In Focus

Essential UN_EN
The Essential UN website

Take a moment to learn about the UN. The United Nations remains an essential pillar of the international system, working around the world, around the clock, for peace, sustainable development and human rights. At a time when challenges are increasingly global, and our fates are inexorably intertwined, understanding the United Nations itself—its aims, workings and ideals—is more important than ever.  The Essential UN website, provides a succinct and interactive way to quickly grasp the essentials of the Organisation through fast facts, short videos, information cards and fun quizzes.

Humanitarian Day
World Humanitarian Day (19 August)

World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is held every year on 19 August to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world. Around the world, conflict is exacting a massive toll on people’s lives. At the same time, health and aid workers – who risk their lives to care for people affected by violence – are increasingly being targeted. For WHD 2017, humanitarian partners are coming together to reaffirm that civilians caught in conflict are #NotATarget.

Let's fight racism
Let's fight racism

Secretary-General António Guterres recently told journalists at a press encounter that "racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism or Islamophobia are... poisoning our societies. And it is absolutely essential for us all to stand up against them everywhere and every time."  Racism, xenophobia and intolerance are problems prevalent in all societies. But every day, each and every one of us can stand up against racial prejudice and intolerant attitudes. Visit Let's Fight Racism to send a message that racism is unacceptable. Click on a postcard and share it on your social media account.

In the Spotlight


Ishak is a young Rohingya refugee from Myanmar who fled to Malaysia. At age 15, Ishak bears the weight of his family’s expectations. He’s overcome racial discrimination and the additional challenges of his refugee status to become a school football star, a straight-A student and possibly the first person in the family to complete his education. With the assistance of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and support from his new community, Ishak was able to find acceptance and continue his education. UNHCR is working with NGOs and communities to strengthen the access, quality and sustainability of informal education for young refugees and asylum-seekers in Malaysia.

The UN System at Work

 International Criminal Court (ICC)

On 17 August 2017, Trial Chamber VIII of the International Criminal Court issued a Reparations Order in the case of The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, concluding that Mr. Al Mahdi is liable for 2.7 million euros in expenses for individual and collective reparations for the community of Timbuktu for intentionally directing attacks against religious and historic buildings in that city.  “The Chamber highlighted the importance of cultural heritage and stressed that, because of their purpose and symbolism, most cultural property and cultural heritage are unique and of sentimental value,” said the Court, based in The Hague and the world's only permanent war crimes tribunal.  

The UN System 


Did you know?

Women in the labour market on average still earn a quarter less than men globally. Find out more in Global Issues: Women.
Every child has the right to health, education, and protection.  Find out more in Global Issues:  Children
Most of the world’s people live no more than 200 miles from the sea.  Find out more in Global Issues: Oceans and the Law of the Sea
Hunger and malnutrition are the number one health risk worldwide.  Find out more in Global Issues: Food.

Worth Watching

UN in Pictures

Peacekeepers of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) conduct an operation dubbed “Frelana” to protect civilians and their property in the south-west of Gao.
The "Ark of Return," a permanent memorial to honour the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, designed by architect Rodney Leon
Asha Ali Ibrahim, a local circumciser, with her granddaughter, who is due to be cut this year.
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