Sing, Fly, Soar like a Bird!

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.
Photo:Sara Wolman
UN peacekeepers patrol the Mopti region of eastern Mali.

Security Council upholds role of multilateralism in a complex world

7 May 2021 — The President of the UN General Assembly on Friday urged countries to “do better” in making COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone, everywhere, warning that “good intentions are no...

India’s new COVID-19 wave is spreading like ‘wildfire’, warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 — A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday.


Cut methane emissions to avert global temperature rise, UN-backed study urges

6 May 2021 — Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris...

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 8: Decent work and economic growth


Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all


More from the
United Nations

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

A woman wearing a facemask holds a baby. UNFPA, Health Interventions

The State of the World’s Midwifery 2021

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.

A woman sits at her desk in front of a computer as two kids read together on a couch nearby. IMF, Employment, Women and Gender Equality

The Moms’ Emergency

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.

Portrait of Maria Ressa UNESCO, Human Rights

Philippines journalist receives press award

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.

UNWTO, Tourism

Global Rural Tourism Start-up Competition

The UNWTO has launched the Global Rural Tourism Start-up Competition to identify the best ideas that will help rural communities recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

FAO, Agriculture and Food

Global Report on Food Crises

FAO reports on the stark warning from the 2021 Global Report on Food Crises revealing that conflict, economic shock and extreme weather continue to cause acute food insecurity.

UN-Habitat, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Call for nominations for urban development awards

UN-Habitat is calling for nominations for the Scroll of Honour award. The award recognizes individuals and institutions which have made outstanding contributions to urban development.

WIPO, Intellectual and Cultural Property

LAM Leather Bags: Embracing Tradition

WIPO reports on how luxury goods markets find robust intellectual property portfolios behind famous brands, which tend to be worth a substantial amount of the entire companies.

Portrait of Devishi Jha UN Women, Climate Change

I am Generation Equality: Devishi Jha, youth climate activist

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 group poses for a photo holding out orange juice jugs. UNCTAD, Economic Development

Woman entrepreneur grows juice business, improves community

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.

Women harvesting bananas. FAO, Agriculture and Food

How responsible business boosts the agriculture sector

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 woman and a girl and a boy hug. UNHCR, Displaced Persons and Refugees

Pandemic threatens progress on refugee admissions

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.

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.

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 Podcasts

Dr. Roderico Ofrin

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.

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.

people walking among giant trees
Photo:UNEP/ Lisa Murray / 30 Apr 2021

A beginner’s guide to ecosystem restoration

This year, 5 June, World Environment Day, marks the official launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a 10-year push to halt and reverse the  decline of the natural world. Ecosystems can be large, like a forest, or small, like a pond. Many are crucial to human societies, providing people with water, food, building materials and a host of other essentials. But in recent decades, humanity’s hunger for resources has pushed many ecosystems to the breaking point. Here are the eight main types of ecosystem and some of the things that can be done to revive them.

closeup of child with face mask

UNICEF responding to COVID-19 in India

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

Syrian girl holding bread
Photo:WFP/Khudr Alissa

‘The toughest Ramadan’: Soaring prices deny Syrians basic foods

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.

students leaving school through emergency exit
Photo:UNRWA/Marwan Baghdadi

A day in the life of a Palestine refugee student in the West Bank

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.