International Day of Peace is observed on September 21 every year. poster- Peace Day 2016 SDGs Eng.jpgPeace is not just the absence of war. Positive peace is only possible when the rights of individuals in any given society to access their basic needs and their well being are guaranteed. Poverty breeds violence. As 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammad Yunus poignantly points out,

      Poverty is the absence of all human rights. The frustrations, hostility           and anger generated by abject poverty cannot sustain peace in any society. For building             stable peace, we must find ways to provide opportunity for people to live decent lives.

Almost one year into the life cycle of the 2030 Global Agenda, the UN Secretary General has chosen “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace” as the theme for this year’s International Day of Peace. What better way to build a just and peaceful world than for governments to honor the commitment they made to their citizens this time last year; to end poverty, hunger, provide quality healthcare, education, … by 2030.

Learn more about the first year of the SDGs. Click on any goal for more details; click on report to see what countries have done this first year:




People are talking about the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). You may wonder exactly what “sustainable development” is. It’s generally understood as development that improves living conditions in the present without compromising the resources of future generations. This is the challenge the UN has given itself for the next 15 years: to work together to improve life for humans and the planet without damaging either. Learn more and get involved:

 fin_dev_blog_main SDG word cloud en.gif


DPI/NGO Conference: Education for Global Citizenship

The sixty-sixth Department of Public Information (DPI)/Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Conference will take place in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea, from 30 May to 1 June 2016. Organised by the NGO/DPI Executive Committee, NGO community, Government of the Republic of Korea, and National Organizing Committee of Korea, this year’s Conference will focus on Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Together.

Participants will consider three pillars of education:
1. Formal Education
2. Informal Education and Training
3. Advocacy and Public Information

According to Conference organizers, “The Conference aims at harnessing expertise across a wide spectrum of civil society organizations to unleash a range of education initiatives that ensure equitable quality education as well as lifelong learning opportunities for all.”   

For more information:


Unleashing women’s full potential in the workplace


Goal 5:  Achieve gender equality and empower all women and

Learn more about unleashing women’s full potential in the workplace:



Carolina Azevedo of the UN Development Program states: “Surprisingly, when I asked theE_SDG_Icons-01 group of New York City girls and boys from different cultural backgrounds what they thought poverty meant, they answered, in this order:

“Not having a proper house.”

“Not having a proper school.”

“Not having enough to eat.”

“In some places girls can’t go to school.” [A boy actually said that.]

“An earthquake hit my country and people lost everything.” [Child’s parents are from Nepal]

“Not having enough money.”

Note that only the last child mentioned money or income.”      


E_SDG_Icons-10“Feeding the hungry is among our society’s most fundamental obligations, but we should also question why our neighbors are without nutritious food to eat. Housing the homeless is an imperative, but we should also question why our housing markets are so distorted. As a nation, we need more investment in education, but not without questioning educational disparities based on race, class and geography.”  Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation


United Nations leads joint action on disaster risk reduction and water

AliyaBy Aliya Yagudina, Intern in SNDatUN Office

“2015 is not just another year, it is a chance
to change the course of history.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The Second UN Special Thematic Session on Water and Disasters took place on 18 November 2015 at the 70th session of the General Assembly, held at the beginning of the UN High-level Water and Sanitation Days and a day before the World Toilet Day. The opening remarks were addressed by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mogens Lykketoft, President of 70th session of the General Assembly, His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan, and Dr. Han Seung-soo, UN Special Envoy on Disaster Risk Reduction and Water.

Water Aliya 1The meeting was set to highlight the issue of “Water and Disasters” and discuss the concrete initiatives for the UNFCCC COP21 in Paris (30 November-11 December 2015), World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul (May 2016), and Habitat III in Quito (October 2016), based on the universal framework for sustainable development in the form of the 2030 Agenda, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The main objective of the event was to promote an international cooperation to take a joint action on disaster risk reduction and water along with other key global issues aimed to achieve sustainable development.

Children collect contaminated water in Haiti

Children collect contaminated water in Haiti

As the Secretary-General pointed out, SDG 6 on water and sanitation is at the core of the 2030 Agenda and is fully integrated across the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which is directly linked to climate change, health, food security, access to energy, resilient infrastructure, ecosystem, and urbanization.

“Water is the source of life, health and livelihoods across the world. The provision of safe drinking water is one of the basic responsibilities of national and local government”.

The Secretary-General emphasized that water-related disasters, such as floods, droughts, tsunamis, and storm surges, account for 90% of all disasters that affected people since 1990. The catastrophes caused by water have influenced societies in both developed and developing countries. However, poor are the most vulnerable people have suffered “first and the worst”.

Water Aliya 2

A child plays at a dried-up pond in India.

Therefore, it is crucial for the international community to work unitedly and in partnership to tackle the challenges that threaten our planet and the entire humanity. The world governments along with the civil society, businesses and science must strengthen coherence and cooperation. It is necessary to prioritize common goals and targets, adopt effective mechanisms to address water and disaster issues, and to build a resilient society, able to analyze the risk to be better prepared for disasters.

As H. E. Ban Ki-moon concluded: “Solutions exist.  We have the tools. Our challenge is to connect the dots and work  in an integrated manner towards the goals we share.”

Sustainable Development Goal 13: Protect Our Home