The 2021 ECOSOC FfD Forum, on 12 to 15 April 2021, will provide an inclusive platform to advance an action-oriented dialogue on financing the COVID-19 recovery and sustainable development on the path to 2030. It will be geared towards building momentum for urgent global action to tackle challenges to the achievement of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda across all its seven action areas, in the context of COVID-19 and beyond. The event will bring together representatives of government and international organizations, civil society, the business sector and local authorities.
Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
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.
The SDG Media Zone (6 to 8 April 2021) kicks off the 10th annual UN Youth Forum with conversations on advancing the Sustainable Development Goals as the world responds and recovers from the COVID-19 crisis. Under the theme, “The Future we Want,” the SDG Media Zone will look at some of the most defining issues affecting young people today—climate change, reducing inequalities and mental health.
The health of animals, people, plants and the environment is interconnected. One Health is an integrated approach that recognizes this fundamental relationship and ensures that specialists in multiple sectors work together to tackle health threats to animals, humans, plants and the environment. The global impact and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a human health crisis caused by a virus passed from animals, highlights the need for coordinated action across sectors to protect health and prevent disruption to food systems. FAO promotes One Health in work on food security, sustainable agriculture, food safety, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), nutrition, animal and plant health, fisheries, and livelihoods.
At the request of governments from all over the world, the IAEA has delivered COVID-19 testing support and equipment to 286 laboratories in 128 countries and territories since March 2020 for the rapid and accurate detection of the disease. The IAEA assistance is to help countries boost their use of real time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests – the most accurate and widely used nuclear-derived method to detect specific genetic material from pathogens, including viruses. The COVID-19 assistance is the biggest emergency operation in the IAEA’s history.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the crisis of care and learning. With the disruption of school, playdates with friends and other beloved routines, regressive behaviours (difficulty with skills your child had formerly mastered such as toilet training and sleeping, and difficulties managing their feelings of anger, sadness and anxiety) have become increasingly common. UNICEF spoke to Nancy Close, PhD, Associate Director of the Yale Program in Early Childhood Education, about what you may be experiencing with your children (from toddlers to university students) and how to – with kindness and understanding – get through it together.
Access to accurate and timely information is crucial for farmers all around the world, and even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many farmers rely on digital services, especially those delivered through platforms accessible via mobile phones, to access this information. But for many small-scale farmers in rural and remote areas, this kind of access remains a challenge. Last spring the Kenya National Farmers’ Federation (KENAFF) created a mobile phone–based information service as a way to respond to the crisis and keep farmers better informed.
In 2020, UNFPA trained community midwives in villages and remote rural areas and established 170 home clinics by covering the costs of renovation, equipment like ultrasound machines, medicines and reproductive health supplies. A solar suitcase provides lighting, mobile phone charging and electronic fetal monitoring. Since opening her home clinic more than a year ago in the economically depressed neighborhood of Sawan, Rahma has helped more than 120 women. In addition to midwifery, she provides check-ups, family planning, minor surgery and first aid.
Vulnerable people around the world affected by tuberculosis (TB) cannot wait any longer for quality testing, treatment and care. According to the Stop TB Partnership, COVID-19-related disruptions for TB services have reversed nearly 12 years of progress against the deadly infectious disease. Marginalized groups, such as refugees and mobile populations with limited access to health care, are bearing the brunt of these overlapping crises. UNDP is working to address the urgent threat of TB and remove barriers to care and prevention among Afghan refugees.
Global trade in plastics tops a whopping $1 trillion each year, or 5% of total merchandise trade. This is 40% higher than previous estimates and involves virtually all nations. The fresh insights into the massive extent of plastics in world trade have emerged from a new UNCTAD research paper, “Global trade in plastics: insights from the first life-cycle trade database.” The study is the first attempt to map and quantify global trade flows across the entire life cycle of plastics – from raw inputs to final products and waste.
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.
Time to build a fairer, healthier world
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on all our lives - but it’s affected some of us far more profoundly than others. That’s why WHO is urging all countries to take steps to build a fairer, healthier world.
COVID-19 heroes of the road
The road transport industry has been badly hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Truck drivers are keeping global freight chains moving but have found themselves the victims of COVID-19 restrictions. Urgent action by governments, social partners and road transport supply chain parties is critical, to address the industry’s decent work and liquidity concerns.
Dr. Jane Goodall
Together with 6 youth representatives, Dr Jane Goodall, DBE is patron of the 50th Anniversary of the UNESCO-MAB programme. UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme was created in 1971 with a vision: promote a sustainable connection between people and nature.
Good people have always a smile on their face
“As long as they are treated in hospital, you see them communicating. And as soon as they get out of the hospital, they are pointing a gun at each other.”
Aboubacar Kampo is UNICEF’s Director of Health Programmes, but he has also worked as a physician and surgeon in some of the world’s most complex emergency zones, from Afghanistan to the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this episode of Awake at Night, Abou shares with Melissa Fleming his experiences from the ER wards of Chad, where the government is forced to share beds between the rebel forces. He also recounts the harrowing story of Irene, a victim of rape and violence in Liberia. Abou’s life-changing work is proof that, even in areas facing gross atrocities, we can see the good side of human nature.
“The one thing that we learn with complex emergencies is that the condition of the peoples is always the same. In Liberia, they have been fighting a war for more than 10 years... [but] ...if you meet the local population, as poor and as deprived as they may be, they still share a meal with you.”
It has been an immensely challenging year for governments, which have been scrambling to contain the spread of the virus while also managing the economic fallout, supporting workers, and ensuring continuity of schooling for children. At the same time, the climate crisis has not gone away, nor has the soaring gap between rich and poor. In fact, these existing challenges have been magnified by the pandemic. Despite the gloom, there’s some good news; with the right choices, governments can address all of these crises at once, by making the transition to low-carbon, green economies. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that the move to low-carbon, greener economies has the potential to create 60 million jobs by 2030.
Rania and Abdallah’s story is inspiring. It reminds us all that even in a city’s darkest moments there are people who stubbornly refuse to give up and let tragedy define their lives. Instead, they are doing everything possible to build a better life for their son. They are among 4.8 million people in Syria that WFP reaches with assistance each month. Abdallah was born blind while Rania has 1 percent vision. Their son is not visually impaired. The couple have lived in Aleppo throughout the conflict and today receive WFP support for their basic needs. While many families mourn the loss of Aleppo’s beauty, having seen the city they love destroyed, Rania and Abdallah paint a shocking picture of enduring a conflict through what they’ve heard and sensed.
For much of the last three weeks, the Flipflopi, a dhow made from recycled plastic, including a helping of old sandals, has been calling into ports across Lake Victoria. The crew of the 10-metre-long vessel is on a mission to raise awareness about a tide of plastic choking Africa’s biggest lake – and to demonstrate that trash can be turned into treasure. A recent report by UNEP and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that 27 per cent of plastic waste in Kenya is collected and, of that, only 7 per cent is recycled in the country. The problem is global. Humanity’s penchant for producing cheap plastic products, using them, and then throwing them away, has created a global pollution crisis that is threatening the natural world and human livelihood.
Bold new mechanisms are urgently needed to help low- and middle-income countries address crippling debt, sharply worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, threatening vital investment to tackle poverty and climate change for years to come, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says in a new report. The report, Sovereign Debt Vulnerabilities in Developing Economies, analyses debt vulnerability across 120 low- and middle-income economies to identify which are most at risk. It classifies 72 economies as “vulnerable,” of which 19 are “severely vulnerable.” Based on measures of sustainable debt thresholds and ratios, it concludes that debt vulnerabilities for these countries will likely remain elevated for years and not return to pre-pandemic levels before 2024-2025.