Philosophy and Religion

The most sacred day in Buddhism

"Vesak", the Day of the Full Moon in the month of May, is the most sacred day to millions of Buddhists around the world. It’s a day that we honour the birth, enlightenment and passing of Lord Buddha. On this Day of Vesak (16 May), let us seize this moment of spiritual renewal, and honour Buddha’s wisdom by coming together as one, in solidarity, and shaping a better, more peaceful world for all people.

Millions around the world follow the teachings of the Buddha and his message of compassion and peace and goodwill have moved millions.
Photo:OUR PLACE World Heritage Collection
A young boy who is a beneficiary of UNICEF's nutrition plan eats green leafy vegetables and bread.

‘Coalition of the willing’ to ensure healthy diets from sustainable food systems

13 May 2022 — Ensuring everyone has access to a healthy diet is among the goals of a UN-backed initiative launched on Friday in line with efforts to transform food systems globally. 

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Unity among nations, in push for greater space security at UN-led talks

13 May 2022 — A new UN-led push to prevent an arms race in outer space has received wide-ranging support and participation from civil society and Member States – including all five permanent...

Mariupol evacuations ‘a glimmer of hope’ in Ukraine war

12 May 2022 — The United Nations continues to explore all options to reach civilians affected by Russia’s brutal assault on Ukraine, deputy humanitarian affairs chief Joyce Msuya said in an update...

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 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.

children holding up books

Reading and learning are essential to children’s growth and development; stories can fuel their imagination and raise awareness of new possibilities. The SDG Book Club aims to encourage them to learn about the Goals in a fun, engaging way, empowering them to make a difference.

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.

SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

 

Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies.

More from the
United Nations

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

A building destroyed seen from a crack in a black foreground. Humanitarian Aid, UNDP

Scaling up support to the people of Ukraine

The war in Ukraine is inflicting immense human suffering and devastating communities. UNDP teams are on the ground, working in partnership with the Government of Ukraine to save lives and support relief efforts. But the needs are rapidly increasing. The government says at least US$100 billion of buildings, roads, bridges, hospitals, schools have been destroyed. The war has caused half the country’s businesses to shut completely, while the other half are struggling. A prolonged conflict could push nine out of 10 of Ukrainians into poverty or near poverty.

A world map with images of people standing in different regions of the world among with currency signs. Finance, World Bank

Remittances to Reach $630 billion in 2022

Officially recorded remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are expected to increase by 4.2 percent this year to reach $630 billion. This follows an almost record recovery of 8.6 percent in 2021, according to the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief released today. Remittances to Ukraine, which is the largest recipient in Europe and Central Asia, are expected to rise by over 20 percent in 2022. However, remittance flows to many Central Asian countries, for which the main source is Russia, will likely fall dramatically.

A man shakes hands with the woman lined up, surrounded by goats. Humanitarian Aid, IFAD

Protecting rural poor against shocks from war in Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine pushes food, fuel and fertilizer prices toward record levels putting food security in many of the world’s poorest countries at risk, IFAD launches a Crisis Response Initiative to ensure that small-scale farmers in high-risk countries can produce food over the next few months to feed their families and communities while reducing the threat to future harvests. IFAD is calling on its Member States to contribute to the significant resources required to cover all 22 countries listed in the Initiative as priorities based on measures of need.

Health, Women and Gender Equality, UNFPA

8 myths about unintended pregnancy debunked

Nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended. UNFPA presents how unintended pregnancies can contribute to the shame, stigma and misunderstandings that must be overcome to end this crisis.

 

Health, WHO

Gaps in alcohol marketing across borders

WHO highlights the increasing use of online marketing for alcohol and the need for more effective regulation - young people and heavy drinkers are increasingly targeted by advertising.

Land, Plants, and Soil

Wild plants hidden in our everyday lives

FAO’s new report, Wild Check: Assessing risks and opportunities of trade in wild plant ingredients, helps us better understand and support the responsible sourcing of wild-harvested plants. 

Employment, ILO

Nearly 5 million jobs lost in Ukraine

An estimated 4.8 million jobs have been lost in Ukraine since the start of the Russian aggression, according to ILO. If hostilities escalate employment losses would increase to seven million.

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.

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.

The United Nations designated 12 May the International Day of Plant Health (IDPH) to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect biodiversity and the environment, and boost economic development. The Day is a key legacy of the International Year of Plant Health 2020.

Parents react to stories of mothers from around the world on Mother's Day

This #MothersDay, we invited parents into our studio to read stories of mothers from around the world. Watch what happens next…

Honouring those who stand up for your freedom

A video announcing this year’s laureate of the only UN prize dedicated to journalism. When others back down, journalists seek the truth and uncover facts. The prize honours those who stand up to protect your freedom.

UN Podcasts

Hellmut Lagos

Space talks seek to bring global security into their orbit

As if there weren’t enough problems to worry about down here on earth, there is a growing number of threats to global peace in outer space too, which is why UN-led talks are underway all this week in Geneva to find common ground on cosmic security.

Chairing the first open-ended working group on reducing space threats, veteran Chilean diplomat Hellmut Lagos explained to UN News’s Daniel Johnson why space matters to us all, and what Member States are most concerned about.

Audio Credit: Daniel Johnson, UN News - Geneva

Photo Credit: UNODA/Michael Spies

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.

Girl holding up bread
Photo:WFP/Sadeq Naseri

Hunger, education for girls, and why WFP’s work in Afghanistan is critical

WFP is designing programmes to support Afghanistan's smallholder farmers and feed children at the same time. The Bread+ project, pictured, gives children midday snacks and will grow to work with 1,100 local bakers by September. Mary-Ellen McGroarty, World Food Programme country director for Afghanistan, explains why donors - whose help averted famine over the winter - must continue their support.

worker loading tuna
Photo:UNDP / @FranciscoBlaha.info

A Sea Change

Two decades of action and a singular success: The Western and Central Pacific Ocean is now the only major ocean area where all tuna stocks are harvested sustainably. This is a story of cooperation and diligence, a wide array of expertise, a pool of talent and skills as wide-ranging and vast as the 40 million square kilometres of ocean area whose fisheries the Pacific Island nations have been tasked to protect.