UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon takes part in Olympic Torch relay as the Olympic Games kick off in Rio

5 August 2016 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon participated in the Olympic Torch Relay in Rio de Janeiro this morning as the historic torch, after having made its journey from Greece, is just hours away from lighting the Olympic Flame.

Congratulating the athletes and the supporters and fans who will be filling the sporting arenas of host city Rio – and at venues in the cities of São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Brasília (Brazil’s capital), and Manaus – in the weeks ahead, the Secretary-General, in his message for the games, said: “The Olympics and Paralympics celebrate the best of humanity.” Read More.

Refugee Olympic Team makes history at Rio Games

Video credit: United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)

Against all odds, 10 refugees, who fled violence and persecution and overcame adversity to excel in their sports, are competing at the Olympic Games Rio. Because those driven from their home are also driven to achieve. Learn more about Team Refugees.


High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

Learn more about the 2016 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development Goals: Improve Lives All Around the Globe

“Sustainable Development Goals: Improve Life All Around The Globe” is a hip hop music video that was produced by Flocabulary in partnership with the Education Outreach Section of the Outreach Division of the United Nations Department of Public Information. It aims to teach young people throughout the world about the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals and how they can help build peace.

UN_CareersBahrain & GCC Countries among List of Participating Countries for the 2016 UN Young Professionals Programme (YPP) Examination

The United Nations is looking for highly qualified candidates who are ready to launch a professional career as an international civil servant. The Young Professionals Programme (YPP) is a recruitment initiative that brings new talent to the United Nations through an annual entrance examination. For young, high-caliber professionals across the globe, the examination is a platform for launching a career at the United Nations.

The examination is held worldwide and is open to nationals of countries participating in the annual recruitment exercise.

The list of participating countries is published annually and varies from year to year.  Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are among the list of participating countries for 2016.

Candidates who meet the following criteria are eligible to participate in the Young Professionals Programme (YPP) examination:

  • Holds the nationality of a participating country.
  • Holds at least a first-level university degree relevant to the exam subject the candidate is applying for.
  • Is 32 years of age or younger in the year of the examination.
  • Is fluent in either English or French.

The 2016 YPP examination will be held on 14 December 2016 and is being offered in the following job families:

  • Information and Telecommunication Technology
  • Economic Affairs (and Sustainable Development)

The application deadline for the above mentioned job families is 19 July 2016.

All applications for the YPP exams must be submitted online.  For instructions on the application process and to submit an online application, visit


The first ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) which is a global call to action by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will take place from 23-24 May 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey.   The Summit will mark a major shift in how the international community prevents human suffering by preparing for and responding to crises.

The Summit has three main goals i.e. Reaffirm our commitment to humanity and humanitarian principles, Initiate actions and commitments which enable countries and communities to prepare for and respond to crises and be more resilient to shocks and Share best practices which help save lives around the world, placing affected people at the centre of humanitarian action and alleviating suffering.

SG Selection

VIDEO – Morgens Lykketoft, President of the General Assembly, speaks with the UN News Centre about a more transparent process of selecting and electing the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Learn more about the 2016 UN Secretary-General selection process.

UNiLibraryUnited Nations Publications is pleased to announce the launch of the United Nations iLibrary, the first comprehensive global search, discovery, and dissemination platform for digital content created by the United Nations.

Available from February 2016, the United Nations iLibrary provides librarians, information specialists, scholars, policy makers and the general public with a single online destination for seamlessly accessing knowledge products created by the United Nations Secretariat, and its funds and programs.

At launch, United Nations iLibrary comprises 750 titles in English, and 250 in other official languages of the United Nations: French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic. This initial scope covers most of the content published under the United Nations Publications banner between 2013 and 2015. A scope of around 3,000 titles is expected to be available by the end of 2016, corresponding to most titles published between 2010 and 2015.

The content of the United Nations iLibrary will be regularly updated with approximately 500 new titles published every year on the key topics reflecting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations.  LEARN MORE.


New York, 22 April—In an extraordinary show of support for the Paris climate agreement adopted last December, 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement at a ceremony at UN Headquarters today that far exceeded the historical record for first-day signatures to an international agreement.

The ceremony, held the first day the Paris Agreement was open for signature, marked the initial step toward ensuring the agreement enters into force.  The agreement can enter into force 30 days after 55 countries accounting for 55 per cent of global emissions deposit their instruments of ratification.

“The world will have met the requirement needed for the Paris Agreement to enter into force,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “if all 175 countries that have signed today take the next step at the national level and join the Agreement.”

Learn more about the Paris Climate Agreement Signing Ceremony.

The UN and Bahrain: An Enduring Partnership

“The UN and Bahrain: An Enduring Partnership” is a documentary showcasing the historical partnership between the UN and the Kingdom of Bahrain.



Video credit: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

01 January 2016 marked the official launch of the bold and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the 193 Member States of the UN in September 2015. The new agenda with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its core, aims to spur actions by governments, the private sector, civil society and others to end poverty and build a more sustainable world over the next 15 years.

As 2016 is a pivotal year to catalyzing action on the SDGs , the United Nations has launched  a new campaign, “Sustainable Development: 17 Goals to Transform Our World,” to highlight the importance of the Goals as well as stimulate action by all stakeholders—governments, the private sector and civil society—to successfully implement them. This year-long campaign will focus on strengthening existing partnerships and forming new ones across the world to help promote key events around the SDGs.


Secretary-General’s Video Message on World Humanitarian Day 2016

Secretary-General’s Video Message on International Youth Day 2016

Secretary-General’s Video Message on Rio Games & the Olympic Truce

Secretary-General’s Video Message on World Press Freedom Day 2016

Secretary-General’s Video Message on World Autism Awareness Day 2016

Secretary-General’s Video Message on Earth Hour 2016

Secretary-General’s Video Message on World Radio Day 2016

 Secretary-General’s Video Message to the Israeli and Palestinian people

Visit the Office of the Spokesperson of Secretary-General for the Latest Statements


Global South

The Women Scholarship for Peace: Global South is an initiative coordinated by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs at Vienna within the so-called Disarmament and Non-proliferation Partnership (DNP) of 27 organizations, all working in the field of disarmament, non-proliferation and development.

The online and in-person courses will introduce participants to key conceptual and practical aspects of topics such as weapons of mass destruction, conventional weapons, disarmament and development, gender and disarmament, as well as peace and development-related technologies.

The educational modules have been developed by the DNP Education partners, and provide first-hand information about major international organizations working in disarmament, non-proliferation and development, including the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Participants will obtain a certificate from the UN-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE), with the possibility to obtain a diploma carrying university credits.

The courses are intended for early-career women from various fields from the Global South. Previous knowledge of the disarmament field is not required.

Applications for a total of 140 scholarships are now open for the Asia/Pacific region, Africa and the Middle East. Deadline for Application is 31 August 2016.




International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (09 August)


International Youth Day (12 August)


World Humanitarian Day (19 August) 


Photo credit: Shutterstock / Damian Ryszawy

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition (23 August)


International Day against Nuclear Tests (29 August)


Many victims of enforced disappearances remain in nameless graves. Credit: OHCHR

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances (30 August)

Click here to view the full list of UN Observances