In Focus

Polling staff
International Day of Democracy (15 September)

This year’s International Day of Democracy, under the theme "Democracy under Strain: Solutions for a Changing World" is an opportunity to look for ways to invigorate democracy and seek answers to the systemic challenges it faces. This includes tackling economic and political inequalities, making democracies more inclusive by bringing the young and marginalized into the political system, and making democracies more innovative and responsive to emerging challenges such as migration and climate change. 

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (16 September)

The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet. The theme for World Ozone Day 2018, "Keep Cool and Carry On: The Montreal Protocol," is a motivational rallying call urging all of us to carry on with the exemplary work of protecting the ozone layer and the climate under the Montreal Protocol. The theme has two connotations – that our work of protecting the ozone layer also protects climate and that the Montreal Protocol is a “cool” treaty, as exemplified by its outstanding success.

Dance Like Drumming, Drum Like Dancing
What the SDGs Mean

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) define the world we want. They apply to all nations and mean, quite simply, to ensure that no one is left behind. Everyone, but particularly the youth of today who will dominate tomorrow, has the chance to shape what that world will look like. On 25 September, the anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals, thousands of individuals, organisations and institutions across the globe are taking actions for the SDGs. Join this movement to show world leaders how many people and organisations everywhere stand behind the SDGs. #ACT4SDGS

In the Spotlight

Eujin Byun, UNHCR communications officer, shows pictures to women at a refugee camp in South Sudan
Eujin Byun

Eujin Byun is from Korea and works as a communications officer at UNHCR South Sudan, one of the world’s least safe countries for humanitarians. In 2017, 46 major attacks in the country targeted aid workers. "The fear has been with me since I chose to work in Maban county [...] After a series of women aid workers were raped in Juba in 2016, the fright grew even more for many female colleagues. And yet [...] I chose to stay in South Sudan for another two years. [...] It is shocking and deeply saddening to hear about my fellow humanitarians being held hostage or killed. But it won’t stop me as I continue to help refugees and internally displaced people rebuild their homes and lives. Right now, despite the danger, South Sudan is where I belong."

UN System at Work

Woman tossing grains on a large basket
The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018

For the 3rd year in a row, there has been a rise in world hunger. The number of undernourished people has increased to nearly 821 million in 2017, returning to prevailing levels from almost a decade ago. The new annual UN report found that climate variability affecting rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, and exposure to more complex, frequent and intense climate extremes such as droughts and floods, are among key drivers behind the rise in hunger. Together with conflict and economic slowdowns, climate change is threatening to erode and reverse gains in ending hunger and malnutrition. This is a clear warning that considerable work needs to be done to make sure we "leave no one behind," FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO warn. 

Goal of the week


Did you know?

Approximately 10 people a day are killed by landmines and other explosives.  Find out more in Global Issues: Peace and Security
Africa has the highest growth rate of female-owned businesses.
There are 5 nuclear-weapon-free zones in the world.
Hunger and malnutrition are the number one health risk worldwide.  Find out more in Global Issues: Food.

Worth Watching

UN in Pictures

UN Secretary-General Guterres looks at the ruins of a home which had it's roof blown away by Hurricane Irma in Barbuda
Actor & filmmaker Olivia Wilde participates in a roundtable discussion about the SDGs' integration into the content of the Thomas & Friends™ children’s television series
Artwork by a 10-year-old-child depicting a giant carrot over a home, mountains, a fish pond with 2 fishes, and 3 people tending to their gardens
UN Staff wearing national clothing at the annual Staff Day Ceremony
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