ITU, Finance

The future of digital currency

ITU’s DC3 Conference – From Cryptocurrencies to CBDCs (25-27 January) aims to bring together industry thought leaders, policy makers, standards development bodies, international organisations, Central Banks, digital currency platforms, stablecoin and cryptocurrency industry experts to exchange and share their experiences and pilot project implementations. It also provides an interdisciplinary platform to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends and standards as well as practical challenges encountered, and soIlutions adopted in the fields of digital currencies.

The conference will highlight the work of the Digital Currency Global Initiative as well as emerging industry trends and initiatives in digital currencies.
Photo:ITU
The harsh winter continue to make life very difficult for displaced people in camps like this one in Idlib, Syria.

Senior humanitarian describes 'horror scenes' in Syria camps

24 January 2022 — Well below zero temperatures hitting Syria this week have turned camps for internally displaced people into disaster zones, the UN Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator warned...

‘Global learning crisis’ continues says Guterres; millions still hit 

24 January 2022 — Almost two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, school closures continue to disrupt the lives of over 31 million students, exacerbating what the United Nations’ Secretary General ...

UN coordinator in Tonga: ‘Resources on the ground are not enough’

21 January 2022 — As news coverage of the eruption and tsunami that hit Tonga starts to fade away, the United Nations Coordination Specialist in the country has a message to the outside world:...

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.

SDG wheel at Expo 2020 Dubai

The SDG Media Zone at the Dubai Expo takes place from 16–20 January 2022 at the UN Hub. Hosted by the United Nations in collaboration with the PVBLIC Foundation and media partners, the SDG Media Zone aims to take the conversation on advancing the Sustainable Development Goals out of the policy sphere and into the public discourse.

Act Now

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.

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 1: no poverty icon with silhouettes of people with children
 
Goal 1: No Poverty

End poverty in all its forms everywhere.

More from the
United Nations

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

World map showing climate change WMO, Climate Change

2021 one of the seven warmest years on record 

Although average global temperatures were temporarily cooled by the 2020-2022 La Niña events, 2021 was still one of the seven warmest years on record, according to six leading international datasets consolidated by the WMO.  Global warming and other long-term climate change trends are expected to continue as a result of record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The average global temperature in 2021 was about 1.11°C above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) levels. 2021 is the 7th consecutive year global temperature has been over 1°C above pre-industrial levels.

 

A World Environment Day 2021 billboard at Times Square, New York, that reads "This is our moment" UNEP, Natural Resources and the Environment

2022: Emergency mode for the environment 

2022 could prove to be a seminal year for the environment, with high-level events and conferences scheduled, which are hoped to re-energize international cooperation and collective action. UNEP is going into 2022 with a new “Medium-Term Strategy” featuring seven interlinked subprogrammes for action. Unsustainable patterns of consumption and production are fuelling the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste. Several global events in 2022 aim to encourage dialogue and influence policy decisions to address the triple crisis.

woman wearing a facemask at a sewing machine ILO, Employment

ILO downgrades labour market recovery forecast for 2022

ILO has downgraded its forecast for labour market recovery in 2022, projecting a deficit in hours worked globally equivalent to 52 million full-time jobs, relative to the fourth quarter of 2019. The previous full-year estimate in May 2021 projected a deficit of 26 million full-time equivalent jobs. While this latest projection is an improvement on the situation in 2021, it remains almost two per cent below the number of global hours worked pre-pandemic, according ILO’s WESO Trends 2022. Global unemployment is expected to remain above pre-COVID-19 levels until at least 2023.

FAO, Agriculture and Food

Tracking progress on food and agriculture

The pandemic has already shaken the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as it continues, FAO reports that progress towards the achievement of the SDGs is still to be determined.

UNAIDS, Health

Love and condoms

Telling the Truth, a live broadcast devoted to the use of condoms and the link to the HIV epidemic, airs in eastern Europe and central Asia through a UNAIDS-UNESCO education project.

UNWTO, Tourism

Tourism grows 4% in 2021 yet still below pre-pandemic

Global tourism experienced a 4% upturn in 2021, compared to 2020. However, international tourist arrivals were still 72% below pre-pandemic levels according to estimates by UNWTO.

UNFPA, Women and Gender Equality

A fresh start for women sanitation workers in India 

The UNFPA initiative aims to eliminate the degrading and hazardous practice of manual cleaning of public sewer systems and help the women employed gain financial independence. 

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

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.

Watch and Listen

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

Afro-Ecuadorians and Afro-Colombian refugees use traditional arrullo rhythms and song to open a conversation about gender-based violence.

Fighting antimicrobial resistance in Africa

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) continues to pose a major threat to human development and to the fight against infectious diseases. A holistic approach must be used to mitigate AMR risks in Africa.

Queen Acapel Mbanusi: "We are not worthless"

"I would love for every transgender parent to love their kids, regardless of who they are," says Queen Acapel Mbanusi of Nigeria, as part of the #SeeMeAsIAm campaign.

UN Podcasts

Hibakusha exhibit

Exhibition provides ‘strong, powerful’ argument for nuclear disarmament

A powerful and haunting exhibition featuring the Hibakusha – the Japanese survivors of the nuclear bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki more than three-quarters of a century ago – has just been staged at UN Headquarters in New York.

It’s not the first exhibit dedicated to the issue of nuclear disarmament that Japanese art director Erico Platt has created for the UN, and although she is far too young to be a hibakusha, she is proud to amplify their voices against the horrors of nuclear weapons.

Ms. Platt explained to Liz Scaffidi, how her studies in Japan linked her to the right people, who, in turn, helped highlight again the urgency of banning nuclear weapons in what she describes as a “strong, powerful” and also beautiful exhibition, that’s the best she’s done…

Photo: UNODA/Diane Barnes

Latest Audio from UN News

The United Nations in Pictures

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

a child's plush toy amid rubble
Photo:© UNICEF/UN0464395/Abu Aseer

25th anniversary of the Children and Armed Conflict mandate

At an event to mark the occasion and to launch the 25th anniversary study, UNICEF's Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, said the mandate has achieved concrete results for children: "For example, since 2000, at least 170,000 children have been released from armed forces and armed groups, many having survived multiple violations – including abduction or sexual violence." The UN should continue to prioritize helping these children, who have suffered terrible violence, she added. "We should seize all opportunities to increase visibility and awareness of the terrible impact of conflict on children. We should be courageous in taking steps to end impunity and advance accountability for children in situations of armed conflict."

woman on bare floor with kettle
Photo:© WFP/Jon Dumont

Drought, economic collapse and hunger push Afghanistan to brink of famine

Almost overnight, Asia’s most fragile economy has collapsed, leaving people jobless or with unpaid salaries and without access to their savings. Prior to that, 11 million Afghans were already food insecure due to years of drought, conflict and COVID-19. Now almost 23 million people, more than half the country, don’t know where their next meal is coming from and we see clinics filling up with severely malnourished children. It is the unveiling of a tragedy in real time. WFP has scrambled to pre-position food in rural areas before the imminent winter snows make the roads impassable. But rather like outrunning an avalanche, the surge in hunger threatens to overcome the convoys of trucks snaking up mountain paths loaded with food.