• Climate Change Conference

    The Madrid Climate Change Conference, or COP25, is bringing the world together to decide on the next crucial steps in the UN climate change process and consider ways to strengthen the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Taking place from 2 to 16 December, the Conference comes at a time when new data shows that the climate emergency is getting worse every day, and is impacting people’s lives everywhere, whether from extreme heat, air pollution, wildfires, intensified flooding, or droughts. Find out more about climate change and what the UN is doing about it.

    Photo:Unsplash/Jason Blackeye
    The Chullpia community in Peru has developed floating solar panels to provide electricity for irrigation projects.

    Green economy ‘not to be feared, but an opportunity to be embraced’ says UN chief as COP25 gets underway

    2 December 2019 — A green economy is “not one to be feared but an opportunity to be embraced”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday, in a keynote speech to delegates at the opening...

    COP25: ‘Signals of hope’ multiplying in face of global climate crisis, insists UN's Guterres

    1 December 2019 — The UN Secretary-General has outlined the “increased ambition and commitment” that the world needs from governments during the coming days of the COP25 UN climate change...

    Violence in DR Congo Ebola hotspot leaves people ‘caught in crossfire’

    29 November 2019 — Attacks on communities in an Ebola outbreak hotspot in eastern?Democratic Republic of the Congo?(DRC) have?sparked?a humanitarian crisis and threatened aid distribution, the UN...

    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.


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

    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.

    children holding up books

    Reading and learning are essential to children’s growth and development; stories can fuel their imagination and raise awareness of new possibilities. The SDG Book Club aims to encourage them to learn about the Goals in a fun, engaging way, empowering them to make a difference.

    SDG7 - affordable and clean energy
    Affordable and Clean Energy

    Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

    More from the
    United Nations

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

    Woman from Morocco trapped in forced labour.

    International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

    The focus of the Day, marked on 2 December, is to eradicate contemporary forms of slavery. According to the  International Labour Organisation (ILO) more than 40 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery. Modern slavery covers practices such as forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking. It refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power.

    A Chinese expert demonstrates sustainable farming methods in the DRC.

    Secrets of the South

    South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) is the sharing and exchange of development solutions – knowledge, experiences, good practices, innovative policies, technology and resources – between countries in the global South, in order to help each other to meet their development goals. As a facilitator of SSTC, FAO unites countries that have development solutions with countries that are interested in applying them and ensures the technical quality of these exchanges. 

    silhouettes of 3 women

    16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence: Generation Equality Stands against Rape

    For the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, from 25 November to 10 December, and under the umbrella of the Generation Equality campaign to mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign is calling upon people from all walks of life, across generations, to take our boldest stand yet against rape. It’s time to take a stand to dismantle rape culture.

    10 things to know about the Emissions Gap 2019

    The annual United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) flagship Emissions Gap Report is out. But what is this report really about? And why should you care? See the interactive feature.

    Majority of adolescents worldwide are not sufficiently physically active

    A study, produced by researchers from the WHO, finds that more than 80% of school-going adolescents globally did not meet current recommendations of at least one hour of physical activity per day 

    “It is my right to raise my voice. Do not underestimate me.”

    Saadah Hamood Ahmed Alhuamaidi is a 16 year-old visually impaired girl from Yemen. In a country at war since 2015, Saadah has been defending and demanding the rights of the children, who are bearing the brunt of the human rights consequences.

    When it comes to consent, there are no blurred lines

    Consent is active, given freely, informed, specific and reversible. Creating a culture of consent requires all of us to consciously shift the way we engage with others. Use consent to create a safe sexual space.

    women and children holding up SDG cards

    No development without safety for all

    Violence against women is one of the biggest violations of human rights and a major impediment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Violence against women and girls is preventable if we address the risk factors and underlying harmful social norms that perpetuate and excuse violence, and if hold perpetrators accountable.

    woman at loom

    Spinning yarns – Investing in wool and mohair in Lesotho

    Wool and mohair form the bedrock of Lesotho’s rural economy. The Wool and Mohair Promotion Project works with farmers to improve the quality and quantity of wool and mohair produced. The ultimate goal of the project is to boost the economic and climate resilience of poor, smallholder wool and mohair producers to the adverse effects of climate change in the mountain and foothill regions of Lesotho.

    men working with shovels

    Which countries reduced poverty rates the most?

    Out of 114 measured, 15 countries experienced the largest annual average percentage point declines in extreme poverty rate between 2000 and 2015. In each of these countries, an average of at least 1.6% of the population moved out of extreme poverty every year. Tanzania, Tajikistan and Chad top the list.

    woman decorating cake

    Refugees, migrants redefine label through entrepreneurship

    Bombs were dropping in Yemen, but that didn’t stop one Yemeni woman from completing the task at hand: baking a massive cake. Her resilience was captured by documentary photographer Thana Faroq in an image now on display in a joint exhibit by UNCTAD, IOM and UNHCR. “I never stop craving something sweet,” she told Ms. Faroq, and this made her realize that her neighbours likely felt the same way, igniting a small business.


    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 ?resund 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

    In 2020, the United Nations turns 75. UN75 aims to build a global vision for the year 2045, the UN's centenary; to increase understanding of the threats to that future; and to drive collective action to realize that vision.? #Join the Conversation #Be the Change

    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.

    Fishermen, families, hotel owners, and coastal farmers are all sounding an alarm: North Africa’s coast has reached its tipping point. Coastal hotspots in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia, for a start, are “absolutely exhausted” from overfishing and coastal erosion. The Mediterranean Sea is warming twice as fast as the global ocean, with worsening marine pollution, and the fastest-growing coastal cities. Still, many are hopeful that coastal adaptation can turn the tide. A new World Bank program is working within the region to protect the communities on the coast—even as they grow.

    On the Brink - Emissions Gap Report 2019

    As the world strives to cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit climate change, it is crucial to track progress towards globally agreed climate goals. For a decade, UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report has compared where greenhouse gas emissions are heading against where they need to be, and highlighted the best ways to close the gap. Are we meeting goals of the Paris Climate Agreement?

    The "Stanytsia Luhanska" crossing point in Eastern Ukraine

    At the time of filming, the bridge at “Stanytsia Luhanska” was still destroyed. Improvements have been made since then, but civilians continue facing challenges while trying to access services, payments or maintain family ties. Much more needs to be done to ease their suffering.

    UN Podcasts


    Farmers on the climate front line

    This is the inaugural episode of Farms. Food. Future. – a podcast that’s Good for You, Good for the Planet and Good for Farmers and your Food. Brought to you by IFAD and your host, Brian Thomson. In this month’s programme we will be hearing from farmers on the climate front line:

    More UN podcasts

    Live Now

    United Nations meetings, events, and press conferences live and on demand

    The United Nations in Pictures

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

    Moisés plays journalist, interviewing refugees in front of their shelter in Rondon 3 refugee camp in Boa Vista, Brazil.
    Photo:HCR/Vincent Tremeau

    ‘This is Moises, live from Boa Vista’

    Rarely seen without his homemade video camera, which he patched together out of cardboard and tape, 10-year-old Moisés interviews his fellow Venezuelans about their journeys to Brazil.  Moisés’ video camera does not record anything at all. But for Moisés, that is utterly beside the point. For him, the point is to get the story, no matter whether or not it ends up being preserved for posterity. In the temporary shelter in the northern Brazilian state of Roraima, always on the lookout for a good story, poised and articulate beyond his years, holding his plastic microphone aloft, Moisés scans the spaces between the tent rows for potential interview subjects, making a beeline to those who catch his fancy.

    Ms Atieno poses for a photo with her 2 sons and UNAIDS Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima.
    Photo:? UNAIDS

    Women Leading the Response to HIV in their Communities

    Juliana Atieno volunteers in her local health facility as a mentor mother, providing advice and support to pregnant women newly diagnosed with HIV. Ms. Atieno, 29-years-old and a survivor of gender-based violence, was diagnosed with HIV as a teenager. She was linked to treatment immediately and today, is a healthy mother of two young boys, both born free of HIV. Her partner is also HIV-negative. The family lives in the Kiambiu informal settlement, near Nairobi. Women and girls like Ms. Atieno are the backbone of care support in their families and communities. The involvement and leadership of women like Ms Atieno is critical in the response to HIV.

    A smiling chef proudly holds up to the camera a medium size fish, ready for culinary creations.
    Photo:? UN Migration

    Changing the Narrative: Photo Exhibition Showcases Migrant, Refugee Entrepreneurship

    A refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) working in one of the top seafood restaurants in Kyiv, Ukraine. The restaurant, owned by a Ukrainian, was looking for African chefs. A local NGO saw the advertisement and organized an internship, which resulted in three refugees from the DRC receiving an offer of employment. This is only one of the many stories of migrant and refugee entrepreneurs featured in this photo exhibition.

    Twin brothers Josué Abraham and Josué Abdías chatting with each other in the outdoors.
    Photo:? UNICEF Perú/2018/Vilca J.

    Peru's Good Start Programme

    "To me, development meant cement – I thought they had come to build a road [...] instead they were going to help our children grow well,” said Igidio in this story about a UNICEF programme called Good Start. Good Start helped Igidio and Antonia raise their twins, Josué Abraham and Josué Abdías, with the best they could provide: love, food, education, security. The twins are now happy, sensitive, confident boys, pursuing an education in electricity and computing. Thanks to such interventions, chronic malnutrition in Peru has decreased by 21% in the last 20 years.