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Asunto:[MESHIKO] Good News Agency - III,3 - 9 February 2002 (E2)
Fecha:Sabado, 9 de Febrero, 2002  04:13:59 (-0700)
Autor:Ricardo Ocampo-RedLuz <anahuak @.............mx>

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 
~LUXWEB 
Los servicios hermanos de REDLUZ en ingles... 
 
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@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 
 
 
 
From: "Sergio Tripi" <s.tripi@...> 
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2002 10:32:09 +0100 
Subject: Good News Agency - III,3 - 9 February 2002 (E2) 
 
Dear Collegues and Dear Friends, as always we encourage the media to utilize 
Good News Agency's items of news and invite NGO's to send us information 
regarding their own specific programs for possible inclusion in future 
issues. 
   
Good News Agency 
Weekly - Year III, number 3 ­  9 February 2002 
 
Managing Editor: Sergio Tripi, Ph. D. 
Rome Law-court registration no. 265 dated 20 June 2000 
http://www.goodnewsagency.org 
 
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 doesn¹t ³burn out² in the space of a day. 
 
Good News Agency is distributed through Internet to the editorial offices 
of more than 2,400 media in 46 countries, as well as to 1,000 NGO. 
 
Contents  
 
International legislation <#IL>  - Peace and safety <#PS>  - Economy and 
development <#ED>  -  Solidarity <#S> 
 
Health <#H>  - Energy and safety <#ES>  - Environment and wildlife <#EW>  - 
Culture and education <#CE> 
 
International legislation 
(top <#TOP> ) 
  
 
First meeting to discuss Draft International Convention Against Corruption 
 
Vienna, 22 January  - New steps by the international community to fight 
corruption are being taken at the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on 
the elaboration of a United Nations Convention against Corruption being held 
in Vienna this week. The Officer-in-Charge of the UN Office for Drug Control 
and Crime Prevention (ODCCP), Mr. Steinar B. Bjornsson, told delegates that 
the meeting was the beginning of a historic process in the fight against 
corruption. He reminded them that the task ahead is to equip the world with 
a broad, comprehensive, functional and effective international instrument 
which will strengthen the existing capacity of countries to counter 
corruption and create that capacity for those countries which do not yet 
possess it.  
 
The Ad Hoc Committee (meeting from 21 January - 1 February 2002) is now 
considering the first draft of a Convention against Corruption which derives 
from a wide range of proposals from Member States which were discussed at 
the Informal Preparatory Meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Negotiation 
of a Convention against Corruption, held in Buenos Aires from 4-7 December 
2001. (Š)  
 
http://www.undcp.org/press_release_2002-01-22_1.html 
 
Peace and safety 
(top <#TOP> ) 
  
Albania moves to tighten controls on small arms 
 
6 February - Albania is shifting from collecting small arms to controlling 
them, Deputy Prime Minister Skender Gjinushi told a recent international 
workshop on human security and weapons control organized by UNDP and the 
Albanian Atlantic Association. A new UNDP project will support these 
efforts. Mr. Gjinushi said the government had retrieved one third of the 
weapons looted from government arsenals in 1997, and more than 100,000 
weapons have been destroyed. Illegal arms are no longer shown off in public 
and illegal weapons possession has been reduced considerably, he added. 
 
Albanians still hold hundreds of thousands of military arms and thousands of 
tons of explosives, and the workshop discussed how to reduce this threat to 
public order and human security. (Š) 
 
UNDP has actively supported the government's efforts to collect illegal arms 
and explosives since 1998.(Š) The new UNDP project will focus on three 
regions (Š) The European Union, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden are 
providing co-financing for the US$3.5 million budget. 
 
http://www.undp.org/dpa/index..html <http://www.undp.org/dpa/index.html> 
 
  
 
  
Economy and development 
(top <#TOP> ) 
  
 
At fortieth session, Commission for Social Development to consider 
integration of social, economic policy, 11-21 February 
 
6 February ­ The Commission for Social Development will hold its fortieth 
session from  11 to 21 February at Headquarters in New York. During its 
current two-week session the Commission will consider the priority theme, 
"Integration of social and economic policy," focusing on its three main 
topics of discussion:  social aspects of macroeconomic policies; social 
assessment as a policy tool; and expenditures in the social sector as a 
productive factor.  Under the agenda item on the review of United Nations 
plans and programmes pertaining to the situation of particular social 
groups, the Commission is also scheduled to take up the outcome of the 
second session of the Preparatory Committee for the Second World Assembly on 
Ageing and the report of the Special Rapporteur on Disability.  As it begins 
its consideration of its main theme on Monday morning, the Commission will 
hold a high-level governmental and expert panel discussion on these issues. 
It will also have before it a related report of the Secretary-General.(Š) 
 
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2002/dev2372.doc.htm 
 
  
 
African NGOs, fearing impact of structural adjustment programmes, adopt 
Cairo Declaration for food security 
 
Cairo, 5 February (FAO) - Heads of 30 African non-governmental organizations 
and civil society organizations (NGOs/CSOs) concluded a two-day consultation 
held in parallel to the twenty-second Food and Agriculture Organization 
(FAO) Regional Conference for Africa (4-8 February). (Š) The NGOs/CSOs 
consultation produced a Cairo Declaration on Food Security in Africa and a 
detailed plan of action aimed at translating previous political commitments 
into concrete actions to promote food security in order to reduce poverty in 
Africa.  
 
The plan of action identifies as priorities the achievement of food 
sovereignty and the right to adequate food; effective models of agricultural 
production; peace, democracy and good governance; programmes to curb the 
growing HIV/AIDS threat; public health; gender equality; financing for 
agriculture; and the improvement of rural infrastructures. (Š) 
 
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2002/sag97.doc.htm 
 
  
 
IFAD to Support the Western Uplands Poverty Alleviation Project in the 
Kingdom of Nepal  
 
Rome, 5 February  ­ A USD 32.6 million project in the Kingdom of Nepal ­ The 
Western Uplands Poverty Alleviation Project 
<http://www.ifad.org/operations/projects/regions/PI/NP_all.htm>;  ­ will 
receive a USD20 million loan from the International Fund for Agricultural 
Development (IFAD). A financing agreement was signed today in Nepal, by His 
Excellency, Mr. Bimal Prasad Koirala, Secretary, Ministry of Finance, 
Kingdom of Nepal and Mr. Phrang Roy, Director of the Asia and Pacific 
Division of the Fund.  The programme will  operate in the Western Uplands of 
Nepal, a remote and harsh area with low rainfall and very poor access. (Š) 
The project will cover 11 districts in the far and mid-western development 
regions. By its close, in 11 years¹ time, it is expected to have helped 
115,000 households. (Š) 
 
http://www.ifad.org/media/press/2002/05-02.htm 
 
  
 
Leader of 2002 Johannesburg Summit challenges business to become full 
partner in sustainable development 
 
World Summit Secretary-General Nitin Desai calls on governments and 
advocates to forge partnerships with corporate sector 
 
4 February ­ Speaking at the World Economic Forum meeting in New York, Nitin 
Desai, Secretary-General of the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable 
Development, today called on major corporations around the world to 
dramatically increase their involvement in sustainable development 
initiatives.   
 
Sustainable development, he said, is an approach to managing the world¹s 
resources that integrates economic, social, and environmental 
decision-making to improve the quality of life of people today while 
preserving natural resources for future generations.  Mr. Desai¹s remarks 
were made as part of a World Economic Forum meeting held to examine progress 
made since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, and discuss goals for the upcoming 
Johannesburg Summit, to be held from 26 August to  4 September 2002.(Š) 
 
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2002/dev2369.doc.htm 
 
  
California-based company combines efficiency with care for the environment 
4 February - Gearheads have reason to feel smug about their Patagonia 
fleeces these days.  Once again, the company appears among Fortune 
Magazine's top 100 places to work in the U.S. -- and this time it moved up 
17 places in the rankings, to number 41.  The company sold $223 million 
worth of outdoor gear last year, but it's not just the money that's green: 
Patagonia offers its workers everything from financial rewards for buying 
eco-friendly cars to two months paid leave for working for an environmental 
nonprofit to organic food in its cafeterias.  Plus the company pledges 1 
percent of sales or 10 percent of pretax profits -- whichever is higher -- 
to conservation efforts.  To top it all off, the California-based company 
offers on-site childcare, flexible work schedules, and yoga and surfing 
classes.  
 
http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-000008837feb04.story?coll=la-news-sci 
ence  
 
http://www.gristmagazine.com <http://www.gristmagazine.com/> 
 
  
 
Viet Nam embarks on E-Trade Bridge to boost trade 
 
4 February - Viet Nam has launched E-Trade Bridge, an innovative programme 
designed by the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC) 
<http://www.intracen.org/>;  to help small and medium-sized businesses in 
developing countries harness the Internet and other new technologies to 
boost international trade. 
 
The initiative is part of Viet Nam's broader trade promotion strategy, 
supported by UNDP, which aims to increase merchandise exports by at least 14 
per cent a year to reach $50 billion by 2010. 
 
The Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) 
<http://www.vietrade.gov.vn/english/>;  is carrying it out in cooperation 
with ITC and the Swiss Import Promotion Organization 
<http://www.sippo.ch/index.asp>; , with financial support from the Government 
of Switzerland. (Š) 
 
http://www.undp.org/dpa/index..html <http://www.undp.org/dpa/index.html> 
 
  
 
Tobin or Not Tobin? 
 
It was the main theme on the Financial Capital Controls conference 
 
By Satya Sivaraman  
 
3 February - It is a tax whose time may have finally come and one that a 
significant portion of the anti-globalisation movement swears by. And yet 
the proposal for a Tobin Tax, which would be levied on global financial 
transactions, continues to generate strong debate - not so much over its 
practicability as over its real effectiveness in curbing the various ills 
associated with globalisation today.(Š) 
 
Leading the charge for implementation of the Tobin Tax was Dominique Plihon, 
French economist and leading member of the Association for the Taxation of 
Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens (ATTAC). Pointing to the way 
the Tobin tax, in just the past few years, has made strong inroads into 
French and European political debate, he said that the tax was 'not a 
panacea' but its implementation will be a very important first step in 
combating the problems created worldwide by neo-liberal economic policies. 
 
Within the past few years ATTAC and other organisations supporting the Tobin 
Tax have managed to get politicians across the world, particularly in Europe 
and Canada, to bring the measure up for serious debate and push for its 
immediate implementation. (Š) 
 
http://www.ciranda.net/ 
 
  
 
Equator Initiative seeks nominations for tropical biodiversity awards 
 
1 February - The Equator Initiative 
<http://www.undp.org/equatorinitiative/secondary/mandate.htm>; , an 
innovative programme launched Wednesday by UNDP and several partners, is 
seeking nominations for five awards recognizing extraordinary 
accomplishments in reducing poverty through conservation and sustainable use 
of biodiversity in the equatorial belt. The Equator Initiative is designed 
to support the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) 
<mhtml:mid://00000004/wssd/>  in Johannesburg and the Convention on 
Biological Diversity. Through recognition of local achievements, fostering 
South-South capacity building, and contributing to generating and sharing of 
knowledge, the programme aims to promote a worldwide movement that links 
efforts to reduce poverty and conserve biodiversity across the tropics. 
 
Partnering with UNDP in the initiative are the Government of Canada, the 
International Development Research Centre <http://www.idrc.ca/>;  and the 
United Nations Foundation <http://www.unfoundation.org/>; . BrasilConnects 
<http://www.brasilconnects.org/>;  and the International Council for Local 
Environmental Initiatives <http://www.iclei.org/>;  supported launch, 
attended by 450 development and environmental leaders and ambassadors from 
around the world at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. (Š) 
 
http://www.undp.org/dpa/index..html <http://www.undp.org/dpa/index.html> 
 
  
 
Jordan women's co-op protects Ajloun forest and changes lives 
 
31 January - The Women's Cooperative of Jabal Al Akhdar and Khshaibeh, two 
villages in northern Jordan, is taking a pioneering path leading to bigger 
roles in decision-making, new income earning opportunities and more 
protection for the area's endangered Ajloun forest. 
 
A $31,000 grant from the UNDP Global Environmental Facility SGP (Small 
Grants Programme) <http://www.undp.org/sgp/>;  has helped the 140 members of 
the cooperative improve their livelihoods and communities while protecting 
the environment. The project is an example of activities the SGP highlighted 
at a side event <http://www.undp.org/wssd/calendar.htm>;  on 30 January 
during the preparatory meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable 
Development <http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/>;  at the UN in New York this 
week.  
 
Since some villages still don't allow women to work or participate in income 
generating activities "our cooperative represents a step forward, not only 
supporting women as economic participants, but also empowering them to be 
active decision-makers in the community and at home," said Jehad Amarat, 
head of the cooperative in Jabal Al Akhdar.  (Š) 
 
http://www.undp.org/dpa/index..html <http://www.undp.org/dpa/index.html> 
 
  
Speaking in New York at a preparatory meeting to the Johannesburg World 
Summit - Jacques Diouf underlines the important potential of agriculture to 
sustainable development 
New York/Rome, 29 January - Dr Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the UN 
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), today underlined "the important 
potential of agriculture" to help achieve the goals of the World Summit for 
Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg on 26 August - 4 September 
2002.  
 
Dr Diouf, in a message to the participants to the second preparatory 
committee meeting of the WSSD (Prepcom II) at UN Headquarters in New York, 
that was delivered by FAO Assistant Director-General Jacques Eckebil, 
stressed that agriculture, forestry and fisheries should take a central 
position on the agenda of all preparatory events leading to WSSD. 
 
"Environmental degradation and poverty are strongly linked," Dr Diouf 
pointed out. Therefore, initiatives to reduce poverty and hunger should be 
accompanied by good environmental management, which can only be achieved if 
the needs and motivations of farmers are given due consideration, the FAO 
Director-General said. (Š) 
 
http://www.fao.org/WAICENT/OIS/PRESS_NE/2002/2360-en.html 
 
  
 
International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) 
 
Monterrey, Mexico, 18-22 March 2002 - Organized jointly by The United 
Nations General Assembly and the governing bodies of  the World Bank, the 
International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Trade Organization (WTO), 
is a process seeking innovative ways to strengthen the financing of 
development and the stability of the global financial system. UNIDO has 
presented three sets of initiatives in the context of the FfD process: 
strengthening of productive capacities; increasing export trade; promotion 
of foreign investment. 
 
More info: A.DeGroot@... 
 
  
  
Solidarity  
(top <#TOP> ) 
  
 
WFP will continue to help millions of Afghans recover from war and drought 
 
5 February 2002, Washington D.C. - The United Nations World Food Programme 
today announced a new US$285 million operation to assist millions of Afghans 
beyond the current crisis. The operation aims to provide immediate relief as 
well as to support the longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction of 
Afghanistan after three years of crippling drought and 23 years of 
devastating conflict. 
 
WFP is currently assisting about six million people in Afghanistan. Under 
the new nine-month operation due to start 1 April and continue through to 
December 2002 the focus will shift from relief to recovery with particular 
emphasis on schoolfeeding for education. It is estimated a total of 544,000 
tons of food will be required. (Š) 
 
http://www.wfp.org/newsroom/subsections/year.asp?section=13# 
<http://www.wfp.org/newsroom/subsections/year.asp?section=13>; 
 
 
Liberia: WFP assists victims of new displacement 
 
Abidjan, 4 February - The UN World Food Programme (WFP) says it completed on 
Monday the delivery of emergency food rations to over 9,000 internally 
displaced persons (IDPs) who fled to Klay Junction, about 58 km north of the 
Liberian capital, Monrovia, to escape fighting between pro- and 
anti-government forces. 
 
Another 2,300 displaced persons were assisted at the weekend at Sinje, 80 km 
northwest of Monrovia, WFP said. Sinje is also the site of two refugee camps 
where about 17,100 registered Sierra Leonean refugees receive regular WFP 
food rations, the UN agency said. (Š) 
 
http://www.irinnews.org/ 
 
  
UN Population Fund rushes aid to volcano victims in Goma; acts to save lives 
of women facing pregnancy complications 
United Nations, New York, 4 February - The United Nations Population Fund 
(UNFPA) has sent more than five tonnes of emergency reproductive health 
commodities to Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, to meet reproductive 
health needs of the thousands of people displaced by the eruption of a 
volcano last month. (Š) 
 
UNFPA has dispatched various supplies needed to address pregnancy 
complications and reduce infant and maternal deaths, in adequate quantities 
to meet the needs of a population of 300,000. They include emergency kits 
for basic personal hygiene, and equipment and drugs for safe delivery and 
post-partum care. The reproductive health kits have been developed by UNFPA 
in close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the 
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). (Š) 
 
http://www.unfpa.org/news/2002/pressroom/goma.htm 
 
  
 
ICRC aid for the internally displaced in Jammu and Kashmir 
 
Geneva, 1 February - The current tension between India and Pakistan and the 
military build-up along the international border and the Line of Control has 
caused the inhabitants of several dozen villages close to the border to 
leave their homes and seek refuge in safer areas. While most of the 
displaced people are staying temporarily with friends and relatives, several 
thousand of them are having to camp in buildings such as schools, a 
commercial centre and a disused factory. After consultations with the 
civilian authorities (Š), the International Committee of the Red Cross 
(ICRC) assessed the needs of some 2,600 families living in public buildings 
in the districts of Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch. 
 
On the basis of its findings, between 25 January and 1 February the ICRC 
distributed family parcels comprising food (lentils, sugar, oil), hygiene 
products and blankets to these displaced families. (Š) The ICRC will 
continue to monitor the needs of the displaced, alongside its ongoing 
detention-related activities in Jammu and Kashmir. 
 
http://www.icrc.org/icrceng.nsf/ 
 
  
 
Mauritania: WFP approves US $200,000 in emergency aid 
 
1 February - The World Food Programme (WFP) has approved the distribution of 
400 mt of wheat to 6,785 victims of adverse weather in Mauritania. The 
emergency aid, worth some US $200,000, will be distributed in February, WFP 
said on 25 January. 
 
Mauritania has been hit by drought since last year. Then, in January, 
unexpected heavy rains and a cold front killed at least 25 people and 80,000 
camels, cattle and sheep. Some 5,500 families were affected. WFP plans to 
provide more emergency aid to the affected populations in the northwest 
African nation. A team is due to complete an evaluation of their food needs 
by 4 February.  
 
http://www.irinnews.org 
 
  
 
Afghanistan: Reconstruction deal signed with Uzbekistan 
 
Islamabad, 31 January - An Afghan government delegation led by the new 
planning minister, Hoji Muhammad Muhaqeq, signed a statement of cooperation 
with Uzbek foreign ministry officials on Wednesday in the capital Tashkent, 
a move hailed by a regional analyst in Pakistan. "Uzbekistan can help the 
new administration in reconstruction by providing expertise and raw 
material," Dr Fazle Rahim Marwat, a central Asian expert at Peshawar 
University, told IRIN on Thursday. (Š) 
 
According to media reports, the two neighbours discussed the reconstruction 
of existing roads as well as the building of new ones. Joint operations 
against drug trafficking, energy supplies and he construction of 
infrastructure by Uzbek engineers were also discussed. (Š) 
 
http://www.irinnews.org 
 
  
FAO launches emergency appeal for volcano victims in Goma 
Rome, 31 January  - To assist refugees and farmers in the city of Goma in 
eastern Congo, hit by a volcanic eruption on 17 January, the UN Food and 
Agriculture Organization (FAO) today appealed, in the framework of a UN 
integrated effort, for US$1.25 million immediate aid. International 
emergency assistance to farmers and their families could help to avoid 
serious repercussions on food security and agriculture in the Goma area, FAO 
said. (Š)  
 
In close cooperation with non-governmental organisations, FAO is preparing 
to help farmers rebuild their lives by providing construction materials, 
seeds of fast growing vegetable and agricultural tools to around 6 000 
affected farmers in Goma and nearby villages. With this help, amounting to 
more than US$ one million, some of the worst affected families will be able 
to supply themselves in the next three weeks with basic food. (Š) 
 
http://www.fao.org/WAICENT/OIS/PRESS_NE/2002/2420-en.html 
 
  
  
Health  
(top <#TOP> ) 
  
 
New Tool for Engaging Private Sector in Fight Against HIV/AIDS 
 
New York, 2 February - UNAIDS and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have 
created a new tool to help the private sector find innovative HIV/AIDS 
partnership opportunities in developing countries. Known as the Partnership 
Menu <http://www.unaids.org/partnership/index.html>; , it provides potential 
donors with a list of HIV/AIDS projects they can sponsor at the country 
level, ranging from youth-friendly health services, to home-based care 
programmes, to education for orphans. The first series of menus features 
Brazil, India and Zambia. (Š) 
 
The menus are part of the Global Health Initiative, which was launched at 
the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos last January by UNAIDS, the 
World Health Organization and the WEF. Its purpose is to engage the private 
sector in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Forum member 
companies participating in the initiative are currently exploring ways in 
which corporations can make a difference through workplace and community 
best practices, resource mobilization and advocacy. 
 
http://www.unaids.org/whatsnew/press/eng/pressarc02/INpartnership_0202.html 
 
  
Business-like approach to funding health programs in poor countries may save 
more than two million lives in 5 years 
New York, 1 February - Two years after its official launch at the World 
Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the Global Alliance for 
Vaccines and Immunization, or GAVI, reports that its goal-oriented approach 
to development aid could raise basic immunization rates in funded countries 
by 17 percentage points and increase coverage of hepatitis B vaccine from 18 
to 65 percent by 2007, ultimately saving more than two million lives, 
according to new data released at the World Economic Forum today. 
 
GAVI is a public-private partnership focused on increasing access to 
vaccines among children in poor countries. Partners include national 
governments, UNICEF, WHO, The World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates 
Foundation, the vaccine industry, public health institutions and NGOs. (Š) 
 
The GAVI data are based on the plans prepared by the countries and partners 
in the 53 approved countries. Five-year commitments to these countries total 
more than $800 million. GAVI partners estimate that this investment could 
result in more than two million lives saved, based on current data of 
disease burden and immunization costs. The projected results are subject to 
change, both because some countries may not reach their targets, and others 
may surpass them.  
 
http://www.unicef.org/newsline/02prgavi1.htm 
 
  
 
South Africa: Government under pressure to provide AIDS drugs 
 
1 February - Frustrated at the South African government's refusal to provide 
antiretroviral treatment in state hospitals, international humanitarian 
organisation, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), and AIDS activist group, the 
Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), announced this week that they were 
importing generic drugs from Brazil. 
 
This, coupled with the KwaZulu Natal province's recent decision to make 
nevirapine available in all state hospitals, has put additional pressure on 
the government to rethink its current policy on AIDS drugs. 
 
http://www.irinnews.org/AIDSreport.asp?ReportID=1204&SelectRegion=Southern_A 
frica&SelectCountry=SOUTH_AFRICA 
<http://www.irinnews.org/AIDSreport.asp?ReportID=1204&;SelectRegion=South 
ern_Africa&SelectCountry=SOUTH_AFRICA> 
 
  
 
WHO launches online medical library 
 
Abidjan, 1 February - The World Health Organization (WHO) and six of the 
world's largest publishers of medical journals on Thursday launched a 
project to enable medical experts in developing countries to gain access, 
via the Internet, to medical literature which they could previously obtain 
only by paying high subscription fees. 
 
The 'Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative' will allow thousands 
of doctors, researchers, health policy-makers and others to have access for 
free or at significantly reduced charges to "one of the world's largest 
collections of biomedical literature", WHO said in a news release on 
Thursday. During the project's first stage, more than 1,000 journals will be 
available to people in 70 countries. The project's second stage will target 
other developing countries. 
 
The online project, which is expected to run for an initial three-year 
period, is part of a larger initiative, the Health InterNetwork project, 
which aims to strengthen public health services by giving specialists access 
to relevant and reliable medical information. (Š)  WHO Director-General Gro 
Harlem described 'Access to Research' as a big step towards "reducing the 
information gap between rich and poor countries". 
 
http://www.irinnews.org 
 
  
 
Cameroon: IFRC holds regional meeting on Ebola 
 
Abidjan, 31 January - The International Federation of Red Cross and Red 
Crescent Societies (IFRC) held a two-day regional meeting this week to 
review its activities in combating the latest outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic 
fever, which has affected populations in Gabon and Congo. (Š) 
 
At the end of the meeting, the participants, representing six Central 
African countries, resolved to conduct information campaigns to raise 
awareness of populations, particularly those living in wooded areas in close 
proximity to animals. The six countries would also adopt a training 
curriculum for their volunteers as the group feels that they play an 
important role in education and prevention (Š) 
 
http://www.irinnews.org 
 
  
 
ILO and UNIFEM work on socio-economic impact of HIV/AIDS 
 
29 January - UNIFEM and ILO are developing a collaborative programme on 
gender, HIV/AIDS and the care economy. The joint global programme will 
address the socio-economic impact of HIV/AIDS, run for a minimum of two 
years and focus on Africa during the first year. The programme will draw 
attention to the urgent need to increase sources of social protection, 
address income insecurity and improve access to health and basic social 
services that could alleviate the burden of care, especially for women. 
 
Research, training and advocacy work to raise awareness about unpaid care 
economy issues will be conducted in four pilot countries and involve 
employers, workers, governments and households. Support will also be given 
to develop gender-sensitive workplace policies and programmes that take into 
account the burden of care shouldered by women workers. A vision-building 
workshop with global partners and stakeholders is planned for March/April 
2002 in Africa. For more information, contact Stephanie Urdang, Advisor on 
Gender, HIV and AIDS, at stephanie.urdang@... 
 
  
 
President of the International Narcotics Control Board welcomes drug-control 
assistance to Afghanistan 
 
Vienna, 23 January - Professor Hamid Ghodse, President of the United Nations 
International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), has welcomed the commitment of 
the international community to support the Afghan Interim Government in its 
efforts to rid the country of opium poppy cultivation. 
 
"By banning opium poppy cultivation, the Afghan Interim Administration has 
shown that it takes its responsibilities under the three international 
drug-control treaties seriously," the INCB President said, "INCB will 
continue its dialogue with the Afghan authorities to ensure that the ban is 
maintained." (Š)  
 
http://www.undcp.org/press_release_2002-01-23_1.html 
 
  
  
Energy and safety  
(top <#TOP> ) 
  
Countries should pay for toxic cleanups beyond their own borders 
1 February ­ Long unhappy about pollution from Britain's Sellafield nuclear 
power plant, Norway announced yesterday that it would call for a binding 
international agreement to force polluting countries to pay for toxic 
cleanups beyond their own borders.  The nation's foreign affairs committee 
voted unanimously to ask the government to impose economic sanctions on the 
U.K. until radioactive emissions from Sellafield cease.  Traces of the 
radioactive compound technetium-99 originating from Sellafield have been 
found along the entire Norwegian coastline. Norway's environment minister, 
Boerge Brende, has been a force behind the effort to create a U.N. high 
commissioner for the environment and a unified system of environmental 
treaties.  
 
http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/14316/story.htm 
 
http://www.gristmagazine.com 
 
  
 
East-West Innovation Forum - Warsaw, Poland, 25-27 April 2002 
 
Held within the framework of the INVEST-TECHNOLOGY International Fair of 
Innovations, New Technologies and Economic Co-operation, the main objective 
of the Forum is to facilitate co-operation between partners from EU 
countries and their counterparts in Central and East European states, in 
joint implementation of projects related to new technologies. 
 
More info: KLoth@... 
 
  
  
Environment and wildlife 
(top <#TOP> ) 
  
 
Next Stop Johannesburg 
 
The spirit of Porto Alegre will be carried to Rio+10 in Johannesburg come 
September  
 
By Ranjit Devraj, Terra Viva IPS 
 
3 February - Environmentalists attending the WSF have a wish. They want to 
see the spirit and momentum of Porto Alegre carried to the World Summit on 
Sustainable Development (WSSD) or Rio+10 in Johannesburg come September. (Š) 
 
In September serious activists will demand that government delegates to the 
Rio+10 conference endorse the treaty which cuts through all the hoopla 
surrounding gene patents to hold that the earth's gene pool cannot be 
patented for the simple reason that it is not a human invention. 
 
The parties to the treaty, expected to include signatory nation states as 
well as indigenous people, must agree to administer the gene pool as a trust 
and acknowledge the sovereign right and responsibility of every nation and 
homeland to oversee their own biological resources and determine how they 
may be shared. (Š)  
 
http://www.ciranda.net/ 
 
  
New money from Ireland for Africa's environment 
Three million Euros over three years: Ireland Aid becomes important new 
donor to UNEP  
Dublin, 31 January - The Government of Ireland is providing new money to the 
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in order to help tackle some of 
Africa's most pressing environment problems, it was announced here today. 
Ireland Aid, the government's official development cooperation programme, 
will give a minimum  of three million Euros (equivalent to US $2,647,650) 
over three years to support the work of UNEP in Africa. The money will 
support activities focused in the areas of freshwater, access to 
environmental information, protection of the marine and coastal environment 
and the conservation of biological diversity. (Š) 
 
The new Ireland Trust Fund for Africa will cover the following four priority 
areas: Protection of freshwater resources; Access to environmental 
information for decision-making; Protection of coastal and marine 
environment (with an emphasis on coastal and marine fisheries management); 
and Conservation of biological diversity (with an emphasis on monitoring of 
land cover, protected areas, and indigenous vegetation change). In all 
areas, the work will focus on poverty alleviation and capacity building. 
 
http://www.unep.org/Documents/Default.asp?DocumentID=233&ArticleID=3004 
<http://www.unep.org/Documents/Default.asp?DocumentID=233&;ArticleID=3004 
>  
  
  
Culture and education 
(top <#TOP> ) 
  
 
Ethiopia: Girl launches campaign to improve children's lives 
 
Addis Ababa, 4 February - A 12 year-old girl has become the new face of a 
campaign to improve the lives of children in Ethiopia. Leah Abebe, who is in 
grade five at her primary school, told a conference in Addis Ababa last week 
that children are the future of the country. 
 
The campaign - called Say Yes for Children - is an international project 
launched by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in April 2001. 
 
"It is us, the children of today, who will become the teachers, doctors, 
engineers, judges, and national leaders of tomorrow," Leah told the 
conference in Ethiopia. "We require care and support in order to become 
educated adults...Yet, in our surroundings, we witness children being 
insulted, beaten, and abused. There are also many orphans who spend their 
nights on the street." 
 
So far more than 50,000 pledges have been collected from schoolchildren in 
Ethiopia. They will form part of the millions collected internationally and 
will be presented before the UN's Special Session on Children in May - which 
aims to improve the lives of children worldwide. (Š) 
 
http://www.irinnews.org/ 
 
  
 
First batch of African women graduate from ECA CISCO Networking Academy 
 
Addis Ababa, 31 January - Twenty-six African women from 16 English-speaking 
African countries graduated from the Cisco Internet Networking Academy today 
after 280 hours of training at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) 
headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 
 
The training programme, organized by ECA's Information Technology Centre for 
Africa (ITCA), is the first of its kind, based on the established curriculum 
of the Cisco Networking Academy Programme, a global programme operating in 
more than 133 countries worldwide. 
 
The programme is underpinned by three goals: 
 
- To reverse the current unequal access of women and men to the new 
technologies;  
- To address the shortage of skilled African human resources in new 
technologies; and  
- To provide trainees with skills that can produce high-income employment 
and provide entrepreneurial opportunities. (Š) 
 
http://www.uneca.org/what_is_new_home.htm 
 
  
UN Population Fund and AIESEC International Student Network agree to work 
together to educate youth on critical issues 
United Nations, New York, 29 January - The United Nations Population Fund 
(UNFPA) and AIESEC International, the largest global student organization, 
have agreed to collaborate on projects aimed at raising young people's 
awareness of critical issues related to population and development, 
including challenges related to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. UNFPA Executive 
Director Thoraya Obaid and AIESEC International President Sahil Kaul today 
signed a Memorandum of Understanding to serve as the overall framework of 
partnership.  
 
The Memorandum creates opportunities for cooperation both at the global 
level and within countries, where it will serve as a basis for developing 
joint programmes to educate young people about issues related to population 
and sustainable development; gender equality; and the linkages between 
population, resources, the environment and poverty alleviation. (Š) 
 
http://www.unfpa.org/news/2002/pressroom/aiesec.htm 
 
                    
 
Idea #3514  
 
I am at fault in these thousands of ideas for speaking much too much of what 
is wrong or should be corrected, what should not be done, what dangers are 
expecting us.  I should speak more of what has been achieved, what is so 
beautiful on this Earth, of all the love and good that exists in the people, 
of our enormous progresses over time, of the paradise we already are in so 
many places.  I ask for forgiveness and will do it in the next work I have 
on my mind and in my heart, namely How to Attain at Long Last Paradise on 
Earth.  
 
From volume IX of 4000 Ideas and Dreams for a Better World by Robert Muller 
www.robertmuller.org <http://www.robertmuller.org/>; 
 
 
* * * * * * *  
 
  
Next issue: 23 February 2002 
  
 
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