A group of men from Asia stranded in Bosnia and Herzegovina wait for assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). © IOM 2020
Renate Held

Reimagining Human Mobility in a Post-COVID-19 World

No phenomenon has been as affected by humanity’s reaction to COVID-19 as migration. Simply put, humans are the main vector for the transmission of the virus, so the mobility aspects of our response had to be factored in from day one.

Under-Secretary-General Fabrizio Hochschild speaking to participants of the Children and Youth Roundtable at the World Urban Forum (WUF10) held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on 12 February 2020. ©Natalia Mroz
Fabrizio Hochschild

Do People Still Care About Human Rights?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on 10 December 1948, inspired peoples across the world and laid the foundation for governance and institutional reforms, for progressive, people centred legislation and education that reverberates from generation to generation.

A Congolese filmmaker edits a film on her laptop near her home in Kakuma refugee camp, northern Kenya. ©UNHCR/Tobin Jones
Anne-Marie Grey

The Case for Connectivity, the New Human Right

This year’s Human Rights Day theme focuses on the need and opportunity to build back better in the wake of the pandemic by ensuring that human rights are central to recovery efforts. And make no mistake about it, digital connectivity should be a human right.

Volunteers in the Sudan have held briefings on COVID-19 and distributed masks, gloves and sanitizing products. © UNDP
Balghis Badri

The Impact of COVID-19 on Women

Among other measures to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, the United Nations could develop gender-sensitive monitoring and impact checklists to assist countries with follow-up and assessment of their achievements in all sectors during the crisis.

Aviation is crucial to the undertaking of the World Food Programme’s humanitarian mission. Source: WFP/Deborah Nguyen
Fang Liu

Connecting the World in Its Time of Need: International Aviation's Pandemic Response

By severing our international connections by air in this manner, COVID-19 has cut off businesses from clients and tourists from destinations and posed disproportionate threats to the poor and vulnerable.

A smartphone using a contract tracing app. Markus Winkler/Pixabay
E. Courtenay Rattray

Media and Information Literacy in an Age of Uncertainty

In order to protect democracy, the transition to a digital society and economy must be accompanied by a media and information literacy revolution.

A worker checks readings on an energy management system, South Africa. Photo credit: National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa
Helen Hai

Making Industrialization in Africa Sustainable

Industrial development in Africa needs to be inclusive and sustainable: inclusive so that all sectors of society can participate and benefit from industrialization, and sustainable so that the environment does not suffer.

A participant at the official commemoration of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape”. New York, 25 November 2019. UN Photo/Evan Schneider
María-Noel Vaeza

Addressing the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Violence Against Women and Girls

Violence against women and girls was a pandemic long before the outbreak of COVID-19. The underlying causes are not the virus itself or the resulting economic crisis, but rather an imbalance of power and control.

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.