In Focus

rural woman
International Day to End Obstetric Fistula (23 May)

Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and tragic injuries that can occur during childbirth. The condition typically leaves women incontinent, and as a result they are often shunned by their communities. Sufferers often endure depression, social isolation and deepening poverty. Many women live with the condition for years – or even decades – because they cannot afford to obtain treatment. An estimated 2 million women in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab region, and Latin America and the Caribbean are living with this injury, and some 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop worldwide each year. Obstetric fistula can be prevented and in most cases treated. 

peacekeepers in Haiti
International Day of UN Peacekeepers (29 May)

The theme for this year’s Day is “Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace” to mark the upcoming 20th anniversary of when for the first time the Security Council explicitly mandated a peacekeeping mission (UNAMSIL in Sierra Leone) to protect civilians. Over the past 20 years, protection of civilians has increasingly been at the heart of UN peacekeeping. Today, more than 90% of our peacekeepers serving in eight peacekeeping operations -- in Abyei and Darfur, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Mali and South Sudan – have protection of civilians’ mandates. These peacekeepers put themselves in harm’s way to protect civilians from violence every day.

World Economic Prospects cover
World Economic Situation & Prospects Mid-2019

Global growth outlook has weakened, amid unresolved trade tensions and elevated international policy uncertainty, according to the World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid-2019. Across both developed and developing countries, growth projections for 2019 have been downgraded. Following an expansion of 3.0 per cent in 2018, world gross product growth is now projected to moderate to 2.7 per cent in 2019 and 2.9 per cent in 2020, reflecting a downward revision from the forecasts released in January. A further escalation in trade disputes, a sudden deterioration in financial conditions, and the accelerating effects of climate change could trigger a sharper or more prolonged growth slowdown. 

In the Spotlight

Muhammad Yunus
Muhammad Yunus

Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus has called for a complete change in the ways we address the often-related issues of hunger and conflict. Professor Yunus, from Bangladesh, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work to tackle poverty through micro-credit. He is a founding member of the FAO-Nobel Peace Laureates Alliance for Food Security and Peace, an advocacy group focused on breaking the cycle between conflict and hunger. Speaking at an event at FAO headquarters in Rome highlighting progress made by the FAO Nobel Alliance, established in 2016, he told the audience that a project in the Central African Republic, designed by FAO, demonstrates that agricultural entrepreneurship can help transform communities.

The UN System at Work

family farming
UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Over the next 10 years the United Nations Decade of Family Farming will help focus efforts around the world to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, lift rural people out of poverty, and safeguard natural resources. Family farming produces over 80 per cent of the world’s food, improves the environmental sustainability of agriculture, preserves and restores biodiversity and ecosystems, produces traditional and nutritious food, thus contributing to a balanced diet and to the maintenance of cultural heritage in rural areas. The International Decade of Family Farming 2019-2028 was proclaimed as a framework for countries to develop public policies and investments to support family farmers, contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Goal of the month


Find out more about the Sustainable Development Goals

Did you know?

Hunger and malnutrition are the number one health risk worldwide.  Find out more in Global Issues: Food.
Women in the labour market on average still earn a quarter less than men globally. Find out more in Global Issues: Gender Equality.
More than 780 million people live below the international poverty line of US$1.90 a day. Find out more in Global Issues: Ending Poverty
The UN has supported elections in more than 100 countries.

Worth Watching

UN in Pictures

Secretary-General António Guterres visits a market in Port Vila, Vanuatu, that is part of the UN Women project "Markets for Change".
World Bee Day stamp with a photo of a yellow bee next to a yellow flower.
A panoramic view of flowers, mountains and water habitat.
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