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Asunto:[MESHIKO] Good News Agency - III,5 - 8 March 2002 (E2)
Fecha:Sabado, 9 de Marzo, 2002  06:59:26 (-0700)
Autor:Ricardo Ocampo-RedLuz <chicanos>

From: "Sergio Tripi" <s.tripi@...> 
Date: Sat, 9 Mar 2002 11:21:41 +0100 
Subject: Good News Agency - III,5 - 8 March 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 
Good News Agency 
Weekly - Year III, number 5 ­  8 March 2002 
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 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. 
International legislation <#IL>  - Human rights <#HR>  - Peace and safety 
<#PS>  - Economy and development <#ED> 
Solidarity <#S>  - Health <#H>  - Environment and wildlife <#EW>  - Culture 
and education <#CE> 
International legislation 
(top <#TOP> ) 
Codex Task Force Agrees On Final Draft Of Principles For The Evaluation Of 
Gm Foods  
8 March, Rome/Geneva - A Task Force of the Codex Alimentarius Commission has 
reached agreement on a final draft of "Principles for the risk analysis of 
foods derived from biotechnology," the UN Food and Agriculture Organzation 
(FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today.  A round of 
applause by the 226 participants greeted the Wednesday agreement 
reached by the Codex Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods Derived from 
Biotechnology on Wednesday in Yokohama, Japan. 
The Principles will provide a framework for evaluating the safety and 
nutritional aspects of Genetically Modified (GM) foods.  They define the 
need for a pre-market safety assessment of all such foods on a case-by-case 
basis.  According to the UN agencies, the assessment should look into both 
intended and unintended effects, identifying new or altered hazards and 
identifying changes, relevant to human health, especially in regard to key 
nutrients and potential allergenic components. (Š) 
For further information contact John Riddle, FAO Media Relations Officer, 
tel: 0039 5705 3259 or Gregory Hartl, WHO Communications Adviser for Food 
Safety, tel: 0041 227914458 
French Public Prosecutor Files Civil Suit Against Government Over Chernobyl 
France's Independent Commission on Research and Information on Radioactivity 
(CRIIRAD) is filing a civil suit against President Jacques Chirac's 
government on the grounds that the government covered-up risks to public 
health after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.  According to the CRIIRAD, the 
French government was aware that the radioactive fallout from the explosion 
at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant posed risks to public health, but 
deliberately failed to warn the public. 
CRIIRAD said allegations were based on documents seized by official 
investigators probing the effects of a radioactive cloud that drifted across 
France between 27 April and 5 May 1986.  More than 150 French citizens have 
filed suit against their government after falling sick of thyroid and other 
ailments, accusing the French government of failing to warn them of the 
risks.  West Germany, Austria and Italy took precautions after the incident 
that included placing restrictions on consumption of milk and other dairy 
products.  However, French officials say there was no need for special 
measures to protect against health risks. (Š) 
Reuters; 14 February 2002 
The Sunflower, March 2002 - 
Proposals to ban GM fish from California 
1 March - A coalition of lawmakers, environmentalists, and fishers are 
angling to ban genetically modified (GM) fish from California.  One proposed 
ban would prevent live transgenic fish from entering the state; another plan 
would require special labeling for GM fish sold for consumption in 
California stores.  One other state, Maryland, has restricted genetically 
altered fish, and federal rules to protect the endangered Atlantic salmon 
block such fish from Maine. Environmentalists worry that GM fish could 
escape from pens and breed with their wild counterparts, to the detriment of 
the gene pool of the species.  Proponents of genetic modification see a 
potential profit in transgenic species because fish farmers could get bigger 
fish to market for less money.  Under the proposed California legislation, 
anyone convicted of owning transgenic fish or planting them in state waters 
could be fined up to $50,000. 
Dscience <> 
Human rights 
(top <#TOP> ) 
International Confederation Of Free Trade Unions: Campaign for Women 
 March 8: On International Women's Day, Global Unions launches the 
international Campaign: 'Unions for Women, Women for Unions'. The Campaign 
aims at increasing women's membership rates, with the ultimate goal of 
doubling the number of women union members. In addition, the Campaign aims 
at breaking down the barriers to women becoming union members, activists and 
leaders. The theme for 2002 is:  'Women's right to decent work'.  To kick 
off the campaign, a press conference and a workshop, jointly organised by 
the ICFTU and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial 
Organizations (AFL-CIO) will take place in New York on March 7. The events 
coincide with the 46th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. 
2002 International Essay Contest for Young People 
Sponsored by The Goi Peace Foundation and The World Peace Prayer Society 
(UNESCO's Partners for the International Decade of a Culture of Peace and 
Non-Violence for the Children of the World) and supported by the Ministry of 
Education of Japan. 
The United Nations has designated 2001-2010 as the "International Decade for 
a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World." Not only 
should every child benefit from this global movement, but they should be 
encouraged to play a leading role in the creation of a culture of peace. The 
theme of this year's International Essay Contest is "Harmony." Young people 
from around the world are invited to submit their creative ideas on this 
Theme: What is harmony? How can we achieve a world in which every individual 
and every nation can freely express their individual qualities, while living 
in harmony with one another and with all life on earth? What are some things 
you can do to promote harmony? 
Guidelines: 1. Essays may be submitted by anyone up to 25 years old in one 
of the following two age categories: Children (ages up to 15), and Youth 
(ages 16 - 25); essays must be 800 words or less, typed or printed in 
English, Spanish, German or French(Š)  Entries must be received by July 25, 
2002. For receiving complete guidelines, as well as forwarding entries: 
International Essay Contest c/o The Goi Peace Foundation, 1-4-5 Hirakawacho, 
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0093 Japan. Fax: 81 (3) 3239-0919 E-mail: 
³Afghan Womwn Today: Realities and Opportunities² 
4 March - An  event in observance of the International Women¹s Day, entitled 
³Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities² will be held at the United 
Nations Headquarters, New York, on Friday, 8 March 2002, from 10:00 to 11:30 
The observance is being organized by the United Nations Department of Public 
Information and DESA's Division for the Advancement of Women, UNIFEM and the 
Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality. It will focus on the 
recent developments in Afghanistan, which have created new opportunities for 
women to claim their rightful roles as full participants in Afghan society. 
The event will also underscore the international community¹s support for and 
solidarity with the women and girls of Afghanistan in the face of the 
long-term challenges that remain. (Š) 
The event will be broadcast live by UN TV. A live and archived webcast of 
the event can be accessed on the UN website.  The exact URL will be provided 
next week. For further information: 
Mr. Oleg Dzioubinski, DPI/NGO Section, tel: (212) 963-1859, e-mail: 
dzioubinski@..., or 
Ms. Cecilia Attefors, DPI/NGO Section, tel: (212) 963-2662, e-mail: 
Mongolia moves to bolster human rights after survey finds many violations 
1 March - A new survey finds extensive human rights violations in Mongolia, 
but credits the country with remarkable progress -- thanks to the formation 
of a democratic government in the early 1990s and more than 70 human rights 
provisions embodied in the 1992 constitution. 
The survey's aim "is not to point fingers, but to reveal the problems and 
challenges we face and to seek solutions," said S. Tserendorj, Chief 
Commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission and a team leader for 
the project. A country's level of democracy "can be gauged by the degree to 
which it respects human rights," he added. 
The comprehensive survey, Mongolia's first, examines five major areas of 
human rights: political, economic, social and cultural rights, individual 
freedom, and the rights of vulnerable groups. United Nations Volunteers 
<>;  helped survey more than 60,000 people for the 
project, which also reviewed government documents in all 21 provinces and 
Ulaanbaatar, the capital. (Š) 
Geoffrey Nyarota of Zimbabwe awarded World Press Freedom Prize 2002 
Paris, February 25 - Zimbabwean journalist Geoffrey Nyarota, editor-in-chief 
of Zimbabwe¹s only independent daily newspaper, the Daily News, was today 
awarded the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize for 2002 by 
UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura. 
The $25,000 prize is awarded each year on the recommendation of an 
independent jury of journalists from all over the world. It will be 
presented in Manila (Philippines) on May 3 at a ceremony organized by UNESCO 
to celebrate World Press Freedom Day. 
The jury was chaired by Jamaica¹s Oliver Clarke, Chairman of Gleaner Company 
Limited, who declared: ³I am particularly pleased that somebody from Africa 
has been chosen by the jury.² (Š) 
Mr Nyarota, 50, has been tireless in denouncing corruption and criminal 
activities among top government officials in his country despite two bomb 
attacks against his paper. He has been arrested and detained, repeatedly 
received death threats, and has four libel suits pending against him. 
Peace and safety 
(top <#TOP> ) 
Sixteen women elected to Burundi National Assembly 
27 February - Sixteen women were elected to Burundi¹s Transitional Assembly 
last month.  The elected women were candidates from 14 political parties and 
members of civil society. The elections come after intense years of lobbying 
by the women of Burundi, supported by UNIFEM and other partners, for the 
inclusion of women in decision-making and their participation in the Burundi 
peace process. In July 2000, UNIFEM¹s briefing to Burundi¹s 19 negotiating 
parties made possible the first All Party Burundi Women¹s Peace Conference. 
As a result of the Peace Conference, twenty-three of the women¹s 
recommendations to protect and promote women¹s rights were included in the 
final peace accord. 
For more information, contact Marie Goretti Nduwayo, UNIFEM Programme 
Officer in Burundi, at marie.nduwayo@... 
Economy and development 
(top <#TOP> ) 
Lifestyle changes needed to overcome poverty 
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that lifestyles in the developed world 
will have to change if the planet is to remain habitable. Speaking at the 
London School of Economics, Annan said the World Summit on Sustainable 
Development "must mark a break with business as usual". 
Information technology forum in Bosnia and Herzegovina has ambitious agenda 
4 March - A new National Information Technology Forum in Bosnia and 
Herzegovina is bringing together partners from government, the private 
sector, academia and the international community to harness information and 
communications technology (ICT) in support of development. During 2002, the 
Forum will encourage use of ICT to promote interaction and reconciliation 
among communities and access to the wealth of information resources 
available through the Internet and other ICT tools. 
Exploring the potential of ICT to promote job creation for the young, 
educated workforce is another key mission. The aim is to help the country 
bridge the digital divide with its neighbours as it looks towards entering 
the European Union. 
The recent launch of the Forum by the government and UNDP brought together 
more than 220 ICT experts from the private and public sectors, as well as 
international partners from Denmark, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, 
Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. (Š) <> 
Ghana: Debt-reduction package 
1 March - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have 
agreed to support a US $3.7 billion debt reduction package for Ghana, under 
the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, the World 
Bank announced on Tuesday. Both institutions, the bank said, agreed to begin 
providing debt relief immediately along with most official bilateral 
creditors. The bulk of additional assistance under the enhanced HIPC 
Initiative will be delivered when Ghana completes a number of agreed 
In a separate announcement on 22 February the IMF said that it had approved 
a US $65 million disbursement for poverty reduction programmes in Ghana. 
Cote d'Ivoire: ADB funds for governance, potable water 
1 March - The African Development Bank (ADB) and Cote d'Ivoire's government 
signed on Tuesday two agreements totalling FCFA 4.3 billion (US $5.8 
million) to foster good governance and to improve the water system in two of 
the country's biggest cities. 
Some FCFA 3.5 billion (US $4.7 million) will aid the government's Good 
Governance and Capacity Building Programme, whose aims include 
decentralisation and improving the management of public resources. The 
remaining FCFA 785 million ($1.1 million) will finance a study on upgrading 
water supply systems catering for the three million people living in the 
economic capital, Abidjan, as well as the needs of some 500,000 people 
living in the central city of Bouake. 
The funds come from the African Development Fund, the small-loans branch of 
the ADB. 
African entrepreneurs join forces with UNIFEM to shrink digital divide for 
United Nations, March 1 - UNIFEM announced today the formation of a unique 
Global Advisory Committee comprised of African IT entrepreneurs living in 
the Diaspora and in Africa, as well as representatives from the private 
sector and the UN system. The Committee of 12 experts will work with UNIFEM 
on a programme to help bridge the digital divide in Africa by providing 
women with access to information communication technologies (ICTs) to 
improve their livelihoods. (Š) 
Committee members will work with UNIFEM to give women access to training, 
financing, jobs and mentoring. They will also work to enhance networks 
between entrepreneurs in the Diaspora and in Africa and encourage private 
sector and foundations partnerships. 
Food safety conference favours European-wide cooperation and rapid alert 
system for consumer protection 
Budapest, 28 February  - The first Pan-European Food Safety Conference has 
called upon Central and Eastern European countries today to join a Rapid 
Alert System for Food Products, already operational in the European Union. 
According to the report of the meeting, the system "has proved to be useful 
to support public health, consumer protection and transparency in 
international food trade" and countries are "encouraged to participate". 
The system currently covers the 15 EU member states, as well as Norway, 
Liechtenstein and Iceland. In the case where a product poses a serious and 
immediate risk to the health of consumers, the countries have a duty to 
provide information to the EU Commission to find and withdraw the product 
from the market. This information is shared among the countries 
participating in the system so that they can take immediate action. 
The Pan-European Conference on Food Safety and Quality, organised by the UN 
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization 
(WHO) and hosted by the government of Hungary, ended today after four days 
of discussions. (Š) 
ILO tackles social consequences of globalization 
Geneva, 27 February - The International Labour Organization (ILO) today 
launched a top-level commission comprising Presidents, politicians, 
academics, social experts and a Nobel Economics laureate which, for the 
first time, will address the social dimension of globalization. (Š) Its 
ultimate goal is to use the process of globalization as a resource to reduce 
poverty and unemployment, to foster growth and sustainable development, said 
ILO Director-General Juan Somavia at a news conference. 
"The Commission is an unprecedented effort to promote international dialogue 
on ideas to make globalization more inclusive, at a time when the debate is 
dominated more by polemics and preconceptions than by facts. " Juan Somavia, 
who was recently invited to address both the Porto Alegre Social Forum and 
Davos in New York, added that "the time for consensus-building and new 
thinking around these difficult issues has arrived." 
"For some, globalization has been an instrument for progress. It has created 
wealth, expanded opportunities and provided a nurturing environment for 
entrepreneurship and enterprise. But for others, it has exacerbated 
inequalities and insecurity. They fear that the risks are too great, the 
benefits too small", Mr. Somavia said. (Š) The Commission will "examine ways 
in which all international organizations can contribute to a more inclusive 
globalization process that is acceptable and fair to all². (Š) 
The Commission has scheduled its first meeting for 25 March 2002 in Geneva. 
It is expected to complete its deliberations and present an authoritative 
report to the ILO's Director-General in the course of 2003. 
New Drylands Development Centre to help countries overcome poverty 
25 February - The new UNDP Drylands Development Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, 
aims to bring the problems faced by millions of people living in arid areas 
into the heart of national poverty reduction strategies in countries 
worldwide. The centre will be the UNDP flagship drylands programme, giving 
the world a major instrument for implementing the UN Convention to Combat 
Desertification <>; . It continues the work of 
the Office to Combat Desertification and Drought (UNSO) 
<>; , which was based in New York, but with 
different approaches that will add to high-quality UNDP advisory services by 
providing technical support through UNDP country offices. (Š) 
The new programme focuses on three themes, the first being to ensure that 
dryland communities are adequately provided for in national development 
plans and budgets, especially poverty reduction strategies. The second will 
help countries to deal with the effects of current climate variability, 
especially droughts, and prepare for future effects of climate change. The 
third theme will address vital local issues affecting the use of resources, 
such as access to water and land tenure, that have great impact on people's 
livelihoods. <> 
International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) 
Monterrey, Mexico, 18-22 March  - International Conference on Financing for 
Development (FfD), <>;  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. 
E-mail: A.DeGroot@... 
Africa: Hunger to Harvest campaign 2002 
Bread for the World's ³Africa: Hunger to Harvest² campaign aims to win US 
leadership for an international effort to reduce hunger and poverty in 
sub-Saharan Africa, including an increase of US $1 billion in annual US 
funding for effective, poverty-focused development assistance. Throughout 
2002, Bread for the World activists across the US will be lobbying Congress, 
especially the appropriations committees, for a further increase of 
poverty-focused development assistance to Africa in the 2003 financial year. 
(top <#TOP> ) 
UNICEF to set up Child Friendly Spaces for displaced children in war-torn 
Monrovia, Abidjan, Geneva, 26 February - UNICEF, together with its partners, 
is seeking to ensure that children's rights are protected in the present 
wave of insecurity in Liberia. It is particularly concerned that children 
not be drawn once again into an adult conflict - as they have been in the 
Concerned about the well-being and safety of displaced children, UNICEF will 
set up Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) in each of the newly-established camps 
for internal displaced people (IDP). These will provide safe facilities for 
children to gather together to play, learn and acquire life skills. They 
will also provide mothers with an area to care for their infants. Most 
importantly, the CFS will provide a space, where children can experience a 
degree of normalcy amid the chaos unfolding around them. (Š) 
Non-profit distribution of surplus food and essentials to those who are in 
Recovery Relief, a non-stock non-profit organization (Washington, D.C.), is 
picking up nonperishable bakery, produce and other grocery items seven days 
per week from one supermarket, and is relying solely on volunteer 
assistance. Over 300 families per week are being served from just this one 
store! The Indian Nation of the Appalachian Cherokee Tribes is picking up 
bread from another store for Recovery Relief, so that all children living in 
the Appalachian Mountains can have bread every day. (Š) 
(top <#TOP> ) 
South Africa: Activists welcome AIDS budget 
1 March - AIDS activists welcomed the increased expenditure on HIV/AIDS in 
the South African 2002-2003 budget released last week, but expressed concern 
that the funds could be misused at provincial level. "We are pleased that 
progress is being made by the treasury in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic. 
There is now a basis to move forward on this issue," the Treatment Action 
Campaign said in a statement on Monday 
In his budget speech, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said that in addition 
to an estimated R4 billion (US $348 million) spent by provincial health 
departments on AIDS-related illnesses, funding for "prevention programmes in 
schools and communities, hospital treatment and community-care programmes 
will amount to R1 billion (US $87 million) next year, rising to R1.8 billion 
(US $156 million) in 2004/5." 
More details: 
Benin: UNICEF launches early-childhood development project 
1 March - The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), in partnership with Benin's 
Health Ministry, has launched a programme aimed at improving early childhood 
development by reducing the incidence of preventable diseases and ailments 
linked to poor nutrition. The programme targets infants up to five years 
old. It aims to protect them against tetanus, measles and other 
vaccine-preventable diseases, reduce the incidence of malaria, pneumonia and 
diarrhoea, and fight diseases linked to vitamin A deficiency. In the long 
term, the project aims to reduce the food deficiency/disease tandem by 25 
percent in selected regions in Benin. 
Burkina Faso-Cote d¹Ivoire: Japanese funds for health 
Abidjan, 1 March - The Japanese government has allocated at least 282 
million francs (US $381,000) under its non-reimbursable fund for small local 
projects, to support health initiatives in Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso. 
Cote d'Ivoire was allocated over 240 million francs (about $326,000), the 
bulk of which will be channelled to the health ministry and the newly 
created HIV/AIDS ministry to combat yellow fever, HIV/AIDS and 
epidemiological diseases, a communiqué from the Japanese embassy in Abidjan 
said. (Š)  
Japan initiated its non-reimbursable fund in Cote d'Ivoire in 1989, eight 
years before it began the similar scheme in Burkina Faso. The Japanese funds 
seek to improve living conditions of rural communities. 
Fifth International Conference on Healthcare Resource Allocation for 
HIV/AIDS (ICHRA) - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 15-17 April 
The ICHRA is an annual gathering of physicians, ethicists, government and 
private sector representatives, and those living with and/or affected by 
HIV/AIDS to explore solutions to the global crisis in access to HIV/AIDS 
care. This year's conference is coordinated in association with the European 
Commission, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and World Health 
Organization (WHO). For more information on the conference: 
Campaign launched to eliminate tsetse fly, which has turned much of Africa 
into a green desert 
A new campaign to control the deadly tsetse fly in Africa, parasitic carrier 
of sleeping sickness, has been launched by the Organization of African Unity 
African sleeping sickness affects as many as 500,000 people, 80 percent of 
whom eventually die, and the bite of the fly causes more than $4 billion in 
economic losses annually. 
The tsetse fly has turned much of the fertile African landscape into an 
uninhabited "green desert," spreading sleeping sickness -- and killing 3 
million livestock animals every year. The fly is the carrier of the single 
cell parasite, trypanosome, which attacks the blood and nervous system of 
its victims, causing sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in livestock. 
The biting tsetse fly transmits it when its seeks a blood meal. (Š) 
Environment and wildlife 
(top <#TOP> ) 
21 Cities in Vermont, USA, vote on the Earth Charter 
6 March - Every March, voters in Vermont, USA gather in their town halls for 
the Annual Town Meetings, which serve as an opportunity to make democratic 
decisions on the town¹s budget for roads, schools, fire engines, trash 
removal, water, and social services. In many communities, they also consider 
issues of national and global importance.  To be placed on the agenda for 
the Town Meeting, 5% of the registered voters in town need to sign a 
 For the Town Meeting 2002, 30 towns in Vermont had an article on their 
agendas that read:  ³Shall the voters of [town] endorse the Earth Charter, 
and recommend that the Town, the State of Vermont, the United States of 
America, and the United Nations use the Earth Charter to guide 
decision-making on issues of local, state, national, and international 
 Most of the Town Meetings in the state have taken place over the past 
several days, and 21 towns have now endorsed the Earth Charter, despite some 
fairly strong opposition. Many towns that participated in the campaign are 
now asking for assistance in implementing the principles of the Charter in 
their community. <>; 
European Space Agency launches satellite to monitor closely earth¹s changes 
1 March - The largest and most expensive satellite ever built by Europe 
blasted off today, beginning its mission to monitor the environmental health 
of Planet Earth.  The environmental satellite, or Envisat, was launched from 
French Guiana into orbit about 500 miles above the surface of the Earth, 
where it will circle the planet every 100 minutes.  Envisat's mission is to 
collect vital data on how Earth's land, oceans, ice caps, and atmosphere are 
changing.  The information will be analyzed by scientists and used to help 
establish European environmental policy.  The program's sponsors called it a 
powerful symbol of the strength of a united Europe, and Jose Achache, 
director of the Earth Observation program for the European Space Agency, 
said the mission would enable scientists and environmentalists "to trace the 
smallest changes to the Earth's surface anywhere on the globe." <> 
BP will halt its political contributions worldwide 
1 March - BP, the world's third-largest oil company, announced last night 
that it will halt all of its political contributions worldwide.  The 
decision appears to reflect a desire to avoid accusations of influence 
peddling in the era of Enron, and could set a precedent for other companies. 
It could also be seen as a triumph for anti-globalization activists and 
other organizations, which BP CEO Sir John Browne said had "intensified 
scrutiny" on corporate activities.  Browne said the company would continue 
to engage in policy debate, but would not fund any political activity or 
party. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, BP, which makes 
about half of its money in the United States, spent $1.1 million on the 2000 
U.S. elections, with two-thirds of the total going to Republican candidates. 
BP was the first major oil company to acknowledge the threat of global 
warming. <> 
GEF - Danube Basin TEST - Phase II 
Vienna, Austria 20-21 February - The US$1 million UNIDO Danube Basin TEST 
(Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technology) Programme, financed by the 
Global Environment Facility (GEF) has entered phase two of its 
implementation. The national coordinators from the five Danubian cleaner 
production institutions (Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania) 
participating in the pilot study met at UNIDO headquarters (20 - 21 February 
2002) to present the results of Phase I and finalise plans for Phase II, 
which runs until September 2003. 
The Danube Basin Programme started in May 2001. (Š) 
Culture and education 
(top <#TOP> ) 
Computer training in Tanzania benefits students and their country 
Tuesday, 5 March 2002: Tanzanians striving to get a good quality education 
in information and communications technology (ICT) can now earn an 
internationally-recognized certificate locally. 
A group of 38 students have just graduated from the Cisco Networking Academy 
Programme <>;  at the 
University of Dar-es-Salaam computing centre <>; . They 
earned Cisco Certified Network Associate certificates, the same one awarded 
to students at many US universities and high schools. 
The programme includes employment counselling, and many graduates will find 
jobs managing small and medium-sized computer networks for Tanzanian 
businesses and public institutions. 
The Tanzanian programme benefits from the Least Developed Countries 
set up by Cisco Systems <>;  and UNDP to promote ICT 
training in countries facing the widest digital divide. Tanzania is a leader 
among 24 African countries participating in the initiative. 
Through the initiative, Cisco provides training materials and UNDP helps 
make the programme affordable. The four-month course normally costs 
approximately US$3,000 per student outside the US, but the initiative cuts 
that in half. (Š) <> 
Traveling seminar for university students in India 
27 February - In India, UNIFEM and the NGO AAKAR organized a Œtraveling 
seminar¹ on gender, masculinity and violence against women. The seminar 
targets young men and women in six universities throughout the country and 
seeks to explore issues of sexuality and masculinity in relation to the 
increase in violence against women, as well as HIV/AIDS and population 
control policies. The traveling seminar has already visited universities in 
Baroda and Trivandrum and is currently at universities in Delhi. 
For more information, contact Gitanjali Singh at the South Asia Office, at: 
March 20: Earth Day, by John McConnell 
This is the day that Spring begins and provides a powerful time for people 
worldwide to join in dedication to be responsible Trustees of Earth.  On 
this day, there is a moment that is special to the whole human family -- the 
March Equinox. (Š)  
The March Equinox was chosen for Earth Day in1970 -- the first Earth Day. 
The idea was not local convenience or comfortable weather -- which varies 
from place to place, but a day suitable for international celebration.  On 
this day, night and day are equal.  This day is a million year symbol of the 
balance of nature and the equilibrium we seek on Earth. (Š) Each year since 
then the Peace Bell at the United Nations has been rung on Earth Day at the 
moment Spring begins. This is followed by silent prayer  -- a time for 
heartfelt commitment to think and act as Earth Trustees. (Š) On Earth Day 
join with your friends and family at home, church, school or work to mark 
this day with attention for the wonder of life and what we can do for people 
and planet. Let's have bells ring all over the world when the Peace Bells 
are rung on Earth Day. (Š) <>; 
March 20: world day of planetary consciousness 
March 20th, the first spring day of 2002, marks the second annual ³World Day 
of Planetary Consciousness² as events take place planet-wide from New 
Zealand to Samoa. Planetary consciousness is the recognition of the vital 
interdependence and essential interconnection of all humankind and the 
earth. It is a new consciousness that can help create a shared vision of "a 
united humanity living in harmony with nature", at this crucial time in our 
People from many cultures and nations will again unite on this World Day 
under the banner of the Planetary Vision Festival to celebrate the spirit of 
humanity¹s new consciousness, including in: Nelson, Brisbane, Fukuoka, St. 
Petersburg, Budapest, Sao Paolo, Washington D.C., Buffalo, Toronto, 
Mississauga, Trinidad & Tobago, Vancouver, San Francisco and Apia. 
The Festival was launched in 2001, the official first year of the 21st 
Century and the Third Millennium. Thousands of people in over 50 countries 
joined together to participate in many new World Days and Festival events. 
The Planetary Vision Festival has been initiated by The Club of Budapest 
( in partnership with the PVF Founding Alliance. <>; 
Season for Non-Violence: January 30 - April 4 
The Season for Non-Violence is being observed during the period between the 
assassinations of Mahatma Gandhi (January 30) and Martin Luther King (April 
4). UN celebrations for the Season include presentation of the Gandhi-King 
Season for Non-Violence Award. 
The closing event at the UN will be on April 9 from 1-3 PM. It will include 
entertainment, and special guests such as Amb. Iftekhar Ahmed of Bangladesh; 
Mahatma Gandhi's grandchildren, Parliamentarian from the Republic of South 
Africa, Ela Gandhi and her brother Arun, the founder of the MK Gandhi 
Institute for Nonviolence; and Yolanda, Bernice and Martin King III, the 
children of Martin Luther King, Jr.  For those who wish to attend, please 
register no later than April 3 by calling the Interfaith Center of NY, 
212-685-4242 # 32. 
March 15: Meditation for Peace in Sri Lanka & the World 
The Sarvodaya Peace Operation 2002 (SPPO-2) is engaged in a massive peace 
campaign in Sri Lanka to bring a final end to the nation's bloody civil war 
- now in its nineteenth year. March 15th will see the largest peace 
meditation ever held in the country - and potentially the largest event of 
it's kind ever held anywhere. 500,000 people will spend the day in 
meditation for peace in the ancient sacred city of Anuradapura. The 
meditators are expected to come from 30,000 villages throughout the country. 
They will represent all ethnic and religious groups. 
The first Sarvodaya Peace Meditation, held in Colombo in 1999, drew 170,000 
meditators. Since then a series of smaller regional gatherings, attended by 
tens of thousands, have been held. 
Sister Village Link-up 
On 15 March Sarvodaya will also initiate a programme linking 1000 villages 
in the war-torn North and East with 1000 villages in the South. Villagers in 
the South will continuously go to the villages in the North and East with 
skilled and unskilled labour and material to begin rehabilitation of houses, 
wells, tanks, schools, toilets and places of religious worship. The slogan 
of this programme, linking villages of  different ethnic, religious and 
language groups is: village to village : heart to heart. (Š) 
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Next issue: 22 March 2002 
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Good News Agency is distributed through Internet to over 2,400 editorial 
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It is a free of charge service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e 
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development of consciousness and supports the activities of the Lucis Trust, 
the Club of Budapest, the Earth Charter, Radio For Peace International and 
other organizations promoting a culture of peace in the Œglobal village¹ 
perspective based on unity within diversity and on sharing.          Via 
Antagora 10, 00124 Rome, Italy. E-mail: s.tripi@... 
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