Combatting poverty and inequality is in our hands

Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity — as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa. On 18 July every year, we invite you to mark Nelson Mandela International Day by making a difference in your communities. Everyone has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better! Mandela Day is an occasion for all to take action and inspire change.  and join the ActNow x Mandela Day challenge – to limit global warming and take care of our planet.

The UN joins the Nelson Mandela Foundation in urging everyone to perform 67 minutes of public service on Nelson Mandela International Day – one minute for each year he fought for justice.
Photo:? UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran

17 July 2024 — The UN Security Council on Wednesday convened an open debate on the ongoing crisis in Gaza, which continues to be marked by immense suffering - compounded now by a complete...

16 July 2024 — UN Secretary-General António Guterres is remembering the 298 people killed in “the tragic downing” of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over conflict-affected eastern Ukraine 10 years...

16 July 2024 — Multiple strikes have killed dozens of people in central Gaza, landing just 100 metres from a humanitarian hub, UN agencies said on Tuesday, as thousands continue to face...

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.

Amid a global backlash against women’蝉 rights, women are committed to championing rights and representation. Survey results from 185 countries show that 86 per cent cite climate change, and more than 50 per cent identify conflict as primary concerns for the next decade. Mental health and family responsibilities are seen as barriers to reaching full potential. Access the full and the .

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.

hands holding megaphone and speech bubble

ActNow is the UN campaign to inspire people to act for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the lead up to the Summit of the Future, join the 1 Million Actions for our Common Future challenge to contribute to a more sustainable and peaceful world. Find new inspiring actions on and at .

woman making peace dove mosaic


Special Focus: High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

Five SDGs will be reviewed in depth: 

More from the
United Nations

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

Climate, UNDP

We are at a critical juncture in the climate crisis, and 2024 is a landmark year for democracy. These two historical milestones are not just coinciding; they are intertwined and essential to the shape of our future. In what’蝉 being called a ‘super year’ for elections, half of the world’蝉 adult population will have the chance to go to the polls, and climate action is one of the factors which affect how people vote. With a changing political landscape, 2024 could be a turning point to stabilize the climate and secure a livable planet for today and for generations to come.

Displaced Persons and Refugees, UNHCR

Every year, hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants risk their lives on routes that extend from the East and Horn of Africa and West Africa, towards North Africa, the Mediterranean Sea and Europe. Much attention is focused on the dangers they face attempting the perilous Mediterranean Sea crossing. But before they reach the shore, many endure extreme and repeated violence and abuse on land. A  draws on interviews with more than 31,000 refugees and migrants to map those routes and the most common dangers refugees and migrants face on them. 

Agriculture and Food, FAO

Due to the decreasing availability of pasture brought on by worsening drought in the southern Gobi region, camels are producing less milk, causing difficulties for herders who rely on this for income and nutrition. The herder communities in Mongolia, traditionally, do not feed their camels with any supplemental feed and only hand-milk their camels. But now with the knowledge and resources from An EU-funded project, implemented by , camel herders have witnessed the increased production in milk from supplemental feed. Milking equipment has also increased quality in milk production. 

Sports, Women and Gender Equality, UN Women

Women's sports are rapidly growing in popularity and influence, with record-breaking achievements and increasing gender parity, yet significant gaps in coverage, leadership, and pay still need to be addressed.

Humanitarian Aid, UNOPS, World Bank

Amid recent restrictions in Afghanistan, Mumtaz, Ahmad, and Zeyba's lives were upended, but a and project offers a lifeline through community-driven employment and support initiatives.

Economic Development, UNCTAD

’蝉 advocates for a shift to a circular digital economy to mitigate the growing environmental impact of digitalization, emphasizing sustainability and inclusivity.

Climate Change, Humanitarian Aid, WFP

teams in the Caribbean are assessing the devastating aftermath of , providing crucial humanitarian aid to communities severely impacted by the storm's destructive force.

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 , the
Security Council, the , the Trusteeship Council, the , 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

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’蝉 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.

A young girl holds a smiling infant at the Zaatari Refugee Camp

Following up on a made by UN Member States at the UN’蝉 75th anniversary, the report Our Common Agenda looks ahead to the next 25 years and represents the Secretary-General’蝉 vision on the future of global cooperation. It calls for inclusive, networked, and effective multilateralism to better respond to humanity’蝉 most pressing challenges.

Watch and Listen

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

Kada Hotic is a Mother of Srebrenica who lost her husband, son and 50 other family members during the 1995 genocide there. Since then, she has devoted herself to building a new future for Bosnia and Herzegovina where people live in peace regardless of their ethnicity.

The International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 genocide in Srebrenica is crucial for raising awareness and preventing future atrocities. 

Benefits of the ocean: Our silent benefactor

Esteban Gottfried Burgett, Associate Programme Officer for Ocean Literacy at , sheds light on these lesser-known oceanic benefits and its impact in our daily lives.

A shared journey of joy and responsibility

's Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom reflects on the greatest joy of his life: being a parent.

UN Podcasts

marching people hold a large rainbow flag

Human rights are for all, but sexual identity can still be a death sentence

The  says that Member States must guarantee the rights of all people, regardless of history, culture or social norms. However, around the world, people continue to face discrimination, criminalization and violence purely because of their sexual orientation and identity.

Earlier this year, Secretary-General António Guterres promised that the UN “firmly stands with the LGBTIQ+ community and will continue working until human rights and dignity are a reality for all people”.

But what does that mean in practical terms, and how is the UN helping this community?

Listen to the with Beatriz Barral from UN News, Michael Van Gelderen from the UN High Commission for Human Rights and Chris Mallouris from .

污污漫畫 in Pictures

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

Photo:? UNFPA DRC/Junior Mayindu

Every member of the human family, now around the globe, has the right to be counted. Yet for millions – the world’蝉 most vulnerable among them – this right continues to go unrealized. Why? The reasons range from financial constraints to the marginalization of harder-to-reach communities. But no one is unreachable. To mark , here are why it’蝉 more important than ever that data-collection processes are inclusive and that people are counted – in all their diversity.

Photo:? UNICEF Cambodia/2019/Fani Llaurado

Climate change is raising global temperatures and causing historic heat waves. More countries are facing hotter days more frequently, with more intensity and for longer periods. The heat stress caused by exposure to heat waves can negatively affect health and well-being, especially for infants and young children. As heat waves become more frequent and last longer, the need for urgent action grows stronger. Preparedness can protect vulnerable populations, especially children. encourages governments and partners to join the .