Good News Agency – Year VI, n° 9



Weekly - Year VI, number 9 – 24 June 2005

Managing Editor: Sergio Tripi, Ph. D.

Rome Law-court registration no. 265 dated 20 June 2000.           

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. Editorial research by Fabio Gatti. Good News Agency is published in English on one Friday and in Italian the next.  It is distributed free of charge through Internet to the editorial offices of more than 3,700 media in 48 countries, as well as to 2,500 NGO and service associations.

It is a service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, NGO 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 has been included in the web site



International legislationHuman rightsEconomy and developmentSolidarity

Peace and securityHealthEnergy and SafetyEnvironment and wildlife

Religion and spiritualityCulture and education




International legislation



The United States has much to gain from a strong and effective United Nations

New York, June 15 (RUNIC Europe) - Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on release of the USIP Task Force report:

The Secretary-General welcomes the release of the final report the US Institute for Peace task force on UN Reform and its conclusion that the United States has much to gain from a strong and effective United Nations. He supports many of the recommendations and believes that the
task-force’s call for a US commitment to work with other Member States and the UN staff is the best basis on which to pursue and achieve lasting reform.

The Secretary-General particularly appreciates the fact that the report recognizes the ongoing hard work within the Secretariat to tackle internal management reform and is encouraged that it supports and endorses many of his own key initiatives and proposals for wider institutional reform, including the creation of a Peacebuilding Commission, strengthening the Office of Internal Oversight Services and other accountability mechanisms, and revitalizing the UN’s human rights machinery, including the creation of a new Human Rights Council.  The Secretary-General also
welcomes the report’s focus on addressing the crisis in Darfur as a crucial test for both Member States and the United Nations.



Human rights



Togo: Aid for the displaced and all-out effort to raise awareness of humanitarian principles

16 June - The electoral and post-electoral violence that shook Togo in late April caused many people to flee their villages, especially in the Plateaux and Central regions. (…)

On 10 June, the ICRC also conducted a major awareness-raising session for 1,000 recruits of the Togolese armed forces in Kara, in the north of the country, to facilitate the action of the Movement (ICRC and Togolese Red Cross) in situations of internal violence. The session focused on the Movement and on the humanitarian principles that must be observed by the recruits when they take part in operations. (…) The awareness-raising effort undertaken by the ICRC in the wake of the recent violence is also aimed at the general public, especially youth. As part of an ICRC-sponsored media campaign, State television and the private channels Delta Santé and TV2 regularly broadcast videoclips from the musical album L'homme, un remède pour l'homme.!OpenDocument


93rd annual Conference of the ILO concludes its work

Delegates pave the way for urgent action on key labour concerns

Geneva, 16 June - More than 3,000 government, employer and worker delegates concluded the 93rd annual Conference of the International Labour Organization today following intense discussions on the need for urgently eliminating forced labour, creating jobs for youth, improving safety at work and tackling what ILO Director-Gen.Juan Somavia called a "global jobs crisis". (…)

The annual meeting of the ILO's 178 member States also discussed the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories, the state of labour standards in Belarus, Colombia and other countries and the on-going situation of efforts to stop the use of forced labour in Myanmar. Delegates also discussed the current state of working hours and how to balance the need for flexibility with protecting workers' security, health and family life. (…)


Paraguay takes concrete steps in the effective implementation of the Optional Protocol against the use of child soldiers

Asunción, Paraguay, 15 June - Representatives of the Government of Paragay, UNICEF and the members of non-governmental organizations and community groups presented the results of the first round of visits to monitor implementation of the Optional Protocol on the Use of Child Soldiers which prohibits the forced recruitment of children under 18 years old as soldiers.

The event was sponsored by UNICEF and the Coalition Against the Use of Children Soldiers and highlighted results of a visit to forty military units throughout of  whole country and interviews with 1,458 conscripts. (…) 

After almost three years of work and with the coordination of NGOs and community groups, it was possible to carry out the monitoring visits to verify the implementation process of the Optional Protocol of the International Convention of the Rights of the Child relative to the participation of children as soldiers, and the quality of adolescents and young people’s life that are lending the Obligatory Military Service. During almost one month, representatives of AFAVISEM (Association of Relatives of Victims at the Obligatory Military Service), SERPAJ (Peace and Justice Service), CDIA (National Coordination of Children Rights), the Secretary of the Childhood, the Woman's Secretary, members of the Chamber of Deputies, the Human Rights Unit of the Supreme Court of Justice and the human rights Unit of the Public Ministry  visited military units of the whole country and identified concrete problems and challenges so that the implementation of this Optional Protocol would be realized.  (…)


Virtual game offers insight into refugee experience

Stockholm, Sweden, June 15 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency has launched a web-based interactive game to offer teenagers in Sweden some insight into the refugee experience.

"Against All Odds" is a Swedish-language knowledge and experience game designed to promote integration and positive attitudes towards refugees by putting players in their shoes. (…)

Among the different scenarios, players must overcome obstacles to leave their homes in search of protection and assistance. In exile, they must cope with difficulties at school, not knowing the language and making new friends. They also experience what refugees go through when facing discrimination on the streets, applying for a job and generally starting a new life. (…)

 Norwegian company Statoil supported UNHCR's Regional Office for the Baltic and Nordic Countries in producing the game. (…) UNHCR's other partners in "Against All Odds" include Microsoft, Ericsson and Datareal AB. The game was developed by Paregos and Tictac. (…)


ILO urges ban on child labour in small-scale mines and quarries

Initiative is part of World Day Against Child Labour activities to be held worldwide

Geneva, 9 June - Workers, employers and governments are to join the International Labour Organization (ILO) in marking the World Day Against Child Labour this year by calling for the elimination of child labour in one of the world's most dangerous sectors - small-scale mining and quarrying - within five to 10 years. This new initiative will be launched with a "call to action" at a special event during the ILO's International Labour Conference on 10 June. The ILO estimates that at least 1 million children aged five to 17 currently toil in small-scale mines and quarries around the world.(…) Tripartite delegations from at least 14 countries are expected to present a signed accord to the ILO committing themselves to eliminating child labour in all small-scale mining and quarrying in a "time bound" manner. These countries include: Brazil, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ecuador, Ghana, Mali, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Tanzania, and Togo.(…)


Despite ongoing violence in Darfur, suffering eases among displaced people

Nyala, Sudan, June 2 - Ongoing violence continues to force civilians from their homes in Darfur, Sudan; at least two million people remain displaced, both within Darfur and in neighboring Chad. But in the midst of this tragedy, the contributions of concerned people around the world are helping humanitarian organizations ease the toll of suffering, hunger and disease among the displaced population.

A few items of interest from CARE's work:



Economy and development



African Trade Ministers draw up agenda for road to Hong Kong

By Andrew Allimadi, Communication Officer, ECA

16 June  - The Third Ordinary Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Trade was held in Cairo, Egypt from 8 to 9 June 2005. A Meeting of Experts from 5 to 7 June 2005 preceded the Ministerial Meeting. This conference was taking place against the backdrop of a number of important events that will take place this year, that are of significant importance to Africa. These include the review of the Millennium Developments Goals (MDGs) by the United Nations General Assembly programmed to take place in September 2005, the Summit of the Group of Eight (G-8) which takes place in Gleneagles, Scotland in July 2005; and the Sixth Session of the WTO Conference scheduled for Hong Kong (China) in December of this year. Accordingly, the Conference in Cairo was taking place at a critical juncture and it was in this context that deliberations focused on a number of key issues that will feed into the subsequent meetings and conferences.(…)

The Ministerial Conference held form 8 to 9 June 2005, considered the Report of Experts and the recommendations contained therein; adopted the Cairo Declaration and Cairo Roadmap; and also held a Special Session on “Trade Liberalization, World Integration: A Better Future for Africa”. (…) The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) participated and contributed substantively to these meetings. (…) The Cairo Roadmap identifies key issues for Africa in the current round of multilateral trade negotiations, focusing on agriculture, including cotton and bananas; non-agricultural market access (NAMA); trade in services; development issues; commodities; trade facilitation; issues on rules; Least Developed Countries (LDCs); technical cooperation; work programme on small and island economies; trade, debt and finance; trade and transfer of technology; and accession.(…)


Asia-Pacific launch of the Millennium development goals report 2005

Roundtable Briefing with Executive Secretary of UNESCAP Mr. Kim Hak-Su

Bangkok, 13.June (UN Information Services) -- The latest United Nations report card on the world’s progress to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) shows Asia has done an impressive job halving poverty, but development is uneven.(…) The number of people in Asia living on less than $1 a day dropped by nearly a quarter of a billion from 1990 to 2001, but impressive economic development has not translated to better standards of living, even in the fast-growing economies of the Eastern and South-Eastern sub-regions. The Asia-Pacific region still has high levels of people living with poverty and hunger, child mortality, maternal deaths, slum dwellers, children out of school and girls and women with less opportunity. Combine this with our failure to combat diseases including HIV/AIDS and our mismanagement of the environment and we face a difficult roadmap to achieving the MDGs.(…)


Global Walk is a giant step towards ending child hunger

Rome, 13 June – Yesterday, at least 200,000 people took part in a round-the-clock, round-the-world event in 269 cities and towns in 91 countries – raising awareness about child hunger across the globe and sufficient funds to feed more than 50,000 hungry children for a year.

On 12 June, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) together with its partner TNT, the global express, logistics and mail company, teamed up with an array of celebrities, dignitaries, employees, partners, family and friends to literally walk the world over a 24 hour period in each of the planet’s 24 time zones. Globally, walkers covered a distance of more than one million kilometres or the equivalent of 25 times around the earth.

Preliminary reports suggest that this year’s second global event, Fight Hunger: Walk the World, had five times more participants than last year’s and raised substantially more funding and attention towards eradicating child hunger.

International capitals, rural communities, neighbourhoods and historical landmarks served as the backdrop to walks which varied in size and style. In Rome, where WFP is headquartered, walkers strode through the ancient ruins of the Fori Imperiali and the Colosseum. New Yorkers began their walk at the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City with the Statue of Liberty in the distance. The Great Wall of China and the Pyramids of Egypt also featured. The first post-conflict walks were held in Sierra Leone and Liberia while in Malawi, tens of thousands of children who are direct beneficiaries of WFP’s school feeding programmes stepped out with family and friends through their villages. Artists, intellectuals, political leaders and sports champions turned out to call attention to the horrifying fact that hunger kills a child every five seconds in a world that produces enough food for everyone. (…)


New institute launched in Senegal to tackle Africa’s governance challenges

Dakar, Senegal, 9 June – A forum of African government, civil society and academic leaders, which closed here today, launched an African Institute to foster research; advocacy and policy dialogue on urgent governance issues for Africa. (…)

The unveiling of the Institute comes as African countries are making unprecedented strides in regional integration through the African Union and democratic governance with the African Peer Review Mechanism of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, an innovative plan through which participating governments monitor each other’s performance. (…)


Demographer, Mercedes Concepcion, of the Philippines, and Guatemala's Largest Private Family Planning Provider, Win 2005 United Nations Population Award

United Nations, New York, 8 June - A leading demographer, Mercedes Concepcion, of the Philippines, and Guatemala’s largest private family planning provider, Asociación Pro-Bienestar de la Familia de Guatemala (APROFAM ONG), have won this year’s United Nations Population Award. The Award goes each year to individuals and institutions for outstanding work in population and in improving the health and welfare of individuals. (…)

Mercedes Concepcion is well known to international demographers and family planners, according to documents submitted to the Award Committee(…) Ms. Concepcion’s work has contributed significantly to population research and development policy in the Philippines.

APROFAM ONG, founded in 1964, is a private, not-for-profit, non-denominational organization providing reproductive health education, care and counselling to Guatemalan families, according to documents submitted to the Award Committee. (…)


Support to the rural private sector will create jobs and diversify sources of income in Senegal

Rome, 7 June - A new development project will help rural entrepreneurs in eight regions of Senegal to gain skills and access to financial and other services that will help them to increase profits and incomes from their businesses. It will also support the development of new micro- and small enterprises in rural areas.

The seven-year project is being supported by a US$13.08 million loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), out of a total project cost of US$18.75 million. The loan is also receiving cofinancing from the West African Development Bank. The loan was signed today at IFAD headquarters by IFAD President Lennart Båge and Ambassador of the Republic of Senegal to the United Nations organizations in Rome, Momar Gueye. (…)

The project will promote new opportunities in agribusiness, from supplying inputs to processing agricultural products. A strong focus will be on building the capacity of entrepreneurs, and in particular women, who make a significant contribution of labour and cash to the household yet have less access than men to education, information and financial services. At least half of the assisted businesses will be run by women. (…)


UNCTAD intensifies support for Palestinian institution-building efforts

3 June - UNCTAD has stepped up technical assistance to the Palestinian people in preparation for their envisioned State, focusing over the past month on enterprise development, Customs automation, economic development strategy, debt management, and trade facilitation and logistics. These activities are being implemented in close consultation with the Palestinian Authority (PA), civil society partners and international development institutions.

UNCTAD´s programme to promote small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development, EMPRETEC-Palestine, expanded its membership following a third Entrepreneurship Training Workshop, held in Ramallah from 24 May to 2 June. The programme is funded by the International Labour Organization (ILO) for the benefit of the Palestinian Fund for Employment and Social Protection (PFESP) and is supported by the host institution, the Palestinian Federation of Industries (PFI). (…)

EMPRETEC-Palestine is a key component of the PFESP´s Enterprise Development Programme (EDP), which provides technical assistance for entrepreneurs supported by a credit programme through banks. (…)


German Government and ECLAC agree on cooperation programme for 2006 - 2007

Santiago, Chile, 1 June - Yesterday, Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) established the main programming areas for their joint activities during 2006 and 2007. (…)

The meeting was headed by ECLAC's Alicia Bárcena, Deputy Executive Secretary, Juan Martin, officer in charge of the Programme Planning and Operations Division, and Ingrid Hoven, BMZ Director-General for Cooperation with Latin America. ECLAC experts reported on the impacts of selected projects supported by the German government, which have been completed or are underway, in the region's countries. These focus on pensions, health, renewable energy and the environment. During the discussion, participants noted that German cooperation had allowed ECLAC to develop proposals that were ahead of their time and today form part of the regional agenda for debate, emphasizing aspects consistent with the social market economy and environmental sustainability encouraged by the German Government.

The report on the current 2004-2005 programme was then presented, followed by the proposed programme for 2006-2007, which will focus on the main problems arising from globalization in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Through this programme, called "Towards a Fair, Equitable and Sustainable Globalization", ECLAC and BMZ have committed to focusing on achieving the following goals: promoting policy reforms, institutional strengthening, capacity building and dissemination of "best practices."






Caritas Bolivia responds to its country’s growing humanitarian crisis

Vatican City, 9 June - As social and political tensions continue to run high in Bolivia, Caritas Bolivia has called on the Caritas Confederation for support and solidarity in dealing with their country’s mounting humanitarian crisis. Protests have gained momentum over the last two weeks, with thousands of people descending on the nation’s capital, La Paz, and outlying city, El Alto, demanding economic reforms and questioning control over the country’s natural resources and moves towards regional autonomy. The country, one of the poorest in the world, is now faced with serious shortages of food, clean water, and fuel. (…)

Caritas Bolivia is cooperating with the World Food Programme (WFP) to direct emergency food aid to the most vulnerable, namely children, the elderly, and the sick. The Diocesan Caritas of El Alto has also set out to identify needs stemming from the conflict. It is reported that hospitals in La Paz and El Alto urgently need food, oxygen, medicines, and supplies.

An emergency appeal is being put together in the coming days by Caritas Bolivia aimed at  providing basic food, medicines, and medical and electrical supplies to those affected in La Paz and El Alto. Caritas United States (CRS), Caritas Spain, and other member organisations have expressed their willingness to assist once an appeal has been launched.

Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development, and social service organisations present in over 200 countries and territories.


July 1- International White Band Aid

Wear a simple white band and show the world that you want action, not just words 

July 1 will see people around the world wearing their white bands and wrapping public buildings in white to send a message to the G8 world leaders that they demand action on trade justice, debt cancellation, and more and better aid. International White Band Day will prove to be one of the largest global actions ever taken. (…) Below are just some of the White Band events planned.(…):  Massive white bands will be wrapped around buildings across the world, including:

The Soweto township of Johannesburg, South Africa, a group of shacks will be wrapped in a white band, to symbolise perpetuating poverty in Africa. In Freetown, Sierra Leone, the famous cotton tree, planted by freed slaves when the nation was founded, will be draped in a white band.

In Senegal, the slavery archway will be wrapped in a white band.  From June 30 to July 14 the Sydney Harbour Bridge, in Australia, will be wrapped in a white band, with the Australian coalition's slogan "Make Poverty History" across it. The Coliseum in Italy. The Brandenburger Tor in Germany. In Paris, France, the Trocadero's buildings which sit either side of the Eiffel Tower, will be wrapped with two white bands. In Spain, bridges will be wrapping on the main highways of Spain. In Georgia all the trees along the Central Avenue of the capital, Tbilisi, will be wrapped in white bands. (…)



Peace and security



Former child soldiers in Liberia now aim for sports glory

Fierce competition for the Day of the African Child boys football championship in Monrovia.

By Patrick Slavin

Monrovia, 15 June – “Peace is very, very sweet,” said 13-year-old Stanley Varfley, captain of the winning boys’ football team at the youth sports tournament held to celebrate the Day of the African Child in Monrovia. “In five years, I’d love to see more development in Liberia, both in sport and in the government.”Five boys’ football teams and five girls’ kickball teams representing several communities here in the Liberian capital played in the daylong tournament, competing for the inaugural UNICEF Day of the African Child Champions trophies. More than 1,000 spectators enjoyed the festivities, cheering on the teams.(…) One of the highlights of the tournament was a spirited exhibition football match between two youth teams from the capital’s slum area of Red Light, which earned the sobriquet because it has one of the first traffic lights rural Liberians see on their way to the capital. More than half of the Red Light players fought as child soldiers in Liberia’s 14-year civil war, which ended in 2003.(…) UNICEF is working with its partners to provide thousands of these former combatants with a primary school education or vocational skills training. Steven Jaryan said he is doing very well now that he has left the armed forces. “I’m in the 9th grade at Amos T. Taybor Institute.”(…)


Azerbaijan: Safe-play areas project on track

June 14 - Last week the ICRC and Azerbaijan's National Agency for Mine Action held a four-day workshop near Baku to raise awareness of the risk posed by mines. The event was part of an ICRC project to create safe play areas in villages near former conflict zones in Azerbaijan.

Fifteen members of the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan took part.

"Ten years after the ceasefire in the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, mines are still an extremely serious problem in Azerbaijan," said Musa Jalalov, head of mine-risk education at the National Agency for Mine Action. "Our studies have led us to designate 11 areas as high-risk, 101 as medium-risk and 970 as suspicious." The workshop represented a first step in what was to be three-way cooperation between the ICRC, the National Agency and the Azerbaijani Red Crescent. This cooperation will enhance the Agency's existing mine-awareness work and help reduce the number of mine victims, especially children. Mine-risk education in high-risk areas is one of the Agency's main activities. (…)!OpenDocument


Young leaders think outside the bomb

National youth conference on nuclear issues – August 15-21, University of California Santa Barbara

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and its partners invite you to participate in "Think Outside the Bomb," a gathering of young leaders, disarmament experts, educators, veteran activists, and artists. The gathering is scheduled for August 15-21at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Young organizers who work either directly or indirectly on nuclear issues are invited to participate in the gathering. Prospective applicants include, but are not limited to, young activists who are: resisting increasing militarism in their schools; opposing the storage of nuclear waste in their neighborhoods; and/or implementing sustainable energy practices in their homes, churches/mosques/synagogues, and/or universities. It is our goal for participants to leave the gathering with a deepened understanding of nuclear issues; inspiration to continue their activism; expanded social and professional networks; an approach to fundraising based upon compassion; and a supply of organizing resources.

Participants will be asked to develop and present an action plan during the gathering. Facilitators will support participants in conceptualizing and writing their plans. Similarly, facilitators will help participants implement their plans immediately following the gathering. Examples of such support include: mentorship; skills training; internship and fellowship positions; regional gatherings; conference calls; and funding prospects. (…)


3rd Global Summit on Peace through Tourism, Pattaya, Thailand, October 2-5

The Summit is in support of the UN Decade of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World and the UN Millennium Development Goals. It is being organized by the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT); supported by the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB); and with the support of the World Tourism Organization (WTO).

Summit Theme:  One Earth, One Family: Travel and Tourism - Serving a Higher Purpose

The Aim of the Summit is to develop a 21st Century Agenda for Peace through Tourism that addresses key global issues of our time. Call for papers by June 30 on the themes: Youth Leadership Forum - Young Professionals Forum – and Forums on Community Tourism -Inter-Faith Dialogue- and, Cultural Tourism. 






Sixth Global Vaccine Research Forum: many new life-saving vaccines in pipeline, but challenges persist

Millions more lives could be saved with new vaccines

Salvador de Bahia, 15 June - Many new vaccines that have the potential to save millions of lives are in the research pipeline and will become available over the next decade. However, a number of challenges will have to be overcome before these vaccines can be put into widespread, sustainable use in developing countries where the needs are greatest. "These are exciting times in vaccine development. Several new products will soon be available that together could protect millions of lives from disease," said Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, Director of the Initiative for Vaccine Research, World Health Organization (WHO). "However, experience has shown that the uptake of new vaccines is extremely slow. We urgently must find solutions to deliver these powerful and proven health tools to all people at risk." The obstacles to delivering new life-saving vaccines to people who need them are scientific, financial, technical and regulatory. The lack of an adequate supply of vaccines and the weaknesses of many developing country health systems in terms of low vaccine coverage, among other things, constitute additional challenges.(…) More support from governments of industrialized countries for vaccine research and development is critical and urgent. "Given the immense power of modern biotechnology, the possibilities to improve the world's health through new vaccines are vast," Dr Francis added.


WHO and the Kobe Group agree to a further 10-Year mandate for the WHO Centre for Health Development

Kobe, Japan, 15 June - The WHO Centre for Health Development established in Kobe, Japan in 1995 will reinforce its research activities in health and development in the second period of its operation from 2006-2016. Emphasis will be placed on its programmes to reduce health inequity for vulnerable populations in urban settings, as well as studying the impact of chronic diseases and trying to find better ways to deal with the impact of disasters and emergencies on people's mental health. Closer cooperation will be sought with local communities by strengthening the global and local interface. (…)

Over the next 10 years, the Centre will emphasize critical areas of health research, including a systems analysis of the role of health governance in determining health outcomes in selected urban settings, the measurement of non-communicable disease impacts, and the development of an urban health governance tool kit. Among other things, this kit will include tools for responding to mental health needs in and after disasters and emergencies; and for enhancing industry, community and academia alliances for health promotion. (…)


Project launched to prevent HIV/AIDS Transmission among refugees and displaced persons in post-conflict border areas of Guinea, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone

Freetown, Sierra Leone,  10 June - A three-year project to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among refugees, displaced populations and their host communities in the post-conflict border areas of Guinea, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone was launched here today. (…) Approximately one million people will benefit from the project, of which 50 per cent will be children and 35 per cent will be female-headed households. (…) Partners in the project include the national AIDS secretariats of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire, UNFPA, WHO, UNDP, UNHCR, UNAIDS, UNICEF, the African Development Bank (ADB), the Mano River Union Secretariat, non-governmental organizations and representatives of displaced populations.

According to a report by the ADB, an estimated 1.9 million people are infected with HIV in the four countries. About 140,000 have died from the epidemic and 900,000 children have been orphaned by the disease. (…)


Success in Ethiopian child survival programme

New York, 9 June -  Although it is only 20 per cent funded, an innovative programme has made remarkable progress in reducing child deaths in Ethiopia this year.  The Enhanced Outreach Strategy/Targeted Supplementary Feeding Programme for Child Survival (EOS) is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Health and Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Commission together with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme, which targets nearly 7 million children under five years of age for nutrition screening, vitamin A supplements, immunizations and supplemental feeding.

To date, five million children in eight regions have been screened and supplied with vitamin A supplements.  Four million children have been dewormed.  2,200 health professionals have been trained in child survival interventions.  And through its food component, the EOS is guaranteeing that women control the entire distribution process:  6000 village women will be trained to receive, store, educate beneficiaries on nutrition and distribute food by the end of 2005.

One of the world’s most neglected crises, Ethiopia suffers from acute and chronic food insecurity, affecting nine to twelve million people nationwide. (…)  Following the 2002-03 drought, UNICEF sponsored the Ethiopia Child Survival Survey, which concentrated on 325 of Ethiopia’s most food-insecure areas.  The study found that, while overall child mortality levels were higher in drought-affected areas than in non-drought affected areas, that difference was more due to socio-economic factors than to the recent drought.  The survey’s findings also indicate that the large-scale relief effort carried out in 2002-03 successfully prevented excess child deaths among the general population.


UNIFEM releases Gender and HIV/AIDS Electronic Library

7 June  - UNIFEM, with support from UNAIDS, has released a new electronic library on CD-ROM that compiles cutting-edge research and studies, training resources and tools, and multimedia advocacy materials on the gender dimensions of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The Gender and HIV/AIDS Electronic Library is fully searchable by keyword and includes an easy-to-use tool called "e-Course Builder," which supports the creation of a tailored training course using the resources on the CD-ROM.

The Electronic Library, in CD-ROM format, is based on UNIFEM's Gender and HIV/AIDS Web Portal and compiles resources produced by a variety of organizations working on HIV/AIDS, including cutting-edge research and studies, training resources and tools, and multimedia advocacy materials. All information can be easily searched and retrieved using a variety of criteria. The Library is intended to be a useful resource for academics, policymakers, practitioners, journalists, students and others interested in the gender dimensions of the epidemic.

In addition, resources are complemented by a unique feature called the "e-Course Builder" that allows users to create and edit a tailored electronic course or report in HTML format, drawing from the materials contained in the CD-ROM.


Healing tsunami's mental wounds: UNFPA opens counselling centres in Aceh

Jakarta, Indonesia,  2 June - Four community-based psychosocial support centres opened last month to assist traumatized tsunami survivors and victims of violence in hard-hit sections of Aceh province.  The centres, supported by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, offer counselling through support groups, especially for women and youth, in Aceh Besar and Banda Aceh districts. Two more centres are to open in Meulaboh this month; two others will be set up in Aceh Jaya once security conditions improve.

UNFPA is working in partnership with the Mental Health Hospital of Banda Aceh (managed by the Indonesian Ministry of Health), the Indonesian Psychologists Association (known by its Indonesian acronym HIMPSI), and Flower Aceh and Fatayat NU, Islamic NGOs emphasizing reproductive health and women’s rights, among others.

Data on psychosocial conditions in Aceh consistently show that the need for counselling support in Aceh province is high. The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 500,000 people may be facing some degree of mental health problems as a result of the 26 December disaster, in which an estimated 90 per cent of all families lost one or more family members. (…)


Deworming campaign in northern Haiti reaches 700,000 children

A campaign to rid 700,000 children in northern Haiti of worms is drawing to a successful close, with huge benefits for the children's nutritional status, growth and intellectual development. Anne Poulsen reports. Enjoying an early morning break, the 660 girls of the Ecole Nationale Fanelie Francois primary school in the coastal town of Cap Haitien in Northern Haiti have transformed the school yard into an ocean of blue uniforms and ribbons.(…) The deworming campaign in the North and North East Departments of Haiti supported by WFP and covering almost 700,000 children is reaching its final stage. (…) The children seem to understand the importance of the deworming tablet – most of them at least, who swallow their tablet without further ado. A few, however, are trying hard to avoid the tablet by hiding it in their mouths so that they can spit it out again, when the teachers aren't looking. But the teachers are merciless – no child is leaving the line unless they have swallowed a tablet.(…)



Energy and safety



China tackles energy waste

Beijing, China, 6 June - China’s emergence as the second largest energy consumer in the world has placed it in the unique position of affecting global energy supplies as a developing nation. China’s GDP is expected to quadruple by the year 2020, while its energy consumption is expected to only double. China therefore is facing significant challenge to improve energy efficiency and to address the issue of climate change, said today a senior United Nations development official.

Khalid Malik, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in China, made the remarks during the inception workshop of the China End-Use Energy Efficiency Programme (EUEEP), an initiative jointly developed by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in China and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), as major effort between the Government and the United Nations to tackle China’s dilemma of growing energy demand and severe energy shortage. (…)

Over the past 15 years, UNDP has initiated, in partnership with the Government of China and other development partners, 26 energy and energy-related projects (…) Early projects focused on supporting efforts in energy sector planning, traditional energy technologies, and methods to reduce greenhouse gases. Starting in 1996, with the Initiative for Sustainable Energy (UNISE), UNDP began to address sustainable energy – energy produced and used in ways that support long-term sustainable human development. (…)



Environment and wildlife



Environmental Impacts Found in Maldives Post-Tsunami Report

17 June – A report issued by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today found that the Indian Ocean tsunami caused a number of significant impacts on the Maldives environment. Although Maldives world-famous resorts are in good condition and largely open for business, the country’s inhabited islands are confronting several environmental challenges that have resulted from the December 2004 tsunami. The UNEP report concluded that the tsunami generated approximately 290,000 cubic meters of waste on the country’s 69 inhabited islands that were severely damaged by the tsunami. Asbestos from crushed roofing material was mixed into the debris.(…) The report was developed in close cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Construction (MEC) of Maldives. With support recently received from the U.K. Government’s Department for International Development and the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UNEP is commencing projects to train workers in the handling and disposal of hazardous waste, to advise the MEC on the clean up of tsunami waste, and to promote the integration of environmental reviews, coastal planning and sustainability concepts into reconstruction plans.


UN Volunteers and GEF focus on restoring livelihoods in Sri Lanka

Bonn, 15 June – A new agreement signed earlier this week between the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) will help coastal communities in Sri Lanka get back on track from the devastating impact of the 26 December tsunamis.

UNV and GEF are joining forces to rehabilitate and restore the coastal environment and the socio-economic activities of the communities, mainly fishing villages, devastated by the tsunamis. This initiative complements UNV’s current presence in the country, where UN Volunteers have been working since early January with local NGOs and communities to rebuild people’s lives.

Through GEF’s Small Grants Programme (SGP), UN Volunteers will provide technical support and training to local NGOs in eight coastal villages. They will focus on carrying out beach rehabilitation and biodiversity renewal initiatives, drinking water replenishment, income-generation projects, as well as raising awareness of marine and coastal ecosystem management among fishers, tourism operators, and other resource users.

GEF will fund the NGOs through the SGP and UNV will deploy teams of UN Volunteers who will work directly with the communities through these NGOs. Activities will focus on a range of livelihood enhancements – from the set up of income generation projects to the creation of a microcredit system. (…)


ISDR Joins Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union to boost information, education on disasters

Geneva, 10 June (ISDR) -- The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) secretariat is starting a new collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), a professional association of 102 radio and television broadcasters in the Asia-Pacific region. The purpose of this new collaboration is to develop new radio and television products to better educate and prepare people against natural hazards in Asia-Pacific countries. (…)

Two media workshops gathering more than 30 broadcasters from the Indian Ocean region will be organized in Bangkok at the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on 13-16 June, together with the participation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UNESCO and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The workshops will be facilitated by CNN. (…)


Eastern Chad: Clean water for 130,000 people

June 7- The ICRC has just completed the bulk of repairs to the water supply systems of four towns – Adré, Tiné, Iriba and Abéché – situated in an area of Chad that has been severely affected by the presence of thousands of Sudanese refugees. Over 130,000 people now have access to drinking water in these towns. Until recently these people often had to travel long distances to fetch water, which was exhausting work. "Now we can just fill our buckets and basins at one of the taps installed in town," said a young mother of four. "This is a great relief for us. It has changed our lives."

In Adré (20,000 inhabitants), on the border between Chad and Sudan, the local population is now supplied with 300 to 500 cubic metres of water per day. The pumps and generators at the pumping station were either repaired or replaced and the pipe between the bore hole and the water tower was also repaired, along with a dozen fire hydrants.

Similar work was carried out in Tiné (20,000 inhabitants), further north along the border. (…)

A water project is also under way in Iriba (10,000 inhabitants), where the ICRC is boosting the capacity of existing facilities. Work should be finished by the end of the month. (…)!OpenDocument


Israel, Jordan and Palestinian Authority agree to rescue plan for Dead Sea

Source Weekly, 31 May - A two-year study will investigate the social and environmental impact of

conveying large quantities of water through 200-kilometers of piping from a small canal on the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. Agreement was announced at the World Economic Forum by Jordan's Minister of Water and Irrigation, Raed Abu Saoud, Israeli Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer and Palestinian planning minister Ghassan al-Khatib. Abu Saoud hailed the landmark agreement as a significant step to foster "understanding and cooperation between us and to strengthen peace in the region".

Following the feasibility study, the US $1 billion (EUR 800 million) project will take five years to complete. A second phase costing US $3 billion (EUR 2.4 billion) includes enough water desalination plants to supply fresh water for Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority for 50 years.

The Dead Sea is estimated to have dropped to 416 metres below sea level as 250 to 300 million cubic meters of fresh water are lost annually. The feasibility study will be supervised by the World Bank and financed by a number of donor countries. Source: World Bank Press Review

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Swaziland: children "spin" water out  

Source Weekly, 17 May - Five 'play pumps' or ‘play wheels’ have been installed in schools, mainly in the drought-affected belt in southern and eastern Swaziland, as part of a pilot programme involving a consortium of private companies (Canada Fund and cellular telephone provider MTN-Swaziland), government departments and UNICEF. The wheels are designed to be operated with minimum effort and can be turned by as few as three children. Connected to a borehole, the turning wheels draw water up into an overhead tank. The water is used to prepare their meals, for sanitation facilities and to irrigate the school vegetable garden.

Between 35 and 40 schools have been selected to receive play pumps under UNICEF's 'Education for All' programme. Contact: UNICEF, Mbabane, Swaziland,

Source: IRIN News [], 3 May 2005



Religion and spirituality



The Earth Charter was featured at a large religious gathering in Germany

Germany, 25-29 May - The German Earth Charter Team organized an Earth Charter panel with an audience of approximately 500 people at one of the biggest Christian events in Germany. The event took place as part of “Kirchentag” (“church day”) and was organized by the Lutheran-Protestant church, bringing together more than 300.000 people. Among the panelists were Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp (Earth Charter Commissioner), Angelika Zahrnt (the Head of Friends of the Earth Germany) and Michael Slaby (Youth Earth Charter Initiative Coordinator).



Culture and education



UNA-USA: Merrill Lynch commits $7.5M for spreading Global Classrooms to 14 countries

19 May - Merrill Lynch has made a $7.5 million grant to UNA-USA to extend the Global Classrooms program to 14 countries over the next five years and to develop a new curriculum to engage students in global trade, finance and development. Through this new partnership, Global Classrooms will now reach thousands more students worldwide, while drawing on Merrill Lynch volunteers’ intimate understanding of capital markets to expose, educate and engage them. (…)

Global Classrooms brings the celebrated Model UN experience into public high schools and middle schools around the world, enabling students to assume the roles of UN ambassadors and negotiate critical issues such as international security, development, human rights and environmental protection. (…)

Nine cities nationwide currently participate in the innovative Global Classrooms program: Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, St. Paul, Tampa and Washington, DC. Internationally, UNA-USA has also begun the program in Accra, Beijing, Berlin, Monterrey and New Delhi. The grant from Merrill Lynch will allow Global Classrooms to expand its reach into Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami and Hopewell, NJ over the next five years. Internationally, UNA-USA will now initiate programs in Hong Kong, London, Johannesburg, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Madrid, Paris, Tel Aviv and Beirut.

Research conducted by the Asia Society (2001) and the National Geographic Society/RoperASW (2002) has consistently found that (US) students know far too little about world affairs, geographic regions, languages and cultures. (…)  Overall, these data indicate that while students’ knowledge about the world may be limited, they are interested in learning more. Global Classrooms fills this important niche in education and makes schools a better vehicle for providing knowledge on international affairs.


XI International Conference on Environmental Education - Vladimir, Russia, June 22 – 24

«On the way to sustainable future: challenges of environmental education»

The conference is held as a public initiative of Green Cross Russia in the framework of the UNO Decade “Education for sustainable development” (2005-2014). (…)

Perception by society of ideas of sustainable development is possible only through a system of education and public awareness increase. This very sphere of activity is capable to change mass consciousness of people by orientating it for conservation of natural and cultural values, ethic and humane attitude to life, search of compromise where economic interests of industry enter into the conflict with ecological interests of society.

As the experience of Green Cross shows, the largest difficulties in the public outreach take place in the depression areas where because of serious ecological and economic problems, social instability, the lack of reliable information people experience psychological discomfort, uncertainty in future, anxiety for life and health of their relatives.

The conference objective – to discuss the methodology, constructive approaches, educational initiatives and possible models of educational activity for various age and social groups of the population in the field of sustainable development. Plenary and poster sessions, sections and round tables are planned in the framework of the conference.  E-mail


Education for rural people, a crucial step towards the Millennium Goals

Identifying the needs of rural communities is essential

Rome, 15 June - Education programmes that address the specific needs of rural communities are essential if eradicating extreme poverty and hunger is to be achieved by 2015, according to FAO.

At a recent meeting to explore how education for rural people can contribute towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, FAO expert Lavinia Gasperini urged policy-makers to give top priority to identifying the basic educational needs of rural communities in order to help them improve their livelihoods.

Case studies presented at the meeting showed that living conditions of rural communities in different countries from Africa to Latin America can be improved when the basic educational needs of the rural people are taken into account.(…)

At the Rome meeting on the contribution of education for rural people to the Millennium Development Goals, results from case studies in Bolivia, Chad, Chile, Senegal and Tanzania were presented by representatives from the Italian NGO ACRA (Associazione di Cooperazione Rurale in Africa e America Latina.)


School construction in Banda Aceh kicks off as six month mark nears

Jakarta, 16 June - Work has started on a fast-track building programme that will see two hundred temporary schools built in one month across the tsunami-damaged region of Aceh, UNICEF said today. Up to 42,000 children will be educated in the temporary buildings, which are costing  $11,500 each to build. This rapid construction schedule is a joint UNICEF initiative with the Indonesian Government and other aid agencies. It means the children will be able to leave their emergency classrooms, which are large tents. 

The aim is to have the schools ready for the new term which starts on July 18. The construction of 200 temporary buildings is the precursor to a $90 million UNICEF programme to rebuild and renovate a total of 500 schools across Aceh, all to earthquake-resistant standards. (…)

UNICEF has contracted the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to carry out the building work. Each of the temporary schools will have three classrooms and they are designed to withstand serious earthquakes. They are built using concrete panels and at each site 30 trees will be planted. (…)


Making a mark in information management

FAO releases training package on creating digital libraries

Rome, 8 June - As part of an ongoing e-learning initiative known as the Information Management Resource Kit (IMARK), FAO has released the second in a series of training modules aimed at improving the management and sharing of agricultural information. The "Digitization and Digital Libraries" module was developed in collaboration with UNESCO to teach librarians and non-specialists how to digitize documents and put them online to create virtual libraries.

The module, available free of charge from FAO and UNESCO on CD-ROM, is compatible with a wide range of computers, as well as older operating systems, making it particularly well-suited for users in developing countries. (…) The interactive module includes materials for around 15 hours of training, in a curriculum that users can personalize to meet their particular needs at their own pace. The comprehensive course has material suited for beginners as well as for more advanced users.  (…)


Environmental information for kids at the EEA website

European Water Management News, 8 June - Children all over Europe are now offered environmental information in their own language in the kids' zone on the European Environment Agency website. The kids' zone was developed in recognition of the need to reach younger audiences, in this case children aged 10 - 14, about the state and trends of Europe's environment. "Education is about engagement. I would like to invite not only children, but also adults to make use of the features developed for younger audiences on our website to find out how we really can engage children in environmental issues", says EEA Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade.


Palestinian Territories: Kafa kids get a new school

Tulkarem, West Bank, June 7 - The kids of Kafa Village have a spacious, brand new school building, built with funds contributed by the American people. They seem happiest about the playground that comes with it. The new 460-square-meter, two-storey Kafa Primary School boasts six classrooms, a play yard, an administration office and restrooms. Six teachers and 67 students have already moved in and more are expected when the school is fully opened in September.

The project was funded with a $92,000 grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The project generated 2,102 person-days of employment, a real boon to Kafa's 500 residents.

The community contributed a 400-square-meter parcel of land for the school and its playground, said Majed Mohammad Mustafa Odeh of the Kafa Village Council. The council also paid the cost of demolishing the old building and assigned a local engineering firm to design the new structure.

The Palestinian Ministry of Education is providing the school with administrative and teaching staff together with furniture and equipment. Together with the village council, the ministry will cover the school's running costs. (…)


State of Urban Children and Youth Discussed in Dubai

UN-ESCWA participated in a conference on “Urban Children and Youth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region: Addressing Priorities in Education” that took place in Dubai recently. The aim of the conference, which included videoconferencing between the Dubai participants and young people in Cairo, Dubai, Gaza, Rabat, Sana’a and the West Bank, was to: highlight the priorities and problems that face children and youth in urban areas in the MENA Region, particularly in education, culture and recreation; focus on priority education issues like effective approaches to reaching the most vulnerable and disadvantaged; raise the awareness of senior municipal officials to the needs of children and youth and the importance of urgently addressing those needs through multi-sectoral strategies; assess urban planning guidelines and criteria for developing educational, cultural and recreational facilities; share knowledge and best practices to address the needs of children and youth in urban areas; and strengthen partnership among governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, as well as regional and international institutions. The conference concluded with a Draft Declaration on Children and Youth in Cities of the Mediterranean and MENA Region.


ECLAC presents report to the Regional Conference of Ministers in Rio de Janeiro:
Reducing the Digital Gap and Improving Equality of Opportunities

ECLAC calls on the region's countries to move from agreement to action to reduce the digital lag behind the developed world and make the most of this opportunity to overcome inequalities.

Rio de Janeiro, 9 June - In the past five years, the information society advanced in Latin America and the Caribbean with explosive growth in telephone use, especially mobile telephones, and the use of the Internet. Nonetheless, the digital gap between the region and developed countries remains significant. Low per capita income and poor distribution have negatively affected access to new services. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) today presented its new report on public policies for the development of information societies in Latin America and the Caribbean (Políticas públicas para el desarrollo de sociedades de información en América Latina y el Caribe), during the Regional Preparatory Ministerial Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean,(…). The regional event forms part of preparations for the World Summit on the Information Society, to be held in Tunis next November.

The study reveals that from 1998 to 2004 the number of fixed telephones almost doubled (from 53 million to almost 93 million), while mobile phones multiplied 8.5 times (from 20 million to 172 million) and the number of Internet users multiplied 12 times (from 6 million to 72 million).(…) For ICTs to influence the organization of production and society, a climate of security and confidence favourable to digital communications and transactions is essential. (…)


Indonesia Youth Leadership Training for high school students and teachers

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. State Department is sponsoring a leadership development program for 40 high school students and teachers from Indonesian secondary schools.  Legacy International will deliver a program that develops a sense of civic responsibility and commitment to community development among youth and promotes mutual understanding between the United States and the people of other countries.  (…)

Young people are a key to a successful future particularly if they are trained to value and participate in democratic processes, dialogue and local government. The governments of the countries in Southeast Asia draw a delicate balance between supporting U.S. interests in the region (and receiving U.S. financial aid), and handling domestic resentment toward American foreign policy.  ECA and Legacy’s program design will build a bridge highlighting the commonality of interests in the welfare of the people in Indonesia. The opportunity to work, learn, and live with diverse members of the American citizenry will help to reduce stereotypes, find common ground and interests, and foster clear vision for the next generation of  leaders.

From July 5 to July 31, a group of 34 students and 6 teachers will come to Lynchburg Virginia for four weeks of study, cultural outings, and site visits. The group is interested in learning new approaches to youth leadership development and building relationship with their American peers.


Endorsement to the Earth Charter keeps on spreading worldwide

Eight higher education institutions endorsed the Earth Charter

The Municipality of Celeya in Guanajuato celebrated a conference in the framework of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and convened eight educational institutions to endorse the Earth Charter.  These institutions gather a community of nearly 15,000 professors and students.

A congress inspired on the Earth Charter took place in Madrid

Spain, 21-22 May - The I Congress of Fundación Valores and the editorial company Proyecto Boreal, titled “Proyectos y Utopías para un Mundo Mejor” (Projects and Utopias for a Better World), was inspired on the Earth Charter and hosted by Federico Mayor, Earth Charter Commissioner and President of Fundación Cultura de Paz (Culture for Peace Foundation).  The objective of this congress was to raise awareness of the fact humanity is going through a critical moment in which people must reflect on themes such as global conscience, sustainable development, health, philosophy and spirituality, society and family, ecology, education, etc.

Kids and young people presented each speaker reading a paragraph of the Earth Charter.  More than 500 people attended.

The second largest university in Mexico endorsed the Earth Charter

La Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon (Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon), the second largest university in the country with 110,000 students, endorsed the Earth Charter on May 24th.   The signature of the endorsement took place in a ceremony with the presence of 138 people.


Stakeholders Define the Gambia’s e-strategy  

By Mercy Wambui, Communication Officer, ECA

9 June - In collaboration with the Department of State for Communication, Information and Technology (DOCIT) of the Government of The Gambia, the Development Information Services Division (DISD) held a 2-day stakeholders’ workshop on "Building an Inclusive Information Society in the Gambia" from 6 to 7 June 2005 in Banjul. The workshop was held in the context of ECA’s e-Policy Resource Network for Africa (ePolnet), which has been set up with support from the Government of Canada to provide expertise, guidance and advise to African countries that are implementing national e-strategies. (…) More than 50 participants were in attendance, included parliamentarians, media, women and the youth. (…)   



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International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010)

The culture of peace is advancing, according to accounts from all regions of the world. This is the conclusion from information submitted by almost 700 organizations available on the information board of this site. A summary report, shown here, is being submitted to the United Nations Secretary General for the plenary session of the UN General Assembly devoted to the midpoint of the culture of peace decade in Fall, 2005. This responds to the invitation in operative paragraph 10 of General Assembly Resolution A-59-143.

This report provides the first comprehensive view of the progress of the global movement for a culture of peace, since it was was called for in 1999 by United Nations Resolution A/53/243. The assessments of progress and obstacles are summarized by region: International NGOs (two pages), Africa, Arab States, Latin America, Asia, Europe, North America and the Caribbean. There is also a two-page summary of advice to the United Nations from participating organizations which addresses all eight programme areas for the culture of peace in United Nations Resolution A/53/243.

The advance of the culture of peace comes despite almost total neglect from the mass media, according to most accounts from all regions. Hopefully, this year will be a turning point, so that during the second half of the decade, we can ensure that news of the global movement for a culture of peace is recognized and documented by both the mass media and alternative media.

Although the summary report to the United Nations does not include photographs, a public version is being prepared that includes photographs, as shown here, on the front and back.pages of the report.

The Information Board will remain open for additional organizations to participate until the General Assembly debate in the fall of 2005. New organizations may register on the Registration Page in order to add their information. Organizations that have already entered information are free to edit their information up to the time of the General Assembly debate, by entering their username and password on the Log In Page and then clicking the EDIT button at the top of their page of information.

This website will remain open during the second half of the Decade from 2006-2010 in order to promote the further development of the global movement for a culture of peace. It is sponsored by the Fundación Cultura de Paz and its President, Federico Mayor, former Director-General of UNESCO.

For further information, please e-mail:



in English


About the



With photos
1 and 2

1 and 2


Arab States

Latin America



North America &

Advice to the UN
1 and 2

printable version
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Next issue: 15th July.


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Good News Agency is distributed free of charge through Internet to over 3,700 editorial offices of the daily newspapers and periodical magazines and of the radio and television stations with an e-mail address in 48 countries: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway,  Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, USA, and it is also available in its web site:

It is a service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, a registered non-profit educational organization chartered in Italy in 1979 and associated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations.

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.         

Via Antagora 10, 00124 Rome, Italy. E-mail:


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