Good News Agency – Year VII, n° 11
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 (in charge) and Elisa Peduto. 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 and to 2,800 NGOs.
It is an all-volunteer 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 http://www3.unesco.org/iycp/uk/uk_sum_monde.htm
Fighting poverty, UN reform to top General Assembly agenda, says new president
12 September – As the General Assembly opened its 61st session today, the body’s new president promised to focus on alleviating extreme poverty and advancing the process of UN reform undertaken during the previous session. “The General Assembly has to continue to evolve and strive to deliver sustainable solutions to the major challenges of our time,” Sheikha Haya Rashid Al Khalifa told delegates this morning. “Reform is a process rather than an event.”
She noted that several recommendations of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document have yet to be fully realized, such as disarmament and non-proliferation, Security Council reform, mandate review and system-wide coherence.
The UN also had a crucial role in promoting peace and security, she said. “Today, man-made conflicts are destroying lives and displacing people on a scale that sometimes exceeds the destructive effects of nature – floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.”
A pressing issue was combating international terrorism, which required the adoption of both preventive and defensive measures, she said. Later briefing reporters, she expressed the hope that after last week’s adoption of a resolution on a global counter-terrorism strategy, the current Assembly session would reach agreement on a comprehensive definition of terrorism.
She also said that it was important to consolidate the reforms that had been achieved in the past year, notably by ensuring that the new Peacebuilding Commission and Human Rights Council have a real impact on large numbers of people.
Improving the situation of women is also one of her top goals. The fact that half the world’s population typically have less access to health care, employment, decision-making and property ownership needed to be addressed, she told Assembly delegates.
Sheikha Haya is the first female General Assembly President since 1969 and the first Muslim woman to hold the post. “It does not matter that I am a Muslim or a Christian or Jewish,” she told reporters. “We are human beings and we have the same worries and we have the same problems.”
Arms Control Association applauds central Asian States for forswearing nuclear arms
Press Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball
The Central Asian zone will be
the fifth such arrangement. Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean
(Treaty of Tlatelolco), the South Pacific (Treaty of Rarotonga), Southeast Asia
(Treaty of Bangkok), and Africa (Treaty of Pelindaba) have also banded together
to create nuclear-weapon-free zones.
"Freedom From Want": The Development Agenda
Amnesty International applauds UN Agreement on New International Treaty to Protect Rights of Persons with Disabilities
WFUNA, UN Connections, 6 September - Amnesty International warmly welcomes the agreement reached by the General Assembly's Ad Hoc Committee on the text to create a new core human rights treaty to better promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities. This new Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, once formally adopted by the General Assembly and entered into force after ratification by the necessary number of UN Member States, will be a key tool in assisting millions of people with disabilities in achieving recognition of their dignity and the effective protection of their human rights.
For the text of the Convention, go to: www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable
31 August - Students of
international law and international relations in
A total of 18 students
participated in the ICRC-sponsored event held from 22 to 25 August in Guba. It
included a series of lectures on IHL and discussions of practical cases. The Guba course design was based on the
existing Regional Summer School programme organised by the ICRC in
Fostering partnerships for security and sustainable development
Raymond Sommereyns, Director of the Outreach Division in the UN Department of Public Information (DPI), which sponsored the three-day event, said participants had come armed with specific examples of “effective partnerships to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)” – a set of international targets for eradicating poverty and other global ills by 2015.
“We have such huge tasks now that I sometimes ask myself, ‘Will we make it?’ ” General Assembly President Jan Eliasson told the gathering. He said those present faced a “huge test of multilateralism” and pointed to the need to prove that “working together, creating international structures, creating strong and effective international cooperation, strengthening the United Nations, is a good thing for the world.”
For that reason, reform of the
UN was critical, said the President, whose term ends in five days when a new
leader of the 192-member Assembly, Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa of
Looking around the room, he said the NGOs had worked with the UN “at the barricades together” on such issues as AIDS, disability and disarmament. “We need your voices; we need your contribution,” he stressed. “I want you to feel that you are partners with us in the work on development, security and human rights, and the basic pursuit that we must work for a life of dignity for all.” A number of representatives of governments and NGOs also addressed the opening session, which was held in the morning. In the afternoon, panellists discussed the theme “Moving Development Forward.”
Source: UN News Service http://southasia.oneworld.net/article/view/139132/1/
rice yields for
FAO-led project to solve rice production gap
Higher hopes for C4 rice
Increasing yields to feed a growing world population
Rome, 25 August – “The development of the C4 rice or similar varieties is very much welcome and we strongly recommend member governments and the donor community to provide full support to the current research based on improving the photosynthetic efficiency of the rice plant”, the International Rice Commission Secretary Nguu Nguyen said today.
Mr. Nguyen was commenting on recent reports on a major international scientific effort to enhance the rice plant’s efficiency, or what is known to experts as converting rice from a C3 plant to a C4 plant, where the “C” refers to the carbon captured by photosynthesis for growth.
The more solar energy a rice plant can efficiently capture, the more it will yield, explained Mr. Nguyen. “We need to meet the challenge of feeding a growing world population which is projected to reach 8.3 billion in 2030 with an accompanying rice demand of 771 million tonnes,” he said.(…)
3.9 tons of medical aid
delivered securely to
Due to damage to
infrastructure and the Israeli blockade, aid has been difficult to deliver in
Community centers provide help that heals
By Charlotte Brudenell, ACT-Caritas
Dereig camp, South Darfur, 7
September - People living in camps in
On the outskirts of the town
Action by Churches Together
International (ACT) and Caritas Internationalis (CI) are working together in a
joint response to the
DanChurchAid is a member of ACT International - a global alliance of churches and related agencies working to save lives and support communities in emergencies.
amputee completes bicycle tour in
He completed the tour to raise money for The Cambodia Trust, a Britain-based charity providing rehabilitation for Cambodian land mine amputees, polio victims and other disabled people.
It was Moon’s second
cross-country journey in
Futbol Club Barcelona, UNICEF team up for children in global partnership
UNICEF center of club’s jersey "More than a Club" reaches out
World Relief providing assistance to flood-affected families In
Since late July, torrential monsoon rains have caused widespread flooding throughout several Indian states, driving 4.5 million people from their homes and damaging crops, livestock, property and infrastructure. Over 200 deaths have been reported and thousands of people lack basic necessities such as food, drinking water, shelter and clothing. (…)
LWR is responding to the situation through Action by Churches Together (ACT) International, a global alliance of churches and related agencies that assists in disaster response worldwide. Relief efforts will initially focus on providing temporary shelter and distributing food, water, blankets, clothing, and school supplies to the most vulnerable people affected by the floods. In addition, emergency sanitation and health services will be provided in order to prevent the outbreak of disease. Post-crisis intervention will include housing support, assistance with rebuilding livelihoods, the rebuilding of public infrastructure and environmental restoration. Communities will also receive training in disaster preparedness and advocating for government assistance. Throughout the aid process ACT partner churches, district officials and community organizations will provide ongoing assessment in order to best help those affected regain self-sufficiency. (…)
31 August - For the new school
year, starting on 1 September in the
It is a custom in the northern
The ICRC distributes essential
household items every three months to over 60,000 people in
Club volunteers raise sweat and money to make school’s reopening a reality
New Orleans, USA, August 29 — The Rotary Club of New Orleans has maintained a long relationship with historic Warren Easton High School, so club members were not about to abandon their old friend in its darkest hour. After Hurricane Katrina’s winds and flooding dealt the 93-year-old building a near death-blow, the Rotary club rallied in response, first by helping to convince school authorities that Warren Easton should reopen at all, and then by raising money and providing the “sweat equity” to make it happen.
The Rotary club so far has
raised more than $100,000, and its members — along with Rotary members from
other states — put in over 2,000 volunteer hours in the sweltering
The New Orleans Rotary club “adopted” Warren Easton in 1985. It sponsors the school’s Interact club (a Rotary-like service club for students) and awards annual scholarships to college-bound seniors. Future Katrina-related improvements planned by Rotary include fresh paint for more classrooms, the installation of mini-blinds, plumbing repairs, and equipping and stocking three science labs, the library and the virtual learning center. (…)
On October 15&16 the world will…
STAND UP against poverty, stand up for the Millennium Development Goals
Launched by the Millennium
Campaign, STAND UP is an innovative and exciting challenge to set an official
Guinness World Record - the greatest number of people ever to STAND UP Against
Poverty and for the Millennium Development Goals - on
STAND UP is a mobilization initiative designed to coincide with global mobilizations around the International Day of Poverty Eradication and the White Band Day of the Global Call to Action against Poverty. (…) Monitored by Guinness World Records the STAND UP challenge will take place between (GMT) 15 October to (GMT) 16 October. During this time thousands of people will be standing up all over the world. In schools, universities, offices, churches, town halls and at sporting events and concerts. Either join one of these events or gather your friends, colleagues and family and create your own STAND UP event.
UNA-USA Honors Bill Clinton and Dean Kamen
On October 10, UNA-USA will
honor former President Bill Clinton and inventor Dean Kamen at its annual
Global Leadership Award Dinner. More then 6 years after leaving the White House,
Architecture for Humanity's Model Home Program
Architecture for Humanity
launched a program to build a number of Model Homes These homes
will meet the new FEMA elevation and building code requirements of
Although reconstruction has begun, much work lies ahead. Many projects are still underfunded and residents have yet to see little if any of the financial assistance that has been promised. If you'd like to sponsor a project, let us know--and of course it's never too late to donate or volunteer. www.architectureforhumanity.org
8 September -
poses a direct threat to communities and internally displaced persons and
hampers humanitarian relief," said
Relief Services begins Youth Summer Camps in
Camp activities include
picture-drawing to address trauma and conflict-resolution games to foster youth
leadership and peace building. Children also receive three meals a day plus
snacks. More than 100 children, boys and girls ages nine to 16, are attending
this week’s session in the city of
Although activity-filled days cannot erase the trauma of war, the camp does offer children methods to express themselves and an outlet to socialize and play far from their devastated villages. "Maybe their houses are destroyed. Maybe even a family member is dead. The main thing is that they can laugh here,” says Farah Hassouna, a DPNA social worker. (…)
CRS and its other local
partner agency, Caritas
UN to convene international conference in support of Palestinian people
6 September – A United Nations committee will convene
the UN International Conference of Civil Society in Support of the Palestinian
People tomorrow in
In a series of meetings and workshops, the event will address such issues as the impact of peace movements, political parties and trade unions; campaigns to uphold international law; and strengthening civil society initiatives. An action plan is expected to be adopted at the closing session on Friday afternoon. The meeting is being convened by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
Clear Path sponsors landmine survivors to attend sport events
September 4 - Started on
30 out of 40 athletes are
landmine/UXO survivors, who had overcome their pains, sorrows, family
circumstances… to be what they are today. Each of them is aiming to gain a
Sponsoring the participation of landmine survivors in sport events has been CPI’s annual activity since 2003. With this assistance, many poor survivors could have a chance to assess to the tracks; and surprisingly, quite a few survivors wrote their names in the National Team to compete at the regional events.
of Understanding signed between ITF and
On 4 September 2006, the
official singing of Memorandum of Understanding between International Trust
Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance and the Azerbaijan National
Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) took place in
What will you do for peace on 21 September?
September 1 – “With just ten days to go until Peace Day, I
am delighted to tell you that we now have commitments to mark the Day in 183
member states of the United Nations. There are only a few member states in
which no commitments have yet been made. They are as follows:
The Peace One Day (POD) film project began as the vision of one man, British filmmaker, Jeremy Gilley. Launched in September 1999, POD gained active support from all sectors of society, from governments through to individuals. In September 2001, POD achieved its primary objective. A United Nations General Assembly resolution (A/Res/55/282), put forward by the UK and Costa Rican governments, was unanimously adopted by all UN member states, formally establishing an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on the UN International Day of Peace, fixed in the global calendar on 21 September - Peace Day. All sectors of society are being asked to honour and celebrate the Day on 21 September. The vision of the Day extends far beyond the cessation of violent conflict and represents an opportunity for individuals to join in a moment of global unity.
On the journey to establish a Peace Day, teachers encouraged Jeremy to provide a resource pack that would support young people to become the driving force behind the vision of a united world. The pack focuses on practical issues of peace and non-violence, and provides guidelines for extended Peace Day projects. The pack contains a multi-region DVD containing both a 32-minute classroom version and the feature-length version of the award-winning documentary Peace One Day, plus extras. Although this resource pack has been created specifically for the UK National Curriculum, teachers from overseas will certainly find it useful. The long-term vision is to create a generic global resource to be made available in 2007/8.
The European Commission
boosted its contribution to the
€10 million will be used to create a Reconstruction Assistance Facility aimed at offering technical assistance to the government for the reconstruction process and at increasing administrative capacity. The Lebanese private sector will receive €18 million to reinforce its competitiveness. Another €4 million will be made available to ensure that the rule of law is respected and to improve internal security. Regarding humanitarian assistance, current key priorities are access to drinking water, the provision of shelter, access to health care and the removal of landmines.
The Commission's action falls within
the framework of the UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which provided the
basis for an end to hostilities. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for
External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, insisted that in
implementing the resolution, the security situation cannot be separated from
economic and humanitarian aspects. (…) The Commission stressed that the
priorities agreed on in the joint EU-Lebanon Neighbourhood Action Plan were
more vital now than ever and explained that the EU was ready to support
of Understanding signed between ITF and
Peace educators explore uses of the Earth Charter
The 2006 annual International Institute on Peace Education (IIPE) — held 30 July to 6 August in San José, Costa Rica — included three different workshops on how the Earth Charter can be used in education at all levels, from earth childhood development to university courses. The IIPE event, entitled ¨Toward a Planetary Ethic: Shared and Individual Responsibility,¨ was organized by the Peace Education Center of Teachers College, Columbia University (New York), and by the UN Mandated University for Peace, an ECI Strategic Partner. In sharp focus: the principle of universal responsibility. For more information, see: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/PeaceEd/iipe/index.htm
Imagine a Culture of Peace
young people, ages 5-25, around the globe: an invitation from the Dalai Lama
Tell a story, write a poem or essay, paint a picture or take a photo. Share your impression of what
"peace" and "a culture of peace" look like. Join your dream of peace to ours, and help make it concrete. Select an incident or situation of conflict or violence in your family, school, community state, nation, or the world. Reflect on how the conflict arose, and imagine how it might be avoided or resolved peacefully. Take action! Accept a challenge! Create an individual or community project that will help to create a culture of peace.
Express your impressions artistically. Choose how to best describe or demonstrate the incident or situation you select: letter to a parent, friend, government official or newspaper; letter to your future self from the present, or to your present self from the future; essay, poem, drama script, song, or short story. Create a report – either text or images -- of your own practical project to help create a culture of peace. Photo journal, or photos of your painting, collage, or sculpture. Submit your impression of peace as an individual or as part of a classroom or community group. Submit your work on line. Share your work with others. Read the acceptance criteria and submission procedures for Imagine a Culture of Peace at http://www.imagineacultureofpeace.org E-mail your questions to email@example.com
bomb clearance team flies into
sends in staff from northern
MAG has sent a special team
The teams will be
concentrating on clearing from homes, schools, gardens, access routes and other
populated areas in the Nabatieh region, as well as providing education
programmes to manage the risk to thousands of returnees. The UN recently stated
that they have seen around 100,000 unexploded cluster bomblets at 359 separate
MAG (Mines Advisory Group) is one of the world's leading humanitarian organisations providing conflict-affected countries with a real chance for a better future. We clear the remnants of conflict from some of the world's poorest nations, we educate and employ local people and help provide solutions for those trapped by poverty and economic devastation through no fault of their own.
The Peace Registry of the Peace Alliance Foundation (PAF) is an interactive, online database of individuals and organizations, large and small, who demonstrate and are working for a culture of peace—a culture characterized by nonviolence, compassion, cooperation, and inclusion.
The Peace Registry is located at www.peaceregistry.org Visitors may learn about and network with peace workers at the local, national, and international levels; search by location, area of interest, or focus: nominate their own candidates for inclusion in the Peace Registry.
Currently, there are over 200
entries in the Peace Registry with listings of organizations based in the
Some organizations already listed
in the Peace Registry include the Center for Non-Violent Communication,
CodePink, BothAnd, the
Asian Rotarians pioneer rural health projects in
By Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga, Rotary International
11 September - Thousands of
women and children in
Cervical cancer is the most prevalent cancer in Mongolian women, according to Luvsandorj Bayarsaikhan, a doctor and Khuree club member who is the driving force behind the screening initiative. He notes that up to 40 percent of the population is infected with human papillomavirus (HPV), the major cause of cervical cancer. The incidence of cervical cancer is expected to rise among Mongolian women, 95 percent of whom have never been screened for the disease. (…)
UN Health Agency to vaccinate millions of children in the Horn of Africa
8 September – In the largest-ever synchronized vaccination
campaign in the Horn of Africa,
by Mandla Luphondvo - World
September 6 - More men are joining support groups for people living with HIV. As a result, more men are also participating in community development initiatives. In Lubombo Plateau Area Development Programme (ADP) two support groups initiated by women now have close to 20 men each. Five women started Mlindazwe support group in March this year. It has 49 members, 16 of whom are men who intend undertaking a chicken rearing project. The women are currently undergoing training on sewing at Mlindazwe primary school. (…) At Sitsatsaweni, men who have been diagnosed HIV positive have joined hands through a support groups initiated by women. They have raised and sold 450 chickens to the ADP. Through the support group, members are able to generate some income. Most of the members are on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and need to have a balanced diet.
These support groups have been
motivated and facilitated by Lubombo Plateau ADP. These efforts have been
complemented by a new system devised by
Medical doctors help newly diagnosed patients contact other HIV positive patients for support. After this introduction, the member who joins the network is then able to get support and be part of the nearest support group in his or her community.
September - The guidebooks call it ‘remote’, ‘undiscovered’ –
A joint HIV prevention and care project, run by Guizhou provincial authorities, and UNAIDS` Cosponsor UNICEF is making some headway towards tackling the growing figures and at the same time involving people and groups from all sectors in the AIDS response. Established in 2001, the project focuses particularly on young people, tackling the often difficult issue of injecting drug use and its crossover with HIV, as well as providing care and support for people living with HIV. (…)
Patient mobility: European Commission to launch public consultation on EU framework for health services
Brussels, 5 September - The European Commission today decided to launch a public consultation on how to ensure legal certainty regarding cross-border health services under Community law, and to support cooperation between the health systems of the Member States. The consultation will be based on a Communication to be drawn up by European Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou setting out ideas for an EU framework for safe, high-quality and efficient healthcare services, reflecting the outcome of the orientation debate held today by the Commission. The first step will be a consultation on issues such as: the conditions according to which cross-border health care must be authorised and paid for, and the provision of information to patients about treatments available in other Member States; which health authority is responsible for supervising cross-border health care in different circumstances; responsibility for any harm caused by healthcare and compensation; patient rights; and supporting health systems through European co-operation. On the basis of responses to this consultation, any formal Commission proposals will follow in 2007.
4 September - Caravanning
FEANTSA conference on ensuring access to health for homeless people
FEANTSA, the European
Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless organises in
The conference aims to bring together policymakers, homelessness service providers and healthcare professionals from across the EU to establish a better common understanding and what could be the role of the EU. The conference will feature 5 workshops: Ensuring access to health for homeless people; Mental Health and Dual Diagnosis; The Right to Health; Information and Training for Health; 5. Health Promotion. To register: firstname.lastname@example.org
11 September – The United
Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) today
dispatched a three-member team to
Three people are reported
killed and some 3,000 others have sought medical help, complaining of
intestinal and respiratory problems, as well as vomiting, nausea and nose
bleeds, after inhaling fumes from hazardous substances dumped at a series of
Following a formal request from the Ivorian Government, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is conducting an investigation through the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, which it administers.
The Secretariat is probing whether the Basel Convention’s trust fund can be used to help pay for the clean-up operation, which could cost more than $13 million. It is also studying where legal responsibility for the crisis may lie.
World Water Week
WFUNA, UN Connections, 6
September - World Water Week in
Implementing the research
& innovation agenda for
SusChem puts sustainable chemistry into action
Brussels, 28 August – Yesterday 27 August in Budapest, a set of proposals to implement an ambitious European research agenda for the chemical & biotech sciences developed by SusChem (the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry) was discussed and endorsed by a meeting of stakeholders. The workshop on the SusChem Implementation Action Plan (IAP) also looked at the ongoing role of SusChem, examined funding possibilities and debated the specific needs of new EU Member States.
The IAP activities are collected around themes of major importance for sustainable chemistry: bio-based economy; energy; health care; information and communication technologies; nanotechnology; sustainable quality of life; sustainable product and process design; and transport. The IAP further outlines three visionary projects, introduced in the SusChem Strategic Research Agenda (SRA). These projects crystallised the possible future societal benefits of the proposed research. (…)
The need to create a supportive regulatory and financial environment for innovation and research was also emphasised. Finally, the future role of SusChem as a European networking body in chemistry and biotechnology was discussed. (…)
Preliminary Court decision would bar leasing in critical wetlands at Teshekpuk Lake, Alaska
Decision could save the internationally significant wildlife habitat
Alaska Native communities near the lake have voiced strong opposition to a federal plan to allow oil and gas drilling in the area around the lake, which is an important subsistence hunting and fishing ground. They have been joined by scientists, sportsmen's groups, other conservationists, and hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens who have voiced their concerns about potential impacts to nesting and molting grounds used by large populations of geese and other waterfowl. (…) Judge Singleton has allowed for additional arguments from both sides, and is expected to issue a final ruling by the end of the month.
Satellites help scientists track migratory birds
York, 6 September – Wearing light
solar-powered global positioning system (GPS) satellite transmitters, wild
swans from Mongolia are winging their way across Eurasia, while land-bound
scientists tracking the birds’ journeys on computers say that these unique
studies will shed light on how wild birds may be involved in the spread of
In August, a team of international scientists from FAO and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) joined the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and
September 4 -
“The results of the study demonstrate what scientists and conservationists having been saying for years, that creating marine sanctuaries means fish can mature and populations can recover,” said Richard Leck, a marine and coastal policy officer with WWF-Australia. “What is truly exciting about this research is that not only are the protected areas flourishing but there is very likely to be a spillover effect to surrounding areas which will benefit the whole ecosystem. This research clearly shows that a network of marine sanctuaries with a strong zoning plan is vital to ensuring the sustainable future of the reef.”
Stretching for over 2,000km
WWF is a strong advocate of
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). In the last few years alone, the global
conservation organization has helped achieve protection for more than
200,000km2 of marine areas around the world, including the
Course to develop statistical indicators of environmental sustainability
4 September - The Economic Commission for
World environment body gets a US$3 billion boost
New Funds will Combat Environmental Degradation
Cape Town, South Africa, 28
August – The world’s largest environmental
funding body—Global Environment Facility (GEF)—received its biggest ever
financial boost today with 32 governments agreeing to contribute US$ 3.13
billion to finance environmental projects over the next four years. The
agreement was endorsed by the 32-member GEF Council in
International Day of Peace Vigil, September 21
In 2006 the International Day of Peace will be observed on Thursday, September 21st. Find out how you can take part in a global vigil of meditation and prayer in support of the Day.
Every year the United Nations calls upon individual people of goodwill and organisations to observe this International Day with activities dedicated to the creation of a culture of peace, and to a day of global cease-fire and non-violence.
To support this special Day on a spiritual level, a group of organisations representing a wide variety of religious and spiritual traditions has, since 2002, co-ordinated an International Day of Peace Vigil, encouraging local groups and individuals to hold a 24 hour Vigil in houses of worship and places of spiritual practice.
As a contribution to this global focus the United Nations Days & Years Meditation Initiative and Intuition in Service have, since 2002, coordinated an international Vigil of meditation and prayer for the 24 hours of September 21st from midnight to midnight. The 24 hours are divided into 15 minute periods. The aim is to have individuals or groups commit themselves to spend specific 15 minute periods in prayer or meditation for world peace. You can choose the 15-minute time slots you will participate, and see the list of all participants in your slots. You can also see a list of all the participants in the Vigil in the equivalent GMT times.
UNA-USA Student Alliance Programme: revamped
11 Days of Global Unity - Creating a Culture of Peace - Celebrating a Sustainable Future
September 11 – 21 - Culminating on the International Day of Peace
With more than 250 events in over 60 countries!
You are invited to participate in the annual 11 Days of Global Unity! 11 Days is an annual worldwide promotion of peace and sustainability launched in 2004 by We, The World with more than 250 concerts, festivals, webcasts, and other events culminating on September 21 the U.N. International Day of Peace.
This year 11 Days will be bigger than ever. We are collaborating with many groups with special celebrations. See 11 Days Highlights below or go to www.WeTheWorld.org/11days for the complete Calendar and other information. Some of the vents around the world: Earthdance will celebrate their 10th Anniversary on the weekend of Sept. 15th to 17th including Arun Gandhi and "The Gandhi Tour"; Earthdance is a leading participant in 11 Days with more than 220 events in 50 countries, such as South Africa, Taiwan, Brazil, Zambia, Nepal, Denmark Australia, United States (Northern California Hub Event) and many more!; 100 year Anniversary of Gandhi's first nonviolent campaign Sept. 11th against racial prejudice in South Africa with MK Gandhi Institute; Interfaith Ceremony Sept. 11th with Arun Gandhi on the mall in Washington DC; Peace Alliance Foundation Launch of it's Peace Registry ; Peace Alliance/Dept. of Peace National Walk for Peace September 16th; 100 Years of Non-Violence/New Yorkers for A Dept. of Peace September 11th USA nationwide screenings of the movie Gandhi; We, The World presentation of the Heart of Humanity Award to Arun Gandhi for the Gandhi Family in recognition of 100 years of Satyagraha (Nonviolence) at Earthdance Hub Event ("The Gandhi Tour") Sept. 15th in Northern California above San Francisco; Pathways to Peace/International Day of Peace. Sept. 21st (25th Observance of the International Day of Peace) including more than 600 events in 160 nations!
comic book on HIV/AIDS launched for deaf community in
By Caroline Nenguke
10 September - Using illustrations of South African Sign Language instead of speech bubbles, a new comic book is reaching out to the deaf community with messages about HIV and AIDS, sexual violence and sexual rights. The 14-page 'Are Your Rights Respected?' follows a group of friends attending deaf school as they learn about their sexuality, how to protect themselves from HIV, their rights to health and education, and how to deal with sexual abuse. (…)
The new comic book was
developed by the Gay and Lesbian Archives (GALA) - an independent project of
the South African History Archives at the University of the Witwatersrand in
by Makopano Letsatsi - World
September 6 - Twelve primary schools from Nazareth Area Development Programme (ADP) recently participated in a HIV and AIDS awareness song and poetry competition with the theme ‘we will overcome AIDS’. The crowd was entertained by poems delivered by pupils from seven schools, focusing on the theme of the day. The performers of the three winning poems were awarded school bags, while the rest were given a pencil, rubber, and ruler each.
A song aimed at disseminating the HIV and AIDS message to primary school children was composed specifically for World Vision in the Nazareth ADP by local composer Karabo Lekhanya and carried the theme of the competition.
The Nazareth ADP HIV and AIDS Officer and event organiser said the music event was part of an awareness campaign whose aim is to educate school children on preventive measures. Song composer Lekhanya said the song depicts the devastating effects that HIV virus brought to Basotho nation and the world at large. Later in the song there is a message of hope that through combined effort, HIV can be overcome like other diseases. (…)
Private Sector comes forward to support girls’ education in Yemen
Charter International and UNESCO conference in Latin America draws additional
support, aims to be major event - 31
October-2 November, University for Peace,
As reported in our last issue,
UNESCO now considers Earth Charter International as a strategic partner in
advancing the goals of the UN Decade for Education for Sustainable Development
("DESD"). UNESCO together with the
The conference is already
attracting considerable attention, and additional funding and sponsorship have
now been committed from the United National Environment Program (UNEP) and the
Avina Foundation. Approximately one hundred participants are expected,
including senior government officials from education ministries throughout
* * * * * * *
by Sergio Tripi
Reflections on the 59th Annual UNDPI-NGO Conference: “Effective Partnerships for Human Security and Sustainable Development”, for which 2,500 representatives of non-governmental organizations from more than 90 countries gathered together at the United Nations in New York from the 5th to 8th September.
This annual UNDPI-NGO conference has shown, once again and increasingly, the stupendous process of transformation which is being carried out by a meaningful part of humanity which, refusing the old values, is fighting to build a different reality. If some events make it seem as if we are living in the stone age, for other reasons we seem to be on another planet; and the attentive eye of the observer must know how to perceive above all the positive and promising signs, because those are the ones which announce the future that we are in the process of building. “Energy follows thought” says an old axiom; and, in a world which has scientifically demonstrated that it is made of energy, thought tries once again and definitely to be the “motor” of reality and thus the promoter of the evolution of consciousness which is changing reality from the inside. It is the most silent evolution and at the same time the loudest one that man can make, the only one capable of making a permanent impression on the reality of our lives and of reestablishing a scale of values worthy of this definition.
Undoubtedly, today’s crisis of values reflects a lack of readiness to cooperate, distribute and circulate resources throughout the whole body of humanity and in harmony with the environment. From the ethical perspective, the aim of serving the common good should prevail over the interest of one party, whether this is understood as a corporation or social class, or as a single nation in the international context. However, the social, political and economic system of the world is still mainly set up to take, to accumulate, to separate. We have learnt to master the art of creating barriers and, as a result, we excel in the sad capacity of creating worlds of “those who have” and “those who have not”. And thus we discover that the global psychic and physical environment is threatened and we inwardly realize the absolute necessity of a creative change of consciousness.
Consciousness, if we look carefully, is deeply changing. We are quickly accepting the fact that we cannot go ahead as we have done so far and we are becoming ever more open to new possibilities. A wise use of creative imagination is essential for recognizing among these new possibilities those most able to improve the quality of life. It is necessary to utilize those noble inclinations of behaviour which are called solidarity, sharing and responsibility for the common good. And the growing and no longer marginal participation of civil society in the process of reaching the Millennium Development Goals is the direct and tangible confirmation, extremely tangible, of the silent evolution of consciousness which the world is carrying out and which is hardly talked about, though for not much longer.
There is no doubt that the most advanced part of humanity, that which is most aware of its duties and rights, is more and more refusing those obsolete values which have given rise to objectives and models of behaviour which tend to gratify the single individual or the single country. Those types of behaviour, to make it clear, that have placed on the altar material success, hedonism, consumerism and the lack of an ethical code of responsibility which limits what it is right to pursue in relation to respect of the rights of others. It now seems evident that the silent part of humanity of which I speak, the one mobilized by and for the evolution of consciousness, has begun to respond with growing determination to this new way of being. To this farsighted part of humanity it is quite clear what should now be refused as undesirable and unworthy of the evolutionary level and the capacity for understanding that man has reached, and it is equally clear to it what road should be taken, where to aim for, what to seek.
Today there appears in consciousness the need, and at the same time the initial evidence, of a new and global system of ethics, which can only spring from that new concept which many people of advanced consciousness have already begun to make their own: that of unity in diversity. It is a concept of enormous power: it knocks down the limitations of different doctrines, overcomes the barriers of different conceptions and behaviour and defeats the incomprehension, animosity and hatred which such differences, heightened to the point of fanaticism, have given rise to and consolidated. It is in this way that comprehension is born: first of all from respect of the other, whether this “other” is a type of behaviour, a person, a philosophical doctrine or a religious belief. From this evolutionary concept, easy to say but difficult for many to assimilate, it will certainly be possible to make the right reply emerge to those questions which humanity is asking itself in order to refound the science of human relationships and build a new era of peace.
Utopias, chimeras? Certainly not, because civil society is now on the march. The direction is the right one, it is the one of evolution. The evidence of its incredible force, made of love and spirit of brotherhood, is before the eyes of the person who wants to see and can see, of the person who has not failed to notice already that public opinion, now brought together by modern means of communication which inform it in real time on the events of the planet, is now strong enough to be able to modify the society which expresses it. Consequently, civil society is having a new, deep and increasingly determining role for the future that we want to build.
* * * * * * *
Next issue: 6 October.
* * * * * * *
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. It is also distributed free of charge to over 2,800 NGOs around the world and it is available in its web site: http://www.goodnewsagency.org
It is an all-volunteer 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: email@example.com
* * * * * * *