Features

2021 Year in Review: Celebrating UN values in action

Conflict, health crises and the climate emergency may have dominated headlines this year but, behind the scenes, countless unsung heroes were working tirelessly to put the values of the UN into action. Here are some of the inspiring personal stories we featured on our UN News pages during 2021.

2021: A good year to listen in

A hit podcast series on climate action, the drama of COP26, and stories from the field, stretching from Vanuatu to Brooklyn. Here are some of our favourite audio highlights of the last 12 months.

2021 Year in Review: Climate action, or blah, blah, blah?

This year saw another steady stream of UN-backed reports reinforcing a stark message: man-made climate change is an urgent and even existential threat to life on Earth. Will the international community’s efforts to tackle the crisis, as seen at the COP26 UN Climate Conference, result in meaningful action? 

2021 Year in Review: Refugee, migrant numbers rise, despite travel curbs

Pandemic-related travel restrictions may have put a dent on international migration figures in 2021, but the number of people forced to leave their homes, due to conflict and persecution, rose to record highs.

2021 Year in Review: UN support for countries in conflict

Long-running conflicts continued in Syria and Yemen this year, whilst fresh unrest caused serious instability in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Sudan. United Nations "Blue Helmet" peacekeepers suffered losses and injuries, particularly those serving in the peacekeeping missions in Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR). Nevertheless, the UN reaffirmed its commitment to protect those caught up in the fighting.

2021 Year in Review: ‘We underestimate this virus at our peril’

Despite the almost miraculous development of effective vaccines against COVID-19 in 2020, the virus continued to spread and mutate throughout the last year, with much of the blame placed on a lack of effective global collaboration as a key reason for the prolonged pandemic. 2021 also saw the launch of a UN-backed programme to help developing countries protect their populations against the virus, and steps were taken to prepare for future global health crises.

Former ‘failed State’ Somalia on fragile path to progress: A UN Resident Coordinator blog

Somalia has been riven by decades of conflict and extreme weather events but, says Adam Abdelmoula, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, there are signs of progress amidst a host of ongoing challenges.

Lebanon crises increase suffering of migrant domestic workers

Many migrant domestic workers in Lebanon are denied basic human rights, and suffered abuse at the hands of their employers. Since the worsening economic crisis in the country their plight has, if anything, worsened.

Champions of the Earth: The Sea Women of Melanesia

The Sea Women of Melanesia, a group of divers who give women in the South Pacific region the skills to monitor the health of coral reefs, and create and restore marine protected areas, have been named Champions of the Earth, the UN’s highest environmental award, in the Inspiration and Action category.

Champions of the Earth: Mia Mottley versus the ‘faceless few’

The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, has been awarded the 2021 Champions of the Earth Award, the UN’s highest environmental honour, for her policy leadership.