Health, Climate

Ride a bike!

The bicycle has been in use for at least two centuries and is still going strong. It is simple, affordable, reliable, clean and climate-friendly and has become a symbol of sustainable transportation, as well as sport and recreation. This has been recognized by the UN General Assembly, which declared 3 June World Bicycle Day, to foster environmental stewardship and health. The UN welcomes initiatives to organize bicycle rides at the national and local levels as a means of strengthening physical and mental health and well-being and developing a culture of cycling in society.

The bicycle can serve as a means not just of transportation, but also of access to education, health care and sport.
Photo:© UNDP Timor-Leste/Yuichi Ishida
A hospital kitchen worker in France prepares meals for patients.

COVID crisis to push global unemployment over 200 million mark in 2022

2 June 2021 — The economic crisis caused by the COVID pandemic is expected to contribute to global unemployment of more than 200 million people next year, with women and youth workers worst-hit,...

Vaccine equity at heart of new $50 billion plan to end pandemic, drive recovery

1 June 2021 — Governments are being urged to finance a new $50 billion roadmap to end the COVID-19 pandemic and drive a fast recovery, announced on Tuesday by the heads of the world’s predominant...

‘Simply no scenario’ where humanity can survive on an ocean-free planet

1 June 2021 — The world must harness “clear, transformative and actionable solutions” to address the ocean crisis, the President of the UN General Assembly said on Tuesday, opening a meeting to...

UN Sustainable Development Goals

17 Goals to transform our world

The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries — poor, rich and middle-income — to promote prosperity while protecting the planet.

Act Now

The ActNow campaign aims to trigger individual action on the defining issue of our time. People around the world have joined to make a difference in all facets of their lives, from the food they eat to the clothes they wear.

Decade of Action

With just 10 years to go, an ambitious global effort is underway to deliver the 2030 promise—by mobilizing more governments, civil society, businesses and calling on all people to make the Global Goals their own.

Thomas the Tank engine

Learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals! On our student resources page you will find plenty of materials for young people and adults alike. Share with your family and friends to help achieve a better world for all.

More from the
United Nations

Featured stories from across the United Nations and our world-wide family of agencies, funds, and programmes.

A girl carries a container of water on her shoulder. UNICEF, Water

Water under fire

The right to safe drinking water and sanitation is rooted in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, United Nations resolutions and the Geneva conventions. It is a right that is as critical to the survival of children as food, medical care, and protection from attack. But from Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh to Ukraine to Yemen, crises have become increasingly protracted and conflict threatens interconnected urban service systems. To improve children’s access to clean drinking water, and to save lives in conflicts and crises, UNICEF calls for three major changes.

A small boat passing along mangroves FAO, Natural Resources and the Environment

The magic of mangroves

Financial backing from the GEF, FAO, UNEP and other international conservation partners has been set out to protect and restore mangrove species and safeguard the livelihoods of fish dependent communities in and around the Siné Saloum Delta. The programme, called the Coastal Fisheries Initiative, invests in restoring degraded mangroves so that they can retain their important role in balancing ecosystems. The Initiative is regenerating land and replanting large areas of mangroves, while also working with communities to rethink how they utilise and conserve them.

An older woman working in a kitchen UNHCR, Displaced Persons and Refugees

Older refugees left behind due to COVID-19

There is little information on the situation of older persons on the move in the Latin American region. This regional evaluation is the first one to make a comprehensive analysis on the intersectionality between ageing and human mobility. The current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic is also analysed, including the worsening access to rights and services and the impact in their lives. With this report, HelpAge and UNHCR aim to cast light on the challenges and risks faced by older persons on the move so that actions are taken to ensure they are not left behind.

IAEA, Atomic Energy

Agreement for verification and monitoring in Iran

IAEA reaches agreement with Iran to extend by one month the necessary verification and monitoring activities carried out by the Agency in the country ensuring continuity of knowledge.

UNCTAD, Natural Resources and the Environment

Trade must be part of the solution to biodiversity loss

During an UNCTAD and CBD meeting, biodiversity experts expressed trade must be sustainable throughout the value chain to play a leading role in the battle against biodiversity loss.

UNESCO, Culture

Framework for action for creative cities’ recovery

UNESCO and the World Bank have partnered to enable the cultural and creative industries in cities as part of their recovery and development during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

ICAO

5 things you should know about ICAO

In response to the apparent forced landing of a commercial passenger plane in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, ICAO convened an urgent diplomatic meeting. What powers does the agency have?

What we do

Due to the powers vested in its Charter and its unique international character, the United Nations can take action on the issues confronting humanity in the 21st century, including:

Structure of the
United Nations

The main parts of the UN structure are the General Assembly, the
Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat. All were established in 1945 when the UN was founded.

The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN. All 193 Member States of the UN are represented in the General Assembly, making it the only UN body with universal representation.

The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the UN Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 Members (5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members). Each Member has one vote. Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.

The Economic and Social Council is the principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as implementation of internationally agreed development goals.

The Trusteeship Council was established in 1945 by the UN Charter, under Chapter XIII, to provide international supervision for 11 Trust Territories that had been placed under the administration of seven Member States, and ensure that adequate steps were taken to prepare the Territories for self-government and independence.

The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Its seat is at the Peace Palace in the Hague (Netherlands). It is the only one of the six principal organs of the United Nations not located in New York (United States of America).

The Secretariat comprises the Secretary-General and tens of thousands of international UN staff members who carry out the day-to-day work of the UN as mandated by the General Assembly and the Organization's other principal organs.

Learn more

The Middelgrunden Off Shore Windturbines located in the Øresund Straight separating Denmark and Sweden. UN Photo

Climate change is the defining issue of our time and now is the defining moment to do something about it. There is still time to tackle climate change, but it will require an unprecedented effort from all sectors of society.

Women at UN CSW63 Side Event - “Take the Hot Seat”. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and, therefore, also half of its potential. Gender equality, besides being a fundamental human right, is essential to achieve peaceful societies, with full human potential and sustainable development.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres is greeted on his visit to the Central African Republic

While global poverty rates have been cut by more than half since 2000, one in ten people in developing regions still lives on less than US$1.90 a day — the internationally agreed poverty line, and millions of others live on slightly more than this daily amount.

young children smiling at camera

The UN’s 75th anniversary in 2020 arrived at a time of great upheaval and peril. To secure a world where everyone can thrive in peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet we need a multilateral system that is inclusive, networked and effective. "Our Common Agenda" will build on the 12 commitments contained in the UN75 Declaration.

Did you know?

As the world’s only truly universal global organization, the United Nations has become the foremost forum to address issues that transcend national boundaries and cannot be resolved by any one country acting alone.

Watch and Listen

Video and audio from across the United Nations and our world-wide family of agencies, funds, and programmes.

Young people are essential in promoting peace and security around the world. UN peacekeeping operations amplify the voices of the youth and ensure that they are included in planning and decision-making. They support young people in overcoming challenges, promoting gender equality and advancing progress. This year, the International Day of UN Peacekeepers (29 May) focuses on youth, peace and security. Young people are promoting peace and security – and UN peacekeeping is having an impact on the next generation.

Art and culture: African solutions for Africa's sustainable development

The 2021 Africa Dialogue Series (ADS) celebrates the continent’s identity, culture, history and achievements. It also brings together key stakeholders to discuss challenges and opportunities for Africa under the theme Cultural Identity and Ownership: Reshaping mindsets.

UN Free & Equal and IOM: Muhab’s story

Every human being deserves the freedom to simply be themselves, without facing violence and discrimination. Together we can create a future free from prejudice, where everyone truly belongs – no matter who they are, whom they love or where they come from. Help us spread these stories of determination and resilience by sharing our videos with the people in your life! Learn more

UN Podcasts

mother with baby

Budgeting for Gender Equity

New IMF research shows that women with young children, mothers, particularly less educated ones, have been the most adversely affected group during the pandemic.

Chrystia Freeland is Canada's Deputy Prime Minister and its first-ever female Finance Minister. In this podcast, Freeland and IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, discuss policies to help prevent the covid-19 pandemic from rolling back gains in women's economic opportunities, and how Canada has aligned its gender strategy with the budget process.

Latest Audio from UN News

The United Nations in Pictures

Images from across the United Nations and our world-wide family of agencies, funds, and programmes.

Photo:WFP/Bruno Djoyo

The World Food Programme at a glance

In a world where we produce enough food to feed everyone, 690 million people — nearly 9 per cent of the world's population — still go to bed hungry each night. After nearly a decade of progress, the number of hungry people has slowly increased — driven by the twin scourges of conflict and climate change, and now compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. WFP is the frontline agency responding to emergencies caused by conflict, climate shocks, pandemics and other disasters. There are 34 million people in three-dozen countries at the ‘emergency’ phase of food insecurity in 2021, just one step away from a declaration of famine. The greatest threat currently lies in Yemen and South Sudan. WFP urgently need US$5.5 billion to avert famine, chiefly through life-saving food and nutrition assistance.

man in indigenous dress drying coffee beans
Photo:UNDP/La Incre and Lizeth Jurado

HARVESTING HOPE: How Ecuador is pioneering deforestation-free production chains to conserve the Amazon

The area surrounding the Yacuambi river basin located in the southern Ecuadorian province of Zamora-Chinchipe harbors some of the last remnants of primary forest between the Andes and the Amazon. A cooperative called APEOSAE (Small organic agricultural exporters of the Southern Ecuadorian Amazon) was born out of a desire to move from producers to entrepreneurs and to increase revenues and market access. It unites local farmers, many of whom are women and members of the indigenous Shuar and Saraguro Kichwa communities. They mainly cultivate organic coffee, cocoa and plantain. Jorge Kuji, an indigenous Shuar, is overlooking the drying process, considered the most important stage of coffee production since it affects the final quality of the product.