Photo credit: Stuart Ramson for UN Foundation

Happy New Year, and thank you for your continued partnership and support, which make our work helping the United Nations deliver for everyone, everywhere possible!

As 2019 gets underway, we face a world of conundrums and contradictions. Extreme poverty is at its lowest-recorded level, yet wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few. More girls and women than ever before are using modern contraception, yet this basic human right is still considered controversial by many. And while millions of additional children are surviving infancy, millions are denied opportunities to study, work, and pursue their dreams. …

Photo credit: UNA-USA

Progress needs protectors. In 2018, it was starkly clear that many of the gains we’ve made in improving lives are under threat around the world — from climate change, conflict and violence, discrimination, inequality, political division, and a lack of empathy.

But as the year reaches its end, we’re focusing on what gives us hope: the partners and supporters who didn’t shirk from the challenges and stepped up time and again to defend progress and push for more.

Throughout 2018, as during the past 20 years of our operations, partners — from citizens to companies to cities — joined the…

Eleanor Roosevelt holds a poster of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (©UN Photo Archives)

First Lady. Feminist. Icon. Eleanor Roosevelt shaped the post-WWII world — and her legacy remains as powerful as ever

Exactly 70 years ago — on December 10, 1948, just after midnight — the United Nations General Assembly saw its first standing ovation for a single delegate. One by one, members representing 51 nations across the globe rose from their chairs to honor a 64–year-old woman seated among them.

Eleanor Roosevelt had just made history.

For the first time the world had come together to agree, in writing, on the fundamental freedoms that belong to all people on earth. It was fittingly called the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Imagine an international Bill of Rights; in fact, that’s what some…

It’s a global pandemic that will affect one in three women in her lifetime.

It’s one of the most common human rights violations on the planet.

It remains one of humanity’s greatest hurdles to achieving global progress.

Gender-based violence comes in many forms — from domestic abuse and sex trafficking to child marriage and genital mutilation — and it knows no social, economic or national boundaries.

Breaking the silence is the first step to confronting this crisis. Thanks to movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, women and girls across the planet have found strength in one another.

To commemorate this year’s…

By Elizabeth Cousens and Jeffrey Feltman

One hundred years ago, nearly to this day, a bloodletting that had convulsed the world for four years came to an end in a train car. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, World War I ended with the stroke of a pen. The “Great War,” as it was called, consumed 17 million souls by the time it was over — closer to 100 million if you count the flu pandemic that followed in its wake. World War I collapsed empires and spurred revolutions. It brought us…

Jobs in science and technology are some of the fastest-growing worldwide — and innovations in these fields will be crucial for tackling global challenges from climate change to cybersecurity.

Yet half of the world’s population still face profound gaps in access to education and employment, especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Case in point: Only 30% of the world’s researchers are women.

When it comes to their educational and professional lives, women and girls still face harmful social norms and gender stereotypes. With STEM in particular, dangerous misconceptions persist: That girls naturally lack interest or…

By Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation

If you ask Gatluak Ramdiet why the United Nations matters, his answer is simple: “If the UN didn’t exist, I wouldn’t be here today.”

University of Nebraska law student Gatluak Ramdiet stands in front of the UN headquarters in New York, where he worked as an intern this summer. As a child, he relied on assistance from the UN while living in a refugee camp. (Photo courtsey of Gatluak Ramdiet)

For nearly half of his childhood, Gatluak and his brother relied on humanitarian assistance to survive while living in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. “All of the people on the ground at these refugee camps are true heroes … I know this firsthand from my own experience,” he said recently. “The work of the UN is often the only stability that most refugees know.”


From the CEO of Starbucks to the Prime Minister of Barbados, the Global Climate Action Summit saw leaders from all sectors stepping up the fight against climate change.

More than 4,000 citizens, businesses, activists, and officials convened in San Francisco to learn how we can tackle climate change together — before it’s too late. It comes at a crucial time: We’re now at the halfway point between the adoption of the 2015 Paris Agreement — the first international accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — and the year 2020, which scientists say is the deadline for preventing a catastrophic rise…

By Susan Myers, Senior Vice President of the United Nations Foundation

It was a moment you might see on any school bus anywhere in the world: Children jostling and yelling in excitement at the outset of a field trip. By the end of the day, the boy who recorded this scene on his cell phone would be dead — along with most of his friends and classmates.

The students, who reportedly ranged in age from six to 11, lived in northern Yemen. Their school bus was hit by an airstrike. …

Stories of crisis make headlines almost every day, yet we rarely hear about the heroes responding on the front lines.

Across the globe, humanitarian workers are helping people in their time of greatest need, often putting their own safety at risk. Whether they are helping displaced families restart their lives, delivering life-saving vaccines, or providing vital reproductive care, they all embody courage and humanity. And their stories deserve to be heard.

What motivates these unsung heroes to put their own lives on the line? What are the challenges they face and the lessons they’ve learned?

Meet seven inspiring individuals who…

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