Good News Agency – Year IX, n° 11



Weekly - Year IX, number 11 – 12th September 2008

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 (in charge), Maria Grazia Da Damos, Elisa Peduto, Azzurra Cianchetta. Editorial Secretary: Maria Grazia Da Damos. 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 4,000 media in 49 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




International legislationHuman rightsEconomy and developmentSolidarity

Peace and securityHealthEnergy and SafetyEnvironment and wildlife

Religion and spiritualityCulture and education

DPI/NGO Conference - Reaffirming Human Rights for All: The Universal Declaration at 60


International legislation



Better management for fishing's "last frontier"

Countries agree on guidelines for protecting deep-sea species and habitats

Rome, 3 September – After two years of preparation and negotiation, FAO Members* have adopted international guidelines aimed at limiting the impact of fishing on fragile deep sea fish species and habitats. The guidelines provide a framework that fishing nations should use when operating in high-seas areas outside of national jurisdictions, where many deep sea fisheries (DSF) are located.

Stating that all fishing activity in deep sea areas should be “rigorously managed,” they lay out measures to be taken to identify and protect vulnerable ecosystems and provide guidance on the sustainable use of marine living resources in deep-sea areas.

Additional recommendations include:

Fishing nations should assess the deep-sea fishing being undertaken by their fleets in order to determine if any significant adverse impacts are involved;

Deep sea fishing activity should cease in any area where significant adverse impacts to vulnerable marine ecosystems are thought to be taking place;

Where DSF can be undertaken responsibly, more appropriate fishing methods should be used to reduce impacts on non-target species.

The guidelines also outline steps for improving information on the location and status of vulnerable marine ecosystems and deep sea fisheries. (…)


International Law Weekend 2008

by Dominik Zimmermann

New York, 7 September - Every year, the American branch of the International Law Association in cooperation with other organizations, organizes the so-called “International Law Weekend“. It is an event consisting of panels, receptions and the Branch’s annual meeting. This year’s event, which will take place on October 16-18, has the overall theme “The United States and International Law: Legal Traditions and Future Possibilities”. Some of the panel presentations in the draft schedule indeed seem to have been chosen on the basis of up-to-date developments and thus promise to be quite interesting, such as “A New Presidency: A New U.S. Policy at the U.N.?”, “Medellin v. Texas: U.S. Compliance with ICJ Judgments and Treaties” and “Implications for International Law if the United States Ratifies the Law of the Sea Convention”.


Arctic Sovereignty Symposium - Southwestern Law School, October 3

by Dominik Zimmermann

Los Angeles, 2 September - On Friday, October 3, Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, California is hosting a symposium on Arctic Sovereignty - titled “Arctic Sovereignty: Cold Facts, Hot Issues”. Drawing on Southwestern’s strong ties with Canada, this one-day symposium will bring together leading legal figures from throughout North America to analyze the critical issues raised by the Arctic sovereignty debate. With the Arctic ice melting, Russia’s flag-planting at the North Pole last summer, recent Canadian activity in the north, renewed U.S. interest in the Law of the Sea Convention, and the Greenland summit, there has been tremendous attention given to Arctic Sovereignty and the “race to the Arctic.” So far though few American law schools have given the legal issues an in-depth treatment. We hope to change that. Here are links to: (1) the symposium brochure; (2) the symposium webpage; and (3) a recent National Law Journal article describing the symposium.

Leading scholars and government officials - from law schools and other organizations throughout the United States and Canada - will be attending, with expertise in international law, environmental law, climate change, indigenous rights and human rights. The proceedings will be published in the Southwestern Journal of International Law and distributed widely. (...)



Human rights



Civil society crucial in advancing human rights, UN officials tell Paris meeting

“Working hand-in-hand we can make universal human rights a reality for all of us”

Paris, 3-5 September - Top United Nations officials have highlighted the important role played by civil society in advancing human rights around the world, as a major United Nations conference bringing together some 2,000 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from 90 countries got under way in Paris today. (…) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a video message to the conference, noted that human rights have been at the core of the UN’s work since 1948. “At the same time, civil society has been on the front line,” he said. “For six decades, human rights defenders have sacrificed liberty, comfort and even life to ensure that all human beings can enjoy the rights enshrined in the Declaration - irrespective of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or other status. (...) It is our duty to ensure that these rights are a living reality - that they are known, understood and enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.” (...)


Stockholm to host Council of Europe conference on children’s rights

Strasbourg, 26 August - “Building a Europe for and with children - Towards a Strategy for 2009-2011” is the title of a joint conference by the Council of Europe and the Swedish Government, to be held in Stockholm from 8 to 10 September. The conference will assess progress made since the launching of the Council of Europe programme “Building a Europe for and with children” and discuss possible elements for the programme strategy during 2009-2011.

Three seminars will be held on the first day followed by high-level plenary sessions on days two and three. The issues of violence against children, child-friendly justice and child participation will be the main focus of the conference.

The conference will bring together some 300 representatives from governments, international organisations and institutions, NGOs and professional networks, parliamentarians, local authorities, ombudspersons, judges and children’s advocates as well as young people. (...)



Economy and development



Extraordinary meeting at the European Parliament will hear from the Rome-based UN agencies on high food prices

Brussels/Rome, 9 September - The European Parliament will hear from three UN agencies tomorrow on the current food price crisis. A special meeting of the Development Committee will be discussing proposals to release an extra €1 billion euros from the European Commission to support urgent needs as well as funding seeds and fertilizers for developing countries. As part of the discussions the Executive Director of the WFP Josette Sheeran, the Director-General of the FAO, Jacques Diouf and the Vice-President of IFAD, Kanayo F. Nwanze will tell the committee how the three Rome-based food agencies are working in partnership to respond to high food prices.

The continuing rise in food prices is expected to push about 100 million more people into poverty, nearly 30 million of them in Africa. Food production will need to rise 50 per cent by 2030 to meet growing demand. The Rome-based UN agencies are collaborating to ensure an effective and efficient response. At the beginning of June, world leaders and policymakers met at the FAO headquarters in Rome at the High-level Conference on World Food Security: The Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy to discuss ways in which to safeguard the world’s most vulnerable populations. The Conference concluded by calling on the international community to increase assistance for developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and those that are most affected by high food prices. Tomorrow the three UN agencies will also outline their specific responses to the crisis. (…)

Africa Week at the European Parliament (8-12 September) will be marked by a series of seminars, parliamentary debates, workshops and exhibitions in Brussels. The event is being held as part of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. MPs from Africa and around the world will join MEPs to discuss issues such as immigration, the brain drain and the food crisis.  For more information, please contact: , ,


FAO Director-General in Swaziland amid food crisis

Farmers in southern African nation to receive emergency assistance

Mbabane, Swaziland/Rome, 8 September - FAO will help cash-strapped farmers in Swaziland to purchase seeds in time for the next planting season, Director-General Jacques Diouf said today. Diouf was speaking to reporters while visiting a school-based farming project in Boyane, near the capital, Mbabane. He said the UN agency was preparing to deliver emergency assistance to farmers under its Initiative on Soaring Food Prices (ISFP). (...)

Starting 29 September, FAO will set up markets known as Input Trade Fairs where farmers will be able to choose seeds and other agricultural supplies from local producers. Instead of receiving pre-packaged quantities of seeds, the farmers will be able to use vouchers to pick and choose the varieties they prefer, while the producers will have an opportunity to meet new customers. (...)

The JFFLS programme, funded mainly by the Government of Australia, also teaches students other technical and social skills which can help them to lead healthier, more prosperous lives. “We need to reduce the overall vulnerability of households, allowing them to maintain food security even in the face of emergencies like soaring prices and drought”, Diouf said. FAO’s Initiative on Soaring Food Prices includes emergency projects which are ongoing or have been planned in at least 78 countries worldwide. (...)


Lebanon business linkages initiative

August 29 - ACDI/VOCA has won a $2.4 million, 2-year Lebanon Business Linkages Initiative (LBLI) project, funded by USAID under the FIELD Leader with Associates program. By targeting market driver firms in agribusiness, tourism and information and communication technology, LBLI will build on USAID’s previous investments and further its goal of fostering sustainable growth and reducing poverty in rural Lebanon. ACDI/VOCA will support the efforts of industry groups to develop competitiveness strategies, identify solutions to business bottlenecks that constrain backward linkages, and encourage increased productivity and coordination. LBLI has three overarching objectives: expand market access through business linkages; improve access to finance and other supporting markets; address systemic constraints to industry and SME growth.


UN agency launches database on world trade in creative products

15 August - A new public database in creative products - such as music, audiovisuals, newspapers and electronic publishing - has been launched today by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Currently the site shows global trade flows for 1996-2006. Selected products are listed along with the major exporters and importers in major markets for such creative products as art and crafts, music CDs and video and films. Statistics on some 235 products can be found at  (...)


Promoting a healthy and transparent real estate market: New UNECE advisory body now operational

Geneva, 8 August – (…) Increased transparency of market systems is essential to better facilitate the exchange of information. This last issue is particularly important since the transparency of the real estate market should be a prime objective for those countries which have only recently introduced property and land rights and are trying to develop comprehensive systems of land administration. In order to promote market transparency and a healthy real estate market, the Real Estate Market Advisory Group (REM) was created in early 2008 to support the work of the UNECE Working Party on Land Administration.  (...)

The main areas of work of REM include: improving the environment for real estate investment, finance and regulations; stimulating the interest of local and international investors in individual countries; assisting countries with capacity-building in the real estate and land administration sectors; acting as experts in workshops and UNECE housing and land administration reviews; and promoting cooperation between the private and public sectors. (...)


UN High-level Event on the Millennium Development Goals - 25 September, New York

The High-level Event (HLE) on the Millennium Development Goals will take place at UN Headquarters on 25 September 2008. It will be jointly convened by the Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly to review progress, identify gaps and motivate commitments to bridge the gaps to ensure that the MDGS are achieved by 2015. It will be a special informal event bringing together Heads of State or Government, as well as leaders of the private sector and civil society. The HLE will provide an opportunity for world leaders to announce concrete plans and proposals to translate commitments into action and help accelerate implementation of the MDGs. Moreover, the HLE will send a message to the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development in Doha, Qatar (November) from the highest political level, re-committing all actors to a robust global partnership for development.!

UN High-level Event on the Millennium Development Goals  






UN health agency scales up assistance to flood victims in India, Nepal

6 September - The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) is working to curb the risk of disease outbreaks and help millions affected by deadly floods in India and Nepal. (...) Working with the Indian and Nepali Governments, WHO has provided emergency medical supplies and equipment for almost 200,000 people. It is also keeping an eye on the possibility of the spread of communicable diseases, supporting child immunization campaigns and ensuring that there is safe drinking water. (...) In India, 3.4 million people have been affected in close to 2,000 villages, and 285 relief camps and 249 health centres have been set up for the uprooted.

WHO is sending emergency medicines and equipment to treat 60,000 people for one month. (...) More than 70 WHO staff from the National Polio Surveillance programme are monitoring the health situation in the camps, and the agency is also helping to immunize children between the ages for measles and provide them with oral vitamin A drops. The agency has also supplied 100 chloroscopes to ensure water quality in the camps, and has also given $12,000 to the Indian Red Cross to help deliver relief supplies, including water, tents, bednets and clothing. (...)


CARE convoy sets out for flood-ravaged Gonaives, Haiti

Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, September 5 - As Haiti continues to grapple with the aftermath of Tropical Storm Hanna, CARE is sending reinforcements to its disaster-relief team in the hardest-hit region.

While the main road from the capital to the heavily affected city of Gonaives remains cut off, humanitarian workers using an alternate route have been able to reach Gonaives in 4x4 vehicles with much-needed staff and supplies. (…)

CARE and other agencies hope to send larger convoys with water purification systems, food, and other supplies in the coming days if road conditions improve. Access remains the biggest problem; though helicopters have managed to reach Gonaives, rough seas have prevented ships from sailing. Security of relief supplies remains a concern, given the risk of looting in emergency situations. (…)


Colombia: ICRC provides over 4,400 people with emergency aid

Geneva/Bogotá), 2 September– In the past few weeks, clashes between government forces and armed groups have had a serious impact on inhabitants of the Colombian departments of Cauca and Nariño. Over 4,400 people have either fled their homes or can no longer carry out their usual subsistence activities. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has just completed an emergency distribution of 60 tonnes of food and hygiene items to these people. (…)

The ICRC continues to be concerned by the intensification of the armed conflict in this part of Colombia, which in recent months has forced thousands of people to flee their homes in search of safer areas and has prevented other residents from working. The organization will continue to monitor needs and provide humanitarian assistance as required.


Hilton humanitarian prize of $1.5 million goes to BRAC

BRAC, largest NGO in the developing world, will use prize winnings in southern Sudan.

Los Angeles – August 27   BRAC, the largest non-profit organization in the developing world, has been selected to receive the 2008 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize of $1.5 million.  The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation presents the annual award, the world’s largest humanitarian prize, to an organization that is significantly alleviating human suffering.  The prize will be presented on October 20 in Geneva, Switzerland, with Quincy Jones as keynote speaker.

Launched in Bangladesh in 1972, BRAC reaches more than 110 million people with its holistic approach to addressing poverty by providing micro-loans, education, health services, job creation and human rights education. (…)

Now in its 37th year, BRAC has taken its model beyond Bangladesh into eight other Asian and African countries.  It has issued $5 billion in micro-loans to nearly seven million borrowers; graduated 3.8 million students from its primary schools and 2.3 million from its pre-primary schools, with 1.5 million children currently enrolled in its 52,000 schools; provided basic health services to more than 90 million; created 8.5 million jobs; and employed 110,000 staff and teachers. (…)



Peace and security



11 Days of Global Unity: September 11-21, culminating on the International Day of Peace

Creating a Culture of Peace - Celebrating a Sustainable Future

We are excited to invite you to be part of the 5th Annual Celebration of 11 Days of Global Unity Sept. 11-21! 11 Days is an annual worldwide promotion of peace, justice, sustainability and transformation that now includes more than 700 associated events in over 60 countries around the world. It culminates on September 21st, the U.N. International Day of Peace which itself has literally thousands of events in over 100 countries. Check out the Complete Guide to 11 Days of Global Unity for the full scope of worldwide activities.


Iraq: mine detection dogs arrive in Chamchamal

Mine detection dogs will soon be used to assist in MAG’s mine clearance activities in Iraq.

5 September - In partnership with the Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI), the Mine Detection Dog Centre and the Global Training Academy – and funded jointly by the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, US Department of State and MLI – the dogs are currently undergoing a comprehensive training programme at MAG’s Chamchamal operations base.

Three experienced teams from Bosnia have been deployed to the region for an initial period of one year. Each team contains a dog and its handler, while a team leader supervises and coordinates overall mine detection dog operations in Chamchamal.

Mine detection dogs will make a valuable contribution to the safe and efficient clearance of mines which will result in significant areas of safe land being handed back to communities.


UN to train African Union peacekeeping support staff

5 September – The United Nations peacekeeping arm launched a training programme this week for senior officials of the African Union (AU), aimed at improving the planning, deployment and management of its peacekeeping support missions. This is the third in a series of training courses designed specifically for senior AU civilian, military and police leaders who might be appointed to positions at the level of head or deputy head of mission, force or deputy force commander or police commissioner in missions.

Some 25 AU officials from 14 countries will participate in the 12-day training programme in Botswana, planned in partnership between the UN, the AU and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Participants of the programme will be given a solid overview of issues involved in the peacekeeping missions, especially in relation to the African context. (…)

The Government of Denmark is providing funding for the programme, run by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), with support also coming from the Government of Botswana.

The previous courses in this series were held in Kenya, in eastern Africa, and Nigeria in the west, while upcoming training organised by DPKO’s AU Peacekeeping Support Team will take place in central and northern Africa.


UN Member States taking lead in combating terrorism - Assembly President

5 September - Member States of the United Nations have taken the lead in the fight against terrorism, forging ahead with implementing the first global and common strategy to tackle the scourge, General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim said today. The President convened a meeting which kicked off yesterday to review the landmark 2006 Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, with over 100 Member States taking part.

The meeting concluded today with the Assembly’s adoption of a resolution reaffirming support for the Strategy; reiterating Member States’ strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations; and confirming that Member States have the primary responsibility to implement the document. The Assembly also decided to review the implementation of the Strategy again in two years time and “to consider updating it to respond to changes,” according to the resolution. (...)


Security Council welcomes Somali peace and reconciliation accord

4 September - The Security Council today welcomed the recent signing of a peace and reconciliation agreement by Somalia’s warring political groups and urged the two sides in the troubled Horn of Africa nation to fully implement their commitments under the accord. (…)

The 15-member panel said it would continuously monitor the implementation of the accord and reiterated its strong support for the efforts of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM). (...)


Promoting the International Day of Peace 2008

by Jim McDonnell

London, 22 August - The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) has produced a toolkit in different languages which aims to assist anyone who wishes to start a campaign or organize an activity around issues of peace and conflict. It focuses on awareness raising activities surrounding the UN International Day of Peace on September 21st. On this day, the world calls for 24 hours of worldwide ceasefire and non-violence. The toolkit includes campaign basics, facts and figures that can be used in a campaign, strategies in order for a campaign to be successful, and ideas for taking action such as public events that could be organized and ways to engage the media. Finally, it lists a number of other sources that could be helpful in raising awareness on conflict prevention and peacebuilding. The toolkit can be downloaded on the GPPAC website. GPPAC are asking organizations to send them information and material on what different groups have planned for the 21st of September. (...)


International Day of Peace- September 21

The United Nations' International Day of Peace - marked every year on September 21 - is a global holiday when individuals, communities, nations and governments highlight efforts to end conflict and promote peace. Established by U.N. resolution in 1982, "Peace Day" has grown to include millions of people around the world who participate in all kinds of events, large and small.

For 2008, this new Web site makes it easy to find and promote Peace Day events anywhere in the world. Just click on "Participate!" to locate an event or post information. And explore the rest of the site to learn more about Peace Day and how to get involved.

The 24-Hour Global Ceasefire: Along with being designated by the UN as the International Day of Peace, September 21 is also a day of Global Ceasefire. By acknowledging a unified day without violence, a Global Ceasefire can provide hope for citizens who must endure war and conflict; it proves that worldwide peace is possible. A cessation of hostilities for 24 hours can also enable relief workers to reach civilians in need with food, water, and medical supplies.






MSF providing medical care and emergency distributions in Bihar, India

Barcelona/New Delhi, September 5 - Two Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have started providing medical care to the victims of the floods in the northeastern Indian state of Bihar. Staff have also started the first emergency relief distributions in various locations and displaced camps, as well as the necessary assessments, in the districts of Araria (the most affected area), Supaul, Purnia and Madhepura.

While assessing the needs, and now that the roads are becoming passable again, MSF staff have organised mobile clinics in several locations in order to address the medical needs of the populations, particularly in those western areas of Araria district where relief has not yet reached. Last Tuesday, for example, in the Parwaha area alone, over 100 medical consultations were carried out. (…)


Canada announces $30 million for polio eradication

4 September - The Government of Canada today announced financial contributions of Canadian $30 million towards the eradication of polio in sub-Saharan Africa, in partnership with Rotary International. This announcement comes on the heels of a June pledge of $60 million to finance polio eradication activities in Afghanistan.

The funding will help immunize children in sub-Saharan Africa, with $15 million already earmarked for Nigeria, where polio is still endemic. An outbreak in northern Nigeria is currently putting the region at risk; stepped-up vaccination activities are essential to preventing and minimizing the consequences of spread.

With these two latest contributions, Canada has committed close to Canadian $331 million towards polio eradication and is working to support new immunization strategies in polio-endemic countries to finally stop the disease entirely.


Polio survivor cycles across Canada to fight polio

By Dan Nixon

Rotary International News, 3 September - "I am reminded of the effects of polio every day of my life," says Ramesh Ferris, who is cycling 7,200 kilometers (4,474 miles) across Canada to ensure that children worldwide are able to walk. The 28-year-old polio survivor is riding a 27-speed handcycle on a journey that began in Victoria, British Columbia, on 12 April. He plans to arrive in Cape Spear, Newfoundland, in mid-October.

"Cycle to Walk is my way to prevent polio and give other polio survivors a chance to reach their full potential," said Ferris. He is promoting polio eradication at schools, Rotary, and other service clubs, health care providers, and government offices. (…)

For his part in that battle, Ferris has had to draw deeply on his own determination many times. Born in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India, in 1979, he was stricken by polio at the age of six months. He was adopted by Canadian parents at age two and, following several surgeries and physical rehabilitation, learned to walk with crutches by age four. But polio also afflicted his lungs, and he contracted pneumonia nine times before his 11th birthday.

A visit to India in 2002 and seeing others suffering from polio inspired Ferris to found the Cycle to Walk Society, which raises money to fight polio and boosts public awareness of the disease. His goal in cycling across Canada is to raise C$1 million (US$955,082); as of 15 August, contributions had reached C$279,148 (US$266,609). Of the total, 75 percent will go to PolioPlus to immunize children in polio-endemic and at-risk countries, 20 percent to aid rehabilitation, and 5 percent to help educate Canadians about the disease and advocate their continued immunization. (…)

To follow Ferris's journey, read his blog at


Côte d’Ivoire: ICRC protects 21,000 Vavoua inhabitants against waterborne diseases

Abidjan (ICRC) 3 September – To protect against the risk of an epidemic, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has begun to disinfect 1,500 wells in the city of Vavoua, in the centre of the country. The operation will last two weeks and should protect nearly 3,000 households (around 21,000 individuals) against diarrhoeal illnesses brought on by drinking contaminated water. The risk of contracting illness is particularly high now that the rainy season is under way because rainwater streams into badly protected wells. (…) The problem is aggravated when water is transported from wells to households. (…) Volunteers of the Red Cross Society of Côte d’Ivoire will participate in the chlorination campaign by providing advice on hygiene.


Rotary maternal health project receives royal recognition

by Matthias Schütt

Rotary International News, 29 August -  In appreciation for his work in improving maternal health care in northern Nigeria, Past Governor Robert Zinser of District 1860 (Germany) was initiated into the inner circle of the Emir of Zazzau, 1 of 10 powerful traditional leaders in northern Nigeria.

Emir Shehu Idris awarded Zinser the traditional title of Shahon Zazzau (Eagle of Zazzau) during a special ceremony 8 August at the emir’s palace in Zaria.

Zinser is the project coordinator of a joint Nigerian-Austrian-German Rotary project to treat and prevent obstetric fistula, a painful birth injury that often results in a stillborn child and leaves the woman with chronic incontinence. (…)

As vice chair of the Rotary Action Group for Population and Development, Zinser, a member of the Rotary Club of Ludwigshafen-Rheinschanze, has been involved in three projects in Nigeria since 1995, including conducting advocacy and awareness campaigns on child spacing and the risks of early marriage, training health personnel, and delivering quality equipment to hospitals, with the goal of reducing maternal and child mortality. In 2005 the current €1 million (US$1.46 million) project was started in the two states of Kano and Kaduna with a target population of 5 million women. The elements of this approach include radio serials, training of health personnel, delivery of medical equipment, and quality improvement of structure, process, and outcome. (…)


New middle school curriculum equips kids with tools to eat right and be active

Newton, MA, 27 August: With teenage obesity a continuing concern across America, a new curriculum specially created for middle schools is being introduced nationally to promote healthy choices among pre-teens. The curriculum, Getting Active and Eating Well, was developed by health and literacy experts at Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), with funding from MetLife Foundation.

Divided into four units, the curriculum combines reading and health to equip middle school students with information about making healthy food choices and being physically active. (…)

The curriculum is designed to be used by health education, physical education, and family and consumer sciences classes. Three units also meet the curriculum standards in other subject areas including social studies and science, with opportunities for interdisciplinary instruction. (…)



Energy and safety



AU, EU launch energy partnership

8 September - The African Union Commission (AUC) and the European Commission (EC) launched on Monday an ambitious Africa-EU energy partnership to enhance cooperation in the field, a press release of the EC said. Main elements of the Energy Partnership include promoting electrification in Africa and launching as soon as possible the process for the elaboration of an Electricity Master-Plan for Africa, further defining the Capacity Building Program in support of the African Power Pools.

Besides, the two sides agreed that transparency for further private investments in the energy sector should be established. They agreed to promote energy interconnections in Africa and between Africa and Europe and to further cooperate to identify energy projects of regional interest to be proposed for financing


UN-backed carbon forum helps Africa profit from greenhouse gas offset scheme

5 September - Three days of deal-making and networking wrapped up today at the United Nations-backed Africa Carbon Forum in Senegal, aimed at improving the continent’s standing in the global carbon marketplace. Under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), industrialized countries can offset some of their own greenhouse gas emissions to earn certified emission reduction credits. Some 600 participants from 60 countries attended the Carbon Forum in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, including 36 government representatives responsible for initial approval of emissions offset projects.

In one deal completed at the Forum, the World Bank entered into an agreement with a local agency to spread the use of energy–efficient light bulbs through rural Senegal. At the same time, several African countries pledged $20 million to go towards the Africa Bio-fuels and Renewable Energy Fund, a public/private sector partnership tasked with assessing carbon offset projects. (...)


Solar Energy can bring clean energy to over 4 billion people by 2030

2 September - Solar electricity can contribute largely to the energy needs of two-thirds of the world's population - including those in remote areas - by 2030. This is the main conclusion of the Solar Generation report, published by Greenpeace and the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) today. "Solar photovoltaic electricity has the potential to supply energy to over 4 billion people by 2030 if adequate policy measures are put in place today," said Ernesto Macias, EPIA President, as the report was presented at a major conference on photovoltaic (PV) energy in Spain.

Now in its fifth edition, Solar Generation confirms the impressive growth of the solar energy sector and demonstrates its potential of becoming a global energy contributor. By 2030, it estimates that over 1800 GW of photovoltaic systems will have been installed worldwide. This represents over 2600 TWh of electricity produced per year, or 14% of global electricity demand. This is enough power to supply over 1.3 billion people in developed areas and over 3 billion people in remote rural areas who currently have no access to mains electricity. (...)


Wind Technology Platform publishes Strategic Research Agenda: How wind energy could provide up to 28% of EU electricity consumption by 2030

In its newly released Strategic Research Agenda, the European Wind Energy Technology Platform (TPWind) presents an ambitious vision in which over a quarter of the EU’s electricity could be provided by wind in 2030. It describes the research priorities that tie in with this vision, and the financial and human resources these priorities will entail.

According to the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA), wind energy could cover 12-14% of the EU’s electricity consumption by 2020, with a total installed capacity of 180 GW. This could increase to 22-28% of consumption and 300 GW in 2030. The SRA points out that fulfilling this vision will be a major industrial and technological challenge for Europe, and that public and industry research resources across Europe must be mobilised via the coordination of investment at European and national level. (...) Part of the document is devoted to a Market Deployment Strategy, which examines the ways to remove market barriers to large-scale wind energy deployment. (...)

The SRA is the most in-depth analysis to date of the research requirements of the wind energy sector, and is based on two years of work and discussions. It is supported by extensive annexes, which are available online. (...)[tt_news]=1361&tx_ttnews[backPid]=1&cHash=a082035a00


Second International Conference on Energy Solutions for Transport

Fueling the future of transport

Reykjavik - September 18th and 19th, Hilton Reykjavik Nordica, IcelandGlobal pioneers in the worldwide trend of renewable energy for transport gather in Iceland this fall to explore the most exciting developments in the field.

This year, special focus is on the future of electric vehicles, with topics ranging from CO2 Free Power and Next Generation Utilities to Automotive Batteries, Plug-in Technology & New Business Models.  A123 Systems, Toyota Europe, Ford Motor Company, Rocky Mountain Institute, Dong Energy, New York City and Vattenfall are among those presenting as well as the Director of the documentary film Who Killed The Electric Car?

The world famous aviator Bertrand Piccard of Solar Impulse shares his vision of sustainable mobility through the eyes of a scientist-explorer. (...)


New sustainable transportation ETF to be launched on NASDAQ

by Robert Kropp

Index-based ETF to track companies offering green solutions to growth in worldwide transportation.

September 2 - -- Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC plans to list its PowerShares Global Progressive Transportation Portfolio on the NASDAQ Stock Market on September 18, 2008.

Worldwide economic growth has increased demand for transportation solutions, but in most cases those solutions have not been matched by sustainable improvements in infrastructure. Sustainable transportation meets the needs of society without sacrificing ecological values.

To be traded under the ticker PTRP, the portfolio is an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that is based on the Wilder NASDAQ OMX Global Energy Efficient Transport Index. An index-based exchange-traded fund seeks to replicate the movements of an index of a financial market.

The Wilder Index tracks innovative and energy efficient transportation by focusing on businesses that are engaged in cleaner and improved means of transporting goods and people. It includes a global group of companies engaged in four focus areas: alternative vehicles; rail and subway systems; sea, land, air and intermodal; and transport innovation.



Environment and wildlife



New UN tool allows armchair environmentalists to virtually visit global hotspots

4 September - An initiative unveiled today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) allows computer users to utilize the popular mapping tool Google Earth to “fly” to 200 of the world’s environmental hotspots.

The atlas will showcase in three dimensions the impact of climate change and other human activities on the planet in places ranging from remote rainforests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the glaciers of Greenland and Alaska. “If we are to change the hearts and minds of the global public we need to surprise, to excite and occasionally, perhaps, to shock,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. “These images, allied to modern computer technology, do all three.” (...) The UNEP atlas is part of its popular series highlighting the changing environment, which also includes “One Planet Many People: Atlas of Our Changing Environment,” released in concert with Google Earth. (...)


Long haul to measure Arctic sea ice confirmed

3 September - WWF has welcomed the news that a pioneering expedition to deliver the most accurate measurements yet of the arctic ocean ice sheet has secured the funding it needs for the survey. The survey team, led by the experienced British polar expedition leader Pen Hadow, will depart in mid-February and plans to spend over 100 days hauling ground-penetrating radar equipment over the ice to the North Pole. “This will allow climate scientists to refine their predictions for the climate of this region and the world,” says Martin Sommerkorn, Senior Climate Change Advisor for the WWF International Arctic Programme. (…)

The trend of diminishing arctic ice due to climate change raises fears for entire arctic ecosystems that depend on the ice, from single-celled organisms, all the way up to larger animals. (…)

WWF is helping to support the Catlin Arctic Survey, and looks forward to receiving the data the expedition will generate. It will help feed into preparations for securing an effective global deal on climate change in Copenhagen in 2009.


Now accepting proposals for Grand Challenges Explorations Round 2

Seattle, 3 September -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced today that it is now accepting grant proposals for Round 2 of Grand Challenges Explorations, a five-year US$100 million initiative to encourage bold and unconventional research on new global health solutions. Proposals for six topics will be accepted online at through November 2, 2008.

Round 2 follows on the heels of the initiative's first funding round, which closed in May of this year, and generated nearly 4,000 applications from scientists in more than 100 countries. Two new topics are being introduced in Round 2 along with the initial four topics from Round 1.

One of the primary objectives of Grand Challenges Explorations is to involve scientists around the world who do not typically work in global health. This includes those with innovative ideas in Africa, Asia, and other parts of the developing world; people working in the private sector; and young investigators. (…)


Earth Day network launches new, improved ecological footprint calculator to assess environmental impact

Washington, DC, August 25 – Earth Day Network, an international environmental advocacy organization and a recognized leader in the field of carbon footprint measurement, has just released its newest tool to combat climate change: The Ecological Footprint Calculator. Set to debut on August 25, 2008, the Footprint Calculator is intended to raise environmental consciousness in an educational, user-friendly, and fun way.

Created by the originators of the ecological footprint, Global Footprint Network, the calculator provides users with a three-dimensional avatar of their choosing, and situates them on a block in a virtual neighborhood. The user is then taken through a series of questions about her food consumption, energy use, favorite mode of transportation, type of residence, recycling commitment, and spending habits. (…)

To take the quiz, visit The new Footprint Calculator has launched with measures for the United States and Australia only, but new batch of countries will be available by the end of the year.



Religion and spirituality



Muslim and Christian women to explore religious contributions to peace

Gothenburg, Sweden, 28 August - Some twenty Christian and Muslim women will meet 4-7 September in Gothenburg, Sweden, as part of a dialogue process labelled "Moving towards peace through religion". Hosted by the Diocese of Gothenburg of the Church of Sweden, the meeting follows one held last year in Teheran. The initiative is co-organized by the Iranian Institute for Interreligious Dialogue (IID) and the World Council of Churches (WCC). (...)

Bringing contributions from diverse backgrounds including the arts, media, education and theology, participants will wrestle, in critical solidarity with tradition, with issues pertinent to a just society of women and men. In order to ensure a constructive role of religion in our societies, the role of women is put up for discussion.

The meeting contributes to the Decade to Overcome Violence 2001-2010, a WCC initiative that promotes peace and non-violent ways of living together.


Ceremonies, books and broadcasts mark the WCC 60th anniversary

Amsterdam, 20 August - "Stating that in seeking Christ they found each other, the 147 churches that sixty years ago came together in Amsterdam, Netherlands committed themselves afresh to Christ and covenanted with one another in constituting the World Council of Churches (WCC)," said the Council's general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia as he prepared to leave for a commemorative event to be held at the location where the WCC was officially founded sixty years ago, 23 August 1948 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

"It is significant that as we gather sixty years later at the same venue we note that the churches have been faithful to their commitment. Not only have they stayed together, but they have deepened and broadened the Fellowship," Kobia added. (...)


Leading religious scholars gather in Winchester for Global Interfaith Encounter

Winchester, 19 August - Leading international scholars from Judaism, Islam and Christianity are converging in Winchester from 9-11 September to attend a major interfaith conference at the University of Winchester.

Themes for Interfaith Dialogue in Modernity and Post-modernity include how dialogue between scholars of religion impacts on religious institutions; the role of religion in peacemaking and conflict resolution; and issues of religious identity and multiculturalism.

“Today, when the cultures of the world are coming closer yet also seem to be drawing further apart, there is an increasing need for the representative faith traditions to engage in dialogue,” said Dr Paul Hedges, a Lecturer from the University of Winchester’s Department of Theology and Religious Studies, who also sits on the editorial board for The Journal of Religious History. (...)


"A Common Word" letter sparks a series of dialogues among Christians and Muslims

New Haven, Connecticut, 11 August - A recent dialogue held in late July at Yale University in the United States brought together Muslim and Christian scholars, intellectuals, academics and religious leaders from the United States and around the world. The event was one of a series of dialogues organized in response to the October 2007 open letter "A Common Word" sent by 138 Muslim scholars to Christians around the world. The letter invited them to dialogue about what they viewed as the common parts of their respective faiths. (...)

Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan, the architect of the "Common Word" initiative said: "The intention in sending out the 'A Common Word' missive was simply to try to make peace between Muslims and Christians globally." (...) Since the letter was released, churches, councils of churches and Christian leadership from the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Evangelical traditions have been working with Muslims to organize a series of dialogue events and consultations which are scheduled through 2010. (...)



Culture and education



UNESCO conference to review literacy and adult education challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean

Mexico City, 6 September - Literacy and adult education in Latin America and the Caribbean are the focus of a UNESCO conference that will take place in Mexico City from 10 to 13 September, 2008. Hosted by the Government of Mexico and organized with the National Institute for Adult Education (INEA), the conference will bring together ministers of education and other representatives of governments and multilateral partners, regional NGOs, experts and stakeholders from the private sector, universities and the media.

Entitled “From Literacy to Lifelong Learning: Towards the Challenges of the 21st Century”, the conference will merge two major UNESCO initiatives. It will be one of five regional UNESCO conferences in preparation of the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI), which will take place in Brazil in May 2009. (…) The meeting aims to establish a regional perspective on the key issues and challenges and to propose forward-looking strategies and recommendations to renew policies and action in youth and adult literacy and in adult learning and education. (…)


International Literacy day 2008

Paris, 6 September - "Literacy is the best remedy": This is the theme of’ this year’s International Literacy Day, which is celebrated annually on 8 September. Research has repeatedly demonstrated the direct correlation between people’s level of literacy and their chances to maintain good health. (...) “An illiterate person is simply more vulnerable to ill-health, and less likely to seek medical help for themselves, their family or their community,” notes the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, in the message he will issue for Literacy Day. “Literacy is a powerful yet too often overlooked remedy to health threats, with the potential to promote better nutrition, disease prevention and treatment.” (…)

The celebration of International Literacy Day will include the award of the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes, recognizing programmes operating in Brazil, Ethiopia, South Africa and Zambia. The literacy projects selected this year were chosen because of their positive impact on public health. (...)


UN organizes campaign to help Georgia’s children return to school

5 September - The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is organizing a campaign to ensure that all children in Georgia can start the new school year this month, following the recent conflict in the Caucasus country. “We are concerned along with the rest of the humanitarian community that not all children will be able to return to classes on time,” UNICEF’s Robert Cohen told reporters in Geneva today. That is why the agency is teaming up with the Government and other partners to launch a back-to-school campaign, ahead of the start of the new school year, set to begin on 15 September. (…) It has  distributed over 1,000 “school in a box” kits that will provide learning materials for some 80,000 children, 700 recreation kits for 63,000 children, and materials to raise awareness of the risk of mines and unexploded ordnance. In partnership with the non-governmental organizations World Vision International and Everychild, UNICEF has set up child-friendly-spaces to give them opportunities to play and learn, providing psycho-social support, organized recreation and sports. (...)


UN agencies launch bid to include restored Iraqi marshlands on heritage list

5 September - Two United Nations agencies unveiled a joint bid today to list Iraq’s marshlands, considered by some to be the original Garden of Eden, as a World Heritage Site, capping efforts to restore the ecological viability of the fragile region.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said in a press statement that the joint bid - which is also being funded by the Italian Government - aims to further the conservation and protection of the marshlands. Also known as the Fertile Crescent, the Marshlands of Mesopotamia have been spawning grounds for Persian Gulf fisheries and home to species such as the sacred ibis. They are also the site of a unique cultural heritage surrounding the indigenous population, known as the Marsh Arabs. (...)

UNEP and UNESCO, which agreed to the bid at a meeting in Kyoto, Japan, this week, are now working with Iraqi authorities to draw up a plan to make a submission to the World Heritage Committee for the site’s inclusion on the World Heritage List. UNESCO said the marshlands could be listed as early as 2011.


UNESCO backs plan to build underwater museum in Alexandria, Egypt

4 September - The United Nations cultural agency announced today it will help Egypt build an innovative underwater museum in the Bay of Alexandria on the site of archaeological remains thousands of years old. The idea for a museum, located by Cleopatra’s Palace and the mythical 3rd Century B.C. Alexandria Lighthouse, also known as Pharos, comes amid the growing recognition of the importance of underwater cultural heritage. (…)  The museum represents a major advance in underwater cultural heritage exhibitions and UNESCO has established an International Scientific Advisory Committee to help with the construction of the project, expected to begin later this year. (...)


Young publishers strive to breed book culture in kids

Pretoria, 2 September - A team of young publishers based in Pretoria are determined to breed a book-buying generation of young South Africans by selling children's books for no more than R10. BK Publishing founder Benoit Knox says this initiative is not about charity or only getting children to read. "The most important thing is to get kids involved in book buying in order to help build a strong book-buying culture in South Africa," he says. Knox and business partner Tshediso Serei are the commissioning editors of the children's book series aimed at 10 -13 year olds. (…) BK Publishing prioritises the promotion of local talent (...) and will actively create new, decentralised distribution channels by setting up outlets in townships and poorer communities, where the books will be sold by local retailers.


EI launches the Education and Solidarity Network

September 1 – Education International has launched a new Education and Solidarity Network to help strengthen and develop solidarity-based social protection systems by mobilising professionals from the education sector around the world. This project is being implemented in partnership with the Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale (MGEN), the Association Internationale de la Mutualité (AIM) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Professionals in the education sector have a role to play in the development of solidarity-based welfare systems. The support of EI member organisations is essential in the implementation of this network, the aim of which is to promote exchanges of best practices in the area of social protection, the sharing of expertise, help in creating mutual structures, and the dissemination of training modules devoted to solidarity-based mutual support systems. An international conference will be organised in Paris, France on 14-15 May 2009 for the official launch of the network, and a dedicated website has also been created: (…)




61st Annual DPI/NGO Conference:


Reaffirming Human Rights for All: The Universal Declaration at 60

3-5 September 2008 • UNESCO Headquarters, Paris


Lesley Vann, Good News Agency’s Publisher Representative to the UNDPI


This year the 61st Annual United Nations DPI/NGO Conference took place on 3-5 September 2008, at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. The Conference, "Reaffirming Human Rights: The Universal Declaration at 60", was held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year marked the first time in the history of the DPI/NGO Conference that it was held outside of New York. 


The DPI/NGO Conference was organized by the UN’s Department of Public Information in cooperation with the NGO community -- this year with the assistance of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Government of France. This Annual Conference is open to representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI), those in consultative status with the United Nations through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and those working with UNESCO and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).


Paris was an apt location for this year’s Conference, as Paris is also the place where the Declaration was signed some 60 years ago. It is therefore fitting, that Paris was the host city for the premier NGO event of the year, at UNESCO's Headquarters, attracting more than 2,000 NGO representatives from some 90 countries. The 3-5 September Conference was opened by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon via video-conference.


The Conference aimed to highlight effective ways in which civil society, in partnership with public and private international actors and the UN System, can contribute to the advancement of human rights at international, regional, national and local levels, generate greater awareness of human rights issues, and strengthen commitments to address human rights among diverse stake-holders worldwide. A major feature of this conference was its emphasis on active participation whether through involvement in the five roundtables, the 42 midday workshops or several breakout sessions. All activities including those offered via the Internet were intended to generate greater awareness of human rights issues and strengthen commitments to address human rights among diverse stakeholders worldwide.


The Conference reflected the mounting commitment within the United Nations, to the work of civil society. This unprecedented commitment to civil society has been chiefly the result of the vibrant vision articulated by former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan. He recognised and assured the UN supported the advances made by civil society on the ground and in the daily lives of those who suffer.


There is vast evidence of the contribution made to human rights by civil society, in partnership with other actors -- from very broad evidence demonstrated by major NGOs such as Amnesty International -- to national and local levels, involving citizens and education more directly. A stellar example is the global reach of Human Rights Watch with its focus upon civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. Additional examples include the Green Cross International and its partners, who appeal for the adoption of a Framework Convention on the Right to Water; and Kerala-based “Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (CHRO), [which] stand to protect, uphold and strengthen the rights of traditionally exploited and oppressed marginalized social segments of Tribals, Dalits, Minorities, certain Castes, Women, Children and victims of State Violations.”


Civil society has for years embraced the Earth Charter, a widely recognised and authoritative reference document on the vision, values, and ethics of sustainable development, available in over 30 languages. A Conference break out session on Human Rights, Sustainable Development, and the Earth Charter was held. The primary aim of the session was to provide participants with an overview of the Earth Charter and how its vision of global interdependence and universal responsibility complements and supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the global human rights movement. The breakout session also focused on the sharing of best-practices regarding the way in which the Earth Charter is used to support grass-roots efforts to address human rights violations and to promote an integrated approach to sustainable development. The above are key examples of civil society contributions yielding strength and significant advances for human rights globally.


The Conference demonstrated effective partnerships between civil society and international actors during the diverse “Roundtable” meetings, midday workshops and breakout sessions, permitting cross-pollination of ideas and recommendations addressing human rights. These merged the worlds of civil society with the UN System and its outreach. Meeting topics included, “Upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Overcoming Discrimination to Realize Human Rights and Dignity for All; Human Rights and Human Security; Human Rights Education and Learning as a Way of Life; Addressing Gross Human Rights Violations: Prevention and Accountability; Reaffirming Human Rights for All.


Midday Workshops have been an integral part of the DPI NGO conference since its early days. These continued to be among the most sought-after events during the busy three days. Midday workshops are organized for NGOs by NGOs. They are vehicles for peer-to-peer discussions, to exchange ideas and experiences and share approaches to common problems. The ultimate goal is to have participants take home information and knowledge that they can use in their activities.

The subjects of the Midday Workshops were chosen to enhance the conference themes and to represent thematic as well as regional balance. They were designed to be interactive, and to foster lively audience participation under the leadership of facilitators and expert speakers.


A Committee representing different areas of the NGO world, including NGO partners in Geneva and Paris, assisted in the selection of this year’s offerings. The large number of Midday Workshop Proposals received from many regions of the world demonstrated the keen interest by NGO participants in exchanging experiences, finding common ground and sharing their stories with others working in the field of human rights. The Committee worked hard to accommodate as many as possible of the stimulating proposals that were submitted, especially from NGOs and partners new to this process. Some workshops also offered the opportunity to hear speakers from the plenary session in a more intimate setting and with more chances to ask questions.


The Paris Conference also featured a variety of Special Events marking the 60th anniversary. These included a story-telling project, which was sponsored by the Institute for the Development of Education, Arts and Leisure, featuring stories of personal experiences on different aspects of human rights. There were art displays that were shown at UNESCO and outside the Conference Hall. Among the art exhibits was a History of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that consisted of nine panels displayed in French and English, and sketches on Human Rights themes by International cartoonists both sponsored by the UN Department of Public Information. NGO displays included 20 posters promoting Human Rights submitted by Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, and eight Ribbons of peace, art cloth panels depicting different aspects of Human Rights. Article 27 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights best summarises this endeavour: “Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.”


“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” (Article 19 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.) Media participation at the 61st Annual DPI/NGO Conference was subject to accreditation by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Accreditation remains strictly reserved for members of the press - print media, photo, radio, TV, film and news agencies - who fully meet United Nations media accreditation requirements.


In summary the 61st Annual DPI/NGO Conference, commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights engaged civil society and other United Nations System partners. At this Annual DPI/NGO Conference these partners demonstrated their relevance to global human rights progress. The goals of the Conference thus were met, with new inroads established. These goals included providing a forum for civil society, governments, media, academia, and the private sector to discuss human rights issues and what roles they need to play in addressing them.


This 61st Annual DPI/NGO Conference demonstrated once again that human rights outcomes, the United Nations and the world community, are all strengthened by the vibrant, incisive vision and contribution of civil society partners globally. Civil society daily is advancing action on behalf of the global common good.



Information for this article was located on: 

Please click on the link below for useful background information on the Conference including Media Inquiries, Gallery of photos, and webcasts of the Opening and Closing sessions and the five Roundtable discussions:



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Next issue: 3rd October 2008.

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