Latest Features

Global response to poverty and environmental goals 'not ambitious enough’

The global response to realizing poverty and environmental goals agreed by world leaders in 2015 has not been “ambitious enough” according to the UN Secretary-General.

Strawberries and child support; a Thai partnership

Mother of three, Mhee Saesong, a strawberry farmer from Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand, has always struggled alongside her husband to provide for her family. She describes how, in the past, when her two older children became sick, she was unable to afford to take them to hospital.

Keeping cool in the face of climate change

As global temperatures reach record highs, providing cooling systems which are effective, sustainable and which do not harm the environment is increasingly essential for everyday life. That’s according to Rachel Kyte, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All, and Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL).

Madagascar villagers learn dangers of outdoor defecation

The discussion with villagers starts early in the morning. Volunteers are invited to draw a map of their village on the ground with chalk. One woman’s sketch shows 17 families – a total of 65 people – living in 11 red clay houses. She explains they share the three latrines that have been there for some time.

Shining a light on sustainable power: how clean energy is helping to improve camps for displaced people

Hauwa, from Borno State in north-eastern Nigeria, fled her home village of Adamari with her husband and four children in March, when violence struck. Now, she is in the relative safety of a UN-run camp but, with little electricity available at night, lighting is scarce, and darkness can mean danger. However, thanks to a solar-energy initiative from the UN migration agency IOM, that is beginning to change.

‘Bicycle Kingdom’ makes a comeback, as China seeks solutions to tackle air pollution crisis

Cars have replaced bicycles as the primary means of transport in many Chinese cities but, with air pollution a major problem for the country, the bike is making a comeback, thanks to digital technology, and some 21st Century thinking.

From philanthropy to profit: how clean energy is kickstarting sustainable development in East Africa

Until recently, Namacurra district, in the Zambezia province of Mozambique, some 1,500 km from the capital Maputo, did not have any basic services – such as schools, health centres, or even energy – connecting the region to the electricity grid would be extremely time-consuming, and costly. But a new UN-backed clean energy initiative looks set to change the outlook for Namacurra, and, within a matter of months, kickstart sustainable development for the benefit of the thousands of people, relocated to the area following the devastating rains of 2015, and it could herald an improved outlook for other economically disadvantaged parts of Africa.

From violence to dialogue: as land conflicts intensify, UN boosts efforts to resolve disputes through mediation

The town of Kitchanga, in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), hosts the highest concentration of internally displaced people in the country, and has been one of the regions most affected by clashes between local communities, made up of Tutsis and Hutus, especially in terms of accessing land. Today, however, thanks to a UN initiative, many disputes over land in Kitchanga are resolved through dialogue instead of violence, and families can cultivate, rent and make a profit from their land.

Bringing justice to the people: how the UN is helping communities deal with disputes in remote and dangerous areas

Justice can be hard to come by in countries hit by conflict. To ensure that communities can settle disputes, and see criminals lawfully punished, UN peacekeeping missions support mobile courts, which travel to places where no regular court exists.

 

How UN cultural treasures helped set the stage for Game of Thrones

From King’s Landing to the Iron Bank, so many of the breathtaking backdrops seen on the smash hit Game of Thrones television series are available for future generations to enjoy,  thanks to a key, but little-known role played by the United Nations cultural agency.