Building on the legacy of the International Year of Indigenous Languages (2019), UNESCO and the Government of Mexico, and other partners, are organizing a High-level event “Making a decade of action for indigenous languages” on the margins of the International Congress on Endangered Languages at Risk from 25 to 26 February 2020 in Mexico City. The main objective of the Congress is to establish a constructive dialogue to address the problem of threatened languages, based on experiences in favour of linguistic diversity and linguistic rights.
A participant in the Regional Congress of Indigenous Languages for Latin America and the Caribbean in Peru, 2019.
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.
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.
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.
With the number of people living within cities projected to rise to 5 billion people by 2030, it’s important that efficient urban planning and management practices are in place to deal with the challenges brought by urbanization.
As COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, continues to spread, the World Health Organization is addressing some misconceptions and misinformation surrounding the contagious disease, which first appeared in December 2019, in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Here are some of the questions answered:
Are hand dryers effective in killing the new coronavirus?
Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus?
How effective are thermal scanners in detecting people infected with the new coronavirus?
The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is the first international treaty negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organization. It was adopted by the World Health Assembly on 21 May 2003 and entered into force on 27 February 2005. It has since become one of the most rapidly and widely embraced treaties in United Nations history. The Convention was developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic and is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health. The Convention represents a milestone for the promotion of public health and provides new legal dimensions for international health cooperation.
Nine projects that will boost the creative industries in their countries were selected to receive grants of up to $100,000 by the Committee of UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Selected from 480 applications, the projects will enhance cultural professional’s skills and knowledge, boost cultural entrepreneurship, promote creative networks and mobility, gather data, and support the development and implementation of cultural policies. They include empowering youth through music in Argentina, strengthening the dance sector in Ethiopia and enforcing intellectual property in Viet Nam.
The mining sector, if carefully managed, presents enormous opportunities for advancing sustainable development particularly in low-income countries, the International Resource Panel says in its latest report.
Cacao – the key ingredient in chocolate, and a major cash crop – is making a comeback in Sao Tome and Principe, thanks to IFAD’s assistance, tripling Sao Tome and Principe’s exports in comparison to just 12 years before.
Kiara Nirghin, 19, is a student, scientist, and advocate for women and girls in STEM. In 2016, she won the Google Science Fair for her work on a method to increase food security in drought-affected areas.
Decades of instability have caused untold suffering for people across the Central African Republic. One of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, more than one million people remain displaced and over half of the country’s five million population requires humanitarian assistance. The small landlocked country has been ravaged by conflict and civil war, which has resulted in countless deaths and forced displacements, and has prevented the country from developing. As part of efforts to alleviate people’s hardship, UNOPS is working with the government and the World Bank to deliver a multifaceted project that is helping to lay the foundations for peace and improve living conditions for displaced communities.
After the success of the first edition, the competition has returned to identify and celebrate disruptive ideas and innovators who will lead the transformation of the sector as well as those who are making a positive impact in their local communities. In 2019, over 300 initiatives from 84 countries were submitted. Projects ranged from new technologies, community-based tourism development initiatives, innovation software and startups focused on innovation-driven agricultural sustainability. For this second edition there will be two prizes. The first category will identify the initiative that is both innovative and has a sustainable social impact. The other category will recognize the most disruptive gastronomy tourism startup overall.
When Burundian cassava farmers split open the plant’s starchy root, they’re hoping to find white flesh that resembles coconut meat. If instead the inside is marked with brown patches, it’s likely suffering from cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) — bad news for the farmer, who can no longer eat or sell the produce, and whose entire harvest may be at risk of loss due to the disease. Cassava, a carbohydrate-rich root vegetable, is the second most important staple crop in Burundi. Low cassava yields can exacerbate the country’s food insecurity, from which half of the population already suffers. IAEA experts trained Burundian scientists in plant breeding techniques, using induced mutation and tissue culture techniques to develop a new cassava variety.
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.
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
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.
Nakout, a refugee from South Sudan, pens a letter to her long-lost daughter
Nakout hasn’t seen her daughter Achan since she was kidnapped by a Ugandan rebel group in 2003. After escaping from the group, Nakout became a refugee in Finland. She has written a letter to her long-lost daughter in the hope they can begin to rebuild their relationship.
UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, works to protect and assist those fleeing war and persecution. Since 1950, UNHCR has helped tens of millions of people find safety and rebuild their lives. If you would like to use this video to communicate refugee stories or require B-Roll, transcripts, stills or more information, please visit UNHCR's media page: https://media.unhcr.org.
Much marketing deliberately targets children with a wide range of unhealthy products, from fast food to sugar, tobacco and alcohol. What do young people make of manipulative marketing?
New York City spends far more on its fire, police and the prison system than the entire peacekeeping budget of the United Nations. This is just one of the startling facts uncovered by hosts, Sinduja Srinivasan and Jason DeWall, in the latest episode of Uncomplicated.
They talk to Ken Payumo, Chief of the peacekeeping operations support section of the United Nations Department of Safety and Security, and Nick Birnback, Chief of Strategic Communications at the Department of Peace Operations, and learn more about the challenges faced by peacekeeping staff, keeping millions safe with limited resources.
Music credits: 'The Veil', by the band Signal and Report, written by Chris Hall and Noah Miller; plus their track, 'Abbey Minor'
UNRWA Inaugurates New School in Dera’a Refugee Camp
On 12 February, UNRWA inaugurated the newly reconstructed UNRWA Al-Safsaf School in Dera’a refugee camp, southern Syria. Dera’a camp was home to 10,500 Palestine refugees before 2011. Dera’a camp and its surroundings returned to government control in the summer of 2018. The camp is now largely destroyed. UNRWA was able to return to Dera’a camp in November 2018 to conduct a needs assessment. Inside Dera’a camp, all premises including three school buildings and a clinic need substantial repairs or complete rebuilding. As of February 2020, some 770 Palestine refugee families have returned to their homes.
Photo:UN Photo/Mark Garten
Pakistan-India Crossing is a ‘Corridor of Hope,’ UN Chief Says
Secretary-General António Guterres said he had been moved by the show of religious unity he had witnessed in Pakistan after paying visits to a mosque, a gurdwara and Kartarpur Corridor, the visa-free crossing which allows Sikhs to travel between nearby holy sites on each side of the India-Pakistan border. “This is a very emotional moment. It is wonderful to see interfaith dialogue” said Guterres, on the last leg of his 3-day visit to Pakistan, where he has pressed for climate action, and praised Pakistan’s compassion for hosting Afghan refugees, as well as the South Asian country’s major contributions to UN peacekeeping.
Young People Call for Action at the Migration Youth Forum in Ecuador
“We sometimes don’t believe in ourselves or we think our solutions don’t matter,” said Marta Verani - a young Italian migrant and a representative of the UN Major Group for Children and Youth - at the Migration Youth Forum in Quito, Ecuador, “Sometimes we feel that we should leave this work to governments and other stakeholders. Actually, we should act on our ideas and make them a reality.” The Forum brought together young people who are working at the forefront of migration issues as grassroots activists, experts, professionals, and leaders, in their home or host communities. Here are their policy recommendations.
Help Kids Save our Oceans and be Environmental Heroes
Eat sustainably sourced fish... Do a local clean up... Reuse disposed items... Reduce plastic use... There isn’t just one approach to keeping our oceans clean and our planet healthy. Everything is interconnected. Every little bit helps. Kids can start young in making sustainable choices and forming habits that are beneficial for our future. Let's engage the young and the old in making sustainable choices that help transform our food systems. We all have a part to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the better future it envisions.