era was the focus of a high-level event today, co-organized by FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of China and the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations (UN). The event "Transforming agri-food systems and fostering inclusive rural development in the context of COVID-19 to end rural poverty" was held virtually, on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly's Special Session in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants highlighted the key role of agriculture in the transformation of the economy, ensuring food security and nutrition and in ending extreme poverty.


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities


Norway offers a voluntary contribution of $33 million to UNESCO's action

1 December 2020 - Norway will contribute some 316 million Norwegian crowns (33 million US dollars) to UNESCO's action for the biennium 2020-2021 in the fields of education, safeguarding cultural heritage, protection and sustainable management of the oceans, support for freedom of expression, safety of journalists, and artistic freedom. Two outstanding partnership agreements have been signed to this end with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). This exceptional support to the priority areas of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization represents an increase in Norway's voluntary contributions to the Organization compared to previous years. It illustrates the long-standing trust between the two parties based on common values.



The Baker Hughes Foundation contributes $250,000 to the Nature Conservancy for Nature-Based Climate Solutions

1 December 2020 - The Baker Hughes Foundation has announced a $250,000 grant to The Nature Conservancy to support nature-based climate solutions in sensitive “last chance[1]” ecosystems in Indonesia. The funds will contribute toward reducing carbon emissions and aid in sequestering carbon stocks through the implementation of reduced-impact logging (RIL-C[2]) standards and other programs in the East Kalimantan and North Kalimantan provinces. Indonesia was selected as a location for the grant because it is home to some of the world’s highest biodiversity and provides some of the world’s most cost-effective opportunities for nature-based climate mitigation. Baker Hughes operates substantial commercial and service operations in Indonesia, with more than 800 employees.


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


European Union provides support to WFP as Syrians face unprecedented food insecurity

18 November 2020, Damascus – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a donation of €2 million from the European Union (EU) for monthly food assistance for Syrian families facing unprecedented levels of hunger. The donation will help Syrians across the country, but particularly those in the northwest hardest hit by conflict, displacement, soaring food prices and COVID-19. Families will get a monthly nutritious food basket at a time when parents are struggling to afford basic food items. A record 9.3 million Syrians are food insecure and an additional 2.2 million are at risk across the country. Families are facing multiple shocks compounded by COVID-19, including food prices that are now the highest ever recorded. Basic food items are 2.5 times more expensive than they were last year and highly vulnerable families are increasingly dependent on food from WFP to survive. The EU is a close partner and a significant donor to WFP’s operations in Syria.


News related with SDGs number 10-Reduced Inequalities



Peace and security


Viet Nam and United Nations convenes global conference to accelerate action on global commitments on women, peace and security

7 December 2020 - As part of the continuing commemoration of 25 years of the Beijing Platform for Action on Women’s Empowerment and the 20th anniversary of landmark UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, high-level dignitaries, diplomats, political leaders, women's organizations and peacebuilding practitioners from around the world unite in a global event.  Viet Nam, a non-permanent UN Security Council member (2020–2021), will host a International Conference on Women, Peace and Security entitled Strengthening Women’s Role in Building and Sustaining Peace: from Commitments to Results on 7-9 December 2020. The conference is organized by the Government of Viet Nam in partnership with the United Nations, led by UN Women and UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Viet Nam and supporting Member States.


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


Culture of peace: Oyem, Gabon, to host the cross-border project “young weavers of peace in Central Africa”

6 December 2020 - Following an exploration mission in Woleu-Ntem province recently led by Salah Kaled, Unesco Regional Director for Central Africa and Representative of the Unesco Office in Gabon ad interim, Oyem was chosen to accommodate the future headquarters of the project entitled “young people, weavers of peace in the cross-border regions of Gabon, Cameroon and Chad”. The project is intended to counter insecurity and growing crime on the borders of the three countries.


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


Niger: 7th edition of the National Press Freedom Day under the theme “Journalism in the electoral period”

6 December 2020 - Placed under the theme “journalism during an election period: fact checking, promotion of the culture of peace, peaceful coexistence of populations”, this 7th edition takes place in a very particular global context, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a global health crisis which also affects our country Niger.

According to the Minister of Communication, “the theme of this year comes at a crucial period, namely the organization of general elections, during which the journalist’s sense of professionalism will be put to the test,” in this regard, he continued, “the verification of the facts, immediately verifying the veracity of the facts and the accuracy of the data, will be an important parameter, in particular through the observance of a code of good conduct”.



La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico: Training of basic education teachers on the culture of peace

(by Karina Lizárraga)

4 December 2020 - More than 1,500 preschool, primary and secondary school teachers from the five municipalities of Baja California Sur participated via zoom in the seminar called: “Socio-emotional education, child and adolescent participation and the culture of peace in Mexican schools”, according to the general director of basic education of the Ministry of Public Education. The official said that this training had the objective of offering pedagogical resources for the development of socio-emotional skills and the participation of students in the culture of peace, an action aimed at promoting the construction of an inclusive and democratic coexistence, for protection from the pandemic, as well as for the return to classrooms once determined by the health authorities.


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


Education for peace and non-violence in times of crisis

(by Pía Figueroa)

21 November 2020 -  Doris Balvín, senior researcher at the New Civilization Humanist Studies Center in Lima, Peru and a specialist in social ecology, spoke with Pressenza about education for peace and non-violence in times of social and ecological crisis.

Pressenza: Could education contribute to building peace and non-violence in these times of social and ecological crisis?

D.B.: Indeed, for the New Civilization Center for Humanist Studies, education is a central issue because it concerns the essence of humanity. Learning is the most valuable expression of the human intention launched to complete the object of its search. Because when this intentional act finds the answer, it produces satisfaction and releases energy to be able to launch the next search attempt. As human beings, we are part of that construction of personal and collective learning to which those who preceded us have left throughout human history.

Looking at education this way, this is life, transformation, an open future, and above all, a collective construction of a society that aspires to become an expression of the best intentions of human beings.


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





WHO announces development of new guidance on Hepatitis C self-testing

7 December 2020 - WHO has released new details regarding membership of the Guidelines Development Group (GDG) for development of new guidance on Hepatitis C self-testing in 2021. The meeting of the GDG will be held on 18–19 February 2021 and will focus on reviewing the latest evidence on Hepatitis C self-testing. The purpose of the meeting is to review the evidence, then provide recommendations and guidance on Hepatitis C self-testing. In line with the WHO policy on conflict of interest, members of the public and interested organizations can access the biographies of the proposed GDG members, and inform WHO of their views about them. All comments should be sent by email to hiv-aids@who.int by 21 December 2020.


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


European Union and African Union sign partnership to scale up preparedness for health emergencies

7 December 2020 - The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) launched a new partnership initiative to strengthen the capacity of Africa CDC to prepare for and respond to public health threats in Africa. The four-year project ‘EU for health security in Africa: ECDC for Africa CDC', funded by the EU, will also facilitate harmonised surveillance and disease intelligence, and support the implementation of the public health workforce strategy of Africa CDC.


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


COVID-19 Vaccine: Ensuring that people affected by armed conflict are not forgotten

2 December 2020, Geneva (ICRC)– As vaccines for COVID-19 become available, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) hopes to ensure that people affected by conflict and violence who might otherwise be forced to the back of the line or forgotten all-together also have equitable access to the vaccine. For people living in conflict areas, access to basic health services is often challenging or impossible. These populations are just as vulnerable to COVID-19 and deserve to be protected from this severe health menace. In addition, the ICRC estimates that more than 60 million people live in areas controlled by non-state armed groups who risk not being included in national vaccine distribution frameworks. Marginalised communities, including internally displaced persons, migrants, asylum seekers and detainees, must also be included in national vaccination programmes and be recognized as people in need of the health protections the vaccine will provide. (…) Together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the ICRC will support Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies as they have a leading role in carrying out vaccination programs and distributing the COVID vaccine in their respective countries.



Red Cross and Red Crescent societies report massive surge in volunteer numbers in response to COVID-19

2 December 2020, Geneva – Hundreds of thousands of new volunteers worldwide have joined their National Red Cross and Red Crescent Society this year, providing vital support to their local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Widespread increases have been reported across the Red Cross and Red Crescent network, with some of the highest figures reported by the American Red Cross (78,000 new sign-ups), Italian Red Cross (nearly 60,000 new sign-ups as part of its ‘Time of Kindness’ initiative) the Netherlands Red Cross (48,000 new sign-ups to their Ready2Help citizen aid network) and the Kenyan Red Cross (35,000 new sign-ups). New and long-standing volunteers have dedicated their time to wide-ranging COVID-19 response activities, including: delivering essential food and medical items; transporting patients to health facilities; supporting with testing and contact tracing; providing psychosocial support to vulnerable and quarantined people; distributing personal protective equipment (PPE); and providing trusted and accurate health information to their communities. Collectively, they have reached tens of millions of people in nearly every country of the world, while also responding to hundreds of other disasters. (…)


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


How to reap the benefits of food as medicine

(by Busani Bafana)

2 December 2020 - COVID-19 has magnified global food insecurity and is driving unhealthy eating and worsening malnutrition, food experts say. They have called for deliberate global investment in food as medicine on the back of growing diet-related illnesses. Famed Greek physician, Hippocrates, foretold the future of food. He is attributed to have said: ‘Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food’. COVID-19 has pushed the conversation about food as medicine onto the world agenda as more people are paying attention to their health and increasingly what they eat.


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


Global Solidarity to end TB and HIV

1 December 2020 - Special message from the WHO Global Tuberculosis Programme on the occasion of World AIDS DAY.   The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is “Global solidarity, resilient services”. At the 2016 UN High-level Meeting on ending AIDS, member states committed to a 75% reduction of TB deaths among people living with HIV by 2020, compared with 2010. Estimates for 2019 suggest that there has been some notable progress with a 63% reduction; however, the target for 2020 is unlikely to be reached, particularly in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic.


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



Energy and safety



Scottish homes to be first in world to use 100% green hydrogen

(by Jillian Ambrose – The Guardian)

30 November 2020 – Hundreds of homes in Scotland will soon become the first in the world to use 100% green hydrogen to heat their properties and cook their meals as part of a new trial that could help households across the country replace fossil fuel gas. Some 300 homes in Fife will be fitted with free hydrogen boilers, heaters and cooking appliances to be used for more than four years in the largest test of whether zero carbon hydrogen, made using renewable energy and water, could help meet Britain’s climate goals. (…)


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY – IRENA and Pacific Community Announce Joint Efforts to Boost Recovery

27 November 27– The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Pacific Community (SPC) will work together to support Pacific island countries transition their energy systems to renewable energy sources as part of a drive support the post-pandemic recovery. With around 64 per cent of Pacific island residents living without access to reliable energy, and much of the region reliant on expensive and volatile fossil fuel imports, IRENA and SPC will renew their joint focus on reducing energy costs and improving energy security by increasing access to renewables. The partnership will also seek to deliver the broad socioeconomic benefits of the energy transformation for Pacific Island communities. (…)


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


WBCSD circular economy report calls for global shift

(by Meghan Sapp)

26 November 2020 – In Switzerland, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s new Circular Bioeconomy report calls for a shift towards a sustainable, low-carbon, circular bioeconomy to capture part of the $7.7 trillion opportunity identified in the CEO Guide to the Circular Bioeconomy published in November 2019. It describes the business case and sustainability imperative for the circular bioeconomy and presents deep-dives into 10 industries presenting the greatest growth potential through the substitution of non-renewable resources with biological resources from agriculture, forestry and aquaculture. Through in-depth case studies, members of WBCSD are sharing their experience of implementing circular bioeconomy business models across a number of industries (…)


News related with SDGs number 11-Sustainable Cities and Communities


WINDEUROPE – Industry ready to deliver on EU's plan for 25-fold increase in offshore wind

20 November 2020 – WindEurope welcomes the Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy presented by the European Commission today. The Strategy foresees 300 GW of offshore wind in the EU by 2050. Offshore wind is set to be the number one source of electricity Europe consumes by around 2040. The European wind industry is ready to deliver this. But beefing up offshore wind requires large-scale investment in ports, grids and the supply chain. The EU Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy will shape the development of offshore wind in Europe for the next 30 years. It sees offshore wind in the EU growing from 12 GW today to 60 GW by 2030 and 300 GW by 2050. (..) But the 25-fold increase in offshore wind requires major investment in infrastructure. Huge investments are needed in offshore grid connections and also in the reinforcements of onshore grids. And ports need 6.5bn of investments over the next 10 years. (…) Europe needs a sound industrial policy to expand its offshore wind supply chain. (…)


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


How to stop climate change by financing a Global Green New Deal

(Originally published on The Beam. By Dr. Matthias Kroll, Chief Economist, World Future Council)

19 November 2020 – With a mere fraction of the COVID-19 recovery funds, central banks could support climate protection of a magnitude that would make the 1.5°C target achievable. (…) This includes the search for a pathway to a global Green New Deal. The core part of a new deal is reducing all greenhouse gas emissions on a level which is in line with the 1.5°C goal set within the Paris agreement. This means primarily to substitute fossil fuels through renewable energies (RE). The worldwide investments for the “RE-revolution” would create more new green and sustainable jobs and will cause the fossil fuel industry to slowly dissolve. It is predicted that the reduced unemployment will — in the long run — lead to an increase of wages and a reduction of inequality within the industry. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action



Environment and wildlife


Eco-friendly holiday gifts for babies and kids

(by Dawn Hammon)

4 December 2020 - The holiday season is just around the corner. Gift-giving adds to the joyous celebrations, and with children, the festivities truly feel magical. But finding just the right present can be challenging, especially when making the effort to avoid plastic, seek out natural materials and skip wasteful packaging. Here are some ideas that are sure to delight kids of all ages without negatively impacting the planet. Happy holidays!



14 Countries Commit to Ocean Sustainability Initiative

3 December 2020 - On Wednesday, governments responsible for 40 percent of the world's coastlines and 20 percent of global fisheries announced a series of new commitments that comprise the world's biggest ocean sustainability initiative. The fourteen countries, which combined control an ocean area the size of Africa, committed to sustainably manage their national waters by 2025 and encouraged all other nations to join them by 2030. In practice, this means that these governments will pursue a range of strategies, including reducing shipping emissions, reducing marine pollution, scaling up offshore renewable energy, and taking a precautionary approach to deep sea mining.


News related with SDGs number 14- Life below Water


Rethinking Energy 2020-2030 – 100% Solar, Wind, and Batteries is just the beginning

(by Sebastian Kennedy)

25 November 2020 – Think-tank RethinkX has published a provocative report claiming that 100% solar, wind and battery-powered (SWB) systems will become a commercial reality this decade, and will unleash profound changes not just within the energy industry but throughout the economy and society at large. Systemic disruption will be profound, decimating incumbents and opening up entirely new economic and industrial activity that is inconceivable under the existing fossil fuels-based energy system. The report claims that 100% SWB systems are not only possible but will turn out to be, by far, the cheapest and most cost-effective means of powering human civilisation into a prosperous 21st century characterised by abundance, equality and an end to rampant resource exploitation that is fuelling climate change. (…)


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action


Global Climate Fund approves $160 million to support FAO-led projects

13 November 2020, Rome - The Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved three new FAO-designed projects in Argentina, Guatemala and Sudan for a total amount of $158.6 million aimed at mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening resilience to climate change, and combating deforestation. FAO Director-General QU Dongyu stressed FAO's willingness to continue working closely with GCF in support of food system transformation on the ground for the benefit of society, environment, farmers and consumers at large.  The $82 million FAO-led project to reduce deforestation and forest degradation will help Argentina advance its sustainable development and the Paris Agreement goals. The new project will promote territorial forest management and forest restoration, the sustainable use of wood and non-wood forest products, and the improvement of prevention and early response to forest fires. The RELIVE project in Guatemala, worth $66.6 million, will help vulnerable farmers in the Dry Corridor adapt to the impacts of climate change through climate-resilient agricultural and water management practices. Smallholder farmers will learn how to use improved climate information systems, improved crop varieties, as well as efficient soil and water management techniques. The Gums for Adaptation and Mitigation (GAMS) project in Sudan is the first GCF funding proposal approved in what FAO defines as the Near East and North Africa region. It aims to enhance rural smallholders' resilience to climate change in the states of North, West and South Kordofan through climate-resilient gum agroforestry and rangeland restoration. More specifically, the project will support the restoration of 75 000 hectares of smallholder gum agroforestry systems and 50 000 hectares of degraded lands while also improving smallholder gum value chains.


News related with SDGs number 1-No Poverty, number 2-Zero Hunger and number 15-Life on Land



Religion and spirituality


Thich Nhat Hanh’s Love Letter to the Earth

(by Thich Nhat Hanh)

1 December 2020 - The earth is you. You are the earth. When you realize there is no separation, says Thich Nhat Hanh, you fall completely in love with this beautiful planet. At this very moment, the earth is above you, below you, all around you, and even inside you. The earth is everywhere. You may be used to thinking of the earth as only the ground beneath your feet. But the water, the sea, the sky, and everything around us comes from the earth. Everything outside us and everything inside us come from the earth.



Buddhism, Science and Compassion

25 November 2020 - Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, HP, India - His Holiness the Dalai Lama was invited to take part in a discussion this morning with members of the Einstein Forum, a foundation in the state of Brandenburg, Germany, that serves as an open laboratory of the mind. It offers an annual fellowship to outstanding young thinkers who wish to pursue a project in a field different from that of their previous research. Fellows may live at Einstein’s summerhouse in Caputh with easy access to the universities and academic institutions of Potsdam and Berlin.



Holy See: Interreligious dialogue only path to peace, freedom

(by Devin Watkins)

25 November 2020 - The presentation of a book entitled “The promotion of intercultural and interreligious dialogue as an instrument of peace and fraternity” took place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and was organized by the World Muslim League and the United Nations University for Peace. The Vatican’s Permanent Observer to the UN organizations in Geneva explored three “golden threads” running through the book: human fraternity, justice, and dialogue as a tool for peace. The Holy See’s representative at the UN in Geneva attends the launch of a book on interreligious dialogue, and says peace and true freedom are only possible when based on dialogue.



The Economy of Francesco: “Economy + Fraternity x Development = Future"

(by Linda Bordoni)

19 November 2020 - The three-day “The Economy of Francesco” event kicked off on Thursday 19 November with the welcome of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and of civil and religious authorities in Assisi, the beating heart of the global initiative. A virtual platform connected participants for the launch of the event on Thursday afternoon, with the city of Assisi at the heart of it all, providing inspiration, its peerless spirit of fraternity and universal love, and much symbolism upon which to place the cornerstone of an economy of communion. The so-called "change-makers" are young economists, businessmen and women bringing their virtuous models of entrepreneurship to the table, and world-class experts in economy and social sciences who have come together to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation to transform hope for the rights of future generations into reality.




Culture and education


Artists from Asia and the Caribbean explore networking opportunities for creating new cultural values

7 December 2020 - Organized by the UNESCO Transcultura Programme and the South-South Collective of Jamaica, the encounter brought together artists from Asia and the Caribbean in a productive exchange of ideas and experiences. The two-day event allowed artists to share their work with arts producers, festival directors, and cultural managers from Asia through virtual platforms. Creators from countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Belize, Aruba, United Kingdom, China, Japan, Mongolia and South Korea had a one-on-one session discussing networking opportunities in the cultural and creative sectors. Musicians, animators, writers, dancers and performers identified festivals, platforms and events in Asia and the Caribbean as spaces for connecting and sharing their work. They advocated finding common ground and understanding each other’s market to facilitate those connections. In this regard, some of them proposed to build creative residencies to promote integration and cultural exchanges. 



Debating the future of media

7 December 2020 - Interactive panel discussion on the 40th anniversary of the IPDC.

How can we strengthen the viability of media and help professional journalism survive in the face of intensifying economic pressures? IPDC’s 40th anniversary celebration invited five experts from five continents to share their viewpoints. They discussed challenges to media business models, the problem of media capture, threats by authorities and opportunities of co-operation with Internet companies.  IPDC is the acronym of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication, which is concerned at the grave challenges facing media viability, which have been intensified by COVID-induced economic crisis worldwide.



Learning to envision the future: the first World Summit on Futures Literacy at UNESCO

4 December 2020 - UNESCO is convening a High Level Futures Literacy Summit 8-12 December that will directly address the massive disruptions that 2020 has brought to humanity’s images of the future, and provide practical solutions for overcoming today’s challenges by becoming more “futures literate”.

On December 8, over 5000 participants from around the world will cross the virtual lobby of UNESCO’s Futures Literacy Summit in order to experience the power of the human imagination. The Summit offers anyone with a computer and internet connection an exceptional five day learning experience. Over 100 booths and events, spanning an amazing range of organisations and sources of the images of tomorrow, will enable participants to engage their own anticipatory capacities directly. Some 40 global leaders will share why they are convinced that Futures Literacy is an essential competency for the 21st Century.



L’Oréal and UNESCO honor 6 promising women scientists through their Levant Young Talents Programme

3 December 2020 - The 7th edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Levant Young Talents Programme recognized 6 outstanding women scientists from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and the Syrian Arab Republic on 3 December 2020. The announcement of the recipients of the 2020 edition was made through an online event to foster the distinction of promising female scientists for their contribution to valuable research organized by L’Oréal Levant, in partnership with the National Council for Scientific Research Lebanon (CNRS-Lebanon).


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Indonesia: Education union celebrate 75th anniversary and educators’ unwavering commitment in the face of tough challenges

3 Dicember 2020 - Indonesian teachers were praised for providing quality education during the COVID-19 crisis at the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Persatuan Guru Republik Indonesia (PGRI) and of the 2020 National Teacher’s Day. The celebrations were organised on 28 November and gathered high-level speakers, with a hybrid event held at the PGRI headquarters, in Jakarta, and online.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


South Korea towards a multicultural nation!

(by Bereket Alemayehu and Nicole Lobos)

22 November 2020 -  This part of Korea is home to 2.5+ million foreigners who reside all over the country. We are part of the working forces in different fields such as industries and manufacturing, trading and business, education and studies, diplomacy. Recently, a few of us are working hard with our start-up ideas and ventures with Koreans. Since November of last year, a non-profit organization platform known as Global Business Alliance (GBA) aims to foster a multicultural society utilizing their talents and skills to benefit Korea, and building acceptance of foreigners as a part of Korean diversity. Within a short time, GBA has been recognized widely among Koreans and foreign communities, attracting people from 60+ countries.

Celebrating the first GBA Korea Cultural Day last Nov 11~12, 2020, GBA foreign members (CEOs, diplomats, and startups) from 18 countries were invited to visit a ‘Farm Tour for Local Industry Growth through the Gyeongbuk-type Industrial Tourism Promotion’. Hosted by the Gyeongsangbuk-do province Culture & Tourism Organization, we visited the Yeongju and Andong areas. Nicole Lobos from Chile and myself from Ethiopia were part of the cultural day trip. Recently we are witnessing that Korea is shifting from calling foreigners aliens to being part of a multicultural community.




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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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