World Food Day

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!

World Food Day event celebrated in Rome (2013)
Photo:FAO/Alessia Pierdomenico
According to the UN, an estimated one-third of all food is lost or wasted worldwide as it moves from where it is produced to where it is eaten.

Stop the waste: UN food agencies call for action to reduce global hunger

14 October 2019 — With one-third of food produced for human consumption lost or wasted, and millions still going hungry, the UN’s food-related agencies are shining a spotlight on the issue: on...

‘Dangerous nationalism’ seriously threatens efforts to tackle statelessness: UNHCR chief

7 October 2019 — Hate speech and misguided nationalism present a serious threat to efforts to tackle statelessness, despite growing public awareness of the problem, UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi...

Turning waste into wealth: World Habitat Day focus on cleaning up cities

7 October 2019 — Waste can have a devastating effect on public health, the environment, and the climate, but cutting-edge innovation and technology can provide improved, cheaper solutions to the...

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.

Goal 2: Zero Hunger
 
Zero Hunger

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

More from the
United Nations

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

Yalitza Aparicio

Yalitza Aparicio named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

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.

Countering climate change with innovation

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.

Actress and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Cate Blanchett

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett speaks out against statelessness

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?"

Children at the centre of the child rights convention anniversary celebration

Child rights advocates Maria, Serena and Zcyrel joined the Committee on the Rights of the Child to empower children to claim their rights.

If you teach a girl to code, she will change the world

In Kakuma refugee camp in north-western Kenya, girls are empowered by their new-found passion for computer coding.

How London’s first dedicated HIV ward changed the AIDS response

UNAIDS Senior Adviser on Science, Peter Godfrey-Faussett, worked on the Broderip Ward as a newly qualified doctor and remembers it as an intense and highly emotional period.

Gianluigi Buffon named Goodwill Ambassador of the UN World Food Programme

In his role as WFP Goodwill Ambassador, Gianluigi Buffon will have the opportunity to travel to some of the 83 countries where WFP helps communities rebuild shattered lives and livelihoods. 

child holding fresh vegetables

State of the World’s Children

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

iceberg

The Heat is On: Taking Stock of Global Climate Ambition

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.

Nadia Murad, Malala Yousafzai, Maya Angelou, and Rigoberta Menchu Tum

Twelve feminist books everyone should read

Books on feminism and women’s experience reflect how diverse women’s experiences around the world truly are.

frog

UN-Water SDG 6 Data Portal

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. 

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.

Suicide is never the answer. This video provides teachers and other people working in schools with information on how to help students look after their mental health. Information for employers and managers here, and for health workers here. More in the publication: "Preventing Suicide: a resource series."

Protecting Birds Is Protecting Our Future

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.

UN Podcasts

Maha Mamo.

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.

More UN podcasts

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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 young woman stands amidst homes, cradling her baby girl in her arms whilst gazing at her with love.
Photo:WHO/C. Black

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.

A group of people looking distressed gather around a man who is looking at his cell phone with cash in his left hand.
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.

A man stands in a canoe-like boat, paddles it forward, whilst a woman holds a steering oar in place. A bundle of long totora shoots lay across the front of the boat.
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?

A boy is undergoing a vision test whilst two women sit in the background of the doctor's clinic.
Photo:WHO/Sebastian Liste

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.