images of UN Peacekeepers at work

Since 1948, more than a million women and men have served as UN peacekeepers. Every day, they make a tangible difference in the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable people, and every day they save lives. They serve at great personal risk and in harsh conditions. Tragically some make the ultimate sacrifice - over 3,500 peacekeepers have lost their lives in the cause of peace.

In Focus

Children in a camp for internally displaced people in Haiti. UN Photo/Logan Abassi.
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March)

The rights to equality and non-discrimination are cornerstones of human rights law. Yet racism, xenophobia and intolerance are problems prevalent in all societies, and discriminatory practices are widespread, particularly targeting migrants and refugees as well as people of African descent. The theme for 2018 is "Promoting tolerance, inclusion, unity and respect for diversity in the context of combating racial discrimination." Join us in #FightRacism and #StandUp4HumanRights!

A view of Iguazu Falls, on the border between Brazil and Argentina. UN Photo/Mark Garten.
World Water Day (22 March)

This year’s theme "Nature for Water" explores how we can use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century. We need to do so much more with ‘green’ infrastructure and harmonize it with ‘grey’ infrastructure wherever possible. Planting new forests, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, and restoring wetlands will rebalance the water cycle and improve human health and livelihoods. SDG-6 includes a target to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase water recycling and safe reuse.

Child drinks water from a water-pipe. © World Bank/Imal Hashemi/Taimani Films.
Making Every Drop Count: An Agenda for Water Action

The High-Level Panel on Water, set up in 2016 by the United Nations and the World Bank, recently ended their mandate with the release of their outcome package consisting of an open letter to fellow leaders, an outcome document, short summaries of key initiatives undertaken by the Panel and a “galvanizing” video. With 700 million people worldwide at risk of being displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030, water infrastructure investment must be at least doubled over the next five years, the panel recommends.

In the Spotlight

5 outstanding women scientists from Argentina, Canada, China, South Africa, and the United Kingdom receive the 2018 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards
L’ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards

Five outstanding women scientists have been selected to receive the 2018 L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards in life sciences and fifteen promising young scientists have been selected for the International Rising Talents programme. The awards recognize women who are still under-represented in various fields and where the glass ceiling remains a reality. Nowadays, barely 28% of researchers are women. All of last year’s nine scientific Nobel Prizes were awarded to men, which since its inception, awarded fewer than 3% of its prizes to women. More in this article.

The UN System at Work

scientists studying water with the help of nuclear technology
International Atomic Energy Agency

In many parts of the world, water is at risk of over-exploitation and contamination. To protect it, scientists study its most invisible details with the help of nuclear technology. The IAEA supports scientists around the world on isotope hydrology - nuclear techniques that are used to determine the quantity and quality of water supplies. The IAEA sends experts to the field and train local hydrologists in the use of these isotopic techniques. Based on data such as the recharge rate of water in aquifers, policymakers are in a better position to establish rules for the use of water for drinking, agriculture and industry.

Goal of the week


Did you know?

Unclean water and poor sanitation are the leading cause of child mortality.  Find out more in Global Issues: Water
Immigration slows down the ageing process of societies.  Find out more in Global Issues: Ageing
The Paris agreement on climate change was signed by the largest number of countries ever in a single day. Find out more in Global Issues: Climate Change
Nine out of ten refugees are hosted by developing countries.

Worth Watching

UN in Pictures

Two boys holding bread from a bakery in Syria.
Opening of Commission on the Status of Women 62nd Session
A view of UN Interpreters at work, covering a meeting of the Security Council chamber.
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