The African agricultural and food market is expanding quickly, and regional integration is also gaining momentum. The Framework for Boosting Intra-African Trade in Agricultural Commodities and Services, jointly developed by the African Union (AU) and the FAO, represents a paradigm shift from “business as usual” and translates the commitments undertaken by the AU into tangible programmes and actions to expand trade within the African Continental Free Trade Area. This provides an opportunity to not only boost trade, but also enhance food security in Africa.
The value of Africa’s agriculture and agribusiness industry is expected to more than triple to reach USD 1 trillion by 2030, compared to 2010.
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.
Bodily autonomy means that we have the power and agency to make choices over our bodies and futures, without violence or coercion. This edition of the State of World Population, UNFPA highlights why bodily autonomy is a universal right that must be upheld. The report reveals how serious many of the shortfalls in bodily autonomy are; many have worsened under the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, for instance, record numbers of women and girls are at risk of gender-based violence and harmful practices such as early marriage.
Twenty first century problems cannot be tackled with 20th century institutions. There’s a growing gap between the interconnected, structural, and increasingly unpredictable and complex challenges we are facing. The climate emergency, the lack of trust in institutions, growing levels of inequality, particularly for women, highlight the need for change. UNDP calls for new policies grounded in humility that acknowledge that radical uncertainty is now our reality and that it can only be tackled with deep and wide-ranging systemic change.
The race to vaccinate against COVID-19 continues, but the pace of inoculation varies across countries, with access unavailable to many. Global cooperation must be stepped up to produce and distribute vaccines at affordable costs. The sooner vaccinations curb the pandemic, the faster economies can return to normal. Many low-income countries, even after doing their part, face challenges in dealing with the pandemic, in the near term and for development over time, as indicated in recent IMF research. They will need additional assistance.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet is named FAO Goodwill Ambassador on the observance of the International Day of Human Space Flight. Pesquet will help FAO raise awareness about the importance of transforming the world's agri-food systems, making them more resilient, inclusive, efficient, and sustainable to overcome the challenges of persisting and growing hunger, and preserving the planet's environment and biodiversity. FAO believes in the potential and contribution of space science and technology to end hunger.
After the COVID-19 outbreak, demand grew considerably. The government deemed delivery work as essential, next to key activities such as public health and transportation, among others. ILO features the challenges faced by digital platform workers, who have been contributing greatly during this crisis. It sounds nice to take part in essential work, but decent work would be better. Treated by the companies as independent contractors, most of us have no social protection benefits, such as pension coverage, health, or insurance plans.
Growing olive trees in Jordan, one of the driest countries in the world, isn’t easy. IFAD’s work in Jordan focuses on increasing the agriculture sector’s contribution to national GDP by creating jobs. This empowers rural people – especially women and youth – to turn their farming into sustainable, profitable small businesses. Local programmes help small-scale farmers become more resilient to the effects of climate change and other risks to their production, as well as on facilitating access to financial services and markets.
Champion goalkeeper Alisson Becker, WHO Goodwill ambassador for health promotion, is kickstarting a new global WHO fundraising campaign, titled “Give a Breath for Health”. The initiative aims to support the delivery of oxygen and other life-saving supplies to health facilities treating patients with COVID-19 around the world. The first donation to the campaign, made by Alisson, will contribute with supplies to locations in the Amazon and collaborate with the efforts of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and partners.
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.
#MyBodyIsMyOwn: What is Bodily Autonomy?
Around the world, only 55% of girls and women are able to make their own decisions about their bodily autonomy. But, what exactly is bodily autonomy and why is it so important? Watch this video to find out and learn more at unfpa.org/autonomy
Y-Action: COVID-19 Music-education
In this Y- Action video of UNESCO Youth response to COVID-19 music will take the main lead to connect and educate the community about barrier gestures to fight covid and create awareness about information. They inspire us by keeping the good vibes that music brings with a whisper of hope.
Getting by with a little help from our (virtual) friends
By 2030, two billion people are expected to rely on so-called “assistive” technology aids in their daily lives to eat, see, hear and even get dressed, according to UN patent experts at WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization.
It will also be possible to flag when anyone suffering from severe depression or other degenerative brain conditions might need help from a relative or carer, as Irene Kitsara from WIPO tells UN News’s Daniel Johnson.
It is estimated that just under 2% of Bosnia and Herzegovina's territory is still contaminated by land mines, down from 8% following the war that ended in 1995. An estimated 32,000 households are exposed to direct risk. Knowing the locations of these mines can be lifesaving. Part of a European Union initiative has been to create a mobile phone application that allows citizens to be aware of and avoid the locations of mine suspected areas throughout the country. Mountaineer Thierry Joubert specializes in developing and running responsible walking and cycling trips along the Via Dinarica. “I can see right on the spot if something is suspected or not,” he says. “We didn’t have that before, you’d have to carry a map." Volunteers can also report suspected locations of unexploded ordnance through the app.
Across a range of fields, we're still having conversations about the need for gender equality. Mine action is no exception. This might be because the military and the police – both very male-dominated fields – are the traditional recruiting grounds for people to work in mine action. Members of the UNOPS Peace and Security Cluster, in their support to UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Mali, took on this challenge by re-assessing the programme as it is now and where it needs to be in the future – and how that translates into the way recruitment is done. Amending the certification requirements or the number of years of military experience required, as well as recognizing non-military experience (such as work with mine action non-governmental organizations or in law enforcement) could help address this. Using a targeted and proactive approach to recruitment can also increase the diversity of the applicant pool.
From Sudan to Afghanistan to Bangladesh, the effects of climate change are creating more need for humanitarian aid in the form of food, shelter and medical care. The impacts are unevenly weighted against the poorest people and those with the least resources to withstand climate shocks and stresses. Over half of all humanitarian crises are somewhat predictable and 20 per cent are very predictable. Yet less than 1 per cent of humanitarian appeals funding is channelled to anticipatory action. Extreme climate- and weather-related events are more common and severe, yet most humanitarian responses continue to be launched only after extreme weather events have already resulted in critical damages to the most vulnerable people. We need to prevent extreme weather events from becoming humanitarian disasters through more effective disaster risk reduction and management, including early warning, anticipatory action and early action.
For the past five months, Meddisha Johnson, a resident of the community of Georgetown on the Leeward side of Saint Vincent expected that she would have to leave her home at a moment’s notice as the La Soufriere Volcano in the mountains above her family’s home rumbled to life. On the afternoon of 8 April 2021, Meddesha and 20,000 residents in the designated red zone were issued with a mandatory evacuation order. They were mostly packed and waiting and speedily boarded private or government-provided transportation to journey to the 60- plus government shelters which were opened in the Eastern Caribbean country’s safe zone. For Meddesha there was additional worry for the safety of her one-month-old daughter Emily. Thankfully, Meddesha and most of the residents in the danger zone were able to escape in time and watched from the safety of their temporary homes in shelters as the volcano erupted, sending ash plumes spewing 20,000 feet into the air, less than 12 hours after the mandatory evacuation order was given.