In Focus

nurse with expecting mother
World Humanitarian Day (19 August)

On World Humanitarian Day 2019 we honour the work of women in crises throughout the world. We focus on the unsung heroes who have long been working on the front lines in their own communities in some of the most difficult terrains, from the war-wounded in Afghanistan, to the food insecure in the Sahel, to those who have lost their homes and livelihoods in conflicts. Women make up a large number of those who risk their own lives to save others. They are often the first to respond and the last to leave. These women deserve to be celebrated. And world leaders as well as non-state actors must ensure that they – and all humanitarians – are guaranteed the protection afforded to them under international law.

memorial ceremony
International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism (21 August)

Victims of terrorism continue to struggle to have their voices heard, have their needs supported and their rights upheld. Victims often feel forgotten and neglected once the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack fades, which can have profound consequences for them. This year, the second commemoration of  the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to Victims of Terrorism will focus on the resilience of victims and their families - how they have coped and what they have done to transform their experiences to aid healing and recovery as well as become stronger and more united against terrorism. 

Security Council
International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief (22 August)

Freedom of religion or belief, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of association are enshrined in articles 18, 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Upholding these rights plays an important role in the fight against all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief. The General Assembly adopted the resolution A/RES/73/296 strongly condemning continuing violence and acts of terrorism targeting individuals on the basis of or in the name of religion or belief.

In the Spotlight

Winnie Byanyima
Winnie Byanyima

UNAIDS warmly welcomes the UN Secretary-General's appointment of Winnie Byanyima as its new Executive Director. Ms. Byanyima has more than 30 years of experience in political leadership, diplomacy and humanitarian engagement. “I am honoured to be joining UNAIDS as the Executive Director at such a critical time in the response to HIV,” said Ms. Byanyima. “The end of AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 is a goal that is within the world’s reach, but I do not underestimate the scale of the challenge ahead. Working with all its partners, UNAIDS must continue to speak up for the people left behind and champion human rights as the only way to end the epidemic.”  

The UN System at Work

Youth2030: The United Nations Strategy on Youth

The Secretary-General tasked his Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, in conjunction with the UN system and youth themselves, to lead development of a UN Youth Strategy. Its aim: scale up global, regional and national actions to meet young people’s needs, realize their rights and tap their possibilities as agents of change. In this article for UN Chronicle, Ms. Wickramanayake says: "We need to support those who are in dire need of education so they are able to compete in the continuously changing job market and the fourth industrial revolution." The strategy’s thematic priority areas reflect all three pillars of the UN system: sustainable development, peace and security, and human rights.


Goal of the month


Find out more about the Sustainable Development Goals

Did you know?

Global Issues: Human Rights
Africa has the highest growth rate of female-owned businesses.
Nine out of ten refugees are hosted by developing countries.
The Youth unemployment rate is three times the unemployment rate of adults. Find out more in Global Issues: Youth

Worth Watching

UN in Pictures

Camels walking
playroom in Bangladesh
Kyrgyzstan Coding Caravan
Salia with her goats
Drupal template developed by DGC Web Services Section and Digital Soutions and Support Unit