75 years after Auschwitz - Holocaust Education and Remembrance for Global Justice

27 January 2020 is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, formed in response to atrocity crimes of the Holocaust and the Second World War, with the aim of building a world that is just and peaceful. The theme of the annual International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust reflects the continued importance of collective action against antisemitism and other forms of bias, to ensure respect for the dignity and human rights of all people everywhere.

Photo:UN
Young women return home after classes in the town of Bol in Chad.

The drive for quality education worldwide, faces ‘mammoth challenges’

24 January 2020 — Aligning inclusive, quality education with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was centre-stage on Friday, as the President of the UN General Assembly held a high-level...

At Davos, UN chief urges ‘big emitters’ to take climate action

23 January 2020 — The world is “doomed” in the face of climate change unless major industrial nations reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told business...

Coronavirus: ‘An emergency in China, but not yet a global health emergency’

23 January 2020 — The head of the UN health agency, WHO (World Health Organization), declared on Thursday that the respiratory disease Novel Coronavirus, is not yet an official Public Health...

UN Sustainable Development Goals

17 Goals to transform our world

The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries — poor, rich and middle-income — to promote prosperity while protecting the planet.

Act Now

The ActNow Climate Campaign aims to trigger individual action on the defining issue of our time. People around the world will be engaged to make a difference in all facets of their lives, from the food they eat to the clothes they wear.

Thomas the Tank engine

Learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals! On our student resources page you will find plenty of materials for young people and adults alike. Share with your family and friends to help achieve a better world for all.

children holding up books

Reading and learning are essential to children’s growth and development; stories can fuel their imagination and raise awareness of new possibilities. The SDG Book Club aims to encourage them to learn about the Goals in a fun, engaging way, empowering them to make a difference.

Decade of Action

With just 10 years to go, an ambitious global effort is underway to deliver the 2030 promise—by mobilizing more governments, civil society, businesses and calling on all people to make the Global Goals their own.

More from the
United Nations

Featured stories from across the United Nations and our world-wide family of agencies, funds, and programmes.

UN Security Council Military Staff Committee in 1946

UN in History: Security Council adopts its first resolution

On 25 January 1946, the UN Security Council adopted its first resolution, establishing a Military Staff Committee, as envisioned in the UN Charter's Article 47, to advise and assist the Security Council on all questions relating to the Security Council's military requirements for the maintenance of international peace and security, the employment and command of forces placed at its disposal, the regulation of armaments, and possible disarmament. The Military Staff Committee consists of the Chiefs of Staff of the permanent members of the Security Council or their representatives. Having met since its inaugural meeting in London on 4 February 1946, the Military Staff Committee is the longest standing subsidiary body of the Security Council. 

Photo of a health facility interior with patients waiting their turn.

The Right to Health Belongs to Everyone

UNAIDS is calling on governments to ensure that the right to health is realized by all by prioritizing public investments in health. At least half of the world’s population cannot access essential health services. “The right to health is eluding the poor and people trying to lift themselves out of poverty are being crushed by the unacceptably high costs of health care. The richest 1% benefit from cutting-edge science while the poor struggle to get even basic health care,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS. Nearly 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty (living on US$ 1.90 or less a day) because they have to pay for health care, and more than 930 million people spend at least 10% of their household budgets on health care. Publicly financed health care is the greatest equalizer in society. Health should not be a privilege for the rich—the right to health belongs to everyone.

A man from the Nagaland Tribe, wearing indigenous clothes, sits inside a hut made of straw and looks at his smart phone.

Digital Inclusion of All

About half the world's people do not access and use the Internet. People and communities that are connected are empowered. They can access information, online health services and life-saving disaster warnings. The International Telecommunication Union (​ITU) works in all regions of the world and develops tailored programmes to allow everyone to access and use the Internet, in particular by developing infrastructures for technologies and networks, and enhancing the regulatory and market environment. ITU raises awareness and assists countries in developing the policies, legislation, regulations and business practices that promote the digital inclusion of people with specific needs, including indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, women, girls, youth and children. 

Cybersecurity Threats Call for a Global Response

To create a cyber-secure world, we must be as fast and globally integrated as the criminals. Facing a global threat with local resources will not be enough. Countries need to do more internally and internationally to coordinate their efforts.

Border-Spanning Campaign to Combat Locust Upsurge

Desert Locust swarms in East Africa, already unprecedented in their size and destructive potential, could swell exponentially and spill over into more countries if efforts to deal with them are not massively scaled up across the region, FAO warns.

Celina Jaitly

Things you can do to become part of Generation Equality: 1) be the change you want to see 2) stand up against sexual harassment and racism 3) support and promote gender-neutral upbringing of children, says Celina Jaitly, acclaimed Indian actress, human rights activist and Champion of the UN Free & Equal campaign.

The Path to Responsible Production and Consumption

There are more than 7.5 billion people on earth and we use 1.5 times more resources than we have. There will be 9.7 billion by 2050; we'll need 3 planters to sustain our lifestyles. We don't have 3 planets. A radical re-thinking is required.

illustration

Gender equality in the labour market is still elusive

ILOSTAT data show that progress is needed in many areas and in every region to achieve gender equality in the labour market. While most of us are aware that women are often paid less than men in the same occupation, ILOSTAT data show where the gaps are largest. The median gender wage gap for 115 countries with available data is 14% in favor of men. And male-dominated occupations have even higher wage premiums for men.

sea turtle enmeshed in plastic

Global Tourism Plastics Initiative takes on the worst polluters

This initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to tackle the root causes of plastic pollution, enabling businesses and governments to take joint action. To achieve this vision, tourism companies and destinations will be required to make a set of concrete and actionable commitments by 2025.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Muzoon Almellehan speaks to a girl attending a center for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Bamako, Mali.

In the Darkness of War, Learning Gives Us Light

Muzoon Almellehan is an education activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Muzoon has been campaigning for children’s education in emergencies since she was forced to flee Syria in 2013 with her family. In this article in the UN Chronicle for the International Day of Education, she shares her personal story and her motivation for the work she does. "Education is the key to peace and prosperity, and the foundation of equality," she says.

scientist analyzing genome sequences

Diagnosing animal diseases using nuclear-derived techniques

Bosnia and Herzegovina veterinary authorities are better equipped to protect livestock from several animal diseases spreading in Southeastern Europe, thanks to the support of the IAEA in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This is an important step for food security in the country and for the export of animal products and food to the European Union market.

What we do

Due to the powers vested in its Charter and its unique international character, the United Nations can take action on the issues confronting humanity in the 21st century, including:

Structure of the
United Nations

The main parts of the UN structure are the General Assembly, the
Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat. All were established in 1945 when the UN was founded.

The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN. All 193 Member States of the UN are represented in the General Assembly, making it the only UN body with universal representation.

The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the UN Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 Members (5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members). Each Member has one vote. Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.

The Economic and Social Council is the principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as implementation of internationally agreed development goals.

The Trusteeship Council was established in 1945 by the UN Charter, under Chapter XIII, to provide international supervision for 11 Trust Territories that had been placed under the administration of seven Member States, and ensure that adequate steps were taken to prepare the Territories for self-government and independence.

The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Its seat is at the Peace Palace in the Hague (Netherlands). It is the only one of the six principal organs of the United Nations not located in New York (United States of America).

The Secretariat comprises the Secretary-General and tens of thousands of international UN staff members who carry out the day-to-day work of the UN as mandated by the General Assembly and the Organization's other principal organs.

Learn more

The Middelgrunden Off Shore Windturbines located in the Øresund Straight separating Denmark and Sweden. UN Photo

Climate change is the defining issue of our time and now is the defining moment to do something about it. There is still time to tackle climate change, but it will require an unprecedented effort from all sectors of society.

Women at UN CSW63 Side Event - “Take the Hot Seat”. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and, therefore, also half of its potential. Gender equality, besides being a fundamental human right, is essential to achieve peaceful societies, with full human potential and sustainable development.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres is greeted on his visit to the Central African Republic

While global poverty rates have been cut by more than half since 2000, one in ten people in developing regions still lives on less than US$1.90 a day — the internationally agreed poverty line, and millions of others live on slightly more than this daily amount.

young children smiling at camera

In 2020, the United Nations turns 75. UN75 aims to build a global vision for the year 2045, the UN's centenary; to increase understanding of the threats to that future; and to drive collective action to realize that vision.  #Join the Conversation #Be the Change

Did you know?

As the world’s only truly universal global organization, the United Nations has become the foremost forum to address issues that transcend national boundaries and cannot be resolved by any one country acting alone.

Watch and Listen

Video and audio from across the United Nations and our world-wide family of agencies, funds, and programmes.

Video message by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, on the occasion of the Lunar New Year (25 January 2020). Chun Jie Kuai Le! [春节快乐!Happy Lunar New Year!

WHO: Coronavirus - Questions and Answers

What is a coronavirus? Where do they come from? How can I protect myself? Watch this Q&A from the World Health Organization for the answers. More information here.

Benefits of reducing your food waste

Benefits of reducing your food waste: 1. Saves the resources that would go into producing that food; 2. Lowers your carbon footprint; 3. Saves money; 4. Reduces methane gases that would be produced in landfill.

UN Podcasts

Lucy Hughes stands in a marina and holds up a rectangular piece of transparent plastic.

Blue Growth Innovators: Plastic Made From Fish

In 2013, FAO launched the Blue Growth Initiative, which supports the development of aquatic resources and the communities that depend on them. Today, innovators across the globe are coming up with new and exciting ways to harness the ocean’s resources sustainably, from blue fish fashion to the medical use of fish skin. These creative inventions offer potential alternative income generating opportunities for fisheries communities worldwide. Lucy Hughes is the inventor of MarinaTex, a bioplastic made from fish waste. The graduate student's innovation won the 2019 James Dyson Award.

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Live Now

United Nations meetings, events, and press conferences live and on demand

The United Nations in Pictures

Images from across the United Nations and our world-wide family of agencies, funds, and programmes.

Ranna faces the camera for a portrait photo on a sunny day with her sand sculptures on view behind her.
Photo:© UNRWA/Ibrahim Abu Usheeba

"Sculpting is my friend, the only way to express all of my anger, frustration and energy"

Ranna Al Ramlawi, 24-year old Palestine refugee from Gaza, is successfully developing her talent and potential, against all odds. Her father suffers from Parkinson's disease, leaving him unable to move or work. Ranna’s mother is a teacher at an UNRWA school in the besieged strip. One of 9 children, Ranna was unable to complete a university education because of the tough financial straits her family was in. Despite these challenges, Ranna managed to create a window of hope through art. Her fierce determination to overcome her challenges led her to turn her frustration and anger into expression through the creation of sand sculptures.

Stefana Marginean kneels beside her son for a photo-op as she places her UN-Security hat on his head.
Photo:UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Graduation Ceremony for an All Female New UN Security Officers

Stefana Marginean is one of the 13 new all female UN Security Officers. The United Nations has been at the forefront of mainstreaming gender into all its policies and programmes. The UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) has increased its efforts in this regard, working with the partners of the Inter-Agency Security Management Network (IASMN) to develop and improve the gender sensitivity and responsiveness in all aspects of the UN Security Management System (UNSMS) and Security Risk Management (SRM) processes. UNDSS is also implementing its internal UNDSS Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women Strategy with 3 main objectives: an inclusive organizational culture free from bias and discrimination; improved gender parity; and ensuring gender-responsive operations.

UNPA's Chinese Lunar Calendar series - celebrating the Year of the Rat.
Photo:UNPA

Chinese Lunar Calendar – Year of the Rat

On 10 January 2020, UNPA continued its Chinese Lunar Calendar series with the issuance of a special event sheet celebrating the Year of the Rat. This is the eleventh sheet issued for UNPA’s Lunar New Year stamp series. The sheet is composed on ten $1.20 denominated stamps with the United Nations logo. The tabs of the stamps and background design feature artwork designed by Yin Huili (China). Customers with standing order requirements for special event sheets will automatically receive this item through their accounts.

Nujeen Mustafa sits on stage and addresses attendees at UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award event.
Photo:UNHCR/Mark Henley

7 Refugees Paving the Way on Disability Rights

“People don’t realize how hard we’re all trying to rebuild our lives from zero [...] Try to get to know us. There’s more inside us and inside you than everyone thinks,” says Nujeen Mustafa. Born with cerebral palsy, she became famous after fleeing the conflict in Syria and making the hazardous journey to Europe in her wheelchair. Her resilience, documented in her memoir "The girl from Aleppo" has inspired millions. Now a refugee in Germany, Nujeen is attending school and learning German. She uses her platform to call for positive change, including at TEDxExeter in the United Kingdom and as a guest on the renowned John Oliver show. Read more stories here.