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“You’ve Got to Have Faith to Build a Better World”

The UN Foundation has teamed up with the United Methodist Church and Lutheran World Relief in a new, $200 million effort to combat malaria deaths in in Africa. Full release after the jump.
UN Foundation Launches Global Partnership to Help End Malaria Deaths

United Methodist Church and Lutheran World Relief to Lead Initiative to Raise $200 Million

April 1, 2008 (NEW YORK) – Today, telling the United Nations General Assembly that “you’ve got to have faith to build a better world,” Ted Turner launched a new global effort, led by the People of the United Methodist Church (UMC) and Lutheran World Relief (LWR), to raise $200 million to fight malaria in Africa. The new initiative, organized by the United Nations Foundation, will:

— Educate and mobilize the UMC and LWR’s combined constituency of more than 20 million people concerned about malaria and related diseases of poverty;

— Provide financial support to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria;

— Support malaria prevention and health system strengthening efforts; and

— Advance the churches’ on-the-ground health missions.

“In today’s interdependent world, we can’t successfully address the great global challenges unless businesses and NGOs, philanthropic leaders and the faith community work together. This groundbreaking new partnership, which we have developed with generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will take our malaria prevention efforts to an entirely new level,” Turner, chairman of the United Nations Foundation, said. “Our collective efforts demonstrate resolve across faiths, countries, and sectors to stamp out malaria.”

Turner was joined at the UN General Assembly’s special thematic session on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by Bishop Janice Huie of the United Methodist Church and youth leader Chad Amour, on behalf of Lutheran World Relief. The MDGs are eight goals slated to be achieved by 2015 that respond to the world’s main development challenges, including poverty, children’s health, empowerment of women and girls, and combating HIV/AIDS.

“Lutheran World Relief is incredibly honored to be joining in this important effort to combat malaria,” said LWR President John Nunes. “By bringing together the power, unity, and passion of 8 million Lutherans, we know we can have a significant impact on one of the world’s most debilitating diseases. We are so appreciative of the United Nations Foundation for their work to marshal attention and resources toward the goal of containing malaria and for including LWR as a key partner in the effort.”

“Some say that envisioning a world without poverty is naive. I say that accepting a world of rampant poverty is cowardly. Some say that poverty alleviation hasn’t produced enough results. I say that we just haven’t tried hard enough,” Turner said. “Stopping malaria will go a long way toward giving people in poor and rich countries alike new hope and confidence that we can succeed in the fight against poverty and realize the MDGs.”

“This partnership will make a difference across our churches and across the world,” said Bishop Huie. “We have worked with the UN Foundation on the groundbreaking Nothing But Nets Campaign and we’re honored to work with them and the Lutherans to eliminate malaria deaths in Africa. We are also excited about the energy, enthusiasm, and drive that our more than 12 million members worldwide will bring to this important endeavor.”

In addition to this faith-based partnership, the UN Foundation’s Malaria Partnership Initiative includes efforts to strengthen health systems (through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and the Measles Initiative), build grassroots constituencies through the award-winning Nothing But Nets campaign, and work with Roll Back Malaria on global advocacy efforts.

About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation champions the United Nations and is a platform that connects people, ideas, and capital to help the UN solve global problems. Through our campaigns and partnerships, the UN Foundation makes it easy for individuals, businesses, and non-governmental organizations to work with the UN on key global challenges. The UN Foundation is a public charity. For a complete listing of UN Foundation grants and programs or to learn more about the United Nations Foundation, visit www.unfoundation.org.

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Possibly stunning news out of Zimbabwe

This breaking New York Times report from Zimbabwe suggests that President Mugabe’s advisers are in negotiations with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai about a possible transfer of power, apparently sparked by Mugabe’s conclusion that a runoff election would be “demeaning.”

The nugget:

A resignation by Mr. Mugabe, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, would be a stunning turnabout in a country where he has been accused of consistently manipulating election results to maintain his lock on power.

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Possibly stunning news out of Zimbabwe

This breaking New York Times report from Zimbabwe suggests that President Mugabe’s advisers are in negotiations with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai about a possible transfer of power, apparently sparked by Mugabe’s conclusion that a runoff election would be “demeaning.”

The nugget:

A resignation by Mr. Mugabe, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, would be a stunning turnabout in a country where he has been accused of consistently manipulating election results to maintain his lock on power.

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Bankok Update

The Bankok Post offers a good summary of the issues at stake in this week’s climate change summit.

At the core of the talks in Bangkok, are fears among developed countries that their commitments to cut their own carbon emissions will not be matched by similar commitments by the developing world to introduce new technologies that will lead to fewer emissions in the future but will have higher production costs.

That is a fear also expressed by European industries.

“What you hear at the moment is European companies saying that minus 20 per cent that EU governments have committed to is all well and good if we get a climate change policy that does not engage developing countries and the results of this is expensive policies in the north lead to more economic activities in the south, with no emission reduction benefit, but a lot of job movement, what’s the good of that?” noted [UN top climate change negotiator Yvo] de Boer.

How to handle that issue, by a fair trade off between developed countries agreeing to reduce their emissions and provide technology and finance to help the developing countries to improve their own green industries, is what the debate is largely about in Bangkok.

The Bangkok talks must provide a work programme by the end of the week leading towards an agreement in Copenhagen in 2009.

Read more.

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Bankok Update

The Bankok Post offers a good summary of the issues at stake in this week’s climate change summit.

At the core of the talks in Bangkok, are fears among developed countries that their commitments to cut their own carbon emissions will not be matched by similar commitments by the developing world to introduce new technologies that will lead to fewer emissions in the future but will have higher production costs.

That is a fear also expressed by European industries.

“What you hear at the moment is European companies saying that minus 20 per cent that EU governments have committed to is all well and good if we get a climate change policy that does not engage developing countries and the results of this is expensive policies in the north lead to more economic activities in the south, with no emission reduction benefit, but a lot of job movement, what’s the good of that?” noted [UN top climate change negotiator Yvo] de Boer.

How to handle that issue, by a fair trade off between developed countries agreeing to reduce their emissions and provide technology and finance to help the developing countries to improve their own green industries, is what the debate is largely about in Bangkok.

The Bangkok talks must provide a work programme by the end of the week leading towards an agreement in Copenhagen in 2009.

Read more.

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Tuesday Morning Coffee

The longest ever Olympic torch relay began in Beijing yesterday under massive security. India’s football captain, Baichung Bhutia, in solitary with Tibetan demonstrators, has declined an invitation to carry the torch.

Starting 5

>>Zimbabwe – After three days the winners of 109 of the 210 parliamentary seats have been named, and, according to the count of the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC), President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF has pulled two seats ahead of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Many consider the vote to be rigged. Mugabe’s security cabinet met on Sunday night to discuss how to react to the election — impose a state of emergency, unilaterally declare victory, or rely on the ZEC to falsify the results. They reportedly chose the latter. There is a heavy police presence on the streets of Harare. The independent Zimbabwe Election Support Network has MDC standard bearer Morgan Tsvangirai besting Mugabe by almost 8 points.

>>NATO – Germany has declared that it will veto the U.S. plan to allow Georgia and the Ukraine to join NATO’s membership action plan (MAP), the path to eventual entry into NATO. This is a blow to President Bush, who received a mixed reception in Kiev today as he voiced his strong support for both Georgia and the Ukraine’s NATO bids. He will travel to the Romania for the opening of the NATO summit tomorrow. Russia has voiced strong opposition to the candidacy of both nations, but Germany has denied the existence of a “Russian veto.” France has also announced it won’t back the plan.

>>Iraq – A tenuous peace appears to be holding in Baghdad and Basra following a call on Sunday by Moqtada al-Sadr for his followers to stand down.  Shops and schools have reopened.  A New York Times reporter details his personal experience in Basra.  Meanwhile, the deathtoll in Iraq for March was 50 percent higher than in February.

>>Somalia – Two UN Food and Agriculture Organization workers, a Kenyan and a Briton, were captured by gunmen on the road between Bu’aale and Sikow in southern Somalia.

>>Uganda – LRA leader Joseph Kony has delayed signing a peace agreement with the government of Uganda until April 10. Two different reasons have been given for the delay: 1) he just needs more time to reach the meeting place (he was walking to the Congo-Sudan border), and 2) he is sick.

Yesterday in UN Dispatch

The Rest of the Story


Africa

  • href="http://feeds.washingtonpost.com/%7Er/wp-dyn/rss/world/index_xml/%7E3/261367045/AR2008033100899.html">Tanzania
    - Detainee Is Charged With Capital Murder in Embassy Bombing
  • href="http://feeds.reuters.com/%7Er/reuters/worldNews/%7E3/261612630/idUSL2350258020080401">Cameroon
    - Hungry crowds spell trouble for world leaders
  • href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/01/france.internationalaidanddevelopment?gusrc=rss&feed=worldnews">Chad
    - Chad president pardons French charity workers

Americas

  • href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/1/hi/world/americas/7324000.stm">Brazil
    - Brazil army aids Rio dengue fight
  • href="http://feeds.washingtonpost.com/%7Er/wp-dyn/rss/world/index_xml/%7E3/261725289/AR2008033100703.html">Cuba
    - Cuba Repeals Ban on Its Citizens Staying in Hotels on Island
  • href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/1/hi/world/americas/7323715.stm">Ecuador
    - ‘Ecuador incursion’ into Colombia
  • href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/01/internationalcrime?gusrc=rss&feed=worldnews">Jamaica
    - Jamaica slums locked in violence, report says
  • href="http://feeds.reuters.com/%7Er/reuters/worldNews/%7E3/261405483/idUSN3141011820080331"> style="font-weight: bold;">Ecuador - Ecuador
    sues Colombia over anti-drug spraying
  • href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/ac547f4e-ff49-11dc-b556-000077b07658.html">Argentina
    - Argentina unveils plan to end farm strike
  • href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/f0db67d2-ff48-11dc-b556-000077b07658.html">Venezuela
    - Caracas eyes ‘dual currency’
  • href="http://feeds.reuters.com/%7Er/reuters/worldNews/%7E3/261467191/idUSN3132492920080331"> style="font-weight: bold;">Columbia - Colombia
    intercepts Ecuadorean military helicopter

Asia

  • href="http://feeds.reuters.com/%7Er/reuters/worldNews/%7E3/261843450/idUSPEK640820080401">China
    - China says has evidence linking Lhasa riots to foreign groups
  • href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7324155.stm">China
    - IOC warns China over web access
  • href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/01/korea?gusrc=rss&feed=worldnews">Korea
    - Pyongyang lambasts new South Korean president
  • href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/1/hi/world/europe/7323895.stm">Russia
    - Russian cultists ‘leave cave’
  • href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/1/hi/world/south_asia/7323791.stm">Afghanistan
    - Top Taleban leader ‘is arrested’
  • href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/28d3e6e6-ffa3-11dc-b556-000077b07658.html">Russia
    - Asian exports shifting to new markets
  • href="http://feeds.reuters.com/%7Er/reuters/worldNews/%7E3/261834119/idUSSP532420080401">China
    - China makes security top priority
  • href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/sport1/hi/tennis/7323230.stm">Russia
    - Sharapova to miss Fed Cup semis
  • href="http://feeds.washingtonpost.com/%7Er/wp-dyn/rss/world/index_xml/%7E3/261725286/AR2008033102691.html">Russia
    - Bin Laden Took Part in 1986 Arms Deal, Book Says
  • href="http://feeds.reuters.com/%7Er/reuters/worldNews/%7E3/261720672/idUST707120080401">Japan
    - Japan opposition threatens to censure minister

Europe

  • href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/apr/01/theairlineindustry?gusrc=rss&feed=worldnews">France
    - French authorities find evidence of EADS insider trading
  • href="http://feeds.reuters.com/%7Er/reuters/worldNews/%7E3/261751232/idUSL0130611620080401">Finland
    - Texting scandal forces Finland foreign minister out
  • href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/1/hi/entertainment/7323746.stm">Greece
    - Film director Jules Dassin dies
  • href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/01/world/europe/01cats.html?ex=1364702400&en=5fbaf64081b743f6&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss">Switzerland
    - Lucerne Journal: A Push to Stop Swiss Cats From Being Turned Into
    Coats and Hats
  • href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article3655976.ece#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=797093">Germany
    - The Red Baron flies back into role of the hero in Germany
  • href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article3656349.ece#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=797093">France
    - Jean Sarkozy promoted to party chief of UMP, Neuilly-sur-Seine
  • href="http://feeds.reuters.com/%7Er/reuters/worldNews/%7E3/261383701/idUSMAT00802620080331"> style="font-weight: bold;">Italy – Italian
    city of Milan to host 2015 Expo
  • href="http://feeds.reuters.com/%7Er/reuters/worldNews/%7E3/261326794/idUSL3120426920080331"> style="font-weight: bold;">Serbia – Serbia
    says will hold May elections in Kosovo

Middle East

  • href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/1/hi/world/7323910.stm">Iraq
    - Iraq UK troop reduction delayed
  • href="http://feeds.washingtonpost.com/%7Er/wp-dyn/rss/world/index_xml/%7E3/261725287/AR2008033102330.html">Iraq
    - SEAL Killed in Iraq To Get Medal of Honor
  • href="http://feeds.washingtonpost.com/%7Er/wp-dyn/rss/world/index_xml/%7E3/261725290/AR2008033102375.html">Israel
    - Israel Planning to Build Hundreds of New Homes
  • href="http://feeds.reuters.com/%7Er/reuters/worldNews/%7E3/261619358/idUSL3164657920080401">Israel
    - Rice says Mideast talks on track, despite settlements
  • href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/01/israelandthepalestinians1?gusrc=rss&feed=worldnews">Israel
    - Nomadic bedouin fight to survive in the village which does not exist
  • href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/01/world/middleeast/01diplo.html?ex=1364702400&en=91e4a68fad59d54c&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss">Israel
    - Pressed by Rice, Palestinian Leader Agrees to Return to Peace Talks
    With Israeli
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