Blueprint for a healthier, more inclusive, more resilient world

In the wake of the devastating socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development takes greater significance as the international community must come together to seek solutions to contain the pandemic while delivering on the SDGs - the blueprint for a healthier, more inclusive and more resilient world. Under the theme “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development,” the virtual gathering looks at how the world can respond to the pandemic and build back better.

The projection on the UN Headquarters brings to life the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Photo:UN Photo/Cia Pak
Children eating in Ecuador underscores the need for meaningful progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

‘New dynamic’ needed to overcome negative impacts of COVID-19 worldwide 

7 July 2020 — The dramatic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, have laid bare “weaknesses in our systems and societies”, a top official told the UN’s key international forum on sustainable...

Fresh evidence of war crimes committed by all sides in Syrian conflict, probe finds

7 July 2020 — Hospitals, schools and homes have all been targeted during Syria’s brutal and long-running conflict, said UN-appointed investigators, who on Tuesday condemned likely fresh war crimes...

Terrorist groups must not be allowed to exploit ‘fragilities’ caused by global health pandemic

6 July 2020 — As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the world’s health systems, economies and local communities, the UN Secretary-General on Monday highlighted how the pandemic has laid bare...

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.

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.

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.

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

 

Goal 9: Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

More from the
United Nations

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

beekeeper straining honey

Bonbon honey is creating a buzz in Haiti

The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has spelled disaster for the island of Haiti in many ways. The impact on health and the medical system was the first enormous challenge, but the economic impact was a close second. Many businesses ground to a halt and agricultural work decreased, as many farmers were required to stay home because of the containment measures implemented by the Haitian Government. The honey business was one of the very few exceptions to this rule. For Hilarion and the 30 other local beekeepers in the Bonbon Beekeepers Association, they noticed that there was marked increase in demand for their honey, due to its wide use in traditional Haitian medicine.

vendor of plantains

As jobs crisis deepens, ILO warns of uncertain and incomplete labour market recovery

The number of working hours lost across the world in the first half of 2020 was significantly worse than previously estimated, while the highly uncertain recovery in the second half of the year will not be enough to go back to pre-pandemic levels, even in the best scenario, and risks seeing continuing large scale job losses, warns the International Labour Organization (ILO). According to the ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work: 5th Edition  there was a 14 per cent drop in global working hours during the second quarter of 2020, equivalent to the loss of 400 million full-time jobs.

restaurant in China reopens

Reopening Asia: How the right policies can help economic recovery

For the first time in living memory, Asia’s growth is expected to contract by 1.6 percent—a downgrade to the April projection of zero growth. While Asia’s economic growth in the first quarter of 2020 was better than projected in the April World Economic Outlook—partly owing to early stabilization of the virus in some—projections for 2020 have been revised down for most of the countries in the region due to weaker global conditions and more protracted containment measures in several emerging economies.

My COVID-19 Story

This #YouthOfUNESCO campaign asks you to share your experience of the pandemic, through story or short video.

Caribbean wrestles with mischievous invaders

The 60,000-plus green monkeys of St. Kitts and Nevis are a quintessential part of the Caribbean experience for many visitors, but they are putting pressure on native species.

African mixed martial arts fighters in the UFC spotlight

Of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s almost 600 fighters from around the world, 11 are African. They include the current middleweight and welterweight champions.

5 things you didn’t know about practices that harm girls

Five unexpected, and critical, takeaways from UNFPA’s flagship 2020 State of World Population report. Without urgent action, the situation for women and girls could worsen.

indigenous women around a table with craftwork

Indigenous women’s economic empowerment is key to building back better

Since March 2020, Guatemala has recorded more than 600 COVID-19 deaths and over 11,000 infections. Amidst this crisis, indigenous women have continued to use their voices, knowledge and capacities to assist their communities and adapt their livelihoods. To build back better, their needs and concerns, but also their leadership must be placed at the centre of COVID-19 recovery plans. Boosting indigenous women’s entrepreneurial abilities can be transformative for them and their communities, and by extension, the entire country.

WFP worker handing meals to woman in mask.

WFP to assist largest number of hungry people ever

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has announced a massive rise in the number of hungry people it plans to assist around the world, as the devastating socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic push millions more people into food insecurity in low- and middle-income countries.  “The frontline in the battle against the coronavirus is shifting from the rich world to the poor world,” said David Beasley, WFP’s Executive Director. “Until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos. Without it, we could see increased social unrest and protests, a rise in migration, deepening conflict and widespread under-nutrition among populations that were previously immune from hunger.”

Two people hearding goats with their tents in the background.

Get sick or go hungry: Afghan nomads battle against COVID-19

Since COVID-19 hit Afghanistan, it has posed a dreadful dilemma for the Afghan nomads, the Kuchis, get sick or go hungry. IFAD tells the experience of the Kuchis, who normally make a living by herding sheep, goats and camels around the country.  Under lockdown, that lifestyle has become very difficult to maintain. For most people, the lockdown measures greatly reduce their exposure to the virus. But for the Kuchis, they pose the danger of blocking their usual trade of livestock and dairy products – and without trade, they have no income and face a shortage of food.

A man and a woman look over a notebook.

Economic misery engulfs Syrian refugees and their hosts

Behind the counter of her small convenience store in a rundown neighbourhood of Tripoli, northern Lebanon, 35-year-old Kawkab Mustafa keeps a list of debts owed to her by customers she has allowed to buy goods on credit. In recent months, the list has grown so long she needs four separate notebooks to record all the entries. UNHCR shows us how the arrival of COVID-19 and restrictions to contain its spread in March have brought further misery to both Lebanese locals and Syrian refugees, leaving many unable to work and pushing them closer to the brink of destitution.

 

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.

Join UN Women in speaking up and taking action for a future without violence against women.

UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and Academy-Award winning actor Nicole Kidman raises awareness on ending violence against women during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Join UN Women in speaking up and taking action for a future without violence against women. Everybody has a role to play. Find out more and see what you can do.

Together, we can help the world recover better

The COVID-19 crisis is taking a grim toll on human lives across the globe. Although the complete impact is yet to be fully comprehended, the risk the pandemic is exposing for gains made towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is becoming evident. What this global emergency is also revealing, is that these 17 goals are, in fact, our best option to recover better and to overcome similar crises in the future.

A UNEP partner has rescued sloths for more than a decade.

Save our Sloths

Habitat loss and fragmentation is a major threat to sloths. In Panama, a biodiverse country, a UNEP partner has rescued sloths for more than a decade. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic is hampering efforts to protect the species.

UN Podcasts

A boy sits on top of a box that reads UNICEF.

‘God forbid’ COVID-19 reaches Syria’s camps

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Syria are in the low hundreds, but it is only a matter of time before the disease reaches those sheltering in camps in the war-torn country.

That’s according to the World Health Organization’s Dr Akjemal Magtymova, who’s the UN health agency’s representative in Syria.

She’s been speaking to UN News’s Daniel Johnson from Qamishli in the northeast of the country, where she’s just visited Al Hol camp, that’s home to tens of thousands of youngsters caught up in the more than nine-year conflict.

More UN podcasts

The United Nations in Pictures

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

A man and a little girl play with toys.
Photo:UN Women/ Ramzi Haidar/ Dar Al Mussawir

When fathers share the care

As COVID-19 impacts parents around the world, sharing the care work is critical. UN Women shows us the example set by a Palestinian couple living in a refugee camp in Lebanon. In a community that views men who share domestic and care work as a sign of weakness, Mahmoud Charary stands out as an exception. Both parents consider themselves as primary caregivers. Yet Malak, mother to their one-year-old girl, works long hours on the front line of the pandemic, leaving Mahmoud to care for their daughter.

A pregnant woman, holding up a mobile phone smiles.
Photo:© UNHCR/Ibrahima Diane

Refugees feel uncertainty every day

Closed borders and restrictions on movement pose unprecedented challenges to the way UNHCR responds to emergencies. Some of the lessons learned by supporting displaced communities to confront the COVID-19 pandemic include the feelings of uncertainty we are all experiencing right now. Obviously, the experience of refugees is much more extreme than what we are going through — but the notion of sudden change in the way a person lives, and works is something this crisis will help us to understand better.

 

A young man handling an apiary.
Photo:UNDP Guatemala/Carolina Trutmann

Transforming food and agriculture

For smallholder farmers struggling to feed their families, resilient agriculture and smarter food systems can support nations in preparing, responding and recovering to multiplying crises, including climate change, plagues of locusts, and COVID-19. Working with national governments, over 40 international organizations, donors, and UN Agencies, such as UNDP, envision transforming food and agriculture to be more resilient, equitable, inclusive, and environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

 

Woman holding up a lamp
Photo:UNDP/ GEF Small Grants Programme

Using South-South Cooperation to replicate nature-based solutions

Shared solutions, shared among communities through South-South cooperation and supported by UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme, increase local communities’ livelihood opportunities, help protect the environment, increase access to health and education, and inspire social inclusion across borders. "South-South cooperation is a powerful tool as we advance, together, towards the Sustainable Development Goals and fulfil the promise to leave no one behind”, acknowledges UN Secretary-General António Guterres.