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 26 | No. 5 | May 2022

Science has pushed the boundaries of what is possible throughout history. From mapping DNA to the invention of electricity to the adoption of penicillin in modern medicine; science has shattered barriers and expanded human potential. With just eight years left to 2030, we must act now to accelerate needed transformations. Science is likely our best bet to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Volume 26 | No. 4 | April 2022

Since the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in 2015, financing has been one of the key sticking points in delivering the goals by 2030—and the inequalities caused by the COVID-19 crisis have made this challenge even greater. 

Volume 26 | No. 3 | March 2022

With the help of trusted data, our world can track progress on development targets. How is the world faring when it comes to eliminating extreme poverty, combating climate change or achieving gender equality? Reliable and timely statistics hold some of the answers. During the COVID-19 crisis, data have also played a critical role in efforts to save lives.

On 28 February to 2 March and 4 March, statisticians from across the globe will come together virtually at the UN Statistical Commission to advance this work further.

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.