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UN Weekly

Human rights are for all, but sexual identity can still be a death sentence

The UN Charter says that Member States must guarantee the rights of all people, regardless of history, culture or social norms. However, around the world, people continue to face discrimination, criminalization and violence purely because of their sexual orientation and identity.

Earlier this year, Secretary-General António Guterres promised that the UN “firmly stands with the LGBTIQ+ community and will continue working until human rights and dignity are a reality for all people”.

But what does that mean in practical terms, and how is the UN helping this community?


Back to the future?

What kind of future do we all want? And how will we get it? It’s a big question, and the UN is convening a major event this year to try to find some answers.

On today’s show, Conor Lennon is joined by Mayra Lopes from the UN News Portuguese Unit, and Benno Schwinghammer, UN Correspondent for Deutsche Presse-Agentur, to discuss the UN’s role in building a fairer future for people and the planet, and the progress that is being made towards achieving the Global Goals for sustainable development, as we near the 2030 deadline.


Cocaine and cannabis use on the rise: what are the consequences?

Cannabis legalization has led to increased use and a drop in drug-related convictions, but there have been negative health consequences.

On this week’s show, we dig into some of the findings in the UN World Drug Report, and also discuss the release of the UN’s recommendations on tackling fake news.

With Benno Schwinghammer from Deutsche Presse-Agentur, and Angela Me from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

Audio Duration

In a fractured world, how is the UN supporting democracy?

2024 is a bumper year for elections, affecting around two billion voters. However, elections don’t necessarily equate to democracy, and the extent to which they actually affect the way a country is run, and by whom, can vary dramatically, depending on where they’re held.

On this week’s show, Conor Lennon and Sachin Gaur from UN News are joined by Yoshita Singh from Press Trust of India, to talk about democracy, misinformation, and yoga (the International Day of Yoga is on June 26)!


The nuclear option

In 2023, for the first time ever, nuclear power was mentioned as one of the low carbon energy options the world needs to turn to, if we are to lower carbon emissions and limit global temperature rises.

Conor Lennon speaks to Rafael Mariano Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a UN body, about the evolving image of nuclear power, safety concerns, and its role in a net zero future.


Climate Crunch Time

On this week’s episode Conor Lennon and Anton Uspenskiy from UN News discuss the UN Secretary-General’s hard-hitting climate speech, in which he called for a ban on fossil fuel advertising and promotion; the UN’s continued support for millions of desperate people in Afghanistan; how AI is being used for the benefit of all; and whether we’re on the brink of being able to talk to whales.


Piping hot power

‘Keep it in the ground!' is the rallying cry, when it comes to fossil fuels. However, in Dominica there is a clean, renewable, subterranean resource that the government is very keen to get out of the ground: heat.


UN Weekly: Bringing the work of the United Nations to life

Welcome to UN Weekly, a podcast from UN News.

We will bring together journalists, experts, senior officials and influencers, for an engaging and entertaining guide to the fascinating, little-known and often misunderstood world of the United Nations. 

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Plastic not fantastic

On the first episode of UN Weekly, Conor Lennon and Myra Lopes focus on the effect of the climate crisis on small island developing States (SIDS), which are struggling to cope with hurricanes, flooding and wildfires. Island nations are also drowning in plastic, which is washing up on beaches, clogging rivers and, for the most part, is not recyclable and takes hundreds of years to break down.