Your window to the world

Audiovisual materials can tell your story, your truth, and your presence. They provide a window to the world, allowing us to observe events we cannot attend, hear voices from the past who can no longer speak, and craft stories that inform and entertain. Audiovisual content plays an increasingly vital role in our lives as we seek to understand the world. World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (27 October) provides an occasion to raise awareness of the importance of audiovisual documents as they promote the free flow of ideas, which represent of our shared heritage and memory.

After surviving two decades of civil war, the archives of Radio Mogadishu are being converted into digital files.
Photo:UN Photo/Tobin Jones
Displaced children living in an informal settlement in northwest Syria.

Syria: Progress still possible, following ‘disappointment’ over constitutional talks

27 October 2021 — Although the outcome of the latest meeting of the Syrian Constitutional Committee was “a disappointment”, members must continue their vital work, the UN Special Envoy for the...

Pandemic impact on jobs, worse than expected: ILO 

27 October 2021 — The jobs recovery is stalled worldwide and disparities between advanced and developing economies threaten the whole global economy, warned the International Labour Organization (...

General Assembly debate underscores need to deliver on climate action

26 October 2021 — Bridging the financial and technical gaps that will limit global warming, is the focus of a high-level debate in the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday. 


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.

hands holding seedling

UNGA High-Level Week 2021

In addition to the General Debate, this year’s session of the UN General Assembly will kick off a series of international UN conferences in 2021, which are expected to highlight action and solutions that will ignite the transformations needed to secure healthy, peaceful and prosperous lives for all. 

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.

More from the
United Nations

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

illustration of solar powered house and electric car Energy, UNDP

Breaking up with fossil fuels: It’s not me, it’s you

The evidence is irrefutable. We cannot address the climate crisis without looking at the true cost of our addiction to oil, coal and gas. Fossil fuel subsidies are a major obstacle to our climate and sustainable development goals because they encourage investment in pollution and discourage renewable energy. Phasing out fossil fuels and taxing carbon will spur growth and innovation. The world will spend trillions of dollars to recover from COVID-19. This investment can build the green economies of tomorrow.

camp for displaced persons near Kabul Displaced Persons and Refugees, UNHCR

Kabul displaced brace for bleak winter

In Kabul, nearly 50,000 Afghans displaced from other parts of the country by recent fighting are desperate to receive aid before winter sets in. With winter fast approaching, temperatures in the capital are already reaching close to 0°C at night and may dip to as low as –25°C in mid-winter, putting those sleeping outside at risk of hypothermia. Afghanistan is facing a worsening humanitarian emergency with the economy near collapse and about half the population now reliant on aid. There are more than 3.5 million people displaced by conflict inside the country.

salt-affected soil Land, Plants, and Soil, FAO

World map of salt-affected soils launched

FAO has launched the Global Map of Salt-Affected Soils, a key tool for halting salinization and boosting productivity. The map estimates that there are more than 833 million hectares of salt-affected soils around the globe (8.7% of the planet). Most of them can be found in naturally arid or semi-arid environments in Africa, Asia and Latin America. However, the map also shows that 20 to 50 percent of irrigated soils in all continents are too salty, meaning over 1.5 billion people worldwide face significant challenges in growing food due to soil degradation.

Children, UNICEF

What’s on your mind?

How parents can start the mental health conversation with their kids #OnMyMind

Women and Gender Equality, Peace and Security, UN Women

Women, Peace and Security

As governments, humanitarian actors, and peacebuilders meet at the UN to discuss the women, peace and security agenda, watch this space for news, updates and voices of women peacebuilders.

Messengers of Peace/Goodwill Ambassadors

Drogba appointed WHO Ambassador

Football legend Didier Drogba was appointed as the World Health Organization's Goodwill Ambassador for Sport and Health. 

Art, África, UNESCO

African Folktales, Reimagined

Netflix & UNESCO have launched a groundbreaking competition in Sub-Saharan Africa to find Africa’s next generation of filmmakers.

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" builds 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.

Meet Faryal - one of 135,000 children who now have a better learning environment thanks to solar-powered fans and lights in classrooms. In Pakistan, a lack of basic facilities in government schools contributes to low enrolment and high dropout rates – a problem that is especially severe in remote areas. To help improve school conditions and address low enrolment and high dropout rates, UNOPS and partners installed solar energy systems at more than ​1,200 schools across Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

Social protection and long-term care

ILO defines long-term care (LTC) as the support that is needed by older persons with limited ability to care for themselves due to physical or mental conditions, including chronic diseases and multimorbidity. Well-adapted and high-quality long-term care can enhance older people’s well-being, dignity and rights, while also supporting their families. It is essential that better access to adequate long-term care benefits and services is provided to meet people’s needs.

What are agri-food systems?

Before food reaches our plates, it travels a long way. FAO illustrates how every stage of that journey makes up our agri-food systems. Farming, fishing, livestock-rearing, storing, transporting, selling, buying, eating, and disposing of our food are all part of these complex systems. The systems also include all the non-food products that come from agriculture, like cotton and forest products. Our actions and choices can help these systems become more sustainable.

UN Podcasts

Melissa Fleming and David Gressly in the recording studio of Awake at Night

They want me to tell their story

“I've seen horrible things. I've seen massacres. Human suffering. These are not easy sights to see. The best way I found to deal with that is just to be determined to fix it in some fashion.”

UN Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Coordinator for Yemen David Gressly has seen some of the worst of man's inhumanity to man during a career of more than 40 years in peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and development. In this episode, he talks with podcast host Melissa Fleming about what has driven him to devote his life to helping the most vulnerable in some of the most fragile places on earth.

With more than 20 million people in need of assistance and a seven-year ongoing war, Yemen is among the world's worst humanitarian crises. But it’s not just conflict that threatens the Yemeni people. As David explains, every three days someone is injured or even killed by landmines or unexploded ordnance. During this eye-opening conversation, David shares his concerns about the dire situation in Yemen and the likelihood of being able to sustain the humanitarian response in the year ahead. 

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.

A group of smiling children eat at a table.
Photo:WFP / Yuri Andrade

School feeding keeps children in class in Mozambique during crisis

Mozambique is one of the most disaster-prone places in the world. In a country where over 65 per cent of the population live in rural areas and most rely on agriculture as their source of income, the destruction caused by cyclones, droughts, floods, and pests affects millions of people. As a response to these challenges, WFP and partners have launched an Emergency School Feeding Programme in Mozambique to promotes school attendance and participation among children in crisis-affected areas, while improving their access to healthy food.

a black toucan with a yellow neck and a colourful beak on a tree branch
Photo:Adriana Dinu / UNDP

Protect and restore: showing the path to a regenerative and sustainable world

Environmental protection is frequently presented as a choice between benefits for the natural world or for humans. But the Republic of Costa Rica is showing that symbiotic relationships between environmental protection and economic development are possible. And the world is taking notice. The Government of Costa Rica was honoured with the Earthshot Prize, a Nobel-like award founded by renowned British naturalist Sir David Attenborough. UNDP values the leadership of developing countries in finding solutions that work for people and for the planet.