International Day of Peace

In UN Secretary-General António Guterres's words: "Today peace faces a new danger: the climate emergency, which threatens our security, our livelihoods and our lives. That is why it is the focus of this year’s International Day of Peace [21 September]. And it’s why I am convening a Climate Action Summit [23 September]." Climate change causes clear threats: natural disasters displace 3 times as many people as conflicts; the salinization of water and crops is endangering food security; and the impact on public health is escalating. Growing tensions over resources and mass movements of people are affecting every country on every continent.

Syrian Refugees in Zaatari Camp, Jordan.
Photo:ILO/Nisreen Bathish
As countries face more political, technical, socioeconomic and other barriers, increased climate ambition is central  to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Vendors are photographed in Kashmir before going to a floating market.

New UN report launched to help ratchet up action to combat climate crisis

18 September 2019 — Ahead of global leaders’ arrival in New York for the Climate Action Summit on 23 September, the United Nations deputy chief has launched a comprehensive report on how the world...

UN summits to urge ‘ambition and action’ on climate change, sustainable development: Guterres

18 September 2019 — There are five key United Nations summits taking place next week to spur action on the climate crisis and other global concerns, which will showcase the UN as a “driver for...

Five avoidable deaths per minute shows urgent need for action on patient safety

17 September 2019 — With at least five people dying every minute due to unsafe health care, the World Health Organization (WHO) is urging medical professionals, policy makers, caregivers and...

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.

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.

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.

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.” 

Photo portrait of Aidan Gallagher holding a glass globe in his hand.

Aidan Gallagher

Aidan Gallagher is UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador for North America, focusing on youth outreach. At only 14, Aidan became the youngest Goodwill Ambassador ever to be designated in the UN system. Aidan is an actor, singer-musician and environmental activist starring in Netflix’s highly rated series The Umbrella Academy. Join Aidan and #ActNow in the lead up to the Youth Climate Summit (21 September) and the UN Climate Action Summit (23 September) by sending a message to world leaders that you want climate action now! The World is in Our Hands!

Patient and doctor in a hospital room.

World Patient Safety Day

No one should be harmed in healthcare. Yet, 134 million adverse events occur each year due to unsafe care in hospitals in low- and middle-income countries, contributing to 2.6 million deaths annually; 15% of hospital expenses can be attributed to treating patient safety failures in OECD countries; 4 of 10 patients are harmed in the primary and ambulatory settings, up to 80% of harm in these settings can be avoided. On the first-ever World Patient Safety Day, 17 September 2019, WHO launches a global campaign to create awareness of patient safety and urges people to show their commitment to making healthcare safer.

Climate Change: Extreme Weather Chain Reactions

By 2030, global temperatures will rise by 1.5°C. If we do nothing, by 2050 temperatures could rise 2°C or even 3°C. What are the consequences?

#FindAWay to Address Climate Migration

Find A Way is a global initiative focusing on the resilience and strength of those affected by forced migration due to climate change.

International Year of Indigenous Languages

Despite their immense value, languages continue to disappear at an alarming rate. Join us in in celebrating 2019 as year of the Indigenous Languages.

Students Become the Teachers

"[S]uch young minds are still active and productive. So I listen to them." Zablon said in an FAO feature. Students in Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools received training from FAO. They, in turn, taught the farmers.

Woman holding a photograph of her deceased relative who had committed suicide.

Preventing Suicide - A Global Imperative

WHO launches a campaign to raise awareness of the scale of suicide around the world and the role that each of us can play to help prevent it (key factssummary info-graphic; in-depth resource booklets).

Group photo of last year's Young Champions and Champions of the Earth Award Winners with distinguished hosts Dia Mirza, Alec Baldwin and UN Environment's Satya Tripathi.

Champions of the Earth Award Ceremony

This year’s Champions of the Earth and Young Champions of the Earth award ceremony will be held during the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly Week on 26 September, in New York.

Woman grating ginger at a produce market.

Recipe For a Healthy Life

Individuals, countries, decision makers and private businesses can all take action to promote healthy diets and achieve #ZeroHunger. 

illustration of children and food

The ABCs of Healthy Diets for Kids

Being healthy is everyone’s responsibility – including yours! Here are the different ingredients, or main food groups, that make up a healthy diet.

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.

The 74th UN General Assembly takes places this September, with leaders from around the globe converging on New York to tackle the world’s greatest challenges. Watch the General Debate live on our YouTube channel (24 -30 September) and other events live on UN Web TV.

Literacy and Multilingualism

Despite progress made, literacy challenges persist. Embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is central to addressing these challenges and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Stolen Childhoods

It takes all of us to protect girls from child marriage. Video by UNICEF. "Power" by Moon Boots ft. Black Gatsby.

UN Podcasts

Sinduja Srinivasan and Jason DeWall posing in the General Assembly hall at UNHQ, NY.

Introducing…UNcomplicated: our new UN News podcast

Welcome to the first edition of UNcomplicated, a new podcast from UN News that grew out of a coffee shop conversation between Sinduja Srinivasan and Jason DeWall. "The UN can seem intimidating and complicated," our hosts said. "We aim to make it accessible and straightforward." With the world leaders' General Debate looming, Sinduja and Jason set off with a microphone for this inaugural episode.

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.

A group of UN staff members dressed in their traditional national outfits march at the Parade of Nations to mark UN Staff Day.
Photo:UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Parade of Nations Marks UN Staff Day

On 6 September 2019, United Nations staff in New York celebrated UN Staff Day by participating in a series of events organized by the staff union. In this photograph we see staff members dressed in their traditional national outfits marching at the Parade of Nations. 

Enis Aydeyer poses next to a photo of Ara Güler – a famous photographer known as the ‘Eye of Istanbul.'
Photo:©UNICEF/UN0322272/Erdogdu

Youth Lens: Picturing the Future in Turkey

Enis Aydeyer poses next to a photo of Ara Güler (famous photographer known as the 'Eye of Istanbul'). His friend, Turkish student Nazli Erdogdu, captured the image to embody the concept of 'Master.' Friends. Hope. Warmth. The future. How might you represent any of these in a single image? Syrian and Turkish students took on that challenge in a project aimed at building bridges between refugees and their host communities.

Young and middle aged people standing in a circle holding their cell phones.
Photo:©FAO/Alioune Ndiaye

Digital Innovations are Bringing Youth Back to Agriculture

New ways of working in agriculture, which harnesses digital and technological innovations, render it more efficient and provide new opportunities for young entrepreneurs. Here are examples of how harnessing the power of digital technology can revolutionize agriculture: A) drones; B) apps providing real-time information on weather, livestock care, markets and nutrition.

Rows of blue UNICEF backpacks arranged in the manner of a graveyard installed on the lawn at the UN in NY.
Photo:©UNICEF/UN0341974/Farber/Getty Images

Graveyard of 3,758 Backpacks

A UNICEF installation of school backpacks shows the grave scale of child deaths in conflict in 2018. In rows reminiscent of a graveyard, 3,758 backpacks send a message to world leaders just ahead of the General Assembly. More than 12,000 children were killed or maimed in conflict zones last year – the highest since the UN started reporting on this violation (Annual Report, 2019). #ENDviolence