Boys playing football (soccer). Photo by VietNam Beautiful on Unsplash
Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani and Isabelle Picco

The Tangible Contributions of Sport to the SDGs

Sport plays an important advocacy role in combating the spread of diseases and highlighting the importance of international solidarity. In times of crisis, fear and anxiety can consume us. Alone, it seems, we can do very little, but working together, we can do so much.

United Nations Headquarters in New York, 23 February 2017. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
Kevin L. McCrudden

Maintaining Inspiration and Motivation to Build a Peaceful and Sustainable World

The International Day of Conscience (5 April) provides another opportunity to focus single-mindedly on the vision and mission of the United Nations.

Waterfall on the Upper Tana River in the Aberdares, which forms part of the water supply for Nairobi, Kenya. ©UN Environment Programme
Inger Andersen

Improving Water Resource Management to Address the Climate Emergency

Embracing adaptation and mitigation measures through water is a win-win-win proposal. It benefits sustainable water resources management and the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.

A Plastic Patrol UK clean-up of Sheffield Canal in England, 2018. ©Andrew Hargraves Photography
Lizzie Carr

Reducing Single-Use Plastic Pollution: A Unified Approach

Organizations, partnered with the corporate sector and individual citizens at the local level, can significantly reduce plastic pollution around the world. 

Hand, Bura-Asinda-Sikka, Niger, 3rd–11th century, Terracotta Institut de Recherches en Sciences Humaines, Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey, Niger (AC3 BRK 85). © Photo Maurice Ascani.
Max Hollein

The Creative Dynamism of the Sahel

Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara, an exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, examines—indeed celebrates—an important and relatively unfamiliar artistic legacy.

Vicuñas, an animal species endemic to the highlands of the South American Andes, were exploited to near extinction until they were listed in Appendix I of the CITES Convention in 1975. © Carolyn/Pexels
Ivonne Higuero

How Wildlife Conservation Can Benefit Sustainable Human Development

The work of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and other major wildlife and biodiversity conventions shows that implementing a global framework for conservation can yield results for human development.

The University Teaching Hospital of Kigali, Rwanda, exterior. November 2019. ©Jennifer Oldfield
Jennifer Oldfield

The Problem of Lagging Data for Development—and What to Do About It

The promise of the data revolution has not been oversold, but the investment needed to build robust, validated models tends to be glossed over.

John Y. Jones

Dag Hammarskjöld Stood Up for the UN on Development

Freedom and prosperity must come to Africa from within. Let us pray that it will not resort to quick fixes, revenge, violence, and wars that have kept it down for so many years. 

An arsenic-free water plant has been established in Sirajganj, Bangladesh, enabling students to access arsenic-free water. Previously, they had to rely on pond water, making them susceptible to disease. 5 May 2016. ©GMB Akash
Jaffer Machano

SDG 11 and the Crucible of Sustainable Development Success

One of the most overlooked drivers of sustainable development is local finance, particularly in the context of developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs). When you consider the actual practice or mechanics behind the achievement of sustainable development, it becomes immediately clear that local governance is essential.

Reshma Saujani's nonprofit, Girls Who Code, is on a mission to close the gender gap in tech and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. ©Girls Who Code.
Reshma Saujani

Closing the Gender Gap in Science and Technology

When I founded Girls Who Code, it was because I understood that STEM jobs had the power to lift entire families into the middle class and transform our modern-day technologies and economies.

Abu Dhabi skyline. November 2014. Wadiia.
H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi

Building Urban Development Strategies for a Sustainable Future

Today, we see a great opportunity in the World Urban Forum to refocus priorities and exchange knowledge about innovative practices to advance the sustainable development of cities, not just locally but around the world.

Urban scene, United Arab Emirates. February 2016. Polona Mita/Pexels
Maimunah Mohd Sharif

Connecting Innovation and Culture for Cities of Opportunity

Ultimately, the Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum will be an important milestone event in the lead-up to 2030. We intend to establish as its most lasting legacy the opportunity to transform advocates into participants and policy into practice. 

Chaesub Lee

Standards Build Trust: How the International Telecommunication Union Supports Inclusive Sustainable Development

Standards connect us with reliable modes of communication, codes of practice and frameworks for cooperation.

Chronicle Conversation with Inge Auerbacher

Inge Auerbacher recounts her experience as a Holocaust survivor, and describes her lifelong mission to educate people about the dangers of intolerance and the importance of love.

Grade four student, Phonsivilay Primary School, Meun District, Laos. December 2018. Global Partnership for Education (GPE)/Kelley Lynch (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Stefania Giannini

Championing Education for People, Prosperity, Planet and Peace

Leaving no one behind is not a numbers game, but one that calls for re-evaluating and reimagining what education means and provides. This year’s International Day celebrates precisely how learning can empower people, foster peace, build shared prosperity and protect a fragile planet.