Conference on the UN Convention Against Corruption

The eighth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) - COSP8 - will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from 16 to 20 December 2019. The Conference is expected to discuss a wide range of topics, including preventing and combating corruption, the review of the implementation of the Convention by States, asset recovery, technical assistance and preparations for the special session of the General Assembly against corruption, to be held in 2021. This month we also marked International Anti-Corruption Day.

Screenshot from UNODC video The Struggle Against Corruption.
Photo:UNODC
Yemen’s foreign minister Khaled al-Yamani (left) and Head of Ansarullah delegation Mohammed Amdusalem (right) shake hands on a ceasefire in and around the Yemeni port of Hudaydah, in the presence of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres (centre) and the host of the meeting, the Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström.

A year on from Yemen talks breakthrough, top UN Envoy hails ‘shift’ towards peace, despite setbacks

13 December 2019 — When warring parties in Yemen met in a renovated castle outside the Swedish capital last December for UN-brokered talks, they showed that perhaps there could be a way out of...

‘Embrace the transformation’ to a carbon-neutral world by 2050, UN chief tells COP25

12 December 2019 — With millions of workers increasingly affected by the climate crisis the route to securing livelihoods in the future lies in a wholesale transformation of how we power the...

South Sudan famine threat: UN food security agency in ‘race against time’

12 December 2019 — The World Food Programme (WFP) is warning against potential famine in South Sudan as hunger deepens due to drought, floods and an uncertain political future. 

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.

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.

Thomas the Tank engine

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.

children holding up books

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.

SDG7 - affordable and clean energy
 
Affordable and Clean Energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

More from the
United Nations

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

Nadia Murad details her fight against ISIL as part of a panel discussion on trafficking in persons organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). New York, 20 November 2017. UN Photo/Manuel Elias.

Seeking justice and dignity for survivors

Nadia Murad is a Nobel Laureate and Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. In this article she sheds light on sexual violence—an important issue on which she has been working to raise awareness for several years and by which she has been personally affected. "Perpetrators use sexual violence in an attempt to assert dominance and power over entire communities. The consequences are far-reaching and long-term; families and communities experience collective, generational trauma, which can destroy them from within."

launch of Alliance for Hydromet Development

Alliance for Hydromet Development launched

Twelve international organizations providing assistance to developing countries came together at the UN Climate Change Conference to launch the Alliance for Hydromet Development. The members of the Alliance have committed collectively to ramp up action that strengthens the capacity of developing countries to deliver high-quality weather forecasts, early warning systems, water, hydrological and climate services.  Known for short as “hydromet” services, these underpin resilient development by protecting lives, property and livelihoods.

vegetable display

Transforming food and agricultural systems

We only have 10 years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. With food and agriculture being major players in these 17 objectives, FAO has recognized that a holistic approach is key. With a 10-year deadline in mind, FAO is quickening the pace of progress by finding and implementing innovative solutions, encouraging global best practices and working together with partners to achieve sustainable food systems for all. At COP25 FAO is renewing its commitment to create a world free from hunger and poverty and calls on partners of all kinds, around the world, to join it.

More than 140,000 die from measles as cases surge worldwide

Worldwide more than 140,000 people died from measles in 2018, according to new estimates from the WHO and CDC. These deaths occurred as measles cases surged globally, amidst devastating outbreaks in all regions. Most deaths were among children under 5 years of age.

The Health for All Film Festival

The Health for All Film Festival aims to put storytelling power in the hands of people and to showcase the role of individuals and communities as champions for health. Filmmakers are invited to submit a short video for one of three categories: video reports, animation, or videos about nurses and midwives. 

ShareTheMeal

How can you change the world with just US $ 0.50? With a tap on your smartphone you can "share the meal" with a child in need. It costs only US $ 0.50 to feed one child for a day.

Cash assistance gives refugees the power of choice

UNHCR is expanding cash-based assistance so that the millions of people that it serves can meet their needs in dignity, are protected and can become more resilient. 

family rides on motorcycle in Phnom Penh

Clean air as a human right

Most of the global population is exposed without their consent to hazardous substances and wastes that increase their likelihood of developing diseases and disabilities throughout their lives. Low- and middle-income countries bear the brunt of pollution-related illnesses, with a disproportionate impact on children, women and the most vulnerable. Air pollution alone kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year.

Bhutan

What are NDCs and why are they important?

The overarching aim of the Paris Agreement is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure that global temperatures don’t rise more than 2C above pre-industrial levels this century, and ultimately pursue a scenario where temperature rise remains below 1.5C. NDC stands for a Nationally Determined Contribution. For the Paris Agreement goals to be achieved, every country needs to play its part.

young people interacting with their peers

Meet the 16 x 16: young people defending human rights and advancing SDG16!

In recognition of young people as positive agents of change, UNDP launched the 16 x 16 Initiative in 2019. The initiative spotlights and accompanies 16 young leaders, who bring to the forefront the major issues in their communities, countries and advance SDG Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Best of Innovation 2019 report cover

Best of Innovation 2019

The Secretary-General has encouraged UN Entities to use innovative approaches and technologies to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Following this call, UN Entities have established innovation teams, promoted a culture of innovation and leveraged new technologies in their work. Take a look at the UN Innovation Network's new report “Best of UN Innovation 2019” with innovation highlights from 35+ UN Entities. 

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

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

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.

The Seperu folk dance and associated practices have been inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. The practices involve singing, dancing and sacred rituals performed by Veekuhane community members. The formation is based on a horseshoe line of female dancers, with male dancers at the end. Wearing a multi-layered dress (‘mushishi’), the selected female dancer shows off her dancing skills by imitating a peacock tail with her dress while others imitate dove sounds. Despite being a key identity symbol for the Veehukane, the practice is threatened by numerous factors such as modernization, conflicting school curricula, and greatly diminished numbers of active practitioners. 

Capturing the Ghost

The elusive snow leopard may be one of the most difficult animals to spot in the wild. But people may soon be able to experience the snow leopard through virtual reality. For the first time a film team attempts to capture 360 footage of this ghost of the mountains. Find out what the UN Environment Programme is doing to save the endangered snow leopard.

Marlee Matlin: Your opinion matters, make sure it is valid.

Marlee Matin, a long-time advocate on disability inclusion, calls for a concerted effort to tackle discrimination towards people with disabilities at workplaces. She says it is on us to make our world of work truly progressive, inclusive and inspiring. See how the ILO works on the issue of disability inclusion.

UN Podcasts

António Guterres and Marie Christina Kolo

António Guterres talks COP25 climate action with youth activist

UN Secretary-General António Guterres took questions from around the world alongside youth activist Marie Christina Kolo from Madagascar during the on-going COP25 climate conference on Thursday. The Facebook Live event was hosted by Karin Orantes from our UN Social Media team. 

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.

woman prepares traditional cheese
Photo:EBRD-FAO/Dermot Doorly

Keeping Montenegro’s flavours alive

Produced mainly by women, Kolasin Lisnati sir (layered cheese) is one of the newest GI-labelled foods in northern Montenegro. Smallholder farmers in Montenegro used to rely heavily on agriculture. Opportunities were scarce, and young people moved or were tempted to move elsewhere. Now, with help from FAO and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), some 100 smallholder farmers from mountain villages in northern Montenegro are reaping the benefits of agro-tourism and getting recognition for preserving centuries-old culinary traditions, and a way of life that, elsewhere, has been long abandoned, or is slowing dying out.  

woman holding cultivated mushrooms
Photo:© Natalia Espinel/IFAD

Specialised production secures better income for rural households in China

Zhong Shuanyan, a young farmer, and mother of two, works in a mushroom production company,supported by an IFAD-funded project in Jinggangshang county. “Since I have started working here, I can economically help my family and mother-in-law. I also have improved my knowledge and skills in farm production,” says Zhong. The Jiangxi Mountain Area Agribusiness Promotion Project focuses on poor farmer households by supporting agribusinesses with new and advanced farm technologies. This is one of a new generation of IFAD projects in China that focuses on linking smallholders to markets, developing inclusive value-chains, and forging 'pro-poor' public-private partnerships.

 

Children of the Nenets community in Russia.
Photo:UNDP Russia/Taylor Rees

The hidden potential of peat bogs in Eastern Europe

While peatlands cover only 3 per cent of the global land surface, they store nearly 550 billion tons of carbon – twice as much as all the world’s forests. However, over the past decades, peatlands have often been drained to allow the development of infrastructure or intensive agriculture. UNDP and the European Union launched the ' Clima East' project in 2012, to promote adaptation to climate change, restore ecosystems and develop sustainable livelihoods. In Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, where peatlands form the largest carbon stock in the world, nearly 40,000 hectares of land have been rehabilitated. In collaboration with local communities, nature conservation workshops and adaptation activities promote the sustainable use of rehabilitated lands to prevent further degradation.

women and children in orange t-shirts perform
Photo:UN Women/Leovigildo Nhampule

The world went orange: Putting a spotlight on ending violence against women

In Chongoene district in southern Mozambique, three generations from one community performed a dance to open the commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and 16 Days of Activism. This year, the UN marked the 16 Days of Activism by bringing together leaders, activists and communities around the world under the theme, “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape”, calling for an end to rape and rape culture. Orange is the colour of the United Nations campaign on ending violence against women, led by the UN Secretary-General. From orange billboards in Times Square, New York, to arenas in Colombia and federal buildings in Austria lit in orange light, events in Mozambique and street campaigns in Serbia, people from all walks of life took a stand against rape culture, sparked public dialogues and listened to survivors.