By facilitating major global conferences and summits in the economic, social and environmental fields, as mandated by UN Member States, UN DESA assists countries as they find common ground, set norms, and take decisive steps forward.
The UN is marking World Toilet Day on Thursday, in a bid to reinforce the need for equal access to sanitation for all. More than a quarter of the global population lack basic facilities, and more than three billion people live in homes without basic hand washing facilities, soap and water.
What does UN DESA do?
As the think tank of the UN, DESA, generates, analyses and compiles a wide range of economic, social and environmental data and statistics to inform and advise Member States and other stakeholders as they take stock of trends and policy options to tackle common problems.
UN DESA assists in translating policy frameworks developed in UN conferences and summits into programmes at the country level and, through technical assistance, supports Member States in building national capacities.
Towards Sustainable Development for All
Using the latest data and estimates, the annual Sustainable Development Goals Report provides an overview of the world’s implementation efforts to date, highlighting areas of progress and areas where more action needs to be taken to ensure no one is left behind.
The SDG Acceleration Actions help inspire and mobilize actions around the world to promote the implementation of the SDGs, as well as build resilience and bring inclusive recovery in the context of new realities post COVID-19.
For the Decade of Action, UN DESA is mobilizing to overcome COVID-19 and other global crises, and preparing for future challenges to help Member States realize the 2030 Agenda.
From presidents to grassroots activists and from top UN officials to sport stars, UN DESA’s SDG Blog is where you can find every perspective on the Sustainable Development Goals.
UN DESA’s work is firmly focused on inclusion of the most vulnerable, giving particular attention to youth, indigenous peoples, older persons and persons with disabilities. Promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women remains a constant guide.
Insufficient financing remains one of the greatest bottlenecks that prevents the world from achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. UN DESA helps Member States close the financing gap for sustainable development.
The achievement of the 2030 Agenda will require an unprecedented level of cooperation and collaboration among all levels of government, civil society, business, foundations, academia, and others, and finding new ways of working.
Now more than ever, high-quality, trustworthy data from strong national statistical systems are needed to inform evidence-based decision-making and measure the progress towards achieving sustainable development. UN DESA supports countries in every corner of the world to bolster their statistical capacities.
Using timely, principled and authoritative information to highlight solutions and foster solidarity, UN DESA sets the tone of the global conversation on social and economic issues through its cutting-edge analytical products and policy advice.
UN DESA plays a global leadership role in advancing cooperation at the science-policy-society interface, and in multi-stakeholder engagement on science, technology and innovation for the SDGs, areas of work established through the Rio+20 conference and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement can serve as a compass to help policy makers meet urgent needs while aligning short-term solutions to medium and long-term climate and sustainable development objectives. UN DESA is moving the needle forward for harnessing synergies across development and climate action.
Strong public institutions are critical for achieving the SDGs ensuring that no one is left behind. UN DESA continues to raise awareness of SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions while also helping countries build the capacity of their public institutions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and achieve the SDGs.
Every year since 2015, nations come together in New York to evaluate their efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs. UN DESA has been supporting them in this critical task.
UN DESA Products
As a thought leader for the development-pillar of the UN, DESA publications provide timely analysis on the SDGS and related global socioeconomic issues.
The Department’s databases serve as a gateway to a broad range of data and statistics that support evidence-based decision-making, and as a hub for global partnerships and good practices.
UN DESA Policy briefs present focused analyses and policy advice on current issues to support decision makers as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and deliver the SDGs through the Decade of Action.
The preliminary analyses and insights in our working papers are the foundation of stimulating intellectual discussions on a broad range of economic, social and environmental issues relevant to the global development agenda.
UN DESA’s interactive webinars foster an inclusive global dialogue on the development challenges of our time and strengthen outreach to stakeholders worldwide.
Statements by senior management amplify the global narrative in support of Member States’ efforts to reach the SDGs and leave no one behind.
Our monthly newsletter, UN DESA Voice is an insider’s look at the latest news, events and opinions from the home of sustainable development. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to stay in the know about global issues. Sign up now!
Take a look at UN DESA’s latest inspiring interviews and informative explainers or browse our rich archive of videos on delivering sustainable development for all.
In here, we do not tell – we show. Explore the wonderful, visual world of sustainable development told through infographics.
More from UN DESA
UN DESA is moving the needle forward in harnessing synergies across development and climate action. The 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement serve as a compass to help policy makers meet urgent needs while aligning short-term solutions to medium and long-term climate and sustainable development objectives. Together with the UNFCCC and other partners, UN DESA is helping Member States ensure more coherence across Nationally Determined Contributions and National Development Plans, as well as National Adaptation Plans and National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies.
UN DESA leads global efforts to support the international dialogue on forest policy. The Department helps countries to develop their capacity to monitor progress towards sustainable forest management and mobilize forest financing. Our work supports the implementation of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests and the UN Forest Instrument and is guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other global agreements.
UN DESA has been supporting the Governments of Kenya and Portugal to organize for the UN Ocean Conference and its preparatory meetings. The Department, in collaboration with related UN entities, works to inform UN senior leadership in addressing climate change and its impacts on the ocean as one of the most significant challenges to achieving the 2030 Agenda and SDG 14.
The UN Sustainable Transport Conference, originally scheduled for May in Beijing, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. UN DESA, led by its Under-Secretary-General as the conference Secretary-General, continues to mobilize all stakeholders and strengthen thought leadership to promote sustainable transport, including through inter-agency report analyses, webinars and discussions in related fora.
As the Secretariat of UN-Energy, UN DESA supports implementation of the UN Decade of Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2024 and the work of intergovernmental processes in the areas of energy. The Department convenes the more than 40-member multistakeholder SDG 7 Technical Advisory Group, addressing universal access and clean energy transitions. The Department has also begun preparations for the High-Level Dialogue on Energy to be held in 2021, with the Under-Secretary-General of UN DESA serving as the Dialogue Secretary-General.
UN DESA leads the support to UN Member States in the implementation of the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028. The Department is also coordinating preparations for the 2023 UN Conference on the Water Action Decade, together with UN-Water, the Government of Portugal and the Government of Tajikistan.