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.
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.
Reading and learning are essential to children’s growth and development; stories can fuel their imagination and raise awareness of new possibilities. The SDG Book Club aims to encourage them to learn about the Goals in a fun, engaging way, empowering them to make a difference.
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.
On 25 January 1946, the UN Security Council adopted its first resolution, establishing a Military Staff Committee, as envisioned in the UN Charter's Article 47, to advise and assist the Security Council on all questions relating to the Security Council's military requirements for the maintenance of international peace and security, the employment and command of forces placed at its disposal, the regulation of armaments, and possible disarmament. The Military Staff Committee consists of the Chiefs of Staff of the permanent members of the Security Council or their representatives. Having met since its inaugural meeting in London on 4 February 1946, the Military Staff Committee is the longest standing subsidiary body of the Security Council.
UNAIDS is calling on governments to ensure that the right to health is realized by all by prioritizing public investments in health. At least half of the world’s population cannot access essential health services. “The right to health is eluding the poor and people trying to lift themselves out of poverty are being crushed by the unacceptably high costs of health care. The richest 1% benefit from cutting-edge science while the poor struggle to get even basic health care,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS. Nearly 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty (living on US$ 1.90 or less a day) because they have to pay for health care, and more than 930 million people spend at least 10% of their household budgets on health care. Publicly financed health care is the greatest equalizer in society. Health should not be a privilege for the rich—the right to health belongs to everyone.
About half the world's people do not access and use the Internet. People and communities that are connected are empowered. They can access information, online health services and life-saving disaster warnings. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) works in all regions of the world and develops tailored programmes to allow everyone to access and use the Internet, in particular by developing infrastructures for technologies and networks, and enhancing the regulatory and market environment. ITU raises awareness and assists countries in developing the policies, legislation, regulations and business practices that promote the digital inclusion of people with specific needs, including indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, women, girls, youth and children.
To create a cyber-secure world, we must be as fast and globally integrated as the criminals. Facing a global threat with local resources will not be enough. Countries need to do more internally and internationally to coordinate their efforts.
Desert Locust swarms in East Africa, already unprecedented in their size and destructive potential, could swell exponentially and spill over into more countries if efforts to deal with them are not massively scaled up across the region, FAO warns.
Things you can do to become part of Generation Equality: 1) be the change you want to see 2) stand up against sexual harassment and racism 3) support and promote gender-neutral upbringing of children, says Celina Jaitly, acclaimed Indian actress, human rights activist and Champion of the UN Free & Equal campaign.
There are more than 7.5 billion people on earth and we use 1.5 times more resources than we have. There will be 9.7 billion by 2050; we'll need 3 planters to sustain our lifestyles. We don't have 3 planets. A radical re-thinking is required.
ILOSTAT data show that progress is needed in many areas and in every region to achieve gender equality in the labour market. While most of us are aware that women are often paid less than men in the same occupation, ILOSTAT data show where the gaps are largest. The median gender wage gap for 115 countries with available data is 14% in favor of men. And male-dominated occupations have even higher wage premiums for men.
This initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to tackle the root causes of plastic pollution, enabling businesses and governments to take joint action. To achieve this vision, tourism companies and destinations will be required to make a set of concrete and actionable commitments by 2025.
Muzoon Almellehan is an education activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Muzoon has been campaigning for children’s education in emergencies since she was forced to flee Syria in 2013 with her family. In this article in the UN Chronicle for the International Day of Education, she shares her personal story and her motivation for the work she does. "Education is the key to peace and prosperity, and the foundation of equality," she says.
Bosnia and Herzegovina veterinary authorities are better equipped to protect livestock from several animal diseases spreading in Southeastern Europe, thanks to the support of the IAEA in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This is an important step for food security in the country and for the export of animal products and food to the European Union market.
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.
In 2020, the United Nations turns 75. UN75 aims to build a global vision for the year 2045, the UN's centenary; to increase understanding of the threats to that future; and to drive collective action to realize that vision. #Join the Conversation #Be the Change
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.
UN Chief's Message on the Lunar New Year
Video message by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, on the occasion of the Lunar New Year (25 January 2020). Chun Jie Kuai Le! [春节快乐！Happy Lunar New Year!
WHO: Coronavirus - Questions and Answers
What is a coronavirus? Where do they come from? How can I protect myself? Watch this Q&A from the World Health Organization for the answers. More information here.
Benefits of reducing your food waste
Benefits of reducing your food waste: 1. Saves the resources that would go into producing that food; 2. Lowers your carbon footprint; 3. Saves money; 4. Reduces methane gases that would be produced in landfill.
Blue Growth Innovators: Plastic Made From Fish
In 2013, FAO launched the Blue Growth Initiative, which supports the development of aquatic resources and the communities that depend on them. Today, innovators across the globe are coming up with new and exciting ways to harness the ocean’s resources sustainably, from blue fish fashion to the medical use of fish skin. These creative inventions offer potential alternative income generating opportunities for fisheries communities worldwide. Lucy Hughes is the inventor of MarinaTex, a bioplastic made from fish waste. The graduate student's innovation won the 2019 James Dyson Award.
"Sculpting is my friend, the only way to express all of my anger, frustration and energy"
Ranna Al Ramlawi, 24-year old Palestine refugee from Gaza, is successfully developing her talent and potential, against all odds. Her father suffers from Parkinson's disease, leaving him unable to move or work. Ranna’s mother is a teacher at an UNRWA school in the besieged strip. One of 9 children, Ranna was unable to complete a university education because of the tough financial straits her family was in. Despite these challenges, Ranna managed to create a window of hope through art. Her fierce determination to overcome her challenges led her to turn her frustration and anger into expression through the creation of sand sculptures.
Photo:UN Photo/Manuel Elias
Graduation Ceremony for an All Female New UN Security Officers
Stefana Marginean is one of the 13 new all female UN Security Officers. The United Nations has been at the forefront of mainstreaming gender into all its policies and programmes. The UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) has increased its efforts in this regard, working with the partners of the Inter-Agency Security Management Network (IASMN) to develop and improve the gender sensitivity and responsiveness in all aspects of the UN Security Management System (UNSMS) and Security Risk Management (SRM) processes. UNDSS is also implementing its internal UNDSS Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women Strategy with 3 main objectives: an inclusive organizational culture free from bias and discrimination; improved gender parity; and ensuring gender-responsive operations.
Chinese Lunar Calendar – Year of the Rat
On 10 January 2020, UNPA continued its Chinese Lunar Calendar series with the issuance of a special event sheet celebrating the Year of the Rat. This is the eleventh sheet issued for UNPA’s Lunar New Year stamp series. The sheet is composed on ten $1.20 denominated stamps with the United Nations logo. The tabs of the stamps and background design feature artwork designed by Yin Huili (China). Customers with standing order requirements for special event sheets will automatically receive this item through their accounts.
7 Refugees Paving the Way on Disability Rights
“People don’t realize how hard we’re all trying to rebuild our lives from zero [...] Try to get to know us. There’s more inside us and inside you than everyone thinks,” says Nujeen Mustafa. Born with cerebral palsy, she became famous after fleeing the conflict in Syria and making the hazardous journey to Europe in her wheelchair. Her resilience, documented in her memoir "The girl from Aleppo" has inspired millions. Now a refugee in Germany, Nujeen is attending school and learning German. She uses her platform to call for positive change, including at TEDxExeter in the United Kingdom and as a guest on the renowned John Oliver show. Read more stories here.