No region has been spared from the spread of COVID-19. Its ripple effects have been complex and widespread, and no country can escape either the health or the economic dimensions of the crisis on its own.

In June, we look at the importance of Partnerships for the Sustainable Development GoalsSDG 17 – the engine of interconnection, possibilities and promise for our collective future. COVID-19 knows no boundaries, and neither should our efforts to respond to the emergency, recover from its multidimensional impact and build back better.


It is increasingly recognized that human rights are essential to achieve sustainable development, says the UN Human Rights Office. Given the intrinsic nature of the SDGs, the continued threat to human rights, peace and security exacerbates and exposes entrenched inequalities, robbing people of their freedom to live, learn and thrive.

To build back better, we need to understand that we are all in this together, no matter how we look, where we live or what we do. “In every society, diversity is a richness – never a threat,” says UN Secretary-General Antonio António Guterres. “Racism is an abhorrence that we must all reject.” And solidarity matters for a better world.

In a world torn by hate and racism, and isolated by an unprecedented pandemic, we look at the importance of humanity, compassion, empathy and cooperation – qualities that make partnerships stronger.

Time for solidarity. Time to #FightRacism. Time to #StandUpForHumanRights.

Visit the UN Human Rights Office’s website for High Commissioner Bachelet’s latest remarks. Learn more about fighting racism, xenophobia and intolerance. Read about the UN Secretary-General’s latest policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 on refugees, IDPs and migrants.

Policy Brief: COVID-19 and People on the Move


India immunization. Credit: WHO

Uniting for a People’s Vaccine Against COVID-19

LATEST: The United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement have called for unity to develop, test, and scale-up production of safe, effective, quality, affordable diagnostics, therapeutics, medicines and vaccines, asking governments, the private sector, international organizations and civil society to unite towards “a people’s vaccine”Read the press release here.

Past Pandemics and Outbreaks

New diseases have been emerging at the unprecedented rate of one a year for the last two decades, and this trend is certain to continue, says WHO.

LEARN MORE about how solidarity, international cooperation and partnerships helped prevent, detect and respond to past pandemics and disease outbreaks. We also look at the importance of vaccines and the state of immunization today.

STAY TUNED: On 4 June, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will address the Global Vaccine Summit. The Summit, organized by GAVI, will look at progress since the creation of the vaccine alliance in 2000 and the need to accelerate the development of COVID-19 vaccines.


As businesses struggle to cope with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, they need to remain aware of their responsibilities as partners in efforts to build a sustainable future, says the outgoing head of the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. UN News speaks to Lise Kingo.


United Nations photo: WFP/Giulio D’Adamo

“We need to respond with unity and solidarity. A key aspect of solidarity is financial support.”
– UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Speaking at the recent High-level Event on Financing for Development, Secretary-General Guterres called for immediate and collective action to tackle the deepening financial turmoil being caused by COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some key takeaways from the United Nations’ proposal for global financial recovery and to steer the world back on track towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

More insights are available in the UN Secretary-General’s latest policy brief on Debt and Covid-19. Also check out the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ paper on sovereign debt and analysis from the UN Conference on Trade and Development – on why the pandemic could trigger the biggest economic contraction since World War II, affecting all industries from finance to hospitality.


The United Nations’ has launched a new public drive to address the growing blackhole of misinformation. Called Verified, the movement to set the record straight relies on two important collaborative factors – a range of accurate, trusted and latest fact-based information, advice and stories; and the power and responsibility of people to share this reliable information with their networks.

Created in collaboration with Purpose and with support from Luminate, IKEA Foundation and other partners, the initiative provides information around three vital themes – the science needed to protect and save lives; solidarity to promote local and global cooperation; and solutions to advocate for support to impacted communities.

How does it work? Sign up to receive verified information here and share it on the different channels that you use – to reach your audience, followers, constituents, clients, communities, families and/or friends.


Media has the power to inform (and misinform). As we mark the growth of the SDG Media Compact with its 100th member, we recognize the importance of the alliance and its commitment to report with integrity and responsibility, covering issues pertinent to sustainable development.

Contact us if you are interested in joining the United Nations-supported partnership.


In March 2020, the UN Foundation, at the request of WHO, and in partnership with the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, launched the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. This made it possible for individuals and organizations to directly contribute to WHO’s global work to defeat COVID-19.

Today, the Fund has raised more than $215 million from over 375,000 individuals and more than 140 leading companies, allowing WHO to send some 4.5 million pieces of personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and overalls to beyond 133 countries, as well as 1.5 million testing kits to 126 countries.

How is the funding used? To buy essential medical supplies, vital medical equipment, test kits, fund vaccine research and much more. Basically, a little goes a long way.


10 liter-sized bottles of disinfectant gel for hospitals


3,750 surgical masks


24,600 pairs of surgical gloves


100 digital thermometers

Read more about the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, by WHO and partners, to address immediate health needs.



This year’s commemoration calls for urgent action to protect biodiversity. Called It’s Time#ForNature, the campaign explores the interdependence of humans and the webs of life in which they exist. Reversing biodiversity loss is the only way to restore and sustain a healthy planet.

More information is available on the UN Environment Programme’s dedicated website for the Day.


Photo courtesy Anders Nyberg

Ahead of World Ocean Day (8 June) and Week, UN News talks to the Special Envoy about the importance of a blue-green road to recovery and a healthy ocean. The UN will mark the day with an event focused on the theme, Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean. Check out our list of curated events and activities with a special emphasis on World Ocean Week.

“While life-altering pandemics are not the prescription for mitigation of climate change, the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated possibilities for unprecedented change.” – Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean

15 to 16 June | UN Global Compact Leaders Summit

Marking the 20th anniversary of the Global Compact, the Leaders Summit will focus on how businesses can support countries and communities around the world to recover better, stronger and together from the COVID-19 crisis.

23 June | UN Public Service Day Event

This year’s Public Service Day celebrations will recognize the essential work of all public servants, particularly those on the frontline of delivery in the fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


For illustrations, gifs, audio clips and videos made available by creatives around the world in support of the UN’s work on addressing the health emergency, promoting solidarity and countering misinformation, please visit the United Nations COVID-19 Response Creative Content Hub.