Clean Up The World Weekend

image by Marvel (based upon a NASA image)

This weekend (20th-22nd Sep), now in its 21st year, CUTW 2013 will include such activities as planting trees, cleaning parks or beaches, conserving water or running environmental awareness-raising and education initiatives – whatever the local need might be.

It began in 1987 when Ian Kiernan, having seen the devastating effects of rubbish and pollution, decided it was time to take action. In 1990 the first national, community-based clean up day was organised in his home country of Australia. In 1993 Clean Up the World was launched with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme and 30 million people in 80 countries were mobilised.

image by: Marvel (based upon a NASA image)


Peace Day 2013

Peace One Day concert

A week from today, on Saturday 21st September, live stream of the 24-hour global transmission (including a historic concert in front of the Peace Palace in The Hague) will be available here on It’s Good News Week.

Founded in 1999 by Jeremy Gilley, Peace One Day is a non-profit organisation which aims to make 21 September, an annual day of global unity. He figured that “When you build a house, you start with one brick. If we want to build peace, we should start with one day”.

In 2001 the member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted the first ever annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on 21 September – Peace Day. On Peace Day in Afghanistan there was a 70% recorded reduction in violent incidents (source: United Nations Department of Safety and Security).

Child Soldiers Rescued from the Militia in DR Congo

image by Rei-artur

Over 80 child soldiers have been freed following negotiations between the UN and militia groups operating in the province of Katanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A total of 163 children have been freed since the start of the year through the combined efforts of the UN and child-protection agencies in the province.

image by: Rei-artur

Rapid Decrease in Acute Poverty in Developing Countries

Studies recently carried out by Oxford University and the United Nations report a brighter global picture than could ever have been predicted. Worldwide extreme income poverty has plunged from 43 per cent in 1990 to just 22 per cent in 2008. They predict that countries among the most impoverished could see acute poverty eradicated within 20 years if they continue at present rates; deprivation in Rwanda, Nepal and Bangladesh could disappear within the lifetime of present generations, with Ghana, Tanzania, Cambodia and Bolivia following on close behind. “The world is witnessing an epochal ‘global rebalancing’ with higher growth in at least 40 poor countries” concludes the UN report.

Underpinning this poverty reduction has been developing countries’ increasing share of global trade, with international and national aid and development projects investing in schools, health clinics, housing, infrastructure and improved access to water. According to Helen Clark, UN Development Programme Administrator, these countries are investing in their people.