Youth Climate Summit

The Youth Climate Summit is a platform for young leaders to showcase their climate solutions and to meaningfully engage with decision-makers on the defining issue of our time. It brings together young activists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and change-makers, committed to combating climate change at the pace and scale needed to meet the challenge. It's action-oriented, intergenerational, and inclusive. This historic event takes place on Saturday, September 21 in New York, leading up to the Climate Action Summit on September 23. 

Ari Afsar, Andrea Carrasquel and Aicha Cherif in discussion at the SDG Media Zone. April 2019, ECOSOC Youth Forum, New York.
Photo:UN Photo
High school girls from Long Island, New York, join other youth climate activists in a demonstration calling for global action to combat climate change. (20 September 2019)

World’s 1.8 billion youth must ‘have a say in the future of the planet’

20 September 2019 — It is “crucial” that the world’s 1.8 billion young people have a say in the fight against climate change and ultimately “the future of the planet” according to the UN Youth...

Climate emergency ‘a new danger’ to peace, youth activists hear ahead of World Day

20 September 2019 — Among the efforts to build a sustainably peaceful world, “urgent climate action is needed” to curb environmental threats to all our well-being and security, the Secretary-...

INTERVIEW: Guterres urges world leaders to ‘do what is necessary’ for peace and the planet

20 September 2019 — As global leaders prepare to convene in New York next week to debate the best way forward for the planet, Secretary-General António Guterres  is urging them to “do what is...

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.

child walking towards sunset

To boost action and accelerate progress, world leaders meet at the UN General Assembly in New York for a week to discuss in dedicated summits the critical issues of global concern: climate change, universal health coverage, sustainable development, financing for development and small islands developing states.

Elyx

The ActNow Climate Campaign aims to trigger individual action on the defining issue of our time. People around the world will be engaged to make a difference in all facets of their lives, from the food they eat to the clothes they wear.

#SDG Live

During the high-level week (21-27 September) of the UN General Assembly, the SDG Media Zone is hosting impactful, dynamic and in-depth conversations with decision-makers, influencers and media partners – live-streamed on UN WebTV and promoted by partnering media organizations. 

Icons of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
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The 17 Sustainable Development Goals address the global challenges we face. Find out more and learn how they are all connected.

More from the
United Nations

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

Portrait of UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore with these words in the background: "child rights, migration, trust, climate change" among others.

An Open Letter to the World’s Children

As we look back on 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we also look ahead to the next 30 years. "We must listen to you – today’s children and young people – about the issues of greatest concern to you now and begin working with you on twenty-first century solutions to twenty-first century problems." With that in mind, here are eight reasons why UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore is worried for children's future, and eight reasons why she thinks there is hope.

Wearing traditional Nigerian clothes, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande speaks at a press briefing at the United Nations Headquarters in NY.

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande

Mr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, permanent representative of Nigeria to the UN, is the President of the 74th Session of the General Assembly. "We will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the creation of the United Nations next year. This presents a unique opportunity for us to reduce the trust deficit between nations, as we all share the same aspirations and we have no choice but to work together. If we will achieve the visions of our founding fathers, we must ensure that indifference and cynicism do not creep into our organization." 

Photo of the UN Emblem in the General Assembly hall at the secretariat in New York.

Opening of the General Assembly (UNGA74)

The General Assembly opened its new session after the just-concluded 73rd session where the outgoing President, Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa, handed the gavel to the President of the 74th Session, Mr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande. Taking the reins of the General Assembly, the new President committed to focus on peace and prosperity and laid down his goals: “Striving Together, Delivering for All.” 

Fighting for a Stolen Future

Young people see, in a way that too many adults do not, a world that is rapidly becoming unrecognizable. These young climate activists are fighting for a stolen future.

International Day of Sign Languages

This day recognizes the importance of sign languages for achieving the SDGs and fulfilling its core promise: "leaving no one behind."

World Maritime Day

This year's theme, "Empowering Women in the Maritime Community," is an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality and to highlight the important contribution of women within the maritime sector.

International Day for Universal Access to Information

Since 2016, UNESCO marks 28 Sep. as the “International Day for Universal Access to Information." This year, UNESCO commemorates the day with "Open Talks." #AccessToInfoDay #RightToKnow

Sculpture 39 feet high depicting St. George slaying the dragon.

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

As the only weapons with potentially existential consequences, nuclear weapons pose a grave threat to human security.  The only sure way to eliminate the threat posed is to eliminate the weapons themselves.

border crossing guard

Crossing Points

New quality infrastructure in Kosovo funded by the Eruopean Union and implemented by UNOPS is helping to connect people throughout the Western Balkans – fostering economic development, and supporting regional cooperation, peace and stability. 

Panelists at the IAEA

Improving the Management of Cardiovascular Diseases in Women

At an event on the sidelines of the IAEA’s 63rd General Conference, experts reviewed the pivotal role of nuclear techniques in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, particularly in women.

Young people at a #FridaysForFuture strike outside the UN Headquarters in New York, March 2019.

Voices of Youth

Countering disheartening headlines about today’s young generation, the Voices of Youth community proves that young people ARE making a difference, each and every day. So find your voice and change the world.

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.

Mansoor, 12, watches the virtual reality documentary ‘Clouds over Sidra’ with a big grin, outside a UNICEF-supported Makani centre in the Za’atari camp for Syrian refugees. Photo: UNICEF/Herwig

Digital technologies know no borders. They cut across boundaries, sectors and disciplines, opening up new opportunities which are transforming societies and economies, and helping achieve the world’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Did you know?

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.

Watch and Listen

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

In an interview with UN News, Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the priorities of the upcoming high-level week at the General Assembly. Notably, he urges world leaders to focus their political actions on climate action.

Education is Oxygen

For Palestine refugee students living in the occupied Palestinian territory, the route to school can be full of challenges. However, UNRWA schools represent safe spaces, to learn, to explore, places where they can breathe. For these children #EducationIsOxygen

What Goes on Inside the Husbands’ Schools of Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso, a new type of school is transforming the habits and mentalities of married men and future husbands.

UN Podcasts

Marie-Claire Graf

Swiss youth activist sets sights on New York UN climate summit

At  the UN’s first Youth Climate Summit taking place in New York this Saturday participants include hundreds of young advocates from around the world. One of them is 23-year-old Marie-Claire Graf from Switzerland, whose “Sustainability Week” initiative aims to turn universities into sustainable role-models. In an interview with UN News’s Daniel Johnson in Geneva, Ms. Graf explains how she hopes to encourage others to tackle the climate crisis.

More UN podcasts

Live Now

United Nations meetings, events, and press conferences live and on demand

The United Nations in Pictures

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

Christine Wambulwa, the sole female mechanic in Kakuma, stands next to the shop holding her tools with pride.
Photo:©UN Women/Ryan Brown

Not Waiting for Handouts: 5 Stories of Resilience From One of the World’s Largest Refugee Camps

Christine Wambulwa, breadwinner of the family, puts her children through school by working as the sole female mechanic in Kakuma. More than 70 million people have been forced from their homes. As crises get more prolonged, the only home that entire generations know are refugee camps. Estimated at 26 years, the average length of displacement is rising. As of 2018, 78% of all refugees were in protracted situations. The stories we hear often reveal their unsurmountable challenges, but life in the camps is more than scrambling for food and waiting for a better future.

Photo of a slender and smiling Ag Zeini Mohamed, a 119-year-old Malian.
Photo:©IOM/Alexander Bee

A Century of Migration in One Man’s Lifetime

“In old times, it was Kumasi, in Ghana. That was our Eldorado [...] People didn’t need to cross the Sahara or risk their life along the migration road to become rich. But today things have changed. [...] People no longer love each other, borders are sealed. In old times, life in Mali was sweet as sugar, but nowadays it is more bitter than chili pepper. Because of conflicts.” Ag Zeini Mohamed, a 115-year-old Malian, fought for the French Army during the 2nd World War. Recently, he was referred to IOM for help in migrating back home. Read more about this centenarian's life in migration.

A young boy herding ducks on a pathway next to the river.
Photo:©IFAD/GMB Akash

Protecting Villages From Flash Floods and Improving Livelihoods in the Haor Basin Wetlands

Flash floods are a common occurrence in the Haor. During the height of the flood period, the Haor is wracked with waves as high as 3 metres. Large-scale deforestation over the last 40 years has stripped away the natural barriers that have historically mitigated wave action, and extreme weather events in 2001, 2010 and 2017 resulted in 80% - 90% of crops being lost. This situation is expected to get worse as a shift towards pre-monsoon rainfall is projected to coincide with the paddy rice pre-harvest period. Here is what's being done to help mitigate this.

Solar boat docked next to a mountain.
Photo:©UNDP Montenegro/Risto Bozovic

From the Moutains to the Coast, Montenegro Has a New Set of Eco-solutions

Residents of communities around the Bay of Kotor dread the summers because of the traffic the high tourist season brings. The narrow twisting main road linking towns becomes clogged and the high peaks lining one side make it impossible to widen the road. That’s why eco-friendly maritime transport might be just the right solution. With UNDP's support, a new fleet of solar and hybrid boats connect villages and cities around the Bay with a regular time table and low-cost tickets. This not only helps ease the traffic, but is also kind to the sea.