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.
Each November, World Antibiotic Awareness Week (18 – 24 November) aims to increase global awareness of antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. Since their discovery, antibiotics have served as the cornerstone of modern medicine. However, the persistent overuse and misuse of antibiotics in human and animal health have encouraged the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance, which occurs when microbes, such as bacteria, become resistant to the drugs used to treat them.
For as long as he could remember, Benito González, from the indigenous Wixáritari community in western Mexico, had struggled to make ends meet and lived on the margins of society - as many indigenous peoples anywhere do. Since jobs were hard to find, and since his community lacked access to basic services and amenities (including health, education, drinking water, and decent housing), Benito, like many others, was forced to rely on social programmes and seek temporary work far from home. But life began to change when, with the help of FAO, it became possible for them to grow their own food.
"With the introduction of the SDGs, we have started to recognize the strong interdependency among all beings living on this planet, and how one person’s or country’s actions can affect others living thousands of kilometres away," argues Anantha Duraiappah. "Climate change is one example of this interdependency. One country’s actions can trigger extreme events such as droughts and floods, thus hindering the entire world’s progress towards achieving the SDGs." The author is Director of the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (UNESCO).
A new report by the World Health Organization offers guidance and tools for urban leaders to tackle some of the leading causes of death in cities, including non-communicable diseases and traffic injuries.
School director Tarekegn Degefu led the creation of a gender club and started a day care service at the school for teachers and staff after attending a gender-responsive pedagogy and assessment training organized as part of a UNESCO project in Ethiopia.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child explains who children are, all their rights, and the responsibilities of governments. All the rights are connected, they are all equally important and they cannot be taken away from children.
For the past 11 years, the IOM and UNAOC have invited youth filmmakers to submit short videos exploring the topics of migration, diversity, social inclusion, and the prevention of xenophobia. This year, PLURAL+ received a record number of entries from 68+ countries. RSVP to attend the award ceremony taking place 13 November 10:00am-1:00pm (ECOSOC Chamber, NY). Press Release ->>
The latest UN report on elections examines the erosion of trust in elections in different countries around the world in recent years, with accusations of manipulation via the Internet and social media and reports of foreign interference in polls becoming increasingly common.
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 Female Police Officer of the Year
Major Seynabou Diouf of the Senegal National Police has been selected as the 2019 United Nations Female Police Officer of the Year.
Twenty-five years ago, the world made a promise
Twenty-five years ago, the world was a different place. Incredible progress has been made in so many areas. So why haven’t we seen as much progress for women’s health and rights?
Sex Education in China
Families in China talk about comprehensive sex education for UNESCO’s Foundation of Life and Love campaign. What does CSE mean for you? Join the conversation at #CSEandMe
Contemporary Slavery Often 'Invisible and Clandestine'
Slavery is perpetuated by traditional practices such as child and forced marriage, and by the fact that almost 1/2 the countries in the world have yet to criminalize it. According to the latest UN figures, 40 million people were living in a state of modern slavery in 2016. One in 4 children are in forced labour, and about 98% of women who are in forced labour have also been subjected to sexual exploitation.
Deeply rooted in fear, with victims often “not realizing” they’re enslaved, it becomes "invisible", and "clandestine”, leaving victims unprotected, said Urmila Bhoola, Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, who sat down with UN News's Ana Carmo to talk through its causes and consequences.
Palestinian Refugee Engineer Pioneers Hydroponic Farm in Northern Gaza
“Luckily, I was one of 200 people to receive training on green technology and environmentally friendly farming techniques," said Irada al-Zaáneen, 24-year-old agricultural engineer from Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. After graduating from Al Azhar University, the crippling economic situation in the Strip greatly limited her job opportunities, but she didn't give up. Al-Zaáneen volunteered with many institutions and finally decided to bring her graduate research project to life by opening her very own hydroponics farm.
Strengthening Protection: 20 Years of Protection of Civilians in UN Peacekeeping
Troops from the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) cross a make-shift bridge during a patrol in Gbarnga, Liberia. Patrols, particularly foot patrols such as this, enhance the UN’s visibility, thereby serving as a confidence building tool for communities to feel secure, while also deterring potential threats. In commemoration of the 20 years (1999–2019) during which protection of civilians has been included in the mandates of UN peace operations, we highlight the work of our peacekeepers in this photo essay.
Discriminatory attitudes and punitive laws, policies and practices are fueling the HIV and tuberculosis (TB) epidemics in Africa, despite advances in prevention and treatment, which have saved millions of lives. It is the most vulnerable paying the price. HIV rates in prison, for example, are as high as 50%, while TB incidence rates are on average 23x higher than in the general population. Overcrowding and inadequate sanitation and nutrition contribute to a dangerous prison environment. “A human rights approach is important for one simple reason. Regardless of being a prisoner you are still a human being,” says Isaac Zimba.
Building Bridges - Young People Bring Color to Kosovo Heritage
Infusing modern art in an urban landscape can be a complex task. However, in Gjakovë/Đakovica, Kosovo, 18 young adults rose up to the challenge under a bridge through the grace of murals as a part of the UNDP’s restoration camps project together with Cultural Heritage without Borders. Six murals were designed on the 3 pillars facing the renowned Tabak bridge. The idea was to do some research about cultural heritage and interpret it through murals and drawings. This event is the fifth of its name, following other restorations of renowned cultural locations in Prizren, Pejë/Peć and Letnicë/Letnica.