Slavery and Human Trafficking

Victims’ voices lead the way

This year’s World Day against Trafficking in Persons (30 July) puts victims of human trafficking at the centre by highlighting the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking. The campaign portrays survivors as key actors in the fight against human trafficking and focusses on their role in establishing measures to prevent this crime, identify and rescue victims and support their rehabilitation. Learning from victims’ experiences and turning their suggestions into concrete actions will lead to a victim-centred and effective approach to combat human trafficking.

The UN is committed to listening and responding to the voices of victims and survivors of human trafficking, ensuring their rights and dignity, and amplifying their stories.
Photo:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
An eight-year-old girl hides her face at a UNICEF-supported centre in Haiti that provides temporary care and support for trafficked children while authorities search for their parents. (file)

Human trafficking: UN chief calls for action as COVID leaves ‘many millions’ more vulnerable

29 July 2021 — UN Secretary General António Guterres on Thursday urged States to take action against human trafficking, where a third of all victims are children.


Food systems transformation a ‘silver lining’ in COVID crisis: UN deputy chief

28 July 2021 — A sustainable and prosperous planet can only be achieved through working together and in solidarity, the UN Deputy Secretary-General said on Wednesday at the end of a major global...

Cornerstone treaty of refugee protection turns 70

28 July 2021 — It has never been more urgent to recommit to the spirit and fundamental principles of the 1951 Refugee Convention, the UN refugee agency said on Wednesday as it marked the 70th...

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.

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.

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 Media Zone in Tokyo


Join us in the exchanges of ideas and experiences on how sport brings values and inspirations to contribute in accelerating and expanding the efforts to make our world a better place.

More from the
United Nations

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

Two women at the market World Bank, Economic Development

The global recovery is bypassing the poorest countries

Global growth is surging again, only a year after COVID-19 triggered the deepest recession since World War II.  According to the World Bank, this year is likely to mark the strongest post-recession rebound in 80 years: global GDP is expected to expand 5.6 percent. Almost all advanced economies will go back to their pre-pandemic per-capita income levels in 2022. In some parts of the world, the pandemic’s damage is being repaired quickly. For the world’s 74 poorest countries, accounting for roughly half of all people living on less than $1.90 a day, the global “recovery” is nowhere to be seen.

a group of women using hoes to till the soil WFP, Agriculture and Food

Food Systems avert famines and help to end hunger

Up to 811 million people went hungry last year as the combined effects of conflict, climate extremes and the coronavirus pandemic pushed a further 161 million into food insecurity. International food prices are up for a 12th consecutive month. WFP seeks to save and change the lives of 115.5 million people in more than 80 countries. Food systems play a key role in ensuring people's access to regular, nutritious food despite these factors. Food Systems encompass everything from ‘farm to fork’— it’s about having a broader picture of how we literally produce, transport, process and consume food. 

three planes flying with two sets of contrails each ICAO, Trade and Commerce

New resource package towards COVID-19 travel corridors

To assist countries seeking to establish public health travel corridors during their COVID-19 recovery phases, ICAO has just released a new implementation package (iPack) on Establishing a Public Health Corridor (PHC). Composed of guidance material, support personnel, training, and other resources, the new travel corridor iPack is fully aligned with the latest recommendations. ICAO’s COVID-19 iPacks have served as key global pandemic resources during countries’ air transport recovery efforts in areas such as safety risk management, facilitation, aviation security, and airport re-openings.

UNESCO, Culture

New cultural sites added to World Heritage List

The World Heritage Committee added 13 cultural sites in Africa, Arab Region, Asia, Europe, and Latin America to UNESCO’s World Heritage List and one extension to an existing cultural site in Mexico.

UNEP, Natural Resources and the Environment

How composting can reduce our impact on the planet

1.3 billion tonnes of food is either lost or wasted, says the UNEP Food Waste Index. Composting is one of the best options for managing organic waste while also reducing environmental impacts.

UNCTAD, Economic Development

How countries are faring on global goals amid COVID-19

UNCTAD’s updated SDG Pulse shows how the COVID-19 health crisis exacerbated many imbalances in 2020 and delayed progress towards the SDGs by presenting indicators such as trade and debt.

UN Women, Gender Equality

Women and COVID-19 in India

The second wave of COVID-19 in India brought unprecedented losses. UN Women and health sector experts answer frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and how it impacts women and girls in India.

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" will build 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.

Throughout the last months, people from across the world have shared with us their thoughts, memories, and solutions of ‘good food’ as they see it. Watch here the first in a series of compilations and join us in defining and celebrating #GoodFood4All by creating your own video, too! #GoodFood4All #FoodSystems #UNFSS2021

How to stop impunity for crimes against journalists

When a journalist is attacked for his or her work, not only is the journalist's individual right to freedom of expression violated, but also the collective rights of society to access information. Silencing a journalist should not only be a concern for one individual or journalistic union, it is an issue that affects society as a whole, its present and its future. Learn more about how UNESCO protects freedom of expression and the safety of journalists.

Online safety with Sango: smartphones and tablets

Join ITU for the first episode of five, learning everything you need to know to stay safe and have fun online! Stay safe, stay tuned, engage! The internet is a great place with exciting adventures and opportunities. However, it is also a place that hides many risks if we are not careful with our behaviour when we surf the web. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to protect ourselves when we communicate, play, and surf online.

UN Podcasts

People sitting at a table sharing a meal.

Food Systems from farm to plate

This episode is all about food systems. IFAD’s podcast team first speaks with Martin Frick, Deputy Special Envoy for the Food Systems Summit, to learn more about what food systems are. We then check in with Associate Vice-President Meike van Ginneken to get IFAD’s perspectives on the upcoming Food Systems Summit and hear more about what IFAD will bring to the debate. Then the talk turns to all things food and gender equality with Brazilian chef Bela Gil. She also tells us how chefs can use their influence to encourage sustainable consumption.

We then hear more about the Karen people of Thailand and about what indigenous food systems can teach us. Plus, we have news on plastics and packaging and how they relate to agriculture, along with a special report on “food miles.” Finally, we get to hear from the farmers themselves as they talk to us about today’s food systems.

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.

a woman squats next to a boy splashing water
Photo:UNICEF/ Ijazah

Learning from history: Sanitation for prosperity

Today, billions of people still do not enjoy the right to sanitation. Despite progress, over half of the world’s population, 4.2 billion people, use sanitation services that leave human waste untreated, threatening both human and environmental health. Approximately 673 million people have no toilets at all and practice open defecation. The UNICEF-WHO State of the World’s Sanitation report draws attention to the sanitation crisis, brings together lessons from high-achieving countries, and presents a vision of what is needed to deliver universal access to safe sanitation.

A woman carries a container on top of her head in front of a rough ocean
Photo:UNDP Climate Adaption / Imen Meliane & Julie Teng

Could climate change mean more violent extremism?

Extremist groups pose a significant challenge to building and maintaining peace. To tackle this issue, UNDP has been exploring ways of connecting the dots between climate security and peacebuilding, ensuring collaboration between the climate, peace and security sectors. Climate change is directly tied to migration and displacement, disease outbreaks, food shortages and weaker health care systems. And these are all factors that exacerbate the “push and pull” factors of violence. Of the 20 countries deemed most vulnerable to climate change, 12 are mired in conflict.