Human Rights, UNESCO

Tolerance is neither indulgence nor indifference

Tolerance is respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance recognizes the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. People are naturally diverse; only tolerance can ensure the survival of mixed communities in every region of the globe. On this International Day for Tolerance (16 November), the United Nations strengthens its commitment to strengthening tolerance by fostering mutual understanding among cultures and peoples. 

The diversity of our world's many religions, languages, cultures and ethnicities is not a pretext for conflict, but is a treasure that enriches us all.
Photo:Johnstocker / stock.adobe
Under Secretary General, Rosmary Dicarlo, briefs Security Council on Ukraine.

Ukraine war: Risks of spillover ‘remain all too real’, Security Council hears 

16 November 2022 — Some of the most intense bombardments in the war in Ukraine have occurred in recent days, UN political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council on Wednesday,...

COP27: Protecting biodiversity is protecting the Paris Agreement

16 November 2022 — While for many years the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis have been treated as separate issues, the reality – as highlighted on Wednesday at COP27– is that there is no...

‘Milestone for humanity’ as UN celebrates 8 billionth birth

15 November 2022 — The Day of 8 Billion, officially marked on Tuesday, is a milestone moment for human longevity, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), “signalling major improvements in...

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 General Assembly in session

2022 is a critical year for accelerating efforts on the SDGs. UN Summits seek to deliver solutions to today’s development challenges, and will lead up to the SDG Summit in 2023. Coming up next is COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh (6 to 18 November).

Act Now

ActNow is the United Nations campaign for individual action on climate change. Every one of us can help take care of our planet. Learn what you can do to be part of the solution and influence change. To log your actions, download the app.

water in a dam

The General Assembly will hold the UN 2023 Water Conference from 22 to 24 March 2023 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.  Water is everyone’s business.  See how you can engage and also follow the preparatory meeting on 25 October 2022.

SDG Goal 13: Climate Action
Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

More from the
United Nations

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

the infinite sign representing the 8 billion Population, UNFPA

#8BillionStrong: A world of infinite possibilities

On 15 November, the world will mark a major milestone as the world population reaches 8 billion. UNFPA explains the eight trends that makes us 8 billion strong: slowing growth, fewer children, longer lives, people on the move, ageing populations, women outliving men, two pandemics and shifting centres. Let our challenge be to do more than exist – let us dare to thrive. And not just a privileged few but as many people as possible. Turn the 8 on its side, and you see the symbol for infinity, so that a world of 8 billion could mean a world of infinite possibilities.

Three firefighters hold a water hose to direct water at a forest fire. Health, Climate Change, WHO

Prioritizing health in climate change negotiations

Our health depends on the health of the ecosystems that surround us, and these ecosystems remain under threat from deforestation, agriculture, changes in land use and rapid urban development. WHO issues a grim reminder that the climate crisis continues to make people sick and jeopardizes lives. Health must be at the core of climate change negotiations. COP27 is a crucial opportunity for the world to re-commit to keeping the 1.5 °C Paris Agreement goal alive. Tacking the climate crisis requires progress on mitigation, adaptation, financing and collaboration.

a mountain range with a melting glacier at its foot Climate Change, UNESCO

Some world Heritage glaciers disappearing by 2050

50 UNESCO World Heritage sites are home to glaciers, representing almost 10% of the Earth’s total glacierized area. They include the highest (next to Mt. Everest), the longest (in Alaska), and the last remaining glaciers in Africa. New UNESCO data highlight the accelerated melting of glaciers in World Heritage sites, with glaciers in a third of sites set to disappear by 2050. But it is still possible to save the other two thirds, if the rise in global temperatures does not exceed 1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial period. This is a major challenge for COP27.

Climate Change, UNCTAD

Least Developed Countries Report 2022 

As nations convene for COP27, UNCTAD has set out the actions needed to ensure global efforts towards a low-carbon future don’t leave least developed countries (LDCs) behind.

Employment, ILO

Entrepreneur turns problems into profit

Merima Kukić Gego is a young entrepreneur who, during the COVID-19 crisis, set up a food and tourism business in rural Bosnia and Herzegovina, with help from an ILO project.

Migration, IOM

Critical services for people displaced by drought

Farhia lived in Baidoa's informal settlements for nine months when her six-month-old son became ill. IOM connected her with Baidoa Hospital, where he was treated him for a respiratory infection.

Climate Change, IMF

Getting back on track to net zero

Net-zero rhetoric does not match reality. New IMF analysis of current global climate targets shows they would only deliver an 11 percent cut of emissions, rather than the 25-50 per cent needed.

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.

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

Following up on a pledge 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.

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.

Our world is approaching a landmark moment in human history. On 15 November 2022, the global population is projected to reach 8 billion people. Thanks to science, technology, and ground-breaking innovations, we now live longer and healthier. It took the human family 125 years to get from 1 billion to 2 billion. But only 12 years to grow from 7 to 8 billion. Learn more and follow the countdown here.

Coral reefs are coming back to life in Colombia

San Andrés, Colombia, is the biggest island in the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, containing parts of one of the richest coral reefs in the world. The island is a world-class scuba diving destination visited by over a million people each year. As a result, San Andrés’ unique ecosystems have been deeply impacted. A women-led community organization is working to restore some of the most important marine ecosystems in the world. Watch the video to find out more.

Young people have a message for world leaders

UNICEF asked young climate advocates how climate change has impacted their lives. Watch the video to find out what they answered, and their message for world leaders at COP27. Faced with a growing energy crisis, record greenhouse gas concentrations, and increasing extreme weather events, COP27 seeks renewed solidarity between countries to deliver on the landmark Paris Agreement for people and the planet.

UN Podcasts

posters at COP27 that read "Finance Day"

COP27 PODCAST: Polluter pays?

The world leaders who congregated in Sharm El Sheik for the first two days of COP27 have left and, whilst the climate negotiators get to work, the thematic days of the conference have begun.

Wednesday was finance day, with a host of side events around the pavilions discussing the often thorny issues surrounding climate finance. It was also the day that former US Vice-President Al Gore launched a project to provide accurate, granular emissions date, and revealed that, in many cases, emissions are much higher than previously reported.

Conor Lennon and Laura cover all this and more, on today’s COP27 podcast.

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.

Boy wearing gloves and mask holding hands over spider on tree branch
Photo:UNHCR/Victor Augusto Sánchez Mejía

Former ‘nature beginner’ now on front lines of fight against climate change

For Joshua, a refugee who fled gang violence, protecting the threatened tropical forests of his host country, has become both a calling and a moral imperative. Since early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Joshua has been working as a forest ranger at a natural preserve in southeastern Guatemala. Thanks to a partnership with UNHCR, FUNDAECO – the NGO that runs the preserve, prioritizes the hiring of people like Joshua, who have been forced to leave their homes due to violence, targeted threats, or persecution. Joshua, who previously described himself as a “nature beginner”, now says handling snakes is one of the highlights of a job. Find out more about Joshua’s personal transformation.

Woman sifting flour
Photo:WFP/Ali Jadallah

Palestine: WFP-backed training boosts budding entrepreneurs

Due to the devasting fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, Sahar and her husband were among the young Gazans left with an income barely allowing them to get by. They could scarcely keep their family business afloat. Today, their products are quickly snapped up by local residents across the Gaza Strip.  Sahar’s fortunes changed dramatically last year thanks to a joint UN initiative to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on women entrepreneurs. Targeting small and medium businesses, the programme rolled out by the WFP and four sister UN agencies, developed the skills and capacities of 40 women-led agribusinesses in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Find out more about the programme here.