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. 4 | April 2024

April 2024

There are no better forecasters of resilience in the world than young people, who have been calling attention to critical sustainable development issues. They have become experts on adapting to an increasingly challenging global landscape, filled with images of conflicts, climate crisis impacts, and deepening inequalities. They experience the results of past unsustainable practices, facing present consequences and racing against the clock to curb a rising tide.

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Volume 26 | No. 2 | February 2022

More than a third of 50 recently surveyed Nobel laureates cited “population rise / environmental degradation” as the biggest threat to humankind. Second on the list was “nuclear war”, cited by 23 per cent of the laureates, while no other issue was selected by more than 10 per cent of respondents.

Volume 27 | No. 1 | January 2022

Mark your calendars, clean your webcams and pack your bags – these are the eight sustainable development events you cannot miss in 2022.


Volume 25 | No. 12 | December 2021

The year’s most important meeting on the future of Internet is gathering this month. Here is why you should take part.

From the “Black Death” epidemics of old, to the Spanish Flu of the early 20th century, humanity has experienced several pandemics in the past. However, COVID-19 is the first global pandemic to visit our “global village” – a world interconnected by the Internet.

Volume 25 | No. 11 | November 2021

The world’s scientists, activists, indigenous peoples, children and now even a dinosaur are all telling us that this year is a “make or break” for our planet’s climate. And the COP26 climate change conference, which just kicked off in Glasgow, must be a turning point in our pattern of greenhouse gas emissions or we risk – very literally – breaking our climate.

Volume 25 | No. 10 | October 2021

A farmer carrying her produce to the local market, a ship being loaded with medical supplies, a child seated on a school bus – the movement of people and goods from point A to point B, whether going from a village to a town or across a continent or ocean, shapes sustainable development.

Volume 25 | No. 9 | September 2021

Transforming the way our world produces energy will be critical to tackling both the climate crisis and the energy access crisis. Now, 80 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions stems from our energy production, making it one of the main drivers of climate change. And 760 million people live without electricity, while 2.6 billion cook with dirty, unhealthy fuels.

Volume 25 | No. 7 | July 2021

COVID-19 is threatening decades of progress to improve people’s lives across the globe. Unless we take immediate action - now. We already have the best plan for a sustainable, people-centered and planet friendly recovery – the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. What is needed now is to turn these goals into reality, for people and planet.

The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development taking place from 6 to 15 July, is just the right venue to make this happen.

Volume 25 | No. 6 | June 2021

The energy level is rising. Some 30 Global Champion ministers, major businesses, cities, youth networks and experts are all gearing up to ignite bold energy actions. The ultimate goal is to achieve clean and affordable energy for all and to improve the lives of millions of people around the globe still without access to electricity.

Preparations are intensifying for the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy taking place in September. June will be an important mobilization milestone with the Ministerial Thematic Forums to be held virtually in the week of 21-25 June.

Volume 25 | No. 5 | May 2021

Around the world, four out of every five people facing extreme poverty live in rural areas. In cities, 5.3 per cent of people suffer extreme poverty, while this share climbs to 18 per cent for rural residents. The upcoming World Social Report 2021 examines the urban-rural divide and offers solutions to ensure that no village is left behind.

Volume 25 | No. 4 | April 2021

What have we learned from the ravages of COVID-19, with a global economic standstill and millions of people left reeling in its wake? How do we repair broken systems that failed to prevent this crisis? The upcoming Financing for Development Forum will explore how to invest to recover better.

Volume 25 | No. 3 | March 2021

Since the beginning of time, we have treated nature as a free and endless provider of services. We hike in forests, swim in oceans and use its resources without a second thought. But even if we don’t pay for these goods and services, their value is far from zero.

In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us to realize that we have taken nature for granted for far too long.

Volume 25 | No. 2 | February 2021