In Focus

alpaca farmers in Peru
International Day of Rural Women (15 October)

Women account for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labour force, including informal work, and perform the bulk of unpaid care and domestic work within families and households in rural areas. They make significant contributions to agricultural production, food security and nutrition, land and natural resource management, and building climate resilience. This year’s theme, “Sustainable infrastructure, services and social protection for gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls,” places empowerment of rural women at the heart of fulfilling the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals.

boy in Haiti
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17 October)

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The theme of the Day is “Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity.” It is important to recall the fundamental connection between extreme poverty and human rights. The 2018 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) reveals how the human rights of poor people around the world are often abused or neglected. It identifies how people are being left behind across three key dimensions: health, education and living standards.

United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (OSAA) Africa Dialogue Series 2018
Africa Dialogue Series (17-19 October 2018)

The Africa Dialogue Series (ADS 2018), which replaces the “Africa Week” held in previous years, will provide a platform to explore and promote critical debates operationalizing the peace, security, human rights, humanitarian and development nexus in Africa. In this context, the Series is structured to be highly interactive and inclusive of a wide range of participants, including Member States, high-level representatives of African regional and subregional organizations, and the United Nations system, as well as the private sector, civil society, academia, think tanks, the Diaspora and other key stakeholders.

In the Spotlight

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands
Queen Máxima of the Netherlands

Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. As Special Advocate, Queen Máxima champions universal access to affordable, effective, and safe financial services for the poor. In a recent interview with BBC World News, she says innovative technology is a “game-changer in financial inclusion,” particularly among rural dwellers and the poor, who are also disproportionally excluded from the formal financial sector. She has collaborated with the Better than Cash Alliance, UNCDF and the World Bank on a new compendium Igniting SDG Progress Through Digital Financial Inclusion.


The UN System at Work

children learning about food
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

World Food Day is celebrated on 16 October.  This year's theme is "Our Actions are our Future. A #ZeroHunger world by 2030 is possible." FAO is calling on children and teens all over the world, from age 5 to 19, to use their imagination and create a poster that illustrates their idea of Zero Hunger. In Sowing the Seeds of Change, FAO has produced four new guides that explain the challenges facing us as we strive for a world with zero hunger. They have been developed and written specifically for tomorrow’s adults so that they can not only study the issues but turn their own ideas into actions for a better future.

Goal of the week


Did you know?

Hunger and malnutrition are the number one health risk worldwide.  Find out more in Global Issues: Food.
Every child has the right to health, education, and protection.  Find out more in Global Issues:  Children
Global Facts: Big Data for the SDGs
Most of the world’s people live no more than 200 miles from the sea.  Find out more in Global Issues: Oceans and the Law of the Sea

Worth Watching

UN in Pictures

father and son taking photographs at the UN in front of the “Non-Violence” (or “Knotted Gun”) sculpture
Three men and a child in a small boat paddling through a flood in Albania
Two teenage girls standing with their back to us, holding hands, and looking forward at a forrest
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