UN DESA Voice is an insider's look at the United Nations in the area of economic, social and sustainable development policy. It is produced by the Strategic Planning and Communications Services of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs with articles written by UN DESA staff. This is an electronic publication - no printed edition is generated. 

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Volume 28 | No. 7 | July 2024

July 2024

In a world facing political turmoil, economic slowdown, rising inequalities and a worsening environmental crisis, our promise to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 is at stake. 

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Volume 27 | No. 6 | June 2023

“The SDGs are not just 17 lofty goals. They represent real lives with real needs. They represent women and children, young and old, you and me, and a chance to fullfil our potential,” said UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Li Junhua. His comment came as the department is supporting preparations for the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July and the SDG Summit in September.

Volume 25 | No. 5 | May 2023

The international community finds itself at the halfway mark of the global race towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Yet, the goals are still far off track in many areas and UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently warned, “unless we act now, the 2030 Agenda will become an epitaph for a world that might have been.”

Volume 27 | No. 4 | April 2023

At the halfway point to the 2030 Agenda, vulnerable countries have been left reeling by multiple global shocks. The war in Ukraine, sharp increases in food and energy prices, and rapidly tightening financial conditions have increased hunger and poverty and reversed progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Volume 27 | No. 3 | March 2023

In 1977, world leaders, water experts and policymakers from around the world gathered in Mar del Plata, Argentina, for the UN Water Conference. Almost 50 years later, the global community will come together from 22 to 24 March in New York for the second ever UN 2023 Water Conference.

Volume 27 | No. 2 | February 2023

“This is not the time for short-term thinking or knee-jerk fiscal austerity,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, as the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2023 released its grim global economic outlook on 25 January 2023.

A series of severe and mutually reinforcing shocks — the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and resulting food and energy crises, surging inflation, debt distress, as well as the climate emergency — battered the world economy in 2022.

Volume 27 | No. 1 | January 2023

As we’re opening the chapter on 2023, we’re entering a new and busy year, which will be critical for people, planet and our shared future. Here are the main sustainable development events to look out for this year.


Volume 26 | No. 12 | December 2022

“Together, we have the tools to tackle the root causes of systemic marginalization of persons with disabilities in every corner of the world. Together, we can make sure that every person – no matter their circumstance – can fully participate in every aspect of life – social, economic, cultural, and political. Together, we can – and we will – advance our common future.”

Volume 26 | No. 11 | November 2022

Our world is approaching a landmark moment in human history. On 15 November 2022, the global population is projected to reach 8 billion people. Thanks to science, technology, and groundbreaking innovations, we now live longer and healthier. It took the human family 125 years to get from 1 billion to 2 billion. But only 12 years to grow from 7 to 8 billion.

Volume 26 | No. 10 | October 2022

It will take 286 years to close gender gaps in legal protection and remove discriminatory laws against women, 140 years for equal representation in positions of power and at least 40 years to achieve gender parity in national parliaments. These numbers are truly alarming and calls for the world’s urgent action.

Volume 26 | No. 9 | September 2022

So much has changed since the inaugural issue of the United Nations E-Government Survey in 2001. Back then, the Survey included assessment points that now seem firmly entrenched in the past. Fast forward to 21 years of publication, the Survey no longer measures telephone lines and televisions – instead it assesses mobile and broadband. Stay tuned for the latest edition out on 28 September.

Volume 26 | No. 7 | July 2022

Still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the world now finds itself confronted with numerous crises on several fronts—financial shocks, the war in Ukraine, food insecurity, climate emergency and energy access, rising poverty and inequality.  Years of progress in achieving many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been all but wiped out. Thus, the need for global solidarity and international cooperation has become ever more urgent.

Volume 26 | No. 6 | June 2022

The time is now to scale up ocean action, for the sake of our lives and the future of our planet. This month, the global community will ‘set sail’ towards the 2022 UN Ocean Conference convened in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon on 27 June - 1 July. The stakes are high, and the ambition is to turn the tide in favor of our blue planet.