Living together in peace is all about accepting our differences. It is about listening to, recognizing, respecting, and appreciating one another to live in a peaceful and united way. The International Day of Living Together in Peace (16 May) also promotes international cooperation in solving international problems, including encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms without distinction of race, sex, language, or religion. The Day aims to uphold the desire to live and act together, while promoting peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity.
The release of doves is part of the observance of the United Nations International Day of Peace in Timor-Leste.
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.
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.
UNESCO's Director-General has welcomed the decision by the United States and many other countries to call for the lifting of patent protection on COVID-19 vaccines. This growing momentum comes in response to the joint appeal made by UNESCO, the WHO and the UNHCR to open up science and boost scientific cooperation. The idea behind Open Science is to allow scientific information, data and outputs to be more widely accessible (Open Access) and more reliably harnessed (Open Data) with the active engagement of all the stakeholders (Open to Society).
Mothers already shouldered tremendous financial, physical, emotional, and intellectual burdens before the onset of the pandemic. But now ‒ under increasing economic pressures, reduced access to health care, diminishing social support and growing unpaid care responsibilities ‒ many of these burdens have become crushing. All of this is taking a toll on the long-term health and welfare of mothers. Women have been disproportionately affected by pandemic-related job losses, and researchers are starting to see signs of rising stillbirths, maternal mortality and poor maternal health outcomes around the world.
Coffee and chocolate can do much more than give us a boost of energy in the morning. For the last seven years, the NICADAPTA project, financed by IFAD, has improved the incomes and quality of life of more than 45,000 families in Nicaragua through the sustainable development of coffee and cocoa production. NICADAPTA works closely with producer cooperatives and their members, many of them women and youth, to help them access lucrative coffee and cocoa markets and increase their resilience to climate change.
Kristin Riis Halvorsen, UNHCR’s head of office in Tapachula, Mexico talks about how rewarding her job is, because it allows her to do something meaningful, but she also grapples with decisions about what the organization can and cannot do. "It would have been amazing to live in a world where no one was forced to leave their home," she says.
In a society like Afghanistan, traditional norms often make it difficult for women to access employment, get a loan or start a business. Yet, when women are given an opportunity, they make significant contributions to the growth and development of their families and their communities at large. This is the story of Sakina, who overcame the odds with the help of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Across the Americas, only about half of households in rural areas have a home Internet connection, compared to nearly three quarters of those in urban areas, according to the latest study on regional digital trends by the ITU. The last of six regional preparatory meetings for the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) brought policy makers and experts together to take stock of digital challenges and opportunities.
The United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development convenes from 17 to 21 May, bringing together UN leaders, led by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, scientists, including a Nobel laureate, and other experts to explore how new technologies can contribute to a sustainable and resilient COVID-19 recovery for all.
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" will build 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.
School meals in Guatemala
Guatemala has the fourth highest rate of malnutrition in the world where over 50 per cent of children under five are stunted. Many children do not get enough nutritious food, and often came to school hungry. IFAD teamed up with WFP and FAO to set up a food chain that enables local farmers to provide fruit and vegetables for school meals.
Waffles and Mochi at the Youth Summit Dialogue
Waffles and Mochi deliver opening remarks at the Global Youth Summit Dialogue 2021 - Good Food For All. Gathering youth voices from around the world, invites a curated group of 100 youth for a discussion on the future of our food systems.
Working together to improve millions of people’s lives
UNOPS, together with the European Union, supports peace, empowers local communities, advances gender equality, and helps promote climate action. Watch to discover more about the partnership with the EU.
UN has ‘all hands on deck’ across India to help save lives amid deadly COVID surge
The United Nations has deployed all the personnel and resources at its disposal to help Indians deal with the deadly surge in COVID-19 that has seen more than 300,000 reported new cases per day, for almost two weeks now, and left many hospitals overwhelmed.
That’s according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) India Representative, Dr. Roderico Ofrin, speaking exclusively to UN News, who told Anshu Sharma that tried and trust methods of bringing down the numbers would surely work, if India can get “ahead of the game”.
With vaccination now open to all over 18, and 165 million already inoculated, he said that shots were only part of the solution, to bringing the multiple factors that have fuelled the surge, under control.
Images from across the United Nations and our world-wide family of agencies, funds, and programmes.
Photo:MINUSMA / Marco Dormino
Empowering Youth as Agents of Peace
This month, leading up to the International Day of UN Peacekeepers (29 May), we’re recognizing the significant role of youth in shaping and sustaining peace efforts. “The road to a lasting peace: Leveraging the power of youth for peace and security,” highlights the invaluable contributions from local youth and young peacekeepers in realizing international peace and security. While portraying youth as peaceful advocates for change, this photo essay captures empowered moments of hope, development, and peace of youth across the globe.
Photo:UNDP / Claire Thomas
Iraq - A New Era
ISIS may have been driven out of Iraq, but the country continues to grapple with the scars of decades of war and political instability. COVID-19 has added another layer of hardship upon many households. It is in this context that another unfolding crisis is threatening to derail the nation’s recovery and development: climate change. In spite of ongoing fragility, Iraq is backing international efforts such as those of the UNDP and partners, while setting itself on a new path that is helping in transitioning to cleaner sources of energy.
Photo:UN Women / Jerónimo Villarreal
Restoring a fragile ecosystem in the face of climate crisis
Women in Ecuador have stayed in the Páramo, an ecosystem in the Andes, despite the threats that desertification, overgrazing and other human activities pose to their sustenance. With funding from the Municipality of Madrid, UN Women is working with the provincial government to improve the resilience of communities in Azuay through a comprehensive intervention that includes women-led sustainable agricultural production. The project is also dismantling gender stereotypes and empowering women to contribute to decision-making processes.
Photo:WFP / Evelyn Fey
Acute hunger at five-year high
At least 155 million people in 55 countries faced acute hunger in 2020 — 20 million more than 2019, according to figures from the 2021 Global Report on Food Crises. This marks a five-year high for people facing life-threatening food insecurity, accompanied by a breakdown in livelihoods. Published by the Global Network Against Food Crises — an alliance of government agencies and NGOs, including the WFP, the report highlights the lethal combined impact of conflict, extreme weather, and economic shocks, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.