Sports, SDGs

Chess for fairness, inclusion and mutual respect

Chess is one of the most ancient, intellectual and cultural games, with a combination of sport, scientific thinking and elements of art. Chess is a global gamethat promotes fairness, inclusion and mutual respect. It can contribute to an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding among peoples and nations. Chess also offers important opportunities in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, including strengthening education, and advancing the empowerment of women and girls. On this World Chess Day (20 July), let’s celebrate chess for its important contributions to these values. 

While chess originated as a game that modeled a battlefield, today we have come to think of chess as a game that is more closely linked with peace, and the concept of a chessboard is often linked with diplomacy and multilateralism.
Photo:Adobe Stock/dikushin

19 July 2024 — Heavy fighting in Sudan has severely curtailed humanitarian aid deliveries across vast areas of the southeast, the UN World Food Programme, WFP, said on Friday.


19 July 2024 — The UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Friday declared that Israel’s continued presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory “is unlawful”, and that “all States are under...

19 July 2024 — To add to the devastation of war and the complete breakdown of law and order, Gazans now have to contend with the threat of highly infectious polio disease linked to the disastrous...

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’s 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.


Malaysia is one of the most diverse countries on the Asian continent, a diversity that is rooted in a rich history of migration. It comprises some three million documented and two to four million undocumented migrants, as well as 188,000 refugees. Dari Dapur (or Stories from the Kitchen, in English) is the Malaysian subset of UN Human Rights’ global  narrative change initiative. According to rigorous research commissioned by , on which the Dari Dapur campaign was designed, most Malaysians see the benefits migration brings to the economy and society. However, some said they are daunted by the complexity of issues around integration and culture that it raises.

Health, Children, WHO, UNICEF

Global childhood immunization coverage stalled in 2023, leaving 2.7 million additional children un- and under-vaccinated compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to data published by the World Health Organization () and . The latest WHO and UNICEF estimates of national immunization coverage – which provide the world’s largest and most comprehensive dataset on immunization trends for vaccinations against 14 diseases – underscore the need for ongoing catch-up, recovery and system-strengthening efforts. More than half of unvaccinated children live in the 31 countries with fragile, conflict-affected and vulnerable settings, where children are especially vulnerable to preventable diseases.

Agriculture and Food, FAO

Gita Adikhari realised something significant had changed when her farm in the Jhapa District of eastern Nepal yielded nearly double the amount she would normally harvest. The bumper crop was a result of learnings from a Farmer Field School run by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations () with funding from the Green Climate Fund. An overarching aim of the learnings is to make farming systems more resilient to climate change. Farmer Field Schools are also about boosting the confidence of women farmers, who traditionally have not had a voice in household or community decisions. Gita feels that this has changed and now shares her opinions and gets involved in the community.


The report reveals mixed progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, emphasizing the urgent need for data-informed actions to address disparities and accelerate global development efforts.

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being, UNEP

UNEP's report "" calls for global attention and proactive measures to address emerging challenges impacting planetary health and human wellbeing, emphasizing the need for foresight and adaptive governance.

Health, Science and Technology, ILO

An updated version of the , helps combat UV-related health issues by providing personalized sun protection advice and UV level tracking for up to 10 locations, promoting preventive measures against excessive UV exposure.

Sports, Culture, UNESCO

The Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay will visit approximately 30 UNESCO World Heritage sites, concluding its journey in Paris on July 26 with an opening ceremony at a UNESCO site for the first time in Olympic history.

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 探花精选 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’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.

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

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

Watch and Listen

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

Claver Irakoze, who was 11 during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, sought refuge at a school in Kabgayi, only to witness government soldiers and militias targeting people for execution. Despite enduring profound trauma, he now speaks out to keep the memory of the genocide alive, advocating for remembrance and education to prevent such atrocities in the future.

The Nelson Mandela rules: 5 facts

The Nelson Mandela Rules, overseen by the , establish essential benchmarks for humane prison management worldwide, promoting safety, security, and dignified treatment of prisoners.

Women and girls find shelter in Mali

Hundreds of women and girls fleeing conflict in the Bandiagara region of Mali have found shelter at this displacement camp in Sokoura.

UN Podcasts

Matthew Hollingworth talking to two women in headscarves in front of warehouse.

Racing to prevent famine in Gaza

“Prior to this war [in Gaza], people had dreams. Today people's dreams are about survival.”

Matthew Hollingworth has worked in conflict zones around the world, from Ukraine to South Sudan and Syria. Previously in charge of the World Food Programme’s (WFP) emergency operations in the West Bank and Gaza, Matthew was responsible for delivering life-saving aid to desperate people.

“People ask me every single day when I'm in Gaza: “When will the bombs stop? When will the fighting stop? When will they stop blowing things up? When can I go home?” We don't have the answers. But we do know that that is what's needed.”

WFP delivers food relief to more than 120 countries across the world suffering the impacts of conflicts, disasters and climate change. In this episode of Awake at Night (recorded on 21 June 2024), Matthew Hollingworth reflects on his daily struggle to prevent famine in Gaza, on the apocalyptic scale of the destruction there, and on the morale boost he gets from working with extraordinary colleagues on the ground.

The United Nations in Pictures

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

Photo:UNDP Afghanistan

Starting in April, flash floods have wreaked havoc across Afghanistan, leaving at least 300 dead, hundreds injured, and nearly 9,000 homes destroyed. Thousands are now homeless. Roads, bridges, schools, and health facilities in Baghlan, Badakshan, Takhar, Faryab and Ghor are in ruins. But why are these sudden deluges so deadly, and what makes this disaster particularly devastating? On the surface, it might seem like a straightforward question, yet the answers unravel a complex weave of geography, climate change and socio-economic frailties, creating a polycrisis that’s hard to untangle. Here's and how is trying to reduce its impact.

Photo:? IFAD/Imani Nsamila

As the sun rises over Pemba Island in Tanzania, Shajia and other seaweed farmers head towards the water to harvest their seaweed at low tide. When Shajia first started farming seaweed in 1995, she did it largely along the shore. In the decades since, conditions have changed. “Due to the high temperatures caused by climate change, the seaweed was not doing well on the shores,” she explains. “We were forced to go deeper into the ocean.” The -supported  is helping Shajia adapt to the new normal. As well as receiving equipment, she’s learned how to grow seaweed along ropes. This ensures a plentiful harvest that is easier to gather and is protected from the tides.