A look back at some of the noteworthy news developments that took place over the past year in the UN system
15 April, 2016

UN Photo/Cia Pak
16 Sep, 2016
As world leaders gather in New York in the coming days, the curtain will soon rise on the busiest diplomatic season of the year at the United Nations Headquarters. During the high-level segment of the General Assembly’s 71st session, which starts next week, monarchs, presidents and prime ministers will engage in debates that define international responses to many of the global challenges of today, including protracted conflicts, extreme poverty and hunger, the refugee crisis and climate change.
UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
04 Nov, 2016
As the Paris Agreement on climate change enters into force, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for the same determination going forward to implement the Agreement as well as to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
UN Photo/Mark Garten
04 Aug, 2016
The 10 members of the Refugee Olympic Team have continued to break new ground ahead of Friday's opening ceremony, and on Thursday it was the turn of the UN chief to pay his respects in Rio. "Now you can show your strength" Ban Ki-moon told them, adding that when they appear at the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Friday, around 3 billion people will be watching around the world.
UN Photo/Marco Dormin
31 Oct, 2016
16 years ago today, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution (S/RES/1325) on women, peace and security, which has since come to be famously associated with the number 1325 within the UN system. Since its adoption, women have increasingly become a part of the United Nations peacekeeping operations, where female peacekeepers act as role models in the local environment, inspiring women and girls in often male-dominated societies to push for their own rights and for participation in peace processes.
Photo: WFP/Alexis Masciarelli
12 Oct, 2016
On Tuesday 4 October, 2016, Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti. While the capital, Port au Prince, was mostly spared from the full strength of the Category 4 hurricane, the western cities of Les Cayes and Jeremie suffered the full force – sustaining heavy rains, winds and water damage across wide areas. The UN and its partners have wasted no time in responding to the emergency.
Photo: OHCHR
18 Jan, 2016
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has a long-running association with the United Nations that began with his service as a civilian peacekeeper with the UN operation in the former Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR) between 1994 and 1996. It includes serving as Jordan’s Deputy Permanent Representative and then later Permanent Representative to the UN from 1996 to 2007, and again as the latter between 2010 and 2014. His second stint as Permanent Representative saw him serve as President of the UN Security Council and chair its 1533 and 1521 committees in relation to two sanctions regimes regarding the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Liberia.
UN Photo
08 Apr, 2016
The selection process for a new United Nations Secretary-General, traditionally decided behind closed-doors by a few powerful countries, will for the first time in history involve public discussions with each candidate campaigning for the world’s top diplomatic post. Each of the current eight candidates will be formally introduced to the General Assembly – which includes representatives from all 193 Member States, and Observers, the State of Palestine and the Holy See – in three days of informal dialogues beginning on Tuesday. The general public can ask questions through civil society members and social media.
Photo: The Global Fund/John Rae
17 Nov, 2016
Having secured the funds for the initial phase of the deployment of the world’s first malaria vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today it will be rolled out in sub-Saharan Africa and immunization campaigns will begin in 2018.
Photo: OCHA/Gwen McClure
15 Nov, 2016
In a new report analyzing the global climate between 2011-2015, the World Meteorological Organization – the United Nations system’s weather agency – found an increasingly visible human footprint on extreme weather and climate events with dangerous and costly impacts. This “hot and wild” weather meant that global ocean temperatures rose at unprecedented levels, Arctic sea ice coverage and mountain glaciers declined and surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet continued at above-average levels.
UN Photo
28 Jul, 2016
Ralph Bunche, who was usually sparing with praise, once described Dag Hammarskjöld as “the most remarkable man I have ever seen or worked with…” Hammarskjöld was certainly unique. When, in a haiku, he compared himself to a unicorn, he was not so far off the mark. He had been a prodigy since his childhood — an intellectual with an uncommon gift for public administration and practical statesmanship. By the age of thirty he was Under-Secretary of the Swedish Ministry of Finance, serving concurrently as the chairman of the Governors of the Bank of Sweden.
Photo: OCHA
28 Oct, 2016
The adoption of what has been dubbed the “New York Declaration” should make a difference in the lives of refugees and migrants, an outgoing UN Special Adviser has underscored. Karen AbuZayd worked with UN entities and undertook consultations with Member States and relevant stakeholders in the lead up to the first-ever UN Summit on the issue.
UN Photo
29 Sep, 2016
Nepal has a long way to go after the 2015 earthquake. Many children lost their parents – and their schools. Today, we look at how one village – and one family – is trying to rebuild.
UN Photo/UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
06 Oct, 2016
Member States of the United Nations civil aviation agency agreed today on a new emissions standard to control global greenhouse gas emissions from international airline flights that is designed to complement the basket of mitigation measures the air transport community is already pursuing to reduce CO2 emissions from international aviation, including, technical and operational improvements and advances in the production and use of sustainable alternative fuels for aviation.
UN Photo/Abdul Fatai
24 Feb, 2016
Since its inception in 1966, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) – the Organization’s largest provider of grants for sustainable human development worldwide – has been on the front lines of UN development efforts, partnering with countries and organizations to reduce poverty, empower women, create jobs, protect the environment and narrow the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots.’
Photo: UNICEF/Prashanth Vishwanathan
29 Jul, 2016
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned today that some 77 million of the world’s newborns – or 1 in 2 – are not breastfed within the first hour of birth, depriving them of essential nutrients and antibodies and thus exposing them to an increased risk of death.
File Photo: Col. David Jones, US Army
03 May, 2016
The two United Nations police officers, Vladimir Dzuro from the Czech Republic and Kevin Curtis from the United Kingdom, made history in 1997 when they delivered the very first alleged war criminal to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), based in The Hague. In the latest episode of the UN Radio podcast series The Lid is On, we hear how the relentless determination, meticulous planning and cunning of two men inevitably led to the arrest of indictee Slavko Dokmanovic.
Photo: IOM
25 Jul, 2016
The United Nations General Assembly today unanimously adopted a resolution approving an agreement to make the International Organization for Migration (IOM) part of the UN system as a related organization.
UN Photo/JC McIlwaine
01 Nov, 2016
In light of the “serious shortcomings” revealed by an independent inquiry into the response of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) after violence broke out in and around its premises in the capital, Juba, in July, Secretary-General Ban Ki moon will introduce a raft of measures to bolster its protection of civilians, including through greater accountability of uniformed and civilian personnel.
Photo: UNICEF/Tanya Bindra
27 Sep, 2016
With some 6.5 million people dying annually from air pollution and 92 per cent of the world’s population living in places where levels exceed recommended limits, the United Nations today rolled out its most detailed profile of the scourge ever in a bid to slash the deadly toll.

27 December 2016