Global Roundtable on Extractive Industries | 10 May | #ClimateAction

UN Secretary-General António Guterres will host a roundtable with global leaders from governments, private sector and regional organizations on the potential of extractive industries to drive growth, support sustainable development, and reduce poverty in developing countries. The event will be informed by the Secretary-General latest policy brief on extractive industries which is expected in May. 


Launch of the Global Methane Assessment | 6 May | #GlobalMethaneAssessment

The UN Environment Programme will issue a new report on the benefits and costs of mitigating methane emissions – stressing that reducing human-caused methane emissions is one of the most cost-effective strategies to rapidly reduce the rate of warming and contribute significantly to global efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5 °C.

Launch of the World Economic Situation and Prospects Update | 11 May | #WorldEconomyReport


In January, the World Economic Situation and Prospects Report (WESP), drawing insights from economic trends over 2020, warned that the devastating socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for years to come unless smart investments in economic, societal and climate resilience ensure a robust and sustainable economic recovery. 

This month, a WESP update, which includes latest figures from the last quarter of 2020, amplifies that timely and universal access to COVID-19 vaccinations will remain crucial for ending the pandemic and placing the world economy on the trajectory of a resilient recovery.

Launch of the World Social Report 2021 | 20 May | #WorldSocialReport


More than half of the world’s population may live in urban centres around the world, but the importance of rural development should not be viewed as an appendix of urban growth, says the forthcoming UN World Social Report, stressing that progress in agriculture and the rural economy can have a preceding role in the overall socio-economic transformation of a country.

Looking at current and emerging social trends of international concern, the Report examines various aspects of rural development including the rural-urban divide, the concept of in situ urbanization, poverty reduction, agricultural labour and productivity as well as new technologies. 

Adding to the urgency to reconsider rural development, the report also highlights the need to protect nature to prevent the recurrence of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19.

Launch of the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends | 27 May | #WorldofWork

The International Labour Organization will launch its latest World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends, examining the current state of the labour market, assessing the most recent developments and making global and regional projections of employment and social trends.

Launch of the UNESCO Science Report | 31 May


Looking at the development path of countries over the past five years, the latest UNESCO Science Report highlights the concept of dual transition – prioritizing both digital and green economies. Under the theme, the race against time for smarter development, the report underscores the need to invest in research and innovation, noting that today eight in ten countries commit less than 1 percent of their GDP to research, perpetuating their dependence on foreign technologies.

The report also looks at how the COVID-19 pandemic has energized knowledge production systems – building a trend towards greater international scientific collaboration to tackle global challenges, including climate change and biodiversity loss.

The International Labour Organization says that substantial progress has been achieved in recent years – between 2000 and 2016 alone, there was a 38 per cent decrease in child labour globally. Despite the extraordinary momentum, more than 150 million children around the world are still in child labour – a third of them are outside the education system, nearly 40 percent work in hazardous conditions and almost two-thirds work more than 43 hours per week. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening to reverse years of progress.

The international year, established by the UN General Assembly, is a clarion call for countries to take immediate and effective measures to end child labour in all its form by 2025.


This year, the International Day for Biological Diversity will stress the important part people play in protecting nature. Commemorated under the theme, “we’re part of the solution,” the Day will serve as a reminder that biodiversity remains the answer to many sustainable development challenges – from nature-based solutions to climate, health issues, food and water security to sustainable livelihoods.

The World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, will convene on 24 May to 1 June to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies and review and approve the proposed programme budget.

In the lead up to the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, the United Nations has launched a month-long campaign focusing on Youth, Peace and Security called – The road to a lasting peace: Leveraging the power of youth for peace and security.

The campaign will highlight both the work of our young peacekeepers as well as the Youth, Peace and Security agenda and how peace operations collaborate with young people (18-29 years old) to influence the work of the respective missions around the world.

The UN Food Systems Summit launches hunt for start-ups and enterprises changing the face of food systems. The contest, “Best Small Business: Good Food for All” will name 50 small and medium-sized business worldwide whose work demonstrate a commitment to healthy, sustainable food and livelihoods for all. The competition recognises those playing a key role in “building back better” from the pandemic while calling attention to the challenges they have been battling to overcome.  The competition will run from April 29 to June 4, 2021. Any business can apply if it has between five and 250 employees and plays a role in any aspect of food value and supply chain.


Risky Business: COVID-19 and Safety at Work

With the significant increase in the number of people working from home in the last year, UN News looks at how the United Nations is helping employers and governments keep people safe, wherever they work.

Nepal: A future with hope, free from bonded labour

Formerly in bonded labour, Padma Kumari Tamata, now an independent vegetable farmer, talks about how she transformed her life – equipped with new business and life skills following the abolishment of the crippling system in Nepal. 

Bangladesh: Struggle, strength and wisdom of women farmers

Rural women make up about half of farm labour globally. Yet their contributions are often unpaid and unrecognized. Here’s a story of the resilience of nine women farmers in Bangladesh.