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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 21st, no. 303 – 17th July 2021


Good News Agency carries positive and constructive news from all over the world relating to voluntary work, the work of the United Nations, non governmental organizations and institutions engaged in improving the quality of life – news that doesn’t “burn out” in the space of a day. It is distributed free of charge through Internet to media and editorial journalists, NGOs, service associations and high schools and colleges around the world.

It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, an educational charity associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information It is a supporter of the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace. In the final report of the Decade for a Culture of Peace project (2001-2010) provided to the UN Secretary-General for presentation to the UN General Assembly, Good News Agency is included among the three NGOs that have been playing an active role in the field of Information through Internet.* 




International legislationHuman rightsEconomy and developmentSolidarity

Peace and securityHealthEnergy and SafetyEnvironment and wildlife

Religion and spiritualityCulture and education


International legislation


United Nations – General Assembly – Seventy–fifth session – Agenda item 123 – The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy

Draft Resolution: The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy: seventh review

23 June  2021 - The General Assembly, (…)

1. Reiterates its strong and unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes;

2. Reaffirms the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and its four pillars, which constitute an ongoing effort, the importance of the integrated and balanced implementation of all the pillars, recognizing the need to redouble efforts for even attention to be paid to and the even implementation of all the pillars of the Strategy, and calls upon Member States, the United Nations and other appropriate international, regional and subregional organizations to step up their efforts to implement the Strategy in an integrated and balanced manner and in all its aspects; (…)


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


United Nations – Economic and Social Council – 2021 session – Agenda item 19 (b) – Social and human rights questions: social development

Resolution: Social dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development

17 June 2021 – The Economic and Social Council (…)

4. Reaffirms the importance of supporting Agenda 2063 of the African Union, as well as its first 10-year implementation plan, as a strategic framework for ensuring a positive socioeconomic transformation in Africa and its continental programme embedded in the resolutions of the General Assembly on the New Partnership and regional initiatives, such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme; (…)


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



of 14 June 2021 on a framework for the issuance, verification and acceptance of interoperable COVID-19 vaccination, test and recovery certificates (EU Digital COVID Certificate) to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic (Text with EEA relevance)

15 June 2021 – The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (…) have adopted this Regulation: (…)

Article 1

Subject matter

This Regulation lays down a framework for the issuance, verification and acceptance of interoperable COVID-19 vaccination, test and recovery certificates (EU Digital COVID Certificate) for the purpose of facilitating the holders’ exercise of their right to free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Regulation shall also contribute to facilitating the gradual lifting of restrictions to free movement put in place by the Member States, in accordance with Union law, to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, in a coordinated manner. It provides for the legal ground to process the personal data necessary to issue such certificates and to process the information necessary to verify and confirm the authenticity and validity of such certificates in full compliance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679. (…)


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



of 9 June 2021 establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe, amending and repealing Decision No 466/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU) 2017/1601 and Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 480/2009 (Text with EEA relevance)

14 June 2021 – The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (…) have adopted this Regulation: (…)

Article 3

Objectives of the Instrument

1.   The general objectives of the Instrument are to:

(a) uphold and promote the Union’s values, principles and fundamental interests worldwide, in order to pursue the objectives and principles of the Union’s external action, as laid down in Article 3(5) and Articles 8 and 21 TEU, thus contributing to the reduction and, in the long term, the eradication of poverty, to consolidating, supporting and promoting democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, sustainable development and the fight against climate change and addressing irregular migration and forced displacement, including their root causes;

(b) contribute to the promotion of multilateralism, the achievement of the international commitments and objectives that the Union has agreed to, in particular the SDGs, the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement; (…)


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the Goals


United Nations – General Assembly – Thirty–second special session – Agenda item 8 – Adoption of the political declaration

Resolution on 2 June 2021: Our common commitment to effectively addressing challenges and

implementing measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation

7June 2021 - The General Assembly, (…)

3. We will continue to implement and, where appropriate, strengthen strategies, plans, policies and practices relating to prevention to ensure that they are evidence-based and focused on addressing root causes, vulnerabilities and risk factors at all levels of society (…)

6. We commit to fostering a culture of accountability, transparency, legality, integrity and fairness in the public sector, including by applying anti-corruption obligations and measures, codes of conduct and other ethical standards for all public officials, (…)


News related with SDGs number 17-Partnerships for the Goals



Human rights


Japan: Olympics should benefit Human Rights

12 July 2021 - Japan should address serious rights issues in the country as host of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Human Rights Watch said today in a new reporters’ guide. The Tokyo 2020 Summer Games, which start on July 23, 2021, are advertised as celebrating “unity in diversity” and “passing on legacy for the future.” The Japanese government should immediately act to build a legacy of respect for human rights in Japan and beyond.



Human Rights Council holds panel discussion on technical cooperation to advance the right to education

12 July 2021 - The Human Rights Council this morning held its annual thematic panel discussion on technical assistance and capacity building with a focus on technical cooperation to advance the right to education and ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.



Childhood memories between playfields and battlefields

8 July 2021 – The latest escalation which broke out in May 2021 in Gaza and Israel is one of the most intense hostilities that we, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), have witnessed in the region in years. A significant -and mostly invisible- consequence of the escalation is the impact it has on the mental and psychosocial well-being of the people who live under recurrent cycles of violence. This is especially true for children. Supporting children’s mental health can be lifesaving in times of conflict and is just as important as stitching up a bleeding wound or having clean water. The ICRC believes that access to mental health during and after the conflict is essential to support the social fabric of societies that have suffered through conflicts. Moreover, repeated violence puts an additional burden on the population. After hostilities are over, the extent of traumatic experiences that people in general, and children in particular, will have suffered will be enormous. Particularly for those who were injured or lost loved ones, the harrowing memories and grief remain. In fact, children on both sides will bear the mental consequences of hostilities for many years to come. Drones buzzing, rockets roaring, airstrikes banging and sirens wailing… Children in Israel and Gaza live in constant fear. Among other psychological signs, they suffer from stress, fear, irritable mood, despair, and bedwetting, and they try to avoid images or anything that might bring back memories of the traumatic events and night terrors. (…) Amid all this anger, panic, sadness, loneliness, and fear, those children’s dreams are to become astronauts, dentists, football players, lawyers, artists, and professional swimmers. Children in Gaza dream of waking up one day to find all movement restrictions have been lifted. They want to be able to move freely and to travel the world. On the other side of the border, the children in Israel don’t want to live in war and want to live in peace. (…)


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


The 3rd Latin American Congress of Restorative Justice closed with more than 4,400 registered participants

23 June 2021 - On June 12 the closing day of the 3rd Latin American Congress of Restorative Justice took place in a format that was entirely virtual. During the three days of the event, there were more than 60 exhibitors from various countries: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Honduras, Uruguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Great Britain.


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


United Nations – Economic and Social Council – 2021 session – Agenda item 12 (c) – Coordination, programme and other questions

Resolution: Mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes in the United Nations system

15June 2021 – The Economic and Social Council (…)

2. Urges the United Nations system, taking into consideration the extraordinary circumstances due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, to accelerate gender mainstreaming in policies and programmes, including in support of the gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development17 at the global, regional and country levels;

3. Stresses that the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality constitutes a key forum for advocating, coordinating and monitoring progress in the mainstreaming of a gender perspective into the overall substantive normative, operational and programmatic work within the United Nations system, and looks forward to its continued role (…)


News related with SDGs number 5-Gender Equality and number 17-Partnerships for the Goals



Economy and development


ATLANTA - Points of Light launches Community for Employee Civic Engagement

8 July 2021: Global nonprofit Points of Light announced today their latest offering for corporate social responsibility professionals. Points of Light’s Community for Employee Civic Engagement, known as CECE, is an online resource and community for those looking to develop, support and master their approach to employee civic engagement. To become a member, simply create an account with an email address. To provide the most powerful and relevant resources, CECE offers inspiring civic engagement content from Points of Light thought leaders and experts from the corporate citizenship sector. This includes easily searchable templates, guides, reports, industry innovations and trends, as well as up to date information in times of crisis. The CECE global community also offers an unparalleled space for peer-to-peer connections. Members can engage in conversations with peers to brainstorm solutions to everyday CSR obstacles and seek advice from CECE’s curated partners and contributors. (…)Points of Light is a nonpartisan, global nonprofit organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes millions of people to take action that changes the world. We envision a world in which every individual discovers the power to make a difference, creating healthy communities in vibrant, participatory societies. Through 177 affiliates across 38 countries, and in partnership with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 5 million volunteers in 16 million hours of service each year.


News related with SDGs number 11-Sustainable Cities and Communities


LAUSANNE, Switzerland- Tetra Pak featured among 50 sustainability and climate Leaders

8 July 2021: The 50 Sustainability and Climate Leaders project is the response from the international business community which demonstrates the desire, the leadership, and the will to take effective action in the fight against climate change. Tetra Pak has today been recognised as one of the world’s 50 Sustainability and Climate Leaders. The leading food processing and packaging solutions company has been acknowledged for its commitment to pioneer a sustainable future, with a documentary showcasing its fascinating journey. The video features interviews with members of Tetra Pak’s Global Leadership Team, highlighting how the role of food sector in tackling climate change is becoming even more imperative. They explain why accelerating de-carbonisation and collaborations is critical to lead the sustainability transformation of the food packaging industry – addressing complex and multi-faceted challenges such as global warming, circularity and biodiversity. Food is a critical but often overlooked element of the climate issue. The global food system accounts for 26% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions[1], while 8% of total emissions are caused by food waste[2]. In other words, if food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third largest producer of emissions. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of the world’s food system (…). High-performance food packaging plays a critical role in feeding the world, but it must do so sustainably, so that food availability does not come at the cost of the planet. This lies behind Tetra Pak’s purpose: to commit to making food safe and available, everywhere, in a way that protects what’s good - protecting food, protecting people as well as protecting the planet. To minimise climate impact while helping to ensure food security for the future, the company takes a full life cycle view of its solutions.


News related with SDGs number 12-Responsible Consumption and Production 


NEW YORK - Xylem Engages First 1,700 Students in Global Youth Program: Xylem Ignite

7 July 2021 - Xylem (NYSE: XYL), a leading water technology company, is investing in the future of the global water industry with a new dedicated student development program – Xylem Ignite – targeting high school and university students worldwide. Midway through its inaugural year, Xylem Ignite has already engaged more than 1,700 students in creative water-oriented hackathons and sustainability events, including 650+ participants from 47 countries competing in the Xylem Global Student Innovation Challenge for $20,000 in total cash prizes. Young innovators developing solutions to various water problems can also apply to be a part of the Xylem Ignite Innovation Incubator. The Incubator program provides up to 12 months’ support for participants to scale up their innovations and advance them toward market readiness. Interested students can send an email to igniteincubator@xylem.com for more information and to submit applications. Xylem Ignite was conceived in mid-2020 by a team of young professionals in Xylem, as a platform to engage the passion and creativity of students around the world. The investments are targeted to give interested students access to the resources needed to develop their ideas and innovations.



IFAD and Govt. of Maharashtra join hands to empower 1 million rural women

29 June 2021, Rome - The UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of Maharashtra in India launched the Nav Tejaswini programme this week. The project, which aims to socially and economically empower women in 1 million households across the state, will support rural women across Maharashtra’s 34 rural districts to improve their livelihoods by helping them start and expand competitive businesses.  By harnessing the power of community organisations such as self-help groups (SHGs) and community managed resource centres (CMRCs), Tejaswini established strong institutions, financial discipline and well-functioning micro-entrepreneurial activities for poor rural women organised into self-help groups and self-sustaining CMRCs. The project will also address micronutrient deficiencies among rural people in Maharashtra, particularly women and girls, by promoting crops and products with high nutritional value. The project will work to address gender inequalities at different levels. It will promote women-friendly technologies that reduce workloads. It will raise awareness of legal rights and encourage women's participation in public spaces and institutions. It will also promote joint titling of land and property and enable decision-making at community, group and household levels (…)


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





The Netherlands formalizes €3.5M contribution to protect journalists with UNESCO

13 July 2021 - The Netherlands has formalized a contribution of €3.5 million euros to support UNESCO’s work on safety of journalists worldwide through UNESCO’s Multi-Donor Programme for Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists (MDP).The official details of this important voluntary contribution were finalized this morning in a meeting between the Ambassador of The Netherlands to UNESCO, Hans Wesseling and the Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, Tawfik Jelassi. The Netherlands’ contribution will support activities under the UN Plan of Action of the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, which celebrates its 10th Anniversary in 2022. 



The World Bank, ICRC and UNICEF launch a report on joining forces in humanitarian and development collaboration to improve responses to protracted crises

9 July 2021, Beijing, – The World Bank, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recently launched a report titled ‘Joining Forces to Combat Protracted Crises: Humanitarian and Development Support for Water Supply and Sanitation Providers in the Middle East and North Africa.’ Globally, around 2 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water, and nearly half of the world's population – 3.6 billion people – lack safe sanitation. Vulnerable people – especially children and women – living in fragile and conflict-affected situations are disproportionately affected. Water and sanitation are priorities in both humanitarian and development work, but evidence shows that a lack of collaboration in conflict and violence-affected contexts between humanitarian and development support agencies is increasing costs, reducing effectiveness, and ultimately hampering efforts to reach the most vulnerable and marginalized people (…). The launch event provided a platform for development and humanitarian professionals to share reflections on the challenges and opportunities in the delivery of water and sanitation during protracted crises. The authors of the report delivered keynote addresses, which were followed by a panel discussion. Attendees shared experiences from the field, examples and practices of complementary humanitarian development collaboration, as well as mechanisms, tools and approaches for building resilience while reinforcing the emergency response to address urgent needs (…)


News related with SDGs number 6-Clean Water and Sanitation


WFP and Australia ramp up support to millions of people battling COVID, conflict and climate change in Asia and the Pacific

8 July 2021 - The United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) humanitarian operations are getting a major boost with an AUD 34.7 million contribution from the Government of Australia. The funding will assist communities across the Indo-Pacific region affected by hunger as a result of conflict, COVID-19, or climate emergencies.  Afghanistan and Myanmar will receive AUD 21 million to help WFP meet the food needs of millions of people. In Afghanistan, economic distress due to COVID-19, conflict, and drought have pushed 14 million - 1 in 3 Afghans – into acute food insecurity. In Myanmar, the political crisis, job losses and the pandemic mean 3.4 million more people will struggle to put food on the table.  The remainder will help WFP operations, including in Indonesia and the Philippines. Previous contributions this year have supported Bangladesh and Timor-Leste. Australian support has also been critical in sustaining WFP’s humanitarian air service to ensure supplies and personnel can get to the frontlines of the pandemic. In 2020, WFP reached a record 17 million people in the Indo-Pacific. As COVID closed schools and businesses, WFP distributed take-home food rations for students, and food deliveries for migrant workers in quarantine. Assistance was also provided for refugees and local communities hit by typhoons, cyclones, and floods.



Russian Federation helps World Food Programme to support poor families in Kyrgyzstan

1 July 2021, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – The Russian Federation is providing a new batch of in-kind contribution to the World Food Programme (WFP) in Kyrgyzstan, in support of its operations for poor families in need of food assistance. Some 365 tons of Russian-made fortified vegetable oil are now heading to WFP warehouses in Bishkek and Osh. They will be used as part of food rations for more than 27,000 families living below the poverty line in the country. Each family will be given 150 kg of fortified wheat flour and 15 liters of vegetable oil to meet their basic food needs while they are participating in more than 500 community projects aimed at improving infrastructure and building resilience against future shocks. Some of the projects include rehabilitating irrigation networks and cropland, forest expansion, and construction of bridges and drainage systems. The Russian Federation is the largest donor to WFP in the Kyrgyz Republic, in both funding and technical support. Thanks to its support, WFP was able to sustain its operations since the start of COVID-19.


News related with SDGs number 1-No Poverty


WFP welcomes commitment to famine prevention by G7; calls for swift action to prevent widespread catastrophe

15 June 2021, Rome – This weekend, leaders of the G7 acknowledged the unprecedented humanitarian crisis our world faces today as more than 34 million people teeter on the edge of famine and endorsed a Famine Prevention Compact to urgently address the problem. This is a welcome move. We can pull each of these 34 million individuals back from the brink, prevent starvation, and save millions of lives and livelihoods. All we need is the funding and access to do so. Within the Compact, the G7 leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to provide $7 billion in vital humanitarian assistance and take diplomatic action to promote humanitarian access. In March, WFP and FAO called for US$5.5 billion to scale-up operations and avert widespread famine. At that time, this was roughly 40% of our yearly operational budget. For the next six months alone, WFP requires $4.5 billion and the consequences of inaction and funding shortfalls will be measured in lost lives, and setbacks in progress towards long-term development goals. Our ability to save lives depends on unimpeded humanitarian access and having funding commitments fulfilled so we’re able to expand and reach those who are most in need.




Peace and security


From the field: desert artisans in Mali foster dialogue and tolerance

11 July 2021 - Traditional arts and crafts are being used to build peace and dialogue in Mali thanks to the work of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, MINUSMA. Some 360 artisans based around Menaka, in the far northeast of the West African nation, some of whom fled as refugees to neighbouring Niger, have been encouraged to return to the town’s newly restored House of Artisans to practice a range of traditional crafts, including leatherwork, silver-smithing, sewing and carpentry.


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


INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY – IRENA and the UN Agree to Advance Renewables in Peacekeeping operations

16 June 2021 – Partnership between UN Department of Operational Support and IRENA to advance use of renewables in UN peacekeeping missions and host countries. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 15 June 2021 - The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the United Nations (UN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today (June 15) to advance the use of host-country generated renewable energy in peacekeeping missions. Under the agreement, IRENA and the UN will seek opportunities to work with countries that host UN peacekeeping operations to identify host country policy, regulatory, and technical measures that would help increase their renewable energy share. In addition, IRENA will assist the UN to strengthen renewable power generation in these areas through encouraging private sector investment. (…)


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





2.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine supplied through COVAX start being rolled out in Pakistan

4 July 2021 - Today 2.5 million doses of Moderna (mRNA-1273) COVID-19 vaccines supplied through the COVAX Facility's dose-sharing mechanism, and donated by the United States, started being distributed by the Government of Pakistan to vaccinate priority groups across the country, in line with the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan.


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


Saving Lebanon’s Nursing Workforce

2 July 2021– Palestinian refugees face many challenges in Lebanon and are excluded from socioeconomic opportunities. Many have turned to alternative educational opportunities which provide them with access to practical skills and solid career paths. Anera’s vocational training programs cover a range of fields, including nursing, hairdressing accounting, plumbing, urban agriculture and catering. The diversity of these courses has made entry into the workforce a viable undertaking, accessible to refugees and other vulnerable communities. One of our longest-standing vocational education programs in Lebanon trains new nurses. "We have been implementing the nursing scholarship program in Lebanon for nine years, but this year it proved to be even more critical," Dima Zayat, Anera’s deputy country director in Lebanon, says. "Our aim is to contribute to bridging the gap created by the increasing migration of nurses from Lebanon to more economically and politically stable countries." Anera has collaborated with a number of local accredited technical institutes that provide a formal, three-year nursing education. These kinds or programs and services have become the cornerstone of education for many, and has had monumental effects on Palestinian youth and their job prospects. (…)


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


From 30 million cases to zero: China is certified malaria-free by WHO

30 June 2021 - Following a 70-year effort, China has been awarded a malaria-free certification from WHO – a notable feat for a country that reported 30 million cases of the disease annually in the 1940s.  China is the first country in the WHO Western Pacific Region to be awarded a malaria-free certification in more than 3 decades. Other countries in the region that have achieved this status include Australia (1981), Singapore (1982) and Brunei Darussalam (1987).


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



of 14 June 2021 on a framework for the issuance, verification and acceptance of interoperable COVID-19 vaccination, test and recovery certificates (EU Digital COVID Certificate) to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic (Text with EEA relevance)

15 June 2021 – The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (…) have adopted this regulation: (…)

Article 1

Subject matter

This Regulation lays down a framework for the issuance, verification and acceptance of interoperable COVID-19 vaccination, test and recovery certificates (EU Digital COVID Certificate) for the purpose of facilitating the holders’ exercise of their right to free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Regulation shall also contribute to facilitating the gradual lifting of restrictions to free movement put in place by the Member States, in accordance with Union law, to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, in a coordinated manner. It provides for the legal ground to process the personal data necessary to issue such certificates and to process the information necessary to verify and confirm the authenticity and validity of such certificates in full compliance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679. (…)


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



Energy and safety



INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY - It's time to make clean energy investment in emerging and developing economies a top global priority

29 June 2021 – New report from IEA, in collaboration with World Bank and World Economic Forum, shows concerted international efforts are needed for a sustainable and resilient economic future in developing world. (…) The special report - carried out in collaboration with the World Bank and the World Economic Forum - sets out a series of actions to enable these countries to overcome the major hurdles they face in attracting the financing to build the clean, modern and resilient energy systems that can power their growing economies for decades to come. (…)



Namaste news: women in India are turning invasive plant into yoga mats

(by Rebecca Coons)

28 June 2021 – In India, six women from a fishing community are collecting water hyacinth, an invasive plant species, from Deepor Beel Lake and turning them into yoga mats. They hope the industry will help save the livelihoods those who rely on the Assamlake as well as migratory birds who have difficult finding fish amid the hyacinth-choked lake waters. (…) The process involves collecting and drying the hyacinth, which is then woven with cotton threads to make mats. Natural dyes are added during the process. (…)


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


Scientists Use NASA Satellite Data to track ocean microplastics from space

(Article courtesy of NASA, Earth Science News Team. By Sofie Bates)

27 June 2021 – Scientists from the University of Michigan have developed an innovative way to use NASA satellite data to track the movement of tiny pieces of plastic in the ocean. (…) The new technique relies on data from NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS), a constellation of eight small satellites that measures wind speeds above Earth’s oceans and provides information about the strength of hurricanes. (…)


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


European Commission will revise competition rules to allow more subsidies for Renewable Energy Projects

25 June 2021 – On June 7, the European Commission began the public consultation process for the proposed changes to the Energy and Environmental State Aide Guidelines (EEAG). To help EU member states establish more ambitious targets for the installation of renewable generation systems, the EU competition regulators are loosening some restrictions pertaining to subsidies for renewable energy projects. In fact, one of the most important changes that will be made to the EEAG is to allow member states to subsidize the entire cost of developing a renewable energy project. (…)


News related with SDGs number 11-Sustainable Cities and Communities


Gucci develops vegan leather

(by Rebecca Coons)

21 June 2021 – In Italy, luxury brand Gucci has launched its first eco-friendly sneaker, featuring animal-free leather developed in-house. Dubbed Demetra, the material was developed at Gucci’s Gruppo Colonna plant in Tuscany. It is 77% plant-based, using viscose, wood pulp and renewable polyurethane. The sneakers also use organic cotton and recycled steel and polyester. (…)


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


Biocement looks to solve infrastructure’s massive carbon problem

(by Rebecca Coons)

21June 2021 – In North Carolina, startup Biomason is making tiles and bricks out of bacteria to provide an alternative to cement, which is responsible for large amounts of carbon dioxide emissions. (…)The process is similar to how coral grows, and the resulting material is about 85% granite from recycled sources and 15% biocement. (…)


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



Environment and wildlife


A robust new strategy for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea

9 July 2021 - The targets of the new 2030 Strategy of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) are in alignment with blue transformation, a pillar of FAO’s new Strategic Framework. An ambitious commitment adopted today by 22 countries plus the European Union aims to secure a sustainable future for fisheries and aquaculture in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.


News related with SDGs number 14- Life below Water


WWF launches new Forces of Nature podcast to mark 60 years of conservation impact

5July 2021– We have launched a new podcast series, Forces of Nature hosted by our media relations manager, Susannah Birkwood. In each episode, we introduce candid conversations between prominent environmentalists from different generations across four continents about what they’ve learned, and their regrets, during the past decades – and how we can all achieve more for the planet in the next 10 years than we did in the last six decades. Forces of Nature has been produced to commemorate WWF’s 60th anniversary in 2021. This significant milestone in WWF’s history marks an opportunity to reflect on conservation successes and how we can continue to evolve and strengthen our impact as the world enters a critical moment for people, climate and nature. Each episode explores a different theme, from the late Prince Philip’s approach to conservation; to the pride – and regret – former President Santos feels about his environmental record during his time in office; to a Saami reindeer herder’s insights into the importance of indigenous rights in conservation and Princess Esmeralda’s experience of being arrested during a climate protest in London in 2019. (…)


News related with SDGs number 15-Life on Land


Global Environment Facility approves over $46.6 million to support FAO-led projects

17 June 2021, Rome - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today welcomed approval from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for five FAO-led projects in eight countries, totaling more than $46.6 million in funding. The latest projects will address critical environmental challenges - such as land degradation, biodiversity loss, unsustainable fishing and climate change - that threaten the food security and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people in Asia and Africa. They will be implemented in partnership with and co-financed by the governments of Cambodia, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Lesotho, Malaysia, Senegal, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The projects approved by the GEF will assist countries and communities to adopt more sustainable and climate-resilient practices, foster regional cooperation, and enact stronger policies to conserve biodiversity and deter illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. They will directly benefit 441,500 people and restore over 27,000 hectares of degraded landscapes. The projects will also create 30,000 hectares of new protected areas on land and sea, and improve the management of over 765,000 hectares of landscapes and 4 million hectares of marine habitats.  Their action is designed to mitigate 6.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, and move 547,393 tonnes of over-exploited fish stocks to more sustainable levels. Among the FAO-led projects is a regional project in the Gulf of Thailand that will promote sustainable fisheries management in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam.  The four projects approved in Africa will address the threats of climate change and land degradation to enhance the climate resilience of communities, safeguard natural resources, and strengthen agricultural value chains to improve rural livelihoods.


News related with SDGs number 13-Climate Action



Religion and spirituality


ASIA/IRAQ - The project to erect a church in Ur of the Chaldeans takes off

12 July 2021- A project to erect a church in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the Iraqi governorate of Dhi Qar, also equipped with a meeting room useful in particular to welcome Christian pilgrims who from Iraq and all over the world want to reach the place where Prophet Abraham's journey to the Promised Land takes off. This is the project - and also the dream - recently presented to the Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, by the Chaldean engineer Adour Ftouhi Boutros Katelma. The Iraqi engineer - according to the information organs of the Chaldean Patriarchate - presented the project as a donation from him, offering to make available the funds necessary for its realization. The Patriarch and Cardinal Sako, for his part, encouraged and blessed the initiative, suggesting that the church be dedicated to Ibrahim al Khalil, Abraham father of all believers, and to name the meeting room for pilgrims after Pope Francis, who on March 6 also visited Ur of the Chaldeans during his apostolic journey to the country. During the meeting between engineer Boutros Katelma and Patriarch Sako, it emerged that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi also expressed his approval of the project.



Barcelona will host the Second International Peace Congress from October 15-17, 2021

9 July 2021- Under the title “(Re)imagine our world: Action for Peace and Justice”, participants from around 70 countries will attend the meeting of the international peace movement and other social movements, with renowned activists and experts. The congress will have a hybrid format, with face-to-face activities, conferences, workshops and cultural events, but with the possibility of following many of them online. The International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the International Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP) are the main organisers of the Second International Peace Congress to be held in Barcelona from October 15-17, 2021. Under the title “(Re)imagine our world. Action for Peace and Justice”, participants from around 70 countries will attend this event with face-to-face activities, conferences and workshops, most of which will take place at the CCCB (Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona). The main goal of the congress is to invigorate international pacifism and peacework, offer a meeting point for different actors, redefine action for peace, and, as the motto of the congress says, reimagine the world through the prism of a culture of peace.  According to the IPB Co-President, Philip Jennings, the congress aims to be the largest gathering of activists for peacThe congress seeks to foster synergies between organisations and individuals and between interconnected social movements fighting for global justice: peace and disarmament advocates, feminist and LGBTQIA+ activists, environmentalists and climate activists, anti-racists and indigenous peoples, human rights defenders and trade unionists.  During the three days of the congress, there will be talks and lectures by more than thirty speakers(…).


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


News Release: ADRA’s BRAVE Program involves Adventist Church and Interfaith Forums in Sri Lanka to Minimize COVID-19 Threat

6 July 2021 (SRI LANKA) – The pear-shaped island nation of Sri Lanka is on the verge of a health crisis, and with a population of more than 21 million people, hope in the country for the COVID-19 pandemic to recede remains neutral.  The impact of the virus has left businesses to close, workers being laid off, and patient numbers have increased at hospitals spiking a shortage of intensive care unit beds.  According to a study by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health, most communities are taking measures to prevent the virus, namely by wearing face masks, washing or sanitizing their hands, keeping six feet apart, and being vaccinated. However, the study also revealed that with the widespread of misinformation through WhatsApp, Facebook and the like, people are being misled, and there has been a gap in disseminating factual information. As a result, the health ministry’s study reported that the virus won’t go away anytime soon.  The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is teaming up with local authorities, the Adventist Church, and interfaith partners to address the most challenging preventative issues arising on the island. Another goal is to find a way to tackle the problem by coming up with solutions. ADRA came up with a program entitled BRAVE, which is short for building resilience and vaccine awareness, and will be in collaboration with interfaith groups. (…)



ASIA/HOLY LAND - "Smile therapy" sponsored by the Latin Patriarchate, to help Palestinian women cope with psychological pressures and heal their internal wounds

3 July 2021: Jerusalem (Agenzia Fides) - They call it "laughter therapy" or "smile therapy", a formula that indicates techniques and practices aimed at using and channeling in a therapeutic key the beneficial effects that good humor and joy can exert on states of suffering, especially of a psychological nature. The social services department of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has organized a laughter therapy workshop aimed especially at Palestinian women in the Holy City. The workshop was attended by 16 Palestinian women from East Jerusalem, the part of the Holy City where the Arab population is concentrated. The workshop, also promoted at the initiative of the parish priest Amjad Sabbara and entrusted to the specialist Bianca Morcos Tourjman, is an integral part of the support programs in favor of the local female population sponsored by the Latin Patriarchate since the first spread of the pandemic of Covid-19, programs carried out with the participation of Caritas Jerusalem and the operational contribution of the Al-Sabil Palestinian Ecumenical Center. The initiative tries to take on at least partially, the discomfort and the psychological suffering that have affected Palestinian women in Jerusalem in particular during the last year and a half, a time in which social problems and chronic economic conditions faced by the Palestinian population of the Holy City have been compounded by social isolation, the collapse of work activities, fears and medical-health problems linked to the pandemic.




Culture and education


UNESCO launches first aid volunteers’ network to protect and rescue documentary heritage

12 July 2021 - In response to disasters such as floods affecting libraries and archives across Central America, the UNESCO Cluster Office in San José, Costa Rica launched the Central American Network of First Aid Volunteers to safeguard documentary heritage. The network was launched in Panama on 21 June with the support of the Ministry of Culture. It aims to develop national teams of volunteers dedicated to preserving documentary heritage during and following disasters. Following the launch, a series of training sessions and simulations on disaster risk management were organized for Panamanian volunteers, including representatives of the National Library, National Archives, the Ministry of Culture, the Fire Department, the National Civil Protection System and the National Association of Scouts of Panama. These sessions covered important topics such as how to conduct risks assessments and salvage books, manuscripts and other documents after a flood.



Launch of the Global Observatory for Women, Sport, Physical Education and Physical Activity

9 July 2021 - Thanks to the commitment of the Swiss authorities, including the Canton of Vaud, the City of Lausanne and the University of Lausanne, this launch marks the outcome of a process initiated at the Fourth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS IV) in 2003, and confirmed in 2017, at MINEPS VI, within the framework of the Kazan Action Plan (KAP). This Observatory seeks to overcome global and systemic inequalities for girls and women in sport. Today, in Europe, 45% of men play sport at least once a week compared to 37% of women, and men's competitions are broadcast up to 20 times more than women's competitions - disparities exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis. Inequalities are real, but comprehensive data is lacking. To stimulate much needed investments in the area of women and sport, documenting and evidencing positive impacts will be crucial.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


Inclusive approach ensures no-one is left behind

(By Shelley Breckenridge)

8 July 2021 - What do community enterprises, social enterprises and third sector organisations have in common? They can all benefit from tapping into the expertise within Scotland’s higher and further education to realise their ambitions. According to Nesta, the UK's innovation agency for social good, “Social innovation is about developing new ideas to tackle social problems or meet social needs. It may be a new product, service, initiative, organisational model or approach to the delivery of public services.”



Focusing on education can promote tollerance and human fraternity

(By Davide Dionisi)

7 July 2021 - A collaboration agreement is signed between the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Ministry of Education of the United Arab Emirates. The goal of the collaboration agreement signed last Monday is that of promoting tolerance, coexistence and human brotherhood in the world. The agreement involves Catholic schools and educational institutions in the country.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


AI Ethics: Another step closer to the adoption of UNESCO's Recommendation

2 July 2021 - After months of constructive dialogue and negotiation, representatives from UNESCO’s member states have agreed on the draft text of an ambitious and wide-ranging new template for the ethical development and deployment of Artificial Intelligence. Momentum for change on ethical AI is gathering in the run-up to UNESCO’s General Conference in November – when the Recommendation will be submitted to UNESCO member states for adoption. The Recommendation will establish a global framework to ensure that digital transformations promote human rights and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. It will address issues around transparency, accountability and privacy, contain action-oriented policy chapters on data governance, education, culture, healthcare and the economy, and provide governments and policy makers with a global framework for regulating AI.


News related with SDGs number 4-Quality Education


The Iraqi Ministry of Education and WFP plan to broaden access to school feeding for 3.6 million children

28 June 2021, Baghdad – The Ministry of Education of Iraq (MoE) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have agreed to broaden access to school feeding for 3.6 million school children across the country. So far this year, 264,000 of the most vulnerable children have been provided with school meals and support in 11 districts. Partners plan to expand the programme over the next four years to provide better opportunities to all children in need, to stay in school and support their learning and futures.  In the new 2021-2022 academic year, the partners’ aim is to support 450,000 children, then 900,000 children the following year, subsequently 1.8 million, and 3.6 million by 2024-2025. The plan is also to hand over the joint programme to the government. The partners also committed to advocate for the creation of a national pooled fund for school feeding, to help with long-term finance needed for the programme. To ensure a successful handover, WFP will also continue to support the Ministry of Education with training and development on key systems and staff skills, alongside local Directorates of Education. Such capacity strengthening can enhance the long-term success of the School Feeding Programme, and ultimately the futures of millions of school children.



Transformations in Multilateral Cooperation : The Case of Uzbekistan

22 June 2021 - Over the past recent years, new ways of cooperation have emerged to accelerate progress towards the 2030 goals. Private / public partnerships, multi-agency cooperation and community engagement have enabled progress in programme implementation. An example of such strategic shift can be seen in the work conducted by UNESCO in Uzbekistan.



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Good News Agency is published monthly (except August) in English, Italian and Portuguese. Past issues are available at www.goodnewsagency.org . Rome Law-court registration no. 265 dated 20 June 2000. Managing Editor: Fabio Gatti (fabio.gatti@goodnewsagency.org). Editorial research by Fabio Gatti, Isabella Strippoli, Elisa Minelli, Salvatore Caruso Motta, Chiara Damilano, Francesco Viglienghi, Carlo Toraldo, Andrea Landriscina, Nazzarena Franco. Webmaster, media and NGO coverage: Simone Frassanito (simone.frassanito@goodnewsagency.org


Good News Agency is distributed free of charge through Internet to media and editorial journalists of the daily newspapers and periodical magazines and of the radio and television stations, NGOs, service associations, high schools and colleges as well as over 26,000 Rotarians around the world.


It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, a registered, not-for-profit educational charity chartered in Italy in 1979 The Association operates for the development of consciousness and promotes a culture of peace in the ‘global village’ perspective based on unity in diversity and on sharing. It is based in Piazzale degli Eroi 8, 00136 Rome, Italy. The Association is a member of the World Association of Non Governmental Organizations.


* http://decade-culture-of-peace.org/2010_civil_society_report.pdf - In section A - International Organizations, page 12, the Report says: ”Diffusion and exchange of culture of peace information via the Internet has become the major instrument for several international organizations, notably the Culture of Peace News Network, the Good News Agency and the Education for Peace Globalnet.”

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