A combination of unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles has sent obesity rates soaring. While some 820 million people suffer from hunger, 670 million adults and 120 million girls and boys (5-19 years) are obese, and over 40 million children under 5 are overweight. The health costs of obesity are high, as harmful diets are linked to one-fifth of all deaths worldwide. On this World Food Day, 16 October, under the theme "Healthy diets for a #ZeroHunger world," FAO wants us to know that the goal of Zero Hunger is not only about beating hunger, but about achieving a healthy, sustainable and affordable diet for all. Follow our recipe for a healthy life and help us reach this goal!
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.
Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio has been named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Indigenous Peoples. Her performance in Alfonso Cuarón’s film Roma, for which she had to learn the Mixtec language of her father’s family, won her an Oscar nomination for best actress, the first indigenous Mexican woman to be so recognized by the US Academy Awards. Ms. Aparicio will contribute to UNESCO’s work to ensure the integration of indigenous peoples everywhere and the realization of their rights.
Climate change is having a huge impact on communities in rural areas. However, agricultural innovations can provide solutions to producing food and ensuring stable incomes for those who are the most vulnerable. Innovation is key to ensuring access to water, food and income in the face of climate change. One way to tackle the negative effects on food security is through further research into common food products and innovations in ways to use them.
Cate Blanchett urged States present at a UN Refugee agency meeting to do more to help address stateless people’s despair. "It's hard to imagine the degree of invisibility that stateless people experience," she said. The actor and activist's work has allowed her to meet stateless people all over the world. She challenged countries to find solutions to statelessness: "Every inch of our world is divided into States. States which you all represent. But where do those people go who don't belong anywhere?"
One in three children isn't growing well because of malnutrition. UNICEF's 2019 State of the World's children examines the issue of children, food and nutrition, providing a fresh perspective on a rapidly evolving challenge. Explore the special web feature.
Climate action has been speeding up in response to the climate crisis, with more and more governments, cities, and companies aligning their plans, policies and projections with the Paris Agreement—but much more effort is needed.
SDG 6 seeks to ensure safe drinking water and sanitation for all, focusing on the sustainable management of water resources, wastewater and ecosystems, and acknowledging the importance of an enabling environment.
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.
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.
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.
Every spring, billions of birds migrate to faraway lands in search of suitable breeding grounds. To protect the migration, scientists have developed a way for everyone across the globe to participate in conservation.
Improving Access to Electricity in Gaza
As part of efforts to strengthen the electricity supply system in Gaza, UNOPS with funding from the government of Japan has installed solar photovoltaic systems for 188 households.
If you’re stateless, ‘just going to school is a problem’
What does it mean to be stateless? It's a question that's being discussed all this week in Geneva, at an event organized by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) to help millions of people without official papers, often through no fault of their own. After her story was highlighted by UNCHR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett during Monday’s session, UN News’s Daniel Johnson caught up with Maha Mamo, who grew up in Lebanon before being given Brazilian nationality. She started by describing the everyday problems she encountered, living in limbo.
Images from across the United Nations and our world-wide family of agencies, funds, and programmes.
1,000 Survivors: Harnessing Hope to End an Ebola Outbreak
On 4 October, the Ministry of Health of the DRC announced that the 1,000th survivor of the current Ebola outbreak was released from care. The epidemic, which was declared on 1 August 2018, is the 10th Ebola outbreak in the DRC and is also the country’s largest and longest. There have been more than 3,000 people infected and 2,000 deaths. “Today we have 1,000 reasons to celebrate, but for each survivor there are two lives lost,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization Director-General. Here are some of the survivor stories and what WHO and partners are doing to help them to lead healthy lives.
Photo:WFP/Sayed Asif Mahmud
5 Climate-Driven Disasters in 2019 and how WFP Responded
Hurricane Dorian was just one of a string of climate-related disasters in 2019. The number of extreme weather events, including exceptionally severe heat, droughts, floods and storms, has doubled since the early 1990s. Threatening to push up to 100 million people into severe food insecurity, climate crises have joined conflict as leading drivers of hunger. In 2019, the World Food Programme has been called on to assist millions of people affected by climate change-related events across the globe. Here is a look at 5 of these and how WFP prepared for and responded to them.
Photo:UNDP Peru/Giulianna Camarena
The Enchanted Places of Lake Titicaca
It has been 2 years since over 40 people of the Chimu community in Puno, Peru, decided to pursue the dream of building a floating island. Today, the families on the island Balsero Chimu are building a bridge between their traditional culture and tourists. With the technical support of the Qhapaq Ñan project, a tri-national effort implemented in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia by UNDP, and with financing from the Italian Agency of Cooperation for Development, Balsero Chimu and its guardians are working to strengthen the venture. And how does the totora fit in?
Why is the number of blind or visually impaired on the rise?
Worldwide, over 2.2 billion people are visually impaired, over 1 billion are forced to live with preventable or treatable conditions, and the numbers are rising. Rapid population growth, ageing and lifestyle changes are set to swell global demand for eye-care in the coming years. Find out more on why this may be happening, and check out WHO’s first-ever World Report on Vision for clear recommendations to countries on addressing the crucial challenges.