Human Rights

Albinism awareness: a decade of collective progress

International Albinism Awareness Day, celebrated annually on 13 June, was launched 10 years ago. Due to their unique physical appearance caused by the lack of melanin in their hair, skin and eyes, persons with albinism have been subject to marginalization and social exclusion, and even persecution fed by superstition. This year we celebrate the strides made through the tireless efforts of albinism groups from around the world and reflect on the continued legal, policy and practical changes still required to ensure the full and equal enjoyment of rights by persons with albinism.

Albinism should be recognized as a type of disability, including the need to provide students with albinism with appropriate accommodations.

13 June 2024 — The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Thursday that calls for the paramilitary Rapid Security Forces (RSF) in Sudan to halt their siege on El Fasher, capital of North...

13 June 2024 — Violence against children caught in armed conflict reached “extreme levels” last year, with a “shocking” 21 per cent increase in extreme violations, UN Secretary-General António...

13 June 2024 — Heavy shelling reported in the so-called safe zone of Al-Mawasi in southern Gaza on Thursday came despite the ongoing international push for a ceasefire and as the UN health agency...

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 .

More from the
United Nations

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

ILO, Children

Yabao Oumarou works in a farming cooperative in C?te d'Ivoire. The son of a planter, he recently attended an International Labour Organization () training session on child labour, health and safety, and general welfare. The focus of the training changed his perception of child labour, and he now believes that if everyone had this guidance, work would be easier, safer and more productive. "We are now raising awareness about children's rights and the importance of education," he said after the instruction.

Democracy, Africa

The run-up to Senegal’s recent presidential election was marked by violence and political tensions. However, the March 24 vote passed smoothly, with millions of Senegalese showing up at the polls. No major incidents were reported, and a peaceful transition of power took place, highlighting Senegal’s stable democracy. Women's Watch Platform "?tu Jamm" (探花精选 Space), supported by the During the election, ?tu Jamm deployed women observers, who monitored the vote in real-time at polling stations in Dakar and in the regions.

FAO, Pollution and Waste

In early 2023, Abidjan, C?te d'Ivoire, faced a growing organic waste problem. The city reached out to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations () for help. FAO's project,, aimed to turn organic waste into a resource using the Black Soldier Fly. The idea was to get the flies to mate, give their offspring tons of garbage to eat, and then dry the larvae to use as either feed for livestock or powdered food for fish farms. The project received funding from FAO’s ELEVATE programme, which supports innovative agricultural solutions.

SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production, UNDP

Fast fashion contributes significantly to environmental degradation, including resource depletion, greenhouse gas emissions, and pollution.

Health, WHO

marks 20 years of celebrating and thanking voluntary donors worldwide while advocating for universal access to safe blood transfusion.

Migrants, IOM

Frederick's journey highlights the harsh realities faced by migrants, but through a program by , he and others like him receive comprehensive support to rebuild their lives with dignity and hope.

Natural Resources and the Environment, UNEP

Fourth mass bleaching event underscores urgent need for global action to save imperiled coral reefs from climate change-induced extinction.

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.

This is Gaza at the world’s watch. Survival is a daily struggle as families are displaced again and again, all the while being hungry and dehydrated.

Boat clinics serve Benin's women

's boat clinic brings vital reproductive health services to women in remote villages of Benin, addressing critical gaps in access to care.

Investing in adaptive social protection

Adaptive proves to be a profitable investment, reducing poverty, enhancing food security, and bolstering resilience against climate change and shocks.

UN Podcasts

Msuya hugs a woman who has indigenous tatoos on her arm

A Privilege to Serve Humanity

"What worries me a lot is whether we are focusing on any given day the crisis of today, and forgetting about the crisis of yesterday and the day before [...] whether we are forgetting the crises that are not in the news today."

Big or small, Joyce Msuya has always found ways to give back. Now Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator in OCHA, she oversees the global response to the world’s worst crises.

From Gaza to Ukraine, Haiti to Sudan, the UN estimates 300 million people around the world are in need of life-saving assistance and protection. In this episode, Joyce reflects on keeping hope alive despite waking to fresh crises every day, on the shocking impacts of climate-related extreme weather, and on the long-term benefits of a strict boarding school.

Photo: ?OCHA/Marc Belanger

The United Nations in Pictures

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

Photo:UNDP Colombia/Andrés Estefan

The Mojana region in northern Colombia faces extreme water issues, with alternating floods and droughts. These conditions make it hard for the 400,000 residents to protect their health, earn sustainable incomes, and adapt to a changing climate. The Colombian Government sought help from the United Nations Development Programme () to work with local communities. It launched a pilot project to reduce climate vulnerability by focusing on wetland restoration, local livelihoods, and infrastructure. The inland delta comprises 500,000 fertile hectares in a complex of rivers and wetlands that nourish some of the world’s richest biodiversity.

Photo:UNICEF/UNI448975/Sara Aliaga Ticona

The importance of play for children’s development is recognized by the UN , which sets out “the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities”. The United Nations General Assembly established 11 June as the International Day of Play to champion and protect this right. On this day, called for this right to be fulfilled for every child.