Good News Agency – Year XII, n° 191
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. In the final report of the Decade for a Culture of Peace project presented to the UN General Assembly (http://decade-culture-of-peace.org/2010_civil_society_report.pdf), Good News Agency is included among the three NGOs that have been playing a major role in the field of Information*.
30 August –
The Statute will enter into
force for the
The ICC is the first permanent international court set up to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.
Established by the Rome Statute of 1998, the ICC can try cases involving individuals charged with war crimes committed since July 2002. The Security Council, the ICC Prosecutor or a State Party to the court can initiate any proceedings, and the ICC only acts when countries themselves are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute.
Ban calls on hold-out States to ratify Treaty banning nuclear tests
“Over the course of the Cold War, hundreds of nuclear weapon tests left behind a devastating legacy for local citizens and their natural environment,” he said in a <"http://www.un.org/apps/sg/sgstats.asp?nid=5474">message marking the International Day against Nuclear Tests. “Current voluntary moratoriums on nuclear weapon tests are valuable, yet they are no substitute for a global ban.”
Out of a total listed number
of 195 States, 182 have so far signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
and 154 have ratified it. For the treaty to enter into force ratification is
required from the so-called Annex 2 States. Of these
For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news
23 August – The International
Criminal Court (ICC) today welcomed
The statute took effect in
23 August - The Cook Islands
ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 23 August 2011, becoming the
61st State Party.) Seven Pacific Island Forum members have signed the
The 2008 Convention comprehensively bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions, sets strict deadlines for clearance of contaminated areas and destruction of stockpiles of the weapon, and includes ground-breaking provisions for assistance to victims and affected communities. A total of 109 countries have joined the treaty, which entered into force as binding international law on 1 August 2010.
The Cook Islands participated
in the Oslo Process that established the Convention and supported efforts to
establish a strong treaty text during the formal negotiations in
The primary focused of the project improves literacy and job skills for 4,000 vulnerable children and adolescents, enhancing availability of quality and improving access to psychosocial support for 2,000 abused and exploited children, and increasing child protection, child labor, gender-based violence (GBV), and human trafficking awareness among 50,000 people at national, district and local levels.
UNHCR announces statelessness campaign
August 25 – The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that up to 12 million people around the world are living in perpetual statelessness, lacking citizenship and protection in any country. Though it is a legal issue, it has a human impact. Stateless persons are unable to access basic rights, such as jobs, housing, education, health care, or the ability to vote.
Statelessness may be caused by
gender, when countries do not recognize the nationality of a woman due to
discriminatory laws. Statelessness may be inherited, by children born to
stateless parents. It may be created in newly formed states, such as
AlertNet has also created a
statelessness campaign. The stories of stateless Nubians, Dominicans, Rohingyas and the stateless children of
Read the full release from UNHCR: http://www.unhcr.org/4e54e8e06.html
23 August -
Kinshasa (ICRC) 10 August – In connection with the restructuring process currently under way in the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been invited to spread knowledge of international humanitarian law among officers. Over a five-month period beginning in February, more than 5,500 officers and instructors of the Congolese army in North and South Kivu attended 124 ICRC-organized information sessions on compliance with international humanitarian law in military operations. International humanitarian law imposes obligations on all parties to armed conflict in order to protect civilians and people no longer taking part in fighting.
The ICRC has been working in
Lebanese smallholder farmers invest in quality
GLOBALG.A.P. certification offers farmers new markets, higher prices
31 August – Consumers pay top
dollar for food that has been certified as safe and healthful. Lebanese farmers
know that such certification can open doors to European markets and high-end
retail outlets in the Arab States of the
Now technical assistance from ACDI/VOCA’s Lebanon Business Linkages Initiative is putting GLOBALG.A.P. certification—and higher prices for vegetables and fruits—within reach of Lebanese farmers.
Self-watering and self-fertilizing garden nurtures Ethiopians and their ecosystem
By Meg Hewitt
31 August - Carrots, beet
root, leafy greens and other vegetables will finally be produced up to four
times a year in a new environmentally friendly initiative involving raised-bed
The exterior of the keyhole garden is made of stones and the interior is comprised of five layers of materials. The bottom layer of the garden consists of iron scraps such as empty beverage cans, twigs, grass and broken clay pots or stones, which provide minerals to the soil.
A layer of top soil and manure are added for nutrients. Tall grass to retain moisture and wood ash to provide potassium are placed in the keyhole. The garden is ready for planting after a final layer of soil and manure is added. Earthworms are added to the gardens, which improve soil fertility.
Keyhole gardens were
brings its civil society expertise to
By Jennifer O’Riordan
26 August - In anticipation of
Eighty seven percent of
In addition to providing
partner organizations in
More than half of
promotes green farming practices in
Currently, ADRA Mongolia is implementing three "green" projects, including Community Food Systems, Bio-Intensive Gardening, and Sustainable Economy and Agricultural Learning. The designs of ADRA’s programs are built on the practice of permaculture, an agricultural approach that maximizes natural land resources in efforts to minimize energy/waste.
Additionally, ADRA Mongolia actively promotes the practice of seed saving. Rather than annually purchasing seeds from commercial suppliers, seed saving preserves seeds from earlier harvests for use in succeeding harvests. Through techniques taught by ADRA, farmers have successfully planted increased varieties of potato and vegetable seeds in fertile soil. These practices are helping famers implement organic farming techniques, maintain soil fertility, and conserve water use.
Kohl's Department Stores donates $250,000 to the American Red Cross to support hurricane Irene relief efforts
Kohl's associates also encouraged to volunteer in impacted communities
In addition to a financial contribution, Kohl’s encourages its associates to volunteer in support of cleanup efforts through its Associates in Action volunteer program. In recognition of volunteer hours, Kohl’s will donate corporate grants to the nonprofit organizations being supported by Kohl’s associates.
Kohl’s Associates in Action volunteers support a range of local nonprofit organizations year-round. More than 400,000 associates have donated more than 1.3 million hours of their time since 2001 as a result of this program, and Kohl’s has donated more than $38 million to nonprofits throughout the nation. The Associates in Action volunteer program is part of Kohl’s overall philanthropic platform, Kohl’s Cares®, which is committed to supporting children’s health and education initiatives in communities nationwide.
Global video project to capture power of humanity on film
The ever-expanding www.onedayonearth.org online community, which represents thousands of professional and amateur videographers and photographers around the world, will be called on to film Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers in action, as well as members of the public who are engaged in helping others on 11/11/11.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies hope to mobilize staff and some of the Movement's estimated 13 million volunteers to take part in the day of filming.
system provides clean drinking water for
Rotary International News, 29
August – More than 10,000 people in three communities in
The water system is part of a
US$2 million project that is providing boreholes, hand pumps, and mechanized
pipes, as well as ventilated pit latrines and showers, across
During a ceremony on 21 August
The International H2O
Collaboration is in its third year. As part of the efforts in
August 23 – USAID’s Office of Food for Peace recently awarded ACDI/VOCA
a five-year, $35 million Title II program in
ACDI/VOCA and its partners
will apply a comprehensive approach to reduce food insecurity and chronic
malnutrition and to link vulnerable households to sustainable livelihoods in
the Sanmatenga province, which has some of the
highest rates of childhood malnutrition in the country.Until
several years ago,
industry launches Bob Marley campaign to reach nearly 600 million Facebook and Twitter fans to support Save the Children's
The campaign was developed to
support Save the Children’s fundraising for the devastating food crisis
affecting millions of children and their families across
It brings together the combined resources of Universal Music Group, iTunes, Yahoo!, Facebook, AOL, MSN, YouTube, Twitter and others to give a potential global online reach in excess of a billion people. Many of these partners are showing the film and providing global editorial coverage, which will accompany the release of the downloadable track on the day of the launch.
From today, many icons, celebrities and artists across the world including Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Eminem, Rihanna, Britney Spears, David Beckham, U2, Kanye West, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Muhammad Ali, Muse, Coldplay, Elton John, Lewis Hamilton, Bruno Mars, Robert Plant, Cristiano Ronaldo, Brian May, Sting, and many others are launching the campaign via their huge networks of friends and fans on Facebook and Twitter (#beafriend).
With over 50 global stars already signed up and more joining by the hour, the combined total of their fans and followers on the social networks is almost 600 hundred million people. This huge number will not only help raise awareness of the scale of the crisis but also vital funds for those suffering in the region.
As the drought and food crisis
in the Horn of Africa continues, CARE has scaled up our emergency response in
CARE, in close collaboration with the Ethiopian government, has opened 21 destocking sites to recover some value from emaciated and unproductive animals that would otherwise die, and to prevent conflict that might arise from competition around scarce pasture grounds. CARE pays cattle owners 800 Ethiopian Birr (47 U.S. dollars) per head of cattle, and provides hay and supplementary animal feed to save the lives of remaining cattle. Under supervision from official food inspectors, the meat from the slaughtered animals then goes to vulnerable families suffering from the food crisis.
11 Days to Global Unity - September 11 through September 21
“11 Days of Global Unity”, first started by We, The World, is expanding this year to mark the tenth anniversary of the tragic events surrounding September 11, 2001 and the thirtieth anniversary of the UN resolution creating the International Day of Peace, which takes place September 21st.
This year, We, The World, with support from United Religions Initiative in North America and in consultation with Pathways To Peace and the World Peace Prayer Society, is launching a campaign to build an unprecedented coalition of organizations and other change agents to take action in “11 Days – 11 Ways” for a peaceful, just and sustainable world.
Lift Your Voice – Join the Chorus - Your participation will contribute an essential piece to the incredible mosaic that is quietly shaping the future of our world. During the 11 Days, and the months leading up to them, we invite you to join this global campaign in a variety of ways:
•Register your programs, events and actions related to the 11 Themes•Make grants and donations
•Explore other possibilities of how you and your organization can participate today.
At UN-backed consultative meeting, Somali regions agree to end dispute
5 September – The leaders of two of
Irina Bokova launches initiative to develop regional cultural
On 2 September, together with the
President of the
In her opening address, Irina Bokova emphasized that “the people of South East Europe have demonstrated that dialogue can help people overcome differences and reconcile after conflicts” and highlighted the important role played by art and memory in the process of reconciliation and everyday peace. The Director-General also launched a new initiative to build networks among professionals, civil society and politicians, "Culture: a Bridge to Development", the principles of which were endorsed at the Belgrade Conference last June by the Ministers of Culture of South Eastern Europe. The initiative will seek to unite the creative artistic forces of the region as distinct drivers of development.
Liberians vote on constitutional changes seen by UN as milestone in peace process
23 August – Liberians went to the polls today to vote in a referendum on constitutional changes, a move described by the United Nations envoy for the West African country as a milestone in the process to entrench peace and stability that has prevailed since the end of the civil war in 2003.
In the constitutional referendum, voters were asked to made a decision on four proposed amendments, three of which are election-related. (…)
welcomes ‘step towards dialogue’ following deadly violence in
17 August – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the signing of a joint communiqué by the Malawian Government and civil society organizations in a meeting facilitated by the United Nations following deadly clashes last month.
According to media reports, organizers cancelled plans to resume anti-Government protests today after businessmen close to the governing party obtained a court injunction and because of UN mediation efforts, but they said they would continue protests next month unless the Government addresses economic problems and ends public threats against those with dissenting views.
FoEME wins the Outstanding Leadership Award
Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) have won the Outstanding Leadership Award bestowed by the International Development Committee of the Association for Conflict Resolution.
Each year, the International
Section of the ACR honors exceptional work promoting conflict resolution in development
projects around the world. The award aims to celebrate leadership in the field
and draw attention to the importance of conflict resolution in creating
stronger democracies and economies. The award ceremony is being held on the
12th of October, in
Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) is a unique organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli environmentalists. Our primary objective is the promotion of cooperative efforts to protect our shared environmental heritage.
by Ginevra Cucinotta - MINURSO Mine Action Coordination Centre Programme Officer
There are not only sandy dunes
in the landscape of the
As of August 2011, many lives
will be spared in
In the process more than 7,000 UXO were destroyed, ranging from 250kg aircraft bombs, hundreds of artillery projectiles, hand grenades, rocket propelled grenades. The destruction of these ERW that endangered the lives of humans and animals, will allow for the local population and UN military observers to enjoy enhanced freedom of movement.
In addition to the destruction
of Unexploded Ordnances, under the coordination of the United Nations Mission
for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) Mine Action Coordination Centre
(MACC), LMA also cleared
Teams of MAG deminers – funded by the US Department of State’s Office of
Weapons Removal and Abatement, the Dutch Government and the Belgian Government
– removed more than 2,700 deadly items from 11 minefields in the
Global grant project impressive in combating dengue fever
By Dan Nixon and
Rotary International News, 1
September - A Rotary Foundation Global Grant project has proved highly effective
in preventing the spread of dengue fever in a community in
During the project’s first six
months, contractors installed white ceramic tiling on the interior surfaces of
cement water tubs in more than 1,400 homes, making it easier to spot and remove
gray mosquito larvae spawned in the tubs.
In the second half of the project, members of the Rotary Club of Solo Kartini,
The club also oversaw a group of monitors, who were paid a small stipend to visit participating homes weekly to check on compliance with the procedures.
As a result of the project, the incidence of dengue fever in Kadipiro fell to four cases in the first six months of this year, compared with 43 cases in all of 2010. The percentage of tubs infested with larvae averaged 1.4 percent, compared with 9.7 percent for tubs in homes not included in the project. (...)
Nigerian community leaders help track mobile populations
25 August - The community
leaders, or 'Hardos', among the Fulani people in
The Myetti Allah organization, led by the Hardos, is devoted to the development of the Fulani people and the protection of their unique cultural heritage. The Fulani ethnic group are a traditionally nomadic people, although many have now joined static settlements. Tracking those who are on the move or who have very recently settled can be difficult for vaccination teams. This is where the knowledge of the Hardos is invaluable.
Earlier this year, the community leaders were invited to attend meetings held in three senatorial zones of Katsina in order to facilitate an exchange of ideas. The Hardos were provided with information about polio and vaccination, and the GPEI was provided with information on the local situation. The meetings resulted in the mapping of common routes of travel for the nomadic people and many of the Hardos agreed to help spread the polio eradication message within their communities. Since the meetings were held, a substantial increase in the number of children vaccinated is already being seen. In the Safana local government area, for example, nearly 10,000 more children were immunized in May compared to January.
The 53-nation region, which
for the purposes of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) includes ex-Soviet
At a meeting yesterday in
Since the launch in 1988 of the
Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), spearheaded by WHO, the UN
Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Rotary International and the United States Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, the incidence of polio has been reduced by
more than 99 per cent.At the time, more than 350 000
children were paralyzed every year in more than 125 endemic countries. So far
in 2011, 325 cases have been reported worldwide. Only four countries remain
International: New psychological first aid guide to strengthen humanitarian relief
19 August – Humanitarian emergencies - such as emergencies arising from natural disaster, war, or famine - not only affect people’s physical health but also their psychological and social health and well-being.
Today on World Humanitarian Day, the World Health Organization (WHO), the War Trauma Foundation (WTF) and World Vision International (WVI) announce the release of a ‘Psychological First Aid Guide for Fieldworkers.’ Psychological first aid covers both social and psychological support and involves the provision of humane, supportive and practical help to fellow human beings who are suffering from serious crisis events.
This guide – which can be taught to humanitarian workers within one day - was developed to have widely agreed upon psychological first aid materials for use in low and middle income countries. It reflects the emerging science and international consensus on how to provide basic support to people in the immediate aftermath of extremely stressful events.
Endorsed by 24 large international agencies, this tool gives simple, practical guidance for supporting people. This guide will enable humanitarian and emergency workers from all over the world to provide basic but very important psychosocial support to people in acute distress. (…)
The measles initiative vaccinates one billion children in first decade
Milestone marks progress and points to need for funding and political will to eradicate measles
The child who received the
history-making measles vaccination was one of 3.5 million immunized in
Looking ahead to its second decade, the Measles Initiative will focus on achieving a series of interim targets toward the eventual eradication of measles. The first of these milestones will be to reduce measles mortality by 95 percent by 2015 (compared to 2000). The Measles Initiative estimates it will need approximately $212 million between 2012 and 2015 to reach the targets.
DOE awards $145 million for next-generation solar
2 September - The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced over $145 million for projects to help shape the next generation of solar energy technologies through the agency's Sunshot Initiative. The SunShot Initiative seeks to reduce the cost of solar systems 75% by the end of this decade, to make the industry cost-competitive without long-term subsidies.
DOE selected 69 projects in 24 states to accelerate R&D that can increase efficiency, lower costs and advance cutting-edge solar technologies.
Some of the investments also support efforts to shorten the overall timeline from prototype to production and streamline building codes, zoning laws, permitting rules, and business processes for installing solar energy systems.
2 September - Ugandan national authorities have launched an Energy and Climate Change awareness-raising campaign in schools for an energy- and environment-conscious new generation. The campaign, targeting students of primary, secondary and vocational levels, aims at raising awareness on sustainable energy and climate change, and making energy and climate change concepts easily understandable by the young students. It also promotes the use of efficient technologies and practices for sustainable energy and environment.
welcomes this initiative on ‘green’ education, and calls on authorities in
E-Stewards certification officially replaces older "Pledge" program
Pioneering badge of responsible e-waste recycling sunsets
Seattle, WA., USA, September 1 - The evolution and adoption of responsible electronics recycling practices made an important transition today as the Basel Action Network formally sunsetted the Pledged e-Stewards Recyclers program on September 1, 2011. Established in 2003, the Pledge program was the first widely recognized initiative designed to identify electronics recyclers committed to globally responsible e-waste management practices. Today marks its official and full replacement by the Certified e-Stewards® Recyclers program.
The Pledge has now been replaced by a more robust third party audited certification known as e-Stewards Certification, which is based on the comprehensive 51-page e-Stewards Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment. Today, over 140 e-recycling facilities have been, or are in the process of, becoming certified.
The Certified e-Stewards program has garnered the support of 70 environmental organizations as well as major enterprises such as Wells Fargo, Samsung, Bank of America, LG Electronics, Aloca and many others. It is the only recycler certification that meets their stringent corporate requirements for globally responsible e-recycling. e-Stewards Certification has also been recognized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
By Renewable Energy World Editors
Australia - Australia is taking its first leap into utility-scale solar PV with
a 10-megawatt (MW) AC project located in Western Australia – 10 times larger
than any operating project in the country. The Greenough
River Solar Farm will sit on more than
GE Financial Services and Western Australia (WA) state-owned utility Verve Energy will each own 50 percent of the farm. The WA government also provided $21.3 million for the project, with $10 million from the WA Royalties for Regions program. First Solar will provide the panels, and the project is expected to create more than 50 construction jobs.
demonstrates the significant potential for renewable energy generation –
especially utility-scale solar – in WA and throughout
UN report outlines investment strategies to reduce water scarcity
New York, August 25 - An annual investment of $198 billion, or 0.16 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP), in the water sector could reduce water scarcity and halve the number of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in less than four years, the United Nations said today.
In the water chapter of its Green Economy Report, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) <http://unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=2649&ArticleID=8841&l=en> said that investing in sanitation and drinking water, strengthening local water supply systems, conserving ecosystems critical for water supply, and developing more effective policies can help avert the high social and economic costs resulting from inadequate water supplies.
With the recommendations outlined in the report, global water use could be kept within sustainable limits and the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing by half the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation could be met by 2015.
2011 Theme: HCFC phase-out: a unique opportunity
The Montreal Protocol on Preservation of the Ozone Layer (signed on September 16, 1987) is one of the great successes of modern international action to protect the environment. Following the Protocol treaty nations and companies acted with determination to replace ozone destroying gases from commercial products such as spray cans.
This is a Day to celebrate humanity’s ability to work together for a common cause and is a model for climate change agreements. Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are a class of ozone destroying gases being phased out under the Montreal Protocol.
Call at the Oasis" - World Premiere
Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) is delighted to announce that the documentary film "Last Call at the Oasis" – in which FoEME's work on the region's shared water resources is featured - will have its World Premiere on September 9, 2011 at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Produced by Participant Media (the same production company that did Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth"), this documentary illuminates the vital role water plays in our lives, exposes the defects in the current system and shows communities already struggling with its ill-effects and individuals championing revolutionary solutions. We are extremely proud and honored to be a part of this important film.
Sustainable palm oil milestone reached ahead of major WWF evaluation
31 August - The world’s
largest sustainable palm oil body reached a major milestone last week in its
on-going efforts to halt deforestation and bring sustainable palm oil to market
– the millionth hectare of plantations has just been certified, an area roughly
equivalent in size to the nation of
Plantations owned by
Brazil-based Agropalma, a leading producer of palm
The Agropalma certification brings the volume of RSPO certified sustainable palm oil close to 5 million tonnes, which represents around10% of the world’s total palm oil production.
WWF worked with a group of NGOs and the palm oil industry to set up the RSPO in 2003. Certified sustainable palm oil has been available since November 2008, and provides assurance that valuable tropical forests have not been cleared and that environmental and social safeguards have been met during the production of the palm oil.
New fund to protect African elephants launched at UN-backed conservation forum
Several countries have already contributed to the multi-donor technical trust for the implementation of an African Elephant Action Plan, and more were encouraged to do so by the participants of the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Elephant conservation and new financial mechanisms were among several issues on the agenda of the week-long meeting, in addition to measures to reduce current levels of poaching of rhinos, tigers and other big cats, illegal trade in mahogany and other timber species, the fate of sturgeon and the caviar trade, and the sourcing of reptile skins used in the leather industry.
The committee also reviewed
Some 175 States have joined CITES, an international agreement that entered into force in July 1975 and aims to ensure that global trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
talk on Islam, multiculturalism and the lessons of
This lecture/seminar, organized, by the Universal Peace Federation, will be held at the House of Lords, Committee Room 4A from 14,30 to 16,30. The event is supported by Gandhi Foundation, Runnymede Trust, Universal Peace Federation and Civ-World (U.S.A.) and is intended to mark 12th September as a Global Interdependence Day.
MultiFaithBook.org is a faith – neutral, independent, privately – maintained Portal for free of charge use by non-profit, peace seeking communities and individuals of All Cultural, Ethnic, Faith and No-Faith backgrounds anywhere on Planet Earth. Our only objective is, to facilitate increasingly direct communication and joint experiences among people of different cultural and faith traditions.
Interfaith Encounters –
We form and maintain on-going interfaith encounter groups, or centers, that bring together neighboring communities across the country. Each center is led by an interfaith coordinating team with one person for each community in the area.
Women’s Interfaith Encounters (WIE) - In these encounters, Muslim, Christian, Druze and Jewish women study topics of relevance to women from the perspective of the different religions. Not only is interfaith study is used as a vehicle for understanding, acceptance and respect for the “other”, but also as a way to deepen awareness of one’s own religion.
The encounter is a source of strength and empowerment for women to recognize their shared values and struggles. Through monthly meetings and shared religious celebrations and conferences, WIE groups create a sacred space of trust, harmony and support during difficult times. http://interfaithencounter.wordpress.com/groupseventsprojects/projects/v
Nobel Peace Prize - International Network supports the nomination of Federico Mayor
September - We, The International Network, work and struggle together for a worldwide Culture of Peace. The network is comprised of more than one thousand organizations from international civil society. Network members include academics involved in political and scientific aspects of justice and peace.
The International Network has decided to re-launch the nomination of Dr. Federico Mayor Zaragoza for a Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Mayor Zaragoza’s outstanding resume includes his position as the former Director General of UNESCO, former President of the Foundation for Culture of Peace and Co-President of the High Level Group for the Alliance of Civilizations´ Program. Among Dr. Mayor Zaragoza’s achievements are his notable contributions to the conceptual development and universalization of the Culture of Peace paradigm. The world currently stands at a crossroads. The Culture of Peace paradigm should be recognized and promoted for what it truly is: the only alternative paradigm to the culture of violence that tragically grips current society.
The International Network believes Dr. Mayor Zaragoza’s nomination is not simply the nomination of one man; rather, it represents the nomination of all those who struggle for international peace. We invite individuals and entities, including distinguished Nobel Peace Prize recipients, organizations of the international civil society, grass-roots networks, world ecumenical organizations, and other organizations or institutions to actively support this nomination.
To express your support write
to: Dr. Denis Torres, Director Instituto “Martin
Luther King”, Universidad Politécnica de Nicaragua: firstname.lastname@example.org; and/or Dra. Carmen Magallón, Directora de
Online seminars to introduce the Earth Charter and Earth Charter Initiative - September
The Earth Charter International Secretariat (ECI) will be offering four one and a half hour online seminars to introduce the Earth Charter to new initiative participants, volunteers, and any other interested parties. The seminars will take place once a week every week in September and will cover several Earth Charter basic topics.
The seminar will introduce the Earth Charter document, explain its origins, the process in which it was drafted, its significance in international sustainable development policy and practice, and will offer some examples of its relevance and use in ongoing sustainability and peace efforts. The seminar will expand on the importance of value systems and the ethical framework that the Earth Charter offers for promoting peace, sustainability, and justice and will engage attendees in an informal exercise. Finally, the seminar will offer several suggestions for attendees who want to get involved or learn more about the Earth Charter. The seminars will end with a question, answer, and discussion forum. The seminar schedule is included at:
North America - For more than 13,000 children in need, the path 'Back to School' has run through Henry Schein
14th Annual Henry Schein 'Back to School' Program at 16 locations again outfits and equips children for the classroom
Melville, N.Y., USA, September 2 - In 1998, when 150 Long Island children gathered in Henry Schein's cafeteria in Melville, N.Y. to receive new outfits and backpacks filled with school supplies, it would have been difficult to predict that such a modest beginning would grow into an annual event that now marks the end of summer and has benefitted more than 13,000 children in need from communities across North America. Now in its 14th year, Henry Schein's "Back to School" program is eagerly anticipated by the children who participate, the human service organizations that serve them, and the Team Schein Members who sponsor the children.
For 2011, Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC), the largest provider of health
care products and services to office-based practitioners, is helping a record
nearly 2,500 children in 16
EI Research Institute study: Equity is a fundamental value of public education
2 September - Education
International has published an exciting new study looking at equity issues
concerning teachers and students. The work was commissioned by the EI Research
Institute to a team of researchers, led by Dr. Elizabeth Wood, at the
The study aimed to find new evidence about the importance of equity in education. It explores and analyses how teacher unions understand and use equity concepts in their policies and advocacy to advance the aim of quality education for all.
The study is based on an extensive literature review, an EI membership survey and a set of country case studies. Please click here to download the study in PDF format: http://download.ei-ie.org/Docs/WebDepot/Equity%20Matters.pdf
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Connecting the Dots: Sustainable Societies and the Role of Responsive Citizens
3 – 5 September, 2011 •
Lesley Vann, Good News Agency’s Publisher Representative to the UNDPI
The 64th Annual United Nations
Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) associated with the United
Nations Department of Public Information (DPI), was held in Bonn, Germany, 3-5 September 2011. This Conference
was partly conceived as a bridge between the UN Conference on Environment and
In addition to representatives of NGOs, also present were civil society organizations, grassroots constituencies, civil servants from the UN system and Member States, representatives of the media, academia, the private sector and other institutions, thus enriching the dialogue. The Conference engaged these participants in sharing experiences and articulating perspectives about how to enhance their activities supporting the promotion of sustainable societies and how to engage citizens at all levels. The event highlighted effective ways in which civil society, in partnership with other actors, can contribute to fostering sustainability and citizen involvement. It also underscored the need for more integration within these offerings worldwide.
This year’s Conference had an Opening session, Roundtable panel discussions, Workshops, interactive dialogues, special Events, Exhibits, Youth activities, and a Closing session. There was a commitment to transparency and to making the proceedings available to the entire world. The Conference focused on the twin themes of volunteerism and sustainable development. Expert speakers, panelists and participants shared insights and best practices. They discussed global challenges and ways to promote the interconnectivity of citizen engagement and volunteerism, sustainable development, human security, the environment and climate change in the world and in their lives.
The United Nations makes possible this annual opportunity to learn from each other and create opportunities for new collaborations to achieve sustainable societies. The outreach of this Conference and its sessions was designed to foster increasing commitment by NGOs and the world community to the vital issues of sustainability, climate change, development, citizen action and opportunities for volunteer service and engagement. In addition, the Conference generated greater mobilization and cohesion within the NGO community – fostering dialogue. It furthered partnerships within and between vast numbers of NGOs and their participants. Solutions to pressing global conundrums were considered and generated. Breakthroughs for Millennium Development Goal (MDG) implementation were further envisioned and mobilized – thus renewing global dialogue and strategic planning.
In order to facilitate these exchanges, NGOs and participants were requested to participate in the Conference in the spirit of constructive dialogue and fraternity. These clear parameters sparked a dynamic and vibrant gathering, alive with the spirit of inquiry. The Opening and Closing sessions rallied participants with both vision and calls to action, which the four Roundtable panels and many Workshops underscored.
Representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations and civil society had the opportunity to attend all the sessions and acquaint themselves with the latest developments and thinking on issues pertaining to sustainable development and volunteerism. These discussions and exchanges provided attendees insights and ideas, which they in turn can develop into actionable projects upon their return from the Conference. This process reflects key goals of the annual DPI NGO Conference, engaging civil society with the work of the United Nations and with forging collective solutions to global challenges.
said that sustainable development is about “meeting the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own
needs.” Balanced development lifts people out of poverty, while protecting the
natural systems that support economic growth. We
must “Connect the Dots!” As we look forward to
Below is an overview of some of the proceedings, which sparked new collaborations and resolutions for constructive change within civil society. Roundtable One addressed “Shaping Sustainable Lifestyles and Livelihoods: Sustainable Consumption and Production Aspects of a Globalizing World.” Sustainability can only be ensured if humanity embraces sustainable, low-carbon lifestyles and adopts sustainable livelihoods. Unsustainable consumption and production patterns have been a major contributor to climate change and poverty. Willingness to share resources of all kinds is deeply embedded in all cultures. In a rapidly globalizing world, can voluntary effort…help create sustainable lifestyles rather than fuel consumerism in markets of the developed and developing world? Can citizens, responding through mindful volunteerism, prevail to create a better world of equity, wellbeing and happiness, for all communities and individuals?
Roundtable Two addressed, “Green Economy and Poverty Eradication: Climate justice as a bridge to a new global Economic Paradigm.” A true “green economy” within a sustainable society should be an economic system that ensures social equity, protects ecological balance and creates eco-sufficiency. Can a “green economy” with sustainable livelihoods be the replacement of the current economic order of inequity, resource depletion and greed that has kept half of the world in poverty and created a potential climate catastrophe? Should a new paradigm use the powerful organizational form of a global commons to encourage global stewardship through civic engagement for collective management? How do citizens advocate for personal, local and global responses to the multiple crises with concrete action that nurtures the wellbeing of the earth and all of life?
Roundtable Three addressed the “Role of Civil Society in a Fast-changing World: Civic Engagement and Voluntary Action for Achieving Sustainability.” Ethical values humanity wishes to bring to the fore, justice, equity, and solidarity, may shape future decisions. Volunteerism can help facilitate these by engaging our communities to volunteer services locally and worldwide through the matching of interests and skills to needs. How can partnerships between civil society, the private sector, parliaments and intergovernmental bodies create an effective atmosphere for volunteer efforts and impacts to grow nationally and internationally?
Roundtable Four addressed, “Sustainable Development
Governance Issues from Local to Global: The Role of Citizen Participation.” What lessons can
we learn from recent social uprisings in Central Asia, Africa, Europe and the
Sustainable development requires both individual and collective action. It is about empowering people to get involved. When civic engagement is harnessed to its full potential, it is a genuine force for social cohesion and sustainable societies. It’s not just the United Nations and governments around the world, responsible for achieving the Millennium Development Goals alone. Everyday citizens too must play their parts in making this possible. Through Conferences such as this, civil society promotes opportunities for popular global mobilization that make inroads toward MDG achievement in concert with institutional actors.
This is one job of NGOs and civil society: to connect the dots between sustainable development and the role of responsive citizens, engaging communities to not only respond to the challenge of building a “green economy” but to unite around the goal of building truly sustainable global societies to uplift and ensure the common good.
Encouraging this kind of voluntary action is a core value of those organizations working for sustainable development. They inspire, engage, and build on the capacities of people to create change from the grassroots levels upward. As their mandates evolve, this spirit and its commitment grow exponentially. Civil society works to meet this mandate in partnership with the UN System, governments and the private sector.
can gain the sense of wellbeing through their personal choices and decisions.
The choice to stand up, step forward and volunteer is a powerful one. One
individual changing their thinking or lifestyle makes a small difference. And
when individual action becomes a collective force then the global community can
expect the walls between global development and environment agendas to crumble.
This will be put to the test at the upcoming
indispensable partners with the UN in the twin goals of advancing
sustainability and volunteer service toward achieving the MDGs.
It is hoped that this three-day exchange of ideas and best practices in
It was in this spirit that the Conference participants came together generating renewed global commitment among civil society to the redemptive work of the United Nations and its Millennium Development Goals.
The path to true sustainability is rooted in the abilities of citizens and organizations to respond to this vital call to collective action. The UN’s DPI NGO Conference called on all citizens and volunteer organizations everywhere to respond, commit, encourage and volunteer so each of us can do our part to build a sustainable future, assuring the global common good, and serving the needs of humanity and of all life.
This site also offers other valuable social media tools for the public, civil society and the media. This Conference website is designed to serve as a resource for the press, photojournalists, the broadcast media, news agencies and bloggers. You will find information on the Conference including press releases, information on accreditation, and press coverage of the Conference. This site posts photographs and other media-related information materials, including speeches.
Contacts and resources:
Youth Sub-Committee: email@example.com
Workshops Sub-Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
Group of Experts: email@example.com
Exhibits Sub-Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
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*In the final report of the Decade for a Culture of Peace project (2001-2010) presented to the UN General Assembly (http://decade-culture-of-peace.org/2010_civil_society_report.pdf), Good News Agency is included among the three NGOs that have been playing a major role in the field of Information. In section A - International Organizations, the Report says:
"Participatory Communication and Free Flow of Information and Knowledge has been advanced largely through use of the Internet by civil society corresponding to para 6 in the 1999 Programme of Action calling for the promotion of a culture of peace through sharing of information among actors in the global movement for a culture of peace (p.7). 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 (p.12).