What we do

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Mrs. Ban visit to UNESCO World Heritage Site Taishan Mountain, including Nantian Gate, Sky Street, Bixia Temple, Tangmo Cliffstone and Sunview Peak.


Whether by organizing major UN conferences, supporting intergovernmental bodies, taking the pulse of the latest socioeconomic trends, publishing cutting-edge analyses or helping countries develop capacity, UN DESA’s influence reaches far beyond the doors of the UN.

We provide the trusted data that governments use to make decisions about the future. We bring the global community together to find common solutions to the world’s most pressing problems and we help countries translate their global commitments into national action in the economic, social and environmental spheres.

Home of sustainable development

UN DESA is the place in the UN system where every Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) finds a home and where all stakeholders can do their part to leave no one behind. For decades, we have been helping countries to find common ground on sustainable development, population, social inclusion, financing for development and many other crucial issues.

Catalyst for solutions

Achieving the SDGs is a colossal task for any country, but even more so for developing States, which often lack the tools and resources to grapple with the challenges of our times. UN DESA is responding to the unprecedented demand for capacity-building with a fresh, more strategic, integrated and longer term approach. Currently, UN DESA and partners support more than 75 countries in building integrated, evidence-based, inclusive and well-funded national strategies and plans to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Cultivator of ideas

UN DESA’s approach to social and economic issues has always been ahead of the curve, warning about imminent crises and identifying potential opportunities. Our socioeconomic analyses raised the alarm about the impending global debt crisis in the 1980s and cautioned about the factors that led to the global financial crisis in the late 2000s. Our cutting-edge assessment of economic, social and environmental issues continues today with our analytical products, policy advice and technical assistance.

Leaving no one behind

UN DESA is a leading analytical voice for promoting inclusion, reducing inequalities and eradicating poverty. Through our publications, advocacy, capacity development and convening power, we champion tearing down the barriers that keep people in poverty and exclusion. UN DESA assists vulnerable countries that are affected by a range of barriers to growth and struggling to catch up with the rest of the world. We support their sustainable development efforts to ensure that no country is left behind.

Supporting development for all through intergovernmental processes

UN DESA helps countries make informed decisions by providing a wealth of information through its publications and databases and through supporting international deliberations at the United Nations General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, Commissions, Forums and other bodies.

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