In Focus

Painting of 3 children holding up posters with "love not hate", the peace symbol, and a nuclear mushroom cloud with a line crossing it out. There is a white dove and tree behind them.
International Day Against Nuclear Tests (29 August)

Since nuclear weapons testing began on 16 July 1945, nearly 2,000 have taken place. The history of nuclear testing is one of suffering, with victims often from the most vulnerable communities of the world. Devastating consequences are not confined by international borders and they encompass impacts on the environment, health, food security and economic development. On 2 December 2009, the 64th session of the UN General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests. It is our hope that one day all nuclear weapons will be eliminated. Until then, there is a need to observe this International Day as the world works towards promoting peace and security.

Image, supplied by the European Space Agency, shows the land surface temperature on 25 July 2019, amid the European heatwave.
July Matched, and Maybe Broke, the Record for the Hottest Month Since Analysis Began

According to new data from the World Meteorological Organization and the Copernicus Climate Change Programme, July 2019 was on par with, and possibly marginally warmer than the previous warmest July, in 2016, which was also the warmest month ever. The latest figures are particularly significant because July 2016 was during one of the strongest occurrence of the El Niño phenomenon, which contributes to heightened global temperatures. Unlike 2016, 2019 has not been marked by a strong El Niño.

Adult elephant roams in the Mikumi National Park in Tanzania.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

The 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP18) takes place in Geneva, Switzerland, 17-28 August 2019. Decisions taken in Geneva will have a real and immediate effect on the legislation, regulation, and operating practices across the globe for international trade in species listed on the CITES Appendices.

In the Spotlight

Alexandra Tomasevic
Alexandra Tomasevic

An aspiring journalist and literature student, Alexandra Tomasevic, 25, who has cerebral palsy, has advocated for children and youth with disabilities since she was a young girl. Ms. Tomasevic is a participant in UN Women’s mentoring programme. "I am one of ten mentors at the [...] programme where we get paired with other women with disabilities. Our job is to be a support system for our mentees and help them make their ideas come to life, improve the quality of their lives, and claim their rights to education and employment." It’s important for women with disabilities to realize that they are not alone. The objective of the project is empowerment of women with disabilities by women with disabilities.

The UN System at Work

A man tosses plastic bottles onto a large pile of plastics. Local people from Watamu, Kenya, work with Local Ocean Conservation to pick up plastic on the beach each Friday.
UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Plastic is so prevalent in our lives, we don’t even notice it anymore. It is convenient, cheap, ubiquitous. The truth is, more than 70% of the plastic we use doesn't get recycled. Much of it gets swept into our oceans from beaches or gets washed into rivers from our streets. An estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic currently float in our oceans. There is another kind of plastic infiltrating our ecosystems: microplastics. Microplastics have already been found in various types of human food (drinking water, beer, honey and table salt). Turn the tide on plastic! Our daily choices matter. From FAO, here are 5 ways to cut our dependence on macro- and micro-plastics.

Goal of the month


Find out more about the Sustainable Development Goals

Did you know?

Unclean water and poor sanitation are the leading cause of child mortality.  Find out more in Global Issues: Water
Hunger and malnutrition are the number one health risk worldwide.  Find out more in Global Issues: Food.
Decolonization changed the face of the planet, creating more than 80 nations.
Women make up the majority of international migrants in Europe and the Americas.  Find out more in Global Issues: Migration

Worth Watching

UN in Pictures

Mohamad, a young boy, pours tea in his family kitchen.
Mongolia - ballerinas dancing in smog
A man measures the circumference of a tree while a woman looks over.
Men riding horses in Agadez
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