Ensure safe and hygienic sanitation for all, UN urges, marking World Toilet Day

The UN is marking World Toilet Day on Thursday, in a bid to reinforce the need for equal access to sanitation for all. More than a quarter of the global population lack basic facilities, and more than three billion people live in homes without basic hand washing facilities, soap and water. 

"The Youth Centre" in the Mauritanian capital gives young people the opportunity to spend time with their friends, and learn new and creative skills.

Internet Governance Forum calls for global unity to bridge digital divides

Advancing digital inclusion and narrowing digital divides will build a strong recovery as the world strives to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the 15th annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) heard today as it concluded after a series of high-level roundtable discussions.

Dilma Montero Guallani, 59, is a volunteer in the remote community of Pekín, in the Bolivian Amazon, where she provides early malaria diagnosis and treatment.

To recover better from COVID-19, we must invest in… forests

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on our economies and societies, the United Nations today called for the inclusion of forest financing in efforts to recover from the pandemic.

Taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis

Every 19 November, the world comes together for World Toilet Day, to celebrate toilets and raise awareness about the fact that 4.2 billion people live without access to safely managed sanitation. The day is all about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030. See how you can be part of online efforts this year, using #WorldToiletDay.

Can we measure the value of nature?

Can a boggy peatland really be more valuable than delicious cheese? As UN DESA Statistics Division launches four new publications on the System of Environmental‑Economic Accounting (SEEA), we talk to Alessandra Alfieri, Chief of the Environmental Economic Accounts Section, who explains that the world is not all about dollars and cents, but political decisions often are.

Internet Governance Forum calls for bridging digital divides, harnessing the Internet to support human resilience and build solidarity amid COVID-19

Never before has the Internet proven to be such a vital lifeline in maintaining economic and social ties, as the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic. The high-level segment of the Internet Governance Forum opened today, with participants underlining the critical importance of digital technologies in supporting human resilience and building solidarity to respond to the challenges posed by the coronavirus.

Frontier digital technologies can help us back on track to achieve the SDGs

The COVID-19 pandemic is a humanitarian as well as a development crisis. The measures taken to contain the virus have shown some successes, but they have devastated economies, healthcare access, and schooling. Millions are newly unemployed, hitting the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest. Health services are looking for new ways to reach those in need and who can no longer afford to see a doctor. Children are forced to attend school remotely, threatening their long-term education and their social wellbeing. 

The new normal is digital

With half of the global population under lockdown and with 90 per cent of students out of school at one point in 2020, the Internet has become our classroom, our workplace, our meeting space and even our dancefloor. The 2020 Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum is gathering this month to ensure that the Internet continues to connect us and not drive us apart.

Will European Central Bank’s unconventional policies cause hyperinflation?

Monetary policy has ventured even further into uncharted territory over the past years. Gone are the times when changes in interest rates were the sole policy variable that drew the attention of the public and financial markets. Today, central bank policy pronouncements are as much or even more about unconventional policy tools—such as asset purchase programmes—than they are about interest rates.

UN Chief Economist and UN DESA Assistant Secretary-General Elliott Harris

Shaping the trends that shape our world

Climate catastrophes, a global pandemic, automation of jobs – the interconnected crises unleashing havoc on our world seem to have slipped out of our control and taken a life of their own. But a new report by the UN Economist Network stresses that the five greatest challenges facing humanity are all human-made and can be shaped by our policies. We talk to UN Chief Economist Elliott Harris who has led this analysis by economists in dozens of UN entities.

UN DESA Under-Secretary-General Liu Zhenmin presents the UN Public Service Awards

Calling for nominations for the prestigious UN Public Service Awards

Every year, the United Nations recognizes institutions around the world for excellence in delivering public services. The UN Public Service Awards (UNPSA) is an annual competition, promoting the role, professionalism and visibility of public service. This year, from among the 403 institutions from 67 countries that were nominated, seven institutions from seven countries were selected to receive the prestigious award. The call has now been made to find the 2021 honorees.

Announcing the authors of the next Global Sustainable Development Report

Earlier this month, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of 15 eminent scientists to draft the 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report, a milestone publication produced every four years to support policymakers in promoting poverty eradication and sustainable development.

UN World Data Forum 2020: Over 10,000 data producers and users connect to advance solutions for trusted data in COVID-19 response

The first virtual meeting of the United Nations World Data Forum concluded with the launch of the data community’s response to COVID-19, stressing the increased demand for relevant, timely and trusted data and statistics as a critical part of building back a more equitable, sustainable and resilient future. The appeal to the entire data community to come together to support the response to the pandemic and accelerate action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) emphasizes the need to ensure trust and privacy in data and increase investments in data to respond more effectively to COVID-19 and future disasters.

Two colleagues collaborate

New network connecting experts to produce and use better data for the SDGs

The need for timely and disaggregated data and statistics for decision-making has never been as clear as during the COVID-19 crisis. Having access to reliable and trusted data can mean the difference between life and death. To help national governments build resilient and sustainable national data and information systems, a new Global Network of Data Officers and Statisticians that connects data experts around the world, has been launched today at the UN World Data Forum.

Women’s job market participation stagnating at less than 50% for the past 25 years, finds UN report

Less than 50% of working-age women are in the labour market, a figure that has barely changed over the last quarter of a century, according to a new UN report launched today. Unpaid domestic and care work falls disproportionately on women, restraining their economic potential as the COVID-19 pandemic additionally affects women’s jobs and livelihoods, the report warns.