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

wild bee on eggplant flower
World Bee Day (20 May)

Bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, are increasingly under threat from human activities. Pollinators allow many plants, including many food crops, to reproduce. Not only do pollinators contribute directly to food security, but they are key to conserving biodiversity. To raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the UN designated 20 May as World Bee Day, celebrated for the first time this year.

International Day for Biological Diversity (22 May)

While there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to present and future generations, the number of species is being significantly reduced by certain human activities. 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Biological Diversity for "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources," which has been ratified by 196 nations.

rural woman
International Day to End Obstetric Fistula (23 May)

Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and tragic injuries that can occur during childbirth.  The condition typically leaves women incontinent, and as a result they are often shunned by their communities. Many women live with the condition for years – or even decades – because they cannot afford to obtain treatment. Yet fistula is almost entirely preventable by delaying the age of first pregnancy, ceasing harmful traditional practices, and timely access to obstetric care.

In the Spotlight

Lucas di Grassi
Lucas di Grassi

Brazilian racecar driver Lucas di Grassi has announced his support for UN Environment’s work to reduce air pollution – the single biggest environmental health risk of our time. Among his many racing achievements, di Grassi is the reigning champion of Formula E – the auto racing series that uses only electric-powered cars. In his new role as UN Environment Clean Air Advocate, Di Grassi will help to spread the messages of the BreatheLife campaign, which is run jointly by UN Environment, the World Health Organization and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

The UN System at Work

women at family planning clinic in Tunisia in 1987
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Throughout all of human history, efforts to plan, avoid or delay pregnancy had been a private struggle endured by women and girls. But at the 1968 International Conference on Human Rights, family planning became a human rights obligation of every country. The conference’s outcome document stated unequivocally: “Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.” Yet 50 years later, this right is under attack. UNFPA recognizes nine standards to uphold the human right to family planning.

Goal of the week


Did you know?

Nine out of ten refugees are hosted by developing countries.
Every child has the right to health, education, and protection.  Find out more in Global Issues:  Children
The UN has supported elections in more than 100 countries.
Africa has the highest growth rate of female-owned businesses.

Worth Watching

UN in Pictures

little girl eating Plumpy supplement
Northern lights
breaking fast during Ramadan
child looking through glass bars
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