Ending Poverty

Ending persistent poverty, respecting all people and our planet

The COVID-19 pandemic has gripped the world during the past year reversing decades of progress in the fight against poverty and extreme poverty. The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17 October) presents an opportunity to acknowledge the struggle of people living in poverty and a chance for them to make their concerns heard. This year's commemoration focuses on building forward together by transforming our relationship with nature, as well as by dismantling structures of discrimination and by keeping human rights and human dignity at the heart of policy and action.

Building forward means that people living in poverty are actively encouraged and supported to participate in decision-making processes that directly affect their lives.
Photo:United Nations/DGC/Sadek Ahmed
A doctor checks a young boy’s artificial limbs at a hospital in Aden, Yemen.

Yemen war reaches ‘shameful milestone’ - 10,000 children now killed or maimed 

19 October 2021 — Another “shameful milestone” has been reached in the conflict in Yemen with 10,000 children killed or maimed since fighting started in March 2015, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF...

UN-backed report reveals rising climate change risk across Africa

18 October 2021 — Climate change contributed to mounting food insecurity, poverty and displacement in Africa last year, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and partners said in a report...

Positive momentum in Central African Republic must be maintained

18 October 2021 — The announcement last week of a unilateral ceasefire in the Central African Republic is among recent positive steps in the country, the top UN official there told the Security...

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.

hands holding seedling

UNGA High-Level Week 2021

In addition to the General Debate, this year’s session of the UN General Assembly will kick off a series of international UN conferences in 2021, which are expected to highlight action and solutions that will ignite the transformations needed to secure healthy, peaceful and prosperous lives for all. 

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.

Decade of Action

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.

More from the
United Nations

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

Image of the globe surrounded by icons representing atomic energy and the environment  IAEA, Atomic Energy

Nuclear techniques for climate action

Nuclear and isotopic techniques can help us to better understand the world we live in. The data IAEA gathers with these techniques can lead to improved, science-based policy making, including in relation to climate change. We can study both land and water systems using various nuclear techniques to evaluate the effects of climate change on the environment. The IAEA uses nuclear science and technology to help countries monitor, mitigate and adapt to climate change. It gives guidance on how to preserve and restore the environment.

Composite of black and white portraits UNDP, Poverty, Health

Multidimensional poverty and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder that poverty isn’t just about income. Within and across countries, poor and marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by the pandemic in terms of infection rates, economic losses and access to vaccines and other health care imperatives. Understanding the multidimensional nature of poverty can help us design a more resilient recovery that leaves no one behind. And UNDP’s Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) gives us a critical tool to measure and monitor poverty in all its forms.

WHO Director-General holds up a scroll. WHO, Climate Change, Health

Climate action for COVID-19 recovery

Countries must set ambitious climate commitments if they are to sustain a healthy and green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The WHO COP26 Special Report on Climate Change and Health, in the lead-up to COP26, spells out the global health community’s prescription for climate action based on research that establishes the many and inseparable links between climate and health. The report is launched at the same time as an open letter, signed by over two thirds of the global health workforce calling for countries to step up climate action.

UNFPA, Women and Gender Equality

She can...

More than 217 million women and girls in the world who want to avoid getting pregnant aren’t using effective contraceptives. UNFPA helps countries increase access to voluntary family planning.

UNESCO, Culture, Éducation

e-Course on documentary heritage

UNESCO Memory of the World (MoW) Programme launched a free, online course for teachers and educators on how to integrate important historical items from all over the world in their teaching.

UNCTAD, Science and Technology

Inequalities threaten wider divide

The data-driven digital economy is surging according to UNCTAD’s Digital Economy Report 2021. Yet, large power imbalances remain as major platforms reinforce their positions in the data value chain.

UN Women, Science and Technology

Young innovator and space enthusiast

NIdhi Mayurika is part of UN Women’s Generation Equality because she believes creating an equal future means educating the generations old and new to examine and challenge social norms.

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.

Thomas Pesquet, a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut and FAO Goodwill Ambassador, advocates for climate action. He promotes awareness of FAO’s science-based work with countries to transform agri-food systems and improve food security, improve access to sustainable healthy diets and tackle food waste. As an astronaut, he is in a unique position to garner his experience and knowledge on space technology to raise awareness about these issues.

The fight for women’s and girls’ rights in a changing Afghanistan

UN Women is committed to #StayandDeliver in Afghanistan, where recent rollbacks on women’s rights have evoked fear for Afghan women and girls. UN Women Afghanistan Deputy Representative Alison Davidian breaks down this urgent situation, highlighting key areas for action to support the immediate and long-term needs of Afghan women and girls. 

No one is born to hate: Addressing hate speech through education

Hate speech is on the rise. Hatred, conspiracy theories and prejudice infiltrate our societies and affect all of us. We are flooded by information - and disinformation - more than ever before both on- and offline. UNESCO and the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide (OSAPG) are convening the Global Multi-stakeholder Forum on addressing hate speech through education.

UN Podcasts

child with eggplant

Kids, it's time to cook!

Who says children shouldn’t play in the kitchen? Cooking healthy food starts young in this Touch Smell Taste cooking class in Rome. The hands-on cooking lab, led by Naheda Slayih and supported by volunteers, invites visually impaired children to learn how to become young chefs and have a good time too.

Producers: Megan Williams, Charlotta Lomas, Anais Hotin, Marina Sánchez Castelo, Nina Coates.
Presenter: Megan Williams.
Photo: ©FAO/Cristiano Minichiello.

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.

mother and baby in the Sahel
Photo:© 2021 UN Humanitarian

Ten things to know about the situation in the Sahel

The humanitarian situation in the Sahel is deteriorating quickly and significantly. People’s needs across the region are now at unprecedented levels, and their vulnerabilities are deepening and increasing due to escalating conflict, rising food insecurity, multiplying climate emergencies and the pandemic. People across the Sahel show great resilience, generosity, solidarity and strength. But meaningful action and support are needed to shore up that resilience and help millions of people protect their communities and land. Here are 10 facts you need to know.

women with handmade sweets

Fighting Hunger, Protecting Wildlife

The wildlife-based tourism sector has been devastated by the effects of COVID-19. As tourism collapsed, related jobs and income were lost, conservation project funds were withdrawn, and as a result, poaching increased in many places around the world. These three consequences of COVID-19 were followed by a further knock-on effect: widespread food insecurity. Reversing degradation of land, soil, & forests is at the heart of ensuring people have enough to eat. It is also at the core of protecting wildlife. Read how nine projects are working to tackle both.