Good News Agency – Year XI, n° 174
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 10,000 media and editorial journalists in 54 countries and to 3,000 NGOs and 1,600 high schools, colleges and universities. 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. The Association has been recognized by UNESCO as “an actor of the global movement for a culture of peace” and it is a member of the World Association of Non Governmental Organizations.
The Convention on Cluster Munitions enters into force on August 1
The Convention on Cluster
Munitions comprehensively bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of
cluster munitions, sets strict deadlines for clearance of contaminated land and
destruction of stockpiles of the weapon, and includes groundbreaking provisions
for victim assistance. Forty African states are among the 106 countries that
have signed the Convention, and the
On May 28th this year the Congress of the Republic (the Portuguese National Parliament) discussed the Draft Resolution proposed by “The Greens” recommending that the government adopt the principles of the Earth Charter. The resolution was indeed adopted, meaning that the National Parliament of Portugal endorsed the Earth Charter!
“The greens” pleased by the approval consider that the endorsement of the Earth Charter will be an incentive to the Portuguese Government and to the Congress to be commit to implementing the objectives, values and principles expressed in the Charter.
As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations. This is what the Earth Charter affirms, which arose precisely as a declaration of fundamental principles for building a global society in the XXI century that is just, sustainable and peaceful.
In historic move, UN creates single entity to promote women’s empowerment
New York, July 2 - In a bid to accelerate the empowerment of women, the General Assembly today voted unanimously to create a dynamic new entity merging four United Nations offices focusing on gender equality, a move hailed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other senior officials. “The newest member of the UN family has been born today,” Mr. Ban told the Assembly after it passed the resolution setting up the new UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, to be known as UN Women. The new body will merge four of the world body’s agencies and offices: UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW).
UN Women is the result of
years of negotiations among
measures to enhance child rights in
July 2 (UN News) - The United
Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has welcomed new measures announced by the Republic
of Congo to boost child protection, calling them a major breakthrough for the
Central African nation. President Denis Sassou Nguesso announced the new child protection framework during
recent celebrations to mark the Day of the African Child, making
The framework is comprised of a collection of texts covering all aspects of child protection, including issues concerning children in conflict with the law.
members respond to the crisis in
June 30 - Ethnic conflict in southern
InterAction members are responding to the crisis by assessing emergency needs, distributing relief items and providing temporary shelter. InterAction has developed guidelines on the most appropriate ways to help those affected by overseas disasters.
Companies commit to human rights in increasing numbers
London, June 24 - As representatives of over 1000 companies gather this week in New York at the United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit, Realizing Rights and the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre have published a list of over 270 companies worldwide known to have adopted a human rights policy statement.
During 2009-2010 Mary Robinson
(President of Realizing Rights, former President of Ireland and United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights) wrote to the CEOs
of 100 companies, encouraging them to adopt a human rights policy if they had
not already done so. The firms contacted are headquartered in:
Every company human rights policy statement known to the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is featured on its website: www.business-humanrights.org/ToolsGuidancePortal/Policies
July 18: Nelson Mandela International Day
In November 2009 the General Assembly of the United Nations decided to celebrate the life and work of Nelson Mandela with an annual Day to be observed on his birthday. On this first year of the new international Day, Nelson Mandela will be celebrating his 92nd birthday.
The Day honors Mandela's stature as a world leader and his remarkable contribution to freedom, justice and democracy. Nelson Mandela is a living embodiment of the highest values of the United Nations. … He is an exemplary global citizen, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated.
See Mandela Day on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/mandelaintlday
UN announces the Day www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=32918&Cr=south+africa&Cr1
Nelson Mandela Foundation http://www.nelsonmandela.org/index.php/foundation/mandela-day/category/mandela_day_2010/
July 11: World Population Day
2010 Theme: Everyone Counts
Achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals will require significant progress in lowering the birth rate in many of the economically poorest countries and improving reproductive health services and family planning. Yet the global financial crisis is leading governments to reduce their investment in family planning as well as in the health and education of girls.
Counting everyone is an integral part of ensuring that we take everyone into account. Good demographic data is critical for planning schools, health systems and public transportation, for designing policies based on future population projections, for monitoring the effectiveness of service delivery and much more.
This year World Population Day highlights the importance of data for development. The focus is on the 2010 round of the population and housing census, data analysis for development and UNFPA’s lead role in population and development.
signs US$ 7.6 million loan and US$ 7.6 million grant for High-Value Agriculture
The new project aims to reduce poverty and social disharmony in the hill and mountain areas of the Mid-Western Development Region and address the issue of economic isolation. Poverty persists in these areas because of conflict, poor infrastructure, and lack of access to services and markets. An increase in agricultural diversification can be achieved through initiatives that focus on high-value crops, non-timber forest products, medicinal and aromatic plants, and livestock. This will help to integrate rural poor people, especially women and marginal groups into high-value agriculture, value chains and markets, and employment opportunities that lead to improved incomes. This IFAD project is expected to benefit about 52,000 households (285,000 people).
Contacts: Jessica Thomas, email@example.com
program launches the
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka to officially launch the Maize Handbook
The Kenya Maize Development
Program is a
Various chapters in the
handbook have been sponsored by leading agricultural firms in
Save the Children readying response for Romanian children forced from homes by flooding
Save the Children will be conducting rapid assessments in hard-hit communities and, based on children's needs, will be providing relief that may include distributions of clean water, food, children's clothing, hygiene supplies and other essential supplies. The agency will also closely monitor children's health needs, as conditions in affected areas are likely to lead to an increase in the number of children suffering from diarrhea, pneumonia and other diseases.
Save the Children is also planning to assist children by initiating activities to help them deal with the stress they are experiencing. Activites may include psychosocial programs and summer camps for children whose homes were lost — supporting children's needs for normalcy and routine while also enabling their parents to concentrate on their recovery knowing that their children are safe.
Wealthy are making bigger gifts to charitable causes, Chronicle Tally shows
By Caroline Bermudez
July 1 - America’s wealthiest donors are making far bigger gifts to charitable organizations in 2010 than they did a year ago—but far fewer of them are giving $1-million or more to charitable causes, a Chronicle of Philanthropy analysis has found.
The continued effects of the turbulent economy can be seen in the decrease in the number of gifts of $1-million or more announced in the first six months of this year. At least 181 gifts of that size have been awarded this year, compared with 250 such donations in the first six months of 2009.
But the donations that have been made show that many wealthy Americans are more willing to part with large sums than they were a year ago. At least 20 people have made gifts of $20-million to $35-million in the past six months; in the first part of 2009, only 13 such gifts had been made.
The number of gifts of $100-million or more has also grown slightly. So far three such gifts have been made, compared with two in the first six months of 2009.
As a result of the growing number of large donations, the total contributed by 181 donors of $1-million or more was $1.96-billion in the first six months of this year: the total of the 250 gifts donated in the first two quarters of 2009 was $1.74-billion.
The Chronicle’s analysis was based on the searchable list of gifts of $1-million or more it maintains online.
Future Vision pilot is launched
A three-year test of The Rotary Foundation's new, streamlined grant structure, is underway
Rotary International News, July - The pilot officially began 1 July, with 100 pilot districts that were selected from among hundreds of applicants in June 2009. The pilot districts will spend the next three years testing and helping to refine the Foundation's new grant model before all districts begin to participate in July 2013. (...)
Two types of grants are provided for under the Future Vision Plan.
Once a year, districts may apply for a block grant of up to 50 percent of their District Designated Fund. These district grants offer the flexibility to respond quickly to immediate needs or to plan projects with clubs locally or in other countries. Pilot districts may sponsor district grant projects with clubs in nonpilot districts. Global grants support large, sustainable activities that relate to one or more of the areas of focus. Clubs and districts can either create their own global grant-funded projects or sponsor packaged global grants that will be developed by the Foundation in cooperation with its strategic partners.
The Trustees have approved a
Rotary Foundation Global Grants World Fund budget of US$8 million for Future
Vision pilot districts starting with the 2010-11 year. (Funds for the pilot
districts were budgeted separately. The 2010-11 Matching Grants World Fund
budget is $21.5 million.) The Foundation has already approved two district grant
applications under the Future Vision pilot and is reviewing a number of others.
first global grant was approved in June for a project to combat the spread of
dengue fever in
On the basis of an assessment of needs carried out by the Ivorian Red Cross, 1,200 basins, 600 buckets, 6,000 bars of soap, 600 sleeping mats, 3,600 clothing items, 600 kitchen sets and 600 tarpaulins will be supplied to victims of the disaster, which resulted in several deaths and in the destruction of many homes. The distribution will take place on 30 June in the Anyama and Bingerville communities and on 2 July in the Abobo neighbourhood.
"These emergency supplies will enable the families to meet some of their vital needs during the emergency," said Christian Bosson, in charge of the ICRC's economic-security activities in the country. The ICRC continues to work in cooperation with the Ivorian Red Cross to boost its capacity to bring aid to those who need it most.
Kyrgyzstan/Uzbekistan: water and food distributed amidst lingering tension
Geneva/Bishkek/Tashkent/Moscow, June 18 -The ICRC has
started distributing water and food in response to the urgent needs of tens of
thousands of internally displaced persons. Since yesterday, the ICRC has
Together with volunteers from the Kyrgyz Red Crescent, the ICRC also distributed food in Osh city and along the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border in Osh province (...) In Uzbekistan, an ICRC team together with the Uzbek Red Crescent, first on the scene, has begun to assess the needs of over 100,000 refugees who have gathered in Andijan, Fergana and Namangan, close to the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border. Besides continuing to aid the refugees, the ICRC is also working on restoring communication between families separated by the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border.
Counterpart delivers disaster packages to victims of Kyrgyz Civil violence
June 17 - Earlier this week,
responding to the thousands in need, Counterpart International released
pre-positioned, disaster packages funded by the U.S. Department of State.
Working with the U.S. Embassy and the Kyrgyz Ministries of Health and Emergency
Situations, Counterpart has begun distributing disaster relief packages valued
at more than $200,000 in
Counterpart has been active in
responds after deadly tropical storm strikes
June 10 -
ADRA International, ADRA
Honduras, and ADRA’s regional office for Central
America and the
July 5 - An initial step in
acquiring knowledge and know-how in the collection and destruction of all types
of explosive items, MAG is providing the first training of its kind to ever be
offered to the Civilian Defence in
The mission of the Civilian
Defence is the prevention of risks and the protection of people, goods and
environment against accidents and catastrophes. Building local capacity is one
of MAG’s priorities, and in
This training has been made possible thanks to the support of the Swiss Government.
MAG – Mines Advisory Group – is a neutral and impartial humanitarian organisation that clears the remnants of conflict for the benefit of communities worldwide.
July 4 - More than 800 former
combatants in the conflict in
While the voluntary discharge
of combatants from armed groups is part of the Government of Sudan's
disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programme,
UNAMID is assisting by providing logistical support, including security,
transport, HIV/AIDS counselling and health screening.
The programme, established under the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), largely provides financial
assistance and other incentives to former combatants who volunteer to be
discharged. The Government is providing an initial cash payment to each
participant, which will be followed by other benefits. The programme will
be implemented in other parts of
UN releases practical toolkit on how to deter sexual violence in war
June 30 - From peacekeepers in
The inventory includes a 10-item checklist of emerging elements of an effective response. Items include consultations with all segments of community, particularly women, to hear what they need and how they move; enhanced training starting with the practical and moving to the theoretical; and role modelling to help leave a legacy of security for women and girls.
It also addresses potential ways to mitigate risk, such as working with civil society groups to provide fuel-efficient stoves in Somalia or Darfur to prevent women from having to walk far to collect biofuels. Such stoves would also support environmental sustainability and alleviate some related illnesses, which are part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which world leaders hope to achieve by 2015.
Released by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Stop Rape Now campaign, UN Department of Peacekeeping (DPKO) and the Australian Government, the idea is for the booklet to be distributed to peacekeepers on the ground to be used for training and as an education tool. (…)
June 29 - Two warring tribes
Representatives of the Misseriya and Rezeigat Nouaiba tribes signed the deal yesterday in Zalingei, a major town in
UNAMID, the Darfur Peace and Reconciliation Council and local leaders
and native administrations set up a reconciliation committee earlier this year
to try to end the fighting, and a conference was also held last month in Zalingei as part of efforts to tackle the root causes of
the conflict. Tribal clashes in Darfur are often
based around disputes over access to scarce resources in the arid and remote
region, which lies on
high as coup-prone
June 28 - Polling wound down
The United States hailed the poll's conduct and observers said turnout was high in a vote which could help trigger more investment in Guinea's vast mineral resources, unlock more aid to combat poverty and serve as a boost to pro-democracy camps across a region known for coups and tainted votes. "Voting is peaceful, orderly and there is a sense of excitement," Yakubu Gowon, the former Nigerian leader heading the observation mission of U.S.-based rights group the Carter Center, told reporters, estimating turnout at 75-80 percent.
With 24 candidates in the running, Sunday's vote is unlikely to produce a clear winner. Results are expected by Wednesday, after which the front runners are seen forming alliances in a bid to win voters for a July 18 run-off.
2010 donation for
June 21 - International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF) received a new
donation from Federal Republic of Germany, one of the most regular supporters
of the ITF and its programmes, in the amount of 550.000 EUR. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 21
June at the Embassy of Germany in
The 2010 donation is earmarked
for demining and technical survey activities in
Bosnia and Herzegovina, which will be carried out by the “Norwegian People's
Aid” (NPA) through which over
Demining activities remain
one of the most important pre-conditions for socio-economic development of
Central American governments,
the Organization of American States (OAS), and international donors showed
significant political will and demonstrated the importance of international
cooperation and assistance in mine action. Of Central America’s seven
countries, five used to be mine-affected:
A key part of MAG’s overall demining operations
and strategy in
In Moxico province in recent months, MAG has delivered safety messages to military and police forces, and conducted mapping training for the country’s National Institute for Demining.
MAG’s Community Liaison teams visited four municipalities – Luena, Luau, Luacano and Alto Zambeze – to deliver Mine Risk Education (MRE) to 668 members of the military and police forces, following a request in March from the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and the National Intersectoral Commission for Humanitarian Assistance and Demining (CNIDAH). (...)
In May, MAG also delivered training to the National Institute for Demining (INAD) in the use of mapping software and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which are very useful for recording information and producing maps of mine- and UXO- contaminated areas.
The training was carried out thanks to funding from DFID/UKaid (the UK Department for International Development) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
hands over last hospitals to Ministry of Health after 20 years of emergency aid
Monrovia, June 25 - Today, after 20 years of emergency medical aid in Liberia, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) officially stops running its final hospitals and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare takes responsibility for these services.
To minimise the gaps that
could be created by the closure of its final two hospitals MSF built a new
hospital, transferred its services there and donated it to the Ministry of
Health and Social Welfare. MSF also added 80 paediatric beds and increased the
paediatric services available in
Longer term support rather
than emergency aid is now needed. There are currently less than 100 doctors in
a country of 3.6 million, and just over 250 children’s hospital beds in
From July 2010, MSF will work in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoH&SW) to provide much needed free medical and psychological care to survivors of sexual violence in up to three MoH&SW health structures.
Eradicating polio is the world's obligation
Rotary International News,
June 22 - Rotary’s promise to eradicate polio worldwide took center stage
during the 2010 RI Convention in Montréal,
The night before, on 21 June, polio survivor Ramesh Ferris hand-cycled from the Palais des congrès to Bonsecours Market in Old Montréal for a ceremony that included the landmark’s illumination with En finir avec la polio (End Polio Now). During the second plenary session earlier that day, a soccer ball signed by dignitaries in more than 20 countries as part of the Kick Polio Out of Africa campaign arrived on stage to thunderous applause.
Aylward praised Rotarians
for all they have accomplished in fighting polio. "You have fundamentally
changed the polio eradication game, and you have changed it in your
favor," he said. But it is critical to finish the job, something made
clear by the recent outbreak in
Emergency funds from PolioPlus -- a total of US$500,000 -- were released within
48 hours of the
Nation's oldest and largest child welfare organization to provide independent expertise in the area of athlete welfare
The partnership is designed to make certain that safeguards, policies, guidelines and resources are developed and reviewed with the assistance and consultation of independent experts. The partnership is effective immediately and USA Swimming will work with CWLA through the summer months. It is expected that any new rules or legislation that arises from this work will be ready to be voted on at USA Swimming's annual convention in September.
ANERA has allocated $100,000
to enhance its program to extend water and sewage systems in remote areas not
yet linked to the main systems in Khan Younis, Beit Hanoon and Jabalia. The program also includes repair to existing
sewage systems in Beit Lahia
and Khan Younis. The existing sanitation system
and drinking water supply have deteriorated dramatically because of the lack of
spare parts and pipes. An estimated 75 million liters
of untreated sewage are pumped into the Mediterranean Sea daily because pipes
and spare parts have not been permitted into
Another $100,000 has been earmarked for expanding the number of household gardens in Al Musaddar, Wadi Al Salga, Nusairat, and East Deir El Balah. Earlier this year, ANERA implemented a food security program that includes helping families with seeds for household gardens, small greenhouses and irrigation.
ANERA will use the remaining $50,000 to continue renovating preschools damaged during the 2009 Gaza War. ANERA already has completed 31 schools, installing proper sanitary facilities and drinking fountains, repairing walls, and repainting classrooms.
By Claire Doole,
June 18 - Nurses and assistants crowd
around as chief paediatrician Dr Zubair Masood checks on the health of 20 mothers and babies in his
care. It could be a routine ward round in any hospital in the world. But this
is far from routine. Dr Masood’s
paediatric ward is in a tent and his patients are mostly young mothers who lost
their homes in the earthquake that devastated the Haitian capital
Dr Masood is part of a team of local and international surgeons, doctors, anaesthetists, nurses, midwives, obstetricians and psychologists who have been offering healthcare for the past 20 weeks at a tented field hospital run by the German and Finnish Red Cross on the site of a former soccer stadium in Carrefour, one of the worst quake-affected areas.
Dr Masood is delighted to be part of such a big operation – the hospital has the capacity to treat 1,700 people a week – but he says there are challenges working in Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere. (...)
Another issue is equipment. There are no incubators, ventilators or radiant warmers that help a premature baby breathe, keep warm and away from germs. The field clinic doesn’t have a specialized intensive care unit for newborns. They share the ‘observational’ or ‘intensive care’ tent with adult patients.“There are ten beds in this tent,” says Masood, “but most of them are taken up with babies who are sick or underweight.” (...)
Many of the children in the ward though were born at the field clinic. It has become the go-to hospital for the pregnant women of Carrefour who prefer to give birth here for free than risk a home birth. Since it opened on 28 January, 791 babies have been delivered by the midwifery team and the numbers are rising. In the first week of June alone, 69 babies were born. (...)
UNFPA and CARE announce partnership to improve maternal heath globally
Washington, D.C., June 7 - Leaders from UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund and CARE International announced today at the Women Deliver Conference an agreement to enhance collaboration on maternal health programs in more than 25 countries. This unique collaboration will bring together UNFPA's effective work with national governments and CARE's expertise in engaging local communities. Both CARE and UNFPA work hard to reduce maternal death and disability and have launched successful initiatives to speed up progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goal 5, to improve maternal health.
Through the Mothers Matter program, CARE aims to reduce maternal death by improving access to safe pregnancy and delivery services for 30 million women by 2015. Similar to the work of UNFPA, this signature program will focus on family planning, skilled attendance at birth and emergency obstetric care within the context of a functioning health system. The Mothers Matter strategy is to empower communities and civil society organizations to advocate for – and participate in – improved maternal health care; to mobilize local governments and civil society to ensure access to responsive health systems; and to promote supportive policy action while advocating internationally for greater global commitment and investment of resources.
celebrates the Introduction of the Global MOMS Act in
First Comprehensive Maternal Health Legislation to Improve the Health of Women and Newborns Around the World
Washington D.C. May 12 - Care
applauds the leadership of Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) who last night introduced the
Improvements in Global Maternal and Newborn Health Outcomes While Maximizing Successes
Act in the United States House of Representatives. If passed, this legislation
– also known as the Global Moms Act – would improve access to life-saving care
for women and infants around the world, including skilled medical assistance,
family planning information and services. The Global Moms Act will create a
comprehensive maternal health and newborn strategy that would be implemented
AIDS Conference -
The International AIDS Conference is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. It is a chance to assess where we are, evaluate recent scientific developments and lessons learnt, and collectively chart a course forward.
AIDS 2010 will coincide with a
major push for expanded access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
With a global economic crisis threatening to undermine public investments, the
conference will help keep HIV on the front burner, and is a chance to
demonstrate the importance of continued HIV investments to broader health and
development goals. AIDS 2010 is also an opportunity to highlight the critical
connection between human rights and HIV; a dialogue begun in earnest in
The AIDS 2010 programme will present new scientific knowledge and offer many opportunities for structured dialogue on the major issues facing the global response to HIV.
Clean cars rule to make history on July 6, 2010
First-ever national rules on greenhouse gas pollution from vehicles go into effect on July 6
The landmark rule goes into
effect on Tuesday, July 6, 2010, making
The following is a statement by Earthjustice senior legislative representative Sarah Saylor:
"Today the historic clean cars rule announced in April goes into effect. Thanks to the strength of the 40-year-old Clean Air Act and the leadership of the Obama administration, soon the people of America will begin saving money at the gas pump, their cars will more efficient and less polluting, and our economy and environment will be all the better for it." (...)
The world's largest gas-powered ferry
Fjord1 and Fiskerstrand BLRT have entered into an agreement to build the world's largest gas-powered ferry
The new LNG-powered ferry is
designed by Multi Maritime AS in Førde and will have
a total length of
CEO Leif Øverland of Fjord1 points out that the new ferry will improve the everyday situation for commuters using the route. Øverland also expects a solid reduction of air pollution with the new vessel, with a 90% reduction in NOx emissions compared to conventional diesel operated ferries. "The fact that the government focuses strongly on environment-friendly forms of energy consumption in competitive tenderings is something we are very happy about."
LNG is an attractive
alternative fuel not only because it is relatively clean, but also because
IMD partners with WWF to offer best in class sustainability program for business leaders
Lausanne, Switzerland, posted on June 21 - IMD, a top-ranked business school worldwide, and WWF, the leading conservation organisation, are teaming together to offer “One Planet Leaders” (OPL) – an innovative training program for driving sustainability into the core of business.
The program’s learning focus is on developing a winning business case and robust strategy for change, leading to sustainable practices which also deliver more profit to the company. The program is designed for leaders who operate at a strategic level and can drive change, and is open to managers in business functions such as general management, R&D, procurement/supply, marketing and sales; and in sustainability functions.
The program will run for the first time in partnership, in Autumn 2010 and will feature three 3-day modules focused on strategy, change management and leadership in the sustainability context. Launched by WWF in 2007, One Planet Leaders originates from a series of workshops on sustainable business development run with WWF corporate partners. Today it includes an accredited Masters level Executive Education programme – available in Europe and Asia Pacific; three Modular Workshops – accessible as customized training in companies and in regions; a stand-alone Sustainability Master class; an active global Alumni Community with almost 200 members; and a One Planet MBA under development.
Victory for whales!
The past few weeks have been incredible -- together we built the biggest whale-saving petition in history, signed by an extraordinary 1.2 million of us, and delivered it directly to key delegates at the International Whaling Commission meeting. And we've just succeeded in beating a proposal that would have legalized commercial whale hunting! This is an important victory for whales. But winning this battle won’t guarantee the whales’ safety yet -- several nations are already set to continue killing whales for "scientific" reasons. To win for good, we’ll need to campaign to strengthen and reform the IWC, and to mobilise in countries with pro-whaling governments.
Avaaz.org is a 4.9-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people shape global decision-making. ("Avaaz" means "voice" or "song" in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 13 countries on 4 continents and operates in 14 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz's biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
friendship bus: preaching coexistence in
summer, another chance to take Jewish-Islamic dialogue on the road in
Sue Fishkoff and Steve Lipman
June 29 - This time, the road
is Route E 54, headed southeast from
A unique experiment in interfaith
dialogue recently pulled into the city in eastern
Some Jews and Muslims, many of
whom have common roots in northern Africa, are welcoming; other are wary, says
Rabbi Michel Serfaty, who founded the group after he
became the victim of an anti-Semitic attack in Ris-Orangis
in 2003. “We fight discrimination and stereotypes, and try to break down the
walls between our young people,” says the rabbi, wearing a black hat in front
of the friendship bus in
This year, the group, which runs panel discussions in the French countryside as part of its activities, is for the first time spending time in some of Paris’ roughest neighborhoods, where the worst anti-Jewish violence has taken place.
of many faiths coming together in
The monthly meetings of the Interfaith Encounter Association go on
A Muslim, a Christian and a Jew walk into a café. What sounds like the opening line of a joke could just as well describe the opening moments of one of the Interfaith Encounter Association's monthly meetings. The group, which aims to foster mutual respect and friendship between the tribes, while still giving props to the unique identities of each, organizes monthly study sessions throughout Israel, at which members of the country's different faiths come together to talk, learn, teach and socialize.
Indeed, mutual respect and understanding are critical to the encounters, which actively encourage religious expression. As Alladin explains, "We believe that religion is the right way to bring people together. When people bring their intimate emotions to the table, that is what others can relate to. At these encounters, we speak about our own personal faith. We don't say 'Islam believes,' we say 'I as a Muslim believe.' I think there are many similarities between the religions, but you really have to listen to find them."
In addition to the monthly
group encounters, the Interfaith Encounter Association also runs retreat
weekends, which are open to the public, as well as occasional tours of the
Teacher unions advocate for quality education and trade union rights at the European Social Forum
July 7 - Education international and the European
Trade Union Committee for Education were represented at the European Social
Forum (ESF) and presented the EI/ETUCE work on various topics. They reported on
the Bologna process and the status of Higher Education in Europe, as well as the issue of hidden privatisation
of public education in
Teacher trade unions were highly mobilised
during this 6th convenience of the ESF, which took place in
Society and Heritage - Mechelen (
July 5 - Following the successful conference "Heritage Care through
Active Citizenship" which took place on 22-23 March
This European Conference on Civil Society Organisations in the Field of Heritage will address the issues of active citizenship, civil society and volunteer organisations (NGOs) within the European heritage sector. The conference will provide a platform for European organisations active in all fields of heritage – both tangible and intangible – to share relevant experiences, good practices and success stories.The conference will involve a selected group of European participants representing the diversity of the European civil society for heritage. The delegates will predominantly be representatives of European heritage NGOs and prominent European heritage experts.
Themes include: Sustainable Cultural Heritage; The Role of Heritage Organizations; Cultural Heritage and Information Society; The Value of Cultural Heritage for Society; Creation of (International) Heritage Networks.
Education leaders unite for
global summit -
July 2 - More than 9,000 delegates have gathered in
As part of the pre-Assembly build up the NEA International Relations department sponsored a Global Education Summit, with the theme of 'diplomacy for a new generation.' Through workshops and panel discussions, approximately 100 participants were treated to new techniques and strategies to not only help prepare their students for an increasingly complex, interdependent world, but also how to collaborate and unite in the face of daunting global challenges.
President Dennis Van Roekel welcomed the group and
Executive Director John Wilson facilitated the morning discussions, including
one led by Dr. Anthony Jackson of the Asia Society Partnership for Global
Learning. Participants then broke out into workshops facilitated by key NEA
partners, including Peace Corps,
Vice-President Lily Eskelsen spoke about the
importance of gender equality in education and the campaign to meet the
Education for All goals. She also introduced a new video, 'Acting Locally –
Connecting Globally: On the Move for Gender Equality', which was produced
jointly by the NEA with Education International's Communicators' Network and
affiliates in the
Earth Charter: 2000-2010
For the 10th anniversary of
the Earth Charter, a major and inspiring event took place on 29 June in The
Over 200 participants attended this event, including EC Commissioners, Affiliates, members of the International Council, youth leaders and many partners. The event had the honour of having the participation of Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands and Prime Minister Balkenende. This was a wonderful occasion for participants to learn from each other and get extra portion of inspiration.
850 interested individuals who
were not able to travel to
Seeds of Hope: Visions of sustainability, steps toward change
A new exhibition inspired by the Earth Charter launched in English during the Earth Charter+10 event at the Peace Palace, The Hague, Netherlands on 29 June
The new "Seeds of
Hope" exhibition stresses our interconnectedness with the rest of the
community of life and the need to broaden our sphere of compassion and concern.
It encourages viewers to overcome feelings of powerlessness and highlights the
fact that a single individual can initiate positive change. It also introduces
the positive vision for sustainable living expressed in the Earth Charter, and
gives examples of eight individuals and groups who have successfully taken
action for change, from Africa to the Arctic and
The message "It starts with one," is key -- the slogan that the Earth Charter International has chosen for their "Earth Charter + 10" campaign in 2010.
The "Seeds of Hope" exhibition contains 24 panels, including one left blank with a simple tree design so viewers can attach their own statement of what they will do toward sustainability.
The exhibition uses the "Learn, Reflect, Empower" formula outlined in SGI President Daisaku Ikeda’s 2002 proposal on education for sustainable development and as a tool for the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.
June 11 -
To assist with camp
activities, ADRA invited the Heart and Head Group from the
A long planned programme for
training and development of teacher trade unionism in
Nasser Behadili and Ahmed Al
Shiblawi, both of the Iraq Teachers’ Union (ITU),
joined Nadir Qadir, of the Kurdish Teachers’ Union
(KTU), to attend the NASUWT’s annual conference. They
then spent more than one week at the NASUWT headquarters in Rednal,
Leadership Facilitator Trainings in
Society - an NGO on
These workshops will take place as follows:
August 17 to 22 is hands-on training in planning, preparing and guiding an Inclusive Leadership Adventure. This week is perfect for anyone who wants to experience our transformational process for preparing socially and environmentally responsible global citizens and prepare to pass Inclusive Leadership on to others.
August 20-22 The newly trained Inclusive Travel Guides will co-facilitate an inter-generational Inclusive Leadership Adventure for youth and caring adults that promises to be as life-changing as travelling to different countries around the world.
September 23 to 27 is an in-depth participatory education in facilitating and mentoring Inclusive Leadership Development in school and community settings.
International Year of Youth - August 2010 - 2011 - Our Year, Our Voice
“The International Year is about advancing the full and effective participation of youth in all aspects of society. We encourage all sectors of society to work in partnership with youth and youth organizations to better understand their needs and concerns and to recognize the contributions that they can make to society."
The International Year of Youth can generate much needed attention for youth participation and youth development and can provide an impetus to partnerships among youth organizations around the world. The United Nations Programme on Youth hopes that you will join us in celebrating the Year. In the limited time that we have before the year commences, we encourage you to organize activities that promote an increased understanding of the importance and benefits of youth participation in all aspects of society, as well as those that support youth to devote their energy, enthusiasm and creativity to development and the promotion of mutual understanding.
The UN General Assembly resolution 64/134, proclaiming the International Year of Youth, calls for a World Youth Conference under the auspices of the United Nations as the highlight of the International Year of Youth. The conference date and place are yet to be determined by the Member States and it is likely take place at the end of the International Year in 2011.
Tourism World Congress -
Bruxelles, June 29 (BITS Secretariat) - The theme of the Congress, “Tourism: a time for social policies”, perfectly reflects the importance we attach to the connection between social policies and tourism. The topic will be addressed from different perspectives in order to allow us to present a series of proposals useful for players committed to tourism for all.
The Congress will indeed be an event you will not want to miss out on. Plenary sessions, panels, round tables and animated workshops with international experts and field workers will allow the delegates to participate in debates and to exchange experiences.
The Congress will also mark an
important step in the institutional life of BITS: proposals for important
statutory modifications and for a name change for the organization will be submitted
for members’ consideration during the General Assembly. The regional sections –
The event will be organized in
* * * * * * *
Next issue: July 23, 2010.
Good News Agency is published in English
on one Friday and in Italian the next. Past issues are available at www.goodnewsagency.org.
Managing Editor: Sergio Tripi, Ph.D. Editorial research by Fabio Gatti, Arianna Cavallo, Azzurra Cianchetta. Webmaster: Fabio Gatti. Media and NGOs coverage: Maurizio Palazzoni.
Good News Agency is distributed free of charge through Internet to 10,000 media and editorial journalists of the daily newspapers and periodical magazines and of the radio and television stations in 54 countries: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bermuda, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Caribbean Islands, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Oceania, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, USA. It is also distributed free of charge to 3,000 NGOs and 1,600 high schools, colleges and universities.
It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà
Mondiale, a registered 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 Via Antagora 10, 00124