This year’s World Migratory Bird Day (May 8) focuses on the phenomena of “bird song” and “bird flight” as a way to inspire and connect people to celebrate migratory birds and to unite in a common, global effort to protect birds and the habitats they need to survive. Billions of migratory birds sing and, for many people, their songs have been a source of comfort and joy during the pandemic. Let's try to honour all of them by participating in on-line activities, sharing digital content, or reconnecting with nature by actively listening to, and watching birds.
This poster is part of the shareable digital materials to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day.
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.
The State of the World’s Midwifery 2021 presents findings on the Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal, New-born and Adolescent Health (SRMNAH) workforce from 194 countries. The report, produced by UNFPA, WHO and partners, shows the progress and trends since the inaugural 2011 edition and identifies the barriers and challenges to future advancement. The report establishes a global shortage of 1.1 million SRMNAH workers, the largest shortage (900,000) being midwives. Investment is urgently needed.
The new reality, due to the pandemic, has left many mothers scrambling. With schools and day-cares closed, many were forced to leave their jobs or cut the hours they worked. New IMF estimates confirm the outsized impact on working mothers, and on the economy. Within the world of work, women with young children have been among the biggest casualties of the economic lockdowns. Three countries—the United States, the United Kingdom, and Spain—illustrate the varied impact of the pandemic on workers.
Investigative journalist and media executive Maria Ressa of the Philippines has been named as the 2021 laureate of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, by an international jury of media professionals. The Award Ceremony will take place in Windhoek, Namibia, on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, and be streamed online. In her thirty-year career, Ressa has been a target of attacks, arrests and has been involved in many international initiatives to promote press freedom.
Devishi Jha,18, is climate activist and Director of Partnerships at Zero Hour, an international youth-led climate justice organization. Jha speaks up for climate action because she wants a secure future for her generation and those to come after. UN Women introduces this young changemaker leading the way. Youth advocates are extremely conscious and are paving the way for future action in sustainability and climate justice, so it is imperative to collectively listen to those voices.
A finalist of UNCTAD’s award for women in business gets $10 million from her government to build a fresh juice factory that will promote sustainable agriculture and improve livelihoods in North Uganda. Julian Omalla produces one of Uganda’s most popular fruit drinks, Cheers, boasting a loyal customer base of over 5 million people. Affectionately known by many as “Mama Cheers”, the 56-year-old founder and chief executive is one of the east African nation’s foremost female entrepreneurs.
FAO has been at the centre of the discourse of responsible business conduct in agriculture for several years. In 2016, FAO and the OECD launched a global standard for addressing risk and development in the agricultural sector. A growing number of governments around the world have since been incorporating the OECD-FAO guidance for responsible agriculture into their corporate sustainability policies, linking together investment, enterprise, agriculture, and development.
A new study released today shows that 1.5 million people from nations driving major refugee movements were admitted by 35 OECD countries and Brazil on family, work and study permits in the decade just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest report by UNHCR and the OECD , titled “Safe Pathways for Refugees II”, examines admissions from 2010 to 2019 of people from seven countries propelling displacement: Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Venezuela.
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.
Jazz Women in Africa Celebrate International Jazz Day 2021
UNESCO hosts this unique event with female jazz artists from Africa in celebration of the tenth anniversary of International Jazz Day. Jazz has important role in encouraging dialogue, combating discrimination and promoting human dignity. Jazz women in Africa are making their voices and music heard. Check out the event.
Five worrying facts about construction safety
Every year, more than 2.3 million people die from workplace accidents and illnesses – while millions more experience a significant reduction in their quality of life. Watch this video to learn more about the need to build, sustain and reinforce strong health and safety cultures on construction sites.
What does the future of work look like in Africa?
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital technologies in African countries, and the latest Africa’s Pulse provides new evidence on how digital is enhancing the productivity of existing jobs and creating new jobs, for people of all skill levels and backgrounds.
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.
A deadly surge in COVID-19 cases is placing an enormous strain on health and critical care facilities in India. This second wave of the pandemic is larger and spreading more rapidly than the first, and is leaving vulnerable families paying a particularly steep price. UNICEF has already sent critical lifesaving supplies to help India in its battle with COVID-19 and has deployed senior-level experts to the worst hit areas to support state and local authorities. But more support is urgently needed to save lives. Donate now
Food prices across the country are skyrocketing — the cost of basic food items is up a staggering 313 percent on figures for 2019. Today, a record number of Syrians don’t know what they will eat tomorrow. Each month, over 400 WFP staff are at hand providing life-saving food to 4.8 million people across Syria — together with nutrition assistance, this is critical for families struggling to rebuild their lives after a decade of conflict. They face unprecedented challenges to buy the basics, including medicines, and to continue sending their children to school.
Fatima Katash is an 8th grade student at the UNRWA Jalazone Basic Girls’ School. Jalazone camp is adjacent to the Israeli settlement of Beit El. Because the settlement and camp are so close, Israeli security patrols and a military presence often lead to clashes with Palestine refugees. During incidents, the UNRWA protection team directly interacts with the Israeli military to advocate for the protection of the children and to de-escalate the situation. The team also helps coordinate the evacuation of students and staff, in the event of clashes.