ESASD Class of 2020 seniors pose with graduation placards in their honour while practicing social distancing.
Michael Healey

Creating Our Future by Documenting Our Living History

The energy of the United Nations lies in the transformative power of ideas brought to life. This call to action has been answered by the East Stroudsburg Area School District in Pennsylvania, United States, which recognizes that despite mandated school closures, learning and education must never cease.

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay. 1 April 2020
Lamiaa Mohsen

COVID-19 and the Need for Action on Mental Health

Not only would failing to address the mental health impact of the pandemic potentially undo years of work and effort to improve access to and the quality of mental health services, it also creates the possibility of a mental health epidemic that could impact generations to come.

Panellists at one of the national forums organized by the United Nations and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia to collect the views of civil society in Colombia on the various items on the peace agenda. February 2016. Photo by Federico Rios/UNDP
Fabrizio Hochschild and Juan Pablo Caicedo

No Persistence—No Peace: A Reflection on the United Nations Contribution to Peace in Colombia

Thanks to its large field presence and decades of work on the ground, the United Nations country team in Colombia knew that for local communities, peace meant much more than the absence of war. Addressing some of their expectations and concerns was critical for peace to be sustainable.

Happy students in the rural village of Dacope, Khulna, Bangladesh. © Md. Nafiul Hasan Nasim
Jane Goodall

We All Must Take Action

As the United Nations celebrates its 75th Anniversary this year, which has been marked by a global pandemic and global fear, we are all called to renew our sense of solidarity and hope.

In some countries, lockdowns and disruptions in supply chains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to empty shelves at grocery stores and other retail outlets.
Elizabeth Mkandawire

Data, Partnerships and a Strengthened Food System: Accelerating Progress Towards Zero Hunger

The United Nations Secretary-General’s Policy Brief on “The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security and Nutrition” points to several opportunities to lessen the impact of a food crisis during this pandemic. These opportunities are interlinked and speak to better data collection, building partnerships and strengthening the food system.

Gerd Altmann/Pixabay
Vinton G. Cerf

The Digital Mask

Our global society has evolved to become increasingly dependent on digital technology. When the technology fails, this reliance can lead to a range of cascading negative effects. 

A woman walks down an empty Temple Street in Bangalore, India.18 April 2020.  Kandukuru Nagarjun (CC BY 2.0)
Aromar Revi

Harnessing Urbanization to Accelerate SDG Implementation in a Post-COVID-19 World

The United Nations Secretary General’s Policy Brief on “COVID-19 in an Urban World” is an important confirmation of the centrality of urban areas and urbanization to a holistic, local-to-global response to the pandemic. It appropriately emphasizes the need to address inequality and multidimensional development challenges; strengthening local capacities and responses, especially those of local governments; and accelerating inclusive, green economic recovery.

The near-empty International Arrivals area of Beijing Capital International Airport. The flight information display system for international flights is also blank. 25 August 2020. CC BY-SA 4.0
Ki-Joon Back

Commentary: Policy Brief on COVID-19 and Transforming Tourism

The Policy Brief: COVID-19 and Transforming Tourism, issued recently by the United Nations Secretary-General, describes the severe, negative effects of the pandemic on global tourism, including job loss, the depletion of natural resources, worsening quality of life for women in the workforce and a lack of world heritage site protection.

Zurab Pololikashvili

Tourism Can Help Lead the World to Recovery

Only by making people feel safe and encouraging them to travel again will the benefits that tourism offers start to return. UNWTO, as the specialized United Nations agency for tourism, must lead by example.

Colmenarejo campus of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), Spain. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Gotesan
Juan Romo

Post-COVID-19 Sustainable Cities: What Can Universities Do?

The high levels of global and local interconnectivity of cities leave them particularly exposed to deadly epidemics, as they have been throughout history. The recent Policy Brief: COVID-19 in an Urban World, issued by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, emphasizes that vulnerable sectors of urban societies are especially harmed both by the incidence of the virus and the economic impact of related shutdown measures.