Opium poppy in Afghanistan.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) will launch its 2019 Annual Report and Precursors Report on 27 February 2020 (11 am CET). The report this year has a special focus on improving substance use prevention and treatment services for young people. It also addresses global inequalities in access to pain medications and highlights the prominent role of cannabis among adolescents and adults. Regional developments, among them the opioid crisis in North America and the need to address the illegal drug economy in Afghanistan, are also covered. 

women participating in meetings

The Handbook for Gender-Inclusive Urban Planning and Design seeks to respond to these urgent questions: how might we design and plan cities that work well for everyone? What would such a city look like, and how would we go about creating it?

loading of truck

The mining sector, if carefully managed, presents enormous opportunities for advancing sustainable development particularly in low-income countries, the International Resource Panel says in its latest report

two kids studying in Benin

Inequality has risen to historical levels, according to the 2020 World Social Report. High inequality can impact economic prosperity and social development for millions of people if effective policies are not put in place. The report, “Inequality in a rapidly changing world,” to be launched at noon EST on 21 January, states that major global trends, including technological change, the climate crisis, urbanization and international migration, can be harnessed to reduce inequality, or can be left to further divide us. The briefing will be webcast live.

Construction workers in Egypt.

The World Employment and Social Outlook is the International Labour Organization’s flagship report on world of work issues, focusing on a different theme each year. The 2020 edition will be launched in Geneva on Monday, 20 January. The report analyses key labour market issues, including unemployment, under-employment, labour underutilization, working poverty, pay inequality, and factors that exclude people from the world of work. It includes some new projections, as well as revised estimates of the share of labour income going to the world’s workforce.

cover of World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020

The report looks at major global and regional economic trends and indicators, and examines the prospects for sustainable economic growth in the face of rising financial, political, social and environmental challenges. The World Economic Situation and Prospects Report is the UN’s flagship publication on the state of the world economy. This year's edition focuses on the impact of the climate crisis, as well as the increasing political polarization and skepticism about globalization. Follow the global launch on 16 January at noon EST.

chart depicting national carbon pricing initiatives (as of 2019).

As this decade comes to an end, the world has seen progress on many fronts: the poorest countries have greater access to water, electricity, and sanitation; poverty and child mortality have fallen; technology has spread far and wide. But we’ve also broken the wrong kinds of records: more people were forcibly displaced than any other time in history; carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit an all-time high; biodiversity is declining at an accelerating rate. Here are 14 charts highlighting some achievements and challenges.

illustration of industrial chimneys

We are on the brink of missing the opportunity to limit global warming to 1.5°C. We need to close the ‘commitment’ gap between what we say we will do and what we need to do to prevent dangerous levels of climate change. Governments cannot afford to wait. People and families cannot afford to wait. Economies must shift to a decarbonization pathway now. Find out more in this interactive feature.

blood pressure measuring

The WHO Independent High-level Commission on noncommunicable diseases highlighted that noncommunicable diseases still account for more than 70% of deaths and handed 8 recommendations to WHO’s Director-General, that could save millions of lives and promote mental health. 

UNEP report cover

This report by UNEP conducts a rigorous assessment of the contribution of material efficiency to greenhouse gas abatement strategies. It shows that increasing material efficiency is a key opportunity to achieve the aspirations of the Paris Agreement.

Cover of the UNESCO Courier issue on indigenous languages and knowledge

2019 marked the International Year of Indigenous Languages with 900 events hosted by 77 countries. The message is clear: we must leave no one behind. Our unique experiences create our unique stories. These new steps are crucial for peacebuilding and sustainable development. Our commitment to them will be vital in protecting our cultural and natural heritage worldwide. We invite you to discover the UNESCO Courier issue dedicated to indigenous languages and other stakes of the communities that speak them.

Best of Innovation 2019 report cover

The Secretary-General has encouraged UN Entities to use innovative approaches and technologies to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Following this call, UN Entities have established innovation teams, promoted a culture of innovation and leveraged new technologies in their work. Take a look at the UN Innovation Network's new report “Best of UN Innovation 2019” with innovation highlights from 35+ UN Entities. 

Nadia Murad details her fight against ISIL as part of a panel discussion on trafficking in persons organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). New York, 20 November 2017. UN Photo/Manuel Elias.

Nadia Murad is a Nobel Laureate and Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. In this article she sheds light on sexual violence—an important issue on which she has been working to raise awareness for several years and by which she has been personally affected. "Perpetrators use sexual violence in an attempt to assert dominance and power over entire communities. The consequences are far-reaching and long-term; families and communities experience collective, generational trauma, which can destroy them from within."

chart of CO2 concentrations

The increase in CO2 from 2017 to 2018 was above the average growth rate over the last decade. 

DGC staff member Lonjezo Hamisi standing in front of the ancient Nubian pyramids in Meroe, northern Sudan (16 August 2019/Lonjezo Hamisi).

Like many prospective staff members, Lonjezo Hamisi envisioned serving at some point in his career in a region beset by war, injustice, poor governance and poverty, with the hope of easing the plight of the people most in need on the ground. He got his chance when he was posted to the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), where he served as Special Assistant to the Mission Chief of Staff.