Across all regions, women are paid less than men. The International Equal Pay Day (18 September) represents the longstanding efforts towards the achievement of equal pay for work of equal value. It further builds on the United Nations commitment to human rights and against all forms of discrimination, including discrimination against women and girls. This year’s observance focuses on encouraging efforts of key labour market actors to ensure that equal pay remains central to pandemic responses worldwide and to fully recognize the contributions of women to COVID-19 recovery.
Achieving equal pay is an important milestone for human rights and gender equality.
The ActNow campaign aims to trigger individual action on the defining issue of our time. People around the world have joined to make a difference in all facets of their lives, from the food they eat to the clothes they wear.
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.
In addition to the General Debate, this year’s session of the UN General Assembly will kick off a series of international UN conferences in 2021, which are expected to highlight action and solutions that will ignite the transformations needed to secure healthy, peaceful and prosperous lives for all.
As the world responds to end the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 remains a make-or-break year in the global effort to restore balance with nature, tackle the climate emergency, and attain a more equal and inclusive society. Join us for conversations that matter – underscoring the transformation and restoration needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement.
People pack up and leave their homes for many reasons – economic, social, political – and these drivers are often interconnected. A more complete picture of patterns of mobility must now include those moving due to climate change – a trend expected to increase over time - as people journey from one part of their countries to another. Over 216 million people could move within their countries by 2050 across six regions, according to the World Bank’s latest Groundswell report.
Since 2001 Afghanistan has made advances, according to a UNESCO report. The report found that the total number of enrolled students increased from around 1 million to 10 million learners. The number of girls in primary school increased from almost zero in 2001 to 2.5 million in 2018. In 2021, 4 out of 10 students in primary education are girls. Yet these critical gains for the country’s development are at risk and the right to education for all learners, especially girls, must be upheld in the face of a looming humanitarian crisis.
Global support to producers in the agricultural sector amounts to $540 billion per year, making up 15 percent of total agricultural production value. Yet 87 percent of this support is price distorting and environmentally and socially harmful. Reconfiguring agricultural producer support, rather than eliminating it, will help end poverty, eradicate hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition, promote sustainable agriculture, foster sustainable consumption and production, mitigate the climate crisis, restore nature, limit pollution, and reduce inequalities.
During a pregnancy complication at 7 months, Ami Campini was transported to the Regional Hospital of Buba, Guinea-Bissau and delivered a 1.3-kilogram baby girl via emergency Caesarean section. Both mother and baby are doing fine.
In 2021, the global economy will bounce back with growth of 5.3%, the fastest in nearly 50 years. The rebound is, however, highly uneven along regional, sectoral and income lines, according to UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report 2021.
The United Nations came into being in 1945, following the devastation of the Second World War, with one central mission: the maintenance of international peace and security. The UN does this by working to prevent conflict; helping parties in conflict make peace; peacekeeping; and creating the conditions to allow peace to hold and flourish. These activities often overlap and should reinforce one another, to be effective. The UN Security Council has the primary responsibility for international peace and security. The General Assembly and the Secretary-General play major, important, and complementary roles, along with other UN offices and bodies.
Protect Human Rights
The term “human rights” was mentioned seven times in the UN's founding Charter, making the promotion and protection of human rights a key purpose and guiding principle of the Organization. In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights brought human rights into the realm of international law. Since then, the Organization has diligently protected human rights through legal instruments and on-the-ground activities.
Deliver Humanitarian Aid
One of the purposes of the United Nations, as stated in its Charter, is "to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character." The UN first did this in the aftermath of the Second World War on the devastated continent of Europe, which it helped to rebuild. The Organization is now relied upon by the international community to coordinate humanitarian relief operations due to natural and man-made disasters in areas beyond the relief capacity of national authorities alone.
Promote Sustainable Development
From the start in 1945, one of the main priorities of the United Nations was to “achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.” Improving people’s well-being continues to be one of the main focuses of the UN. The global understanding of development has changed over the years, and countries now have agreed that sustainable development offers the best path forward for improving the lives of people everywhere.
Uphold International Law
The UN Charter, in its Preamble, set an objective: "to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained." Ever since, the development of, and respect for international law has been a key part of the work of the Organization. This work is carried out in many ways - by courts, tribunals, multilateral treaties - and by the Security Council, which can approve peacekeeping missions, impose sanctions, or authorize the use of force when there is a threat to international peace and security, if it deems this necessary. These powers are given to it by the UN Charter, which is considered an international treaty. As such, it is an instrument of international law, and UN Member States are bound by it. The UN Charter codifies the major principles of international relations, from sovereign equality of States to the prohibition of the use of force in international relations.
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.
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 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.
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.
The UN’s 75th anniversary in 2020 arrived at a time of great upheaval and peril. To secure a world where everyone can thrive in peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet we need a multilateral system that is inclusive, networked and effective. "Our Common Agenda" builds on the 12 commitments contained in the UN75 Declaration.
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.
Video and audio from across the United Nations and our world-wide family of agencies, funds, and programmes.
What would a world without independent media look like?
Without the work of independent journalists providing us with reliable information, who would report on issues of public interest, denounce wrongdoings, social inequalities and unpunished crimes? Protecting journalists and independent journalism is a concern for all. Journalism makes an impact on people’s lives. It is key in advancing human rights and has a basic function to hold the powerful accountable. The information that journalists provide to us is a public good which needs public support. Learn more about how UNESCO protects freedom of expression and the safety of journalists.
The Montreal Protocol is one of the most successful universally ratified environmental treaties. Without which, it is estimated that the global ozone layer would have collapsed by the mid-21st century, with devastating environmental implications. Scientists estimate that the ozone hole is now expected to gradually close. But there is more to be done. The Kigali Amendment aims to phase-out so called HFC gasses. Compliance will avoid up to 0.4°C of global warming over this century.
UNEP brings us a film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, with aerial footage courtesy of Human / GoodPlanet Foundation.
ITU Interviews: Geena Davis
Why does the portrayal of women scientists and engineers in films and in the media matter? Would you say that there's a conscious effort to change the numbers and images of women characters as scientists and engineers? What concrete actions can content creators put in place to support and promote strong female characters and role models? Geena Davis, Academy Award winning Hollywood actor, founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and ITU's Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT, answers these questions in an exclusive interview with ITU.
Build Trust and Build a Future
"We know that whenever you have these sort of atrocity crimes that happened here [Bosnia and Herzegovina], they're often preceded by hate."
Ingrid Macdonald is the UN Resident Coordinator in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is tasked with spearheading the UN’s efforts to support development in a country still deeply scarred by ethnic divisions and the legacy of war and the 1995 genocide at Srebrenica. Ingrid, who was raised in a small New Zealand mining town, has a long record of working in humanitarian, development and human rights jobs around the world.
Since relocating to Sarajevo in early 2020, just as COVID-19 was taking hold across the world, Ingrid has been focused on finding ways to bring divided communities together, as well as tackle hate speech and genocide denial, just 26 years after Bosnian Serb forces massacred 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica. In this episode, she talks about the challenges she faced in many of her roles and her vivid memories of trying to advocate for the vulnerable, including her time helping women in Afghanistan.
Early in the morning of 14 August 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked Haiti, claiming more than 2,200 lives and injuring thousands more. The devastating earthquake also upended the lives of thousands of children. More than 700 schools were damaged or destroyed by the earthquake. For many children, part of the recovery process will require being able to return to school safely. UNICEF and partners are working to establish temporary classrooms until schools can welcome back children and teachers.
Afghanistan teeters on the brink of universal poverty. As much as 97 percent of the population is at risk of sinking below the poverty line unless a response to the country’s political and economic crises is urgently launched, according to a rapid appraisal released today by UNDP. The UNDP study, which analysed four potential scenarios of escalating intensity and isolation, indicates that real GDP could contract by as much as 13.2 percent, leading to an increase in the poverty rate of up to 25 percentage points.