What We Do

UNDESA’s Annual Highlights report is a tool to communicate the contributions of the Department to the realization of internationally agreed development goals and shared social, economic, and environmental aspirations. It showcases the Department’s role in gauging trends, building capacities, and shaping solutions. UN DESA Highlights 2020-2021 covers activities over the period of the 75th Session of the General Assembly (September 2020 – August 2021). Seven (7) thematic chapters showcase how UN DESA tailored its work to effectively address the impact of the overlapping crises brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report also showcases six (6) cross-cutting approaches used by the Department to attain the expected results.
UN DESA’s Annual Highlights report is a tool to communicate the contributions of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs to the realization of internationally agreed development goals and shared social, economic and environmental aspirations. UN DESA Highlights 2019-2020 presents the achievements of the Department over the course of the 74th session of the General Assembly. The volume features key events and major themes that reflect the mandate and priorities of the Department and demonstrates the Department’s broad expertise across many areas critical to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

Download 2019-2020 Highlights Report

Intergovernmental Support

By facilitating major global conferences and summits in the economic, social and environmental fields, as mandated by UN Member States, UN DESA assists countries as they find common ground, set norms, and take decisive steps forward.

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As the think tank of the UN, DESA, generates, analyses and compiles a wide range of economic, social and environmental data and statistics to inform and advise Member States and other stakeholders as they take stock of trends and policy options to tackle common problems.

Capacity Building

UN DESA‘s capacity-development work builds on its diverse analytical expertise and its unique access to networks of global experts, state-of-the-art knowledge and good practices on sustainable development.

In collaboration with its partners it develops innovative approaches, methodologies, models and analytical tools to address specific capacity gaps of countries and support implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

UN DESA focuses on helping countries build capacities for:

  • Coherent, evidence-based, and inclusive policymaking;
  • Inclusive and integrated approaches and institutions, including through ICT and e-government solutions;
  • Effective and accountable public administrations for service delivery;
  • Social integration and inclusion of social groups;
  • Sustainable use of natural resources, including sustainable forests;
  • Domestic resource mobilization, including through International tax cooperation, promotion of social cooperatives, use of LDC-specific international support measures in the areas of trade and Official Development Assistance.

Where we work?

Our capacity development priorities are guided by a set of principles that account for the Department’s mandates, goals and objectives, comparative advantage and opportunities to partner with other development actors. High priority is always given to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and countries emerging from conflict.